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FSU Reading Rainbow (book thread)

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by genevieve, Oct 11, 2015.

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  1. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Oh I forgot to say that I enjoyed The #1 Ladies Detective Agency but it's one of an immense series and being a compulsive person, I set out to read them all. And after a while they all seemed to be the same and I got annoyed. I would have been much better off stopping after about 3 of them. :D
     
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  2. cygnus

    cygnus Well-Known Member

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    I agree- loved the first few, then gave up. It was the same with the Sue Grafton series- and the Janet Evanovich books I read the first 5 of each and it was enough. But the Julia Spencer Fleming series and the historical CS Harris' have kept me interested as the characters develop and change.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
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  3. JoannaLouise

    JoannaLouise Official Toaster Oven Monitor

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    I love historical novels and mysteries - even better when they are together. So @cygnus may just be my hero of the day for putting a new series on my to-read list. :)

    In the realm of historical mysteries, I have also enjoyed the first couple of books in the Shardlake series by CJ Sansom. My local library doesn't have the third one, so I may just have to buy it for myself.
     
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  4. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Sue Grafton I didn't get that way until about #20. And since there are only 26 in the series, I'm going to stick it out to the bitter end! (I think I gave up on the Stephanie Plum series somewhere in the teens.)
     
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  5. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    That's how I was with the Brother Cadfael series. I felt like I was reading the same story over and over and over again.
     
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  6. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    I finished Franco-American Life & Culture in Manchester New Hampshire. Was curious to read this book because Manchester, NH had one of the largest concentrations of French-Canadian immigrants in New England in the twentieth century. (Coincidentally, my brother now lives in Manchester.) This book, as it turns out, is a collection of essays with anecdotal information, as opposed to an integrated study of the community. Still, I learned some interesting stuff. Apparently there was controversy in the French-Canadian community before WWII about how much to adapt and assimilate into American life, and also about whether or not to repatriate to Quebec. The ideological group that favored the survivance of French language and customs was called the Sentinellistes (never heard of them before). The French-Canadian community also had conflicts with another group of Catholic immigrants, the Irish. This largely played out through battles to control Catholic parishes in the Northeast. (I remember, when visiting my grandparents in Maine in the 1970s/80s, that there were 2 Catholic churches on the same block in their town, and one was known as "the French church" while the other was "the Irish church".)
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
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  7. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

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    I read For the Win by Cody Doctorow because a student asked me to so he could have someone to discuss it with. So. Um. It's about video games? And the markets for stuff in the games? And, uh, I don't play video games much, and never the MMORPG games and really have no idea what was really happening.
     
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  8. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Oh, my son is really into the MMORPG games. There is a lot of drama and plotting that goes on behind the scenes. I can imagine a very interesting book about it.

    MacBoy lost a childhood friend over World of Warcraft, for example.
     
  9. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

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    I just finished Flirting with Disaster by Marc Gerstein, about how most "accidents" aren't accidental at all. It covers Chernobyl, Enron, Vioxx, and both space shuttle accidents. He also touches on Vietnam and the Iraq War (it was published in 2008). I thought it was pretty interesting - I skimmed over some of the more arcane financial stuff, but overall, it discusses mainly why people don't speak up even when they know disaster is inevitable.
     
  10. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Some time ago I picked up Franny and Zooey (JD Salinger) at one of those little free libraries. I think this is a book most people read in 8th grade, but somehow I missed it. I started reading it last night - it reminds me a lot of Revolutionary Road, the college years.
     
  11. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

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    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
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  12. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

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    I had always had the vague feeling that Brave New World was more prescient than Nineteen Eighty Four and reading them again back-to-back just reinforced this for me. And finally, after reading all these articles about Nineteen Eighty Four is now!, I found someone who agrees with me: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2...ves-to-death-neil-postman-trump-orwell-huxley

    Some of Huxley's predictions are :rofl:, but the description of how his society came to be that was laid out in detail at the end of the book was much more chilling to me than anything in Nineteen Eighty Four.

    I'm reading Fahrenheit 451 again now and it also seems a lot more on target than Nineteen Eighty Four.
     
  13. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    @Prancer If you're in the mood for dystopian future novels, I recommend We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It was published in 1921, in the very early days of Communism in Russia. so it actually predates the better-known 1984 and Brave New World. It is short, disturbing, vivid, at times almost hallucinatory. It made a strong impression on me.
     
  14. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

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    I couldn't get through We. I wanted to, but couldn't. And I hate Brave New World, though I always tell my dystopian lit kids to read it if they ask for more books.
     
  15. Susan1

    Susan1 Well-Known Member

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    Reading the latest "Richard Castle" book. Lost track of the typos halfway through. Didn't correct any!!!! Castle needs a new editor or proofreader now that he's not on t.v. anymore.
     
  16. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, even though it's short, We is not a quick read. Maybe because it's translated from Russian? I found that I would read maybe a chapter at a time & then kind of let it sink in. I do think it's worth persisting though; some of the imagery and ideas are very interesting. I think I'll have some of the images from that book in my mind forever.

    I read Brave New World years ago, and I remember being dismayed by it. But it didn't stick with me the same way We did, or to a lesser extent 1984. I don't really remember much about it. Maybe I'll re-read it.

    Some of the dystopian novels that I remember most are YA novels--and not recent YA, but older ones written in the 1970s/80s. I think they just stuck with me because I read them at a very impressionable time, and also because they were relatively simple.
     
  17. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    I preferred 1984 to Brave New World.
     
  18. NeilJLeonard

    NeilJLeonard Well-Known Member

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    Am finishing Arlie Russell Hochschild's "Strangers In Their Own Land, anger and mourning on the American right". Exceptional view on why people become part of the Tea Party. Well worth the time and effort to read.
     
  19. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    As did I.
     
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  20. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I am re-reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier for the first time in decades, and adoring it. I find it interesting to re-read books I read when I was younger (I first read it as a young teen) to compare what has stuck with me to what stands out now, and my reaction to the characters. I remember the plot of course, many of the details and much of the key dialogue (which was in many cases repeated in Hitchcock's movie), but I'm now seeing so much more and enjoying it immensely.

    Funny thing - my original copy has long disappeared so I bought this one in late summer, and I think I mentioned in this thread that I planned to read it over the winter, when it's cold and dark and I can property snuggle up to it. I had forgotten of course that it takes place almost entirely in spring/summer, with lavish descriptions of flowers and even the weather conditions, which I had totally forgotten. The clever device of never naming the narrator has been much discussed over time, but there's also something quite amazing about this dark/gothic story set against sunshine, colourful fragrant blooms and perfect weather.

    I sometimes enjoy reading books from other eras when people would actually meet to have a conversation, when people kept their feelings to themselves, and mysteries had to be solved without DNA tests. And of course when so many of them don't have jobs, and that's normal :) There's something eerie about this one though - published in 1938 with the characters having no inkling that their world was about to change dramatically, mirroring the recent upheaval in our own world.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
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  21. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

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    I have no particular preference either way, as I am not particularly fond of Orwell or Huxley for different reasons; what I said was that Huxley was more prescient than Orwell. This is what I was referring to:

    What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture.

    I have a lot of students reading Orwell and freaking out over politics. But I see a lot more BNW at work and to me, that's a lot more frightening than Trump.

    But hey, all those students are reading Orwell of their own volition. And the one who started me down this path decided that Nineteen Eighty Four was too much and switched to Moby Dick. I'm not sure why he chose Moby Dick, but so far he likes it quite a bit (although he hasn't hit deadly chapter 32 yet :shuffle:).

    Viva la resistance! It's good to see something getting the kids interested in the world.

    I am finding the same reading books I haven't read since I was an undergrad (or younger). I see very different things now than I did then.
     
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  22. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Speaking of preferences, Stephen Cobert and one of his guests were geeking out over the science fiction they read when younger. As someone heavily into Sci-Fi in HS (to the point of doing an elective class in it), I was squee-ing all over the place. Though at some point they were naming so many obscure authors that even I hadn't heard of them.

    But it was funny to see that famous people could be geeks growing up.
     
  23. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I haven't yet read Brave New World, @Prancer, so I'll take your word for that! I would say, though, many Trump supporters talk in a way that reminds me strongly of Orwell's "newspeak."
     
  24. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

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    Newspeak is using fewer words to get the point across. Doublespeak or doublethink is to hold two contradictory thoughts at the same time and believe both are true.

    Both work.
     
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  25. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

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    Every time I read that in Orwell, all I could think of was F. Scott Fitzgerald: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."
     
  26. skatepixie

    skatepixie Well-Known Member

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    I re-read I Capture the Castle every now and then, for the same reason. That's the book that made me want to be a writer.
     
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  27. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    ^^ I liked that book.

    I'm re-reading Anne of Green Gables. I never realized before how many lines in the Megan Follows series came directly from the book! Of course now I want to re-watch the series too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
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  28. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    I love Anne of Green Gables. For one book club last year, the host had us each reread a children's book we loved and that was the one I picked and I was impressed with how well it held up as an adult. And I agree that the mini-series was great too, one of the most faithful and well-done book adaptations I can think of.
     
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  29. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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  30. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I love Anne of Green Gables. When I heard they were making a third one I was excited then I read all the reviews. I refuse to acknowledge that version's existence.
     
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