Better Than Starbucks discussion

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message 1: by Anthony, Administrator, Keeper of the Really Good Coffee (new)

Anthony Watkins (anthonyuplandpoetwatkins) | 495 comments Mod
Read your scary books, and discuss them here (also discuss your non scary reads here, too)
uplandpoet started this discussion 5 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete | lock thread )
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Peppy
Peppy
Still reading on George Washington, but I also have to research for a 12 page research paper. Since the class is Cultural Anthropology, it has to be about a country that's not western and I settled on researching the Robot culture in Japan. I'm going to be reading this book called "Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford. Which is sort of scary I guess?
posted 5 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Sally S
Sally S
Reading The Scarlet Letter
posted 5 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin
Loved that book once I got past the dreary beginning.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Riddley
Riddley
Catching up on some classic literature - reading Pere Goriot by Balzac. Easy to see why it has gained and retained classic status. A clear influence on Dickens and Proust (among many others).
posted 5 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Cool.
Never read any of that...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
i had the entire human comedy and traded it for a complete works of Mark Twain, never read any of the Balzac, kinda wish i had, now....
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
I've always wanted to find a group of like-minded readers and go through the highlights of the western canon, using the Great Books list from Chicago/Mortimer Adler as a guide (yes, I know it leaves out women and people of color, but I feel like I ought to have read these Greeks and such, and Balzac, and I've been wanting to read through that list since a teacher first told me about it when I was about 15). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_B...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
tried to read a canon once, bought get my fool head blowed off!
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Riddley
Riddley
I have lots of aspirational lists of the 'canon'. This is an interesting one. But reading one to order seems like work.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Yeah, but...I think of it just as discipline, rather than work. Reading the historians and philosophers in order as they built upon (or rejected) each other's idea, reading the Greeks before the Romans before the Medieval epics--it's a wonderful ordering of things. And if it turns out that I hate, say, Tacitus, I could punt and go on if I wanted, let the group (this is why there needs to be a group, and somebody to run it besides me, or at least alongside me) finish it without me.
I feel I'd get so much more out of it if there were people to discuss it with--the problem being, of course, that there is no group of humankind that doesn't have people who grate on each others' nerves.
I'm in two online editing groups that include an editor who is also a book designer, who knows more than everyone about everything. When he's right, and he does know more, he's a wonderful resource, but on some subjects you can't get an answer until he's told you how unspeakably wrong you are for asking, because only a real, true, professional book designer is allowed to think about fonts or layout tools. (He told me that I was doing my clients a serious disservice in helping them select a font to use to display letters in the text, when I maintain that the client is going to select a font, she can do it well or badly, and I am not doing her a disservice if I ask for advice from book designers. What should I have done so as not to do the client a disservice? I should have said to this retired teacher in Wisconsin to whom I give the lowest possible rate, so embarrassing that I don't admit to other editors that I go that low, "I cannot help you with fonts. You should hire a professional book designer.") You can't ask "what's the most popular layout tool?", thinking that perhaps you could optimize the documents you produce for that software, because he has to tell you that you should spend years getting training and experience and make all the design decisions on paper before you choose a software tool (no, really--this one happened to some poor fool this morning). So the poor person who just wonders what's happening downstream of her work process gets a slap in the face because she doesn't have years of training and experience in book design. My real-life writing group presents many other examples; I skipped the meeting last night because I just couldn't stand the idea of having to sit there while one of the latest members (who isn't even a writer, but just came to us while exploring possibilities now that she's left the practice of law, and under the rules shouldn't even have been admitted to membership) holds forth, saying the same thing several times and, if anyone tries to get her to move on, just raises her voice and keeps going--which I'm sure used to serve her well in court...
Hell is other people. Which is why there are written commentaries on these works, so that I don't have to have a group. But I still feel a like-minded group reading together, or at least reading the same books in whatever order at whatever time, could really be enriching. And reading commentaries would take me until the end of time; I can read widely or deeply but not both. I'm in awe of Helene Hanff, studying the classics she found worthwhile to the point that she practically had them memorized--but she read no fiction. I can't do that...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
and i only read fiction....
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Finished Reading:
1) The compassion of animals : true stories of animal courage and kindness / Kristin Von Kreisler
http://www.shelfari.com/books/1871595...
2) Best boy : a novel / Eli Gottlieb.
http://www.shelfari.com/books/3828671...

Currently Finishing up Reading:
1) Sophie's Choice
http://www.shelfari.com/books/77503/S...

Soon to Begin Reading in a day or two-maybe even today:
1)http://www.shelfari.com/books/3740481...


Soon to be picking up a readied library request!
Considering hate : violence, goodness, and justice in American culture and politics / Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski.
http://www.shelfari.com/books/3824072...

Today I put in a library request:
The boy who went away / by Eli Gottlieb
posted 5 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Hi BTS,
Not sure if this is the correct place to post-however I am excited to share a public library event-
My daughter and I are planning to attend this local FREE library event hosted by
La Jolla/Riford Library (San Diego, CA.)

Event Description

In this, the first of two parts of a lecture series presented by the Salk Institute, they answer the questions: What is DNA? and What are stem cells and how do they work? and more!

When Tuesday, October 13, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM Where La Jolla/Riford Library - 7555 Draper Avenue La Jolla, CA 92037
Here's the article explaining Citizen Science-http://timesofsandiego.com/tech/2015/...
posted 5 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
O.K. I checked out another, yes and another book-"Enslaved by Ducks"
http://www.bobtarte.com/
Also: The Blue Man and Other Stories of the Skin
Robert A. Norman
http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=...
posted 5 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Enslaved by du...
Okay.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
"Enslaved by Ducks" was on Kindle for $1.99 and it was the number one book on Amazon for some time-not why I chose the book-happened to read the info. after the fact.
Photos of the animal characters in the book "Enslaved by Ducks"
http://www.bobtarte.com/pages/photos....
http://www.bobtarte.com/pages/DucksIn...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
I'm reliving my childhood, going through Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth series. Happy, happy, joy, joy!
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Riddley
Riddley
I know I read lots of Rosemary Sutcliffe at some stage in my childhood - the Arthur legends and some others, I think. The name just brought back the very edge of some childhood memories.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Had some visitors from America recently, one of whom expressed an interest in coming back because they hadn't seen any Roman stuff (his wife had planned the trip, and they concentrated on the places they'd read about in the Patrick O'Brian books). I wholeheartedly recommended Sutcliff's "The Eagle of the Ninth" and then got cold feet when he bought it, among other books, while he was here--what if it didn't hold up? So I re-read it--and boy! Does it hold up! I highly recommend it. And as for my guest, who recently left a job as the head of the legal department at large semiconductor manufacturer (if you lived near Silicon Valley, you'd know the name), he fell head over heels for it, too, I'm happy to say. He said he started reading it over Greenland and finished when they were passing over Mt St Helens, and didn't get a wink of sleep on the flight home!
So...if you have any interest in that sort of thing, got for The Eagle of the Ninth. Great stuff.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Now reading Sutcliff's memoir, Blue Remembered Hills, enjoying very much--
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
tapbirds
tapbirds
I'm reading a biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Jean Edward Smith. Good stuff.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Hi Taps,
Today is: http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/local/...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
tapbirds
tapbirds
7' 6"?? Wow, TR has truly grown in stature (or statue) over time!
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Good one Taps! Not to 1 up u-look what I discovered-
http://www.bethelmaine.com/index.php?...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )


message 2: by Anthony, Administrator, Keeper of the Really Good Coffee (new)

Anthony Watkins (anthonyuplandpoetwatkins) | 495 comments Mod
and i am wondering if any of the ducks are named Howard?
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Howard is an amorous ring necked dove according to the Cast of Characters list in the beginning of the book.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Rina
Rina
Who would have equated Howard with amorous?
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet (edited)
good question!
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Hi Rina,
You made me laugh with your amorous Howard remark-in agreement.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Rina
Rina
Exactly, beginnings. Some how 'Oh Howard…' just doesn't seem amorous
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin
If the duck turns around and bends over is it Howard's End?
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Rina
Rina
Now that's funny!
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Very funny Karin:) Here is a site which shows pictures of all the animals in the book-
http://www.bobtarte.com/pages/photos....
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
i hear a duck's end is not all its quacked up to be.
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Up,
:)
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin
Up, hardy har har! Do they kaka like geese?Those things really mess up a park when they settle in for a while (geese.)
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
David F
David F (edited)
Just finished The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett - 4 stars. I was going to try and sound clever by saying it is like Sliding Doors crossed with One Day.. but i see a magazine reviewer has already beaten me to it.
Instead I'll ask a question.. when was the last time you had to take notes while reading a book ?? Not for examination purposes, but just to stay on top of the plot.?? I enjoyed this book, but with three scenarios on the go (Sliding Doors only had two, and visual clues as to which one you were in) phew it was a hard read at times.... I had to resort to notes -
'At the end of Part 1
Version 1 - A likes eggs for breakfast, B likes sugar coated frosties
Version 2 - B marries C. A still has eggs at home, but B and C like to go out to Starbucks
Version 3 - A still has eggs, B gets divorced from C, C marries D, they move to Scotland and have porridge and kippers
Part 2 , version 1 starts in the breakfast room of a hotel.. B is eating kippers.'.- erm, rapid returning of pages, who is living with who and where are they again????.
It was either taking notes or endlessly skipping back pages every time I picked up the book after a couple of hours, - it wouldn't have been the easiest thing to do with a Kindle either. Maybe the author is a traditionalist and set out to write a book that couldn't possibly be read on a Kindle..
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
personally, i find when a writer does that, it is a lack of writing skill. if he/she really gets inside you head, if his characters come alive, you shouldnt have to take notes. Do you need notes to remember things about your real friends? just my opinion, but a writer like that is too clever to be good.
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef (edited)
I think the point is that the narrative follows the same characters as they lead lives-that-might-have-been, so there are different stories, in which the people are different, and part of the interest is in charting those differences.
On the other hand, if what's meant is that only what the character eats for breakfast lets you know which scenario you're in/version of the character you're reading about, then I think the author should have helped the reader out more.
Have I ever taken notes in a book to keep track of the plot and characters when it wasn't for an exam or similar? Hmmm...I'm not sure that I have. I did take huge notes while reading Roberto Calasso's completely wonderful "The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony"; it's a masterly retelling of the classical myths, weaving together the different versions of the same stories and showing how you get even more meaning out of the characters when you see the way they connect from myth to myth--but the dratted thing has no index!!! And of course I've misplaced my notes. ARGH.
Someday I'll re-read it; that day is not today. Funny, but even though I want to learn about Indian mythology, I couldn't get into Calasso's "Ka", which is about Indian myths. Dunno why.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
David F
David F
Mef- to be fair to the author i created the breakfast analogy haha, i didn't want to give any spoilers away cos it is worth reading......
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Okay, so the more general case would be that the authors need to give the reader adequate cues so they know where they are. But I can forgive a fair bit. I like experimental novels (when there's a point to the experimentation; Mantel's bizarre mis-use of pronouns is doesn't count, to my eye), and applaud authors who reach high, even when maybe they've reached a little higher than they should, and so they wobble a little.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
tapbirds
tapbirds
David:
To answer your specific question, I almost always take notes in the margins of books I read. In fact, the better the book, the more notes I take. I must also confess that I dog-ear pages that contain quotes or notes that I would like to reference in the future (hence, my ability to bore you all with so many quotes). However its not a good sign if I must take notes in order to be able to keep up with the characters or the plot. In that case, I would concur with UP's statement above.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Hi David F,
Sounds like a book worth diagramming with logic circles!
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Rina
Rina
Notes to bore people with vs. notes to keep on top of a plot. Wow.
I think beginnings is correct. That book would have been easier with a diagram board
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef (edited)
Riddley, or anybody else who's up on these things: what do readers/scholars/anybody general make of the circularity of Finnegan's Wake--the fact that it starts midsentence and the end wraps to the beginning?
And can anybody think of other books that have done that?
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Riddley
Riddley
It apparently reflects the circularity and repetitiveness of the human journey and the historical journey of mankind according to the Italian historian Vico who is sort of referenced in the first sentence. The Wake is supposed to be the night as Ulysses is the day. Both return again and again. Each moment, each day, must be celebrated.
I know there are some other books that use the same trick. I have even read at least one but I'm totally at a loss as to what it was.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
my (forever) unpublished novel opens and closes with the same poem, as it seemed to perfectly fit at both places....
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Thanks, to both of you.
(That multimedia artwork / experimental novel I mentioned does the end-cycles-round-to-beginning trick. Just looking for more context...would love to find other books...)
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Finished Reading:
"Sophie's Choice" Authored by William Styron
Definitely not disappointed. Was taken by surprise by quite a few sizzling sex scenes.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
The book "Sophie's Choice"
Controversy
As recently as 2002, the book was pulled from the shelves of the La Mirada High School Library in California by the Norwalk-La Mirada High School District because of a parent's complaint about its sexual content. However, a year after students voiced protest and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter to the school district requesting that the district reverse its actions, the book was reinstated.[4][5] Credit -Wiipedia
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Rina
Rina
For all the parents or others complaints about sex in books and not wanting their precious kids exposed- there seems to be a lot of sex really being performed. Just sayin'
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Riddley
Riddley
yes, children would almost seem to be evidence of such practice. Why not ban them?
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin
When I was a young, innocent child I started reading SciFi and there were some rather startling scenes in them (Heinlein with at least menage a trois when I hadn't even figured out all the ins and outs of such things, literally, so much of it went right over my head, figuratively speaking), but as a parent I can't say I was ever in favour of my kids reading those sorts of scenes at such young ages. Not that I choose all of their reading material, but my parents had no idea what I was reading, although they might not have cared.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Hi Karin, Riddley, Rina and the rest of the BTS crowd,
I'm not quite sure exactly what to think about YA/Children's book choices-so I'll use the phrase "it depends."
Switching from books to T.V. -Does anyone remember watching the popular T.V. show "The Brady Bunch" as a kid? During my Brady Bunch T.V. watching I knew next to nothing about sex, however, somehow or other I was perceptive enough to pick up on the husband's (actor Robert Reed) extreme discomfort at being in bed with actress Florence Henderson (the Brady Bunch wife) at the ending of every show. Now, how exactly I intuited this I have absolutely no idea whatsoever-I knew the husband was gay without knowing what gay was. I guess it could be blamed upon a book I read in the past. Although the only book I've read in the past about the Brady Bunch actors is the memoir authored by the actress Maureen McCormick who played Marcia on the Brady Bunch-
http://www.shelfari.com/books/4376086...
For those interested- http://www.biography.com/people/rober...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
i like sex in books, but i like it more out of them....
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Hi Up,
Not me, the sex in books always somehow seems new and improved- something to be said for fantasy trumping reality-in my book anyway. To each his own.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Rina
Rina
I understand Beginnings statement completely
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
yall need better partners:)
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )


message 3: by Anthony, Administrator, Keeper of the Really Good Coffee (new)

Anthony Watkins (anthonyuplandpoetwatkins) | 495 comments Mod
Karin
I was totally clueless about Mr. Brady and his discomfort (that show came out when I was 9), but I was rather naive, to put it mildly. And yet it was that same year I first read the word "homosexual" in the newspaper and asked my mother what it meant (I was a precocious reader). I still didn't put two and two together. Nor did I figure out there had to be sexual abuse going on when I read a newspaper article, when I was 10, about a 10 year old who had had a baby; her picture was in the paper (a reputable big city newspaper, not a tabloid). But then I was 11 1/2 my nearly 10 year old sister figured out my dad had a girlfriend (ie was cheating on my mother) but I also remained clueless. She didn't tell me, and it's just as well.
Now I am far more perceptive than many people I know about these things, but it definitely was something that came later.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Instead of reading a book for Halloween I'd prefer to travel-
http://www.fodors.com/news/spookiest-...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mita
mita
Finished reading Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. It took me a while as I got distracted by many issues, namely my husband's cataract surgeries. This could be the reason I lost on continuity but somehow I could not really 'feel' the book. The arguments about letting things happen at their own pace and maintaining tradition, good old days etc sounded rather grim to me as we have been hearing similar arguments in my country about caste distinctions and their iradication. Would rate it only three stars.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
That's an interesting take on it. I had problems with it as well, but the daughter trying to fit the archaic and bigoted views of her relatives into a larger worldview she was learning (while displaying her limits in that regard herself!), was an interesting problem--and the whole thing might have been more of a book if she'd polished it up. Did you read Ursula Le Guin's review? (can find with Google). She apparently married into a family that had racists in some branches, and writes about how you have to come to terms with the fact that you cannot change all of them. It's a problem I've got with branches of my family, which I can't say more about because this is a public group and anybody could surf in...you have to deal with whether/how you can love your relatives and hate their attitudes towards...um...a lot of extremely important things.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
mef, i have had to seal with that, in spades. family and childhood friends. ended up where i have a tiering of my parents, who are moderate racists, by today's standards, though were both pretty progressive for the 1930s mississippi they grew up in, down to over half my cousins i have completely parted ways with, having to try to love and ignore over a couple of different periods, but now most of them are forever lost to me and in between are a few i can handle in real life one or two days every decade as long as we avoid social media together. I think if i lived in alabama or mississippi, in close proximity, it would be an impossible situation.
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Good Afternoon BTS,
Some people can love people of different races-perhaps only people in their family or "in group"- an exception to their general rule. One of the races denigrates/compromises themselves to blend in with what they believe is the higher or preferred status race. I've observed this phenomena in other families/situations-perhaps it is a consequence of being born into the wrong time/culture/race/ etc. For instance, by broadening the race/color group out to such a thing as the symbol of the rainbow...
Specifically- homosexuals. What if your son/daughter is a homosexual and you do not agree with this type of lifestyle/relationship? Do you still keep your previously held belief while your son/daughter continues to be your loved one-how does this work exactly? Would this be an example of a logic circle diagram in the context of life? Probably just a case of cognitive flexibility or a schema crosswalk? In general conversation, I sometimes advise people not to use the L word. " The L word? What is that? Love?" they ask. "No", I reply. "Logic."
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
tapbirds
tapbirds
mita: I am sorely behind on threads. I sincerely hope that your husband (and you) are recovering well from recent health bouts. Best wishes to you both in the coming year!
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
An American I know who lives in Japan has published a mystery with a press in New Zealand. (Gotta love globalization.) It's a real press; the book isn't self-published; though why they've typeset it with blank lines in between the paragraphs instead of proper indenting, I don't know. I assumed, from the look of the paragraphs, that it had been self-published, but I looked up the publisher of the original print book in New Zealand, and of the e-book available at Amazon, and they're both for-real, non-vanity publishers. The New Zealand publishing house mainly publishers stories set in Japan, as O'Harra's is; she married a Japanese orange grower and has lived 30 years in Japan, mainly as a professor of English, but is originally from, I think, Indiana.
So...I've edited academic articles from her, but never seen her fiction. Don't know anything about it, but I'm willing to give it a plug: Imperfect Strangers by Lea O'Hara, http://www.amazon.com/Imperfect-Stran...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Listening to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhI-A...
From the book/movie "Sophie's Choice"
Library Request 4 Today: So long, see you tomorrow / William Maxwell
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
llevinso
llevinso
Read Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer. Fascinating and deeply disturbing book. 5 stars.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Anybody read any Marlon James?
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mita
mita
mef, I started it just yesterday. Seems exciting; too early to comment for me though.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
I got a recommendation of his earlier "The Book of Night Women" as being really, really good, from someone whose opinion I respect. Have put it on the TBR.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Hi Mef,
No I have not read a book by Marlon James yet. Thanks for the author rec. I see he is a Booker Prize winner.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mita
mita
I am reading the Booker prize winner. Somehow, I just typed 'it' for it.:-)
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Riddley
Riddley
Seems to be a lot of people saying that this is one of the better Booker winners. Both books sound very interesting.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mita
mita
So disappointed with the book. I read rave reviews but could not connect with the plot at all. May be my lack of knowledge about Bob Marley's music is a handicap but in the seventy odd pages that I read, nothing, not one single sentence made me think that this is a work which will slowly unfold and reveal its hidden charm. Gave it up as I could not trudge through seven hundred pages of it even if someone paid me to do so.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Hi Mita,
I hate when that happens-it is bound to every now and then.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mita
mita
Yup, :-(
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Wow! Won't be pushing that one up the TBR anytime soon. Thanks.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
tapbirds
tapbirds
mita:
Stupidly, I bought this novel before I read your review. You know enough about my reading peculiarities to advise me: should I dump it or give it a try?
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Picking up from the library tomorrow:
The fur person / May Sarton ; ill. by David Canright.
So long, see you tomorrow / William Maxwell
Kitty cornered : how Frannie and five other incorrigible cats seized control of our house and made it their home / Bob Tarte
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Rina
Rina
Not surprising I'm interested in the cat book. If the aliens every ask me what we did with this amazing technology, I'm going to say cat videos and games. Oh and shaming on Facebook. Which I despise BTW. I mean really- go watch a cat video
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Halloween
http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/10...
http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2015/10/
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Shelfari hits a new low, tells me there are 30 new posts in BTS and I find there are 5, 3 of which are self-promotion.
Oh, the bitter tears...
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Hi Mef and BTS,
I wonder if when people edit their posts and the posts do not show up-this is where the posts are going?
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
no, i think our beloved salon is near about to be pushed over for a parking lot:(
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
I'll miss BTS book friends, if the parking lot materializes.


message 4: by Anthony, Administrator, Keeper of the Really Good Coffee (new)

Anthony Watkins (anthonyuplandpoetwatkins) | 495 comments Mod
Karin (edited)
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
2 stars (tears streaming down my eyes, figuratively speaking, since I liked Mudbound so much better)
Perhaps I have read too many dystopian novels, perhaps I was expecting something much different with character development, but by half way through this book I was no longer enjoying it even though I wanted to read it and see what happened, not just because of this challenge.
Hannah Payne, single, wakes up red as part of her punishment for having an abortion, her sentence lengthened for refusing to name the father, a married pastor, or the person who gave her the abortion. The other part of her punishment includes a month in solitary confinement, her every moment caught on video tape unless she is sleeping when it is dark; even the bathroom is behind glass. All but her time in the bathroom is streamed live to the world. She has been sentenced to live 16 years as a Chrome, red for the violence associated with her crime. Red is for manslaughter or second degree murder. There are yellow, blue and green chromes as well. After her thirty days are up, she is released to fend for herself, only needing to stay in her home state and to show up every four months for a new injection of the gene altering virus.
Like all dystopian novels, the premise and set up is hyperbolic; it's not that cruelty to the degree you see doesn't exist in the real world, but to make a point, things are always moved beyond what would actually happened. Like most dystopian novels, the science is not completely valid, but serves the purpose of the novel. It is neither of these things that gave me such grave disappointment after a good start and even though as improbable as it seemed, I liked and was able to empathize with Hannah in many ways.
I gave this overnight and much of today to mull over just what it was that disappointed me so much; I knew much of it, but to step back and figure out why, despite so many unlikable characters mixed in with the likable ones, I liked Mudbound so much better.
First, Hillary Jordan is good at fleshing out the POV people, but not very good at most of the non POV characters, particularly in this book. So many of them were very two dimensional and poorly drawn out stereotypes, and I mean throughout the book. Even though there are obvious tie-ins to A Scarlet Letter, which I liked much, much better, I often was reminded of Margaret Atwood's novels, particularly A Handmaid's Tale, despite the different plot, primarily the disappointment I usually feel with how Atwood draws characters and the frequent detachment you feel, even though that's not exactly what I felt here.
Secondly, Jordan is good at showing us the thoughts and emotions of the POV characters, but not as good at portraying philosophies or religions; on all sides of it I was egregiously disappointed as they all felt stereotyped and worn out, and even in books where I have disagreed with all of them, I have found them better fleshed out.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Hi Karin,
Thank you for your review. I remember hearing about the book "Mudbound" Too bad you were disappointed. I've read Margaret Atwood's "Handmaid's Tale" -my type of book. I recently picked up Atwood's book "Alias Grace" for a mere 25 cents at a local library book sale!
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin (edited)
I liked A Handmaid's Tale despite its ignorance about religion, and had I been giving out stars would have given it 3. I'm not normally an Atwood fan, but did like the middle book in her more recent dystopian trilogy at a 4 star level.
But you might really enjoy When She Woke. I am getting tired of anti-religion novels in general, but never rate them low just because of that since there are always a few who fit those annoying stereotypes.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet (edited)
As an atheist, I get tired of anti religious novels, too. I prefer dystopian religious novels:) like poison wood bible.
Not a fan of Atwood, but then I know that makes me a minority around here. I think graham Greene did religion well.
posted 4 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin
I haven't read Poison Wood Bible, but it's never appealed to me. I just took Bible as in book and not so much because that's the literal interpretation, but there are so many books with Bible in the title such as in baking, cooking, health related titles and various and sundry other topics. I know it's some sort of novel.
Most of the dystopian novels I've read are atheistic dystopian novels, and I didn't pick them for those reasons, there's just no religion in them at all.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
I loved the poison wood!!!!
posted 3 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Hi Upland,
The other day I remembered your posts about Poisonwood Bible -by happenstance I came upon the book in the library-opened it up and I have to say you are correct-Wow! I join your ranks in being a "Poisonwood Bible" aficionado. The writing is A plus-plus.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
glad to hear it!
posted 3 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin
Really A+ writing? I don't know, I have read so many novels about missionary families and cultural conflicts over the course of my life I'm not sure if I'm up to another, at least not right now.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings (edited)
Hi Karin,
I have not read the book in it's whole-I am just reading a few sentences-usually the beginning and a few middle of the book random ones-if I like the way the author writes from this scanning I give an A plus -this is just what I do-I do not know what others do to judge a book. For me it is not necessarily the story-the way it is written is what attracts me as a reader.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
it will still be there when you are ready
posted 3 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin
Okay. I find that sometimes a writer doesn't always maintain the same level of writing throughout a novel even when I like it, but I do understand that a novel can be well written whether or not you like the story. Sometimes I'll give a book I hate 2 stars if the writing is very well done, but I don't rate a book I hate higher than a don't like.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mita
mita
I loved the Poisonwood Bible. For me, the language matters the most. And I found Barbara Kingslover quite a delight. The story too is told with a great deal of sympathy for the local people as well as the family of the preacher. I would say it is A+ writing.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
agreed
posted 3 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin
Perhaps I'll try it, despite the title which has put me off (the word Poisonwood puts me off, even without the word Bible).
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
I loved The Poisonwood Bible. There are scenes I still think about, scenes that changed my thinking about developing countries and even about life, without hitting me over the head or preaching. I think it's absolutely her best work.
Long story, but I met her at an event in Iceland last April, and found that her new approach is to start a book with a theme, and then begin "constructing a narrative to convey the preconceived purpose." Personally, though I am a disciple of the Poisonwood Bible and I enjoyed meeting her very much (and her husband, the extrovert who said his job was to save her, the introvert, from too many people at events), I think the social and environmental messages in her more recent work don't fit in as seamlessly as those in the Poisonwood Bible, but that's just my eye--other peoples' mileage will surely vary.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
no, i love her and most of her books, but the PB stands above everything except maybe bean trees!
posted 3 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Will you disown me if I say I read The Bean Trees and don't remember it? Sigh. If only I could ***remember what I read***, my life would layers upon layers of meanings it doesn't have. I feel like the world is black and white, sometimes, and other people get color...
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
Does this ring any bells?
The protagonist of the novel is named Taylor Greer, a native of Kentucky. She sets out to leave home travel west, and finds herself in Oklahoma near Cherokee territory. As Taylor stops in the town, a woman suddenly approaches, leaves a small child, and leaves with no further explanation. Not knowing what else to do, Taylor decides to care for the child. The novel traces the experiences of Taylor and the child, whom Taylor names Turtle. Covering Turtle's early childhood, the story includes a colorful cast of characters: Lou Ann, her roommate; Esperanza and Estevan, a Guatemalan couple; and Mattie, the owner of "Jesus Is Lord Used Tires". -wikipedia
posted 3 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
mef
mef
Ah, yes. And then didn't she write a second book about Turtle? Or did I dream it?
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Karin
Karin
Bean Trees sounds intriguing.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
uplandpoet
uplandpoet
yes pigs in heaven! and then there is a third book animal dreams which i really liked but didnt exactly see how it was the third of a trilogy.
posted 3 months ago. ( edit | reply | permalink | delete )
mita
mita
Started on Desert by Le Clezio.
posted 4 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
Beginnings
Beginnings
Hi Mita,
Always a pleasure to speak with you-how do you manage to stay so even keeled day after day? I'd like your secret:) How's the book so far?
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
mita
mita
Hi Beginnings. Thanks for saying so but I think it has to do with being retired and having enough free time on hand :-)
The book is good though a slow one. NOthing much 'happens' but I am enamoured of the way the author describes the desert, the sky, the wind and the light. It is the spiritual journey of a young person and has an effect of calming the nerves.
posted 3 months ago. ( reply | permalink | delete )
tapbirds
tapbirds
I've read Le Clezio's "Onitsha" and "The Round & Other Cold Hard Fact." I liked both, and will be interested to get your perspective on "Desert."


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