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What Are You Reading? > What are you reading? June 2013 edition

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message 1: by Celeste (last edited Jun 03, 2013 03:29PM) (new)

Celeste (celemack) | 104 comments Mod
How did it get to be June? Heading into Winter, what are we all reading? :-)

I've just finished The Hard Way, by Lee Child, which June put me on to (thanks June! :-)), and I've been reading for a while but haven't managed to finish yet, The Sending, which is most recent book in the Obernewtyn fantasy series (I think there's another one due out this year, this one came out in 2011).

I've been reading the Obernewtyn books for years -- they come out very slowly -- but this one, I'm not sure, I'm having some trouble getting into... I might have to give up on the series...

Anyone else have this problem with a series? I think I've just lost interest :/


message 2: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (loremistress) | 62 comments Mod
I seem to be on a sort of anti-travel theme at the moment. I've just finished reading Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places and I also have 100 Places You Will Never Visit in my book pile at home.


message 3: by lucy (new)

lucy  black (lucychristineblack) | 3 comments embarking on a mission to read all the Harry Potter book. I have always been a skeptic as Jk Rowling seems to rip off so many other authors. lots of people have told me they get better round book 4 tho, so I thought I should give it a go. one down, six to go.


message 4: by Celeste (new)

Celeste (celemack) | 104 comments Mod
lucy by the sea wrote: "embarking on a mission to read all the Harry Potter book. I have always been a skeptic as Jk Rowling seems to rip off so many other authors. lots of people have told me they get better round book 4..."

Yay! I love them. I know what you mean though, I'm a fan of Diana Wynne Jones as well, and some people get a bit grumpy about similarities between her books and Harry Potter. I like them both :-)


message 5: by Celeste (new)

Celeste (celemack) | 104 comments Mod
Chloe wrote: "I seem to be on a sort of anti-travel theme at the moment. I've just finished reading Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places and I also have 100 Places You..."

I feel like you should add this to our Round the World thread. Just so we can say, "places our book group have visited this year via books: Sunny Chernobyl" :-P


message 6: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Ackerman great idea, Celeste! We can start a world map, hehe.

I’ve just started reading How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez.

A wee while ago I read her book In the Time of the Butterflies, which tells the true story of four sisters who resisted against the brutal dictatorship of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. I really, really enjoyed that book so thought I would try her first novel to see what it’s like. It’s about a family of six (a different set of four sisters) moving from the Dominican Republic to New York. I only started it last night but am really enjoying it so far!!


message 7: by Janet (new)

Janet | 6 comments lucy by the sea wrote: "embarking on a mission to read all the Harry Potter book. I have always been a skeptic as Jk Rowling seems to rip off so many other authors. lots of people have told me they get better round book 4..."

Really? I found they got worse around then. It seemed to me like she was so popular that editors got a bit gun-shy. I used to dislike the fact Harry Potter was derivative, but I sort of think of it as a tribute to what went before, and that helps :) And I'm all for Harry Potter if it gets kids to read...


message 8: by Janet (new)

Janet | 6 comments I've just read Ben Elton's latest 'Two Brothers'. It's very good and quite moving, once you get past the fact that language is a bit not of its period and takes a few chapters to get into the book.


message 9: by Celeste (last edited Jun 30, 2013 04:20PM) (new)

Celeste (celemack) | 104 comments Mod
Sometimes I sort of feel like JK Rowling gets the same treatment that Enid Blyton got in her day -- because she's a popular children's author, the accepted wisdom is that she 'couldn't possibly be any good', which is a bit frustrating. Sometimes I think we really need to examine our attitudes towards children's literature, and what it is we're expecting it to do.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the whole series, and found they grabbed me more as they went on, so I'd agree with that. I think maybe they grew up along with their audience? I guess it's maybe just a matter of 'Every book its reader' :-P

I can definitely see comparisons to Diana Wynne Jones, but I think the books do stand alone -- and I love that they're an "epic good vs. evil with grey areas and complicated bits" story written for kids (and adults, and just generally, readers :-)).

So, anyway, I liked them, but you may not :-)


message 10: by Janet (new)

Janet | 6 comments Celeste wrote: "Sometimes I sort of feel like JK Rowling gets the same treatment that Enid Blyton got in her day -- because she's a popular children's author, the accepted wisdom is that she 'couldn't possibly be ..."

J.K Rowling is a good author - I liked the Casual Vacancy. (And I like Harry Potter 1 to 3 but I still felt like HP needed better editing as they went along). I do wonder if the Casual Vacancy was underrated as it was so different from HP.

I tend to think of Enid Blyton as 'good bad'. She's a hack writer, but she does what she does very well. I loved the Faraway Tree books as a kid, and all the school stories as a teenager (though I don't know if I could reread them now). To make an analogy, it's a bit like AC/DC. Anybody with a guitar and a morning could learn to play AC/DC, but for all that, when it comes together as AC/DC, and is better than its simplicity would suggest.


message 11: by Celeste (last edited Jul 02, 2013 05:29PM) (new)

Celeste (celemack) | 104 comments Mod
Janet wrote: "I tend to think of Enid Blyton as 'good bad'. She's a hack writer, but she does what she does very well. I loved the Faraway Tree books as a kid, and all the school stories as a teenager (though I don't know if I could reread them now). To make an analogy, it's a bit like AC/DC. Anybody with a guitar and a morning could learn to play AC/DC, but for all that, when it comes together as AC/DC, and is better than its simplicity would suggest."

I totally understand this, and maybe even agree with it -- but I also wonder if we shouldn't maybe evaluate children's books and children's authors by some other criteria as well, maybe along the lines of how well they engage kids? And both authors did really engage their intended audience. There's plenty of skill in that, I think, even if adults find them hard to read.

But yes, some more editing would have been good :-)


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