Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Bookwyrm » Sep 03, 2010 10:00 pm

I just finished Jonathan Stroud's new book The Heroes of the Valley yesterday. It's not quite as epic as the Bartimaeus Trilogy, but it was very enjoyable and every bit as funny. It's set in a Viking-ish society trapped in a valley by rumors of monsters in the moors surrounding. I was afraid it was going to be a The Village ripoff, but fortunately was not. There's only one main character, a boy named Halli who dreams of being a legendary hero. He actually reminds me a bit of Gen, if Gen were more naive and idealistic. Sadly there are no footnotes, but there are short legends at the start of each chapter, most containing hilarious bits. My favorite was the story of how Svein the hero picked his wife. He asks three sisters what he should bring them from the horde of the trow-king. The oldest wants gold and silver jewellery, the second wanted cooking implements, the youngest wanted a flower for to look at and remember him by. Upon his return, this is his comment to the sister: "You, the eldest, are clearly a vain sort of trollop, while you, the youngest, are appallingly fey. I'll pick you, the middle one, for your common sense request." ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby sweeetlilgurlie » Sep 04, 2010 7:57 am

Bookwyrm wrote:I just finished Jonathan Stroud's new book The Heroes of the Valley yesterday.


That's a good book! I thought it was very interesting-- but yes, the naivete of the main character bothered me at times. I didn't think it was new, though. I read it about a year ago. Is that considered new? I'll have to read it again.

QUESTION: How much does how the cover of a book looks influence if you want to pick it up and read it? For me, it's a big issue. I'll pick up the book if it has an ugly cover but has a cool title (or if i've gotten a recommendation from someone), but I just hate ugly covers.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Sep 04, 2010 3:31 pm

sweet: It influences me a GREAT deal. I don't care what people say; judging a book by its cover, is usually a pretty good way to gauge the book's content, and audience. Unless a cover says "Pick me up and read me!" I won't give it a second glance.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Valiant_Lucy » Sep 04, 2010 3:48 pm

Ditto, Digs. The cover influences me a huge amount. Of course if the book has already been reccomended to me by someone, the cover won't matter much, but if I'm browsing amazon or something then I only click on the books which interesting covers :P If a book has what I consider a "lame" cover :P or a uber uber cliche one, then I'm much less likly to pick it up. Anything original and interesting gets a second look from me :D
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Silver the Wanderer » Sep 04, 2010 4:46 pm

I know a lot of covers these days are photographs, but being an artist, I love covers with artwork on them. If I see a book with a really fantastic piece of art on the front, chances are I'll pick it up to see what it's about. :D
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby sandyentersNarnia » Sep 04, 2010 10:09 pm

silver the wanderer: I almost got stuck there too. ;)) But once you get into the second part of the first book, the pace picks up pretty quickly, I think.


Yeeeah, I'm almost in the Second part! I need approximately 4-5 more chapters till the second part. It really is confusing but fun! So, when you read the LOTR, how many months or days did you read it?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Sep 04, 2010 11:09 pm

The cover greatly influences my decision to read a book. I've read horrible books with great covers and great books with horrible covers. I wish more great books had great covers. :P But creating a great book cover is very difficult but very important. It should show relevance in terms of themes, characters, genre etc. and look unique. Like I said, easier said than done. I think the back-cover blurb is the second most important part of 'selling' a book. If the premise sounds interesting, I'm more likely to read it. If the book sounds run-of-the-mill I'll probably pass on it. But that's probably the way most people do it. :D
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Bookwyrm » Sep 05, 2010 2:29 am

I think I'm more influenced by the description of the book on the dust cover or the back of the book. Sure, a pretty cover is more likely to catch my eye than a bland one, but there are plenty of nice-looking books out there that I decided not to read when the blurb didn't interest me.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby sweeetlilgurlie » Sep 05, 2010 10:11 am

I forgot to say that I think the blurb is important too. The first thing I see is the cover, the second is the blurb. I picked up The Goose Girl because of the cover and bought it because of the author and the blurb.

The author is also important to me in selecting a book. I didn't particularly care for the covers of Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen by Garth Nix, but because the author was Garth Nix (whose other books I've read and liked) and I liked the blurb, I got the books.

Right now I'm reading some classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles. The story is really interesting so far, and I've never read this particular Sherlock Holmes story. I just remember vague bits of the Wishbone version, and remember that I was so scared that I almost wetted myself.

The part that I'm seeing right now with this book, besides the intriguing story, is that Conan Doyle is really good with description. I can see things and hear them in my head when he describes them. It's a really good amount of description, and done very well. He doesn't dump it all right in the front of each setting. He weaves it in and really lets you feel it. Very well done. I'll have to let you know how it turns out!
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Arwenel » Sep 05, 2010 12:10 pm

*makes her irregularly-timed return to the books thread*

Well, i'm used to books being lined up so that you can only read the binding, so the cover is marginally important in selecting what book i'm going to look at. The title is usually the first thing, and then i'll look at the blurb/summary, and if that's interesting, i'll open it and begin looking at the opening. But it's very rare that i'll read a book that hasn't come recommended to me.

My dad surprised us when he bought Mockingjay almost immediately after it came out. We drew names to see who got to read it first, and i got it second. I raced through it, then when everyone else who wanted to had read it, i re-read the whole series over three days.

Reading reviews on amazon, it seems a lot of people were disappointed with Katniss' behavior - running and hiding, etc. That never bothered me. After all she's been through, i thought it was natural. Sure, she fought to survive in the first two books and killed people when it came to it, but she hated it and once she and her family were safe in District 13, why would she get involved in killing more people? Not to mention that Coin was every bit as manipulative in her way as the Capitol had been.

I never really liked Gale either - i took Katniss at her word when she said she and Gale were hunting partners only, and his behavior in the second book (not talking to her, kissing her unexpectedly, etc.) seemed extremely unreasonable to me. His somewhat bloodthirsty nature was a logical extension of what was already set up in the first two books. It did seem like he was rather quickly disposed of, but after all that had happened, it doesn't seem unlikely to me.

Yay for Katniss killing President Coin! And i like the idea of Snow choking to death from laughter. It seems very fitting.

Books don't usually make me cry, for whatever reason, but i did feel very sad reading about Finnick and Prim; Finnick especially, because he had gotten so much development in the past two books. But the ending of the last chapter and the epilogue made me very happy. I think Peeta's been my favorite character throughout - though i liked most of the "good guys" - and i was glad he got his happy ending (for a given value of 'happy', of course).
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Lady Haleth » Sep 05, 2010 12:25 pm

Well, for me the cover is only marginally important. Some of the new Narnia covers are really strange. The blurb was what made me read The Hero and the Crown (not to mention that I was mildly intrigued by the girl with a sword facing a dragon on the cover). Then after I learned it was only a prequel, I read and eventually bought The Blue Sword, even though the first copy that I saw (in the library) had a really ugly cover, with a faceless girl and a horse that looked like it ought to be on a weathervane.
I really like Robin McKinley's writing, but the only other one I've read is The Outlaws of Sherwood. I want to find some of the fairytale retellings, though. (Beauty, specifically. I read about it online and it sounded cool.)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Silver the Wanderer » Sep 05, 2010 1:13 pm

sandyentersNarnia wrote:Yeeeah, I'm almost in the Second part! I need approximately 4-5 more chapters till the second part. It really is confusing but fun! So, when you read the LOTR, how many months or days did you read it?


I forget. I read them before I watched the movies, though. I also rented them from the library, so maybe there was a wait on one of them. But I really don't think it took me that long to read them. Maybe that's just because I'm an abnormally fast reader. I try so hard to slow down and "savor" a book, but it doesn't work. :p

Lady Haleth wrote:Then after I learned it was only a prequel, I read and eventually bought The Blue Sword, even though the first copy that I saw (in the library) had a really ugly cover, with a faceless girl and a horse that looked like it ought to be on a weathervane.


I have that book! My cover has a bunch of horses and riders on it, but I'm not sure if it's the cover you're talking about or not. I picked it up at our library's used book sale not because of the cover but because it had the word "sword" in the title. ;)) I haven't actually read it yet, though.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Liberty Hoffman » Sep 05, 2010 2:59 pm

haha I got my mom hooked on The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins! :D
she loves them! she made me give some stuff away though because the suspense was too much for her! :P
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Shantih » Sep 05, 2010 4:16 pm

I don't usually judge a book by it's cover, but there have been times I didn't want to buy a book because the cover was so awful. I once wanted to get a friend a copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera as a present, but discovered the edition currently in shops has what I think is an incredibly ugly cover. I wound up combing through second hand book shops until I found an older edition that was less offensive ;))

Years ago I was meandering through a bookshop looking for a book to read on a car journey and this cover caught my eye -

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I was almost horrorstruck, what would possess someone to give a book such an ugly cover? I'm not referring to poor old Jack Nicholson here, but the lurid orange with the unpleasant black lettering. I spent a little while staring at it in discust before wondering...it must be one incredible book, to get away with that cover. I suddenly decided to buy it to test this theory. And, I'm fairly sure anyone who's read One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest will agree with me - I was right ;)) So for once an ugly cover actually came in handy :p

I recently purchased The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene over the internet and didn't see what the cover was like until I arrived. It's probably on of my favorites, I sat and admired it for a few minutes before eventually cracking the book open :ymblushing: -

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Valiant_Lucy » Sep 05, 2010 4:44 pm

Haha, Shantih! That is a rather horrific cover :P

Speaking of good covers...why don't we all post our favorite covers of books? *thinks* Probably some of my favorites would be thus:

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(I just can't get over how much I love this one :P)

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This cover still properly gives me the chills :P (great book too, btw!)

Image Besides the fact that I find this cover very visually pleasing, it totally sums up the "feel" of the book. I saw it in the store and bought it without having heard anything about it, yet I knew I'd love it...and I did. :D

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I haven't read this book yet, and I don't really know what it's about--I just know I'm in love with the cover :P

Sorry. That was kind of image-heavy :P Anyway, please do all of you post your favorite covers, I'm awfully curious to see them! :D
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Adeona » Sep 05, 2010 5:51 pm

Covers: The cover of a book does influence whether or not I get interested in it, but not as much as the title and the blurb. Some books that I enjoy very much have unpleasant covers. (most notably Rosemary Sutcliff's The Lantern Bearers)

I've always thought this one is beautiful:
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The writing is also high-quality - except that Donnelly messed up on two important (to me) points: she does not capitalize "Bible" (c'mon, it's a book title, whatever else you think!) and there are a lot of gratuitous adult situations mixed into the tale. This is a YA book, so I did not expect that at all. I loved her style otherwise, but those two problems spoiled the book for me.

Way to keep at it with LotR, sandyentersNarnia! :ymapplause: :ymapplause: I really hope that when you finish you will be as big a fan as I am. :) I'm sorry, but I can't remember how long it took me to read the trilogy my first time through; it's been at least four years. I believe more recently it took me 2-3 weeks.

sweeetlilgurlie The Hound of the Baskervilles is a great story - and yes, quite spine-tingling in places! :p Have you read any other Sherlock Holmes mysteries, or is this your introduction?

That first cover is completely hideous, Shantih! :ymsick:
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