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Old 02-03-2016, 08:12 AM
Location: WNC
1,571 posts, read 2,967,388 times
Reputation: 1621


just started Sebastian Junger's "War." I was hooked after only a few pages.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:49 AM
496 posts, read 395,364 times
Reputation: 1090
I am still struggling through The Summer House. It's really a great book but I am having such a difficult time seeing the small print. I'm about 70% through but I know now not to order a print book again unless I know the text will be an acceptable size or until I get much needed new glasses.
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:23 AM
16,579 posts, read 20,700,000 times
Reputation: 26860
Originally Posted by LookinForMayberry View Post
Actually, I thought she put way too much effort into the Vegas portion, but I stuck through that. Then came the tedium of his coming of age in NYC -- and not really becoming a character that I wanted to stay with to the end. If he showed promise of becoming a likable character, maybe. Even without Theo's character flaws,
I just wasn't seeing enough progression in the plot. IMO, she could've cut 45% of the book, told the same story, and nothing material would've been lost.

My DH said almost the same when he finished reading the book, but I went in anyway because his primary reading is more intense mysteries.

Honestly, Marlow and PTL, it was the fact that you both, and Ketabcha liked the book that kept me going through LV.

Bottom line FOR ME, I think the author is much to enamored with her own writing, and the publishers didn't have the chutzpah to push her for edits. The fact that she got a Pulitzer didn't impress me, but maybe that's because so many other works that boast the award have lacked luster for me, as well. Her writing is sound -- there's just too much superfluous stuff there that didn't add to the characterization, promote the plot, or lead to the denouement.

We've agreed on many other titles, just not on this one.
And that is at least part of the joy of the CD book thread!

I do suggest you find a synopsis on line just to find out what happens. I've done that before with books I didn't want to finish.

Hope you like the next one better.
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:26 PM
9,229 posts, read 8,544,205 times
Reputation: 14770
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
Hope you like the next one better.
Me, TOO!
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:29 PM
9,229 posts, read 8,544,205 times
Reputation: 14770
Listening to "Andy Catlett: Early Travels" by Wendell Berry; read by Paul Michael.

I really love listening to Wendell's sketches of life in a more cozy time.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:49 AM
Location: Henderson, NV, U.S.A.
11,479 posts, read 9,138,435 times
Reputation: 19660
Robert Crais' Indigo Slam.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:11 AM
1,833 posts, read 3,348,993 times
Reputation: 1795
I am reading Where Did You Go, Bernadette? as well as Crossing to Safety which is sort of set aside for WDYGB. I also have Jayber Crow and I got Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys who wrote Between Shades of Gray which was an amazing book. This one just came out this week. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...alt-to-the-sea
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:10 PM
8,495 posts, read 4,159,164 times
Reputation: 7043
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A novel about what happens after a major virus wipes out 99.9 percent of the world's population. A very fast read and makes you think about what things you may miss if something liked that happened, things we all take for granted: Internet, drinking coffee in a cafe, electricity, indoor running water. It's about starting over when you lose everything and sometimes everyone that you've known. You meet new people along the way and you wind up traveling with them and forming communities that look out after each other. It's kind of like The Walking Dead without the zombies and gore.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:14 AM
Location: New Jersey
1,843 posts, read 3,057,296 times
Reputation: 2747
Just finished 11.22.63 by Stephen King...amazing story...loved it.

Just started The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. It's a memoir about growing up in a polygamist cult.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:13 AM
Location: Type 0.73 Kardashev
11,110 posts, read 9,806,194 times
Reputation: 40166
So a couple weeks ago I was helping my mother - who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's - move from one assisted-living facility to another. As I was packing up her stuff, I was weeding out some of her reading material. One of these was a new copy of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. "I have no idea where that came from," she said. "I certainly don't want it." We'd had this conversation before. I bought it for her, after she specifically asked for it. And I double-checked that it was indeed what she wanted, because I was baffled that she would have an interest in such a book. Anyway, since she didn't want it, since I'd paid for it, and since I'd been mildly amused at the Charlton Heston adaptation of the novel, called Omega Man and released in 1971, I thought I'd give it a try.

I Am Legend is about a man living in a world in which everyone else is seemingly dead, with only the undead - vampires, apparently - remaining. By day he scavenges for supplies and reinforces his fortress of a house. By night, the vampires beseige his home but, being stupid, rarely mount much of a threat. Note: though I won't go deep into why, the book is science fiction and not horror.

One of the things that entertained me about the film, besides its post-apocalyptic setting, was Heston's uber-dramatic over-acting. A so-bad-it's-good sort of dynamic. Well, maybe Heston was just being true to the novel. No, I doubt that - he always over-acted. But in this case, his acting tendency nicely meshed with Matheson's writing ability. The novel is very melodramatic. Our protagonist, Richard Neville, keeps destroying his whiskey tumblers by smashing them against the table where he sits or flinging them against a far wall. At one point the author even notes that the glassware is running low. Neville also has a habit of intense conversations with himself, full of angry 'God damn it!'s and 'For God's sakes!'s. Later, he hurls a microscope against a wall, then stomps it into pieces amid many curses. Yet this is the same individual we the readers are supposed to believe is effectively conducting scientific research into the nature of the vampiric plague, despite being an amateur who has educated himself with biology books acquired from an abandoned public library?

Five months into the vampire apocalypse, it suddenly occurs to Neville that sunlight is toxic to the undead. Apparently, the fact that they are inert and essentially helpless, and only found indoors, during the daytime had not previously clued him in to this fact. He performs an experiment and drags one of the creatures out into the sun, where it quickly perishes, confirming his suspicion. Neville then wonders whether or not it is truly dead, or if it will come to (un)life when darkness falls. He then curses himself - he cannot remember quite where he killed it. But in the narrative, the author has not clarified that the protagonist has yet left the scene of his act. The pacing is also problematic. Page after page (fourteen pages, to be precise) are spent on a detailed description of Neville spending months slowly befriending a feral dog, until finally he is able to apprehend the animal and bring it into his home. Another four pages describe the gradual calming of the dog, until creature and person bond. Then, seven words conclude this section of the book: "In a week the dog was dead".

I don't mean to be unduly harsh - the fact is, I found parts of the book somewhat engaging - but Jeez flippin' Louise, I've grown wearing of picking up yet another 'classic of the science fiction genre!', only to find out that the author can't really manage decent human charicaturization or, for that matter, sound fundamentals of writing. This seems to be common in certain genres: science fiction, techno-thrillers (yes, I'm talking to you, Tom Clancy - or I would be if you weren't dead), mysteries, and so forth. In this types of fiction, readers will give writers a pass for focusing almost entirely on the science or the technology and action, or the mystery to be unveiled, at the expense of the people populating the story, not to mention the art of the written word.

So I packed it in after being put through the long saga of the dog, only to have the beast unceremoniously rubbed out in a passage that didn't even make it as far as the right margin of the page. That was my breaking point. Happily, I'm now knee-deep into a sublime post-apocalyptic novel that is a surprising and delightful piece of literature: Peter Heller's The Dog Stars. When I'm done, I'll share my thoughts on it.
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