Outside of a Dog, a Book is Man's Best Friend (The Book Thread)

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canbelto

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I just read "The Five," which tells the backstories of the 5 canonical Jack the Ripper victims. A lot of information that I wasn't aware of, liek the fact that Annie Chapman's family was so concerned about her alcoholism that they footed the bill for an expensive stay in rehab, and the Liz Stride posed as a disaster victim. Definitely worth reading.
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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Yesterday I finished Confessions of a Bad Teacher, written by John Owens. He had the misfortune to teach at a truly horrific charter school in New York City. Two years after he was dismissed for "unsatisfactory" teaching, the principal herself was escorted out for falsifying data to make the school look better.

Teachers, this is a true horror story. I got anxiety just reading about all the hoops he was expected to jump through and about the principal, who thought if teachers would just follow her "vision," the students would magically succeed. Misbehaving kids were the teachers fault--if teachers were truly engaging their students, misbehavior wouldn't happen. uh, right.....

I have moved on to a murder mystery. Way less terrifying...
 

PDilemma

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Yesterday I finished Confessions of a Bad Teacher, written by John Owens. He had the misfortune to teach at a truly horrific charter school in New York City. Two years after he was dismissed for "unsatisfactory" teaching, the principal herself was escorted out for falsifying data to make the school look better.

Teachers, this is a true horror story. I got anxiety just reading about all the hoops he was expected to jump through and about the principal, who thought if teachers would just follow her "vision," the students would magically succeed. Misbehaving kids were the teachers fault--if teachers were truly engaging their students, misbehavior wouldn't happen. uh, right.....

I have moved on to a murder mystery. Way less terrifying...
Frankly, your brief synopsis sounds very much like the two schools I taught in as a full time teacher. Other than the principals falsifying data. But hoops to jump through? Yes. Principals who think teachers can make students magically succeed if they follow some magical "vision"? Absolutely. Blaming all misbehavior on the teachers? Every bit of it. Even gum chewing. At the Christian school, I was, in fact, once told that my not catching the gum chewers was insubordination and a sin.
 

PrincessLeppard

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We have some hoops to jump through, too, which are tedious and annoying, but this school's manual of requirements was something like 100 pages long. Their whiteboards had to be in a specific order with specific items listed. It had to be done before students came in the room but the teachers couldn't erase the previous class requirements while those kids were still in the room. Which is fine if you have consecutive classes, not so much if you are alternating classes. That's just one example.

I highly recommend Peter May's Coffin Road. Parts of it will require to suspend belief, but overall, I greatly enjoyed it and blew through it one day.
 

PDilemma

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My first six years of teaching, we didn't have computers for teachers (we could access them in the lab as needed). We still did grades in a paper gradebook and figured them with a calculator. We were required to use specific colors of ink for different types of assignments. We were required to have all the window shades level with each other at all times. We had a detailed list of where we were required to keep things in our desk drawers. We had to change bulletin boards by the 1st of each month and they were checked for "quality" that day. That's only the beginning. I could keep going.
 

PrincessLeppard

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I've been trying to not be on the computer all the time, so I've been blowing through books.

I highly recommend My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Super fast read and darkly humorous. You'll probably see one plot twist coming at you, but the end was not what I was expecting. So that was nice.
 

dinakt

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@oleada
Did you finish The Nix by Nathan Hill? Did you like it?
I finally read it, and to me, it was memorable. At times I was irritated by what I perceived as lengthy joyless sarcasm- and at times I disliked the main characters- but I would definitely recommend it.
 

genevieve

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I'm still getting books at the whim of what's on the library's Peak Picks list.

I picked up Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken a few weeks ago and it was so boring I couldn't get beyond the first 10 pages. The quirk factor was trying too hard. Returned it unread.

Yesterday I saw The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray and am really into it! It reads like a YA novel, although it is centered on adults (there are 2 teenagers in the story but they are secondary). It's not perfect and has at least one really formulaic character trait, but also has some unexpected turns so far.

Also got a political thriller off the New Books shelf called The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vazquez that I have high hopes for.
 

puglover

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If you like a book with a lot of twists and turns I would recommend "Bluff" by Michael Kardos. It is the story of a young female magician very talented in cards and sleight of hand who falls on tough times and gets involved in poker cheating. Definitely different and quite gripping.
 

Wyliefan

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I need to know if there are any French speakers here who've read the entire Mirror Visitor quartet by Christelle Dabos, because books 1&2 were terrific and I want to know if books 3&4 follow suit! I hate having to wait for them to be translated! :wuzrobbed
 

PrincessLeppard

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I previously recommend Stasi Child and was super excited to read Stasi Wolf. It starts off awesomely and then the protagonist gets pregnant. Why? WHY? Children kill TV series and I have every expectation that they will kill this book series as well. Maybe, MAYBE, we can see some angst about her children being indoctrinated, but she herself is mostly on board with what's going on in East Germany. So, I dunno. Her twins (yes, twins, gah) tie into the plot, but they didn't HAVE to. The same outcome could've been had with out this "twist."

Meh.
 

VALuvsMKwan

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Kate Mulgrew has written a second book - "How to Forget: A Daughter's Memoir", about her relationship with her parents and her journey with them during the illnesses that led to their deaths (years of Alzheimer's and dementia with her mother, cancer with her father).
 

PrincessLeppard

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I really, really, really liked Daisy Jones and The Six. Like, a lot. I was crying at the end of it and I can't remember the last time that happened with a book. I really liked Daisy and Karen and could relate to both of them for different reasons, but mainly to Karen and not wanting to be tied down. And I liked that the author didn't feel the need to give them the traditional happy ending -- they both got happy endings, but on their own terms, as did the other characters, with the possible exception of Graham. Highly recommend.
 

quartz

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I liked Daisy Jones and the Six too, but I wanted it to be even more gritty and dirty. The 70's were quite disgusting.
 

Habs

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I really, really, really liked Daisy Jones and The Six. Like, a lot. I was crying at the end of it and I can't remember the last time that happened with a book. I really liked Daisy and Karen and could relate to both of them for different reasons, but mainly to Karen and not wanting to be tied down. And I liked that the author didn't feel the need to give them the traditional happy ending -- they both got happy endings, but on their own terms, as did the other characters, with the possible exception of Graham. Highly recommend.
I liked Daisy Jones and the Six too, but I wanted it to be even more gritty and dirty. The 70's were quite disgusting.
This is one of the best books I've read in ages. I can't recommend it enough.

The only disappointing thing was I finished it and there was no music to listen to :wuzrobbed
 

genevieve

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Just put a hold on Daisy Jones and the Six. I'm number 229 in line :wuzrobbed It's been so long since I reserved a book instead of just perusing the Peak Picks, I'm not used to waiting :(

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls ended up being just okay. Things that seemed intriguing in the beginning were never really revealed, and while that might be realistic to the way that families actually deal with their conflicts, it is not a very compelling narrative. The book switches narrators every chapter, and we don't even get the details of What Happened when we get the innermost thoughts of the person involved FFS.

Now reading The Shape of the Ruins, and it's one of those books that is labelled fiction, but it's written in first person and the author is clearly the narrator, with a lot of true details from his life included. I find this distracting.
 

quartz

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This is one of the best books I've read in ages. I can't recommend it enough.

The only disappointing thing was I finished it and there was no music to listen to :wuzrobbed
I kept trying to imagine the music too - and probably want that more gritty and dirty too! I was thinking it would be a sort of pop/rock mainstream stuff, like having Cher team up with Journey.
 

oleada

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I really, really, really liked Daisy Jones and The Six. Like, a lot. I was crying at the end of it and I can't remember the last time that happened with a book. I really liked Daisy and Karen and could relate to both of them for different reasons, but mainly to Karen and not wanting to be tied down. And I liked that the author didn't feel the need to give them the traditional happy ending -- they both got happy endings, but on their own terms, as did the other characters, with the possible exception of Graham. Highly recommend.
I liked Daisy Jones and the Six too, but I wanted it to be even more gritty and dirty. The 70's were quite disgusting.
This is one of the best books I've read in ages. I can't recommend it enough.

The only disappointing thing was I finished it and there was no music to listen to :wuzrobbed
I really liked it too! I kept thinking it would make a really good movie or TV show and then I read that Reese Witherspoon’s company is adapting it Amazon Video. In my head, Daisy looked and sounded like Florence Welch.

I thought it did such a good job of having all the different characters have unique voices in the format it was written.
 

PDilemma

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Just put a hold on Daisy Jones and the Six. I'm number 229 in line :wuzrobbed It's been so long since I reserved a book instead of just perusing the Peak Picks, I'm not used to waiting :(
I have a digital copy on hold. My estimated wait time is 14 weeks--#21 on 3 copies. It was 22 weeks just a few days ago, so some people are either super fast readers or they gave up and bought it. I keep hearing such great reviews that I'm tempted to give in and buy it.

ETA: If you check out digital books from your library, do everyone a favor on long wait holds: return it as soon as you're done. I think a lot of people don't bother since it will just disappear when your checkout time is up.
 

genevieve

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ETA: If you check out digital books from your library, do everyone a favor on long wait holds: return it as soon as you're done. I think a lot of people don't bother since it will just disappear when your checkout time is up.
I try to do this with hard copies as well - especially when I've gotten the Peak Picks books. I mean, with real books you have to make the effort to return them anyway, but I try to swing by a library branch when I've finished rather than waiting until the due date.
 

Susan1

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I have a digital copy on hold. My estimated wait time is 14 weeks--#21 on 3 copies. It was 22 weeks just a few days ago, so some people are either super fast readers or they gave up and bought it. I keep hearing such great reviews that I'm tempted to give in and buy it.

ETA: If you check out digital books from your library, do everyone a favor on long wait holds: return it as soon as you're done. I think a lot of people don't bother since it will just disappear when your checkout time is up.
I'm confused. If it's digital (they call them e-books here) wouldn't they just be out there for whoever/whenever? Does the library have to buy individual digital copies?

p.s. Here, when there are a bunch of holds on popular books, you can only keep them for the original three weeks. They don't renew up to five times. When you reserve a book, it will tell you there are other requests and you can decide if you want to reserve it. I always read the ones with holds first, just in case. I've never kept any of them for the whole three weeks. Other books, I'll read what I am in the mood for and let older ones renew. They send an email when they renew a book. I've never kept a book unread past the second renewal notice.
 

Prancer

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I'm confused. If it's digital (they call them e-books here) wouldn't they just be out there for whoever/whenever? Does the library have to buy individual digital copies?
More or less, yes. They purchase a certain number of licences for most books, which is the same as having a specific number of copies.

Some books are unlimited, but those books are usually the ones that are out of copyright.
 

PDilemma

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I'm confused. If it's digital (they call them e-books here) wouldn't they just be out there for whoever/whenever? Does the library have to buy individual digital copies?

p.s. Here, when there are a bunch of holds on popular books, you can only keep them for the original three weeks. They don't renew up to five times. When you reserve a book, it will tell you there are other requests and you can decide if you want to reserve it. I always read the ones with holds first, just in case. I've never kept any of them for the whole three weeks. Other books, I'll read what I am in the mood for and let older ones renew. They send an email when they renew a book. I've never kept a book unread past the second renewal notice.
Prancer answered your first question accurately.

As for due dates...I think a lot of people do not return digital copies right away when they are done because if you don't return them prior to the due date, they will automatically be returned on the due date. If you open it on your device after that, it will just come up to tell you the loan expired. You don't have to do anything. So people seem to not bother and just keep them until they automatically return. The issue is not renewals. My library uses Overdrive and a statewide consortium for small libraries to let everyone access a larger catalogue and it actually isn't set for renewals (if Overdrive allows renewals). You have to go check the item out again if you want it longer.

On newer Kindles, you can return borrowed books directly on the Kindle (my 2012 one didn't have that option--had to go online to return), so it shouldn't be that hard.
 

Susan1

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More or less, yes. They purchase a certain number of licences for most books, which is the same as having a specific number of copies.

Some books are unlimited, but those books are usually the ones that are out of copyright.
Excuse my technology ignorance! So, if a person buys an e-book, it just stays on whatever device you have forever? Taking up space or memory or something? How much does it cost? You can't take it to a used book store or donate it or sell it in a garage sale! ha ha
 
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Prancer

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Excuse my technology ignorance! So, if a person buys an e-book, it just stays on whatever device you have forever? Taking up space or memory or something? How much does it cost? You can't take it to a used book store or donate it or sell it in a garage sale! ha ha
It depends. I store all my ebooks in cloud storage so they don't take up memory on my tablet. Text takes up very little memory, so you can keep a lot of books on most devices; I just prefer not to do it.

Technically, I don't own anything. I am a licensed user and have access to the ebook--maybe forever, but maybe not. Sometimes the seller takes a book back and sometimes you have a book that doesn't survive a technology update (I am still bitter about a cookbook).

If you aren't too particular about legalities, however, you can always convert your ebooks into a different format and keep them forever. Not that I have ever done this :saint:, but I've heard that it's something people do.

Ebooks are nearly always cheaper than print; I have never paid more than $5 for an ebook and I've done that only a couple of times when I really wanted a book as soon as it came out. I usually wait until a book is under two dollars, which typically doesn't take very long.

So yeah, you can't sell them or donate them or anything, but if you want to get rid of a book, it's just a tap of a button.
 

Susan1

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It depends. I store all my ebooks in cloud storage so they don't take up memory on my tablet. Text takes up very little memory, so you can keep a lot of books on most devices; I just prefer not to do it.

Technically, I don't own anything. I am a licensed user and have access to the ebook--maybe forever, but maybe not. Sometimes the seller takes a book back and sometimes you have a book that doesn't survive a technology update (I am still bitter about a cookbook).

If you aren't too particular about legalities, however, you can always convert your ebooks into a different format and keep them forever. Not that I have ever done this :saint:, but I've heard that it's something people do.

Ebooks are nearly always cheaper than print; I have never paid more than $5 for an ebook and I've done that only a couple of times when I really wanted a book as soon as it came out. I usually wait until a book is under two dollars, which typically doesn't take very long.

So yeah, you can't sell them or donate them or anything, but if you want to get rid of a book, it's just a tap of a button.
okey dokey. :) I don't have any "devices" except this computer and an emergency cell phone. Just curious.
 
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