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Book a Week 2021 - BW2: 52 Books Bingo - Antihero


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Happy Sunday, dear hearts. I have anti-heroes on my mind today and have been thinking about the differences between the antihero and the villain, or between the hero and the anti-hero.  My son and I have been watching you-tube videos by Harry Potter Theory about the Harry Potter series and they've posted several videos discussing Severus Snape. You never quite know whether to trust the man. What are his motives?  Is he good or bad, working for or against Harry?  

Joe Bunting from the Write Practice says:  "Snape, like all Anti-Heroes, represents what society detests: cruelty, cowardice, self-interest, and dishonesty. He is the opposite of the hero, a villain, and yet somehow he’s a villain on the good guys’ side."   

We love to hate them, but then again we have to trust that the good side will outweigh the bad side and they'll redeem themselves in the end. 

Since one of our 52 Books Bingo categories is the Antihero, your mission is to read a book with an antihero. 

Anti-heroes: The good bad boys of literature

Blurring the Lines: What Are Anti-Heroes and Anti-Villains?

Modern Literature's Greatest Anti Heroes And Unreliable Narrators

10 Literary Anti-Heroines That Make Their Male Counterparts Look Conventional

Best Anti-Hero Fantasy Books

The 20 Best Anti-Hero Books Ever Written

The Top 10 Fictional Antiheroes


Who is your favorite anti-hero? 

Thanks to the theory videos, I'll be looking at Snape in a whole new light while rereading Harry Potter. 

Happy Reading! 

 

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

Link to week one

Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as share your book reviews with other readers  around the globe.

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I’m currently sipping from Sharon Kay Penman’s When Christ and Her Saints Slept and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I didn’t get too terribly far in either book when I was distracted by life events and turned to comfort reads.  Nora Robert is one of my favorite authors and her Key Trilogy drew my attention this week.  I think a Nora Roberts reread is in order for the year as she provides not only comfort, but creativity as her writing inspires me.   

Decided with ebooks I’m going to go alphabetical A to Z and I finished And Then There were Nuns as well as Baking Bad and even managed to write reviews for them. Started My Christmas Number One by Leona Mack.   

 Craft wise I’m sipping on Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic process edited by Joe Fassler as well as James Scott Bell’s Just Write.   In the middle of John Strelecky’s Café on the Edge of the World and for some reason this story strikes me as an advertisement for something else. Can’t quite put my finger on it, but something is missing in the narrative.  For some reason it reminds me of Amway. 😊

I don’t have just one favorite anti hero. At this point in time, Roland from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and Severus Snape from Harry Potter are my two favorites. Lizbeth Salander from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo runs a close third.  She was an odd duck. 
 

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Thank you Robin!  I need to think about the antihero......

I am trying to clear out a couple of audiobooks that I already had checked out before diving into Rex Stout. I spent last night trying to get to know David Baldacci’s female main character, Atlee Pine, who seems to be growing on me. A new book in this series was recently released so he obviously is continuing this characters ongoing story.     https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39088984-long-road-to-mercy.  

I am reading the second book in a Space Opera series series by Kristyn Merbeth by the nam of the Nova Vita Protocol. I had a really hard time getting into the first book in the series and actually switched to audio because it made me sleepy. This time with Memoria I am having no problems keeping the characters strait! These aren’t the best ever but enjoyable if you read this Sci Fi genre.     https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53019382-memoria

Edited by mumto2
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16 hours ago, Arctic Bunny said:

*raises hand* First time poster in the BaW threads.....

Welcome, Arctic Bunny!  I look forward to hearing about your reading.

6 hours ago, Robin M said:

Who is your favorite anti-hero? 

My favorite series that features a character who straddles the hero/anti-hero line is Anne Cleeland's mystery series featuring Acton and Doyle. The first book is Murder in Thrall. Some here have read and enjoyed it; others have tossed it across the room!

Regards,

Kareni

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Some bookish posts ~

(Language warning) A Romance Reader’s Recap of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Everyone Deserves a Mother Figure Like Juniper from “Wise Child

https://electricliterature.com/everyone-deserves-a-mother-figure-like-juniper-from-wise-child/

5 SFF Books About Flawed Gods

https://www.tor.com/2020/10/13/5-sff-books-about-flawed-gods/comment-page-1/#comment-887959

TROPICAL COZY IS THE BALM WE NEED FOR TRYING TIMES

https://crimereads.com/tropical-cozy-is-the-balm-we-need-for-trying-times/

Regards,

Kareni

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Last year's last read: Madame Bovary.  Over the past few years I have been trying to catch up on classics that I had never had the opportunity to read.  Yes, from a moral standpoint this is a terrible story -- a moral failure -- but I thought it was well-written and actually a cautionary tale.  I understand why it was so risque at the time, but it is actually nothing compared to modern literature and media.

This year's first read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (a re-read after 365 days of no repeats!)  Dd16 received the Harry Potter movies for Christmas, so we have been having a movie marathon.  We will finish tomorrow night.  And, so, of course, they want to read all of the books.  Many years ago I read books 1 through 5 before I lost interest.  Since I always pre-read the books I give my minor children, I am starting at the beginning of the series before I plunge into the later books in the series.

When the Harry Potter books first came out, they were very much frowned upon by the evangelical community.  Somewhere along the line I decided to read them and decide for myself -- and I realized that they are not really that much different from Star Wars or LOTR.  We did have a discussion about one scene from the movies -- the reading of tea leaves and of palms; that this is actually a form of witchcraft that some people IRL actually participate in -- but for the most part there isn't really a huge jump from wands and Latin-sounding words to light sabers.

Also this week I read Foundations of Design by Jeff Davis.  This was a really quick read but very informative.  Dd18 lent it to me -- it was one of her art textbooks from last semester.

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Late last night I finished a reread of SK Dunstall's Linesman which I enjoyed once again. I was inspired to reread this since I gave it as part of a wedding gift to a long time friend who just married his partner of twenty-five years. (It's not bookish, but I also gave this in two different heights.) Since we have newcomers who may not yet know about one of my favorite books, I'll include the description.

"The lines. No ship can traverse the void without them. Only linesmen can work with them. But only Ean Lambert hears their song. And everyone thinks he’s crazy…

Most slum kids never go far, certainly not becoming a level-ten linesman like Ean. Even if he’s part of a small, and unethical, cartel, and the other linesmen disdain his self-taught methods, he’s certified and working.

Then a mysterious alien ship is discovered at the edges of the galaxy. Each of the major galactic powers is desperate to be the first to uncover the ship’s secrets, but all they’ve learned is that it has the familiar lines of energy—and a defense system that, once triggered, annihilates everything in a 200 kilometer radius.

The vessel threatens any linesman who dares to approach it, except Ean. His unique talents may be the key to understanding this alarming new force—and reconfiguring the relationship between humans and the ships that serve them, forever."

Regards,

Kareni

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1 hour ago, Kareni said:

My favorite series that features a character who straddles the hero/anti-hero line is Anne Cleeland's mystery series featuring Acton and Doyle. The first book is Murder in Thrall. Some here have read and enjoyed it; others have tossed it across the room!

You are so right!  I like Acton some of the time ....... now that I have read a half dozen of these books.  They are so addictive.

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Ah Anti-heroes.  

Long before I encountered Snape, I was introduced to my favorite ever, Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights as a teen. I did not know the term anti-hero even existed, but what I loved about Heathcliff was how layered and complex he was and the constant tug between good and evil, light and dark. He was abused and abused others, but his one redeeming feature to me was his love for Cathy. I was a naive teen when I came to that conclusion, because he loved so much but when I grew up have sort of considered it to be an obsessive, toxic love, because it hurt so many people. But I still cannot but help love HeathCliff simply because he loved Cathy beyond death. 

I've always wondered if Mr. Darcy was a mini anti-hero. He could have become Lady Catherine if he had married anyone else but Lizzie I think.

I love anti-heroes because they are more layered and complex than heroes. But cannot identify them that easily in literature like I do in movies or television. 

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Finished

image.png.9191c6f163fbf0f447dac40780484368.png

It was my selection of Non-fiction from New Zealand in my read-around-the-world challenge. It was one of the strangest books I have ever read and I had to double check to make sure if I made a mistake in choosing a fiction book instead of a non-fiction because it was so unbelievable. But truth is really stranger than fiction and this book is proof of that. 

From the blurb in Amazon 

"It is 1864, and Captain Thomas Musgrave’s schooner, the Grafton, has just wrecked on Auckland Island, a forbidding piece of land 285 miles south of New Zealand. Battered by year-round freezing rain and constant winds, it is one of the most inhospitable places on earth. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.

Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island, another ship runs aground during a storm. Separated by only twenty miles and the island’s treacherous, impassable cliffs, the crews of the Grafton and the Invercauld face the same fate. And yet where the Invercauld’s crew turns inward on itself, fighting, starving, and even turning to cannibalism, Musgrave’s crew bands together to build a cabin and a forge—and eventually, to find a way to escape."

It is an absolutely amazing read and shows what leadership, unity and sharing of skills will do when very life and survival is at stake and what happens when it is every man for himself and the cost of it. It is as if life or the universe wanted to teach these important lessons when both these crews were marooned on the exact same island at the exact same time. It is more than an adventure book, it has so many lessons that are timely and I kept thinking of all of it especially due to the events of this past week. 

This is not my usual genre and I prefer to watch something like this than read, but it is easily in my top 20 books of all time. It is an absolutely amazing read and I would highly recommend it even if it is so outside your reading comfort.
 

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17 hours ago, Kareni said:

Some bookish posts ~

(Language warning) A Romance Reader’s Recap of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

 

This was hilariously spot-on! Thanks, @Kareni

@Dreamergal, Island of the Lost just went on my TBR list - thanks!

I've finished three books so far this year:

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - from GR: On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose. 

 I thought the premise was terrific but overall the story was melancholy and a bit of a downer.

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden. From GR: thriller about a vigilante on a Native American reservation who embarks on a dangerous mission to track down the source of a heroin influx.

I really enjoyed this. It was fast-paced, the main character was likable, and it's set in an area that I wasn't familiar with. I also belong to a knitting group that makes hats, sweaters, mittens, etc. for children on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations and it was eye-opening to read what life is like there.

The Things They Fancied  by Molly Young. Short, witty book (almost a pamphlet really) detailing how the rich of past centuries spent their money. Loved it!

Edited by Mothersweets
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I thought I would get a head start on the Count of Monte Cristo -- and I realized that my copy is abridged.  I'm usually not a fan of abridged works, but 600 pages seems a lot less daunting than 1200, especially after reading Les Mis last year.  So I'm trying to decide whether to go with the version or get a different one.

The version I have is this one from Barnes and Noble's classics series:

The Count of Monte Cristo

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Since I was somewhat enthusiastic about my David Baldacci audiobook featuring Atlee Pine I need to report I finished it but do not care for the character. Actually I may be done with the author too.......the main character just plain irritated me and the storyline was beyond belief.

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I seem to be starting the year on a bit of a dark streak. Cathartic, maybe?

6. "The Cases That Haunt Us" by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Audible book. I think I read this in book form years ago. DH and I have been binge watching Criminal Minds, so it's cool to know they are at least using the correct terminology and basic concepts.

5. "From Here to Eternity: Travelling the World to Find the Good Death" by Caitlin Doughty. Fascinating!

4. "Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth" by Dr. Everett Piper. Audible book. I assume his target audience is the parents of the students who attend his college? The last chapter is pretty specific to Wesleyanism, I thought. Otherwise, I thought he was spot on on many of the issues on campuses today, and his take is remarkably similar to Jonathan Haidt's "Coddling of the American Mind" from the other side of the political aisle.  I've got a Junior and a Senior this year, and I'm beginning to wonder if college is the best option. 

3. "The Innocence of Father Brown" by G.K. Chesterton. Audible book read by Frederick Davidson. 

2. "St. Peter's Fair" by Ellis Peters. Audible book.

1. "The Mysterious Mr. Quin: A Harley Quin Collection" by Agatha Christie. Audible book.

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This week we finished The Amazing Dr. Ransom's Bestiary of Adorable Fallacies: A Field Guide for Clear Thinkers by Douglas Wilson.  I studied it with my school age children upon recommendation from a friend and as part of our morning basket time.  The examples are not always appropriate for younger children nor are they intended to be.  The wording is quite clever, but was somewhat lost on my children.  If I were to recommend an informal logic study book, then I would choose the Bluedorn's Thinking Toolbox and Fallacy Detective over this one.

Edited by Excelsior! Academy
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Finished my C book for a to z - My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack. I was in the mood for a cozy romance and what I got instead was a poignant story about two characters, singers from different cultures, both affected by long term grief, brought together to create a Christmas song.  Cara, who was injured in the car accident where her mother and sister died years ago at Christmas time, struggles with anxiety and self consciousness about her scars and prosthetic foot.  Javi, who has a playboy reputation, a failed marriage, a daughter who doesn't like him, and is still holding on to the grief when his brother died around Christmas time. 

The two are brought together, the English Songwriter and the Latin playboy, when Cara's record label contract requires her to record a single written by another artist on the label.  Cara expects it to be quick.  She'll record the song, go back home and the song will die from obscurity and she can go back to ignoring Christmas and dealing with her life the best she knows how.  Little do the characters realize what the power of the song will accomplish and both their lives are changed forever. My Christmas Number One is a wonderful story of two characters working through grief and other issues without being overly sappy and I highly recommend it. 

(Ebook category: be still my heart  Setting: London/South America   New to me author)

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29 minutes ago, Robin M said:

Finished my C book for a to z - My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack.....

 My Christmas Number One is a wonderful story of two characters working through grief and other issues without being overly sappy and I highly recommend it.

Yes, this was a very good read; I'm glad you enjoyed it, Robin.

Regards,

Kareni

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Some bookish posts ~

ALL EPISTOLARY NOVELS ARE MYSTERIES by Amy Stewart

EVERY MYSTERY WRITER KNOWS, YOU CAN KILL ANYONE BUT THE DOG by Sulari Gentill

And on the same theme:

From reddit:

Fiction about dog friendship where the dog DOESNT die

https://www.reddit.com/r/suggestmeabook/comments/kgm286/fiction_about_dog_friendship_where_the_dog_doesnt/

Regards,

Kareni

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Speaking of anti heroes, if anyone's read Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, I believe we can say he's definitely an antihero. I was reminded of Reacher during my web wanderings today:  Lee Child and Paraic O'Donnell on moral codes, punching Nazis, and human evolution

The Millions posted Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview I was just reading about George Saunders, can't remember where, and now I want to read his Swim in the Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life

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5 minutes ago, Robin M said:

Speaking of anti heroes, if anyone's read Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, I believe we can say he's definitely an antihero.

Oh, i don't know, he does seem to care about other people. Many of his stories start with him going the extra mile to help a random stranger. There does seem to be variation in the definitions of antihero, though.

Edmund Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo), Okonkwo (Things Fall Apart), Edward Rochester (Jane Eyre), and Alonso Quijano (Don Quixote) all make the Wikipedia list, though , which may mean my recent reading has been skewing dark! They also have James Bond, though, who in the recent movies strikes me as more akin to Jack Reacher than Okonkwo. Maybe this is like the fun of explaining to middle schoolers why many things they call fruits are not, technically fruits. I often feel like a middle schooler in many discussions of literary matters!

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On 1/10/2021 at 1:54 PM, Junie said:

When the Harry Potter books first came out, they were very much frowned upon by the evangelical community.  Somewhere along the line I decided to read them and decide for myself -- and I realized that they are not really that much different from Star Wars or LOTR.  We did have a discussion about one scene from the movies -- the reading of tea leaves and of palms; that this is actually a form of witchcraft that some people IRL actually participate in -- but for the most part there isn't really a huge jump from wands and Latin-sounding words to light sabers.

Yep, it was all the fuss about the book that made me decide to buy and read it, found it thoroughly entertaining and my lurve affair with Harry Potter began.  Same as with Da Vinci Code. I loved the book and reread a second time when folks kicked up a fuss and looked up all the things that made people mad.  Nothing to see here, it's only fiction, people. Geesh! 

On 1/10/2021 at 4:43 PM, Dreamergal said:

Finished

image.png.9191c6f163fbf0f447dac40780484368.png

It was my selection of Non-fiction from New Zealand in my read-around-the-world challenge. It was one of the strangest books I have ever read and I had to double check to make sure if I made a mistake in choosing a fiction book instead of a non-fiction because it was so unbelievable. But truth is really stranger than fiction and this book is proof of that. 
 

Looks like my kind of book and adding to my wishlist. Thanks!

On 1/11/2021 at 2:22 AM, negin said:

I read 501 Time-Saving Tips Every Woman Should Know - 3 Stars - too lazy to post my review here, so sharing the link. 

Great reviews. I love mashed potatoes so make weekely.  Have used Idaho, creamer, and the red, although the red are better baked with an all in one dish.   All good.   My hubby introduced me to Bar Keeper's friend ages ago and it's all we use now.   Clean my toaster regularly but never thought to  use an old toothbrush.  

19 hours ago, Junie said:

I thought I would get a head start on the Count of Monte Cristo -- and I realized that my copy is abridged.  I'm usually not a fan of abridged works, but 600 pages seems a lot less daunting than 1200, especially after reading Les Mis last year.  So I'm trying to decide whether to go with the version or get a different one.

The version I have is this one from Barnes and Noble's classics series:

The Count of Monte Cristo

I have the Penguin classics one which is the most readable for me. 

18 hours ago, mumto2 said:

Since I was somewhat enthusiastic about my David Baldacci audiobook featuring Atlee Pine I need to report I finished it but do not care for the character. Actually I may be done with the author too.......the main character just plain irritated me and the storyline was beyond belief.

I kinda liked the character but can see how she would irritate you. He has so many different series and stand alone books which are great so don't give up on him altogether.  

2 hours ago, Maus said:

I seem to be starting the year on a bit of a dark streak. Cathartic, maybe?

6. "The Cases That Haunt Us" by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Audible book. I think I read this in book form years ago. DH and I have been binge watching Criminal Minds, so it's cool to know they are at least using the correct terminology and basic concepts.

5. "From Here to Eternity: Travelling the World to Find the Good Death" by Caitlin Doughty. Fascinating!

4. "Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth" by Dr. Everett Piper. Audible book. I assume his target audience is the parents of the students who attend his college? The last chapter is pretty specific to Wesleyanism, I thought. Otherwise, I thought he was spot on on many of the issues on campuses today, and his take is remarkably similar to Jonathan Haidt's "Coddling of the American Mind" from the other side of the political aisle.  I've got a Junior and a Senior this year, and I'm beginning to wonder if college is the best option. 

3. "The Innocence of Father Brown" by G.K. Chesterton. Audible book read by Frederick Davidson. 

2. "St. Peter's Fair" by Ellis Peters. Audible book.

1. "The Mysterious Mr. Quin: A Harley Quin Collection" by Agatha Christie. Audible book.

Yes, you seem to have a theme going here. 

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Just now, SusanC said:

Oh, i don't know, he does seem to care about other people. Many of his stories start with him going the extra mile to help a random stranger. There does seem to be variation in the definitions of antihero, though.

Edmund Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo), Okonkwo (Things Fall Apart), Edward Rochester (Jane Eyre), and Alonso Quijano (Don Quixote) all make the Wikipedia list, though , which may mean my recent reading has been skewing dark! They also have James Bond, though, who in the recent movies strikes me as more akin to Jack Reacher than Okonkwo. Maybe this is like the fun of explaining to middle schoolers why many things they call fruits are not, technically fruits. I often feel like a middle schooler in many discussions of literary matters!

Yes, I thought it was odd that James Bond was on the list as I don't see him that way.  Nor could I understand why Jane Eyre made the anti heroine list. But everyone has their own ideas and perceptions which is what makes discussing literary matters fun. But also like you said, there are some conversations in which just go right over my head. I scratch my head and think huh? How'd they get that out of that.  😁

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5 minutes ago, Robin M said:

  Nor could I understand why Jane Eyre made the anti heroine list.

I do get why Mr. Rochester is an anti-hero. For me, he is a classic anti-hero. I have no ambiguity about it at all unlike Heathcliff because I try to find redeeming qualities because I like him so much (Sir Laurence Oliver as Heathcliff might have a lot to do with it. Watching it in black and white especially as a teen made it impossible for me to feel otherwise 🤣).  As for Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, It is because what he did to Jane when he asked her to marry him when already married in that era especially was wrong. It would not have given her any protection especially as an orphan, made their children illegitimate and was flat out wrong and does not make it ok because he was lied to. He especially knows what being lied to feels like so it feels cruel to lie to Jane and get her married to him especially in Church. I found him an anti-hero and not a villain because he so obviously fell in love with Jane and most of all, when Bertha his first wife burned his house down, he tried to save her and lost his sight. A truly despicable man would have not tried to save her. That is why I was rooting for Jane and him in the end, he deserved someone as good as Jane because he was good fundamentally. He just made a bad choice for love. 

5 minutes ago, Robin M said:

 

But everyone has their own ideas and perceptions which is what makes discussing literary matters fun. But also like you said, there are some conversations in which just go right over my head. I scratch my head and think huh? How'd they get that out of that.  😁

Totally agree.

20 minutes ago, Robin M said:

Looks like my kind of book and adding to my wishlist. Thanks!

On 1/11/2021 at 4:22 AM, negin said:

Glad you like this book.  The ingenuity of the survivors was just amazing to me. I was fascinated by ship wrecks in Auckland island  found this. Apparently they later on established Castaway depots and supplies for survival and let many domestic animals go wild there for castaways to hunt, plus boats. So interesting.

 

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Currently reading

image.png.274aff8f953389d2cb8ee8d6656eb736.png

Seeing the White Tiger trailer, brought forward a book that was in my TBR list. Since Aravind is an Indian Australian and I am still stuck on Australia, I thought I should give it a go. He also ticks a lot of my author boxes,  Desi writer and Indian diaspora author who lived, studied and worked in multiple countries around the world. Most of all, it deals with immigration, especially undocumented, something I want to learn more about and the protagonist is a refugee from Sri Lanka denied asylum. This is a fiction book though.

I am pairing this with this book

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From the blurb 

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.
 

I love doing something called analogous reading where I take one book from western literature, similar themed from eastern literature and read them together. An example would be To kill a Mockingbird from the US and God of Small things from Arundathi Roy from India. I've never done a fiction and non-fiction before and I have some hesitation about reading a fiction book when the author's experience is not lived while the non-fiction book is a lived experience. Aravind has lived a lot of his life in western society or Australia, but he has a very strong voice I think when he narrates the plight of someone else in less fortunate circumstances, he would do justice to it. But I would take care not to read authenticity into Arvind's book though I am sure it will be well researched based on my experience with his other books like I would in Karla's book. I am a little sensitive to it especially after American Dirt.

I however think that stories need to be told and not everyone is a good story teller even if they have a good story. So while the experience may not be lived, it can still be an important story to tell and I can learn about.

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I started the year reading Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1), but the library returned my ebook before I was done!  I just got it back after a wait and am 60% done.  I finished Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews this morning, yes I was up at midnight waiting. 😉 This is Aurelia Ryder #1 set in the world of Kate Daniels. 

"Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she'd ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard."  
 

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10 hours ago, Maus said:

 

 

  I've got a Junior and a Senior this year, and I'm beginning to wonder if college is the best option. 

 

 

My fourth child is a Senior this year and I feel exactly the same way.

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9 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

Currently reading

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Seeing the White Tiger trailer, brought forward a book that was in my TBR list. Since Aravind is an Indian Australian and I am still stuck on Australia, I thought I should give it a go. He also ticks a lot of my author boxes,  Desi writer and Indian diaspora author who lived, studied and worked in multiple countries around the world. Most of all, it deals with immigration, especially undocumented, something I want to learn more about and the protagonist is a refugee from Sri Lanka denied asylum. This is a fiction book though.

I am pairing this with this book

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From the blurb 

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.
 

I love doing something called analogous reading where I take one book from western literature, similar themed from eastern literature and read them together. An example would be To kill a Mockingbird from the US and God of Small things from Arundathi Roy from India. I've never done a fiction and non-fiction before and I have some hesitation about reading a fiction book when the author's experience is not lived while the non-fiction book is a lived experience. Aravind has lived a lot of his life in western society or Australia, but he has a very strong voice I think when he narrates the plight of someone else in less fortunate circumstances, he would do justice to it. But I would take care not to read authenticity into Arvind's book though I am sure it will be well researched based on my experience with his other books like I would in Karla's book. I am a little sensitive to it especially after American Dirt.

I however think that stories need to be told and not everyone is a good story teller even if they have a good story. So while the experience may not be lived, it can still be an important story to tell and I can learn about.

Interesting, because that is how I prefer to read non-fiction books! Right now I’m reading non-fiction about Alexander Hamilton, but also fiction about the history of NYC. The fiction helps give me context for the non-fiction. And then when reading fiction, it often leads me to non-fiction about the time or place!

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On 1/11/2021 at 5:41 PM, Junie said:

I thought I would get a head start on the Count of Monte Cristo -- and I realized that my copy is abridged.  I'm usually not a fan of abridged works, but 600 pages seems a lot less daunting than 1200, especially after reading Les Mis last year.  So I'm trying to decide whether to go with the version or get a different one.

The version I have is this one from Barnes and Noble's classics series:

The Count of Monte Cristo

Hi Junie, I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo a few years ago and loved it. Never thought I would like it as much as I did BUT I actually listened to it with the Craftlit podcast - it's like an annotated audiobook. The host talks about the book and what is going on in the chapter(s) that are read that week and explains a few things - like archaic word use, etc.- and reading it this way made the entire book so so so enjoyable! Just thought I would throw this out here as a way to read the unabridged (yeah, it's insanely long) version without having to slog through it all. 

The entire book is still up - it begins with episode 402 - I use Stitcher for my podcasts - here's the link ep 402 The Count of Monte Cristo - Dumas prequel

 

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16 minutes ago, Mothersweets said:

Hi Junie, I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo a few years ago and loved it. Never thought I would like it as much as I did BUT I actually listened to it with the Craftlit podcast - it's like an annotated audiobook. The host talks about the book and what is going on in the chapter(s) that are read that week and explains a few things - like archaic word use, etc.- and reading it this way made the entire book so so so enjoyable! Just thought I would throw this out here as a way to read the unabridged (yeah, it's insanely long) version without having to slog through it all. 

The entire book is still up - it begins with episode 402 - I use Stitcher for my podcasts - here's the link ep 402 The Count of Monte Cristo - Dumas prequel

 

That sounds really cool... Audio for really long classic books is a tactic I've used before.  What English translation did they use, and when was it from? 

And I'm curious- archaic word use? Are they talking about why a translator would use an older word?  I thought that there hadn't been any unabridged translations till fairly recently. 

I did go to the link, but I couldn't find info on the translation. 

ETA: and for the print version, while 600pp does seem less intimidating than 1200, I think cutting out half the book is ... a lot. Im not sure I could really feel like I read the author's work rather than a plot summary.

Edited by Matryoshka
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11 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

 

ETA: and for the print version, while 600pp does seem less intimidating than 1200, I think cutting out half the book is ... a lot. Im not sure I could really feel like I read the author's work rather than a plot summary.

This is kind of what I'm thinking, too.  Although, the book is quite a bit larger in length and width, so hopefully more words on a page.  I think I'm going to do a bit more research before I decide...

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Mumto2, you mentioned a pig ~ 

On 1/8/2021 at 3:09 PM, mumto2 said:

If I could talk to animals .......is where I plan to put books with things like hedgehogs,pigs, moose.  ...

I saw this review earlier today and thought of you.

The Worst Duke in the World by Lisa Berne

ETA: This book might also be of interest ~ Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story by Leonie Swann

Regards,

Kareni

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Last night I finished a rather lengthy fantasy which I quite enjoyed. I'll be looking with interest at what else this author might write.

Wild Sky by Zaya Feli

"Tauran Darrica has been retired from the Valreus Sky Guard for four years following the Battle of the Broken Wings that resulted in the death of his dragon. Now, all Tauran wants to do is spend his days forgetting the past and gambling his way to an unsteady income.

So when his old general from the Sky Guard hunts Tauran down to request his help with staving off the increasingly aggressive wild dragon population, Tauran refuses. But a fire ruins his rented room and leaves him without a place to stay, and Tauran finds himself on the road to Valreus, after all.

Tauran is determined to stay as far away from dragons as he can get, but a starry-eyed young man from Sharoani, land of the wild dragons, might just ruin his plans.

Kalai Ro-Ani has spent his life watching the stars, knowing he could never reach them.
With his wild dragon Arrow, he sets out for the city of Valreus in the hope of building himself a better future than he could have stuck at the foot of the Kel Visal dragon temples.

But nobody told Kalai that only the Sky Guard is allowed to own dragons, so when Arrow kills a guard in Kalai’s defense, it looks like his adventure might be over before it can begin. But a chance encounter at the old Valreus archive offers Kalai the future he’d been hoping for. In the span of a single day, he has a home, a job, and a purpose.

In Valreus, something much bigger falls into his lap – along with a tall and striking Valrean man with a rather strange disposition."

Regards,

Kareni

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1 hour ago, Kareni said:

Mumto2, you mentioned a pig ~ 

I saw this review earlier today and thought of you.

The Worst Duke in the World by Lisa Berne

ETA: This book might also be of interest ~ Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story by Leonie Swann

Regards,

Kareni

The Worst Duke in the World does look like a good fluffy read!  I just recommended to my library.......I think it is actually being released this week as I saw it on a new releases list earlier today.

i seem to have immersed myself in an Amish cozy series about a quilt shop that I can’t even honestly class as awesome in a cozy sense.  I am simply hooked https://www.goodreads.com/series/102467-amish-quilt-shop-mystery.         .  It has a silly dog and a goat.....I am on the third one already!   

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12 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

That sounds really cool... Audio for really long classic books is a tactic I've used before.  What English translation did they use, and when was it from? 

And I'm curious- archaic word use? Are they talking about why a translator would use an older word?  I thought that there hadn't been any unabridged translations till fairly recently. 

I did go to the link, but I couldn't find info on the translation. 

ETA: and for the print version, while 600pp does seem less intimidating than 1200, I think cutting out half the book is ... a lot. Im not sure I could really feel like I read the author's work rather than a plot summary.

They used the Penguin Classics edition , May 2003 reissue with Robin Buss translating. 

As for archaic word use - what I meant was when Dumas used a word that has come to mean something different nowadays or if it was a word that we, living in the 21st century, don't really use any longer. 🙂

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This evening I finished In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren.

I found this to be a really fun read; I did a lot of laughing. 

"It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe."

Regards,

Kareni

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43 minutes ago, Mothersweets said:

They used the Penguin Classics edition , May 2003 reissue with Robin Buss translating. 

As for archaic word use - what I meant was when Dumas used a word that has come to mean something different nowadays or if it was a word that we, living in the 21st century, don't really use any longer. 🙂

So, they were talking about a word choice in French? I would think translating would take care of that - after all, you translate for meaning.  Or words referring to things we don't use anymore, like some kind of horse-drawn carriage or clothing item?

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Hi Friends. Just popping in to say hello 🙂

I've been reading The Great Tradition (edited by Gamble), A Wrinkle in Time and Sold Into Egypt (both by L'Engle), I have read one chapter of Oliver Twist (and need to keep going). I listened to Steven Mitchell's version of Gilgamesh (excellent - not for young listeners, though) and started The Iliad (read by Jacobi) 

I see some of you on GoodReads and was doing some internet cleanup so I thought I'd pop in here and say hello.  Hope you're all well ❤️ 

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11 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

So, they were talking about a word choice in French? I would think translating would take care of that - after all, you translate for meaning.  Or words referring to things we don't use anymore, like some kind of horse-drawn carriage or clothing item?

Yes to the bolded. Sorry for not being clear!

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And I finished another book today.

Stray (Touchstone Book 1) by Andrea K. Höst

This is a book that @Eliana recommended to me long ago; in fact, I see that I've owned it since mid-2014. I know that @Ali in OR read this and two sequels some time ago. (Did you know there are five works now in the series, Ali?) It's currently FREE for Kindle readers. It's a fine read for teens as well as adults. I enjoyed it and plan to read on in the series. The entire book is written in diary format.

"On her last day of high school, Cassandra Devlin walked out of exams and into a forest. Surrounded by the wrong sort of trees, and animals never featured in any nature documentary, Cass is only sure of one thing: alone, she will be lucky to survive.

The sprawl of abandoned blockish buildings Cass discovers offers her only more puzzles. Where are the people? What is the intoxicating mist which drifts off the buildings in the moonlight? And why does she feel like she's being watched?

Increasingly unnerved, Cass is overjoyed at the arrival of the formidable Setari. Whisked to a world as technologically advanced as the first was primitive, where nanotech computers are grown inside people's skulls, and few have any interest in venturing outside the enormous whitestone cities, Cass finds herself processed as a 'stray', a refugee displaced by the gates torn between worlds. Struggling with an unfamiliar language and culture, she must adapt to virtual classrooms, friends who can teleport, and the ingrained attitude that strays are backward and slow.

Can Cass ever find her way home? And after the people of her new world discover her unexpected value, will they be willing to let her leave?"

Regards,

Kareni

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