Erin Erin's Comments (member since Feb 16, 2012)

Erin's comments from the Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club group.

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64419 John wrote: "trying to find a way to have someone earlier in time prevent their birth"

My brain is now spinning off into that classic sci-fi trope of parallel universes.

Like if he managed to find an "older" kalachakra to prevent his birth, that would only be in one version of that other kalachakra's past, so he maybe would still be born anyway, just in a different iteration.

Like what happened to his buddies from the war in his first life who he sent messages to in his third life to avoid situations? Did he send those same messages repeatedly? Or did those war buddies end up dying like in his first life because he stop sending them warnings? I guess it's that question of how permanent are his changes if he just keeps living? Does he then have to continue to make those same changes again and again to make the fixes stick?
64419 John wrote: "The commitment and fortitude it would take to live each successive life with a goal in mind"

But what would be his alternative? To keep doing the same loop of mundane life things forever? I feel like this repetition would become depressing really really quickly (as we see with his first several lives).

I'm all of a sudden reminded of video games. You get all these lives to attempt to reach the end of each level and then to the big bad guy at the end. You die halfway through, but with a better understanding of the terrain and the challenges ahead of you so you can get farther the next attempt. If you didn't have an end of level or a big bad guy to aspire to, would you keep playing? I definitely wouldn't.
64419 Lenore: I'm having a hard time remembering Life After Life now, myself (and I didn't actually finish it because I got really bored about halfway through), but as I recall, her heroine lived each life from birth, but we skipped ahead as she survived longer and longer. And she had that sort of deja vu, as you said, which let her make tiny changes to live through whatever killed her in the previous lives. So not actively making informed decisions; rather making decisions based on a bad feeling, which the reader knows is linked to her previous life attempt.
Aug 08, 2016 11:24AM

64419 Thanks John! I had spotted the note in the volunteering email that they were doing book bags "differently" this year, but hadn't heard yet how it was going to change.

I guess I'll just volunteer to man the registration desk on Wednesday, then.
Aug 08, 2016 09:48AM

64419 KarenB wrote: "Is anyone planning on volunteering? Have you volunteered at past Bouchercons and what was your experience doing so?"

I've volunteered the last few Bouchercons. Doing the panels is the easiest as it just requires setting out the name tags for the table and making sure the room has a fresh water for panelists (if it's empty, you let a hotel staffer know). Sometimes the moderator will ask you to remind them when they're at 5 minutes left, but a lot of them have their own watch out. I've also manned the information desk and the volunteer check-in desk, which were pretty boring.

I'm doing a few panel set-ups this year. And I might volunteer at the reg table one morning. And since I'm in town early, I really want to do book-bag stuffing.

ETA: it's kind of hit or miss at how organized the volunteer coordinator is going to be, since the job changes year to year. I had one year where I showed up for my allotted time and they had no idea what to do with me =P (I think that was the year at the info desk in Cleveland).
64419 I'm reading rather slowly this month; too much going on to get any good reading time in =P

KarenB wrote: "self-absorbed and far too naive as his lives went on."

Do you think you'd be more or less self-absorbed after living the same life over and over again and seeing history repeat itself? I feel like I'd be even less interested in "current" events than I am already.
64419 John wrote: "this book is unlike any that you have read before.."

It's funny you say that, John, as Kate Atkinson's Life After Life (which we read as a group pick a while ago) came to mind within the first few chapters. I don't think they're really all that similar except for the concept of reliving the same life over and over again with changes each time. And also that I gave up on the Atkinson for being a bit too dry of a read, while North's style is much more captivating right from page one.
64419 Laura wrote: "including finishing a Double Wedding Ring quilt that my daughter and I are making for my son's wedding."

Wow, Laura! Pictures when you're done, please??
Aug 02, 2016 09:00AM

64419 I started an event doc for sharing (updated from previous years). Trying to sketch in where we can add some meetups and gathering some contact info. Add your info and any comments about dinners, etc, to the doc (link required!):
Jul 29, 2016 09:05AM

64419 Panels have been posted! Unfortunately, they're posted on Scribd and you can't print them or save them unless you have an account =P

I think I might kill some time today putting them into a more readable spreadsheet format.
Jul 28, 2016 12:00PM

64419 KarenB wrote: "I'm very seriously considering going to the Whitney Plantation on Wednesday. It would take all morning for the tour, which is admittedly rather expensive. But I feel, at least for me, it is an impo..."

A bunch of my college friends are going to come play tourist in NOLA with me before Bcon, and we have the Whitney Plantation on our list. We're probably going to go on Monday. And actual entry tickets are only $22 (compared to the like $100 for the "tour" with transport from downtown), so we've been talking about renting a car for that day because a car rental for the day plus ticket prices will be a fraction of the cost of the bus tour since we have a group of five.
Jul 25, 2016 04:17PM

64419 Looking over the schedule so far, I think it's going to be super difficult to find a dinner window this year:
Thursday night: Opening Ceremonies 6:30-9:00pm
Friday night: Parade (5-6pm), David Morrell Q&A (6:30-7:30pm), Anthony Awards (8-9pm)
Saturday night: Auction (6:30-9pm)

We might have to take a poll to see which night people are more willing to skip stuff. Or we could do a ridiculously early dinner on Thursday or Saturday (like 5pm?) or something.
Jul 25, 2016 12:22PM

64419 Kathy, that could have been an interesting change for the story, to have alternating POV between Rebekah and Rivka.

I finished the book this weekend and I found it, on the whole, kind of meh. The plotting was just so completely cookie cutter and the characters weren't strong enough, imo, to overcome that. I think the problem is that I've read too many series with reporters as the main character (Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan, Val McDermid's Lindsay Gordon) that I think I was expecting something...more out of this book.

I will say that the whole deal with the police and their lack of investigation made a bit more sense by the end (when they finally got involved). The short answer: corruption and politics.
Jul 21, 2016 09:05AM

64419 Yes! Exactly, Lenore!

I can buy that the community is powerful and that the DA/police/coroner would agree to not do a full autopsy because of that pressure, but I can't believe that they would hand off a body directly from a crime seen without the coroner at the very least documenting the injuries and making some determination of cause of death.

I'm being a crazy slow reader right now and haven't actually finished the book yet. I have a feeling there is a level of "unreliable narrator" in this story. Just in that we're following Rebekah and the story in present tense, so we only learn as much as she learns and thus are probably missing a ton of what's really going on at the time. I mean, for all we know in the middle of the story, as she's covering the funeral, there could be some enterprising investigator digging up real clues. It doesn't sound like this is going to end up being what happens, but the narrative style lends itself to making the reader really question what's going on and whether it's true.
Jul 20, 2016 01:51PM

64419 John wrote: "With the NYPD being overextended (as in most large city PDs) in their ability to even superficially investigate homicides I am not completely surprised that they let the community attend to itself.."

This is probably the crux of it, John. Your comment is reality and my brain keeps supplying me with fictional police who have great clearance rates. I'm sure if I knew what the actual number of unsolved cases was, the NYPD's willingness to shrug of an investigation when the community basically says "don't bother, please leave it alone." They've probably got like a hundred other families asking why they haven't arrested someone for some other crime.
Jul 20, 2016 08:58AM

64419 Let's talk about autopsies for a second. Saul says in the book that an autopsy is not required by law and is at the discretion of the police (and medical examiner). I was in the same boat as Rebekka, thinking that autopsies are required in a homicide investigation, but the only language I can actually find is that a medical examiner can legally order an autopsy without the consent of the family of the deceased for homicide.

It still seems completely wrong to me that the medical examiner would never even see the body in a suspicious death case. Even if the police didn't want to piss off the community, someone should have recorded all of Rivka's injuries. Perhaps I've just been reading too many police procedurals, but I can't see investigators letting themselves be hamstrung to that degree.

I feel like I want to see this whole story from the perspective of the police as a counterpoint to Rebekka's.
Jul 19, 2016 11:31AM

64419 John wrote: "Do you think a code of silence eventually harms/dooms the community it seeks to protect, or does it provide any positives to society in general?"

I'd think it eventually harms the community. Either no one can talk about any crime, which means the perpetrators run free to do more harm, or the community has to silently take judgement into it's own hands, which could be just as damaging.

I suppose it could work if there was like a board of elders or something who decide when someone has gone to far for simple reprimands (assault? murder?) and thus "deserve" to be handed off for a torturous death sentence. But that would be a lot more complicated than just "code of silence."
Jul 19, 2016 11:19AM

64419 Some ultra-orthodox Jewish women shave their heads and wear only a kerchief (called a tichel) on their heads. It is a lot easier to cover a shaved head than it is to cover a full head of hair under a wig. Most Hasidic Jewish women wear wigs. Modern orthodox women might wear only a hat that covers only part of their hair."

Thanks for looking this up, Kathy! I'm still totally baffled about the head-shaving. I understand the philosophy behind covering your hair after marriage, but I'm at a loss for how shaving off all your hair to replace it with fake hair fits with the philosophy. Yeah, it's not your hair that's on display, but most people can't tell the difference in most cases. Head scarves and a short haircut make more sense to me.
Jul 14, 2016 08:59AM

64419 How did everyone feel about the first person present narrative style? I'm finding it a little jarring because it's such an unusual choice (not very many books told in present tense, that I can think of).
Jul 05, 2016 10:47AM

64419 John wrote: "it is always an added bonus to learn something new"

John, I totally agree! I think that's one of the things I like best about well-written historical fiction. Of Laurie's books, GAME and OJER are top of my list because of the great look at a different culture.
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