As the Page Turns (the Book Thread)

MacMadame

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I just purchased James by Percival Everett and after reading the review in the NY Times and then a sample on Amazon. It is a retelling of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from Jim's perspective. I usually prefer the original classics and find the new versions to be varying degrees of contrived, but I think this one may be the exception.
I really enjoyed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister -- the Cinderella story told from the POV of one of the step-sisters by Gregory Maguire. (More than Wicked tbh.)

I am waiting for outofshapeworthlessloser (moved from #4 to #2 on the waitlist!). In the meantime, I decided to read some of the books on my "read this someday" list and catch up on all the new Julia Quinn novels I missed when I stopped reading romance.

I couldn't get through "Sing, Unburied, Sing" and have no memory of how it got on my list. I'm also reading "Thick and other Essays" which is a collection of essays by Tressie McMillian Cotton. Again, not sure how that got on my list but so far they have been interested if uncomfortable.

Early Julia Quinn is kind of lightweight and reading too many in a row is not a good idea either as she does a lot of enemies to lovers stories and her first sex scenes also are very same-y, same-y. So not recommending either "To Catch and Heiress" or "Because of Miss Bridgerton."

I'll let you know how "The Ladies Most Likely" and "The Ladies Most Willing" go. They are anthologies so they will probably be all over the place.
 

rfisher

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The characters in this book series I'm reading have a lot of hot sex. Some of it is on boulders or against trees. All I can think is that can't be comfortable. Boulders? Seriously?
 

Trillian

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The characters in this book series I'm reading have a lot of hot sex. Some of it is on boulders or against trees. All I can think is that can't be comfortable. Boulders? Seriously?

Honestly think 99% of the reason I don’t read a lot of romance novels is because they usually leave me thinking, “This seems very sudden and I also have several logistical questions.”
 

rfisher

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Honestly think 99% of the reason I don’t read a lot of romance novels is because they usually leave me thinking, “This seems very sudden and I also have several logistical questions.”
I can accept the accelerated time lines, but bare butts on tree bark just doesn't do it.
 

Prancer

Chitarrista
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I just finished reading Raiders of the Lost Heart, a romance novel about archeologists. It's supposed to be funny, but I found a lot of unintentional humor in it, mostly because I kept imagining @rfisher's reactions :lol:. There were some parts that I found particularly :rolleyes: because I know a little about geology, so I can only imagine how off the archeology is. The author did work on a dig in Mexico, so there are some things about camp life that ring true (except for the part where no one could hear the main characters having loud sex because the walls of their tent were so thick :rofl:), but the actual archeology is like me writing a book about archeology because I worked on a dig one summer (which I did, but I wouldn't write a book about it).
 

rfisher

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I just finished reading Raiders of the Lost Heart, a romance novel about archeologists. It's supposed to be funny, but I found a lot of unintentional humor in it, mostly because I kept imagining @rfisher's reactions :lol:. There were some parts that I found particularly :rolleyes: because I know a little about geology, so I can only imagine how off the archeology is. The author did work on a dig in Mexico, so there are some things about camp life that ring true (except for the part where no one could hear the main characters having loud sex because the walls of their tent were so thick :rofl:), but the actual archeology is like me writing a book about archeology because I worked on a dig one summer (which I did, but I wouldn't write a book about it).
I'll have to read it and let my archaeology friends know so we can mock the author. Thick tent walls???
 

millyskate

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16,751
I've never organized my bookshelves!

What's most important is that like all good intellectuals, I have a hardcover copy of The Communist Manifesto on hand.

Can't say that I've read more than a few paragraphs here and there, however. :scream:

I've just organised my bookshelves as part of a massive declutter! I loathe to get rid of books but our house is just too small. I also wanted to make space for mr millyskate's electrical reference books and give a bit of downstairs space to baby milly's books as going up to her bedroom each time is a pain. Plus, it's sweet she can now go pick them off the shelf herself in the living room.

Books that have be sent to the charity shop include the national geographic's photography guide (I have gripes with their institution) and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which I've never managed to read past the halfway mark.

"Russie post-sovietique, les brulures de l'histoire", which I won for writing an essay on the French resistance in 1993, as well as cheap copies of Rousseau's "Du contrat social" went to the recycling :shuffle: I've read nearly everything on my bookshelf, but those two I'd owned for 20 years and not read.

I've managed to fit my most used piano music on the shelf within arm's reach of the piano stool, which is a big win.
 

MacMadame

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national geographic's photography guide (I have gripes with their institution)
Oh, I am interested in this. My parents have gone on a bunch of National Geographic cruises as my stepdad is a serious amateur photographer and have loved them. So that's really all I know about them these days.
 

MacMadame

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I've been on a reading binge. Mostly I've been catching up with Julia Quinn ahead of Season 3 of Bridgerton but I also finally got outofshapeworthlessloser about which I have ... feelings. And I'm still plodding through Thick and Other Essays as mentioned before. More when I finish (if I finish).

Here are my mini-reviews:

Julia Quinn
Reading a bunch of her books in a row highlights how repetitive some of her troupes are and even some of the plots. They are still a breezy read which is really all I want from historical romance. The other thing that bugs - and always has - is that her characters speak like they grew up in the 90s. They use contractions. They say they are 'pissed' instead of angry. There is no effort to have them speak even slightly as they would in the period.

To Catch an Heiress - this one was fun. It's one of her earlier ones and has more of a plot and the plot has a lot of fun had hijinx.

The Lady Most Willing - I thought this was an anthology but it's written as one story with each love story being written by a different person. I think the first one was the best and the whole situation was bizarre as it involved kidnapping some girls so one of them would marry his nephew.

The Lady Most Likely - another one story written by several people with three love stories. This one took place at a summer party and was more reasonable. Again, I thought the first love story was written the best.

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband - This is a typical girl who lies about being engaged/married to guy in a coma but eventually the truth comes out and they end up together in the end. It was okay. My main issue with it was that it was one of those girl makes stupid decisions constantly in order to pad out the length of the book. But the interaction between the main characters was sweet. It's a prequel to the Bridgerton series.

Because of Miss Bridgerton - Another prequel. It was okay. Another enemies to lovers plot which is not my favorite and I didn't like the main characters that much and didn't find their love story believable. If this was real life, they'd be divorced in five years. :lol:

Now for outofshapeworthlessloser. It's in four parts. I found the first 3 to be well-written and a good story told in an easy-to-follow way. It was interesting to hear what was going on behind the scenes and in people's thoughts about historical events that I had observed at the time. The last section is about her recovery through 2023. I found it jumped around a lot and there was more in this section that made me uncomfortable including the chapter about Coughlin that others have mentioned but I also found her accounts of her competitions to be troubling as well as some of the accounts of her coaching. I think I'll go into that more in the thread about the book as it's a lot about how USFS is and how skating works.

Bottom line: I recommend the book. It was compelling and easy to devour if uncomfortable to read at parts.
 

MacMadame

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Julia Quinn is best read with long gaps between books IMO.
Which is how I read the original series. And then she was writing one a year and I was keeping up. Then at some point I stopped so I guess it's my fault that I read so many in a row. :lol:
Which is true of a lot of books in series.
This is one reason why I enjoyed Dick Francis' books. They were kind of a series but not with the same characters or settings. Even then sometimes I'd see a certain kind of sameness in the main character when I would do my yearly "read them all in order" binge.
 

A.H.Black

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This is one reason why I enjoyed Dick Francis' books. They were kind of a series but not with the same characters or settings. Even then sometimes I'd see a certain kind of sameness in the main character when I would do my yearly "read them all in order" binge.
I always wish I lived next door to his main character - especially The Danger and High Stakes.
 

Bunny Hop

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Julia Quinn is best read with long gaps between books IMO.
I stopped after reading one. :lol:
Which is true of a lot of books in series.
Indeed. Although sometimes that doesn't work either. I was delaying reading each Outlander book until after the relevant season had aired on TV. But I got part way throught the fourth (I think) book, put it aside and never went back to it. They were also getting longer with each book (and, IMO, more dull) which wasn't helping to keep a gap between them.
 

MacMadame

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I stopped after reading one. :lol:
I enjoyed the first one I read and I'm a completist so I read the entire Bridgerton series. Since I enjoyed it, I read a few others I found at Half-Price Books. But even from the beginning, I could see the limitations.

And, yes, Sid Haley all the way! :lol:
 

A.H.Black

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This is one reason why I enjoyed Dick Francis' books. They were kind of a series but not with the same characters or settings. Even then sometimes I'd see a certain kind of sameness in the main character when I would do my yearly "read them all in order" binge.
Small, dark, reserved man with quiet competence and a certain hidden ferocity that the bad guys never see until it's too late.

Now I want to read the Sid Halley books (my favorites) again.

I always felt like he had 2 prevailing styles; one influenced by Mary Francis and the other not so much. Smokescreen (the one with the actor in South Africa) was definitely one of the sadistic ones. I actually read it first without knowing anything about the author and it stuck with me. I would put the Sid Halley ones in this category too. High Stakes was typical of the second style, more on the fun or "lets find out about this profession" kind of thing. Love them both but the sadistic ones can still make me uncomfortable.

At a family gathering a couple of weeks ago someone was mentioning wanting to go on a train trip across Canada - which brought up an impromptu discussion about The Edge.
 

Prancer

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I always felt like he had 2 prevailing styles; one influenced by Mary Francis and the other not so much. Smokescreen (the one with the actor in South Africa) was definitely one of the sadistic ones. I actually read it first without knowing anything about the author and it stuck with me. I would put the Sid Halley ones in this category too. High Stakes was typical of the second style, more on the fun or "lets find out about this profession" kind of thing. Love them both but the sadistic ones can still make me uncomfortable.
I believe the Sid Halleys were all written during the Mary Francis days (and I believe it's generally accepted that she heavily influenced all of them) and I don't consider them sadistic--well, maybe Odds Against, as the bad guys torture Sid pretty brutally. But when I said "ferocity," I wasn't referring to anything physical, but rather how all of Dick Francis's seemingly mild-mannered male leads will, when they identify a moral wrong, rise up to fight with this unrelenting, unflinching, nothing-but-death-can-stop-me attitude--the everyman who steps up to right the wrongs committed by people who underestimate him.

I found Dick Francis through Mystery! on PBS when they did The Racing Game, based on Odds Against, and Sid Halley has forever been Mike Gwilym in my mind (probably much to his Shakespearean chagrin :lol:). I'm not sure (it was a long time ago), but I think Francis wrote Whip Hand after the series and adapted some of the television writers' ideas into the plot.
 

MacMadame

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I stopped reading Dick Francis once it was clear his son was writing them which was after Mary died.
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger (she/her)
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Small, dark, reserved man with quiet competence and a certain hidden ferocity that the bad guys never see until it's too late.

Now I want to read the Sid Halley books (my favorites) again.
Don't forget plain looking ("just a face" type of guys), yet often draw the attention of The Girl in the book.
 

Prancer

Chitarrista
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Don't forget plain looking ("just a face" type of guys), yet often draw the attention of The Girl in the book.
So forgettable that the bad guys completely miss their existence until it's too late, but The Girl sees

Romance novels are often the same--plain, bookish girl lands alpha male, often by exchanging barbs.

As they say, write what you know (or wish).
 

rfisher

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City in Ruins, the third and final book of Don Winslow's Danny Ryan trilogy (and Winslow's final book--he says) finally loaded from the library. I confess I read the epilogue first because if it didn't end like I wanted, I wasn't going to start it. It did and I am. I've blitzed through the first 4 books of Andrew Mayne's Underwater Investigation Unit's books. They're on Kindle Unlimited if you have a subscription. I'm pausing in finishing all his books to read City in Ruins so I can turn it back to the library. I hate it when people don't turn books in within a few days. Either read it or let someone else have it.

I also have the latest John Sanders on deck. This one has Lucas Davenport and his daughter Lettie together. I prefer Virgil Flowers to Lettie, but it's interesting how Sanders writes Lucas and Lettie. I'll save it for after I finish the rest of Mayne's books. He has three different series. :lol: That let's me anticipate my Lucas Davenport obsession. I get a puppy on Friday so I have to sandwich reading in during puppy naps for the next couple of weeks.
 

rfisher

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Reading Anne Hillermans new book, The lost Birds. Timely theme, but she's just not as good a writer as her father was. I appreciate that she's kept Leaphorn and Chee going, but her dialogue is always so stilted and makes me miss the early books in the series. A series now nearly 50 years old!
 
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sk8pics

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It took me a while to get into this one, but after I got a ways in, I loved it, mostly because I loved Marcellus, the remarkably bright octopus. The very end was just a little too sweet, although it was exactly the ending anyone would predict; it was more HEA than a romance novel.
I just finished Remarkably Bright Creatures and loved it. Most of the ending was expected except for the source of the title of the book, which had me :lol:. And I was a little surprised at what happened to Marcellus.

Anyway, I loved the image of this octopus being so determined to help the person who’d been kind to him. It was very sweet.
 

annie_mg

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Just came here to say I'm so sad Paul Auster died. He was one of my absolute favorite authors along with John Irving. I'm sure he would have had many more books in store for us, had he lived a little longer. May he rest in peace.
 

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