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good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience - new book thread

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Jan 12, 2014.

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  1. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    I did that just once, with The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty. Major letdown, that book.
  2. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    Drum roll please. After nearly 4 years I finally Finished Vanity Fair. I'm so glad it's finished. There were times I was reading paragraph by paragraph. I finally found a secret for reading these kinds of books. They are great reading in waiting rooms - doctor, dentist, etc.

    I can see why it's a classic but I didn't enjoy Thackeray's jaundiced view. The only character I really liked was Dobbin. Thackeray pretty much trashed all the other characters in one way or another. I didn't see the humor and it didn't make me smile, but then I don't enjoy acerbic forms of humor. I will remember it, but I won't be going back to it.
    TygerLily likes this.
  3. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member


    I think that book had a lot of filler - it was written as a serial. I liked the "bad" girl Rebecca and her husband, they seemed real. I skipped through all the pages lifted from Burke's Peerage. It was like reading the telephone book. I probably skipped a lot of Amelia too. Nobody is that big a drip.

    Thackery's wife went insane at a young age and outlived him by 30 years. Given the attitude towards mental illness in the 19th century and the fact that he couldn't remarry, I guess that could make him view society cynically. It was a popular belief in his day that he was Rochester from Jane Eyre, although Bronte denied it. She did dedicate the book to him though.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
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  4. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

    Aw, I loved The Chaperone! Why didn't you like it?

    Precisely. That's how I'm taking on Proust's Swann's Way (which I chose to read because it's the book that's been on my Goodreads to-read list the longest - since February 2009).
  5. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Congratulations! I'm afraid I endured rather than enjoyed that one as well, when I had to read it in college. :) It had some good stuff in it, but it was kind of a slog on the whole.

    A couple of reasons. For one thing,
    I heartily dislike the Affair That Makes Everything All Better trope.
    For another, I thought the resolutions of all the conflicts felt very 21st-century instead of the time period it was supposed to be set in. And finally, I thought the author made Louise an unspeakable brat. Reading (I should say hearing) about her was more of a chore than anything.
  6. puglover

    puglover Well-Known Member

    Two new releases as of today - Stephen King's "Revival" and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's new Pendergast book - "Blue Labyrinth" in NA anyway.
  7. Nan

    Nan Just me, retired

    I just finished Defending Jacob by William Landay. If it hadn't been on my Nook, I would have thrown it across the room. :mad:
    Wyliefan and Southpaw like this.
  8. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    I have Amanda Quick's "Wicked Widow" going on audio in the car. The Oh-So-British narrator keeps raiding and dropping the volume of her voice -for emphasis, I assume - so that I have to fiddle with the volume in order to hear entire sentences. I'm still in my paranormal phase and reading Kim Harrison's "The Good, the Bad and the Undead" in print at home. How low my taste in literature has fallen as I get older! :)
  9. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

    :lol: Would that have been at the end or before the end?

    I saw the end coming, but there were places leading up to that where I wanted to wring the father's neck.
    dbell1, puglover and Nan like this.
  10. Nan

    Nan Just me, retired

    Before, during AND after. ;) I'm not really sure why I kept reading!
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    I just finished Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi, one of my favorite Hungarian writers. The title is the nickname of the subject of the novel, a 35-year-old woman who lives with her aging parents in a small town at the turn of the century. "Skylark" is unattractive, unintelligent, and unmarried. She will never leave the nest, although her parents try to maintain the hope that she will, by some miracle, find a husband. It’s a short, deceptively simple novel; not as grim as Anna Édes, nor does it have the shock ending, but the scenes where the parents and Skylark finally face the truth of their lives are affecting nonetheless.
    falling_dance and Wyliefan like this.
  12. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

    I started Robert Massie's Catherine the Great this week. Very good so far. My only possible complaint is with some of the ordering of how he is telling the story. For example, he mentions that Empress Elizabeth, who was Peter the Great's daughter, got to power in Russia via a coup. I was confused about how that happened and headed over to Wikipedia to try to understand. Then it turned out that Massie explained this about 2 or 3 chapters later, in a much clearer and more interesting manner than Wikipedia. So it would have been nice to learn this sooner. But I am splitting hairs...I'm otherwise loving it so far.
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    ^ The Empress Anna was some piece of work, wasn't she?
  14. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    I loved that book. :shuffle:

    I finally read Gone Girl, hated both protagonists, too bad they couldn't off each other.
  15. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    I just finished The 100 by Kass Morgan. It's much better than the TV show (well, I only watched the first episode), but there are so many love triangles and "secrets" and "no can know my secret" and "oh my god if anyone finds out my super special sekret nothing will ever be the same" and if you are going to hype shit like that, the payoff has to be pretty big. Only one of the secrets was pretty major, but I'd already figured it out. Meh. I'll read the sequels, though. I'm assuming there are sequels.
  16. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    I'm struggling a bit with Lila by Marilynne Robinson. I absolutely loved Gilead, the first book in the trilogy (the one that won the Pulitzer), but I'm afraid the other two books haven't quite measured up. Robinson's writing is still beautiful and her themes are still deep and intriguing, but NOTHING IS HAPPENING. The main two characters just keep having the same conversations over and over and over and over and over and . . .

    I've heard that this book is supposed to be Robinson's takeoff on the biblical book of Hosea, but at the moment it feels more like Waiting for Godot.
  17. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

    Whoops, time for a new thread!
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