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Robin M

Book a Week 2019 - BW8: 52 Books Bingo - Something New

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Happy Sunday and welcome to week eight in our 52 Books rambling roads reading adventure. Greetings to all our readers, welcome to all who are joining in for the first time,  and everyone following our progress. Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as the central spot to share links to your book reviews. 

 What does a newshoundnewtonNewmarket, a newborn, a newtNew YorkNew Age and a newel have in common. Why, something new, of course, which is one of our 52 Books Bingo categories.  There are a variety of ways to go with this challenge including, but not limited to: 

 1.    Read a new to you author or genre.

2.    Read about a new to you subject.

3.    Read a book published in 2019.

4.    Read a book by a debut author

5.    Read a book set in or about a town, city, state, or country called new xxxxx

6.    Read about a newfangled idea. 

7.    Read a book about a newsworthy subject. 

8.    Read a book about news or a news reporter. 

9.    Read a book with new in the title.

10. Read a book by an author with new in his name. 

11. Read a book with variations of the word new mixed into the title or author's name. 

12. Check out the synonyms list and substitute one of those words for new.  

 

 

“Make It New”

By

 Alice Fulton

 

I find it helpful to imagine writing in a blizzard
with every inscription

designed to prevent snow
crystals from drifting in.

 Avoid the hive mind. Go fly a kite,
raise a stained glass window in the sky.

 It’s the opposite of making love to drudgery,
what I do for a dying.

 Remove the bitter sediment
trapped in the brewer. It will be new

 whether you make it new
or not. It will be full of neo-

 shadows. Full of then both past and next,
iridescent with suspense. Remember

 time is not the treasure revealer,
More a midge larva creeping

through a waterfall releasing
suction feet. The curiosity rover

 lands on Mars! New is a hooligan.
It breaks the reckoning frame and rests

 in pieces. Let me collect its dna
from the tears on your desk.

 


Have fun following rabbit trails! 

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

Theological Reads group – This week we are beginning our read and discussion of Charles Williams Descent of the Dove and our 2019 year long sip read of The Paradise of the Fathers. Join us if you like.

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

 What are you reading?

 Link to week seven

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In progress:

Qui Xiaolong's Death of a red Heroine - Discovering more about Detective Chan which I'd missed the first read.

Charles Williams Descent of the Dove - just beginning and finding it a slow read as I absorb the material. 

Jordan Rosenfeld's Writer's Guide to Persistence: How to Create a Lasting and Productive Writing Practice -  Learning so much and asks many great questions which has lead to a lot of journaling. 

Edited by Robin M
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I had better progress this past week!

I finished Martyn Lloyd-Jones's Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure. Lloyd-Jones describes a number of ways a believer might have become what he calls a "miserable Christian," and he prescribes antidotes for each cause. His words are grounded in Scripture and are very practical. It was convicting at times and encouraging at other times.

I also read Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, which I'd never read. This was both a "check off my TBR list" and a pre-read for the kids. I found it enjoyable enough. I'll give it to DD#2 (she's been requesting it) as her next school book.

Currently working on The Turn of the Screw (Henry James). 

I might go with Math with Bad Drawings (Ben Orlin) if I can start another book this week - it's the newest (most recently published) book I own, even though it's 2018 rather than 2019.

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39 minutes ago, Robin M said:

Avoid the hive mind. 

WHAT? .... clearly the poet does not know this board.

Regards,

Kareni

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17 minutes ago, purpleowl said:

I might go with Math with Bad Drawings (Ben Orlin) if I can start another book this week - it's the newest (most recently published) book I own, even though it's 2018 rather than 2019.

My husband was enjoying dipping into this before he ran out of time and the book needed to return to the library. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts if you do read the book.

1 hour ago, LaughingCat said:

I'm reading The Martian right now -- started it after DH and I watched the movie Friday night.   Wrong order I know but I wasn't planning to watch or read it at all 😄

So far (I am maybe 1/3) the movie appears to have been very true to the book -- except in that you don't find out how he was left behind until later in the book but it is the start in the movie (this section of the book was a bit jarring to me in the way it started -- couldn't figure out what was going on at first).   Also so far the book is losing to the movie --opposite of my normal reaction. 

There is a significant way in which the movie does not follow the book; however, I don't think you've reached it yet. I liked both book and movie but preferred the book. I'll look forward to learning your thoughts when you've reached the end.

Regards,

Kareni

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Last night I finished Aunt Dimity Detective  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/511257.Aunt_Dimity which is part of a huge cozy series that I have been reading in order.  This issue was addressed in the book so I plan to read the next one but...........she keeps getting overly involved with men other than her husband.  I don't think I will continue if the trend continues because these are cozies!  The mystery was good.

In my travel virtual stack I have The Cat who Climbed a Mountain,  James Rollins Black Order, and Some Like It Scottish a quilting cozy.

 

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I read The Twelfth Imam - 4 Stars - Much of this story takes place in Tehran, my place of birth. This book starts off when the U.S. Embassy in Tehran came under attack back in 1979. I vividly remember driving past there several months later. This was not a good time to be there at all. Even as a child, I remember feeling awful for the hostages. It was so all so depressing. There was a feeling of dread and fear – like a dark cloud that had come over the entire country. 

This is the third book that I have read by this author and it’s probably my favorite. I was truly impressed by how accurately he depicted Iran and the Iranian culture. I liked the protagonist, loved all the action, and am looking forward to reading the rest in the series. 

Some quotes that I thought to share:

“His parents had spoken for years about how desperate Iranians were for a rescue from the failure of the Islamic Revolution of ’79. His father had always stressed the medical angle. Suicides in Iran, he said, were at an all-time high, not just among the young, but among people of all ages. Drug abuse was a national epidemic; as was alcoholism. Prostitution and sex-trafficking were also skyrocketing, even among the religious clerics.”

“Satellite dishes were illegal in Iran, which is why everyone had one.”

“Before you worry about the world, son, you should be sure your own soul is secure in God.” 

9781414311647.jpg

MY RATING SYSTEM
5 Stars
The book is fantastic. It’s not perfect, since no book is, but it’s definitely a favorite of mine. 
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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Hello, BaWers! Are you all doing well? For “something new,” I will read Tim Johnston’s latest novel, The Current.

Here’s my list to date. I’m doing so-so with my “Read from the shelves” plan.

■ The People in the Trees (Hanya Yanagihara; 2013. Fiction.) RFS
■ A Sorrow Beyond Dreams (Peter Handke; 1972. Fiction.) RFS
■ Upgrade Soul (Ezra Claytan Daniels; 2016. Graphic fiction.) LIB
■ Fieldwork (Mischa Berlinski; 2007. Fiction.) RFS
■ Becoming (Michelle Obama; 2018. Non-fiction.) RFS
■ The Widower’s Notebook (Jonathan Santlofer; 2018. Non-fiction.) RFS
■ Reasons to Stay Alive (Matt Haig; 2015. Non-fiction.) RFS
■ Paper Girls (Brian K. Vaughan; 2018. Graphic fiction.) LIB
■ Fear: Trump in the White House (Bob Woodward; 2018. Non-fiction.) RFS
■ The Shakespeare Requirement (Julie Schumacher; 2018. Fiction.) RFS
■ Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning (Gary Marcus; 2012. Fiction.) RFS
■ Ghost Wall (Sarah Moss; 2018. Fiction.) LIB
■ A Loss for Words: The Story of Deafness in a Family (Sarah Moss; 1986. Fiction.) ATY
■ Gone for Good (Harlan Coben; 2002. Fiction.) RFS

—————————————
ATY Acquired this year
LIB Borrowed from library
OTH Other
RFS Read from shelves

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Dear Martin by Nicole Stone   A rare 5 🌟 from me.  This is a powerful book.  I highly recommend it to teens and above.  It will challenge your thinking around teens, race relations, gangs, etc.  A short read/listen at 4 1/2 hours.   Hit me even harder yesterday as a 14 year old was shot and killed locally.
*********
Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.
**********

Screenshot_20190217-115258.png

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I just finished Alex Bledsoe's fifth book in the Tufa series; it was another enjoyable, albeit somewhat gory, read.

 
 "Young Tufa woman Kera Rogers disappears while hiking in the woods by Needsville. Soon, her half-eaten remains are found, and hunters discover the culprits: a horde of wild hogs led by a massive boar with seemingly supernatural strength.

Kera’s boyfriend Duncan Gowen mourns her death, until he finds evidence she cheated on him with his best friend Adam Procure. When Adam’s body is the next one found, who is to blame: Duncan or the monstrous swine?

As winter descends and determined hunters pursue beasts across the Appalachians, other Tufa seek the truth behind Adam and Kera’s deaths. What answers will unfold come spring?"

 **

I recently finished Roni Loren's contemporary romance The One You Fight For (The Ones Who Got Away Book 3).

This could be a challenging read for some as it deals with the aftereffects of a school shooting. It was eye opening in that it made me think how difficult it might be for family members of someone who has committed a violent crime. (Adult content) 

"How hard would you fight for the one you love?

Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then, psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life's work to preventing something like that from ever happening again. Falling in love was never part of the plan...

Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the fallout of his brother's horrific actions. After losing everything—his chance at Olympic gold, his family, almost his sanity—he's changed his name, his look, and he's finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a low profile and his identity secret, everything will be okay, right?

When the world and everyone you know defines you by one catastrophic tragedy...
How do you find your happy ending?"

**

I also recently read Cooper West's Mismatched: A Guardsmen Romance Novella which did not quite meet my expectations after enjoying the author's other works in this series. (Adult content)

 "Taye Walker feels like an outsider. Ever since he was identified as a Handler and whisked away from the home and the family he loved to the reclusive, exclusive world of the Guardsmen, he’s known that he doesn’t belong. He stopped trying to belong a long time ago and he doesn’t even plan on bonding with a Protector, knowing it’s all just romantic claptrap. ...isn’t it?

Brandon McCleod is an all-star Protector at the Guardsmen Institute of the Americas. He’s popular, smart, athletic, and beloved by everyone. He’s where he belongs, and all he ever wanted to be was a great Protector, to live in service to others, and to find the perfect Handler to be his true bond-mate. He’s dreamed of that day for years, and as Valentine’s Day looms, he knows in his heart that this year it’s going to happen. He’s going to find his ideal match, they will fall in love, and spend the rest of their lives in perfect harmony. ...won’t they?"

Regards,

Kareni

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This week I finished

Henry James, Watch and Ward
Poems by Edwin Brock, from Penguin Modern Poets 8
Blaise Pascal, The Provincial Letters

Brock goes into the Lyric, Dramatic, & Epic 10x10 category; Pascal into the Bad Catholic category. If you, too, have had enough of double-tongued priests and hierarchs all full of moral and financial corruption, and are getting especially worried about the Jesuits, Pascal's Provincial Letters are for you. The Letters are like a series of snarky blog posts but in the 17th century. And yet somehow, timely.

Edwin Brock may be familiar to those who were assigned "5 Ways to Kill a Man" (included in my collection) in school, which is one of his most accessible, if weakest poems and certainly hasn't aged well. A better poem:

Quote

Song of the Battery Hen

We can't grumble about accommodation;
We have a new concrete floor that's
Always dry, four walls that are
Painted white, and a sheet-iron roof
The rain drums on. A fan blows warm air
Beneath our feet to disperse the smell
Of chickenshit and, on dull days,
Fluorescent lighting sees us.

You can tell me; if you come by
The North door, I am in the twelfth pen
On the left-hand side of the third row
From the floor; and in that pen
I am usually the middle one of the three.
But even without directions, you'd
Discover me. I have the same orange-
Red comb, yellow beak and auburn
Feathers, but as the door opens and you
Hear above the electric fan a kind of
One-word wail, I am the one
Who sounds loudest in my head.

Listen. Outside this house there's an
Orchard with small moss-green apple
Trees; beyond that, two fields of
Cabbages then, on the far side of
The road, a broiler house. Listen:
One cockerel crows out of there, as
Tall and proud as the first hour of the sun.
Sometimes I stop calling with the others
To listen, and I wonder if he hears me.
The next time you come here, look for me.
Notice the way I sound inside my head.
God made us all quite differently,
And blessed us with this expensive home.

Currently reading the Henry James story collection In the Cage and Other Tales, and The Paradise of the Holy Fathers, by various monks and hermits.

Edited by Violet Crown
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This year I have finished:

Silver on the Tree
Pancakes in Paris
Smilla's Sense of Snow
Ellen Foster

and I am now working on Shark Drunk, but slowly as the only reading time I have right now is on the treadmill.

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Haven't checked in here in a long while. I severely limit online time, and that is mostly all things I have to do. I will try to post more like I used to. Negin, you always post intriguing books. 

I recently finished The Coddling of the American Mind. 

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26 minutes ago, Mom-ninja. said:

Haven't checked in here in a long while. I severely limit online time, and that is mostly all things I have to do. I will try to post more like I used to. Negin, you always post intriguing books. 

I recently finished The Coddling of the American Mind. 

Limiting online time is admirable. But we're always happy to see you.

ETA: Is The Coddling of the American Mind some kind of sequel to the famous Alan Bloom book?

Edited by Violet Crown
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Hi all! I finally finished an entire book, lol. Here are my thoughts about it from Goodreads:

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

Three and a half stars.
I liked the premise and the time period is uncommon for this type of murder mystery. Enjoyed getting to know the characters and trying to figure out whodunit (which I did rather early on - yay me!). 

The reason I gave this 3 stars was I have a hard time with child murders and these were described in detail, the writing felt a bit forced at times, and Adelia's character was too modern in her thinking to be believable. I know the author addresses this at the end of the book but it took me out of the story several times when Adelia would rant over the misogeny or capital punishment, etc. she was witnessing.

Oh! One other thing - I couldn't quite grasp how old Ulf was. It was stated that he was 9 but the way he spoke was as a much older child. Maybe the author was figuring that a medieval era 9yo would be more mature and somewhat world-weary than a modern day 9yo? 

I did like Adelia's relationship with Rowley although it escalated rather quickly at the end, ahem. 

I'll probably read the next in the series because I did like the characters and want to see what happens to them. I hope the next one isn't about children.

I have a few holds ready for me at the library that I need to pick up and oh! I just remembered that I wanted to tell you all about this.  My library does craft classes now and then for adults and on Tuesday the class is "Painting Along with Bob Ross"! I signed up for it and am super excited for it. I am hoping that nothing will happen to prevent me from attending. I've only tried attending a craft class like this once before (it was a "make a wreath using paper coffee filters" and was super pretty although I know it doesn't sound like it, haha)  and during the class I went to, my 14yo type 1 daughter had a super low blood sugar that wasn't coming up with the normal remedies so I had to go back home to give her her glucagon shot - it was pretty scary and was the first time in 10 years that she's needed one. And now with this painting class,  my 2nd oldest dd is having all kinds of pre-term labor with her 2nd child and will probably have him sometime this week. I'll be in charge of the grandkids while she is at the hospital so I have my fingers crossed that it is after Tuesday.  Anyway, I'm really looking forward to this class and will report back on how it goes. 😊

Edited by Mothersweets
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Late to the party this week!  Finished 3 books this week...

16. Semiosis by Sue Burke - The second book for my SciFi book club this month.  Interesting premise.  Having read The Hidden Lives of Trees made the premise a bit more believable, lol.  I liked it and will probably eventually read the second book in what is promised to be a duology.  4 stars.

17. The Cross (Kristin Lavransdatter #3) by Sigrid Undset - I enjoyed this wrap-up to Kristin's story.  She is a very flawed character - way to hold grudges, keep things inside till they boil over.  Erlend is of course a louse (and a Peter Pan), but that's never sugar-coated either, and somehow it seems they deserve each other.  She never really regrets any of her choices (nor does he), as much pain as they've caused themselves and others. She loves her kids but really a bit from a distance.  She was also so isolated; she really didn't have any friends and was estranged from her only living sister. It's also a really interesting window into the middle ages during a fairly stable period and before the plague hit.  I'm glad I read the whole thing.  4 stars.

18. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (audiobook) - As I think about what I just typed above, here's another book where the parents are so into themselves and each other that they kind of forget about the kids, even though they claim to love them.  But modern day Mississippi, with ghosts.  3.5 stars.

Currently reading: 

- Flights by by Olga Tokarczuk (ebook) - just started this; not sure what I think yet..

- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (audiobook) - don't think I'll love this as much as Circe, but love Miller's writing.  Haven't gotten to the Trojan War part yet.

And still working on Irgendwo in Deutschland / Somewhere in Germany by Stefanie Zweig and Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick.

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I just glanced at this post http://frame.bloglovin.com/?post=6795110409&blog=14225869&frame_type=none is the Tea and Biscuits blog that I very recently started following.  The romances on the list that I know I have read are good. 

ETA.....I just Edited out my question.  I looked around on other reviews of this book and think I know.  I won’t be reading it.......sorry for the blushes, I thought it was similar to YA.  🤣

Edited by mumto2
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4 hours ago, Mom-ninja. said:

Haven't checked in here in a long while. I severely limit online time, and that is mostly all things I have to do. I will try to post more like I used to. Negin, you always post intriguing books. 

I recently finished The Coddling of the American Mind. 

I miss you posting! I understand about online time. I also don't post and spend as much time online as I used to, but now and again, and with certain threads such as this one, these are things that I just enjoy. I've heard good things about "The Coddling of the American Mind". 

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Finished The Martian today so posting some thoughts since Karini asked for them 😄

This book really reminded me of George O Smith's Venus Equilateral with all the tech talk -- it is a style of book I haven't read in a long while (which may be because I don't read near as much SF as I used too?).   I really liked Venus Equilateral for a long time (and reread it multiple times) even though I read it long after its tech was outdated.  I might have to dig it out to see if I still like it.      Unfortunately, I think The Martian does not have quite as much story outside the technical aspects, and so will probably not age very well.  

One downside to The Martian IMO was the Mary Sue/Gary Stu (or perhaps Angus McGyver in this case 🤣 ) feel -although he did make mistakes, there was still a feel of things going too well -it seemed like he fixed almost every problem he encountered the first time with his first idea kind of thing.  Perhaps it was the way it was written, as I can think of multiple instances in the book where he didn't ended up going with his first idea - -but at the same time I can't think of any times where the idea he decided to go with didn't work the first time --  there was very little feel of him "let me try this idea out and then see where it needs improvement" and much more of "I know this will work"  and voilà it does.

One big diff to the movie that I really liked was the end  -- which I will put white just in case anyone here doesn't already know how it ends..

the movie ending with the ships captain stepping in and taking over and him implementing his crazy idea of moving himself with his air supply and then the epilogue  showing all  the people and where they ended up

the book ending where everyone did the job they were TRAINED to do 

I must say I really liked the book ending much better there.

Beyond that, the movie seemed to be very true to the book (there was one other big scene left out that I can think of... where he flipped over as driving... but to me that seemed just one more instance of his perfect McGyvering skills rather than adding to the tension).  The one really big difference was how much he did on his own vs. with help from NASA, where the book was def. more towards the "McGyver/on your own with only your own wits" and the movie was much more towards "kitty down a hole/rescue of a man in a precarious situation".  

Another thought --there was not much emotion portrayed in the book.  OTOH I have read other "Man on his own trying to survive the wilderness" books that have the same feel -- so that could be more about portraying the idea that in such a situation you would be so focused on the "next step" needed to survive the day that you would be left with little mental energy left over to angst about your situation (although in this case, if so, he does little to portray that feeling either other than the lack of emotion -- I really brought that thought over from the other books).   

I know I read this way after most others -- I'd love to hear others thoughts on this book after having had some time pass ....

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22 minutes ago, LaughingCat said:

Finished The Martian today so posting some thoughts since Karini asked for them 😄

This book really reminded me of George O Smith's Venus Equilateral with all the tech talk -- it is a style of book I haven't read in a long while (which may be because I don't read near as much SF as I used too?).   I really liked Venus Equilateral for a long time (and reread it multiple times) even though I read it long after its tech was outdated.  I might have to dig it out to see if I still like it.      Unfortunately, I think The Martian does not have quite as much story outside the technical aspects, and so will probably not age very well.  

One downside to The Martian IMO was the Mary Sue/Gary Stu (or perhaps Angus McGyver in this case 🤣 ) feel -although he did make mistakes, there was still a feel of things going too well -it seemed like he fixed almost every problem he encountered the first time with his first idea kind of thing.  Perhaps it was the way it was written, as I can think of multiple instances in the book where he didn't ended up going with his first idea - -but at the same time I can't think of any times where the idea he decided to go with didn't work the first time --  there was very little feel of him "let me try this idea out and then see where it needs improvement" and much more of "I know this will work"  and voilà it does.

One big diff to the movie that I really liked was the end  -- which I will put white just in case anyone here doesn't already know how it ends..

the movie ending with the ships captain stepping in and taking over and him implementing his crazy idea of moving himself with his air supply and then the epilogue  showing all  the people and where they ended up

the book ending where everyone did the job they were TRAINED to do 

I must say I really liked the book ending much better there.

Beyond that, the movie seemed to be very true to the book (there was one other big scene left out that I can think of... where he flipped over as driving... but to me that seemed just one more instance of his perfect McGyvering skills rather than adding to the tension).  The one really big difference was how much he did on his own vs. with help from NASA, where the book was def. more towards the "McGyver/on your own with only your own wits" and the movie was much more towards "kitty down a hole/rescue of a man in a precarious situation".  

Another thought --there was not much emotion portrayed in the book.  OTOH I have read other "Man on his own trying to survive the wilderness" books that have the same feel -- so that could be more about portraying the idea that in such a situation you would be so focused on the "next step" needed to survive the day that you would be left with little mental energy left over to angst about your situation (although in this case, if so, he does little to portray that feeling either other than the lack of emotion -- I really brought that thought over from the other books).   

I know I read this way after most others -- I'd love to hear others thoughts on this book after having had some time pass ....

Dd didn’t manage to read The Martian this trip but will probably read it in the next month so I will post her opinion then.  We both watched movies.......Crazy Rich Asians was enjoyed by both of us.  Never thought I would watch it after all the hype.  I haven’t read the books but now want to.  I am curious about what happens next! 😉

I did finish the Cat who Moved the Mountain which definitely is not one of my favorites in The Cat Who......series.  I much prefer it when the books are set in the normal location.  Too many new characters made this one a bit hard to follow.  I think my other travel reads have been abandoned for now.........

 

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Lucky me got to have lunch with @Quill today. In case you didn't see the thread, here is a link to her post with our picture in it.

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I read The Europeans by Henry James and I liked it.  This author is "new to me" but I see a couple of you are reading other novels he has written.  

I am now reading Geisha by Liza Dalby. It is non-fiction about an anthropologist from the US who went to Japan in the 1970s to study geisha and became a geisha for a while as part of her research.  A couple of weeks ago I read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and book by Dalby was mentioned so I thought I would read it to see if it painted a similar picture and it does.

For homeschooling we read Lyra's Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman.  Which other books by Philip Pullman should we read?  We have already read His Dark Materials trilogy and La Belle Sauvage.  

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Still swimming through The Man in the Iron Mask and Emma.

When I finish these I am picking some short books!  :)

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1 hour ago, Teaching3bears said:

I read The Europeans by Henry James and I liked it.  This author is "new to me" but I see a couple of you are reading other novels he has written.  

I envy you reading your first James. Welcome to the cult, I mean club! 😄

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On 2/17/2019 at 1:20 PM, Robin M said:

Why, something new, of course, which is one of our 52 Books Bingo categories.

Well this is easy, looking at my upcoming 10x10 books: Finish the collection of Cardinal Newman's sermons? Some more poetry published by New Directions? Work faster through Paradise of the Holy Fathers, published by New Sarov? Or those Larry McMurtry essays, from Univ. of New Mexico Press? Okay actually this isn't easy.

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2 hours ago, LaughingCat said:

Finished The Martian today so posting some thoughts since Karini asked for them 😄

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Laughing Cat.

One big difference I recall between the book and the movie is that in the book Mark Watney loses contact with NASA after burning out a some wiring. He is forced to make the long drive using his own resources. (In the movie, if I recall correctly, he maintains contact once contact has been reestablished.)

Like you, I like the book ending better; the movie rescue seemed a tad silly.

You're correct that often Watney's first plan would work; he did take a few lumps along the way though. And, had his plans not worked, we'd have had a short story rather than a novel!

As regards the lack of emotion you mentioned, I think for me that the humor in the book carried a lot of weight. The book made me laugh a lot.

And now I'm curious about George O Smith's Venus Equilateral. I'm heading off to look it up.

Regards,

Kareni

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Dd16 and I are having trouble finding books that she will like.  

She does not like anything predictable, so romances are completely out.  We are trying some Agatha Christie books, but I think she's going to tire of them pretty quickly.  We are looking for clean books -- nothing graphic.

Some books that she liked/didn't like:

Jane Eyre was ok; Wuthering Heights was not.

She did not like Pride and Prejudice or Emma.

To Kill a Mockingbird was ok.

She liked Phantom of the Opera.  She didn't like Frankenstein.

She liked several of the Newbery winners: The Giver, The Westing Game, Holes.

She liked The Witch of Blackbird Pond; she did not like My Antonia.

She would have liked Dickens if he had had an editor to cut his page counts down. 😉

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Edited by Junie
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44 minutes ago, Junie said:

Dd16 and I are having trouble finding books that she will like.  

She does not like anything predictable, so romances are completely out.  We are trying some Agatha Christie books, but I think she's going to tire of them pretty quickly.  We are looking for clean books -- nothing graphic.

Some books that she liked/didn't like:

Jane Eyre was ok; Wuthering Heights was not.

She did not like Pride and Prejudice or Emma.

To Kill a Mockingbird was ok.

She like Phantom of the Opera.  She didn't like Frankenstein.

She liked several of the Newbery winners: The Giver, The Westing Game, Holes.

She liked The Witch of Blackbird Pond; she did not like My Antonia.

She would have liked Dickens if he had had an editor to cut his page counts down. 😉

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

The book I mentioned above Dear Martin by Nic Stone is excellent and was written for teens. I also enjoyed Born A Crime.

Small Great Things is excellent but might be too mature.

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39 minutes ago, Junie said:

Dd16 and I are having trouble finding books that she will like.  

She does not like anything predictable, so romances are completely out.  We are trying some Agatha Christie books, but I think she's going to tire of them pretty quickly.  We are looking for clean books -- nothing graphic.

Some books that she liked/didn't like:

Jane Eyre was ok; Wuthering Heights was not.

She did not like Pride and Prejudice or Emma.

To Kill a Mockingbird was ok.

She like Phantom of the Opera.  She didn't like Frankenstein.

She liked several of the Newbery winners: The Giver, The Westing Game, Holes.

She liked The Witch of Blackbird Pond; she did not like My Antonia.

She would have liked Dickens if he had had an editor to cut his page counts down. 😉

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Mara, Daughter of the Nile

Brat Farrar

Code Name Verity

News of the World

maybe a Mary Stewart? they have a small amount of romance but the suspense/thriller part is the main thing - Nine Coaches Waiting   or  Airs Above the Ground

Rebecca

Hope she finds something!

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1 hour ago, Kareni said:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Laughing Cat.

One big difference I recall between the book and the movie is that in the book Mark Watney loses contact with NASA after burning out a some wiring. He is forced to make the long drive using his own resources. (In the movie, if I recall correctly, he maintains contact once contact has been reestablished.)

Like you, I like the book ending better; the movie rescue seemed a tad silly.

You're correct that often Watney's first plan would work; he did take a few lumps along the way though. And, had his plans not worked, we'd have had a short story rather than a novel!

As regards the lack of emotion you mentioned, I think for me that the humor in the book carried a lot of weight. The book made me laugh a lot.

And now I'm curious about George O Smith's Venus Equilateral. I'm heading off to look it up.

Regards,

Kareni

Yes, the loss of contact definitely makes the book more about his skills/wits vs. the environment.  I did not get that feeling at all from the movie once he made contact.   

Regarding my complaint about it going too perfectly, I did think that feeling may have come somewhat because everything just had to fall together so perfectly for him to be rescued at all -- yet the only 'mistake' I really remember him making was when he lost contact with Earth.   Maybe if I reread it in the future that part would not seem to stand out so much to me (i.e. could be the comparison to the movie where he had the advice of all earth could offer him).

And you are right -- there is a lot of humor -- I should have counted that toward emotion.   And definitely could be considered a coping mechanism  in a hard situation too. 

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1 hour ago, Junie said:

Dd16 and I are having trouble finding books that she will like.  

...

She like Phantom of the Opera.  She didn't like Frankenstein.

Phantom of the Opera was a great favorite of my daughter's when she was a teen.  It led her to reading a number of spinoffs.  One she particularly enjoyed was  The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth.

I'll also suggest a series of books that my mother, my daughter, and I all enjoyed: the Don Camillo books by Giovanni Guareschi.  It is a series of some six books about an Italian priest and his nemesis the Communist mayor; the books are set in the 1950s in Italy. The priest sometimes talks to Christ on the cross who talks back to him.  The wikipedia entry will give you a good idea of the content of the series.  The first book is  The Little World of Don Camillo.

Regards,

Kareni

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Howdy, I'm just going to check in here.  I have been reading the Mahabharata (translation by John Smith).  I'm about a fourth of the way through it.  It's actually 10 "books" so I might take credit accordingly!  The whole book (translated / shortened) is over 700 pages, and not a quick read.  It's kind of interesting, but not super thrilling so far.

My kids and I are listening to the Little House books in the car.  We're on book 3 (Farmer Boy).  I had forgotten a lot of Little House on the Prairie, as I don't think I ever re-read it after elementary school.  It brings up some topics that are interesting to discuss with the kids.  My favorites as a kid were Big Woods and Farmer Boy, but I think my kids will have a different opinion, as they are older than I was when I read them.  (Well, actually, I believe my sister read all the books to my kids when they were like 5yo, but a lot of things would have gone over their heads.)

After months of not reading aloud, today I finally got back to the book I was reading them in the fall - Evil Spy School.  With what little free time we have together, it's hard to decide about the future of reading aloud.  We have some books that would be good for reinforcing what they are learning in school, but if I read those, I don't think there will be time for the fiction read-alouds I have lined up.  Sometimes I read my kid's school textbooks aloud to help use their limited study time efficiently.  Which is part of the reason Evil Spy School is taking so long ....

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First things first - I just wanted to say how much I love this group and the posts.  I look forward to reading through them every week.

I finished the Big Four by Christie.  I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  It was so different from the last few I read and yes, a little predictable.  But I loved the Poirot - Hastings dynamic in this one.

I'm still plodding through Remains of the Day - the writing is lovely.  I've almost finished Mary Oliver's Poetry Handbook - I can't say enough good things about it!  I also finished a homeschool read - Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  Tiny book, but so beautiful and sad.

I'm finding I don't have much time for my own reading this year because my homeschool reads are taking so much of my time/energy.  But I'm reading Bullfinch's Age of Fable with my ds and it's getting me excited to read Paradise Lost because it is full of Milton quotes.  This enthusiasm is lost on ds however, but he is enjoying Bullfinch's. 

DD is still plodding through school reads.  I need to see if she's completed any.

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21 hours ago, Mothersweets said:

I have a few holds ready for me at the library that I need to pick up and oh! I just remembered that I wanted to tell you all about this.  My library does craft classes now and then for adults and on Tuesday the class is "Painting Along with Bob Ross"! I signed up for it and am super excited for it. I am hoping that nothing will happen to prevent me from attending. 

I'm so jealous - in a good way.  I would love to get to attend a class like that.  I've taken it upon myself to learn painting this year and I'm terrible at it.  But I'm having fun.  

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1 hour ago, mom22es said:

I've almost finished Mary Oliver's Poetry Handbook - I can't say enough good things about it! 

I also enjoyed this. Thank you for the reminder to reread it on occasion.

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I finished The Turn of the Screw a couple days ago - didn't love it, didn't hate it. I liked Daisy Miller more, though, so I'll not count Henry James out just yet. ;) 

And I just finished Math with Bad Drawings. LOVED it. Nothing in it was particularly earth-shattering to me, but it was a delightful presentation of a variety of mathematical ideas, focused on application. I giggled enough that both of my girls are interested in borrowing the book from me. It's accessible enough that I plan to let them, though I expect a couple of sections will be over their heads due to a lack of life experience. Tagging @Kareni because you asked for my thoughts on it. :) 

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17 minutes ago, purpleowl said:

I just finished Math with Bad Drawings. LOVED it. Nothing in it was particularly earth-shattering to me, but it was a delightful presentation of a variety of mathematical ideas, focused on application. I giggled enough that both of my girls are interested in borrowing the book from me. It's accessible enough that I plan to let them, though I expect a couple of sections will be over their heads due to a lack of life experience. Tagging @Kareni because you asked for my thoughts on it. 🙂

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it, purpleowl. I plan to get the book again when my husband has more time. Are you familiar with Randall Munroe's What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions? Math with Bad Drawings reminds me of it.

Regards,

Kareni

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11 minutes ago, Kareni said:

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it, purpleowl. I plan to get the book again when my husband has more time. Are you familiar with Randall Munroe's What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions? Math with Bad Drawings reminds me of it.

Regards,

Kareni

Yes! My husband has that one. I haven't gotten around to reading it myself, but he has read snippets aloud for all of us. 🙂

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Regarding Randall Munroe's What If?:

1 hour ago, purpleowl said:

Yes! My husband has that one. I haven't gotten around to reading it myself, but he has read snippets aloud for all of us. 🙂

I too have been snippet-ed by my husband. Even a house guest felt compelled to share a snippet-- it's that kind of book!

Regards,

Kareni

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Good grief it is Tuesday, I haven't posted my update and have lots of catching up to do! 

@mumto2 I really enjoyed The Sunday Philosophy Club! It was the yin to balance out the decidedly yang of Ian Rankin's Edinburgh mysteries. And, I looked it up. Did you know The Really Terrible Orchestra is a real thing? Alexander McCall Smith was one of the founders, and he plays bassoon in the group. I wasn't sure whether to believe his author bio, so looked it up, lol! I agree that the ending was...odd. But the characters and the conversations are worth revisiting.

I'm listening to Milkman, the 2018 Man Booker prize winner. I can't quite imagine reading it, as it is a very stream of consciousness book without names. But it works in audio with the Irish narrator. I'm totally riveted by it. It is the story of an 18yo woman in Belfast (though the place is never named) during The Troubles, and it immerses you in the world of living on one side of the line. The cruelties, the ways in which you have to cope. 

Will check back in later after I catch up with this week's discussion. 

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6 hours ago, JennW in SoCal said:

I'm listening to Milkman, the 2018 Man Booker prize winner. I can't quite imagine reading it, as it is a very stream of consciousness book without names. But it works in audio with the Irish narrator. I'm totally riveted by it. It is the story of an 18yo woman in Belfast (though the place is never named) during The Troubles, and it immerses you in the world of living on one side of the line. The cruelties, the ways in which you have to cope. 

Milkman seems to be very much in the public eye now. I saw this review earlier today.

REVIEW: Milkman by Anna Burns

Regards,

Kareni

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I just finished reading Min Jin Lee's Pachinko  which my book group will be discussing later this week. It was an interesting read and eye opening about being Korean in Japan. The book takes place from the 1930s to the 1980s, but I imagine much is still the same.

""There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones."

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history. "

Regards,

Kareni

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On 2/18/2019 at 10:12 AM, Violet Crown said:

Limiting online time is admirable. But we're always happy to see you.

ETA: Is The Coddling of the American Mind some kind of sequel to the famous Alan Bloom book?

I have no idea. I did learn from the book. 

 

I will join the jealous club because I would love a paint along with Bob Ross class. Ok, back to math with kiddo.

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For once the category fits right in with what I am reading / listening to.

Georgette Heyer was new to me even though she came highly recommended for several months and with good reason. I am now gobbling up whatever I can get by her. I have Annabella on hold as well.

 Audiobooks:

The Grand Sophie by Georgette Heyer - a lot of fun in Austen-like fashion

The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer -  just started but it's very promising

Washington Square by Henry James - not a "feel good" ending but very well written and narrated

Books:

April Lady by Heyer - funny and delightful

Backfire by Coulter - seemed less formulaic than previous ones and therefore was more suspenseful

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On 2/18/2019 at 8:31 AM, Mothersweets said:

My library does craft classes now and then for adults and on Tuesday the class is "Painting Along with Bob Ross"! I signed up for it and am super excited for it. I am hoping that nothing will happen to prevent me from attending

I hope you got to attend the Bob Ross Craft class.  Loved watching him painting on PBS.  I have a shirt with his face on it and the saying "No mistakes, just happy accidents."  I just have to remember not to wear it to work. 😉

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I just finished a science fiction novel that also had a mystery/suspense component. It had a bit more gore than I'd prefer but I enjoyed the story nonetheless. (Adult content)

Peripheral People  by Reesa Herberth and Michelle Moore

 "Corwin Menivie and Nika Santivan are decorated veterans of the Imperial Enforcement Coalition, and are perfectly capable of solving cases the old-fashioned way. When they’re paired with Westley Tavera and Gavin Hale, the most powerful Reader/Ground team to emerge from the Psionics Academy, it could either be the best thing that’s ever happened to crime fighting, or the makings of a quadruple homicide.

During a routine investigation, West’s talent puts them on the trail of a brutal serial killer who traps his prey in a deadly mental playground. Then the killer starts baiting the team, laying psychic landmines at crime scenes and exposing IEC secrets. The strain of the case binds the agents closer together — so close that Nika and Gavin start sharing a room, and even the curmudgeonly Corwin finds himself as occupied with West as he is with the murders.

But as West’s visions of death grow more violent, the only way out for all of them may be straight through the mind of a monster. If they’re not careful, they may forget which side of the hunt they’re on. "

Regards,

Kareni

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8 hours ago, Liz CA said:

Washington Square by Henry James - not a "feel good" ending but very well written and narrated

Pretty sure that the only James with a happy ending of the usual sort (though there are plenty that have an Inevitable And Yet Somehow Unforeseen ending) is his first novel, Watch and Ward, which is so terrible that apparently he used to tell people that Roderick Hudson was his first novel.

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