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Old 05-15-2017, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,023,154 times
Reputation: 28903

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve.

Pack a box. Read half a chapter. Do some work. Read the other half. Pack two boxes. Too tired to read. But the book is excellent so far. It's based on a true story about the largest fire in Maine's history. This happened in 1947. The characters are terrific -- very well fleshed out, despite using so few words to describe them.
Emphasis on the "so far" part. It was excellent at the point when I wrote that; now it's getting sappy, with multiple love interests. Sure, the fire ends and the story combusts into a soap opera. I'll finish it -- I like the characters and the writing -- but the story is not what I expected or wanted.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
67,650 posts, read 60,886,374 times
Reputation: 101078
Just received "The Girls" and so far I am loving it! I'm only a couple of chapters in but I like the author's writing style.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:27 AM
 
16,579 posts, read 20,703,557 times
Reputation: 26860
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Marlow, I meant to post an update days ago but with my husband still in the hospital, I haven't had time. Yes, I very much liked The Shadow of the Wind. The boy's feelings about books generally in the beginning of the story reminded me of how I, as a very young person, read in the National Geographic about the library at Herculaneum and the scrolls that would never be read because of Vesuvius, and wanted to cry at the thought of it. Although it sounds like there is hope. Ancient Scrolls Blackened by Vesuvius Are Readable at Last | History | Smithsonian

But now I am sort of (?) reading Ararat, a very quick read, which isn't going all that quick for me. https://www.amazon.com/Ararat-Novel-...stopher+golden
Thank you for that link--that's some crazy, fascinating work they're doing. Hope they can salvage some of that. It's like ghosts speaking through the ages.

Ararat sounds like a hoot. Let us know.

I'm sorry that your husband has been ill. I'm sure you're worried and exhausted. Sending thoughts of love and healing your way.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Brew City
4,865 posts, read 4,176,722 times
Reputation: 6826
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I think you would also probably like Dreamland and The Boy Kings of Texas if you like Hillbilly Elegy.

I didn't mean to choose three books that were similar but the similarities between all three of these is striking. They make a good trilogy on working class America and socioeconomic realities.
I finished Hillbilly Elegy a few days ago but I'm still not sure I like it. I think I do. I feel like it fell off quickly at the end. It's definitely an interesting perspective to read. I'll put Dreamland and the Boy Kings of Texas on my reading list. Thanks for the suggestions.

First I have to finish Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I was halfway through it when the library called to tell me Hillbilly Elegy was in.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:14 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,794 posts, read 2,798,999 times
Reputation: 4925
Default No need to take me anywhere, I am your leader!

A very fast read:

Humans, bow down [Large print] / James Patterson and Emily Raymond with Jill Dembowski ; illustrations by Alexander Ovchinnikov.
Authors
  • Patterson, James, 1947- author.
Subjects
  • Robots -- Fiction.
  • Large type books.
Summary
  • The Great War is over. The Robots have won. The humans who survived have two choices--they can submit and serve the vicious rulers they created or be banished to the Reserve, a desolate, unforgiving landscape where it's a crime to be human. And the robots aren't content--following the orders of their soulless leader, they're planning to conquer humanity's last refuge. With nothing left to lose, Six, a feisty, determined young woman whose family was killed with the first shots of the war, is a rebel with a cause. On the run for her life after an attempted massacre, Six is determined to save humanity before the robots finish what the Great War started and wipe humans off the face of the earth, once and for all.
Length
  • 422 pages (large print) :
Easy to read, the usual robot rebellion tropes, but nicely handled from the young protagonist's POV. This seems to be part of an effort by James Patterson - a very prolific author - to get more adolescents interested in reading. It has good illustrations throughout, & Patterson apparently has been generous with his time, money & donating books to literacy groups, schools, etc. Our library has Large Type, SF & CD audio versions. It's a worthwhile goal - not sure that the target audience will find these books, but he's in there pitching. Good on him.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Berwick, Penna.
16,215 posts, read 11,330,002 times
Reputation: 20828
France, by Jonathan Fenby -- a short (450 page) history of the nation from the Revolution and the conditions which spawned it through the recent concerns over terrorism -- and the conditions which spawned it.

I will readily admit that I grew up in a predominately rural/small community environment dominated by "Warner Brothers" view of the French -- and their subtle, overly-inflective language as somehow permanently out-of-sync (and I would remind our self-righteous faux progressives that no less an idol of theirs than Garrison Keillor makes plenty of mileage out of the same misunderstanding.

But I was fortunate enough to gain, through a marriage in my immediate family, an exposure from the view of in-laws raised in the French foreign service, with a center-left worldview far removed from my farm family's agrarian conservatism. This read is proving useful in filling in many more of the gaps.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 05-15-2017 at 10:31 AM..
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:55 PM
 
9,238 posts, read 22,892,688 times
Reputation: 22699
I'm about 80%+ into David Copperfield. How did I hit the age of 47 not having read this???? Up until now, I think the only works of Dickens I've read were A Christmas Carol (of course) and Great Expectations, and I think some of the short stories that were in the same book as A Christmas Carol.


Dickens sure lives up to his reputation with David Copperfield. I find myself laughing out loud with his wry observations. Every time I think that he got lazy and made a character 2-dimensional, he surprises me with giving the person more layers and depth, as if he caught it himself in between installments of the story. Freaking genius. I'm getting kind of sad as I approach 90%.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
67,650 posts, read 60,886,374 times
Reputation: 101078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegabern View Post
I finished Hillbilly Elegy a few days ago but I'm still not sure I like it. I think I do. I feel like it fell off quickly at the end. It's definitely an interesting perspective to read. I'll put Dreamland and the Boy Kings of Texas on my reading list. Thanks for the suggestions.

First I have to finish Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I was halfway through it when the library called to tell me Hillbilly Elegy was in.
I felt that at the very end Hillbilly Elegy lost some steam too - but until the last chapter or so I was very much into this book. But interesting that you'd say that.

Hope you like the others. I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance years ago and as I recall, I really liked it. Might need to revisit it.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
50,353 posts, read 63,939,201 times
Reputation: 93292
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I felt that at the very end Hillbilly Elegy lost some steam too - but until the last chapter or so I was very much into this book. But interesting that you'd say that.

Hope you like the others. I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance years ago and as I recall, I really liked it. Might need to revisit it.
Holy moly, "Zen...".was the it book in the late 70s. Not sure if I really want to revisit my misspent youth, or not. It will probably just churn up things I don't want to remember.
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:39 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,794 posts, read 2,798,999 times
Reputation: 4925
Default The hours were golden

Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Holy moly, "Zen...".was the it book in the late 70s. Not sure if I really want to revisit my misspent youth, or not. It will probably just churn up things I don't want to remember.
Yah, early '70s it was Dune. Dune still holds up as a book. Did Zen ever get turned into a movie?
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