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Spindle's End
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Sleeping Beauty Retellings > "Spindle's End" Discussion - November 2014 Group Read

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message 1: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Hello! We're going to be be reading Spindle's End by Robin McKinley this month! I just put in a request at my library, but if it doesn't come in by next weekend, I'll probably buy it! So... please, join us and let's have fun:)


message 2: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments My library request came in. Yay! I'll be picking up this book in the next couple days... anyone else?!?!? :D


Lisa | 254 comments Mine too! Picking it up tomorrow, but no chance to start reading it until the weekend probably.


Muggle (muggle123) | 5 comments Heidi wrote: "My library request came in. Yay! I'll be picking up this book in the next couple days... anyone else?!?!? :D"

I have it on hold, so I should have it in at least 16 days! Hopefully I'll be able to get an earlier start on it this month!


message 5: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Muggle wrote: "Heidi wrote: "My library request came in. Yay! I'll be picking up this book in the next couple days... anyone else?!?!? :D"

I have it on hold, so I should have it in at least 16 days! Hopefully I'..."


Well, jump in when you're ready! I just picked up the book today and read the first few pages in the library parking lot:D The world building is very clever!


message 6: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments I was seriously hoping someone else would jump in:D Okay, so this is where I'm at with this book. It shows how reading is very subjective and I suppose age- and even mood-dependent! This book is for young readers, I'm thinking middle grade? It's almost all narrative. There are many, many clever things in the narrative, but—yes, and here's the but—I'm having a hard time staying focused on the book. So, I'm reading one chapter a night. Otherwise, I find my mind wandering.

Anyone else?


Lisa | 254 comments Just finished the other two books I was reading, so this one is next on the list. Hoping I don't find it too boring. If so, I'm going to be really disappointed in my choice!


message 8: by Diane (last edited Nov 12, 2014 05:52PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Diane | 41 comments I am so glad to read the "I find my mind wandering" because I thought it was just me! I couldn't figure out what my problem was because there are parts I think to myself that I specifically like.

Like (view spoiler)

But despite that, I still found/find myself thinking "okay I'm done for now" after very short sittings. I mean, I think I started the book Sunday and I'm only 19% finished and I'm not usually that kind of reader (being more of a binge reader).

so I'm glad to consider an explanation for what has been bothering me about the book. when I get back to it this evening, I'm going to see if it's the ideas of so much narrative that's doing it.


Lisa | 254 comments Was able to read chapter 1 this evening and it made me crazy. That was the longest, most drawn out chapter of any book I've ever read. Now I'm afraid the entire book will be as boring. :(


message 10: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Lisa wrote: "Was able to read chapter 1 this evening and it made me crazy. That was the longest, most drawn out chapter of any book I've ever read. Now I'm afraid the entire book will be as boring. :("

Diane and Lisa, I'm glad we're at least having similar experiences:) The narrative-style is suited for fairy tales... uhm... but 400+ pp of it can be daunting, lol. There is some dialogue and scenes, but it's rather spotty. I confess, I didn't read my one chapter I committed to the last two nights. I picked up Lisey's Story by Stephen King from the library the same time I picked up Spindle's End. That after I read in article it was his favorite book or something, so I went off on that tangent. ANYWAY... I'm happy to continue reading Spindle's End. I don't know if we could encourage each other to get through one chapter a night or what? Let me know what you both think:) And anyone else, please feel free to chime in too.

The world building in Spindle's End is clever. And her kingdom infused with magic has many wonderful details. There are passages that sparkle. And... it's also... a slow read;)


message 11: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Diane, I totally agree with your spoiler above. Those are the touches I enjoy too. I think I'm at chapter 8 or 9... there's 21 in the book... 18 more days in November:D


message 12: by Diane (last edited Nov 12, 2014 06:03PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Diane | 41 comments I really am having a strange reaction to this book. I've made it to chapter 11 - go me! But I was reading while I was eating a bowl of soup and then I stopped when I was done eating -- even though I am in the middle of the chapter -- to move on to doing something else. And that's totally not how I read.

And I'd be able to blow it off if I didn't like the book because of course in all my years of reading there have been plenty of books I've not liked and couldn't get through. But this one doesn't feel that way. Because I *do* like it. I think it's interesting. I like the characters even if I'm not particularly deeply attached to them. I like the weird surges of super detail that are interspersed amidst a blur of and-then-all-this-time-passed no detail. I like the quirky aspects of the world building that pop up out of the blue and then just seem perfect.

And yet.... and yet... and yet I feel like reading this book is like slogging through mud. Like it takes so much *effort* to get through. And when I'm later thinking about what I read, I remember it with interest and liking but the actual act of reading it seems like work while it's happening. I really can't explain it.

I haven't actually made note of the sentence length (which I plan to do when/if I get back to it later tonight) but when I think about it, I think that part of what makes it so tiring to read is that it feels like I'm reading one long drawn out run on sentence. Like I almost have an actual physical "phew!" reaction when I get to the end of a passage. And I'm not sure if that's because there *are* a lot of actual run on sentences or what.

Anyway, I'm chugging along and I've vowed not to start reading anything else until I finish this, so I'm determined! :)


Diane | 41 comments p.s., Heidi - how is Lisey's Story? That's one of the few stephen king books i've not read yet. Maybe I can bribe myself to get moving on Spindle's End if I hold Lisey's Story out as the reward! :)


message 14: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa | 254 comments Well, I was able to read chapters 2 and 3 earlier today. They both went fairly quickly. I didn't feel like I was "slogging through mud" with those two chapters. BTW Diane, I love that description. It seems totally accurate for the way I felt with the first chapter. These two chapters were the introduction of Katriona (not sure if I spelled that name correctly right now) and I like her, although I feel there is a ton of building that needs to be done to actually establish her character well. At least these two chapters gave me hope that the book isn't going to be a total waste of time.


Diane | 41 comments Lisa - I can definitely say I haven't felt the book to be a waste of time. But it really does have a weird pacing, for me. Some of it goes fast, then it's work, then it's fast, then it's work. Sometimes back and forth more than once in just a chapter.

But, I can say that right now I don't have any idea of where it's going (or what of all the stray details is going to end up being important, and what isn't) and I'm looking forward to finding out! That said, I'm still poking around and not reading! :)

Reading is definitely one of my main relaxing things to do but I almost feel like I have to relax from reading!


message 16: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments So... after reading your comments, Lisa and Diane, I've decided to keep reading! (Okay, I didn't last night! But I'm going to.) Diane, I may have to do the opposite of you: Finish Lisey's Story before I dive back into Spindle's End. But if I do that, I'll read it until I'm finished.

I really enjoy so much of the cleverness and inventiveness in the world—and there's a lot there.

Anyway, Karla, got a copy at the library, so maybe she can join us:D


message 17: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Diane, on Lisey's Story... the beginning was rough for me, but now that I'm about half-way through, it strikes me as quintessential Stephen King. He's deep into Lisey's mind and, as a writer, that's his talent. The question of course, is... do we want to be deep into Lisey's mind? The creepy stuff had a very, very soft start... but... now, well, you know, it's becoming that good dark and scary and creepy, the way he's a master at;) Okay, I'm a little hooked! But I haven't read him in a loooooong time, so I've missed out on a lot of his latest work.


message 18: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments I've read through Part Three of Spindle's End. That puts me about 2/3s through the book. I've enjoyed the story in the middle third more. Most of the first 1/3 is world building. More story is happening in the middle of the book. However, it's still not a fast read for me. But I am going to finish. Anyone else? (view spoiler)


Diane | 41 comments I finished! I finished!

I actually finished a couple of days ago and while my overall impression is that I liked the book and "oh, yeah, that part was interesting" and "oh, yeah, that part was great!", it still was a slow slow read and in the couple of days I've been done, even the idea of posting i've been done, and my final impression of it has seemed like work!

Strange, strange. I really cannot think of another book that affected me like this.


message 20: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa | 254 comments I am just starting Chapter 10, so have a good bit more to read. I am finding that the more I read, the better I like the book. I haven't felt like I was slogging through mud after the first chapter, but it is still a slow read. I admit that I don't have nearly enough time to read as I would like. Because of this, I often find myself staying up half the night on Friday or Saturday to read a book that I am intensely interested in. This one didn't keep me up this past weekend.


message 21: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Yay You! Diane:D Your comments are capturing my experience pretty closely. I read another chapter last night, and hope to finish by this weekend.

Lisa, my available reading times vary from day to day too. Sometimes I seem to have a lot more time and can whip through some books and sometimes, its just a few minutes before I go to sleep.

Anyway, as I've been reading through the last few chapters the book did make me think of one of my favorite books: Elfland (Aetherial Tales, #1) by Freda Warrington The author of Elfland, Freda Warrington, is British. Although Robin McKinley is American, she lives in England now with her Brit husband (if the internet is to be believed, and she's not actually holed up in a cabin in the Adirondacks or something!) There's a vein of style that struck me as similar in their writings, and I wonder if McKinley is perhaps an Anglophile and has been accordingly influenced?


message 22: by Heidi (last edited Nov 23, 2014 08:16PM) (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Finished! (view spoiler)Overall, I thought the book was... consistent;) I don't have young daughters, but this would probably be a great read for them!


message 23: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa | 254 comments I finally finished! I must admit that the reading got more interesting and quicker the closer I got to the end. I actually did stay up late last night to finish reading it. I don't know how to add and hide spoilers, so I try to be careful how I word comments. Anyway, the end was predictable, or at least that was what I certainly hoped would happen, but very little in the rest of the book was predictable at all. I think that might actually be why it seemed like such a long read. I really liked the idea of dualality and shadow sharing.


message 24: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Lisa, I have to agree with you on the predictability, i.e. the end, yes, but nothing else was:) That's a great point! (view spoiler) And yes, the themes of duality and shadow sharing added another layer of complexity, which I enjoy. Probably my favorite thing was the world building. It was just really clever with the magic and the fairies. Oh, and I liked Narl;)


message 25: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa | 254 comments Totally agree with your spoiler, Heidi. I did like the world building, but that was also what made it a long read because it was so intricate. I loved Narl - the only thing that surprised me about him was his hair! I've wanted to read Beauty for a long time, but honestly after reading this one, I think I'll wait a good while longer to attempt another of McKinley's books.


message 26: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Lisa wrote: "Totally agree with your spoiler, Heidi. I did like the world building, but that was also what made it a long read because it was so intricate. I loved Narl - the only thing that surprised me about ..."

Actually, I'd like to read another book by her too. She has tons! But, yeah... in a bit:)


Muggle (muggle123) | 5 comments Okay, I'm entering into this conversation insanely late, but I have to agree with what you've all said so far. My e-reader crashed, and by the time I got it fixed the book had expired so I only got to Rosie's confrontation with Pernicia, but I have to agree with what everyone has said thus far. I wasn't too sure about the book when I first started, but it hooked me in as it went on. I thought it was a really cool idea to focus the beginning of the book focused on Katriona which did a great job telling the story, while avoiding any childish naivety as Rosie grows up. I can't wait to finish it once I get my hands on the book again!


Karla | 19 comments Finally I'm able to comment on a book! I had to request this book from a differently library. Is it bad to say it wasn't my favorite? I thought there were details that were fantastic though! My favorite detail was the spindle end itself, in the climax everyone was waiting for. I like that love and home (and the familiarity they bring) have a saving grace.


Karla | 19 comments Also, Heidi, I totally agree with your spoiler. I got choked up in that part of the book. Was anyone else left with questions when they completed the book?


message 30: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa | 254 comments Glad to see others joining in! Muggle, it would be awful to have my kindle crash, even though I have read the last two books in hardback, mine is still used on a daily basis. Hope it gets fixed soon, or you can get the book to finish it. Karla, I agree with you about the spindle end - it was a constant "character" of the book, and you just expect it to be around as you read, even though it doesn't seem important.


message 31: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Hi Muggle and Karla, I'm so glad you both had a chance to read (Muggles, start!) the book and join the discussion!


message 32: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Muggle wrote: "Okay, I'm entering into this conversation insanely late, but I have to agree with what you've all said so far. My e-reader crashed, and by the time I got it fixed the book had expired so I only got..."

Just a bit of housekeeping: As far as I'm concerned if you're able to read a monthly read and finish before the last day of the month that is right on time;)

Muggles, you make a great point about focusing on Katriona's POV vs. Rosies. I totally agree with you, that by focusing through her eyes it made Rosie's younger years much more interesting. I hope you get your hands on the book soon so you can finish!


message 33: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Karla wrote: "Finally I'm able to comment on a book! I had to request this book from a differently library. Is it bad to say it wasn't my favorite? I thought there were details that were fantastic though! My fav..."

Karla, no I don't think it's bad at all to say it's not your favorite. There were elements in the book I thought were wonderful, but overall, it wasn't my favorite, either.There's a part of me that really just wants to just love everything I read, and there is another part of me that will make me aware when I'm reading something that I'm not loving this or that! So... I just try to be objective, and figure out what it is I'm not loving. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes I can't define it. But that's why I enjoy these discussions, because other readers see things, pick up points and nuances that don't occur to me, and it just helps me look at the book from a broader perspective. It works the same way with the parts of the book that I love. When someone shares something they love about the book, maybe I forgot that or didn't notice. Okay, I'm doing my on and on thing, I'll shut up!

As far as questions when I finished the book, uhm... no. But I'm curious what questions you were left with?


Diane | 41 comments Lisa wrote: "Anyway, the end was predictable, or at least that was what I certainly hoped would happen, but very little in the rest of the book was predictable at all. I think that might actually be why it seemed like such a long read."

This is a really good point. Thinking about it now, I do think that might be part of why it was such a slow read. Because I *couldn't* just whiz through with a sense of familiarity. There were so many "wait what?" type moments that were just slightly enough off "real world" stuff. And that's part of what made the world building so good, but I do think now that is part of the slowness.

I'll admit that last week when I was between books I thought "hmmm, maybe i'll give that a second read and see if it goes faster the second time" but I ended up reading something else. :)

I'm also curious to try another of her books -- although I swear I own/read Deerskin YEARS ago, but I don't actually remember it -- but, yeah, maybe not right now.


Karla | 19 comments Heidi, I am not sure how to hide spoilers when I am typing from a phone, so I'm trying to be vague and still answer your question. In some point, Aunt explains that those closest to a spell are least likely to be deceived by it. We see this to be true at least twice. So why oh why does one particular person get hoodwinked?


Karla | 19 comments Lisa, you expressed it better than I did! The spindle really does become a character in a way!


message 37: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments Karla wrote: " In some point, Aunt explains that those closest to a spell are least likely to be deceived by it. We see this to be true at least twice. So why oh why does one particular person get hoodwinked?"

Ooh, that's a very good question!!!! :D

If you ever want to try a spoiler you can type: < s p o i l e r > write the spoiler and then close it with < / s p o i l e r > without using all the spaces. I put those in so it wouldn't actually create a spoiler!


message 38: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa | 254 comments Thank you, Heidi, for info on how to insert spoilers!


Karla | 19 comments Yes, thanks for the tip Heidi!


message 40: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Garrett (heidi_g) | 553 comments It took me awhile to figure out how to do it too;)


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