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Book a Week 2015 - BW38: September Equinox


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I've begun reading Terry Pratchett to my mum. I was so sure she'd like it if I could get her into it, but didn't think she'd stick at it long enough herself. She's pretty much bed ridden and seems to

I didn't read much last week, with everything going on, but I did finish listening to Here There Be Dragons.  I had started and abandoned this awhile ago, but Shannon, who is reading the whole series,

Happy Sunday dear hearts:  We are on week 38  in our quest to read 52 books.  Welcome back to our regulars, anyone just joining in, and to all who follow our progress. Mr. Linky is all set up on the 5

I usually don't have a problem with cussing and have been known to drop an F bomb or two myself. I looked at the sample of The Martian before buying it (even though it was already cheap) and it didn't look like it would bother me. It seems that he mostly uses it as an adjective, and an occasional verb ("I'm f'ed")" <----- That would be a verb, right?

 

The only time that word really bothered me (and dh) was at the beginning of Pulp Fiction. Dh and I tried to watch it on VHS (from the video store -remember those?) and couldn't get past that part. To this day we have never seen the movie and were even talking about that the other day. People have often told us it would be worth it if we just got past that intro, but we couldn't. And then we lost interest. And now we just don't care that we'll probably never watch it. :)

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I usually don't have a problem with cussing and have been known to drop an F bomb or two myself. I looked at the sample of The Martian before buying it (even though it was already cheap) and it didn't look like it would bother me. It seems that he mostly uses it as an adjective, and an occasional verb ("I'm f'ed")" <----- That would be a verb, right?

 

The only time that word really bothered me (and dh) was at the beginning of Pulp Fiction. Dh and I tried to watch it on VHS (from the video store -remember those?) and couldn't get past that part. To this day we have never seen the movie and were even talking about that the other day. People have often told us it would be worth it if we just got past that intro, but we couldn't. And then we lost interest. And now we just don't care that we'll probably never watch it. :)

 

Now see, I'm with Stacia - violence and cruelty bothers me much more than bad language.  I didn't watch Pulp Fiction for a long time because of the violence.  I did end up seeing it, and I did think it was a brilliant movie, but it was definitely pushing my tolerance for violence to the breaking point. I've mostly avoided Tarantino because despite his sometimes brilliant filmmaking, the violence is just over the top for me.

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:lol:

 

I figured it would be pretty PG-13.  The Cranks were creepy enough in the book and Hollywood loves to sensationalize those kinds of things even more.  Aly already knew that the movie didn't follow the book.  I guess her and dh are wondering if they meshed in some of the third book.  We plan to see it in the next week or two.  Dh and Aly spent the Dave Ramsey entertainment budget going to see a special Doctor Who showing at the theater.  He "forgot" to inform me that the tickets were $17 a seat.  :glare:

 

So did you find The Martian to be a PG-13 book?  I've been back and forth on whether or not to read it because we don't do R movies or R books, lol, and I can't get a definitive answer.  I'm totally intrigued by the book and the movie, though.

 

Ani says nothing from the third book is in Scorch Trials unless you count some significant foreshadowing about what happens to Newt (when that happened, btw, my daughter refused to continue reading the book for a few weeks - she loves Newt so much).

 

The Martian has extreme liberal use of the f word.  We do not cuss in our house.  Ever.  Sometimes it actually worked for the story.  I mean, he's stuck on Mars and probably going to die no matter how much he tries to save himself.  But other times it was just way, way, way too much.  It got on my nerves that you'd go 50 pages with no cussing and then have a string of 75 cuss words over the next few pages.  Mark Watney's bad language annoyed me significantly less than a NASA woman's.  It seemed like it was put in there for shock value.  When I reviewed The Martian I gave it 4 stars.  I loved the book.  The story is fabulous.  It lost a star because of language.  I don't have any problem with my 13 year old reading (listening - he's got dyslexia so he's an avid listener) it.  Of course I let him listen to Hunger Games when he was almost 10 so I am definitely more liberal in what I allow my kids to read/listen to than many others.

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Finished Dodger by Terry Pratchett and I enjoyed it as much as DH did.  We were the only ones in our book club that did though.  They complained about weak plot and one -dimensional characters and I get that but I so dearly loved the setting that I didn't care.  When I was reading that book I was Victorian London. 

 


Queen Zixi of Ix by Baum: My little guy wanted an Oz book (again!  already!) for his bedtime story, but I wasn't up for that yet, so we compromised with this, which he hadn't heard before.  It has many of the elements that I am fond of in Baum's stories, but I was a little sad to see that I no longer love this book.  ...but, still, hurrah for a queen leading her armies... and being an antagonist and a witch, but still sympathetic and not at all "wicked"... and (spoiler!) she ends up a friend and ally.  ...but 'boo' for her motivation being all about appearance. 

 

This was one of our first read alouds.  I plan to reread it with DS when he gets old enough.  I wonder if it will lose some of it's charm on a second reading?

 

He was doing really well until last night.  He hadn't used the button thingy for extra pain meds since Friday, but last night he was in so much pain he was shaking and sweating and feeling nauseas.  My mom is staying at the hospital with him and neither got much sleep.  The nurses told him to push the button, but on max he was still in horrible pain.  This morning when the surgical team came on their rounds a resident discovered that at some point my dad's epidural had come out of his back and all the pain medication was just getting dumped on the bed!  He had had no pain meds for almost 12 hours.  No wonder he was hurting so much.  It's taken all day to get his pain under control.  By about 5pm he was finally starting to relax.  Because of that he couldn't eat anything more than vegetable broth (though he says the hospitals vegetable broth is pretty incredible).  It's been a rough day.

 

"Like" meant ((HUGS)).  That sounds so scary.  I'm glad he's doing better now. 

 

 have started The Man in the Brown Suit. Good so far.

 

I just checked and my copy of The Man in the Brown Suit is at the library, so I will have to swing by and pick it up later today.

 

My house is still full of relatives BUT I downloaded the audiobook earlier today.  Hoping I can get started on it tonight.

 

I'm 3rd in line on Overdrive for The Martian and now I'm wondering how it's going to go.

 

Based on the good reviews here my IRL book club chose The Martian for this month.  I'll report back with their reviews and mine!

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Ok, just a quick check in.  The last time I posted I was making my way through the 3 novellas of Modiano. 

 

SInce then I have read "A Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes, White Teeth by Zadie Smith and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  Every one of them excellent.  I want to read more by all of them! I am going to spend some time tonight looking at some responses to the Coates book, especially feminist ones. I read one last month, but I hadn't read the book yet, so it didn't sink in.

 

 

I have downloaded The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and I will start that tonight.  I am next in line for Elena Ferente's Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, so I need to get cracking on Achilles. All of the Ferente books have been over 400 pages, I can't believe she had the stamina to write 4 of them.  There are about 3 people in front of me for The Martian. 

 

I am a NY state resident so that means I can get a NYC Public library card, even though I don't live in the city.  I applied a while ago, but then you had to go to the city to get it authorized.  Of course I forgot it when I went etc etc.  But now, I can email in a photo of proof of address and they will do it online. They have a HUGE ebook collection. That is going to expand my ebook reading by whole lot! I just don't have the time to get to the library as often as I like, so I need ebooks if I am going to read at the pace I like and get my hands on the sort of books that I want to read. Soon I will have three libraries on my overdrive account. Such an a embarrassment of riches

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Finished The Legend of Ben Lilly, by J. Frank Dobie. Thank you KathyBC (and your husband!) for the nudge to read it. Very interesting read. Lilly was a hunter and trapper, chiefly of bears and mountain lions, who became nationally famous for leading Teddy Roosevelt on his famous bear hunt that gave rise to the teddy bear. Sort of like Grizzly Adams (who is mentioned in the book--anyone else watch the tv show in her childhood?). The accounts of killing, and the sheer numbers, can be jarring and even sickening for modern sensibilities; but one has to keep in mind that in Lilly's day these were dangerous and not uncommon predators who threatened human lives as well as livestock.

 

Still reading Piers Plowman. Jane, if you remember the legend of St. Gregory from the Aurea Legenda, you'll recall his springing the Emperor Trajan (one of the "good emperors") from hell by his prayers and tears. Well the Emperor Trajan makes a cameo appearance in Piers Plowman in order to set straight a few soteriological points, and there's just something so hilarious about Trajan popping down from heaven to deliver some theology in Middle English.

 

I was a few pages into The Wings of the Dove and then Middle Girl decided she had to read Rebecca, which I then had to obtain for her, and I thought maybe I'd better have a look at it before she does.

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I am a NY state resident so that means I can get a NYC Public library card, even though I don't live in the city. I applied a while ago, but then you had to go to the city to get it authorized. Of course I forgot it when I went etc etc. But now, I can email in a photo of proof of address and they will do it online. They have a HUGE ebook collection. That is going to expand my ebook reading by whole lot! I just don't have the time to get to the library as often as I like, so I need ebooks if I am going to read at the pace I like and get my hands on the sort of books that I want to read. Soon I will have three libraries on my overdrive account. Such an a embarrassment of riches

My sister just told me we can get Boston Public Library cards and access their much larger collection of audio books. Funny that the very next day, you should mention it!

 

Nan

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Now see, I'm with Stacia - violence and cruelty bothers me much more than bad language.  I didn't watch Pulp Fiction for a long time because of the violence.  I did end up seeing it, and I did think it was a brilliant movie, but it was definitely pushing my tolerance for violence to the breaking point. I've mostly avoided Tarantino because despite his sometimes brilliant filmmaking, the violence is just over the top for me.

 

I think we are twins in these arenas, Rose. I agree that Pulp Fiction was brilliant & I have seen some other Tarantino work (Kill Bill movies :ack2: :ack2: ) but have mostly avoided his stuff because it's so over-the-top-horrific-violence.

 

Ok, just a quick check in.  The last time I posted I was making my way through the 3 novellas of Modiano. 

 

SInce then I have read "A Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes, White Teeth by Zadie Smith and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  Every one of them excellent.  I want to read more by all of them! I am going to spend some time tonight looking at some responses to the Coates book, especially feminist ones. I read one last month, but I hadn't read the book yet, so it didn't sink in.

 

 

I have downloaded The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and I will start that tonight.  I am next in line for Elena Ferente's Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, so I need to get cracking on Achilles. All of the Ferente books have been over 400 pages, I can't believe she had the stamina to write 4 of them.  There are about 3 people in front of me for The Martian. 

 

I am a NY state resident so that means I can get a NYC Public library card, even though I don't live in the city.  I applied a while ago, but then you had to go to the city to get it authorized.  Of course I forgot it when I went etc etc.  But now, I can email in a photo of proof of address and they will do it online. They have a HUGE ebook collection. That is going to expand my ebook reading by whole lot! I just don't have the time to get to the library as often as I like, so I need ebooks if I am going to read at the pace I like and get my hands on the sort of books that I want to read. Soon I will have three libraries on my overdrive account. Such an a embarrassment of riches

 

I always love reading about what you are reading, redsquirrel. Our reading tastes overlap a lot. Zadie Smith & Elena Farrante have been on my (huge) to-read list for awhile. I've also toyed with reading 'A Sense of an Ending' off & on for a couple of years now. I probably should learn how to speed read in order to ever get to a fourth of the books on my to-read list.

 

I'm not a great fan of ebooks, but I'd be drooling over access to the NYC Public Library ebook collection!!!

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I think we are twins in these arenas, Rose. I agree that Pulp Fiction was brilliant & I have seen some other Tarantino work (Kill Bill movies :ack2: :ack2: ) but have mostly avoided his stuff because it's so over-the-top-horrific-violence.

 

 

I always love reading about what you are reading, redsquirrel. Our reading tastes overlap a lot. Zadie Smith & Elena Farrante have been on my (huge) to-read list for awhile. I've also toyed with reading 'A Sense of an Ending' off & on for a couple of years now. I probably should learn how to speed read in order to ever get to a fourth of the books on my to-read list.

 

I'm not a great fan of ebooks, but I'd be drooling over access to the NYC Public Library ebook collection!!!

 

 

I started the Ferente series by mistake. I swear if I had any idea what I was getting into I might not have started, lol. Not because I don't like them, I truly do and she deserves All The Prizes, but man, they are BIG. And they are Big and Hard To Put Down.  Now I am halfway through with the first two,I am committed to the rest. Plus, she finished the series (as far as we know...I was told a trilogy and then came a fourth) so I feel like I should find out how it ends.

 

It's being compared to Proust, so in that case, I am NEVER taking on Proust, lol. I've done my duty. Did I mention Big?

 

Except I also want to read the Gilead series......

 

You can read A Sense of an Ending in two days. It is more of a novella, and it is amazing. It was great to read before wading into White Teeth. Now that was like reading a Dickens novel!  I felt like I had traveled over miles and across centuries when that one was done.

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I started the Ferente series by mistake. I swear if I had any idea what I was getting into I might not have started, lol. Not because I don't like them, I truly do and she deserves All The Prizes, but man, they are BIG. And they are Big and Hard To Put Down.  Now I am halfway through with the first two,I am committed to the rest. Plus, she finished the series (as far as we know...I was told a trilogy and then came a fourth) so I feel like I should find out how it ends.

 

It's being compared to Proust, so in that case, I am NEVER taking on Proust, lol. I've done my duty. Did I mention Big?

 

Except I also want to read the Gilead series......

 

You can read A Sense of an Ending in two days. It is more of a novella, and it is amazing. It was great to read before wading into White Teeth. Now that was like reading a Dickens novel!  I felt like I had traveled over miles and across centuries when that one was done.

 

Lol. Gilead has been on my to-read list forever too. I've toyed with the idea of Proust, but have never been brave enough to actually try.... :leaving:

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My sister just told me we can get Boston Public Library cards and access their much larger collection of audio books. Funny that the very next day, you should mention it!

 

Nan

 

 

Yes! I live in Massachusetts too (but not in Boston) and got my BPL card earlier this year. The selection of ebooks is so much larger than my local library's, even though we're part of a large consortium.

 

It's worth noting that you don't have to go into the city to take advantage of this. You can apply for an on-line only library card right from your computer and start using it right away. So easy and convenient.

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I think we are twins in these arenas, Rose. I agree that Pulp Fiction was brilliant & I have seen some other Tarantino work (Kill Bill movies :ack2: :ack2: ) but have mostly avoided his stuff because it's so over-the-top-horrific-violence.

 

 

I always love reading about what you are reading, redsquirrel. Our reading tastes overlap a lot. Zadie Smith & Elena Farrante have been on my (huge) to-read list for awhile. I've also toyed with reading 'A Sense of an Ending' off & on for a couple of years now. I probably should learn how to speed read in order to ever get to a fourth of the books on my to-read list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be interested to hear what you think of A Sense of an Ending, Stacia.  My book group discussed it this winter. A lot of people liked it, but I hated it.  I gave it one star on goodreads, which is pretty rare for me as I usually don't finish books I dislike this much.  Clearly, I'm in the minority with this, as I am with finding The Martian unreadable!  I'm ok with that.  :D

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I will be interested to hear what you think of A Sense of an Ending, Stacia.  My book group discussed it this winter. A lot of people liked it, but I hated it.  I gave it one star on goodreads, which is pretty rare for me as I usually don't finish books I dislike this much.  Clearly, I'm in the minority with this, as I am with finding The Martian unreadable!  I'm ok with that.  :D

 

I've mostly thought about reading it since it won the Man Booker, but for some reason, I've never felt strongly compelled to read it, have kind of felt like I know I wouldn't like it. So, that's why I've been on the fence I guess.

 

Looking up Booker lists made me realize the 2015 Fiction Shortlist was announced earlier this month. I haven't read any of the books (yet), but I've had a few (A Brief History of Seven Killings; The Fishermen; A Little Life) from the library previously, just never got around to them in my stacks in time before needing to return them (for one thing, A Brief History of Seven Killings is a big/long book!). And, I've had Statin Island on my to-read list for quite awhile because I really like McCarthy's writing (loved C, found Remainder chilling & different). Haven't a couple of you read Anne Tyler's A Spool of Blue Thread? It's on the list too. The Year of the Runaways is the other book on the list (& one I hadn't heard of).

 

And, speaking of authors, I see that Jenny Lawson (Let's Pretend This Never Happened) has a new book out: Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things. I found Let's Pretend This Never Happened to be snort-inducing funny & I've requested this newest book from the library. For those of you sensitive to language, you might want to steer away from her books.

 

Also, I've requested Patrick deWitt's newest release: Undermajordomo Minor. DeWitt is the author of the excellent The Sisters Brothers (perhaps the only western I've read). I notice The Sisters Brothers is $4.99 on kindle right now, not a bad price....

 

My ds is feeling very nostalgic as he is reading Terry Pratchett's final book, The Shepherd's Crown. He says he can tell that Pratchett was wrapping up a lot of storyline pieces & parts, knowing it would be the last book. So my ds feels sad reading it in that respect....

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Last night I finished Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan which I enjoyed a great deal.  It's a love story featuring two young men who are new college students.  (Adult content)  This is a book I'll likely read again.  It's the second in a series, and while it could be read alone, I think you'd enjoy it more if it's read after book one.

 

"Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father's wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can't stop dithering about where to go to college-with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he's headed to school. Giles Mulder can't wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he'd hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Uggg...The last couple of years I have gone on a marathon with Booker nominees. I knew the short list was soon. Just don't feel like it this year.

 

Once again I am sick in bed with some sort of a cold. I finished off three books that I had been reading, Red Bones by Ann Cleeves, Fast Track by Julie Garwood, and The Man in the Brown Suit by Christie. I spent last night having the oddest dreams thanks to all of those plots swirling around in my head. All were good although I didn't like Red Bones as much as the first two in the series. Not sure if I want to go on.

 

Stacia, Julie Garwood is another romance author you might enjoy.

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My dad is home from the hospital :)  Right now just one week ago surgery was just finishing.  He's worn out but very happy to be home.  He'll have to do a few more rounds of chemo just in case.  It's probably not necessary, but better to do it now than regret it later.  The doctor believes he got the whole tumor, but there is always the possibility of rogue cells or even knocking cells loose during the surgery.  Daddy started out this whole cancer thing around 190 pounds.  On discharge this afternoon, he weighed 124!  So, needless to say the most pressing need is to gain back some of that weight!

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Now see, I'm with Stacia - violence and cruelty bothers me much more than bad language.  I didn't watch Pulp Fiction for a long time because of the violence.  I did end up seeing it, and I did think it was a brilliant movie, but it was definitely pushing my tolerance for violence to the breaking point. I've mostly avoided Tarantino because despite his sometimes brilliant filmmaking, the violence is just over the top for me.

 

I might have had a problem with the violence if I ever got that far. At the time we knew very little about the movie except that everyone was singing its praises. By the time we actually knew what it was about we no longer cared to watch it. 

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I'm not even trying the Booker short list this year. I'll read the winner next year some time and maybe get to a few on the short list.

 

But while we are on the subject of books that are coming out..Is anyone else salivating for Salman Rushdie's new one?

 

http://smile.amazon.com/Years-Eight-Months-Twenty-Eight-Nights/dp/081299891X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443141653&sr=8-1&keywords=salman+rushdie+two+years+eight+months+and+twenty-eight+nights+a+novel

 

I was considering Jonathan Franzen's new one, but I think I want to read this one first.  It looks really good.

 

 

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Heather, glad to hear that your dad is happily home. Now you guys just have to feed, feed, feed him!

 

Thanks, mumto2, for the rec on the author. Hope you feel better soon!

 

redsquirrel, the only Rushdie book I've read is Haroun & the Sea of Stories (which is really more of a YA book, I think). This new one looks good.

 

I tried Franzen's The Corrections years ago (my sil raved about it), but I disliked the first couple of chapters so much that I have zero interest in reading stuff by him.

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Heather, glad to hear that your dad is happily home. Now you guys just have to feed, feed, feed him!

 

Thanks, mumto2, for the rec on the author. Hope you feel better soon!

 

redsquirrel, the only Rushdie book I've read is Haroun & the Sea of Stories (which is really more of a YA book, I think). This new one looks good.

 

I tried Franzen's The Corrections years ago (my sil raved about it), but I disliked the first couple of chapters so much that I have zero interest in reading stuff by him.

 

 

I read The Corrections and got a lot out of it. I can't say I enjoyed it, because it isn't the kind of book you really enjoy.  However, I sort of have an allergy to manly man douche boy writers and Franzen is one of them. But... he is an important writer and I have been concerned that I am totally writing him off too quickly. Or, maybe I can separate the douche from the work? And so many people I know, men and women, fall over themselves to read everything by him so I was considering reading Purity. I am open to changing my mind.

 

Plus, Stephen King said that Donna Tartt is one of our greatest writers currently writing and only Jonathan Franzen comes close to her equal.  Well, that tickled me because I knew that, even though publicly Franzen would dismiss the comment because, you know, Stephen King and who cares about him, right? I knew it would piss him right off to be named second...and to a woman no less. 

 

For some reason, that made me more open to reading Purity. I am not sure why, lol.

 

And I saw that movie about David Foster Wallace, The End of the Tour, and that gave me heart to read his work...and if you are going to read Wallace then you can't very well ignore Franzen. They were both writers of a type. But at least Wallace was worried that his writing was alienating to women.

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Ok, points taken, redsquirrel. Maybe, maybe I'll consider Franzen's newest (but no guarantees on my part). Sometimes, though, I find it hard to separate the douche from the work. Sometimes not. Depends on the douche. Depends on the work. Ha. Well, I love Tartt's writing so I'd say she'd beat Franzen any day. Any, any day. And everyday. I'm not really a fan of King either, but I'll agree with him on that point. Lol. I'll probably wait to hear your comments on Purity before I get around to thinking more about reading it.

 

I have read Wallace's The Broom of the System & enjoyed it. I've read part of a collection of short stories by him; I'm not a great fan of short stories anyway, didn't finish the collection because I disliked more than I liked, but I did like one or two of the stories. Someday (haha, like my book piles & lists will allow that) I'll read Infinite Jest.

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I've been gone a bit being out of town and then sick. I did manage to read one book, Among the Janeites. Found several titles in the book that I now want to read.

 

How many times does that happen to you? You read a book and come across references for other books, and they must go on your TBR list.

 

One of the books mentioned is Mother of the Novel by Dale Spencer. I am almost afraid to read it as I fear it will also lengthen my TBR list.  :tongue_smilie:

 

Will try to catch up later. Right now I need to poke the kids to get them started with school. They have their noses in books......but not school books. It's like they take after their mother.....

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Ok, points taken, redsquirrel. Maybe, maybe I'll consider Franzen's newest (but no guarantees on my part). Sometimes, though, I find it hard to separate the douche from the work. Sometimes not. Depends on the douche. Depends on the work. Ha. Well, I love Tartt's writing so I'd say she'd beat Franzen any day. Any, any day. And everyday. I'm not really a fan of King either, but I'll agree with him on that point. Lol. I'll probably wait to hear your comments on Purity before I get around to thinking more about reading it.

 

I have read Wallace's The Broom of the System & enjoyed it. I've read part of a collection of short stories by him; I'm not a great fan of short stories anyway, didn't finish the collection because I disliked more than I liked, but I did like one or two of the stories. Someday (haha, like my book piles & lists will allow that) I'll read Infinite Jest.

 

Hear hear! I'm having this issue with a writer I'm currently reading and enjoying - I find his social and political opinions repugnant but find him to be a brilliant writer.  I sometimes have a hard time holding both of those feelings at once. I wonder if it's partly an artifact of the internet news/social media world we live in today.  Meaning, I bet I've read and enjoyed books from tons of writers who I'd disagree with vehemently on social issues, I just didn't know about their views. It seems that it's a peculiarly modern phenomena to conflate the writers life and opinions with the writer's work in the way we do today.  Am I wrong? VC, did 17th century authors have this problem?  ;)

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Hear hear! I'm having this issue with a writer I'm currently reading and enjoying - I find his social and political opinions repugnant but find him to be a brilliant writer.  I sometimes have a hard time holding both of those feelings at once. I wonder if it's partly an artifact of the internet news/social media world we live in today.  Meaning, I bet I've read and enjoyed books from tons of writers who I'd disagree with vehemently on social issues, I just didn't know about their views. It seems that it's a peculiarly modern phenomena to conflate the writers life and opinions with the writer's work in the way we do today.  Am I wrong? VC, did 17th century authors have this problem?  ;)

 

It is an interesting question. My answer is 'it depends', which I know sounds wishy-washy, but it's the best I can do.  I think with modern authors it becomes more of an issue. I should first say that I am willing to give any author a chance, but I have found, especially with modern authors, if they hold very sexist or even misogynistic attitudes or racist or homophobic ones, it often comes out in their writing. That is going to make me respond negatively to the work. It just is.  That has come up for me in reading The Golden Notebook. It is there in the work itself. 

 

There are a number of authors where I found myself thinking "I cannot deal with this crap today".  Now, that is different from a writer who creates a character that is racist or whatever...I can tell the difference. If I can't tell the difference then I am going to give the author the absolute benefit of the doubt.

 

But I don't have a test for writers or books or whatever.  And I can separate out being an unpleasant person from holding view that I find repugnant.  I don't expect authors to be my friends or hold my hand. There are many, many author whose work I admire and respect, but I would not want to know them or spend any time with them.  They look exhausting.

 

Sometimes you find out an author whose work you like holds views with which you disagree, and I think people need to make their own decision.  For example, I have heard that Orson Scott Card is an anti-gay activist. However, I had never even heard of him until a movie came out of one of his books. A movie I had no desire to see and a book I had never heard of.  My son wanted to read the book so we took it out of the library. That was my only request, that we borrow it.  That said, we rarely buy new books, so it wasn't exactly a big 'statement' or anything, lol. But I didn't stop him from reading the book or even saying anything to him about it. DH had read the book a long time ago and was very certain it was a non-issue in the book so I didn't see a problem with it.

 

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Hear hear! I'm having this issue with a writer I'm currently reading and enjoying - I find his social and political opinions repugnant but find him to be a brilliant writer.  I sometimes have a hard time holding both of those feelings at once. I wonder if it's partly an artifact of the internet news/social media world we live in today.  Meaning, I bet I've read and enjoyed books from tons of writers who I'd disagree with vehemently on social issues, I just didn't know about their views. It seems that it's a peculiarly modern phenomena to conflate the writers life and opinions with the writer's work in the way we do today.  Am I wrong? VC, did 17th century authors have this problem?  ;)

 

I figure if the views I disagree with don't get in the way of enjoying what they wrote, I can enjoy their books just fine.  Most authors I don't have a clue what their views are.

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Most of my reading this week has been for the kids, reading King Lear and pre-reading some stuff for school. The main thing I'm reading for myself is Anansi Boys. This is my second Gaiman book and I'm quite enjoying it. The Washington Post called it "a tale to end all tall tales" and I agree.

 

 

 

I liked Anansi Boys but I loved Neverwhere.

 

 

 

 And, as I like to point out, the Mythbusters (as well as other scientists) have proven that cussing can actually help reduce pain.

 

 

This explains my language during my home births. ;)

 

 

Yahoo! I finished Packing for Mars.

 

I still find myself very grateful for toilets after reading that book. I just cannot imagine using a vacuum. shudder. 

 

 

My dad is home from the hospital :)  Right now just one week ago surgery was just finishing.  He's worn out but very happy to be home.  He'll have to do a few more rounds of chemo just in case.  It's probably not necessary, but better to do it now than regret it later.  The doctor believes he got the whole tumor, but there is always the possibility of rogue cells or even knocking cells loose during the surgery.  Daddy started out this whole cancer thing around 190 pounds.  On discharge this afternoon, he weighed 124!  So, needless to say the most pressing need is to gain back some of that weight!

 

So happy for you. When my ds needed to gain weight his Dr. gave him an Rx for a calorie supplement. It was coconut based. I cannot remember the name but you can ask at a pharmacy.  It was powder form that you added to a drink. If your dad can eat coconut it's a great way to add extra calories. It worked wonders for my ds. He gained 20lbs in just a couple months. Good luck! 

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It is an interesting question. My answer is 'it depends', which I know sounds wishy-washy, but it's the best I can do.  I think with modern authors it becomes more of an issue. I should first say that I am willing to give any author a chance, but I have found, especially with modern authors, if they hold very sexist or even misogynistic attitudes or racist or homophobic ones, it often comes out in their writing. That is going to make me respond negatively to the work. It just is.  That has come up for me in reading The Golden Notebook. It is there in the work itself. 

 

There are a number of authors where I found myself thinking "I cannot deal with this crap today".  Now, that is different from a writer who creates a character that is racist or whatever...I can tell the difference. If I can't tell the difference then I am going to give the author the absolute benefit of the doubt.

 

But I don't have a test for writers or books or whatever.  And I can separate out being an unpleasant person from holding view that I find repugnant.  I don't expect authors to be my friends or hold my hand. There are many, many author whose work I admire and respect, but I would not want to know them or spend any time with them.  They look exhausting.

 

Sometimes you find out an author whose work you like holds views with which you disagree, and I think people need to make their own decision.  For example, I have heard that Orson Scott Card is an anti-gay activist. However, I had never even heard of him until a movie came out of one of his books. A movie I had no desire to see and a book I had never heard of.  My son wanted to read the book so we took it out of the library. That was my only request, that we borrow it.  That said, we rarely buy new books, so it wasn't exactly a big 'statement' or anything, lol. But I didn't stop him from reading the book or even saying anything to him about it. DH had read the book a long time ago and was very certain it was a non-issue in the book so I didn't see a problem with it.

 

 

So, Orson Scott Card is exactly who I was obliquely referring to! Shannon and I just finished discussing Ender's Game. We both found it a powerful and moving book. I think that Speaker for the Dead has one of the most powerful moral messages of any book I've read.  But yeah, I'm hesitant to buy the books, because is that supporting an author whose veiws I find repellant?  Interesting that you picked the same example I was thinking of!

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So, Orson Scott Card is exactly who I was obliquely referring to! Shannon and I just finished discussing Ender's Game. We both found it a powerful and moving book. I think that Speaker for the Dead has one of the most powerful moral messages of any book I've read.  But yeah, I'm hesitant to buy the books, because is that supporting an author whose veiws I find repellant?  Interesting that you picked the same example I was thinking of!

 

I'm pretty sure OSC cracked quite some time ago.  My parents once read a book that had an introduction he wrote that basically said he was the most amazing author and person on the face of the earth.  The intro was quite long.  If you don't want to support him financially, check his books out from the library or buy them used.

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In honor of banned books, etc., I found this NY TImes Book Review pair of pieces interesting:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/books/review/why-read-books-considered-obscene.html?emc=edit_bk_20150925&nl=books&nlid=72406955&ref=headline

 

Thanks for the link, Rose.  I particularly enjoyed seeing the mention of Tom Lehrer as he's a favorite in our home.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I liked Anansi Boys but I loved Neverwhere.

 

I finished Anansi Boys. I enjoyed it but it wasn't my favorite. I liked it much better in the beginning and less as the book went on, although I could see how clever Gaiman was in the way he wove all the threads together. Spider reminded me too much of some people I have known and I found him really irritating. Any redemption was not enough to cover it, in my view. I was hoping for something closer the The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

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I read Sue Grafton's latest book X today. I know several of you read them, at least some of them so thought I would post. It was good. It read smoothly and was enjoyable. I was looking for a review and found this old interview which I enjoyed so thought I would share that insteadhttp://www.post-gazette.com/ae/books/2013/10/07/Sue-Grafton-Writing-her-way-through-the-alphabet/stories/201310070033

 

I never answered last weeks favorite book question because I didn't know the answer. :lol: Frequently I am disappointed when I return years later. For the most part my series books are still enjoyable....I had to quit reading Patterson but other than that I normally read all the new ones for several authors.

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Hear hear! I'm having this issue with a writer I'm currently reading and enjoying - I find his social and political opinions repugnant but find him to be a brilliant writer.  I sometimes have a hard time holding both of those feelings at once. I wonder if it's partly an artifact of the internet news/social media world we live in today.  Meaning, I bet I've read and enjoyed books from tons of writers who I'd disagree with vehemently on social issues, I just didn't know about their views. It seems that it's a peculiarly modern phenomena to conflate the writers life and opinions with the writer's work in the way we do today.  Am I wrong? VC, did 17th century authors have this problem?  ;)

 

Ugh, dare I even comment here...my reading hiatus continues in a seemingly endless and ongoing drought. Maybe El Nino will bring a shower of literary inspiration :lol:

 

Anyway re the bolded...I think this is where the real gems lie, a teaching that reaches far beyond the subject material to touch the kind of I/Thou thinking the human condition is borne to. To stretch beyond that conditioning and to be able hold the kind of ambiguity Rose is talking about and give it breath without trying to shape it is brilliant.

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Hear hear! I'm having this issue with a writer I'm currently reading and enjoying - I find his social and political opinions repugnant but find him to be a brilliant writer. I sometimes have a hard time holding both of those feelings at once. I wonder if it's partly an artifact of the internet news/social media world we live in today. Meaning, I bet I've read and enjoyed books from tons of writers who I'd disagree with vehemently on social issues, I just didn't know about their views. It seems that it's a peculiarly modern phenomena to conflate the writers life and opinions with the writer's work in the way we do today. Am I wrong? VC, did 17th century authors have this problem? ;)

I'm having trouble thinking of 17th century writers who were considered immoral in their own time; the Earl of Rochester occurs to me, but his writings weren't very widely circulated, and it's hard in his case to sort out the perceptions of immorality of the writings from that of the writer.

 

But in general, I'd have to say no; the idea that you shouldn't read, or at least not support by paying for, a writer's publications because of moral disapproval of the writer (as distinct from moral disapproval of the writings themselves) is a very modern idea. Lord Byron and Ezra Pound spring to mind as writers whose personal odiousness was generally admitted in their own day; but there was no sense that one therefore shouldn't buy or read their work. I think the idea would have seemed very strange to our forebears.

 

Personally I'm made uneasy by the idea of reading a work but deliberately avoiding paying for it, not from a desire for frugality but so as to not allow the writer to benefit from his work. But different people have different intuitions about these things.

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We are heading into October and our spooktacular reading month.  I do believe quite a few have already read Frankenstein and Dracula. Any ideas for a group book read.  I have Anne Rice and Kurt Vonnegut as the author flavors but don't have to stick with them.   Think more of the arena of lovecraftian, ghost stories, supernatural thrillers rather than the really gory stuff.   Start brainstorming!

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A fun column from NPR ~ 

Advyce For The Sesoun Of Returninge To Scole

 

Violet Crown, Piers Plowman is mentioned so, naturally, I thought of you!

 

"As for picture daye, Ich counsel thee to bringe a symbol of thy chosen crafte or professioun to hoold yn thy portrait. Yf thou art a smith, hoolde thy tooles of smithinge yn thy picture, and yf thou art a computer coder, hoolde a fyne laptoppe yn thy picture, and yf thou art an explorer of endless circles of boredom and befuddelment and mysterye, bringe a copye of Piers Plowman."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Hmm, I've been saving up some of the suggestions from earlier in the year - I think from Stacia? for Dracula spinoffs.  Things like:

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6420652-dracula-the-un-dead

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/417656.The_Stress_of_Her_Regard

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/72473.The_Dracula_Tape

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13616652-the-finno-ugrian-vampire

 

There is also the Grim Reaper series from Christopher Moore.  I've not read these, although I've enjoyed many of his other books:

 

https://www.goodreads.com/series/136898-grim-reaper

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We are heading into October and our spooktacular reading month. I do believe quite a few have already read Frankenstein and Dracula. Any ideas for a group book read. I have Anne Rice and Kurt Vonnegut as the author flavors but don't have to stick with them. Think more of the arena of lovecraftian, ghost stories, supernatural thrillers rather than the really gory stuff. Start brainstorming!

Some that are available at my library:

A Whisper in the Dark- a collection by Louisa May Alcott

The Halloween Tree- Ray Bradbury

Ghosts by Gaslight- an anthology

 

Others that I'm interested in:

The Body Snatcher- Stevenson

The Canterville Ghost- Wilde

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I'd definitely be up for a re-read of The Turn of the Screw!

 

On another topic - erudite word of the day: hemidemisemiquaver.  10 points if you know what it means without looking it up!  8 points if you get it after I tell you it was used in a Patrick O'Brien/Aubrey Maturin book.  Jenn, I'm looking at you here!  

 

On a third topic - I finished The Man in the Brown Suit.  Who else is reading it? I won't say anything till we're all done.

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On another topic - erudite word of the day: hemidemisemiquaver.  10 points if you know what it means without looking it up!  8 points if you get it after I tell you it was used in a Patrick O'Brien/Aubrey Maturin book.  Jenn, I'm looking at you here!  

 

DH and I both knew what it was without looking it up. I'm not sure where I learned it, but he's read all the Patrick O'Brien books.

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