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Author Topic: Forumites' Best and Worst Books of 2012  (Read 4174 times)
systeme_d_
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« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2012, 6:36:10 PM »


System_D, I'd be happy to have a throw-down with you over Oscar Wao, but that book is so, like, 2008.  BZZZT.

Ah well.  I didn't buy the book until 2010, and I didn't have time to read it until this year.  I liked the interpolation of the history of the DR, but I found the constant references to fantasy/scifi [LOTR, Star Wars, etc.] to be extremely tiresome.  Fantasy/scifi are just not my genres.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 6:36:43 PM by systeme_d_ » Logged

mystictechgal
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« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2012, 4:51:35 PM »

Thanks for starting this Vox. I've just downloaded your suggestion of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Chaos' of Turing Complete. As both money and time are tight at the moment, cheap is good; good and cheap is even better.

With everything else going on I don't get much time to read for pleasure any longer, but I did just finish A Soldier's Heart, which I found thought provoking and poignant, and I'm in the middle of Madeleine Albright's Prague Winter (downloaded yesterday, so that's my one $10 book indulgence for the time being), which I'm finding extremely engaging. She has written it with interspersed wit--some of which has actually made me laugh out loud. (And, the enhancements--audio and video--are welcome additions.)

Adding a new category: Interactive Books: From Touch Press (from Theodore Wolfram, the same guy that gave us The Elements) I have Hawass and Vannini's Pyramids 3D. It is a lovely book about ancient Egypt that, separate from the text, provides a guided, or self-paced, tour of the Giza plain, including the ability to explore the Sphinx and tombs, and roam the passageways and rooms within in 3D. You can actually "walk right up" to examine the carvings, art, and hieroglyphics in detail. Absolutely stunning.

I'm currently lusting over a few of their new offerings, most especially The Solar System for iPad, Barefoot World Atlas, Leonardo Da Vinci's Anatomy, The Sonnets, by William Shakespeare, and The Orchestra. Oh, hell, who am I kidding? I want, and will likely eventually end up with, Gems and Jewels and March of the Dinosaurs, too.
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tenured_feminist
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« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2012, 6:56:49 PM »

Thanks for starting this Vox. I've just downloaded your suggestion of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Chaos' of Turing Complete. As both money and time are tight at the moment, cheap is good; good and cheap is even better.

My eleven-year-old daughter adored Miss Peregrine. (Don't worry -- her absolute favorite author of all time is Roald Dahl.)
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2012, 7:03:01 PM »

Thanks for starting this Vox. I've just downloaded your suggestion of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Chaos' of Turing Complete. As both money and time are tight at the moment, cheap is good; good and cheap is even better.

My eleven-year-old daughter adored Miss Peregrine. (Don't worry -- her absolute favorite author of all time is Roald Dahl.)

You know, I was really disappointed in Miss Peregrine, given all the buzz.  Some wonderful ideas there, but I didn't think it much cohered as a novel--as an adult reader, I expected more.  (Some books aimed at children or adolescents work as well, in different ways, for adults--and some don't.  Roald Dahl is a very nice case in point.)
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2012, 7:16:18 PM »


System_D, I'd be happy to have a throw-down with you over Oscar Wao, but that book is so, like, 2008.  BZZZT.

Ah well.  I didn't buy the book until 2010, and I didn't have time to read it until this year.  I liked the interpolation of the history of the DR, but I found the constant references to fantasy/scifi [LOTR, Star Wars, etc.] to be extremely tiresome.  Fantasy/scifi are just not my genres.



They aren't mine either, S_D. I am eagerly awaiting his newest from my local library, though (This Is Hiw You Lose Her) - maybe you'll like that better? And as a bonus, it came out in 2012.

I'm still thinking about what to put on my best of list, besides Arcadia, which someone else mentioned. I've read a bunch of fabulous story collections but I have to look up the titles.
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« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2012, 8:05:06 PM »

You know, I was really disappointed in Miss Peregrine, given all the buzz.  Some wonderful ideas there, but I didn't think it much cohered as a novel--as an adult reader, I expected more.

Ah -- I had not heard any buzz, so I was not disappointed. I agree that it could have been tighter. But I'm interested in the ideas and the world, and I'll be interested to see how the sequel develops.

Over the last week, I was distracted from my reading plan (once again, Mystic River on the back burner) by Toni Morrison's Beloved, which is another one of those "how did I end up not ever reading this?" books. I don't know what I expected, but this isn't it. I can't decide if I like it or not. I think I do.

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mystictechgal
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« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2012, 8:36:14 PM »

Thanks for starting this Vox. I've just downloaded your suggestion of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Chaos' of Turing Complete. As both money and time are tight at the moment, cheap is good; good and cheap is even better.

My eleven-year-old daughter adored Miss Peregrine. (Don't worry -- her absolute favorite author of all time is Roald Dahl.)

You know, I was really disappointed in Miss Peregrine, given all the buzz.  Some wonderful ideas there, but I didn't think it much cohered as a novel--as an adult reader, I expected more.  (Some books aimed at children or adolescents work as well, in different ways, for adults--and some don't.  Roald Dahl is a very nice case in point.)

I hadn't heard the buzz; I'd never heard of the book before a few hours ago. I'm about halfway through and was just stopping back in to thank Vox for the suggestion. I'm finding it perfectly delightful, but, then I sometimes rather enjoy reading young adult fiction (which is how I would categorize it, although when I downloaded it I wasn't expecting it).

I never read things like this when I actually was a young adult, so perhaps I'm making up for lost time by reading, what is for me a lost genre. It helps that a friend writes some of it, and has published a fairly well-regarded trilogy of her own.

I did happen across an interview with the author and learned that 20th-Century Fox has bought the film rights. I'd go to see it. I'm finding the photographs (and wondering about the real stories behind some of them) absolutely fascinating.
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"Is all the same, only different" -- HL
yellowtractor
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« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2012, 8:38:26 PM »

Maybe that's part of my problem (with Miss Peregrine)--I actually knew a substantial minority of the photographs in question from my...day job, shall we say.  In advance of reading the book.

But carry on!  It was delightful and inventive in a small way.  I just kept expecting more--of the novel, of the world invoked.
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reener06
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« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2012, 8:55:16 PM »

Reading Night Circus, tagged above as a best, but not impressed much at all so far. Where are the editors? Are books pushed to publication too fast?

Alas, haven't had time to read anything else that came out this year, but had a baby a year ago. In nonfiction, read Mass Consumption and liked it a lot, but it was published about 5 years ago.
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2012, 8:59:08 PM »

I loved Night Circus. Couldn't put it down. I'm usually pretty sensitive to editing stuff, but maybe I'm less so on the iPad? (I've noticed other differences in my reading styles in hard copy and in ereader, so maybe this is one.)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 8:59:59 PM by tinyzombie » Logged

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I think we have three of them, but the smallest one seems to be the leader.
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polly_mer
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« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2012, 9:46:54 PM »

I've read a whole stack of How To Train Your Dragon books this year.  They aren't great fiction, but they are involving enough to keep reading to find out what happens next.  They're better than the whole A Series of Unfortunate Events were.
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mystictechgal
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« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2012, 10:51:15 PM »

Maybe that's part of my problem (with Miss Peregrine)--I actually knew a substantial minority of the photographs in question from my...day job, shall we say.  In advance of reading the book.

But carry on!  It was delightful and inventive in a small way.  I just kept expecting more--of the novel, of the world invoked.

I think I understand where you're coming from. Having now finished it, it's almost like the author hit a point just past midway where he just wanted to get it over with. The middle section is both less descriptive and yet, simultaneously looser and more rambling. It's rather like he knew the beginning and the end, and the middle only exists to get from one to the other in the fastest way possible. Heck, there were even some glimmers of nascent philosophy in there: about life and death and taking chances and growing up, but he never really bothered to develop them fully. I still enjoyed it for a quick read. It was worth the $2 I paid for it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 10:51:57 PM by mystictechgal » Logged

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You must realize that a university cannot educate you. You must do that for yourself, although a college or university is the place where it is likely that you can study most efficiently.
http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/chapman.htm

"Is all the same, only different" -- HL
canonicalkumquat
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« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2013, 3:44:57 PM »

For me, 2012 was a year of books being unexpectedly delightful (see below) or unexpectedly disappointing (Age of Miracles, for example)

While sci-fi and fantasy haven't traditionally been my genres, apparently that changed a bit this year. Some highlights from that corner of the world, in descending order of awesomeness:

Ernest Cline, Ready Player One
Colson Whitehead, Zone One
John Scalzi, Redshirts
Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London (sold in the U.S. as Midnight Riot)
Jonathan Howard, Johannes Cabal the Detective
Deborah Harkness, Discovery of Witches
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« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2013, 3:59:20 PM »

For me, 2012 was a year of books being unexpectedly delightful (see below) or unexpectedly disappointing (Age of Miracles, for example)

While sci-fi and fantasy haven't traditionally been my genres, apparently that changed a bit this year. Some highlights from that corner of the world, in descending order of awesomeness:

Ernest Cline, Ready Player One
Colson Whitehead, Zone One
John Scalzi, Redshirts
Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London (sold in the U.S. as Midnight Riot)
Jonathan Howard, Johannes Cabal the Detective
Deborah Harkness, Discovery of Witches

Canonicalkumquat, my reading twin, has returned! Of that list the only things that are not either in my "books read" category or in my hold queue at the library are the Whitehead and the Howard -- so I will go add those now!

I also finished Gone Girl this morning and can see why some people thought it was ... amazing ... and some hated it. I liked it, myself, though I thought it had some pacing problems in the middle.

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madhatter
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« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2013, 4:21:59 PM »

I have Redshirts on my iPad. I think it's next on my reading list.
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