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Source: (consider it) Thread: Lost in a Good Book: What are you reading in 2017?
la vie en rouge
Parisienne
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I’ve just finished ploughing through Simon Sebag Montefiore’s history of the Romanovs. It’s a rather weighty tome, but highly readable in style. I’m now off to read something a bit lighter, but after that I think I’m going to come back for his biography of Stalin.

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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ArachnidinElmet
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quote:
Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
I'm really struggling with The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. Not that I'm not enjoying it, but it is a hard read for me. The combination of it being set in a culture I'm not familiar with, which not only adds a whole lot of new detail but means that names are harder to keep track of, with the fact that it's fairly postmodern in style and structure (definitely not a single, linear storyline with a clear main character, by any means), has me reading it in very small doses and wondering if I'll get it finished before the library due date.

I had the same problem with The God of Small Things. I didn't not enjoy it, but it took years to finish half a dozen pages at a time. A strange phenomenon.

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'If a pleasant, straight-forward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres' - Kafka

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Jane R
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<seizes tone of conversation and drags it by main force down to a less rarefied level>

I've just read 'The Empty Grave', the last book in the Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud. Well up to the standard of the previous volumes and a satisfying conclusion to the series.

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Brenda Clough
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Ooh! Strou's Bartimaeus trilogy was the literary equivalent of crack cocaine. Is this new one also fantasy, for the YA reader?

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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ArachnidinElmet
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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
<seizes tone of conversation and drags it by main force down to a less rarefied level>

Well, if we're doing that, I have to admit enjoying 50 Shades of Mr Darcy by William Codpiece Thwackery (actually by the people that brought us Bored of the Rings). I bought it for a friend (no, really) but got sucked in, as it were. Supremely silly, with mentions of Catherine de Burgh's late husband, Chris and the Reverend Collins former career as lead singer of Genesis. Not likely to win any awards, but it passed the time pleasantly.
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Jane R
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@ Brenda: It's the last volume in a five-book series about an alternate Britain where ghosts are real, common and deadly and the only people (relatively) safe at night are children, who can see and/or hear them clearly and are therefore able to fight them. The first book in the series is 'The Screaming Staircase'. And yes, YA urban fantasy.

Very well-written and quite gripping. Only now I want to reread the entire series and Other Half has gone off with my Kindle...

[ 14. September 2017, 22:07: Message edited by: Jane R ]

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Scots lass
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# 2699

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
<seizes tone of conversation and drags it by main force down to a less rarefied level>

I've just read 'The Empty Grave', the last book in the Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud. Well up to the standard of the previous volumes and a satisfying conclusion to the series.

I did a re-read of the previous four last month, in preparation for this one! I'm first in line for the library copy and impatiently drumming my fingers on the desk waiting for it to arrive. Very pleased to hear it's up to scratch. *checks library account yet again*
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Trudy Scrumptious

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quote:
Originally posted by ArachnidinElmet:
quote:
Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
I'm really struggling with The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. Not that I'm not enjoying it, but it is a hard read for me. The combination of it being set in a culture I'm not familiar with, which not only adds a whole lot of new detail but means that names are harder to keep track of, with the fact that it's fairly postmodern in style and structure (definitely not a single, linear storyline with a clear main character, by any means), has me reading it in very small doses and wondering if I'll get it finished before the library due date.

I had the same problem with The God of Small Things. I didn't not enjoy it, but it took years to finish half a dozen pages at a time. A strange phenomenon.
I finished. It was beautiful, although I still feel like I didn't understand more than about 1/4 of it. Some of the scenes at the end were surprisingly moving for a novel in which I couldn't keep track of who the characters were half the time. I did learn a lot about the subculture of hijras (m-to-f trans people) in India, which I knew nothing about before reading this novel. I should have learned a lot about the politics of Kasmir, but was too confused a lot of the time to take it in.

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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leo
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# 1458

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Saints, Sacrilege and Sedition: Religion and Conflict in the Tudor Reformations – Eamon Duffy I am bored with all this 500 years since the Reformation stuff. I don’t see schism as something to celebrate.

This book shows how indoctrinated many protestants have been.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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LutheranChik
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# 9826

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Two new books from the library. Give a Girl a Knife by Amy Thielen is the well regarded chef's memoir of getting into the restaurant business in NYC but longing to return to her Upper Midwestern roots. ( Spoiler alert: She does go back.) My other book, The Dawn of Christianity By Robert Knapp, comes highly recommended.

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Simul iustus et peccator
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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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A quick, enjoyable read: 'The Drowned Boy' by Karin Fossum. I wouldn't normally want to read a tragedy about a drowned boy, but this book promised an investigation into the psychological state of the mother, which did interest me. And the unexpected (to me at any rate) ending made me laugh out loud - a delight at the end of a book with such a gloomy title.

There was even a short foray into theological views about God and life after death, which should please shipmates: 'I've never really been the type for absolute certainty. And anyway, doubt makes us human'.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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MaryLouise
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# 18697

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Gobsmacked. I'm reading Patricia Lockwood's memoir Priestdaddy about life at home with her father who is a Roman Catholic priest in St Louis, MO.

Greg Lockwood found religion while serving as a Naval seaman on a nuclear submarine in the Cold War where he watched endless repeats of The Exorcist. His conversion first led him to the Lutheran Church, then to its ministry, and finally to Roman Catholicism. In 1984, he asked ordination as a married Catholic priest from then St Louis Archbishop John May under a special pastoral provision issued by Pope John Paul II in 1980. This was approved by then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

To say that Fr Lockwood comes across as batshit crazy is an understatement. Very funny and a real shocker of a family memoir.

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“As regards plots I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots.”

-- Ivy Compton-Burnett

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Egeria
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Lutheranchik mentioned this one:
quote:
My other book, The Dawn of Christianity By Robert Knapp, comes highly recommended.
That's *our* Robert Knapp! You might also check out his Invisible Romans as well. Excellent!

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"Sound bodies lined / with a sound mind / do here pursue with might / grace, honor, praise, delight."--Rabelais

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Piglet
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# 11803

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I've just finished The Trouble with Keeping Mum by Rosie Wallace (whose husband was MP for Orkney and Shetland from 1983 to 2001) about a (fictitious) member of the Scottish Parliament and her trials as a cabinet minister, mother of a complicated teenager and daughter of an increasingly dotty mother. It's light-hearted (and warm-hearted), with one or two genuinely laugh-out-loud moments.

I think it's the first time I've read a book by an author who I know in person; I think I'd probably read another of Rosie's books if she writes any more.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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leo
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# 1458

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Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt - supposedluy a children's book it asks big questions such as would iot be good to live for ever.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt - supposedluy a children's book it asks big questions such as would iot be good to live for ever.

My eldest read that in her book club. She was profoundly unsatisfied with it - the "would you want to live for ever" question was interesting, but she found the supporting plot completely contrived and unconvincing.
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Martin60
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# 368

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Just finished Death In Bordeaux - can't wait to finish the quartet, so I must. The week before, Heresy. Not bad. Massie is even better. This week Ian Banks' Whit. His with an 'M' The Hydrogen Sonata left me desperately wanting more, alas! I like to have multiple cycles on the go. So need more Banks! There's a row in the charity shop. Started The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the third week of August, after Alan Furst's (an American who "has adopted a European sensibility.") Dark Voyage, mid-way through his Night Soldiers series. Need one-offs in between as well, like Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang.

I find Toni Morrison and Karl Ove Knausgård challenging. Om just not cerebral enough. He's oddly compelling. But I'm more likely to continue with her. She's ... very lightly deep indeed.

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Love wins

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I plowed through the first volume of Thomas Covenant and then gave up. There are characters who really need pharmacological help. A little Xanax...

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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lily pad
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# 11456

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I just finished reading Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterley.

I had heard about the movie but not seen it and decided to wait for my turn to read it at the library. It was not at all what I expected. I had thought that it would be a story but it is actually more like a collective biography of the black women who worked as human computers for flight and spacecraft at NASA. It was a bit difficult to switch my head over from the expectation of an easy to read story to something more technical. I did enjoy it and learned a lot.

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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Jane R
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Brenda:
quote:
I plowed through the first volume of Thomas Covenant and then gave up.
I got a bit further but gave up after the first three volumes. I quite liked the Giants, but I hated Thomas Covenant. I found him an extremely unsympathetic character, and not just because he was a rapist. Didn't like the author's style well enough to put up with the horrible main character.
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LutheranChik
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I didn't actually read the book in toto, just gave it a power skim while my spouse was researching something at our local library, but I was intrigued by a book entitled " Blitzed," can't recall the author, about drug abuse, especially methamphetamine abuse, among the German leadership during the Nazi era. It's not a well written book, frankly -- it reads like a supermarket tabloid -- but the information is very thought provoking. Especially while listening to people like Bannon, Conway and "The Mooch."

[ 28. September 2017, 12:35: Message edited by: LutheranChik ]

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Simul iustus et peccator
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Brenda Clough
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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Brenda:
quote:
I plowed through the first volume of Thomas Covenant and then gave up.
I got a bit further but gave up after the first three volumes. I quite liked the Giants, but I hated Thomas Covenant. I found him an extremely unsympathetic character, and not just because he was a rapist. Didn't like the author's style well enough to put up with the horrible main character.
Precisely. I can find vile people by opening the daily paper. I don't need them as protagonists in fantasy fiction.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Trudy Scrumptious

BBE Shieldmaiden
# 5647

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Brenda:
quote:
I plowed through the first volume of Thomas Covenant and then gave up.
I got a bit further but gave up after the first three volumes. I quite liked the Giants, but I hated Thomas Covenant. I found him an extremely unsympathetic character, and not just because he was a rapist. Didn't like the author's style well enough to put up with the horrible main character.
Precisely. I can find vile people by opening the daily paper. I don't need them as protagonists in fantasy fiction.
I don't know which is worse, the fact that Thomas Covenant's a rapist or the fact that he's such a pathetic whiner. I mean, I know which is worse in real life, but in a book I might be able to get past a character committing a horrific crime if it weren't for the fact of having to put up with his whiny, self-pitying point of view for hundreds and hundreds of pages. Also, you're IN a fantasy world -- what is the point of not believing in it?? You're there, accept it, do something with it.

It's been years but I really had issues with those books. And yet for some reason I read them all. I'm not sure why.

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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Paul.
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I liked the Thomas Covenant books back when I read them as a student. That was despite the prose which I found unnecessarily dense*. I didn't dislike the character but I was frustrated by him at times. The second book of the second trilogy was my favourite in which Covenant spends most of it in paralysis. I felt it was like a grown-up Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Always meant to start on the third set but after so much time I would want to re-read the first 6 but that's a lot so...

I did read the first in The Gap series when it came out and found it relentlessly grim (lot of rape in that too as I recall [Frown] ). Someone told me they get better but I never continued.

On a happier note, I just finished How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, and really enjoyed it. It's a sort of fantasy about a man who was born in the late 16th century and is still kicking around in 21st century London. So it jumps around in different time periods and that's fun. There's a kind of thriller-y element that didn't really work for me but didn't detract either. The best bits are on his relationships with "mayflies", the nature of love, time, loss etc. It thinks it's a little more profound than it actually is but I still found it a good read.


(*brought up TC on one of the fore-runners of this thread once and ken (RIP!) teased me about 'clench racing')

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
Also, you're IN a fantasy world -- what is the point of not believing in it?? You're there, accept it, do something with it.

It's been years but I really had issues with those books. And yet for some reason I read them all. I'm not sure why.

I suppose the 'what if the protagonist doesn't believe he's in a fantasy world and thinks he's hallucinating' idea was one of the ideas that Donaldson started out with when he began to think about the series; and he never stopped to think whether it was actually a good idea.

I think we all read the books because when you're a teenager you think angst is the same as profundity. It was kind of transgressive but not very - I think we should call the genre, blandpunk. So everyone else was reading Thomas Covenant, and also because back then there just wasn't the range of epic fantasy. While Donaldson obviously has read Tolkien he's not quite as derivative as most of the stuff that was around just then.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Eigon
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# 4917

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I'm in the middle of Everfair, by Nisi Shawl. It's an alternate history of the Congo, with added Steampunk (nuclear powered aircanoes!), in which a utopian colony called Everfair is set up in the Belgian Congo, at the time when King Leopold's Belgians were being particularly ruthless in subjugating the local populace. Several characters have had their hands cut off, even if they are replaced by cool brass and steam powered artificial limbs.
It does take a while to get into, though - there's a very large cast of characters and the time scale covers about 40 years, so you get a chapter from one person's point of view, and then don't hear of them again for about 20 years!

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Never cruel nor cowardly.
Never give up, never give in.
The Doctor's Promise

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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In a valiant and belated attempt to hack back the TBR stack, I selected a random volume from the middle. It is a trade paper edition of A TIME OF GIFTS by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Superb! God alone knows where I got the book or why I kept it.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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I'm currently reading 'Rebels and Traitors' by Lindsey Davis. It's about the English Civil War. For my tastes, there's far too much military strategy in there and not enough religion, but I'm tickled that it refers to my own dear city, and to districts that rarely appear in fiction.

It's a chunky book; the one I've just started is the much thinner 'On Chesil Beach' by Ian McEwan. Beautifully written, but I doubt I'll enjoy it much. I think I bought it because it was getting lots of great reviews, but I don't like reading about bad middle class marriages.

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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Not lost at the moment, coz I've just finished re-reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (one of my fave authors).

Hailed as the first modern 'detective story' by some, I'm not so sure. A fascinating mystery story, yes, but it's not the detective who solves it!

Beautifully written, with Collins' usual dry and perspicacious humour, and (for its time) not too prolix. Highly recommended.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

Posts: 9191 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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I like The Moonstone very much. One thing that I appreciate is that the story has various narrators, and each is a well-drawn character. You can understand why the characters interact the way they do.

Moo

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See you later, alligator.

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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Indeed. AIUI, Collins used the different narratives in order to sustain interest in the story, as it was originally published in serial form.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Jack the Lass

Ship's airhead
# 3415

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Today I finished "Red Rosa" by Kate Evans. It is a graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg and was really excellent. I'm not particularly au fait with the graphic book as a genre (unless the Asterix books count), but this was done really well and has made me want to read more about her.

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"My body is a temple - it's big and doesn't move." (Jo Brand)
wiblog blipfoto blog

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Paul.
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# 37

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
the one I've just started is the much thinner 'On Chesil Beach' by Ian McEwan. Beautifully written, but I doubt I'll enjoy it much. I think I bought it because it was getting lots of great reviews, but I don't like reading about bad middle class marriages.

I found it beautifully written and very depressing. Also it always sets me off singing, "...Chesil Beach, far away in time..."

Just finished The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West. I've had it in my TBR list for ages. Originally bought it because it's mentioned in "Y: The Last Man" but I digress. I would say it's worth a read but it's blunt about the underbelly of the American Dream that is Hollywood and being written in 1939 it has some old-fashioned ideas about women that make for uncomfortable reading. Also casual racism and cock-fighting. It's relatively short though and has a character called Homer Simpson.

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Huia
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# 3473

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After reading a review in The New Zealand Listener I bought How to Eat Better by James Wong. This is a highly readable book in which Wong, an Ethno-botanist, uses a scientific approach to storing and cooking food in ways that maximise it's nutritional value.

Anyone suffering from insomnia might benefit by reading his suggestions for using kiwifruit, (not because they're boring, but because of the effect kiwifruit can have on sleep).

Please note - kiwi fruit are also high fibre, and I personally would not eat two at once. Also some people are sensitive to calcium oxalate, found more in green, that gold kiwis. Ripening properly lessens this risk.

I'd like to know if anyone else has read this, and what their opinion of the book is.

Huia -I do not have shares in a kiwifruit orchard [Razz]

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10124 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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I've never seen gold kiwifruit. I think it hasn't made it to the US.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20205 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Paul.
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# 37

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Just finished a weird book called The Radio by Jonathan M. Lee. It's about a middle-aged man who finds an old radio in the attic and the more he listens to it the more he retreats from his life.

The thing that makes it weird is that it includes this strand where it's a drama about a family coping with tragedy and how something like that can echo down years, and this part is written very movingly. That's about 10% of the book. The other 90% is this 70s sitcom style farce about a hen-pecked husband and his over-bearing wife and self-obsessed daughter. The thing is it changes tone with sudden lurches that jar you. And it does this up to the very last page.

Looking at reviews, it seems like a lot of people found it very funny. To be honest if it had just been the sitcom-esque stuff I would have found it cringey and tedious. I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened and whether the author was going to wrap it up in a satisfying way. Well without spoiling anything I thought in the final scene I was being invited to laugh at something horribly sad.

Posts: 3679 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jane R
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# 331

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Paul.:
quote:
Well without spoiling anything I thought in the final scene I was being invited to laugh at something horribly sad.
<tangent> That's why I hate 'Finding Nemo' - film about a child being kidnapped, featuring a character who can't remember anything? Nope. Not funny. Not to anyone with a relative who has dementia, anyway.<\end tangent>

I've just read Ann Leckie's latest, 'Provenance', in which we get to see the Radchaai universe from the point of view of some different humans.

Posts: 3934 | From: Jorvik | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tukai
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# 12960

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The extraordinary journey of the fakir who got trapped in an IKEA wardrobe by Romain Puertolas.
As you might guess from the title this is a farce, worthy of the Marx Brothers, and similar in tone to the Swedish book about the 100-year old man who climbed out the window. It is in fact translated from a 2014 French original, and although it does in passing raise some serious issues about asylum seekers (or illegal immigrants) entering Europe from Africa, it is mainly just funny (in both senses). Recommended.

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A government that panders to the worst instincts of its people degrades the whole country for years to come.

Posts: 573 | From: Oz | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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# 9826

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Just checked out Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics For Busy People .

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6331 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I'm reading a biography of Isabella Beeton (the cookbook author) with great profit.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5676 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Aravis
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# 13824

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I found two recent novels based on classic literature in the library this week: "Hagseed" by Margaret Atwood, about a production of The Tempest in a prison, and "Longbourn" by Jo Baker, a below-stairs story based on Pride and Prejudice. Both are excellent, a good read in their own right, subtle and well researched.
I don't think Jo Baker has written much yet but she's definitely an author to watch.

Posts: 654 | From: S Wales | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
Eigon
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# 4917

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When EasterCon was in Manchester, we came across a chap called David Wake, who spent the weekend wheeling a little lectern around with him to give impromptu readings of his books. He also gave readings as an event on the programme of the convention, way up on the 22nd floor of the hotel in the Ambassador's Suite, with a panoramic view across Manchester. He got several people up to play the different characters in his Steampunk comedy adventure, and it was a very funny evening.

So I've finally got round to reading the first in his series: The Derring-Do Club and the Empire of the Dead. It introduces the three Deering-Doolittle sisters, at a finishing school in Switzerland, and pretty soon there are airships, and an army of zombies, a Germanic prince disguised as a gardener, and a group of Englishmen "on holiday" (or are they spies?). Mostly, it's been rollicking good fun so far, but I did feel terribly sorry for the middle sister, who has to identify bodies after a zombie attack, and which is treated more seriously than the other adventures.
This isn't exactly a spoiler, by the way - the very first line of the book is "It was during Latin that the Austro-Hungarians arrived with their dogs and zombies to kill everyone at the Eden College for Young Ladies."

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Never cruel nor cowardly.
Never give up, never give in.
The Doctor's Promise

Posts: 3698 | From: Hay-on-Wye, town of books | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I am thinking of going to Eastercon in 2019. I've just signed up to go to Worldcon in Dublin.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5676 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Sarasa
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# 12271

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The Daring-Do club sounds fun. I might give that a go and mention it to my son who loves those sorts of stories.
I've just finsihed a Mooc on the life and times of Richard III and to find out more about him I'm reading Paul Murray Kendall's Richard the Third. it was first published in the 50s so no stuff about finding a king in a car park. Just come across a fabulous description of London in the 1480s, though I'm still rather confused by the politics of the times - not helped by msot of the leading players called either Richard, Edward or Henry.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

Posts: 1926 | From: London | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged
lily pad
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# 11456

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Spent the weekend with "Camino Island",the latest Grisham novel and "Origin", the latest Dan Brown one. Not much else got done. [Smile]

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

Posts: 2335 | From: Truly Canadian | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Eigon
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# 4917

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I've signed up to go to Dublin for WorldCon, as well - it's actually easier to get to for me than Harrogate for the next EasterCon will be!

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Never cruel nor cowardly.
Never give up, never give in.
The Doctor's Promise

Posts: 3698 | From: Hay-on-Wye, town of books | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
ArachnidinElmet
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# 17346

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DublinCon is in the diary ready for booking, but I'll have to scrape together some cash. It's the same price until February, I think which will save money down the line.

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'If a pleasant, straight-forward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres' - Kafka

Posts: 1829 | From: the rhubarb triangle | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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There may well be enough of us for a meetup! We can discuss, in 2019.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5676 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Jack the Lass

Ship's airhead
# 3415

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
In a valiant and belated attempt to hack back the TBR stack, I selected a random volume from the middle. It is a trade paper edition of A TIME OF GIFTS by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Superb! God alone knows where I got the book or why I kept it.

I am currently re-reading this same book, and enjoying it far more than I did the first time round. I bought it and the follow up volume, Between the Woods and the Water (which I don't recall ever getting round to), in the mid-90s after having lived in Romania and wanting to read anything at all about the place, but first time round I found the constant reference to history, classicism, art, etc (most of which I knew nothing about) to be quite distracting, dull even. This time I am revelling in his use of language, noticing much more the sense of impending doom (I am still in Germany in 1933/4 at present), and am much less bothered by my ignorance of the classics of literature, poetry and painting.

This book is the first in a trilogy, the final volume though was never finished in his lifetime. A few years back though a couple of established and eminent-in-their-own-right travel writers finished it off with the help of access to Patrick Leigh Fermor's diaries, and A Broken Road was finally published. I'm enjoying this reread so much I'm seriously thinking about reading all 3 in one go to get the full sense of the journey (he travels, mostly by foot, from Hook of Holland to Constantinople, through Holland, Germany, and eastern Europe, at the age of 18, setting off in 1933). After that I also have another book which was written by a guy who retraced Leigh Fermor's footsteps a few years ago. That would make an interesting contrast.

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"My body is a temple - it's big and doesn't move." (Jo Brand)
wiblog blipfoto blog

Posts: 5756 | From: the land of the deep-fried Mars Bar | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jack the Lass

Ship's airhead
# 3415

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Also, apologies for the tangent, but I've been meaning to ask - I've seen both here and on another book site where I post that North American posters refer often to 'trade' books (as Brenda did in the quote referenced in my previous post), usually referring to 'trade paperbacks'. That's not a term I'm familiar with at all - what is a trade paperback? As opposed to what other sort of paperback? I always just consider books paperback, hardback or ebook, it wouldn't occur to me to differentiate types of paperback. Thanks for any enlightenment!

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"My body is a temple - it's big and doesn't move." (Jo Brand)
wiblog blipfoto blog

Posts: 5756 | From: the land of the deep-fried Mars Bar | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged



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