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Book a Week 2016 - BW41: my first stephen king novel


Robin M
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Happy Sunday dear hearts!  This is the beginning of week 41 in our quest to read 52 books. Welcome back to all our readers, to those just joining in and all who are following our progress. Mr. Linky is all set up on the 52 Books blog to link to your reviews. The link is also below in my signature.

 

52 books blog - my first Stephen King novel:  I generally steer away from horror novels, same as I do horror movies. Blood and guts slasher movies have never really been my cup of tea. Which is the reason I have steered away from Stephen King for many years. Too much for my very vivid imagination. Until I read Stephen King's On Writing and found myself quite impressed as well as intrigued. I decided to give one of his fiction books a try. I picked one up at the used book store and five minutes into the story changed my mind - too icky. Can't remember the name unfortunately because I took it back for credit. However, when Duma Key came out, I decided to give him another try. I read the back cover, picked a few random pages out in the book, liked what I read and decided to get it. Duma Key wasn't so much a horror story as it was a supernatural, psychological thriller. Totally captured my attention and kept me reading long into the night.

 

 

 

Due to head injuries sustained when a crane backed over Edgar's truck, his temper is out of control. His wife wants a divorce and none of his friends want to be around him - he's too unpredictable and mean. His psychologist suggests he find a quiet place and take up a hobby, find something that he has always wanted to do and do it. Edgar loved to draw when he was young but had given it up. He moves to Duma Key, Florida and takes up painting. Soon his paintings take an eerie turn and he discovers what he paints becomes reality. He is also being visited by ghosts of Elizabeth's past and he must try to figure out what her cryptic statements mean, ones she can't explain as she slips farther and farther from reality.

 

 I don't want to give away any spoilers, so will leave you with an excerpt from the first page.

 

"How to Draw a Picture (1) 

 

Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.

 

How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time in Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I've come to believe.

 

Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through.

 

Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil...hesitating...and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice.

Pictures are magic, as you know."

 

 

 

 

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History of the Renaissance World - Chapters 71 and 72

 

**************************************

 

 

What are you reading this week? 

 

 

 

Link to week 40 

Edited by Robin M
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Diving into Devon Monk's latest in her new Ordinary Magic series #2 - Devils and Details

 

Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea...

Police Chief Delaney Reed is good at keeping secrets for the beach town of Ordinary Oregon–just ask the vacationing gods or supernatural creatures who live there. 

But with the first annual Cake and Skate fundraiser coming up, the only secret Delaney really wants to know is how to stop the unseasonable rain storms. When all the god powers are stolen, a vampire is murdered, and her childhood crush turns out to be keeping deadly secrets of his own, rainy days are the least of her worries. 

Hunting a murderer, outsmarting a know-it-all god, and uncovering an ancient vampire’s terrifying past isn’t how she planned to spend her summer. But then again, neither is falling back in love with the one man she should never trust. 

 

 

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I generally steer away from horror novels, same as I do horror movies. Blood and guts slasher movies have never really been my cup of tea. Which is the reason I have steered away from Stephen King for many years. Too much for my very vivid imagination. Until I read Stephen King's On Writing and found myself quite impressed as well as intrigued.

Robin, I'm the same about horror novels and movies. I never thought that I'd ever read a Stephen King novel, but it's been thanks to some of the friends here that I've read and enjoyed quite a few. I haven't yet read "On Writing", but it's been on my list. Not all of his books are horror. Those are the ones that I always look for. 

 

I read:

How it Works: The Wife - 5 Stars - This was absolutely hilarious, especially for me, since I grew up with Ladybird books. There were parts that had me laughing so hard that I was crying. I look forward to getting more in the series. I’m looking for a few, but sadly, they seem quite difficult to get.

 

Becoming Queen Victoria - 3 Stars - I adore Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and I know this sounds silly to say, but even talking about them brings me joy. Since I was a child growing up in Britain, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert have been my favourite monarchs. My teachers at school passed on their passion to me.

This is really two books and it’s very well-researched. The first part is about the life of Princess Charlotte, who was meant to be queen. Since she died in childbirth, her cousin Princess Victoria became queen instead. At first, I enjoyed learning about Princess Charlotte, since I really knew nothing much about her and her dysfunctional family. It started to get rather tedious until we finally get to Victoria. It took the author quite a while to get there and I found this to be more interesting, although the focus is mainly on her younger years and her early reign. Her later years and the ending are rushed.

The reason that I bought this book and chose to read it was because of Queen Victoria not Princess Charlotte, so I felt a bit cheated. This isn’t what I was looking for. I don’t mind some background on Princess Charlotte, but not pretty much half the entire book, or however long it was. I wanted a complete biography, not something that makes me want more, and not something that feels rushed towards the end.

 

Queen Victoria - 4 Stars - I had expected this free e-book to be a bit on the dry side. Although it was bit boring at times, most of it was fascinating and quite engaging. More than anything, the love between Victoria and Albert touched my heart.

 

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Disney Little Golden Book – 4 Stars - This is a lovely and cute little book that would make a sweet gift. The illustrations are filled with nostalgia. I have to say that I prefer the life lessons in her other book. 

 

9780718183547.jpg  9780345461957.jpg  9781780760483.jpg9780736434256.jpg

 

 

MY RATING SYSTEM

5 Stars

Fantastic, couldn't put it down

4 Stars

Really Good

3 Stars

Enjoyable

2 Stars

Just Okay – nothing to write home about

1 Star

Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad.

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I'm still reading, but didn't finish anything this week. I'm reading Roald Dahl's Ghost Stories on the treadmill. These are eerie/spooky but not gory or evil. I also keep The Remains of the Day in my purse for reading when I have 10 minutes waiting for a kid here and there. I'm enjoying both books.

 

Not sure what's up next. I think I've made the executive decision not to go for a blackout on the 2016 BAW Bingo. I'm finding I just don't want to read a 500+ page book, a King Arthur, or an 18th century book right now. Too many books, too little time, so I think I'll stick to whatever grabs my interest. Probably time for a library trip this week.

Edited by Ali in OR
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Good afternoon!

 

FYI ... starting right now I'm keeping a list of who recommends what in my day planner because I can't use the search function very well on this website and can't figure out who recommended the Miss Julia book to me.  So frustrating!  Was it Jane?  Sandy?  Those are my two suspects but I just can't remember and can't figure it out.  Sorry.  :confused1:
 

Finished:

 

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross - One of the better cozy mysteries I've read lately.  Highly recommend. 

 

The Confession by Charles Todd - This is the 14th of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries.  I listened to it as an audiobook and liked it better than some of the previous novels.  It wasn't as angsty as some of the earlier books.  I like a tortured hero as much as anybody but this poor guy just can't catch a break and after 14 books it gets old.  I'll likely attempt another book in the series since the mysteries are so good but I'm also committed to putting it down if it strays too far into the "I'm a tortured hero because of the war" bit. 

 

 

 

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I finished The Passage!!!!! I have spent much of the last two days reading and am totally hooked. It landed on a bit of a cliffhanger and I guess I was lucky....I downloaded The Twelve from overdrive and am first in line for City of Mirrors. I ended up giving it a five star rating because it was great and I don't normally like apocalyptic fiction. I don't normally do scary vampires either, and these vampires are of the eeew variety.

 

When I have been posting links this week I keep seeing that it has been optioned for a movie. I really couldn't get my mind around how it could be done in a reasonable viewing time, done well. Not much excess imo. Anyway I read this today https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jun/15/justin-cronin-now-the-passage-city-of-mirors. Interesting without any real spoilers.

 

Robin, I may end up reading your Stephen King book eventually. It looks like something I might like.

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Thanks Robin for the new thread, and good thoughts to those affected by weather.

 

I finished The Elementals this week and am trying to get back into Michener's Hawaii. Most of my reading time has been spent perusing the 224pp CA voter guide.  :svengo: I am honestly going to count this as one of my books for the year. Maybe two, since the back is all edited legislation.

 

I don't remember my first Steven King book for certain, but I think it may have been Pet Sematary. That's the first one I remember, anyway. I have distinct memory or sitting on my bed at 4:00am and being glad my back was to the wall. I was quite young, maybe 10 or 11? My parents are immigrants to this country and pay almost no attention to popular reading, so I doubt they even knew who Stephen King was. I would go to the library every day after school until my parents could pick me up, so I had the run of the place and checked out all sorts of books I was probably too young for: Stephen King, Fleming's 007 books, Thorn Birds, Gorky Park, The Silence of the Lambs, etc. My parents didn't really have the cultural context to understand what these books were about, and coming from a very religious country where books like this are essentially banned before the Internet, I'm not sure they had any concern about the content of what I was reading. In the end I think it was good for me, so I didn't stop DS12 when he picked up From Russia With Love last week. A couple of days ago I asked him how it was going, and he said it wasn't what he had expected and wouldn't be finishing it. As someone who read all those books at about that age, I was a tad disappointed.  :cool:

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I did read a bunch of Stephen King novels at one point - not that young, I don't think. Carrie, Salem's Lot, It, Christine, Misery, Under the Dome, Needful Things, Firestarter, The Dead Zone, Dolores Claiborne, Dreamcatcher, The Green Mile.  Wow, more than I thought.  I really, really like On Writing and I have a lot of respect for him as a writer, a recovered alcoholic, and someone who lived through quite a heinous injury.  

 

I'm enjoying The Elementals - the descriptions are so well done, this is a great exemplar novel for Setting.  

 

Amy, I often wish I had made a note of who recommended what to me!  A list is a good idea, maybe a note on goodreads would work for that? Hmmm . . . 

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I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last night. This is my first time through the Potter universe, so that's pretty exciting.  I liked it a lot, although I haven't processed my review yet and writing about it helps me to do that.

 

I started the newest kindle-available Joan Smith It Takes a Lady ... I'm not very far into it, but it seems to be one of the better ones than recently. Did I mention that I think I've read all of the Joan Smith titles available for Kindle in the last two years? 

 

Ahem. 

 

DD (12 yo) just started reading the Joan Smith books.  She loves them and I love that she loves them.  :001_wub: I just purchased It Takes a Lady.  Depending on how much laundry I need to do and if my people demand lunch I should report back shortly with my review.  

 

Lois Duncan!! I loved her and I loved Down a Dark Hall! I am pretty sure I read everything she wrote along with R.L. Stine's entire catalog and Christopher Pike too. Now I'm trying to remember which author wrote a story about teens going to an island to spend a holiday in this mansion and when they were there they found out that the owner of the mansion intended to hunt them down and kill all of them for sport. Ah, the things I read when I was young. ;)

 

Christopher Pike books were so popular around here.  I likely have some still in my parents attic.  I suspect they wouldn't hold up to the test of time!

 

This is my fourth time trying to respond. :huh:

 

Book list 2016 so far

 

1. The Blessing Way- Tony Hillerman (mystery series with Navajo Police set mostly in New Mexico where I lived for 4 years)

2. The Girl of His Dreams - Donna Leon (mystery series with Venetian Police. I have visited Venice twice and love the city)

3. Death of a Policeman- M C Beaton (mystry series with middle aged female private detective set in Cotswolds)

4. The Blood of an Englishman - M C Beaton

5. No Man's Nightgale- Ruth Rendell (her last novel, Inspector Wexford is now retired from English policing)

6. Kisscut by Karin Slaughter (mystery series with p/t pediatrician/p/t coroner set in small town Georgia)

7. Dance Hall of the Dead- Tony Hillerman

8. A Thief of Time- Tony Hillerman

9. A Question of Time - Crearin Slaughter

14. Cat's Claw- Susan Wittig Albert (mystery series with Herb store owner solving mysteries in Hill Country, Texas)

15. Widow's Tears- Susan Wittig Albert

16. The Dark Wind- Tony Hillerman

17. People of Darkness- Tony Hillerman

18. Hunting Badger- Tony Hillerman

19. The Fallen Man- Tony Hillerman

20. Death at La Fenice- Donna Leon

21. Some Buried Treasure- Nero Wolfe (an old mystery series set in NY)

22. Go Down Moses- William Faulkner

23. Winesburg, Ohio- Sherwood Anderson

24. All Creatures Great and Small- James Herriot

25. Poisoned Pins- Joan Hess (mystery series with female bookstore owner in small town Arkansas solving crimes)

26. Skeleton Man- Tony Hillerman

27. The First Eagle- Tony Hillerman

28. Sinister Pig- Tony Hillerman

29 The Shape Shifter- Tony Hillerman

30. Driving Heat - Richard Castle (NYPD female detective)

31. Something in the Water- by Charlotte MacLeod (mystery series with botany professor set in New England)un

32. Thunderstruck- Eric Larson

33. Gator Ade- Jessica Speart-   (mystery series set in New Orleans area with female National Fish and Wildlife inspector)

34. Death Prone- Claire Curzon (mystery series ith Thames Valley Police)

35. Halsey and the Dead Ringer (mystery series set in Marin County, CA with independently wealthy male detective)

36. Moving is Murder- Sara Rosett (mystery series with USAF wife solving murders)

 

So I am a bit behind but hope to catch up.

 

Based on the books you're reading I think you'd like the Miss Julia series. 

 

I probably should wait for the new week and I might even repost on the new thread, but I can't decide on my next audio book. I have an Audible credit and I like to get a book that costs more than my monthly membership fee. 

 

Four that fit my price requirement on my wish list are: Twelve Years a Slave, Belgravia, Ways to Disappear, and Anna Karenina. I've read the last one but never listened to it. The others are all books I'd like to read but I don't know if they'll be good as audio books. Even after listening to the samples I'm unsure. Any suggestions or recommendations for something else are welcome.

 

I only linked two because I feel the others are well known enough not to need a link.

 

I can't believe nobody has taken me up on my audible offer.  Seriously people!  I can give you a book if you have an audible account and I WANT to give books to my friends.  :P

 

I don't have any of those books but I will link a few that you might like and you can pick one if you'd like.  If I'm being too pushy then just ignore me ... sometimes I don't understand social nuances very well. 

 

Any Georgette Heyer book

Most of The Cat Who ... books

Most of the Brother Cadfael books

Most of the Richard Peck books

Most of James Herriots books

Most of the Three Pines mysteries

 

Very Good Jeeves by PG Wodehouse

The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Miss Buncle's Book by DE Stevenson

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (this is excellent!)

The Confession (#14 Ian Rutledge) by Charles Todd

A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford mystery) by Charles Todd

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

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Stephen King fan here, for sure, although I haven't been reading every one of his the week it comes out like I used to.  LOL  I think my first King novel was The Talisman.  I read it 3x before adulthood.  :P

 

I picked up Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke a couple days ago because it had fallen between my nightstand and my bed--oops!--and it's overdue from the library!  It's very interesting and engaging so far. I think there was a movie and/or tv series about this book?  I haven't seen those. 

 

Amazon's summary:

In the near future, enormous silver spaceships appear without warning over mankind's largest cities. They belong to the Overlords, an alien race far superior to humanity in technological development-and their purpose is to dominate the Earth. Their demands, however, are surprisingly beneficial-end war, poverty, and cruelty. Their presence, rather than signaling the end of humanity, ushers in a golden age-or so it seems.

But it comes at a price. Without conflict, humanity ceases to work toward creative achievement, and culture stagnates. And as the years pass, it becomes more and more clear that the Overlords have a hidden agenda for the evolution of the human race-that may not be as beneficial as it seems.

Originally published in 1953, Childhood's End is Clarke's first successful novel-and is considered a classic of science fiction literature. Its dominating theme of transcendent evolution appears in many of Clarke's later works, including the Space Odyssey series. In 2004, the book was nominated for the Retro Hugo Award for Best Novel.

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Stephen King fan here, for sure, although I haven't been reading every one of his the week it comes out like I used to.  LOL  I think my first King novel was The Talisman.  I read it 3x before adulthood.   :p

 

I picked up Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke a couple days ago because it had fallen between my nightstand and my bed--oops!--and it's overdue from the library!  It's very interesting and engaging so far. I think there was a movie and/or tv series about this book?  I haven't seen those. 

 

Amazon's summary:

In the near future, enormous silver spaceships appear without warning over mankind's largest cities. They belong to the Overlords, an alien race far superior to humanity in technological development-and their purpose is to dominate the Earth. Their demands, however, are surprisingly beneficial-end war, poverty, and cruelty. Their presence, rather than signaling the end of humanity, ushers in a golden age-or so it seems.

 

But it comes at a price. Without conflict, humanity ceases to work toward creative achievement, and culture stagnates. And as the years pass, it becomes more and more clear that the Overlords have a hidden agenda for the evolution of the human race-that may not be as beneficial as it seems.

 

Originally published in 1953, Childhood's End is Clarke's first successful novel-and is considered a classic of science fiction literature. Its dominating theme of transcendent evolution appears in many of Clarke's later works, including the Space Odyssey series. In 2004, the book was nominated for the Retro Hugo Award for Best Novel.

 

I read this a few months ago. There were parts of it I liked ok, but I really disliked this book as an ecologist - I disliked the idea that humanity will "outgrow" earth and that the ecosystem and the rest of life is irrelevant, all that matters is human evolution.  I tend to think that's a hard sci fi/physics sci fi worldview, and I think I like more "biological evolution" sci fi.  

 

My SIL, who is 50 something, raves about this book, which she read first as a teenager. It was totally formative for her. It's one of those books that might read differently depending when in your life you first discover it? IDK.

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Amy, I think I may have said that you needed to read the Miss Julia books but credit for the discovery belongs to Ethel. They are great. I actually have my next one sitting on my kindle right now but seem to be too busy concentrating on the vampire apocalypse. Really odd..... :lol:

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I finished World War Z and have plunged into Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mewed. The author doesn't waste any time. Flavia finds herself knee deep in a series of unexpected events almost immediately. The story is, as always, a gloriously muddled mixture of boastful erudition and supressed emotions. I love these books.

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I know I read Childhood's End but it was probably 30 years ago or more and I really don't remember it very well. I might reread it sometime.

 

The Miss Julia series looks interesting so I think I will try to read it.

 

I am a Stephen King fan and my favorite book is The Stand. It is an apocalyptic book and very long. There was a tv miniseries mad of it too which was good but the book was better.

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Loved the Miss Julia series! It was such fun... until I got to the end of it. Hopefully, Ann Ross is working on the next book.

 

In the meantime, I've been reading away. We are still having the family competition over whether my spouse and son can see more bird species in a year than I can read books. They have seen 222 different species and they are on a birding trip at this very moment! I don't know if I can catch up as I am at 179. The only hope I have is that as the year winds down, so will the birding. Quick reads ... that's what I need ... and they have to be 100 or more pages...

 

Last week I finished:

 

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Enchanting tale. I read somewhere that the actress Julia Roberts highly recommends it.

 

2. Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad. Difficult and important read.

 

3. The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen. Magical realism for a Halloween (non-scary) feel.

 

4. October Song by Beverly Lewis. I'm trying to read a book each month that has the name of the current month in it. This was based on an Amish family.

 

5. A Young Adult novel: A Corner of White (The Colors of Madeleine #1) - by Jaclyn Moriarty. I was halfway through the book before it got interesting. Now I have to read the other two books.

 

This week I'm working on The Firebrand and the First Lady (Patricia Bell Scott), The Peach Keeper (Sarah Addison Allen), and Death of a Baritone which I still have not got around to reading after our musical choice week. I had started the book White Trash. The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg, but then decided I needed to own the book, so now I have to wait for it to arrive.

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Finished The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel by Drew Hayden Taylor. This ia a YA book (not normally a favorite of mine) & also a vampire book (a definite favorite of mine).

It was actually pretty interesting because of the Anishinabe/Ojibwa angle of the story. More creepy than outright scary & a very good ending, imo.

"Nothing ever happens on the Otter Lake reservation. But when 16-year-old Tiffany discovers her father is renting out her room, she’s deeply upset. Sure, their guest is polite and keeps to himself, but he’s also a little creepy. Little do Tiffany, her father, or even her astute Granny Ruth suspect the truth. The mysterious Pierre L’Errant is actually a vampire, returning to his tribal home after centuries spent in Europe. But Tiffany has other things on her mind: her new boyfriend is acting weird, disputes with her father are escalating, and her estranged mother is starting a new life with somebody else. Fed up and heartsick, Tiffany threatens drastic measures and flees into the bush. There, in the midnight woods, a chilling encounter with L’Errant changes everything ... for both of them. A mesmerizing blend of Gothic thriller and modern coming-of-age novel, The Night Wanderer is unlike any other vampire story."

I'd recommend it for young teens & up. A worthwhile read & a good October read that's not too scary.

If you would like it, let me know & I'll mail it to you.

Edited by Stacia
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I finished Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger. Oddly, I liked this book - and got it - a lot more reading it now in my 40s than when I read it in my 20s. Which is the opposite of what I expected - I figured it would seem immature and dated. But it didn't, it seemed very wise.  And such well described characters! Salinger was an odd bird but he had some genius going on.

Edited by Chrysalis Academy
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I am a Stephen King fan and my favorite book is The Stand. It is an apocalyptic book and very long. There was a tv miniseries mad of it too which was good but the book was better.

 

 

I like The Stand too. A few years ago I bought the expanded 1991 copy, with an extra 400 pages. (The original I think is 1978.) In the intro King writes about how the accountants decided the length of the initial book, rather than the editors, so he added it all back in. I guess that's the prerogative of a writer who is more successful!

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I finally started the Natural Theology book that my brother gave me.  It is really thick, not super exciting, and I think it's going to take me forever to read it.  :P  If I ever finish it.

 

Read-aloud with the kids:  I finished the "first book" of Little Women, and hope to start the "Good Wives" part today.  I know there is sad stuff coming up.  I hope my kids don't hate it.

 

We have not started a new audiobook this past week.  We've been busy enough that just listening to music in the car was good enough.  The kids' book club meeting is Thursday, so they should get a new audiobook assigned then.

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I read this a few months ago. There were parts of it I liked ok, but I really disliked this book as an ecologist - I disliked the idea that humanity will "outgrow" earth and that the ecosystem and the rest of life is irrelevant, all that matters is human evolution.  I tend to think that's a hard sci fi/physics sci fi worldview, and I think I like more "biological evolution" sci fi.  

 

My SIL, who is 50 something, raves about this book, which she read first as a teenager. It was totally formative for her. It's one of those books that might read differently depending when in your life you first discover it? IDK.

 

I probably won't like that, either, but I'm realizing that there is much more political commentary in science fiction--particularly classic sci-fi--than I expected!  Dh shared that with me a while ago and I don't get into heavy sci-fi very often.  I think I'm enjoying seeing the point of view from the 1950s compared to today, you know?

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Robin, I think Mr. Linky is missing from your blog post?  

 

I can not read horror books or see scary movies.  It means I don't sleep for a month.  Never read any Stephen King.  I feel unAmerican!

 

I finished a nice short book called Merrie England; A Journey Through the Shire.  I posted about it on my blog.

 

Now I am reading Booth Tarkington's memoirs, America Moved.  So funny, honest and spot on and a glimpse into American history.  Really, really enjoying it.

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Sending good thoughts to all who have been affected by the hurricane.

 

 Quick reads ... that's what I need ... and they have to be 100 or more pages...

 

The following list contains books that are under 200 pages (though admittedly some are also under 100 pages); perhaps some titles will work for you ~

 

50 short books for busy people

 

another list (same caveat) ~

 

The Best Short Books You’ll Ever Read

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I've never actually read an entire Stephen King book. I tried The Green Mile when it came out in serialized form, but I was never able to get the right issue of the book in the right order at the right time. So, I gave up after about three of them.

 

I also tried 11/22/63 because the premise seemed interesting & not scary. I made it through 100 pages before I put it down in disgust. I think King seriously needs an editor because it took him the first 100 pages (of repeating & repeating & repeating & repeating himself) to set-up the premise of the story. :willy_nilly:  Seriously, he could have set-up the premise in ten well-written pages rather than the way he did. It drove me absolutely bonkers. I guess he's famous enough & has enough clout that no editor is going to tell him to knock it off or go in & seriously slash his text. Plus, in those first 100 pages he also repeated (ad nauseam) about the guy who kept coughing up blood. Seriously, after about the third description of it -- I get it already! Just stop. I figured there was no point in torturing myself with repetitive text for yet another 600-700 pages. Ugh. Just ugh. Not impressed in the least.

 

Just inserting my (grumpy) two cents. Give me Hemingway's concise prose any day!

Edited by Stacia
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Also, for those looking for spooky but not really scary October reading, you might like The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero. I read it a few years ago & thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

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I'd recommend it for teens & adults.

 

From Kirkus:

Southern gothic meets Euro hipness in Catalan novelist Cantero’s inventive, enjoyable outing in postmodern mystery writing.
 

Take a mysterious mansion, “plus a noseless suspect, a dead criminal wanted in six states, one fugitive, a missing lawyer, seventeen people in the morgue, two in surgery, and lots of paperwork,†and you’ve got the makings of a scenario that’s surely good for setting tongues wagging in small-town Virginia. Yet most of the good citizens of Point Bless have long been unaware of the goings-on at the Wells mansion, where the ghosts of suicides wander among dark corridors and hidden rooms. Cantero lets us know at the outset that we’re in on a very long joke, with winking through-the-fourth-wall asides (“I’ve noticed that all manuscripts are bad; any book randomly opened in a friend’s house is good; the same book in a bookstore is bad. When this story is completed, that beginning will turn betterâ€). Any story that features a lawyer named Glew and a butler named Strückner is automatically promising, never mind hesitant openings, and our protagonist’s sidekick is a welcome force of nature, a mute Irish girl who is both amanuensis and ninja. And if that protagonist starts off the proceedings wide-eyed and naïve, delighted by such small things as rural cafes with “many sauce bottles and thingies against the glass,†he emerges as a capable player in a game of poltergeists, hollowed-out books, malevolent masterminds and sundry secrets in a setting that wanders between real and dream worlds, alternate realities blending with elective affinities.
 

Freemasonry, of course, figures into the equation. Quirky in presentation and good fun throughout, Cantero’s yarn pleases at every turn.

 

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I guess he's famous enough & has enough clout that no editor is going to tell him to knock it off or go in & seriously slash his text. Plus, in those first 100 pages he also repeated (ad nauseam) about the guy who kept coughing up blood. Seriously, after about the third description of it -- I get it already! Just stop. I figured there was no point in torturing myself with repetitive text for yet another 600-700 pages. Ugh. Just ugh. Not impressed in the least.

 

 

Come on Stacia, don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel!  :lol:

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Sending good thoughts to all who have been affected by the hurricane.

 

 

The following list contains books that are under 200 pages (though admittedly some are also under 100 pages); perhaps some titles will work for you ~

 

50 short books for busy people

 

another list (same caveat) ~

 

The Best Short Books You’ll Ever Read

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

Thanks so much!

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 Quick reads ... that's what I need ... and they have to be 100 or more pages...

 

 

How about graphic novels/graphic nonfiction? Those tend to be very fast reads. I'd recommend:

 

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (spooky short stories, fabulous art)

 

Howl by Allen Ginsberg and Eric Drooker (Honestly, nothing special about the art, imo, In fact, I think one of the reviewers mentions that they are stills from an animation, but maybe a nice way to read/re-read the poem.)

 

An Iranian Metamorphosis by Mana Neyestani

 

Everything by Marjane Satrapi, but especially Persepolis 1 and 2, if you haven't read them.

 

The Buddha series by Osamu Tezuka

 

I also have Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba sitting here. I haven't read it yet, but it was recommended to me, and I'll just pass that recommendation on.

 

 

You could also check out the novellas in Melville House's Art of the Novella series.

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I hope everyone is still coping with the hurricane!

 

I finished Dune, so that's done, though I wouldn't really call that ending an ending so perhaps there is more Dune in my future. Why do I feel like I need to keep reading for a more satisfactory conclusion if I didn't particularly like the book?

 

I am now reading The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. Some of the stories qualify for our spooky theme, others don't. I am enjoying it so far. I am also listening to The Turn of the Screw, and it's perfect. Actually, when I was looking for October books to read, one thing I was thinking was, I wan't to read something like The Turn of the Screw. So here I am just re-"reading" it, and I'm only unhappy that it's such a short book. 

Edited by crstarlette
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Has Rebecca been recommended as an intense and spooky novel?  A little nontraditional in the "spooky" sense but very intense.  I read it with the lights on. 

 

Shannon is lying on the couch as we speak reading Rebecca.  She just said, "Oh, I'm so scared!" and I said, "Why?" and she said "Because the Manderley ball is about to begin and I'm afraid something awful is going to happen!"  So yeah, intense and spooky it is!  :lol:

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This week I finished my Ambrose Bierce, The Spook House. Some of the stories are very good; but the quality is uneven. The title story is one of the more horrific and Lovecraftian; the best is probably "Chickamauga" (his readers would have known exactly what the title referred to--necessary for grasping the story); the recent horrors of the Civil War seem to have allowed Bierce to write with a lighter touch.

 

Three stories, oddly, of only a few paragraphs, are all different treatments of the same concept: people walking along in full view suddenly disappear. Clearly this was a concept that fascinated Bierce, to the point where simply presenting the phenomenon satisfied him. Bierce's own fate makes this fascination especially eerie.

 

I also read a brief but rewarding book by the Benedictine Dom Hubert von Zeller, Praying While You Work: Devotions for the Use of Martha Rather than Mary. Someone else read this a few months ago (under its lamentable reprint title, Holiness for Housewives), but I can't make the search function work and figure out who.

 

Almost done with The Worm in the Bud, and making progress through my collected Arnold.

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Shannon is lying on the couch as we speak reading Rebecca.  She just said, "Oh, I'm so scared!" and I said, "Why?" and she said "Because the Manderley ball is about to begin and I'm afraid something awful is going to happen!"  So yeah, intense and spooky it is!  :lol:

 

She's a good kid!  I can tell by her reading habits. 

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Thank you, Stacia! The only King I finished was Christine, which a friend in high school assured me was great. It was awful. On the urgings of various friends I started, but didn't finish, Pet Sematary, Children of the Corn, The Dead Zone, Firestarter, and The Stand. I read just enough to be able to give them back the next day with a clear conscience. They were all awful.

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I like The Stand too. A few years ago I bought the expanded 1991 copy, with an extra 400 pages. (The original I think is 1978.) In the intro King writes about how the accountants decided the length of the initial book, rather than the editors, so he added it all back in. I guess that's the prerogative of a writer who is more successful!

 

 

I know I read Childhood's End but it was probably 30 years ago or more and I really don't remember it very well. I might reread it sometime.

 

The Miss Julia series looks interesting so I think I will try to read it.

 

I am a Stephen King fan and my favorite book is The Stand. It is an apocalyptic book and very long. There was a tv miniseries mad of it too which was good but the book was better.

 

 

I've never actually read an entire Stephen King book. I tried The Green Mile when it came out in serialized form, but I was never able to get the right issue of the book in the right order at the right time. So, I gave up after about three of them.

 

I also tried 11/22/63 because the premise seemed interesting & not scary. I made it through 100 pages before I put it down in disgust. I think King seriously needs an editor because it took him the first 100 pages (of repeating & repeating & repeating & repeating himself) to set-up the premise of the story. :willy_nilly:  Seriously, he could have set-up the premise in ten well-written pages rather than the way he did. It drove me absolutely bonkers. I guess he's famous enough & has enough clout that no editor is going to tell him to knock it off or go in & seriously slash his text. Plus, in those first 100 pages he also repeated (ad nauseam) about the guy who kept coughing up blood. Seriously, after about the third description of it -- I get it already! Just stop. I figured there was no point in torturing myself with repetitive text for yet another 600-700 pages. Ugh. Just ugh. Not impressed in the least.

 

Just inserting my (grumpy) two cents. Give me Hemingway's concise prose any day!

 

I was a huge King fan as a teenager and read most of his earlier books beginning with Carrie. I stayed up reading his books many a night - too scared to turn out the lights and try to sleep.  After I became a Christian I couldn't tolerate them anymore and donated my huge stack of King books. My favorite, however,  has always been The Stand. I had no idea there was an expanded version and would love to read that one. I may look for it. I've always told my kids if they want to read a Stephen King book, that is the one to read. I did try to get through 11/22/63 but it didn't hold my interest.

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A topic that has been being discussed on recent threads is books we look forward to sharing with our children. When they were little things went great but in recent years my old favourites haven't always been a hit.

 

As many of you know I share many of my books with my dd and she normally reads my recommendations (I am not as good about reading hers to be honest). I always know when I am handing over what should be a mega star book to her. But I am not really that shocked when she doesn't love my teenage favourite books. I loved To Kill a Mockingbird and tried to wait for the right moment. It never happened so she read it for American Lit and for her was a "get that paper done book!" Did not surprise me at all. I recently handed Gone with the Wind (which I had read a few times a her age) to her before she started an upper level history class on the cival war. I told her she needed to read it first. The dvd languishes by a telly. I love that movie and saved it for after the book. She read, reports the book was fine, but no love. The class is over too, she discusses the battles happily with dh. Scarlett and Rhett????? She didn't love Wuthering Heights either but since most of you guys hated it I can accept that! :lol: She likes the other Bronte's far better. ;) I think in some cases the life experience is just too different. My childhood so much different in so many ways.

 

Now hand her something like Rebecca. Happy girl. Put a stack of Hearne's Iron Druids on her kindle she is happy. She reads loads of classic lit, some of it in French. She frequently digs through my stack and can almost always leave with three or four to look over. Her tastes are her own. Don't get me wrong our tastes overlap all over the place but many of my favourites from younger days have been disappointing in terms of sharing.

 

Btw, my ds reads more like his dad. I can pick for him but not really recommend.

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I just read Jamaica Inn by DuMaurier.  That one has all the gothic elements too:  isolated inn in the middle of the moors, a cruel and violent man who runs a smuggling empire, lots of frightening strangers the heroine doesn't know if she can trust.  Very atmospheric and intense.

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I've never read a King book. Someone gave one my to son one when he was 13. I asked to preview it. There were so many unnecessary F-Bombs in the first chapter, and no apparent story line. I got rid of it and gave my son another book of his choice. I can't even remember the name of that book. Once I watched Misery, alone at night, while my husband was out to sea. That was a mistake.

 

I used to loooove Daphne DuMaurier books. I read them all, multiple times. Most of them were quite thrilling to me. Then suddenly, about ten years ago, I outgrew them. I can't explain it, but it feels like when I was 14 and realized that comic books were not interesting to me any more. On the other hand, I've not yet outgrown my liking for stories of individualism and survival. Maybe that's why I liked WWZ. My kids don't really care for that type of book. They didn't like many of my favorites when I introduced them: Island of the Blue Dolphins, My Side of the Mountain, and others. They all loved The Hobbit, but it was the fantasy element that grabbed them, not Bilbo's identity crisis and struggle to figure out how to live in a hostile environment. Mark Twain is not their cup of tea either. I can't figure it out.

 

P.S. Things are back to relative normal here. The sun came out yesterday afternoon. My daughter said most of the flood water was gone by evening. I guess it all goes back out to sea when you are on the coast.

Edited by Onceuponatime
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I just read Jamaica Inn by DuMaurier.  That one has all the gothic elements too:  isolated inn in the middle of the moors, a cruel and violent man who runs a smuggling empire, lots of frightening strangers the heroine doesn't know if she can trust.  Very atmospheric and intense.

 

I was just thinking I need to dust off a copy of Jamaica Inn. It's been so many years I don't really remember it at all, but I but Shannon and I would both enjoy it. She's on a Gothic binge - been reading a bunch of Mary Stewart, and I'm trying to lure her into being excited about Jane Eyre, which she's a little intimidated by, I think. 

 

A Georgette Heyer book that qualifies for the Gothic spooky category is Cousin Kate.  Very different from her light romances, but very good.  I'm pretty sure I've got that in a box somewhere, too.

Edited by Chrysalis Academy
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I was just thinking I need to dust off a copy of Jamaica Inn. It's been so many years I don't really remember it at all, but I but Shannon and I would both enjoy it. She's on a Gothic binge - been reading a bunch of Mary Stewart, and I'm trying to lure her into being excited about Jane Eyre, which she's a little intimidated by, I think. 

 

A Georgette Heyer book that qualifies for the Gothic spooky category is Cousin Kate.  Very different from her light romances, but very good.  I'm pretty sure I've got that in a box somewhere, too.

Another Georgette Heyer reader!  I've read most of her books but Cousin Kate is one I have not!  Must put on tbr list!

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Another Georgette Heyer reader!  I've read most of her books but Cousin Kate is one I have not!  Must put on tbr list!

 

Oh yeah, I was raised on GH! Speaking of mothers and daughters sharing books, GH was shared with me by my mother when I was a young teen (much to my father's disgust - he thought they were "romance novels" like the Harlequins my mom usually read).  What made me want to read them was her evident delight in reading them herself - she would laugh, and quote passages, and just made them seem irresistible without even trying.  I read them all while I was in junior high and high school. When they moved a few years back, she gave me a whole box of them, they are falling to tatters, having been bought used and read multiple times by both of us. I haven't really gotten Shannon interested in them yet, but I suspect the time is almost right.  I always attributed my strong vocabulary on high scores on the verbal SAT to a steady diet of GH in my youth.  ;)  :D

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