Buy No Books June Support Group discussion

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Ais's list of maybe-I'll-get-to-these-maybe-I'll-randomly-choose-something-unrelated books to read for June

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message 1: by Ais (last edited Jun 04, 2013 07:28PM) (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments I have a bunch of totally random books I recently bought, and a bunch of books I've had on my To Be Read for a long time. I'll list some of them here to try to keep track, and if anyone has any feedback on ones to read first, go for it :)

Currently reading:
No Rest for the Dead - a collaborative thriller series by 26 best-known crime authors

I've needed to read forever and barely started:
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - I suspect I'll love this book but it's such a heavy read I also suspect it'll take me forever to want to read.

Wise Man's Fear - didn't really like the first book (Name of the Wind); having a hard time getting myself to read the second

Lord of the Rings - I know, I know, but I read the Hobbit and liked that, and then the book was so massive it was a pain trying to read it on the plane ride when I had it, and somehow I just never finished.

Random Books TBR
Watch series by Lukyanenko - still haven't read or watched any of this

The Steel Remains - recommended to me at some point along the line

Brethren #1: Raise by Wolves - another one someone recommended at some point

Songs of Love and Death - collection of short stories by really well known sci-fi/fantasy authors

Shadowrise - apparently #3 in a series so I'd have to read the other 2 first

The Man on the Ceiling - idek, the cover looked cool, Neil Gaiman pimped it, and it was $2

Codex Alera series - I've read the first book for sure, bought 3-5 recently, but now don't know if I ever read #2.

The Looking Glass Wars - some sort of sci-fi/fantasy take on Alice in Wonderland. It was, not kidding, 80 cents, so I bought it.

Once Minutos - since this is in Spanish it takes me longer to read

Home Town - Tracy Kidder book on Northampton, MA

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - I've seen the first movie (American version, not Swedish); keep meaning to read the book

The Blue Girl - my friend thinks I'll really like this, but now that I see on GR, it's #15 in a series??

And then a bunch of random other stuff including assorted Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Sherryl Jordan books, along with others.

Also:

Book series I'd read most of the way through but never finished and probably should:

Otherland by Tad Williams -- I made it partially into Sea of Silver Light (the last book of the series) but have to figure out what page it was

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- there are 3 bookmarks in the compilation book I have; so I'm either to pg 571, pg 711, or pg 753 out of 815 pages. Like seriously, why did I stop??


message 2: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 28 comments Mod
Everyone reads The Hobbit, no one finishes The Lord of the Ring. This is a universal truth. Just be happy that some nice people got together and made them into movies for you.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Cheryl wrote: "Everyone reads The Hobbit, no one finishes The Lord of the Ring. This is a universal truth. Just be happy that some nice people got together and made them into movies for you."

Hey. I never read the hobbit, devoured all of LTR in high school, reread them several times in my twenties. Finally got around to reading the hobbit about 10 years ago and have ZERO desire to watch the movies.


message 4: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 28 comments Mod
Maybe they're something you have to read in high school. I can't even sit through the movies. I think I made it through the first one.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I think you had to read them back before fantasy became a big genre, infested with all kinds of multi-volume copycats and more sophisticated writing.


message 6: by Ais (last edited Jun 04, 2013 08:04PM) (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments The funny thing is, I haven't seen The Hobbit the movie yet, despite having read the book, but did see all of LOTR despite NOT reading those books.

I think you had to read them back before fantasy became a big genre, infested with all kinds of multi-volume copycats and more sophisticated writing.

That might have been my issue... The Hobbit is a really easy read, but LotR was a lot heavier, at least as far as I remember. I tend to lose my attention pretty quickly if a book focuses too much on intricacies of a world that was made up for that series, and not enough on making the characters engaging to me. (Probably also why I couldn't get into GRRM and wasn't as big a fan of Name of the Wind as everyone else)


message 7: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Ha! I own Jonathan Strange, LoTR, and Brethen. Been meaning to read all, but yeah...not this month!! I'm curious if you get to any of those what your thoughts will be.


message 8: by Jenn (new)

Jenn The Hobbit movie IMO was reallllllly bad. But I'm sure I"m in the minority.


message 9: by Ais (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments I haven't heard a lot about The Hobbit which led me to wonder if it sucked after all since some of my friends are Tolkien geeks who I would have expected to wax poetic about it if it was well done.

Jonathan Strange -- my friend has been telling me for probably a decade to read that book, I swear lol He loves it so much he buys a bunch of extra copies to give to people which is why I have a copy. I read the first 12 pages and really liked the style because it reads like it's an actualfax history, with footnotes that reference fictional books and everything, and it seemed to have a nice sense of subtle, wry humor built into the narrative itself. So I have high hopes for it.

But the book is freaking massive, like 1000+ pages, and the font is small, with the words going practically up to the edges of the pages with smaller space in between lines than usual. So it feels a bit daunting. It's one of those books where I feel like I'm going to have to really concentrate to read it and fully follow everything and that makes me hesitant to pick it up when most of the time if I read a book I don't want to think.

But my friend said that once this one character shows up, which I understand to be not super far into the story, it all picks up quite a bit and is a faster read. So mostly I should just get on it already.


message 10: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 28 comments Mod
I don't actually read much fantasy, so I can't blame it on that. I really did enjoy The Hobbit and was a bit disappointed in myself that I couldn't make it through LTR. But I didn't try them until well after college so I just figured I missed the window for reading them.


message 11: by Ais (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments Jenn-- Oh yeah and Brethren I barely remember at all but I think it's possibly m/m? Or has some sort of aspect of that in it..? One of my lj friends mentioned it to me a while back and I found it in a used bookstore maybe a year ago so I picked it up but haven't so much as looked at it first.

But since you mentioned Brethren, maybe I'll put that one toward the top of the pile.


message 12: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 28 comments Mod
Ais wrote: "The funny thing is, I haven't seen The Hobbit the movie yet, despite having read the book, but did see all of LOTR despite NOT reading those books.

I think you had to read them back before fantas..."


I've wondered if I'd be able to read the books now that I've at least seen parts of the movies and know a little bit about how it ends. I really did want to like them.


message 13: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Yeah, it's a massive pirates m/m series. I've never started it so I have no idea whether it's great or not. I heard though I think from Kate that the first book is great and the others not so much?? Could be wrong.


message 14: by Ais (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments Cheryl wrote: "I don't actually read much fantasy, so I can't blame it on that. I really did enjoy The Hobbit and was a bit disappointed in myself that I couldn't make it through LTR. But I didn't try them until..."

Yeah, like for me, I read The Hobbit and started LOTR in high school, but for some reason just couldn't get into LOTR. So I set it down and just... never got into it again. I think I might have tried picking it up again sometime on break during college and it didn't speak to me again, but I really didn't give it too hard a try.

I checked my compilation of all 3 books in one... looks like I made it to page 109 so only about 10% in.


message 15: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 28 comments Mod
Weasel wrote: "Kate wrote: "I think you had to read them back before fantasy became a big genre, infested with all kinds of multi-volume copycats and more sophisticated writing."

Even so LOTR is overrated. It's..."


The American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was pretty much a series of female nipple shots. If you've seen nipples before you're probably OK with skipping it.


message 16: by Ais (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments Weasel wrote: "Even so LOTR is overrated. It's rather like SoIaF in that you spend huge portions of it waiting for it to switch back to characters you actually give a shit about. Plus you have to skip all that elf poetry shit. I think Hitchhikers is overrated too."

That's what ended up happening with Sword of Truth series, too... the first two books were really good and well-balanced but then it went downhill from there, sadly.

Otherland-- I freaking LOVED Otherland. I actually stopped because I was too upset about something that happened to my favorite character. And then time passed and the series was so complicated that over time I started to forget what had happened and it became harder to pick up, and then the times I did suddenly decide to read it I realized I'd accidentally left the book buried in boxes at my parents' house. I only recently got the book back, finally. I want to finish that series at some point because I've done a good job avoiding spoilers all these years.

Jenn wrote: "Yeah, it's a massive pirates m/m series. I've never started it so I have no idea whether it's great or not. I heard though I think from Kate that the first book is great and the others not so much?? Could be wrong."

M/M PIRATES?? Whaaaat! Yes, this will definitely be at the top of my list!

LOL I bet my friend said the same thing and my response was the same and in the time between I forgot what it was all about. I BET THIS IS TRUE. Because I do that all the time.


message 17: by Ais (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments Cheryl wrote: "The American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was pretty much a series of female nipple shots. If you've seen nipples before you're probably OK with skipping it. "

LOL I actually really liked that movie, but I didn't see the other versions yet. I remember some nipples... I don't remember them being that prevalent XD But I believe you. I knew nothing about the story at all so I was mostly paying attention to the plot but if I were to ever watch it again I'd probably notice a lot more about other stuff happening.


message 18: by Cheryl (last edited Jun 04, 2013 09:06PM) (new)

Cheryl | 28 comments Mod
What i recall most about the movie was feeling that all the nudity was incredibly exploitative. Usually gratuitous female nudity in a film just makes me roll my eyes, but this really offended me. After an extremely vicious and graphic rape scene, did we really need to watch her search the internet in a sheer bra? She's in a cold climate, but a sweater in the girl! The type of bikini waxing the actress had prior to filming wasn't necessary to the story, so why did we have to see it? To me it was just a typical American blockbuster of mixed messages- it's bad to objectify and rape women, here's a half naked woman to show you how bad it is to objectify and rape women. Mind, while we saw every part of the main female character, I don't think we got even a glimpse of buttcrack from the main male character.

So ends my Dragon Tattoo soapbox rant.


message 19: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 28 comments Mod
I've never heard of Jonathan Strange, but it looks interesting. And long. I might think about that once book buying has recommenced.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Jenn wrote: "Yeah, it's a massive pirates m/m series. I've never started it so I have no idea whether it's great or not. I heard though I think from Kate that the first book is great and the others not so muc..."

I only made it through one book. It gets tedious and there are what? Five of them? I think Marleen failed out in book #2 as well. It's very slashy. Kind of fun, totally unserious.


message 21: by LenaLena (new)

LenaLena (marilenalena) | 46 comments Brethren is good pirate m/m, if long. I remember being very happy with that book. Book 2 (Matelots) turned into mutual therapy sessions and got so boring I DNF'd it. I am still sad that series tanked on me so soon.

If you did not like Name of the Wind there is really zero point in reading Wise Man's Fear. I liked it, but I liked the first one too, and I don't think #2 is going to change your mind about the series.

DO finish Otherland. It's really good and while I can't recall what might have upset you (it's been decades) I remember liking the end.

The Shadowmarch series is 4 books. Fairly standard Tad Williams fare: solid, well constructed story with enough twists to keep it interesting and many, many characters and much ado about gods and believe systems. Well worth reading imho, but then again, I liked Name of the Wind too.

My LOTR story is pretty much the same as Kate's, except I did read the Hobbit and I did watch all the movies. When reading LOTR to my 7 year old (he loved the Hobbit) it turned out to be way too full of endless descriptions in fairly archaic language to hold his interest. If you have particular interest in which flowers grow where, this may be fascinating, otherwise, stick with the movies and call it a day. The Hobbit movie was fine, but they did add a lot of shit to pad the story. I didn't care, it was entertaining and I don't consider that book sacred, so yay for entertainment.

For Hitchhikers Guide you need to be under 25 and it helps if you're stoned.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I confess to getting bored with Jonathan strange and the density of all the copious footnotes, which go on for pages and have little mini-stories in them. Clever only gets you so far, and then it becomes irritating. The 19th century style was cute, then it began to feel contrived, then I lost patience. I made it about 1/2 way through.


message 23: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 28 comments Mod
OK, now it's starting to sound like House of Leaves. Clever got me absolutely no where with that book. Are all of the footnotes at least oriented correctly on the page?


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

LenaLena wrote: "For Hitchhikers Guide you need to be under 25 and it helps if you're stoned."

It's a stupid book with great sound bites. I confess to only reading the first one, and I had to because all the guys I worked with were raving over it and I had to keep up. :P


message 25: by Ais (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments The main reason I'm still considering reading Wise Man's Fear is because the reason I didn't like Name of the Wind was I didn't feel connected to the characters at all and I felt like it was basically a boy's adventure where you were supposed to think the main character was the most bad ass guy ever, and you were supposed to think it was quaint the way he started out kind of awkward, but there were so many places that it didn't really bother to ACTUALLY tell you how the MC felt or what he was thinking in crucial parts, but then other places it randomly over-explained. Added to that, things with the POV drove me nuts, like the usage of descriptors like "It was about the size of your thumb" instead of "of __character's__ thumb", because each reader's thumb is going to be a different size. But putting "you" in anything other than 2nd person pov and SOMETIMES 1st person pov has always really bugged me in narration. And I felt like the main love interest wasn't going anywhere, and other things I can't remember right now.

Anyway, tl;dr, somehow the book left me feeling so ambivalent I tipped over into annoyed. I felt like it had the possibility of something I would like but so many little things bugged me, and nothing emotionally connected me, so that all I could do was focus on the things that bugged me. However, the world-building was cool in it and I liked the magic system well enough, and there was one or two characters I kind of liked, although probably not enough to cry if they suddenly died violently on screen. But I thought even while reading the first book that it could have the makings of an awesome trilogy depending on the second and third book.

In thinking about it, maybe it would make most sense for me to wait until the third is released so I could just read them both at once.

LenaLena wrote: "DO finish Otherland. It's really good and while I can't recall what might have upset you (it's been decades) I remember liking the end.

The Shadowmarch series is 4 books. Fairly standard Tad Williams fare: solid, well constructed story with enough twists to keep it interesting and many, many characters and much ado about gods and believe systems. Well worth reading imho, but then again, I liked Name of the Wind too."


Awesome, thanks! Generally speaking, I seem to really like Tad Williams' series and his style. At least, the series of his I read when I was younger I devoured. So I bet I'd like Shadowmarch as well.

By the way, the thing that made me so upset I stopped reading Sea of Silver Light was (BIG SPOILER FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T READ!!!) (view spoiler)


message 26: by LenaLena (new)

LenaLena (marilenalena) | 46 comments In that case, you may want to try the Wise Man's Fear. The main love interest doesn't go anywhere, but most of the female characters are annoying in some way, so whatever. This is what I thought of it: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Yeah, Orlando. I'd forgotten about that. But as I said, it's been decades. I really like Tad Williams too. I bet you're referring to Memory, Sorrow and Thorn as the series you devoured. Me too.


message 27: by Ais (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments Yeah I devoured Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and Otherland both. I don't think I've read anything else of his, at least not what I remember offhand.

Are there spoilers in your review? If so I'll wait until after I read it. If not I'll read it sooner.


message 28: by LenaLena (new)

LenaLena (marilenalena) | 46 comments I can recommend The War of the Flowers, too, which is a standalone.

No spoilers in that review.


message 29: by LenaLena (new)

LenaLena (marilenalena) | 46 comments MST has a very, very slow start. Not something I'd suggest for you. Dirty Streets of Heaven was pretty good, not my favorite. I'll read the sequels though.


message 30: by Ais (new)

Ais (aisness) | 26 comments I read the review and am a bit curious... I'm definitely keeping WMF on my TBR for now. By the time I read NOTW, I'd already been told by everyone that it was OMG THE BEST BOOK EVARRR!!1 so it really would have been hard for the book to meet the expectations I'd built for it. Since I've talked to several people who loved NOTW but didn't like WMF, it actually works in WMF's favor for me lol As does your review, about how there aren't a lot of questions answered. That's good to know going into it so I don't have high expectations for that either.


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