Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club discussion

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Archived Housekeeping > What's Our Next Group Read?

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message 1: by Erin (last edited Feb 27, 2012 09:57AM) (new)

Erin (Tangential1) | 726 comments Mod
Let's talk about what to read next. I may be completely behind, but I don't see a new schedule up anywhere and March starts in three days! Anyone have any ideas to throw out? New favorite mystery authors you've read recently? Old favorites that we haven't talked about yet? Books you think the group would absolutely love? Books half of us will totally hate, but will spark awesome conversation?

Vicki mentioned Garnethill by Denise Mina, which I thought was a great book and might be good for discussion. I've just added No Graves As Yet by Anne Perry to my TBR list and the setting for that one sounds like our kind of historical mystery.

Once we get some ideas out, maybe John can put a new poll together :-D


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Erin wrote: "Let's talk about what to read next. I may be completely behind, but I don't see a new schedule up anywhere and March starts in three days! Anyone have any ideas to throw out? New favorite myster..."

Garnethill is very good Scottish noir. I love that it's set in Glasgow, although I kept wanting the characters to wander into some of all that gorgeous Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture there and describe the setting thoroughly before going on with the story. But that would make it more of a travelogue than a mystery, I guess.

Looking back, I've been reading a fair amount of SF lately. There's one that might be a good fit for the group at some point. It's Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregellis--alternative history WWII with Britain aided by a force of wizards (but so, SO, not like the Harry Potter variety), and Germany fielding a force of X-men type fighters who have been essentially tortured and altered from childhood into developing particular supernatural abilities. I enjoyed it a lot. There is darkness in it, but the underlying premise is comic-book enough to let some light in as well.


Erin (Tangential1) | 726 comments Mod
Oh wow, that sounds like a really cool read! *Adds to the tbr list* I've been on something of a fantasy kick lately that's been kind of leading into a sci-fi kick, so I'd be all up for that!

Leads me to another thought too. Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis. I haven't read them yet, but I know several VBCers have. Would make a good discussion perhaps? Especially since we talked about To Say Nothing of the Dog a while ago.


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
farmwifetwo wrote: "I just added Lady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy Of Highclere Castleto my tbr.

It's non-fic so it should interest some. The time frame is correct for Russell/..."


I've heard good things about this.

Oh, and I looooooved Blackout and All Clear! I laughed, I cried--no joke. But then, I'm something of a Willisholic.


message 5: by Vicki (last edited Feb 27, 2012 09:33PM) (new)

Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Do we want to go ahead and try to do a discussion book for March over here? I'm good either way. I didn't bring it up last week since we're in transition mode and trying new spots out. But I guess part of trying out a spot might be to see how a discussion pick would work in a new spot.


Millie | 64 comments farmwifetwo wrote: "I just added Lady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy Of Highclere Castleto my tbr.

It's non-fic so it should interest some. The time frame is correct for Russell/..."


I'd be very keen to read this as the March book. I actually have a copy that I'm planning to start soon.


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments 'In Search of a Past' by Ronald Fraser shows the more realistic and tense relationships between masters and servants that things like Downton Abbey tends to conveniently overlook. i'm a fan of Downton but there's soooooo much more to our culture than toffs and servants, honestly it all just gets a bit boring...from a British point of view anyway...to me it's a soap in posh frocks and that's about it...


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments Upstairs, downstairs is far superior...


Erin (Tangential1) | 726 comments Mod
Which Upstairs, Downstairs? The old one or the new one? I haven't watched either yet, but I keep hearing good things about it. And then I hear eh things about it. It rather seems like people who watched Downton first like that best, and people who saw Upstairs, Downstairs first like that best.


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
I haven't watched DA, but I was amused by Simon Schama's diatribe against the American fascination with it.


Erin (Tangential1) | 726 comments Mod
Amusing for sure...but in a raised eyebrow kind of way. It's not just Americans who are in love with that show; we joined the bandwagon something like six months after the Brits fell in love with it. And really, that kind of response to anything fiction just makes me shake my head. Why not be saying we should all do away with fiction entirely, if we're supposed to only be interesting in those works that follow history perfectly. Personally, I'd find his suggested historical changes rather fascinating (in a heartbreaking kind of way...like reading Testament of Youth again), but it would definitely be a "downer".


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Some rants just hit my funny bone, especially when they're spit with such indignant futility into the wind of public sentiment. I giggled all the way through this one and then wanted to pat his shoulder and "there, there, now--it'll be okay." Some of us were just not born with the escapism gene, evidently.


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments Simon Schama is just a bitter snob, it's a nice bit of escapism not a documentary! But it can get a bit boring and almost become a parody of itself which I don't like, plus class is still a heated issue in this country (whether we openly admit it or not) and people are currently likening our current state of society to a 'master/servant' situation which is grating on a lot of people's nerves...Anyway....Upstairs, downstairs has always been superior. I loved the old one and had a phase of making my parents afternoon tea on a Sunday afternoon with my grandmother's best china, much to the amusement of my brother...but the new one is wonderful, a lot sparklier than Downton and just generally better shot, probably because of the amount of money thrown at it, but I think the stories are just so much better and a lot less cliched...some of the acting is better and it's a lot deeper than Downton, it's a different world really, looking at an urban household in London as opposed to a rolling country estate. Very different but I've always thought upstairs, downstairs was the forerunner...


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
I'd like to see all of them. I'm no escapism snob--let it all roll, I say!


Millie | 64 comments I remember Upstairs Downstairs being on, but I don't actually remember watching it. The new one sounds excellent. I watched the first half of Series 1 of DA, then got sidetracked. However someone gave me the series for Christmas, so at some stage I'd like to watch it all. The story of Almina interests me more.


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
I'd like to read about Lady Almina. Maybe we could do that one for April, to give people time to track it down and read it. What think ye?

If we put off Lady Almina to April, maybe for March we could do something in the public domain for quick/easy access??


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments Oooo I'm up for that! Non-fiction over fiction...mmmm...interesting....


message 18: by Vicki (last edited Feb 28, 2012 03:04PM) (new)

Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Here is the list of top 100 public domain picks today on Gutenberg.org, FYI.

This might also be helpful: the list of top 100 authors in the last 7 days on gutenberg.org.


Erin (Tangential1) | 726 comments Mod
We could read some classic Holmes? Pick your favorite!

I just watched the first episode of series two of Sherlock, so I'm wanting to read A Scandal in Bohemia. Their Irene Adler was amazing!


Erin (Tangential1) | 726 comments Mod
Oh and I just saw Calculus Made Easy is number 20 on the top 100 list! Since I know how much you all love math ;-D


message 21: by Vicki (last edited Feb 28, 2012 08:23PM) (new)

Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
*Shudders*

I'm thinking we may have done Scandal before LANG (??), but even if so, a nice refresher discussion might be just the thing while we're still in a transitional phase.


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments How about 'The Three Garridebs'? I loooove that story :D


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
I haven't read that one and would be happy to take it in.


Lenore | 422 comments Erin wrote: "Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis. I haven't read them yet, but I know several VBCers have. Would make a good discussion perhaps? Especially since we talked about To Say Nothing of the Dog a while ago."

I LOVED Blackout and All Clear, but they are long and and sometimes a bit confusing, and probably not a good introduction to Connie Willis (who is a FABULOUS writer). I would suggest Doomsday Book, set in the same time-travel universe -- an exciting plot and a really good meditation on the roles of faith and society in a time of disaster, with some side thoughts about the impossibility of really knowing anything about the past. It's available on audio with the terrific Jenny Sterlin (she also reads Mary Russell) as reader. I know I'm going to regret saying this, but I think so highly of this book and have thought so much about it (in two previous readings) that I would even volunteer to be a discussion leader if that's what we choose.


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments I quite liked the last book we discussed of hers, so I'd be up for that, I'm intrigued enough to want to read more...


message 26: by Millie (last edited Mar 01, 2012 12:24AM) (new)

Millie | 64 comments Talking of Jenny Sterlin, I'd like to know how you all hear her "Russell" voice (And please don't say with your ears!). Somewhere or other, Alice will know, Holmes describes Russell as sounding, to American ears, completely English. To my Australian ears (and I lived in England for a few years and chat to my English family and friends regularly), she doesn't sound completely English at all. I don't mean that as a criticism - she's excellent - but I can definitely hear the American accent coming through, mainly in her short "o" sounds (as in not, hot etc). So, my question is this - does she sound completely English to your American ears? If so, then Jenny Sterlin has got it spot on. Or Spaht ahn, as I hear her say ;-)

Whatever, I think she's a great Russell and I'm really enjoying listening to her. I lashed out and bought (with the itunes card I nicked from my children!) OJER and JUST. I thought they'd be good to listen to one after the other.


message 27: by Millie (last edited Mar 01, 2012 12:23AM) (new)

Millie | 64 comments Oh, and Amy or Annie, if you've heard her, what does she sound like to your lovely truly English ears?


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments Oooo I don't know I've never listened...I'll purchase (or borrow) a book and let you know....


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Doomsday Book is in my top 20 reads. Knocked me down and called me Edna, in a good way. Let's throw that into the hopper with Lady Almina and think of some other potentials. We can poll everyone if we have quite a few suggestions. Once we have several picked out, we can set up a schedule.

Y'all want to do the The Three Garridebs and/or another Holmes story as a quick-pick for March, to get us going?


Lenore | 422 comments Knocked me down and called me Edna????


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments I'm up for Three Garridebs, that's short. Very in fact...


message 32: by Erin (last edited Mar 01, 2012 10:50AM) (new)

Erin (Tangential1) | 726 comments Mod
Amy wrote: "I quite liked the last book we discussed of hers, so I'd be up for that, I'm intrigued enough to want to read more..."

Which did we discuss? Was it To Say Nothing of the Dog?

I've already read Doomsday Book, but I'd be happy to read it again to discuss. I remember I forced that one upon my roommate immediately after finishing it because I just desperately wanted someone with whom to share feelings on it. So that's probably a good sign for discussion ;-)

And I'm in for the Holmes short!


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Okay, I'll set us up for reading The Three Garridebs, which will be good for a transition sort of month.

Sounds like we've got several potentials for Spring/Summer, too, wooohooo!


Lenore | 422 comments farmwifetwo wrote: "Can you also post a link to find it online."

http://www.artintheblood.com/text/3ga...


Laurie | 3 comments Lyndsay Faye's absolutely fabulous GODS OF GOTHAM comes out mid-March. Historical about the start of the police department in New York mid-19th century ("Cop one, day one") but the characters are the key. You'll be hearing about this one, I guarantee you.
Laurie


Sabrina Flynn | 548 comments Oooh, yes, let's discuss Gods of Gotham. I already have it pre-ordered...


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Oooh--must get that into my Audible queue asap! Maybe good for a pick in a couple of months??


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Okay, the discussion is set up. Amy, I listed you as discussion leader, since you suggested the story and are *definitely* up on your Canon.


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments Thanks Vicki :-) little bit of a schock when I logged in though! Lol


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments shock even...


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Eeeps--should have asked you first, but I didn't think you'd mind, as you'd suggested it and have led discussions before. But if this isn't a good month, let me know.


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments Lol, no of course I don't mind! Have already posted! I was just being sarcastic ;-) It's a British flaw...


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Oh, cool--glad you can do it! :D :D :D


Alice | 45 comments I was very lucky to be allowed to read "The Gods of Gotham" last year and have to say it is a corker. I loved the characters so much I contacted Lyndsay Faye and asked if there would be a sequel and the answer was YES, it is already in the works. I was thrilled!

I've been a fan of Lyndsay Faye's work since I read "Dust and Shadow" IMHO one of the best Holmes pastiche ever written. :-)


Jen LD (JenLD) | 420 comments Millie wrote: "Talking of Jenny Sterlin, I'd like to know how you all hear her "Russell" voice (And please don't say with your ears!). Somewhere or other, Alice will know, Holmes describes Russell as sounding, t..."
Millie, (Waves and hopes things are going well!)
Jenny Sterlin seems to my mostly-untrained ears to have a nicely mixed-up accent. I can hear some American and I can hear some very proper Oxford sounds. There's a way she says some words that sound as if she's consciously (Russell)trying to be British, which is something I might expect from someone who'd come to her English accent from a roundabout way. Coming to any new country in your teens, you are still impressionable, still malleable, still forming and it's much easier to pick up a new accent than say if Russell had been in her early 20's. I don't know if this is a proven concept but I have seen it several times with people I have met. Indian students I met that came to the US for college (as opposed to grad school) were just little sponges! No trace of their Indian English after a couple of years. The grad students, their accents might have softened a bit but never left them.


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments I have listened to Jenny Sterlin and I think it does sound a little forced. Sometimes it's quite natural and then she's suddenly very careful of what she's saying and it sounds very odd to me! I think her Holmes is awful! It sounds very forced and un-British. I'm sorry to those of you who are fans but to her credit, I've heard a lot worse attempts at a British accent!


Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
Ooooh--lucky! The first chapter of GoG is up here.


Lenore | 422 comments Amy wrote: "I have listened to Jenny Sterlin and I think it does sound a little forced. Sometimes it's quite natural and then she's suddenly very careful of what she's saying and it sounds very odd to me! I th..."

Actually, she IS British and grew up in England, although she has lived in the U.S. apparently for awhile, which I suppose accounts for the "mixed-up" quality that Jen has noticed. See http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/gvpa...


Jen LD (JenLD) | 420 comments Lenore wrote: "Amy wrote: "I have listened to Jenny Sterlin and I think it does sound a little forced. Sometimes it's quite natural and then she's suddenly very careful of what she's saying and it sounds very odd..."
As for the speaking voice of Jenny Sterlin on Russell Holmes books, I always assumed Jenny was being Russell, not Jenny. I am sure Jenny herself sounds quite different when not reading a character. But to her credit, she does a wonderful job with Russell's varied background of accents. The word she says that always gets to me is "involved." It sounds more like "invulved" the way Jenny Sterlin says it! I think it's supposed to be plummy and Oxfordian...


Amy Perry (Amy_Perry) | 201 comments Oh right! Fair enough...I'm not brilliant with accents but maybe I'm hearing the blend of American and English then, that sounds a little odd. But like I said, quite natural and I've heard worse. As for her Holmes, women trying to voice men is always tricky...


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Books mentioned in this topic

No Graves as Yet (other topics)
Garnethill (other topics)
Bitter Seeds (other topics)
All Clear (other topics)
To Say Nothing of the Dog (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Ngaio Marsh (other topics)
Maureen Jennings (other topics)
Peter Dickenson (other topics)