Glens Falls (NY) Online Book Discussion Group discussion

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ABOUT BOOKS AND READING > What are U reading these days? (Part Three) (begun 1/3/09)

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message 1: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 03, 2009 03:31PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments I'm still reading _The Master_ and _The Story of Edgar Sawtelle_. Both are keeping my interest. However, I'm interested in so many other things, that my book reading progress is slow.

Another reason for my lack of speed is that I like to savor the good phrases and passages. I copy and save them.

The Sawtelle book has picked up speed and is becoming almost compelling for me. I never knew there was so much to dog breeding and training. It's a complex science. Quite fascinating, but well-beyond me. I've always been interested in genetics, as a lay person (not a scientific person). Just thinking about how so many of our characteristics, physical and psychological, are inherited is fascinating. In dogs, we can see it played out over the generations. It often explains why we are like we are.

The studies of identical twins, separated at birth, bear this out. But that's another topic.

Note: The Sawtelle book is not only about dogs, but they are a good part of it.
Cover-link below: ====>
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6135 comments I'm starting the Word of Tiers series. Philip Jose Farmer wrote the first book in 1965 & the 5th book in the late 70's. I read all of them in the 70's & loved them, but the 5th book was NOT the end of the story. In fact, everything is unresolved & the hero is stranded. I finally gave up looking for the series to be finished. Not long ago, I found that in the 90's, he did finish it. I just got the last 2 books, one from Bookmooch.com & one from PaperBackSwap.com, so now I'm going to read all 7!!!

I hate it when a series doesn't get finished. John Gregory Betancourt wrote 5 books, a series that is a prelude to Roger Zelazny's Amber novels. There are two, quintologies of that; Corwin's story & then his son, Merlin's story. Betancourt's quintology is about Corwin's father, Oberon's story. The first 4 were published & then the publisher went under. The book was written & sold to another publisher who won't publish it!!! A truly rotten trick!!!


message 3: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Why won't he publish it, Jim?

Jim, do you remember plots of the books you read a while back? I hardly ever do.

You're a real operator with these bookswaps! When you have to send a payment, how do you do it? Check? Paypal? Or do you just keep swapping with no money exchanged?


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6135 comments John, the author, never told me why the new publisher wouldn't publish the book & I never got a reply from any of my emails to them. I wrote a couple of times asking that they publish it.

No money when swapping, unless you buy credits or postage on PaperBookSwap. Then I'm dealing directly with them & I can use either credit card or PayPal. I don't buy postage through them since there is a post office right on my way home. There is no way to do money on BookMooch at all. Pure swapping.

As for the plots of books, it depends on the book. If I re-read or want to, then yes. I'm often hazy on details, but have a pretty good idea of what they were about. Even when I don't like them, I often remember them. That's why my wife has me pick books out for her. I can generally remember what she's read where she can't until she gets into the book a ways.


message 5: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) I am just about finished with The Secret Life of Bees-I buzzed( pardon the pun!)right through it & it has been a joy to read especially after the last book I read.....I bought a book today at Target-Shelter Me, like a needed a new book!!


message 6: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 03, 2009 10:52PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim - Thanks for answering my questions. As for your memory, I think it's amazing. Don't take it for granted.
Quotation:
“A man's real possession is his memory.
In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.”

-Alexander Smith

Becky - Congrats on getting to the end of your book. I wish I could get to the end of mine. :) I'm enjoying them both, but I'm curious about some others.
What is Target-Shelter Me?
What book did you buy?


message 7: by Jackie (last edited Jan 04, 2009 07:51AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Becky,
Will you see the movie? It looks very good. I wanted to read The Secret Life of Bees because I've heard only good things about it, but never got around to buying it.
Now with the movie coming out on DVD soon, I probably won't buy the book unless the movie inspires me to read it.


message 8: by Debra (new)

Debra (debrapurdykong) Last night, I just finished a medical mystery by Daniel Kalla called "Blood Lies". It's a good book and I'll post my review in a few days. Dan writes about what he knows because he's an emergency physician at Vancouver General Hospital, so those hospital scenes are definitely realistic.

I'm about to start a book by a member of my local writers' group called "A Firm Place to Stand". This is a non-fiction book about finding support within one's church and maintaining faith in God while coping with mental illness. The author, Marja Bergen, opened my eyes to the fact that some churches still regard illnesses such as bi-polar as the devil's work and have therefore ostracized the individual. Needless to say, that's hardly helpful to the sufferer, and Marja knows exactly what she's talking about because she's been there. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Debra
Author of FATAL ENCRYPTION
and TAXED TO DEATH



message 9: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Happy reading, Debra.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Jim - Thanks for answering my questions. As for your memory, I think it's amazing. Don't take it for granted.
Quotation:
“A man's real possession is his memory.
In nothing else is he rich, in nothi..."


Joy-I bought a book at Target, called Shelter Me.....




message 11: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Jackie wrote: "Becky,
Will you see the movie? It looks very good. I wanted to read The Secret Life of Bees because I've heard only good things about it, but never got around to buying it.
Now with the movie co..."


Yes Jackie-I can't wait to rent the movie-I liked the book so much & I am sure I will enjoy the movie...



message 12: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Joy wrote:

"What is Target-Shelter Me?
What book did you buy?"


Becky wrote: "Joy-I bought a book at Target, called Shelter Me....."

LOL - Oh, I see! Thanks for explaining.
Book-cover links below: ====>
Shelter Me by Juliette Fay ~~~~~~~ Shelter Me by Alex McAulay
I'm always amazed when I see two different books with the same title.
I guess there is no copyright on titles.


message 13: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Becky,
Great, can you let me know how the movie compares to the book? (After you see the movie, of course, no rush)


message 14: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 04, 2009 10:26PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Becky - Did you understand the significance of the Madonna statue in _The Secret Life of Bees_? That part seemed fuzzy to me when I read it. I didn't care for that part of the book, but the plot was interesting, once I figured out what was going on, especially when I read the ending.

I didn't feel close to the characters in the book while I was reading it. They seemed distant and not fleshed out enough for me. I thought the story could have been told in a clearer way. It's hard to express my reaction to the book, but it wasn't my favorite book.

Yet I know there are quite a few people who loved it. Book-cover link below: ====>
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd


message 15: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 04, 2009 10:35PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments (Continuation of my post above)
The Goodreads book description of _The Secret Life of Bees_ says:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The legend of the Black Madonna and the brave, kind, peculiar women who perpetuate Lily's story dominate the second half of the book, placing Kidd's debut novel squarely in the honored tradition of the Southern Gothic."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Perhaps it was the peculiarity of the women which turned me off. I dunno. I couldn't identify with them. They were so strange.

I know the statue was a link of sorts in Lily's life, but the statue in the house of the strange women didn't have any meaning for me.


message 16: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 04, 2009 10:57PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Oh, boy, look at the great cast in the movie _The Secret Life of Bees_:

Dakota Fanning plays Lily Owens.
Queen Latifah plays August Boatwright.
Jennifer Hudson plays Rosaleen Daise.

I'll bet I'll like the movie better than I liked the book, especially with these performers.

See the IMDb website about the movie and cast: ====>
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416212/

James Berardinelli's review is good, as usual: ====>
http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_t...
He says:
"It's hard to imagine that The Secret Life of Bees won't be part of many Oscar conversations. It has the intelligence, craftsmanship, and heart to win over both critics and regular movie-goers."

Check out the photo here: ====>
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/p...


message 17: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Joy wrote:

"What is Target-Shelter Me?
What book did you buy?"

Becky wrote: "Joy-I bought a book at Target, called Shelter Me....."

LOL - Oh, I see! Thanks for explaining.
Book-cover links below..."


The colorful one on the left is the cover on my book.


message 18: by Becky (last edited Jan 05, 2009 06:04AM) (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Becky - Did you understand the significance of the Madonna statue in _The Secret Life of Bees_? That part seemed fuzzy to me when I read it. I didn't care for that part of the book, but the plot wa..."

Joy-I took the Madonna to have some kind of meaning with the queen bee....I like quirky women, like the characters in a Fannie Flagg book. I am not so sure I found the Boatwright women all that strange though. Just women living a life together. One did have some emotional issues. I liked the women in SLOB & I liked how Lily felt a connection as soon as she walked in the house but yet still did not know why.



message 19: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Becky wrote:
"Joy-I took the Madonna to have some kind of meaning with the queen bee...."

Becky - you may have something there. I guess I had a hard time relating the plot to all the information about bees. I'm trying to remember what the ladies did to the statue. (That info may be a spoiler; so we'd better not go into detail unless we alert readers that our post has a spoiler in it.) Anyway, it was all so strange to me. I just didn't relate.

However, I liked the ending. It was very satisfying.

It's interesting to see how we all react differently to different personalities, in books as well as real life.

I wonder if I'd feel differently if I read the book again, now that I know the whole story and have an overall view of the plot.

I'm looking forward to the movie. I'm very curious about it.


message 20: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) It is funny & interesting Joy-I never looked at it as a book about bees but some people seem to have focused on the bees much like Edgar Sawtelle is not a story about dogs, but there sure are quite a few of them in the book!


message 21: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 05, 2009 12:07PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Becky wrote: "I never looked at it as a book about bees but some people seem to have focused on the bees..."

Perhaps the title, _The Secret Life of Bees_, is a bit misleading. I didn't like the title. I could never recall it when I wanted to mention it. It held no meaning for me.

I'm reading the Sawtelle book now. Yes, it tells quite a bit about Edgar's family's dogs and it has a good amount of info in it about the breeding and training dogs.

I wasn't prepared for the tension the story creates. It's turning into much more than a story about dogs, although the first part of the book leads one to think that the book is about dogs.

The author, by David Wroblewski, writes with a good amount of description... mentioning every detail in the scene. Very literary and very well done.

But it's taking me forever to read it. Cover-link below: ====>
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel


message 22: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 05, 2009 12:16PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments You might be interested in Jeff's review of the Sawtelle book. Below is the link: ====>
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I've added my own comment there.


message 23: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments I saw your comment at Jeff's review too, Becky. You must have some fast readers in your group. I envy them.


message 24: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Actually Joy, they aren't fast readers at all & for someone like myself-it can be frustrating lol....we all made it through this book quickly & I think it was because we were taken by the story. It was funny that the entire group felt the same way because we don't usually all feel the same about a book we have read.


message 25: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Becky, I can understand why everyone was taken by the story. I am too. I've had to put aside _The Master_ because the Sawtelle book is more compelling. I'm wondering how it will end. I don't like that Claude! He frightens me. I hate feeling frightened.


message 26: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Claude...argh!!! He was a scary guy right from the beginning, wasn't he....


message 27: by Susan (NY) (new)

Susan (NY) I just finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
It's a postapocalyptic novel about a father and his young son tring to survive in a new world. It was so good i didn't want it to end.


message 28: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments I've heard good things about that book, Susan. I had a hard time with McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, but perhaps I should put this one (_The Road_) on my to-read list. I admired McCarthy's style, but I didn't feel very connected to the characters or the plot. I blame it on the fact that his style of writing is so different. The only word I can use to describe it is "vague". But I'll add The Road to my to-read list since you and some others have praised it.


message 29: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 10, 2009 08:27AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments P.S. I see that _The Road_ by Cormack McCarthy was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. No wonder people are praising it. (g)


message 30: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) I read The Road last year & while it was a compelling & well-written book, I felt it was very difficult to read & some of the images stayed with me for a very long time-in a disturbing way....


message 31: by Susan (NY) (new)

Susan (NY) Becky's right,about The Road being a book that has images that will stay with you for some time. In places you would tear up, and then I just hoped things would start to get better for them. Yeah, it't a book that will stay in my mind for a long time...


message 32: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Susan wrote: "Becky's right,about The Road being a book that has images that will stay with you for some time. In places you would tear up, and then I just hoped things would start to get better for them. Yeah, ..."
Susan-do you think you will see the movie?



message 33: by Susan (NY) (new)

Susan (NY) I probably will, I would like to see how they would put it on the big screen. Would they tell more of how it happened, or end differently? It would be interesting to see how closely they followed the book.


message 34: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) I doubt that they would "add" more info than the book had & I am sure Cormac would not allow that. But who knows, look at what was done to the Horse Whisperer & The Notebook!! That was the part of the book I found most interesting, the fact that we never knew why...


message 35: by Jackie (last edited Jan 10, 2009 07:58AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Sorry to say, I thought The Road was an awful book. Maybe because I'm into Sci-fi, but I expected so much more from a post-apocalyptic novel. It held barely no interest for me. Boring and monotonous, in fact. I don't know what the fascination of this novel is. I've read many post-apocalyptic books and this one can't compare.
I wanted it to end, quickly, save me from the never-ending tedium.


message 36: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Yeah that is probably why Jackie-it was not a SCi-Fi book at all....more of a man's way of trying to keep his child alive....


message 37: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I bought it from the Science Fiction Book Club; it was misleading. 'Post apocalyptic' is usually in the sci-fi genre. The blurb the book club gave made it appear science fiction, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it.
In all probability, I may have liked it if it were another another genre. Still slow and monotonous, but I wouldn't have started out with such high expectations.


message 38: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Agree-they lumped that in there with a totally different genre.....Have you ever read any other Cormac McCarty books?


message 39: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments No. I don't think I ever will either; I didn't like his style of writing. I want to be entertained, not bored to death, LOL


message 40: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) I read All The Pretty Horses & I liked the story. Never read anything else besides The Road & I watched the movie No Country For Old Men...


message 41: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I saw Pretty Horses, didn't do anything for me (again, slow). I want to see No Country but haven't gotten around to renting it yet.
I liked fast paced. Time is precious to me, I hate wasting any of it.


message 42: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie, did you see any merit at all in Cormac McCarthy's literary style? Although I wasn't able to become engrossed in his _All The Pretty Horses_, I was impressed by his ability to use words in an elevated way. His use of language is extraordinary. Didn't you feel that at all?

At times I found his style breathtaking.
Here's a sample from _All the Pretty Horses_:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
p. 235 - "He said that those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart but it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength and that they must make their way back into the common enterprise of man for without they do so it cannot go forward and they themselves will wither in bitterness. He said these things to me with great earnestness and great gentleness...and I knew that it was my soul he wept for."
-Cormac McCarthy, _All the Pretty Horses_ (p. 235)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


message 43: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I only read The Road, and I didn't feel that.


message 44: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie wrote: "I only read The Road, and I didn't feel that."

I haven't read _The Road_. So I can't comment on it. From what I've read about it, I get the idea that it could be a depressing book. On the other hand, I also got the impression that the relationship between the father and son was one of the themes. That might interest me. Relationships between people often involve psychological issues. Most of the time, that hooks me, providing the style is up to snuff.


message 45: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Jackie wrote: "I saw Pretty Horses, didn't do anything for me (again, slow). I want to see No Country but haven't gotten around to renting it yet.
I liked fast paced. Time is precious to me, I hate wasting any..."


Never saw the movie Pretty Horses but I did like the story in the book No Country is action packed as a movie, I was a little worried because of the violence, not a fan of blood & gore but it was a good movie..


message 46: by Jackie (last edited Jan 10, 2009 05:53PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments You'll get relationship in The Road, that's for sure. You'll probably like it. Let me know what you think when you read it, we all see different things in books, so I'd be interested on your take of it.


message 47: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie, I look forward to comparing my reactions with yours when I finally get to read the _Road_. I'm wondering if I too will find it "slow and monotonous". The book will have to get in line behind the others on my to-read list.(g)


message 48: by Jackie (last edited Jan 11, 2009 08:37AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Don't I know it! I have about 150 books on my virtual shelves and about 80 on my real shelves!

So what am I reading these days?
Currently:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig
The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief by Gregg Braden
and for fiction: The Changing Land by Zelazny

I've finished these so far this year:
The Front by Patricia Cornwell. I much prefer her Kay Scarpetta series. This is OK, and good for quick entertainment.

The Healing Runes - Loose Book: Tools For The Recovery Of Body, Mind, Heart, & Soul by Ralph H. Blum and Heal Your Body by Louise L. Hay both are metaphysical approaches to healing mind/body/spirit and both were fast easy reads. I'm into alternate medicine and this is just more information.

I finished Nora Roberts Circle Trilogy last week. While it was predictable, it was still a pleasant journey and I enjoyed it.

Last night I finished Tolkien J. R. R.'s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which I didn't enjoy. I think I'd have liked it better if it were in regular prose form, instead it was metered and I don't enjoy reading that. I always feel I have to read in cadence; it's weird, LOL

And finally The Book of Celtic Symbols by Joules Taylor. Due to my love of Celtic things, this was interesting and fun to read.


message 49: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Becky,
I like action, and from the commercials, No Country looked action packed. I'm sure I will like it.


message 50: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments I'm amazed at how much you and the others read, Jackie.
I'm still trying to finish the Sawtelle book. LOL


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