Books: Chapter One!

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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Aug 09, 2010 11:06 am

Kate wrote:My library had a sale the other day so I picked up copies of Hamlet and The Tempest.


You know, for some reason I dislike Hamlet. My Shakespeare teacher in college said that it was her favourite tragedy, and likely her favourite Shakespearean work period, but I just couldn't stomach it. There were times when I just wanted to punch Hamlet in the face and shout out "DO SOMETHING ALREADY!" At any rate, Hamlet seemed to be an acquired taste. I think you'll have more luck with The Tempest (which is intriguing because A: it's the last play Shakespeare wrote and B: it can be read in two VERY different ways)

When it comes to Shakespearean tragedies, I'd reccommend King Lear or Titus Andronicus over Hamlet any day of the week. Either of them have much better characters I think ;)

Before the summer ends I really want to read Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke. I fell in love with Inkheart and was impressed with the direction the story of Inkspell went (although I think that Funke used a great many pages to tell a very simple tale), so I'm intrigued to see how she's going to end the series.
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby lysander » Aug 09, 2010 11:13 am

Well, the last time I was here I promised more thoughts on A Conspiracy of Kings, so here I come with a couple of links: a review (safe to read for anyone who's read the earlier books) and some more spoilery thoughts.

As always, reviews of other reads, both recent and not-so-recent, can be found here.

Since finishing ACoK (and, thus, since I've last posted), I've read three books: Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, The Brontes Went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson, and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. I'd had my eye on Briar Rose for a long time, and had even started it before, but I'm afraid to say that it was a huge disappointment. It has a great concept (Sleeping Beauty + WWII = win) and one very strong character in the grandmother, but the rest is mushy and distasteful. The Ferguson I won from the LT Early Reviewers program. It's from the same era as and somewhat in the style of Cold Comfort Farm, but despite some hilarious and charming passages ("I’m through with Holmes now, but I often think that he and I could have hit off wonderfully well in Baker Street, as I am not at all demanding, and rather love old clothes and arm-chairs, and silence, and smoking, and dispassionate flights of pure reason"), it left me cold. The Princess and the Goblin was not a total hit either, although as it was a childhood favorite of mine I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

I'm now reading the sequel, The Princess and Curdie, and I've found a few quotes from it that I absolutely love:
A mountain is a strange and awful thing. In old times, without knowing so much of their strangeness and awfulness as we do, people were yet more afraid of mountains. But then somehow they had not come to see how beautiful they are as well as awful, and they hated them - and what people hate they must fear. Now that we have learned to look at them with admiration, perhaps we do not always feel quite awe enough of them. To me they are beautiful terrors.

There is this difference between the growth of some humans beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. One of the latter sort comes at length to know whether a thing is true the moment it comes before him; one of the former class grows more and more afraid of being taken in, so afraid that he takes himself in altogether, and comes at length to believe in nothing but his dinner: to be sure of a thing with him is to have it between his teeth.


This fall I'm going for a bunch of dark, Gothic-toned volumes, including Dracula, The Woman in White, My Cousin Rachel, etc. It just seemed like the right thing to do for the season, and moreover all the books I've queued up are ones I've wanted to read for a long time. But I'm not starting quite yet ... after I finish The Princess and the Goblin, I really need to read Wildwood Dancing since I promised to loan it to a friend once I'm done, and AustenProse's Heyer month (thanks for the link, ww!) is making me want to read Friday's Child. Who knows? I may slip The Maltese Falcon and Death in the Family in there too.

I may play catch-up later, but that's all for now.
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby sillygoose » Aug 09, 2010 1:20 pm

I read Wildwood Dancing and even though it's a good read, I wouldn't exactly call it memorable.

I'm currently rereading Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. Some of the mother's reactions to their daughters sound like my mother and when I told her that she was like "noo i don't act like that" and i'm like "Yes you do mom".
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby Silver the Wanderer » Aug 09, 2010 1:45 pm

Meltintalle wrote:Silver, the problem wasn't that Oracles was complicated (I like complicated; done right, it makes the story feel more fleshed out) but the actual quality of the writing had changed. There were some really awkward similes that threw me out of the story and there didn't seem to be a character I could care about. *shrug* Thanks for the info about Leviathan, I appreciate knowing what I'm getting into.


Ohhh, I see. And agreed, I did connect to the characters in the first series more, and I like that series better overall.

One more thing about Leviathan - it's got some really neat artwork every couple of pages. I really enjoyed looking at it all. :D
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Aug 09, 2010 7:14 pm

Yes, Leviathan was an enjoyable novel. I loved the steam-punk setting and the artwork. The characters were also interesting and well-written.
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby Bookwyrm » Aug 10, 2010 12:23 am

The artwork for Leviathan was very nice. I wish publishers would embrace the idea that artwork is not just for little kids' books.
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby Shantih » Aug 10, 2010 12:06 pm

Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:I
I'm also continuing Stephen King's The Stand. 700+ pages in and still counting.


I'm also re-reading this at the moment, I'm working on it in between other books. I'm 900 pages in now, it's been years since I last read it and it turns out I forgot a ton of stuff. My battered, very well loved copy is just about holding up, but I've taken to reading it with a roll of sellotape next to me as pages keep falling out ;)) -

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Such is the consequence of having such a long book in paperback, I suspect :P
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby Lady Haleth » Aug 10, 2010 2:29 pm

Rereading Narnia (At LWW right now. I read them in chronological order). Also trying to finish The Return of the King, and about to start rereading The Last Olympian.
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Aug 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Very true Shantih. That's the copy I first read from my local library. For this re-read I bought myself a copy - it has the silhouette of a sparrow? on the front. I'm not sure how the cover artist confused a sparrow? with a raven/crow. Anyway, The Stand is one of my favourites. I'm also re-reading it in-between books but only graphic novels (Y: The Last Man and The Sandman) because I'd confuse myself if I read more than one novel at a time.

Do you have any idea why the first edition of The Stand has a bird-headed jester character and a man dressed in white who looks not unlike Luke Skywalker, complete with a sword? It just seems a bit random.

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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby sandyentersNarnia » Aug 11, 2010 12:54 am

So glad to be half way the book of The Secret Garden! I barely have time to read it so, yeeey! :D. Need to read too Greek Mythology.....
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby Shantih » Aug 11, 2010 10:05 am

It's definitely rather strange, W4J (well, the basic 'light vs dark in the desert' I get, but the bird head and whatnot escapes me), but I've always liked that cover a lot, I'd love to have a copy of it one day, even if it's not an actual first edition. I dread to think how much a first edition of The Stand goes for now, I've got first editions of some of King's newer work and even they're worth a few hundred pounds each #:-s

Actually, now I think of it...(very slight Dark Tower spoiler)
I think Flagg is often considered a sort of courtier character, serving the Crimson King. This might be why the dark figure has a jester outfit, although it'd have to mean King had done that much work on Flagg's character that early on.
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby Liberty Hoffman » Aug 11, 2010 12:15 pm

DiGoRyKiRkE wrote:Before the summer ends I really want to read Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke. I fell in love with Inkheart and was impressed with the direction the story of Inkspell went (although I think that Funke used a great many pages to tell a very simple tale), so I'm intrigued to see how she's going to end the series.




I love Inkheart too! I fell in love with it at once and I love reading it aloud (oh, the irony! :P )
Inkspell is good, but I didn't like it quite as much as Inkheart, though I re-read it recently and liked it better than the first time I read it.
I, in my own private opinion, did not like Inkdeath at all. to me it was depressing and full of really sad stuff. I did finish the whole thing so I could get all of the story, but the end was dissapointing to me after the awesomeness of the first two. I would love to hear what you think of it once you've read it!
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby joy93 » Aug 11, 2010 3:40 pm

I just started reading the Hobbit a couple of days ago, and i love it :D ;) :) Really a great book so far :ymapplause:
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Aug 11, 2010 4:20 pm

Much to the dismay of my fellow mods, I disliked The Hobbit. I thought that the plotline was pretty good, but I thought it was such an anticlimax. Cramming 12 main characters into a book is NOT my cup of tea. I was lost amongst all of the dwarves, and therefore felt no emotion at all when one of them died. Overall, I think I went into the book with rather unrealistic expectations.

There was also something about Tolkien's writing style that just didn't mesh with the writing style to which I am used. People say that C.S. Lewis is something like "Tokien knockoff," but I say it's the other way around. I don't think Narnia gets near enough credit as it should. Better than LOTR IMHO (but that's another conversation that belongs to a different thread, which is currently running in TAN)
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby narnian1 » Aug 11, 2010 5:52 pm

Shantih,
Oh boy! it would kill me if one of my books got as torn as that one, or for that matter even just a little. I take extra care of my books- paperback is only for shorter type books, long books are a must hardback. My family all refuse to borrow my books because I am so sensitive with them- books I've read countless times still look as new books. :p


DiGoRyKiRkE,
The Hobbit was the first Tolkien book I read, surpringly it was around the time that TTT was nearing its theater run. (I had no idea what LotR was, and I was 16yrs old). It was my birthday and my sister wanted to buy me a gift, I saw The Hobbit, the cover looked interesting (the green book), I chose that. Loved the book! It was once I finished it that it recommended LOTR and I was like "OH! so this is what LOTR is!" I previously expected it to be some sort of movie like Gladiator or Troy. I hadn't seen the previews on tv.

LOTR is better in every way almost than The Hobbit, and I found that they are really different from each other. Had I read LotR first I probably wouldn't have been able to get through The Hobbit since much of the material was covered in the trilogy.
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Re: Books: Chapter One!

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Aug 11, 2010 6:00 pm

narnian1 wrote: My family all refuse to borrow my books because I am so sensitive with them


My family aren't allowed to read my books! Having worked in the bindery/processing section of my local library for nearly three years, I've seen the damage that books can endure. I never open my books more than half-way, lest the spine break.

I actually heard from one of the publishers with whom we were in contact, that books today are made to be read two times before they start to fall apart. It's quite sad that we have books from 1700 that are in better condition then books printed last week :(
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