What are you reading now?

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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by gillyflower on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:01 am

Gorm, I just finished the second Percy Jackson book and they are great fun! I really like the world building. The author is very clever. These books can be read in a few hours and are obviously aimed at children. It is too bad he doesn't write some adult books in the same world.

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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:42 am

gillyflower wrote:Gorm, I just finished the second Percy Jackson book and they are great fun! I really like the world building. The author is very clever. These books can be read in a few hours and are obviously aimed at children. It is too bad he doesn't write some adult books in the same world.

I'm glad you're enjoying them, they are great fun. The style is not as... literary as Rowling, but the dialogue seems so much more "authentic".

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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:20 pm

Anyone who's enjoyed Mercedes Lackey's books, do NOT bother with her retelling of the Arthurian legend, Gwenhwyfar.

Frequently, I've found Lackey's secondary characters just as interesting as her main ones. Decidedly not the case in this book. Not only is the main character inadequately developed, but the secondary ones are often little more than a name and a role. I flinched every time Lot's queen, Morgause, was mentioned since Lackey gave her the commonplace first name Anna for some indecipherable reason. ANNA Morgause? Say what????

I had significant misgivings when I realized that Lackey posits not one wife-Gwenhwyfar but THREE of them. Unbelievable enough in itself but perhaps intriguing if the writing hadn't been so unrelievedly bad, so much so that I had difficulty believing that Mercedes Lackey wrote this.

Was she kidnapped, held hostage and forced to write this dreadful book? "Put the lotion and the manuscript in the basket." That, I could believe!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:10 pm

*snerk*

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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by gillyflower on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:43 pm

Lackey is infamous in the science fiction community for a couple of DragonCon appearances and not in a good way. I don't know if the stories are true or not but... one of them involved her wearing body armor and fearing ninjas dressed in black. Maybe they finally got her. Smile

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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:13 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:*snerk*

Somehow, I'm not at all surprised that you got my cinematic allusion there, SG. Yer obviously as warped and twisted as I am.

"You say that like it's a bad thing," one of hubby's favorite lines, undoubtedly applies.

< sly smile >
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Willowcreek70633 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:50 pm

Quick reads, & a little reality base?

Read a great relationship book, back there @ Camp Shelby MS! It had to be good, & interesting. I read it in 1 day!
"Five Love Languages" by Dr. Gary Chapman
Check it out!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:38 pm

Serendipity being as it is, I bought Kate Braestrup's latest book, Marriage & Other Acts of Charity, to fortify what turned out to be a six hour wait for our minivan to be fixed. I finished the book just as the car was ready.

I liked her first book about the death of her husband, a Maine state trooper, when a truck slammed into his patrol car and her subsequent choices to become both a minister and chaplain to the Maine state game wardens.

She has a genial and humorous style that seems like a chat with a very good, longstanding friend.

And yet, it wasn't simply a pleasant read. What she said about the real meaning of charity jogged loose some calcified ideas of mine. I found myself thinking of various ways I could be more genuinely charitable.

If you're tired of predictable self-help stuff and would like to be challenged in unexpected ways, try this book.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by gillyflower on Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:45 pm

Have you ever looked at Kiva? I friend of mine has gotten me interested in doing that.

http://www.kiva.org/

I like the idea of giving small loans to people around the world so that they can improve their lives a little and I like it that the loans are paid back and can be loaned to other people again and again..

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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:13 pm

Definite must-read for those of my vintage who remember how great The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was back in our heyday.

I just got David Bianculli's Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour from the public library.

So many memories of how funny and pointed their humor was even though it ranged crazily from Tommy's childish outbursts to sharp political commentary.

I nearly laughed aloud when mention was made of the initial "pumas in the cravisses" routine. That became a catch phrase that could set me laughing for months after I first heard the bit.

There are also many interesting references to their associations with other stars of the sixties folk music craze.

Well worth your time and attention if you're looking for something to bridge the "will-it-won't-it-EVER-be-spring" gap.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Sakhaiva on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:34 pm

Anybody reading anything new?

I just massively scored at a used book sale.... I'll have books to read for most of '11.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by wmdkitty on Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:22 pm

I finished Stephen King's "Insomnia" about two weeks ago. I'm gonna have to hit up the used book stores, here, or the library, and try to get as much recreational reading done as possible before Fall Quarter starts at WCC. After that, it's textbooks and homework.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Willowcreek70633 on Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:57 am

lol! Dot? From Smothers Brothers to Kirk Douglas "Lets Face It." to Carol Burnett "One More Time". Must be something in the air with the fonder memories of youth! Both good reads!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:02 pm

Willowcreek70633 wrote: lol! Dot? From Smothers Brothers to Kirk Douglas "Lets Face It." to Carol Burnett "One More Time". Must be something in the air with the fonder memories of youth! Both good reads!

Oh, I think some of it is that we were verging on adulthood in such an exciting time, don't you? I remember some students asking me around the 25th anniversary of Woodstock if I'd been there. Geez, didn't I WISH! I just laughed and said, "In my dreams...definitely in my dreams."

Such exciting and creative music, too! There was a commentary on NPR this past week about how current pop music is glossy and almost impossible to tell one song from another, the sounds are so much the same. We sure weren't saying that in the Sixties, were we?

Of course, looking back fondly it's easy to remember only the good stuff and forget how scary things like guys going to Vietnam and the draft lottery were. But nevertheless, it has to have been one of the best times in history to be young.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:11 pm

Speaking of looking back but not fondly at all, fellow "old farts" here who remember what it was like before the polio vaccines became available may appreciate as I did Susan Richards Shreve's book, Warm Springs.

Shreve writes of her lengthy hospitalization at Warm Springs, GA--yes, that Warm Springs--when she was around eight-years-old, having contracted polio when only one. She was luckier than most there since the disease primarily affected her right leg, so she could walk haltingly even though that leg was notably shorter.

I didn't know that there were two different strains of the virus, one which affected the lungs and the other the limbs. Polio was polio as far as I knew, and the disease settled in the lungs of some people who had to be in those scary iron lungs whereas others it was the extremities. Not so, Shreve says.

I recall going with my mom now and then to visit our next door neighbor lady whose daughter couldn't walk at all. I'd have been about four then and really didn't understand that Nancy would never get better or be able to walk.

What a frightening thing polio was! Avoiding crowds was about the best anyone could do for prevention, and for too many, that wasn't enough.

Oddly, Shreve mentions at one point that it's documented that polio ravaged middle and upper class people more than the poor because poor people were accustomed to unsanitary, crowded conditions and thus had well-exercised immune systems better able to fight off the virus. Interesting, I thought.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by wmdkitty on Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:31 pm

Anyone have any good sci-fi or fantasy recs?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:01 am

Sure. I'm currently rereading Jack Finney's Time And Again about a guy recruited into a government time travel project attempting to explore the past in order to advance historical knowledge about major events. Simon Morley, the main character, is initially assigned to San Francisco in 1901, only five years before the big earthquake, of course. However, for various plot-advancing and personal reasons, he begs to be allowed to go back to NYC in 1882 and ultimately does.

Finney, a marvelous writer best known for Invasion Of the Body Snatchers, has a real flair for capturing evocative details of time and place so that you feel as if you're experiencing 19th century New York City along with Simon. Also, these two books are enhanced by the addition of period photographs and lithographs so that when Morley describes each of his fellow boarders in the boarding house where he takes a room, a photograph supposedly of that person is inserted into the text. A really pleasing technique that serves nicely to draw you into the time and situation, I think.

No time travel machinery involved if you prefer complex gadgetry as the means. Instead, Morley is trained to self-hypnotize and thereby place himself into the reality that all historical periods exist simultaneously, and thus, slipping into one we'd call the past is really fairly simple once you alter focus to it from your present time. Somewhat akin to what Richard Matheson's main character, Richard Collins, attempts to do in Somewhere In Time if you've seen that movie or read the book. Matheson writes some good things along these lines, too.

The pivot for the plot inevitably revolves around the danger that Morley's actions will irreparably alter the future. So, of course, they do in the stunning conclusion to the sequel, From Time To Time, although in a way you'll probably anticipate as you get close to it. I still find myself thinking, "Holy crap! that's a stunner" even though I know what'll happen. Don't cheat and read the ending first, or you'll spoil your enjoyment of a beautifully crafted story.

I've also enjoyed Mercedes Lackey's recent Fairy Godmother series which retells some classic fairy tales with Lackey's characteristically creative twists. Start with The Fairy Godmother, logically enough. Nice, light reading that won't tax your braincells to any extent, but you'll have fun along the way nevertheless.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Beribee on Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:35 pm

gillyflower wrote:Have you ever looked at Kiva? I friend of mine has gotten me interested in doing that.

http://www.kiva.org/

I like the idea of giving small loans to people around the world so that they can improve their lives a little and I like it that the loans are paid back and can be loaned to other people again and again..

Gilly, thanks for posting this.....I just joined and made my first loan!! Very cool site!

I also just read The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom....amazing book - I read it in just over a day!

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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by wmdkitty on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:46 pm

Thanks, guys!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:44 pm

Wow! Time And Again and From Time To Time are even better than I remembered.

Just finished TAA and started FTTT this afternoon.

Finney was such a masterful writer. Guess I'm getting old and incredibly picky anymore, but I hate to get into a book to find that the writing is so-so or the plot too predictable.

I've been reading a lot of classics over the last few years, because I know they're going to be worth my time. I've found I actually rather like Nathaniel Hawthorne, and I didn't much when I was somewhat younger. Dickens, too, although much of his writing is rather melodramatic by today's standards. Some wonderful characters in Dickens, though.

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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Willowcreek70633 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:54 pm

Dickens is one of my favorite writers! John picked up a great collection of his stories 2yrs ago for my birthday! I'm trying to stay "light" right now! Need to go to library here @ Gordon & get a few good books for the next couple of weeks! Watched a doc on PBS here about Mark Twain, loved it! Wouldn't mind picking up some of his books & rereading them!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:26 pm

Dee, watch for the first volume of Twain's full-length autobiography to be published in November.

Because he really dishes the dirt, he directed that it could not be published until 150 years after his death. Should be really something, I think, from excerpts I've read.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Willowcreek70633 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:45 pm

Really? Are you serious?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by RevJohn on Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:06 pm

Since I'm working on a dissertation, I'm reading more books than I can count, simultaneously and quickly, since I'm looking for good quotes and refs to back up what I'm saying. My main activity seems to be putting sticky notes of several different colors so I can find the juicy stuff later. I'm also reading Over-Indulged Children,, by Dr. James Fogarty. (He denies any relationship to John, BTW.) I happen to have one of those critters in my house, and I went to a workshop that Dr. Fogarty presented, and I liked what he had to say, so I bought the book, hoping to find something that works on my daughter. So far, I've come up empty, since I already knew everything he's presented from his bag of tricks. I'm hoping he's saving the really good stuff for the end. And of course, as an aid to meditation I read lots more books, the Bible, recovery meditation books, excerpts from Thomas Merton, recovery-oriented meditation guides, etc.
I'm also using the New Thought books I am using in my dissertation to help meditation as well, too.

No wonder I feel so scattered!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:38 pm

Willowcreek70633 wrote: Really? Are you serious?

Oh, yeah. This is something I've been anticipating for several years. We ex-English teachers keep up with life-changing news of this type. Very Happy

I was really disappointed when Halley's comet came around again. I'd rather hoped to get a good sighting of it since I've always associated it with Twain. He's often quoted as having said he came in with it and planned to go out the same...and did, it appeared the year he was born, and he died the year of its return 75 years later.
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