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Author Topic: So what have you read lately  (Read 964307 times)
prof_smartypants
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« Reply #3750 on: November 18, 2012, 10:54:21 PM »

Well, I've finished Brooks' People of the Book. I loved it, though I thought the surprise ending was a bit implausible, and I ordered two others by her: March and Year of Wonders.

I loved that one too. I also read her other books, and didn't like them quite as much. Love to hear what you think of them.
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dr_alcott
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« Reply #3751 on: November 18, 2012, 11:10:16 PM »

Well, I've finished Brooks' People of the Book. I loved it, though I thought the surprise ending was a bit implausible, and I ordered two others by her: March and Year of Wonders. I also finished Sherman Alexie's Flight (a fast and powerful read, like everything of his that I've read). I'm sorry to say that I'm still not done with Carol Shields' Stone Diaries; not sure why, because I'm impressed by the writing. I think it might be the pace; she takes a long time to say what she (or her characters) want to say.

But what I'm really excited about reading right now is a non-fiction item: Rebecca Solnit's A Paradise Built in Hell. It's about how people create community in the midst of disaster, defying the usually made-up claims of the powers that be that disasters unleash savage, "every man for himself" behavior. It's fascinating. She starts with the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and eventually will get to Hurricane Katrina. I heard her interviewed on CBC radio after the Haiti earthquake and found her ideas fascinating, but I could never remember her name, or the book's name. Now, in the wake of Sandy, I got motivated to track it down.

Ooh, let me know how you get on with the Solnit one, H_G.  That does sound good.

My husband got me Solnit's book a couple of years ago, but I only made it partway through. I'm trying to remember why I didn't finish; it's very rare that I don't finish a book.
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voxprincipalis
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« Reply #3752 on: November 19, 2012, 12:05:01 AM »

Well, I've finished Brooks' People of the Book. I loved it, though I thought the surprise ending was a bit implausible, and I ordered two others by her: March and Year of Wonders.

I loved that one too. I also read her other books, and didn't like them quite as much. Love to hear what you think of them.

I liked People of the Book quite a bit until the end, which I also found ... meh. I have Year of Wonders on my library waiting list.

I'm currently almost finished with Bradford Morrow's The Diviner's Tale, which had a slow start but which has, in the last third or so, turned out to be kind of an interesting who-dun-it. Some turgid writing, but eh? what can you expect.

VP
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polly_mer
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« Reply #3753 on: November 19, 2012, 9:12:56 AM »

Quote
If you're looking for better books about searching for meaning, read Stephen King's The Stand or the short story The Long WalkWe Need to Talk about Kevin is also pretty good for that.  Diary of a Mad Housewife is good for that.  Chthon by Piers Anthony is good for that.  Season of the Witch is good for that.  For that matter, thinking hard about what's going on in Fear of Flying and the sequels as Isadora White Wing finds out that sex, drugs, and more sex is just filling time is a good search for meaning.

It seems like you can't accept that I was really affected by the Moviegoer: you keep offering books that are 'better', as if my being just so hopelessly under-read could be the only possible explanation for why I got so much from a book you didn't like very much. Are you not accustomed to someone having a different reaction to a book than you did? It's ok with me if you didn't get much from the Moviegoer - I defended it a bit in my reply just because I didn't want anybody to be too discouraged by your authoritatively-toned blanket dismissal of it.


Did you read the rest of the post or are you going to insist that somehow you (a complete unknown here with no history) posting a rave review should be influential?

So you liked the book.  That's nice.  I didn't write anywhere that you couldn't like the book.  I was providing a list of books for other people who might want to try something I thought was better in this genre.  People who read here and know my tastes can then decide whether their tastes usually align with mine or they can run right out and get a copy of The Moviegoer.  They can also evaluate the strength of the arguments based on supporting evidence, well, my evidence because I don't see that you provided any evidence other than an assertion that you liked the book and apparently have no comment on books that might be put up for comparison.
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mickeymantle
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« Reply #3754 on: November 24, 2012, 10:10:30 PM »


I just finished reading the new biography of William Rehnquist, which sheds some interesting light on the subject's personality (although the author cannot quite conceal his distaste for Rehnquist's conservative jurisprudence.)

Also, I'm just finished Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, which is an amazing book, and shows how tragic his long and painful deterioration became after his sudden withdrawal from championship chess in 1975.
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oldfullprof
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« Reply #3755 on: November 24, 2012, 11:43:08 PM »

I've been reading two old Heinleins, Time for the Stars and Red Planet, probably for the twentieth time each.  His juveniles are best.
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kiana
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« Reply #3756 on: November 24, 2012, 11:52:49 PM »

I've been reading two old Heinleins, Time for the Stars and Red Planet, probably for the twentieth time each.  His juveniles are best.

I agree. I can't count how many times I read Citizen of the Galaxy, and since it's been a few years it's probably due for a reread.
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airball
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« Reply #3757 on: November 25, 2012, 4:11:41 PM »

Well, I've finished Brooks' People of the Book. I loved it, though I thought the surprise ending was a bit implausible, and I ordered two others by her: March and Year of Wonders.

I loved that one too. I also read her other books, and didn't like them quite as much. Love to hear what you think of them.

I liked People of the Book quite a bit until the end, which I also found ... meh. I have Year of Wonders on my library waiting list.

I'm currently almost finished with Bradford Morrow's The Diviner's Tale, which had a slow start but which has, in the last third or so, turned out to be kind of an interesting who-dun-it. Some turgid writing, but eh? what can you expect.

VP

I started Year of Wonders, and had to put it down. For all their flaws, I am a big fan of Puritans, and as best I could tell she made no effort to truly understand them.
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« Reply #3758 on: November 25, 2012, 5:46:26 PM »

I've been reading two old Heinleins, Time for the Stars and Red Planet, probably for the twentieth time each.  His juveniles are best.

I agree. I can't count how many times I read Citizen of the Galaxy, and since it's been a few years it's probably due for a reread.

Indeed.  I re-read (not too long ago) Rocket Ship Galileo, his first (and not his best).  Moon Nazis!  My favorites (in terms of number of re-reads) are Rolling Stones and Have Spacesuit Will Travel.  The older copies of these I have are falling apart (and cost, I think, a dollar apiece).
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kiana
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« Reply #3759 on: November 26, 2012, 12:41:00 AM »

Indeed.  I re-read (not too long ago) Rocket Ship Galileo, his first (and not his best).  Moon Nazis!  My favorites (in terms of number of re-reads) are Rolling Stones and Have Spacesuit Will Travel.  The older copies of these I have are falling apart (and cost, I think, a dollar apiece).

Have Spacesuit Will Travel is another amazing read. I actually think it was the first of his that I read -- the title is something that grabs your eye when scanning shelves.
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bibliothecula
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« Reply #3760 on: November 26, 2012, 12:45:22 PM »

I'm trying to read The Book Thief, and am not very impressed. How did it get so many great reviews? I know it's technically YA, but I find it really condescending.
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #3761 on: November 26, 2012, 1:06:45 PM »

I have been buzzing through some beautifully-written short story collections lately. My two current favorites are Nell Freudenberger's Lucky Girls and Charles Yu's Sorry Please Thank You.
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llanfair
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« Reply #3762 on: November 26, 2012, 1:20:16 PM »

I'm well into Lisa See's Peony in Love, which is going in a very odd direction ... and yet, I like it.  I wouldn't have thought I would, but I do.  Her writing is seductive, which helps.
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voxprincipalis
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« Reply #3763 on: November 26, 2012, 6:36:08 PM »

I'm well into Lisa See's Peony in Love, which is going in a very odd direction ... and yet, I like it.  I wouldn't have thought I would, but I do.  Her writing is seductive, which helps.

I really enjoyed that one, but I agree with you on the oddness of the plot development. That oddness turns it into a different kind of book than the one I was expecting, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking it.

I have her Snow Flower and the Secret Fan on my iPad but have been saving it for a special occasion. (I don't know what that would be; I should just read the darn thing.)

VP
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bcohlan1
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« Reply #3764 on: November 26, 2012, 7:37:06 PM »

I bought bSpouse a Kindle for her birthday and have been using it quite a bit myself. It's quite convenient to check out e-books from the local library for free without actually having to go to said library. I have been reading all the Asimov I can get my hands on. He is my comfort reading, and has been since the Norby books of my childhood. I read him while drinking booze in the bathtub and trying not to electrocute myself.
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