You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > December 2013 - Books with wintery/cold words in the title discussion

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message 1: by AmyK (new)

AmyK (yakyma) | 1044 comments This thread is for discussions related to our monthly theme (Books with wintery/cold words in the title) Please discuss those here.

*Simply stating that you have read the book will not be enough to earn a badge for the group read, please discuss the book. You may link to your review if you like as a means of discussion. Or you may update us periodically on your progress and thoughts as you read through the book.


message 2: by AmyK (last edited Dec 02, 2013 10:44PM) (new)

AmyK (yakyma) | 1044 comments Reading In Cold Blood for the group read this month. I have found myself very attached to the Clutter's already and am dreading what I know is going to happen.


message 3: by Cherie (last edited Dec 05, 2013 12:04PM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20275 comments I will be reading Odd and the Frost Giants for this group read.


message 4: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 50006 comments I read Snow White Must Die for this group read.

I was quite engrossed in this book until I was about 2/3's through. It's certainly a plot driven book that had me guessing. There were a lot of twists and turns. What appeared to be red herrings did eventually play out in the story in one form or another.

But therein lay the problem. There were so many twists and turns that the plot stopped being complicated and became convoluted. I think the author was trying too hard. If she had stopped about 2/3's of the way in, she would have had a stronger book. More is not always better. And since I'm going strong with the cliché's, "keep it simple, stupid" is a good adage to remember.

She also had two separate story lines centered around the personal lives of the two main detectives. Oliver was dealing with a troubled marriage. Pia was dealing with the threatened loss of her home. Neither story line added anything to the mystery. They may have been side stories that carried through the series. This book is number 4 in the series, but the first translated and published in English. So, perhaps in terms of providing continuity between books in the series, it may have had a use. I thought this book was strong enough to be a stand-alone book.


message 5: by Esther (new)

Esther (nyctale) | 4457 comments Well, Snow flower is still on hold at the library so I started listening to Winter of Secrets as a plan B.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I read The Chocolate Snowman Murders, which sneakily manages to do for both the challenge (cosy mystery) and the theme read (snowman is a cold word).

It was sort of fun, but it was a bit too light to be really any good. I guessed whodunit ~ 1/3 of the way in, all that was missing was the why. And that had to wait 200 pages.
The snowmen appeared in chocolate form, and as a giant foam costume. The chocolate snowmen don't, as it happens, get murdered; but 20 lbs of them do save our heroine from being whacked by a snowman wielding a snowshovel when she throws them at him. They also help give the murderer away...

It's all a bit too twee.


message 7: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 50006 comments Helen wrote: "I read The Chocolate Snowman Murders, which sneakily manages to do for both the challenge (cosy mystery) and the theme read (snowman is a cold word).

It was sort of fun, but it was ..."


Yes, sneaky... but allowed! LOL!


message 8: by Cherie (last edited Dec 09, 2013 12:48PM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20275 comments I finished Odd and the Frost Giants. It was a very nice retelling of a Norse legend of the Asgard gods, Odin, Thor, and Loki and seemed to imply at the end that the boy Odd may have been our boy Bod (From the Graveyard story) in a "different" form.
In brief: Odd is a young man, whose leg has been severly smashed and broken when a tree fell on him in the forrest. He does not fit in the community and runs away to live alone in the forrest. He is not alone long, when he meets an eagle, bear, and fox. The animals are the gods from Asgard who had been thrown out by a Frost Giant. He welcomes them to his fire, feeds them and manages to help them get back to Asgard. He confronts the Frost Giant who has stolen Thor's hammer and manages to convince him that he really wants to go home. :)

It is a story after all, and told simply and wonderfully by Mr. Gaiman. The only thing better than reading it, would have been to listen to Mr. Gaiman read it to me.


message 9: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 50006 comments Cherie wrote: "I finished Odd and the Frost Giants. It was a very nice retelling of a Norse legend of the Asgard gods, Odin, Thor, and Loki and seemed to imply at the end that the boy Odd may have..."

Oh yes! Neil Gaiman could read the phone book and it would be interesting.

I like how he works mythology into his stories. American Gods and Anansi Boys are both full of mythology. (For some reason, I'm not able to link. Something must be broken in GR land.)


message 10: by Esther (new)

Esther (nyctale) | 4457 comments I listened to Winter of Secrets. This is the 3rd of the Constable Molly Smith series and, in my opinion, the best so far. A group of friends came to Trafalgar, B.C. To ski for the holidays. There was an accident and death. But did they die in this accident? Smith helps Sergent Winters solve the crime. Definitely not my favorite series but nice and easy to listen to.

I agree about Gaiman. I listened to him reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane and that was a treat.


message 11: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20275 comments Janice - I think something was definately wrong with GR today. I cannot edit any of my book stuff. All I can do is add titles, but not add shelves. I tried to update two other books to currently-reading and it does nothing.

On a good note - for me. I have all of the books I currently own - and have not read on a list. Only 12 doorstops over 500 pages, so I guess I will be combining lots of books if I want to add them to the challenge lists.


message 12: by Lynn (last edited Dec 10, 2013 07:43AM) (new)

Lynn | 2676 comments I've just read Winter Town by Stephen Emond

It centers around the friendship of two teenagers named Evan and Lucy. They grew up together and are best friends, but when Lucy's parent's split and she moves away with her Mother they only get to see each other during winter break.

This year when when Lucy arrives back in town, she doesn't look — nor act — anything like Evan remembers.

The book has a nice balance for YA realistic fiction; not too sickingly sweet chick-lit but also not too over dramatic teenage angst.

A cute, little story that didn't wow but definitely made me smile. 3 Stars.


message 13: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments Sounds fun. Sorry I'm joining a little late. I have a couple of books high on my TBR list good for this challenge. Not sure if I'll read just one or both.

Smilla's Sense of Snow and Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod

I just put in library hold requests so it will be a few more days before I can get going.


message 14: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20275 comments The Gary Paulsen book is wonderful, TJ. One of my favorites!


message 15: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments Oh, cool! So I think I'll read Winterdance for this challenge. Maybe read Smilla's Sense of Snow for alphabet challenge. Whenever I get there. Will be after the new year but oh well... I'm going to finish my challenge even tho not in the exact time frame : )


Theresa~OctoberLace (octoberlace) | 1090 comments I'm still waiting for the group choices to come off hold on Overdrive at my library, so I'll report one I have read this month that fits the theme.
Winter's Heart Winter's Heart (Wheel of Time, #9) by Robert Jordan by Robert Jordan

Winter’s Heart is Book 9 of the 14 books of the Wheel of Time series, which I've been reading off and on for the past couple of years. The theme is pure fantasy, with characters such as Rand al’Thor (The Dragon Reborn), Elayne Trakand (The Daughter-Heir of Andor, now Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah), and The Dark One (Shai'tan, the source of all evil). Characters must deal with monsters, such as Trollocs and Myrddraals, followers of The Dark One, and persons of various cultures vying for power. Women such as Elayne who are Aes Sedai have special powers allowing them to channel from the source to heal, transport, levitate, and to perform many other actions we’d consider magic. All of this and more is woven into a magical series that has captured enough interest to keep ratings at and average 4 stars or more.

One of my goals is to read the remaining 5 books of the series before the end of 2014. FYI, each book runs between 23 1/2 to 42 hours in the audio version, definitely chunksters!


message 17: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments Already about half way thru Winterdance by Gary Paulsen Winterdance The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen ,
and it's a lot of fun -- and pretty much total madness given all the crazy, scary things that happen while Paulsen's trying to build and train a dog team for running in the Iditarod and then also when he actually does it (in 1983 and again in 1985).

It seems more than a little amazing that he lived to tell the tale given all the mishaps he recounts. Turns out that he later learns that this is pretty much the norm for this crazy, 1100+ mile (1600+ km), dog sledding race in Alaska.

His nuanced descriptions of the natural surroundings and experiences with his team of dogs, both at home in Minnesota and while running the 1983 Iditarod in Alaska, are quite amazing, and add much to the story. Perfect book for this time and season of year imo.


message 18: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments After 2 days I finally made it to page 10 in Ice Hunt given that its over 600 pages doesn't look good for finishing it this month. Just gotta stop falling asleep.


message 19: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 50006 comments Travis of NNY wrote: "After 2 days I finally made it to page 10 in Ice Hunt given that its over 600 pages doesn't look good for finishing it this month. Just gotta stop falling asleep."

Five pages a day is more my speed. :)


message 20: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments Hammered my way through Ice Hunt and although the plots are different there always seem to be a certain predictability when an ice station is involved. Something is under the ice that 2 or more nations want. In this case Russia and the US. An unknown or thought to be extinct prehistoric beast will still be alive killing people. One or more members of the team will not be who they say but a spy or assassin from another party of interest. Yup following suit it had it all. The highlight for me was the chance to meet Joe Kowalski during his navy days as he will later be recruited into the sigma team in that series. Not a bad read, but I never love these under the ice adventures. this one did throw some twists that were knew to me and kept the story a bit fresher.


message 21: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments I completed Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod before the deadline. There are so many memorable events that take place. I could see rereading this book again in the future so I gave a 5 star rating. One of things that really comes thru is the complete craziness of this race. It's beyond grueling, and potentially life-threatening, especially for the dogs.

I think it'd be interesting to read about the growing concern for the dogs' welfare over the years since the first Iditarod in 1973. Despite regulations and procedures in place to help protect the dogs' welfare, there are a lot of criticisms leveled at the practice of running dogs so hard for the glory of the mushers, however "pure" their personal motivations might be (like really loving their dogs and the sport of dog sled racing).

Any way, despite whatever legitimate criticisms may exist of the Iditarod, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm wondering if Paulsen has written in follow-up book(s) dealing with the Iditarod in more recent years. I'll be looking into that.


message 22: by AmyK (new)

AmyK (yakyma) | 1044 comments Just wanted everyone to know......my hard drive crashed, should have it all up and running back to normal by this weekend.....and then ill post badges :)


message 23: by AmyCynthia (new)

AmyCynthia (amy011883) | 146 comments Theresa~OctoberLace wrote: "I'm still waiting for the group choices to come off hold on Overdrive at my library, so I'll report one I have read this month that fits the theme.
Winter's Heart [bookcover:Winter's H..."


I have the first one of this series on my chunkster list for this year. I've heard a lot of good things, I'm looking forward to reading it!


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