Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Arwenel » Dec 03, 2017 11:16 pm

Brief Cosmere note --

Sanderson isn't building up for an Avengers: Infinity War type crossover. He's described it as more like Star Trek, a shared universe with a lot of interconnected stories, characters, and places that occasionally interact with each other. Stormlight Archive is the "main epic", and because of that will probably have the highest concentration of crossover with the other books.

At present, i'm not really in the right frame of mind to organize my thoughts on Oathbringer -- i loved it, of course, as i love pretty much everything Sanderson's written. I'm currently listening to audiobook versions of The Way of Kings and the first Alcatraz book, because i haven't given him enough money yet.

Maybe someday i'll get to the library and read something by someone not named Brandon Sanderson. *glances at other books read this year* That is, something else that i like.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Dec 04, 2017 12:17 pm

ValiantArcher wrote: ;)) SA, hiding Christmas presents is always hard, but keeping the surprise of a book makes it even worse.
I am quite possibly the worst at saving gifts, I can keep a secret, but waiting to give a gift is so hard. :) With just three more weeks until Christmas, I think I can wait this time. ;)

Right after my last post I started reading Renegades by Thomas Locke and I just finished it yesterday. It was one of slowest, most annoying plots ever. Very disappointing and I have to write a review for it. /:)

Another recent read was Death At Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering, it's the sixth book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series. I love this series and these characters, and Death At Thorburn Hall was awesome.

I have some library books that need to be read and then I am hoping to read some Christmas books. I want to reread Engaging Father Christmas and One Shenandoah Winter this Christmas season.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Dec 13, 2017 6:51 pm

Dot, what do you think of Monstrous Regiment? I know I've seen it on the shelf at the library, but have never read.

How are the audiobooks, Arwenel? :) Has hearing them out loud let you pick up on new or different details?

SA wrote:I am quite possibly the worst at saving gifts, I can keep a secret, but waiting to give a gift is so hard. :) With just three more weeks until Christmas, I think I can wait this time. ;)
:D You can make it! ;))
Sorry to hear Renegades wasn't much fun. Have you been able to make it through your library books and start on the Christmas rereads yet?

I've been a bit slow at reading lately due to lack of time, but I'm about halfway through Conscience & Courage by Eva Fogelman. It's a survey and analysis of those who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, and it's been pretty interesting. I'm always a bit skeptical of psychological analysis, but that aspect hasn't been too dense and the author does make some interesting points, especially when considering common motives and why so many people didn't believe there was a need for rescue (at least for so long) - both Jews and Gentiles.

I also finished a reread of Black as Night by Regina Doman. It's been a number of years since I read it and time (and the accompanying challenges and growth) gave me a new appreciation of it. :)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Jan 01, 2018 5:45 pm

ValiantArcher wrote:
SA wrote:I am quite possibly the worst at saving gifts, I can keep a secret, but waiting to give a gift is so hard. :) With just three more weeks until Christmas, I think I can wait this time. ;)
:D You can make it! ;))
Sorry to hear Renegades wasn't much fun. Have you been able to make it through your library books and start on the Christmas rereads yet?
Hoorah! I did it! :D

I slipped a couple of Christmas books in around Christmas: The Promise by Michael Card and Engaging Father Christmas. I still plan to read One Shenandoah Winter this winter.

I finished Before You Wake by Erick Erickson right before Christmas. It was excellent, I really enjoyed read it.

I finished 2017 with 130 books "read" (including about 20 audiobooks), going to try to read 120 books in 2018 plus 20 audiobooks. I only read 7 and half non-fiction books and listened to 2, so I guess a goal of 10 total non-fiction in 2018 should be attainable. :) But I plan on more than that.

My other 2018 reading goals are at least 12 Agatha Christie books since we have two boxes of them in our storage room and every unread book that I own which is about 25-30 I think.

I am read currently reading Shadow Warriors of World War II (didn't get read the first time I got it from the library, so I got it again) and Holding The Fort by Regina Jennings. I'm finding the writing style in Shadow Warriors is making it a little hard for me to really enjoy it, it feels choppy.

Scarlet just read The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone, and she recommends to those over 18. Since she enjoyed it, I plan to read it this year and hopefully this month. Valia, it sounds like one you would enjoy, if you haven't already. :)

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby shastastwin » Jan 02, 2018 7:55 am

My reading goals for this year are to read at least 75 books (same as last year, though I wound up reading 99), finish some of the books I've started and left hanging, and finish up some series reads/rereads I've started.

Currently, I'm in the middle of Katherine Arden's The Bear and the Nightingale and Tad Williams' To Green Angel Tower, the latter of which has taken me entirely too long to finish due to diverting my attention to library books (including The Chestnut King, which I need to write up my review for). :ymblushing:

I started listening to Stephen King's The Waste Lands this morning on the way to work. It's the third book in his Dark Tower series, and I'm expecting I'll enjoy it since book two, The Drawing of the Three was one of my better-enjoyed books of last year.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Jan 06, 2018 5:49 pm

Congratulations on making it with the gifts, SA! :D And congrats on your impressive number of books read in 2017! :D
Thanks for the recommendation on the Jason Fagone book! The uni library has it, so I will put it on my mental to-read list once I make it through the books I currently have checked out from there. :P ;))

Congrats on reading 99 books in 2017, stwin! :) What did you think of The Chesnut King (and, I assume, the 100 Cupboards series in general)?

I finished 95 books in 2017, 26 of which were non-fiction. Not as good as either of you, stwin and SA, but considering that it wasn't a great year for reading or books, pretty decent. :)

I finished Conscience & Courage by Eva Fogelman. Overall, my initial thoughts held true, and it was a very interesting survey. :)

I also managed to read and just finish Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson before 2017 came to a close. I'm not sure how I feel about it - there were some things I really liked, and some that I rather disliked...
SHOW SPOILER Oathbringer
I agree with Dot that there wasn't enough Lift in the book. :P ;)) She was "awesome" when she was there, but she wasn't there enough and we got maybe one little scene from her perspective.
Actually, I agree with Dot on a lot of her points. ;)) Shallan's and Wit's conversation about the split personalities/different aspects was very well done and a definite highlight.
I was rather upset about Elkohar's death (he was trying so hard! He was looking up to Kaladin and trying so hard to be a better man (semi-questionable role model aside - I mean, Kaladin is great, but he's far from perfect or figuring everything out) and he believed the best about his wife up to the end (and I was so hoping he'd be right :( ), and then he took his son and was trying to be a hero and he was so thrilled about Shallan's drawing of him and the hope of who he could be, that he could be better! AND HE WAS ALMOST A RADIANT WHEN MOASH KILLED HIM! GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!) - I almost shut the book and walked off for a bit. :P
I had hoped that the flashbacks with Dalinar would make me like him better, thinking that we would get to see him before things went bad and looking forward to some sweet interactions with him and his wife, BUT NO. Poor Evi!!!! She did deserve so much more! :( She was wonderful, and she tried so hard, and Dalinar JUST TROD ALL OVER HER AND WAS A TERRIBLE FATHER AND AN EVEN WORSE HUSBAND. The only bright bits we got were then overriden by his behavior - the fireplace scene, Adolin's birth, and then the ride in the carriage when Dalinar tries for the very briefest of moments to understand Evi. And, yet, even when he recognizes he doesn't deserve Evi, he spends something like seventeen years not changing who he is or even really trying. I don't think he even really tried to love her. :/
And I was furious about Navani calling Evi vapid. I do understand the cultural value of witty women, but still...no one tried to be kind to her or reach her on her cultural level. :(
All that said, the flashbacks were informative, and did explain exactly why Dalinar made the deal (oh, but after he always dealt so harshly with Evi for bring up the Nightwatcher! Her confession that she thought about going to the Nightwatcher to ask that she would be made an intelligent wife, so that Dalinar would be proud of her, was heartbreaking. :(( ) - but the man who came out of it was hypocritical. I understand the importance of Dalinar becoming that man so that later he could handle what he had done, but still! I still don't understand really what the Thrill was or why he trapped it, though...
And Dalinar still needs to tell his sons that he killed their mother, however unintentionally, since it was his wrath and lust for vengeance and his hard heart that killed her. And he also really needs to apologize and make amends for being such a horrible father - especially to Renarin (I couldn't believe he forgot about him and just thought he wasn't suitable for battle and thus didn't matter). While he's at it, too, Navani needs to know the truth. I still am very unhappy about that relationship, but she is his wife now, so...
And Renarin. GAH. I still don't know how or what it means that he somehow bonded a "corrupt" spren (on one hand, it wasn't a good thing based on Jasnah's reaction and Renarin has obviously been in some turmoil and torment because of it but on the other hand, Renarin was allowed to heal people and Glys didn't necessarily seem malevolent based on what we saw?), but the poor boy needs more hugs and lots of help. I'm not a fan of Jasnah, but her actions in that scene were excellent and made her much more human. I loved that she let her love for Renarin and the memories of a small boy clinging to her for comfort because his father doesn't love him override her logical decision that he was a danger; her making the decision to not kill him and instead hugging him was wonderful.
Adolin...I warmed up to him some this book (as Kaladin said, you couldn't help liking him), but I still don't think his murder of Sadeas was dealt with well. Even though he's conflicted, he still thinks he was justified and Shallan's and Dalinar's reactions didn't help matters (COME ON, FOLKS!). His simple, though not very helpful, statement that he liked Shallan as Shallan was sweet.
As for Shallan...I'm glad she finally got some handle on her different personalities, but, like Dot, I'm kinda concerned that they will make a reappearance at some point.
And I am kinda relieved that the love-triangle didn't become full-fledged...but I don't like how it was resolved. It didn't really feel like a resolution - or, rather, it didn't resolve things between Kaladin and Shallan. Shallan shoves her feelings/thoughts into a "Veil's feelings" basket (which is also her???), never mind that Veil didn't come into the Life-Changing Adventure in the Chasm sequence at all. Kaladin also makes a sudden (and not very convincing?) argument that he didn't have any feelings for her, that she simply reminded him of Tien???
Kaladin was great. I really appreciated his character growth, especially as he consciously tried to overcome his prejudices - particularly as he realized the insustainability and shallowness of his hatred for lighteyes. His reunion with his parents was wonderful, and his adventure with the Parshendi was bittersweet. Elkohar's death scene was heart-breaking, as Kaladin came face-to-face with his inability to save everyone. :( Also impactful was the scene where Kaladin came close to speaking the Fourth Words. I'm very curious about what the words were that he couldn't quite speak - accepting that he couldn't save everyone, maybe?
Syl was great too. :) Her attempts at hiding who she was in Shadesmar were funny and a bit sad, especially as we found out why.
I did feel like there were threads dropped, especially Rlian's. I did enjoy Venli becoming a Radiant - I hope she comes about and breaks away from her overseers. I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing more of Rock and his family in the next book.
It also sounds like the Windrunners have the advantage of the Knights Radiant with 5 (assuming Skar and Druhy are both Radiants now) full-fledged members now, not to mention a whole troop of Squires. ;)) Though I don't remember Teft saying the Second words? He said the Third words, though, to become a Radiant... Can the Words be said out of order?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby shastastwin » Jan 08, 2018 8:20 am

I really enjoyed The Chestnut King and Dandelion Fire, though the first book felt very thin on plot and substance (especially compared to the premise and the heft of the later books). All in all, it's a series I'd recommend to fantasy lovers, especially those who like a more intuitive brand of magic as opposed to Sanderson's style of everything is explained in scientific detail. ;))

I finished up The Bear and the Nightingale last night and, while I'd love to jump into the second book, $13.99 for the Kindle edition seems a mite . . . expensive. Perhaps I'll catch a daily deal for it like I did for the first one.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » Jan 08, 2018 9:04 am

*makes a note of Conscience and Courage* Thanks for that recommendation, Valia.

I'm not one to keep track of how many books I read ... I just keep reading. ;)) But I have read many excellent books—mostly biographies and autiobios, amidst other non-fiction—this year, having recently completed the new Martin Luther. Excellent. Eric Metaxas does not shy away from the negatives (which are disturbing, no doubt), yet there is also much that is positive. Whatever you think of the man, there is no doubt he changed the world, and his phenomenal accomplishments affect our democratic societies even today—500 years later! After reading Martin Luther, I'm itching to re-read Metaxas' large and fascinating Bonhoeffer tome again. Would like to fit that in this year sometime, along with my biennial The Lord of the Rings re-read (probably mid-year or into the fall a bit).

I have read a tiny bit of fiction, but nothing stood out :P aside from my regular re-read of something rather familiar around here ... the seven treasured books of The Chronicles of Narnia ♥ which truly become more precious with every read.

One of our sons purchased Darkest Hour for us for Christmas (Churchill's first agonizing while as PM). My hubby recently finished the book, and it's next on my reading list. We would really like to see the film, but may have to wait until the DVD, since the movie's release is quite limited (here in Ontario, anyway).

When I read Fierce Convictions earlier (Karen Swallow Prior), I somehow missed the Epilogue, which I then picked up again over the holidays. Well worth it! Hannah More is one of Britain's best-kept secrets. What a woman—poet, playwright, philanthropist, abolitionist. A little known fact is that her books outsold her contemporary, Jane Austen! More was indeed a household name back then (late 1700s/early 1800s).

Our other son gave me A Train in Winter (Caroline Moorehead) as a gift. 'Tis the powerful and moving story of female French resisters who were rounded up and sent in 1943 to Auschwitz, and recounts their tremendous trials and friendship in the most horrific circumstances.

We have never been big magazine subscribers, but one that we regularly receive (and so appreciate) is "Just Thinking" from RZIM. The always stimulating articles are such treasures as they delve into deep life issues. This magazine "exists to engender thoughtful engagement with apologetics, Scripture and the whole of life". We really can't get enough of what RZIM has to offer, both in print and on the radio.

My dad is turning 91 on Jan. 15, and still loves receiving books for his birthday. We bought him Jan Karon's newest Mitford book, To Be Where You Are, along with The Flying Scotsman by Sally Magnusson, which Valia and I have mentioned earlier here. I'm actually receiving this for a late Christmas gift, as well, but it's sure taking its sweet time to arrive via the post. ;))

EDIT: I have been fascinated by old hymnody for quite awhile now, so gobble up any reading related to these wonderful songs (lyrics and music). I do love that there is a strong movement (by the Gettys, and a few others) not to lose these amazingly rich treasures in our day-and-age, many of which are hundreds of years old.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Meltintalle » Jan 11, 2018 11:12 am

*also takes note of the recommendation of The Woman Who Smashed Codes, A Train in Winter, and Conscience and Courage*

There are so many interesting stories to come out of France in WWII. My last book of 2017 was A Good Place to Hide: How One French Community Saved Thousands of Lives During WWII by Peter Grose. It looks at the influence a pastor had on his congregation and the surrounding area, as well as the history of the community, and how all these diverse pieces worked together without knowing what was going on... It's not as dramatic as some stories, but it shows the cumulative effect of a bunch of little things.

I didn't make my goal of averaging two non-fiction books a month last year. (I finished with 23. :p ) I keep saying I have a truly staggering to-read list, and then I go off and read something else. :ymblushing: But I've checked out a biography of Lucie Aubrac and I've got The Women Who Wrote the War on top of my non-fic reading pile for this month.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Jan 13, 2018 10:00 pm

ValiantArcher wrote:Congratulations on making it with the gifts, SA! :D And congrats on your impressive number of books read in 2017! :D
Thanks for the recommendation on the Jason Fagone book! The uni library has it, so I will put it on my mental to-read list once I make it through the books I currently have checked out from there. :P ;))
:) Well, if it wasn't for the audiobooks I won't have made it, but thanks to hoopla I did it.

I am currently reading The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz and The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse. Hopefully this time I will make it all the way through The Vanishing American Adult before it's due at the library, it's an excellent book - I just am not that fast a reader with non-fiction.

I am really enjoying The Lacemaker besides the gorgeous cover and the fabulously named main characters Liberty Lawson and Noble Rynallt, the story itself is highly intriguing thus far. :)

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » Jan 16, 2018 2:01 pm

Mel wrote:My last book of 2017 was A Good Place to Hide: How One French Community Saved Thousands of Lives During WWII by Peter Grose.

That sounds excellent. *makes a big note of this one, as well as The Women Who Wrote the War*

I have begun Darkest Hour, and can hardly put it down. ('Though I'm trying to ignore a very few editing mishaps. :P ) To see Churchill's agony in these weeks after he became PM, and especially as Dunkirk took place, makes me shudder, and even weep. We look back now and say well, isn't it all obvious what decisions should have been made?. But! it surely wasn't as clear then. What a dark time for England! In the midst of it all came Churchill's powerful speeches to the people, some of which are quoted in this book. There is no doubt his memorable and utterly inspiring words stir up valour and courage—they certainly make me want to stand up and salute and defend my homeland as I read them—yet without denying the reality of the horrific crisis.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby coracle » Jan 16, 2018 4:10 pm

In the last few years my reading has been sporadic. This is a new year, so with my recently acquired Kindle I can try to do better.
I read LOTR every year, and at home I tend to re-read a number of the lighter books on my own shelves. Somehow in the last couple of years I had got out of the habit of borrowing from the library.
Here in UK I have joined the library, and there are also a few local charity shops where I can get cheap reading material. So between all these, I should manage to read more than in the last year or so.

My first on the Kindle was The Garment Maker's Daughter, by Hillary Adrienne Stern. It was an early 20th century USA immigrant story, with an interest in the early trade unions and poor working conditions, as well as Jewish migrants.

Now I am reading the published e-book copy of Restoration Day, by Deborah Makarios. It's a coming-of-age, young adult fantasy with lovely ideas and humour.
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