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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. quartz

    quartz making it up as I go along

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    I often will re-read a childhood favorite. It's like visiting with an old friend. The Hobbit is one I read most often, have been reading it for 45 years!
     
  2. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    So I finished Rebecca last night, and in my edition, there were a couple of extras at the end. First was a letter from du Maurier written many years ago, but decades after she wrote the book, in which she talks about where she was when she wrote it (Alexandria, Egypt), and how it came to be. Interestingly, she addresses the lawsuit against her claiming she stole the plot from another novel - I had read about this before, so it was interesting to read her take on it.

    Then there's an essay she wrote a few years after the book was published about the house she based Manderley on - a grand home by the sea amid vast gardens that had been shuttered by its owners. She talks about finding it with her sister, and then going back again and again until, after the book had been published, she convinced the owners to let her rent it and she fixed it up. Quite frankly, I think a lot of it is fantasy, just as I'm not completely buying her defense in the lawsuit.

    The final piece was the original epilogue. The final version does not have one, and a good chunk of the material in it actually ended up in the first chapter - the older narrator now living abroad somewhere with Maxim and looking back at how it all happened. There are a couple of interesting details that suggest differences in the story to her earlier book. Apparently Max de Winter was originally written as Henry :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
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  3. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    When you say "that version," do you mean this new Netflix series? (Just to clarify.)
     
  4. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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  5. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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  6. JoannaLouise

    JoannaLouise Official Toaster Oven Monitor

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    Agreed! That is my absolute favourite movie/mini-series/whatever of all time. I've lost track of the number of times I have watched it; I could probably quote the entire thing from beginning to end. :D
    There are not many things that make me cry, but the scenes where Anne goes away to school and where Matthew dies get me every. single. time.
     
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  7. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

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    My copy of 1984 arrived today. A nice, new, Everyman's Library edition. I will probably start reading it this evening when I get back from my errands.
     
  8. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I read a Nora Roberts novel Divine Evil that I picked off a giveaway shelf.

    Any fans of her work here? I'm not inclined to read more from her.

    It's not a murder mystery because we know early on who the group is that's doing the killings and we know some of the members by name. There are some surprise revelations at the end of who else was behind the masks, but they weren't characters I cared about anyway.

    The bad guys are part of a small-town satanic cult. I have no knowledge of whether there is anything realistic about how this is portrayed.

    The heroine is a beautiful successful sculptor in her late 20s. The hero is a similar (maybe a year or two older?) who is now the sheriff in this town. Of course in real-life US, towns don't have sheriffs and there's no indication he has any responsibility for the rest of the county or that he was elected to the position. Either way, very young for even a small-town chief of police, which is what he really seems to be.

    The book was written in the 1990s and if I'd read it then this probably wouldn't bother me, but the point of view jumps around from one character to another between paragraphs and occasionally within the same paragraph. After taking some online fiction writing classes and joining discussions, I have encountered much disdain for that kind of "head hopping" -- I don't know if it was equally looked down on 20+ years ago.
     
  9. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    I went through a Nora Roberts period. She's one of these authors that publishes multiple books under multiple names on a regular basis. I think she writes one a month? (I read somewhere about how many she writes and it was way more than other authors.) Anyway, the end result is that there is a lot of chaff but occasionally some wheat.
     
  10. quartz

    quartz making it up as I go along

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    I read four pages of a Nora Roberts book, once, just to find out why she is so damn popular. That's all I could handle. Meh.
     
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  11. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    She publishes romance as Nora Robert and futuristic romantic suspense as JD Robb. She's extremely prolific, though I think her pace has slowed down from her peak years; if I'm not mistaken, she's been quoted saying that she can fix a bad page but not a blank page.

    Personally I think she turns out a lot of mediocre pages, but I'm inclined to like her because she's a great advocate for the romance genre and also because she said that a day without French fries is like a day without an orgasm ;)
     
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  12. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I was like that with Daniele Steel. I picked up one of her books for a beach read years ago, figuring she's hugely popular so it should be a fun, hopefully dishy read. Didn't make it through the first chapter.
     
  13. Susan1

    Susan1 Well-Known Member

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    Back in the 90s, I read a couple of different Nora Roberts trilogies. One was about three sisters who were good witches looking for love. Each book focused on one sister, but the others were in each book. Another was three brothers (cowboys?) looking for love, etc. etc. Never read the J. D. Robb science fiction ones.

    And Danielle Steel books are all alike. High powered, successful woman, doesn't trust men, meets a man who just won't leave her alone, they go back and forth, fall in love, something happens, they break up, they get back together and live happily ever after. I pick them up when I see new ones at the library so I don't go through the books I want to read too fast. However, I still remember really liking "The Ring" - way, way back. Got rid of it in a garage sale 10 years ago. Maybe I'll look for it at the library.
     
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

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    Danielle Steele thinks she's God's gift to fiction. When I worked at Chain Bookstore back in the late 80's, the manager told me how the mink-clad Mme. Steele swept in one day to sign copies of her latest opus. She was outraged that it had been shelved under Romance and demanded to know why her books were not in the Literature section. Manager looked her right in the eye and said "Because you're not dead yet." :rofl:
     
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  15. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    She's got some other monikers too. Google says she's written as Jill March and for publications in the U.K. as Sarah Hardesty.

    I think I read one of her Jill March ones.
     
  16. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

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    :rofl: But you know, even then......

    I remember reading an interview of hers once where she talked about how mothers need to be organized and as an example said that when she took all her kids (she has six and has had a number of stepchildren come and go) and their friends to the Hamptons for the summer, she hired lifeguards because she couldn't watch the kids in the pool all by herself, and she didn't understand why other mothers didn't do the same when it was well worth the money for the peace of mind.

    She also has quite an interesting romantic history herself. :yikes:

    I read her first book, which I've never forgotten because the lead character was named Kezia, which seemed very weird and exotic to me and thus had to have been one of the first romance novels I ever read :p. I don't think I've read any of her others.

    Nora Roberts has always struck me a good basic writer who has squandered her talent by spreading it too thin, but I don't like her Eve Dallas books at all (has reputedly tough, tenacious, smart Eve ever solved a case without the aid and assistance of Roark and his billions? Ever?) and that influences my thinking.
     
  17. Susan1

    Susan1 Well-Known Member

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    o.k. - now I'm going to have to add these Eve Dallas books to my list. I didn't know Nora Roberts wrote any mysteries. I'll read anything like that.

    edited to add - never mind. I just looked them up. They are set in the 2050s.
     
  18. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I can see that. I remember hearing years back that residents around her hilltop mansion in San Francisco were outraged when she somehow got the city to give her a dozen or more street parking permits for her guests.
     
  19. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

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    The spaces weren't for her guests. They were for her own cars. She owns a ridiculous number of cars.
     
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  20. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Well, just wait another 35 years, read them at your retirement home (or have your computer read them to you), and see how prescient they were or weren't.
     
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  21. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

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    :lol: actually since the series publication dates span 1995-2017, there are quite a few changes within the 3-4 years of the storylines. Such as wide use of texting, tablets, flat screens. The Urban Wars she wrote about pre 911 (which are set for approximately now) are a little disturbing. Sadly, I don't think we'll be anywhere near the AI sources (i.e., droids) in the books. Or commercial space travel :(

    An interesting change over time has been cultural issues such as public smoking (Roarke smoked in the first 3-4 books and no longer does) and color schemes. She liked the jewel colors of the 90s and now has re-decorated Eve and Roarke's bedroom into the current grays. And updated Eve's office space. I find it very interesting how JD Robb/Roberts changed in the long time she's written the series vs the short time of the story lines. I think this would be a very interesting series to use in a culture as fiction class.

    I love the Eve Dallas books, although I'm tired of the rape/sexual crime storyline. Let's have some good old greedy mayhem for a change. More blowing things up and less focus on Eve's psyche. The latest went back to that again, but the dialog between Eve and Peabody was pretty funny. I'm so-so about Nora's romances.
     
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  22. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    The source cited for that in Wikipedia indicates that there was only a short story published under that name, and Sarah Hardesty isn't used anymore, either.

    From what I gather, Roberts is not at all like that.

    Danielle Steele books were very popular in my seventh grade class. I stopped reading her before I was out of my teens. By the way, I think she made a fair point that her books shouldn't necessarily be shelved in the romance; some of them are more women's fiction (a label I dislike, but what can you do).

    IMO, anyone looking to dip their toes into the romance genre can do a lot better than either Roberts or Steele.
     
  23. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

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    I've never read any of her books, so I have no opinion. A friend of mine read Fine Things and said it was awful. As for genre, I suppose her books really belonged in popular fiction, but this was a chain bookstore and the Home Office classified them as Romance, so that's where we shelved them.
     
  24. quartz

    quartz making it up as I go along

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    Danielle Steele has always been in the Fiction section as long as I've been at the bookstore (30years this summer! :eek:), but I do get customers who look for her in Romance and have to be redirected. I don't think I have ever even opened a Steele book as I have seen clips from movies of her books and they did not look interesting at all to me.

    I read three books on my vacation and enjoyed them all - The German Girl, (not really a beach read), The Ladies No.1 Detective Agency, (didn't realize it was so short!) and My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes.
     
  25. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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  26. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

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    When I moved to SF, I kept hoping that Danielle would show up at the store and make another scene, but it never happened. Jacques Pepin did, however. We were closing the store for good and he threw a fit because none of his books were on the shelf. 3/4's of the shelves were empty. We were closing the damned store. He was a real a$$hole.
     
  27. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    What a jerk! You'd think he'd be happy that his books weren't sitting there with half price stickers among the last to go. Kinda glad that among my nearly 1,000 cookbooks, I do not own any of his titles :drama:
     
  28. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

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    His little tirade left me speechless for a moment; almost the entire cooking section had been packed up and it was pretty obvious that he wasn't being singled out. After he finished, I just said "You look much older and shorter in person." I was losing my job anyway, I had nothing to lose.
     
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  29. Susan1

    Susan1 Well-Known Member

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    That's probably why I don't mind reading them - they aren't those drippy Harlequin romances. Quiet way to spend an afternoon when you don't want to get deeply into Linwood Barclay (just got an interlibrary from Cleveland; I've only got 2 old ones left; he better write another one soon) or Michael Connelly. They are more like Jodi Picoult - intrigue or conflict and mostly everybody lives happily ever after or learns a life lesson at the end.

    The last one I read, though (Steel), she kept repeating things in different chapters - simplifying here - "she lived in a big white house at the end of the street"...(a few pages later)........."she came home to her big white house at the end of the street...(next chapter.........) "she remembed when she bought the big white house at the end of the street". I would say to the book "are you sure it was a big white house at the end of the street?" ha ha
     
  30. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I get the sense that you're not all that familiar with Harlequin romances if you believe that they are universally "drippy". Harlequin has multiple lines ranging from sweet and chaste to hot and/or suspenseful, and many authors worth reading.
     
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