Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Sep 21, 2018 2:49 pm

wagga, I did know that the Walkers were based on a real family. The museum sounds interesting - hope you enjoyed it! :)

AJ, fair enough about the Walkers and Blacketts considering you (and me) landlubbers - though I tend to think the Walkers would have more tact about it than the Blacketts. ;)) I hope you get the chance to learn to sail! :D
Thank you for the information about Jasper Fforde's series and Early Riser! :) His books do sound interesting, though my impression has always been that his style...can take a bit of getting used to, maybe?
Then again, I realized I have actually read one of his books - the first Dragonslayer, I think. I picked it up some years ago at the library; I have a vague memory of it being fun enough, but the library didn't have the rest of the series and it stand out enough for me to go looking elsewhere.
Oooh! I've only seen the North and South miniseries all the way through once or twice, but I'll have to watch again and pay attention to the locations. ;))

Jo, your reading list always looks interesting, but The Radium Girls especially stands out to me! The uni library has it, so I'll try to keep it in mind when I do my next great book checkout from there. ;))

I just finished The Inextinguishable Symphony by Martin Goldsmith. The author did a pretty good job of holding a tension between the very personal world (a little too personal, in a few instances!) for his parents and their family members and the larger world of the Kulturbund and Nazi persecution. The last few chapters, in particular, were hard to get through but not unexpected. I recommend the book, especially to those interested in that period of history and/or with an especial musical appreciation (...Jo, for one).

I haven't decided on my next lunchtime book yet; unless I make a trip to the library, probably whatever I find when I dig into the boxes under my bed. :P ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby aileth » Sep 22, 2018 10:22 am

The Col wrote:I'm always surprised to hear that someone isn't familiar with Beatrix Potter.
Such great vocabulary for "mere" childrens' books. And very funny, especially The Roly-Poly Pudding. Plus all the others.

My favorite Dickens books are Great Expectations, which is kind of a you-love-it-or-you-hate-it thing, and Nicholas Nickleby which hardly anyone has read.


Nicholas Nickleby is great, though I'd have to say that my favourites are Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend. I have yet to read the real Great Expectations, and I think this is because I read an abridged version of it. Not really recommended for Dickens--they're much better in the original. Someday I will, though, as well as the others I haven't tackled: Oliver Twist, Old Curiosity Shop, and Hard Times.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby coracle » Sep 22, 2018 2:27 pm

Among the lesser known Dickens, I read Hard Times in the 6th form, and Our Mutual Friend in final year English (my major). The year after I graduated I read The Pickwick Papers, which took a few chapters to warm up, but was quite charming after that.
More recently I read the unfinished Mystery of Edwin Drood - and cannot recall anything - and the depressingly sad Bleak House (long drawn out lawsuits to get one's inheritance from the government fund known as Chancery).
Also in school years I read A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations. I don't recall if I read Little Dorrit or The Old Curiosity Shop.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Sep 23, 2018 10:38 am

What's interesting about Dickens is that his books that I find most interesting aren't my favorites on the whole. Like I'd say that Little Dorrit is a more interesting book than Oliver Twist. It has more original characters and thought provoking themes. But Oliver Twist is much better paced and more engaging. Similarly, Bleak House and Hard Times have more intriguing and original ideas than David Copperfield but David Copperfield is much more consistently enjoyable. I think Great Expectations may be the only Dickens book that is equally interesting and competent. That's part of why it's a favorite of mine.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Anfinwen » Sep 24, 2018 6:57 am

ValiantArcher wrote:Interesting that you think the North and South miniseries is better than the book. Other than a slight change in ending, I thought the miniseries was a pretty faithful adaptation of the book, but not necessarily an improvement.
I remember being surprised by liking A Tangled Web; it's another one I'm overdue for a reread on. Though I'm still more likely to reread The Blue Castle instead...

I haven't actually watched the mini-series all the way through, but what really stood out to me was how much more I liked and cared about the Higgins family. Mr Higgins was cast younger than I had imagined him, and just seeing them made me feel for them more. I thought some of the social type commentary took up too much of the book, but the more boring parts of a book always seem longest on a first read. I'm listening to it again and hopefully knowing the story will help with the slow parts.
I LOVE The Blue Castle! I devoured it the first time I read it and got a migraine in return. There's a nice non-professional recording of it on Youtube that I really like.
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I wish I had kept count of how many times I've read/listened to it, or maybe it's best not to ;)) I've been listening to it about once a year, but last year I re-read the actual book. When I did that I realized how much I missed hearing the sound of the the words. LotR has an almost musical quality to it sometimes.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » Sep 25, 2018 9:31 am

coracle wrote:The year after I graduated I read The Pickwick Papers,

It's a favourite around here! I mentioned my dad is a huge Dickens fan, so much so he names inanimate object after Dickens characters: his computer is Mr. Pickwick (The Pickwick Papers); his unusual antique clock (it can strike many times at one go ;))) is Mr. Micawber (David Copperfield), and there is another object in his home he has named, but it has escaped me right now. Will ask him and edit this post. ;))

He has charmingly detailed busts of a number of characters from the novels on a prime wall that he purchased at "The Old Curiosity Shop" in London, England when he was there on business decades ago. He also has gorgeous framed silhouettes hanging up near the front door of some of the more famed characters.

Anyway, that is slightly off-topic, but ... Dickens characters and writings are just so memorable.

But in other news, I finished "The Council of Elrond" chapter last night ... one of my favourite chapters in all LotR. So much fascinating and intriguing info is given therein!

Edit on Sept. 27: My dad's other household item that he has named after a Dickens character is his printer, Sam Weller (Pickwick's devoted servant).
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SSBN_Dawn_Treader » Sep 29, 2018 8:11 am

Re-reading the whole seven Narnia books was a welcome change of pace for me... I've pretty much spent all of August hunting on the Internet articles like that because the company I'm working demanded a complete survey of the latest news in the luxury real estate market... I may have dived to maximal depth for 2 entire days which I spent binge-reading books I had already read over and over again over the course of the last 12 years, but man, I needed that!

Fortunately enough, now, I've picked up Edward Rutherfurd's Paris, which is a masterpiece of historical references!
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Oct 09, 2018 8:29 pm

220chrisTian wrote:SnowAngel: I haven't read anything by Klassen since The Painter's Daughter. The more popular she became, the worse her style, which might have something to do with her publishing contract (X books per year). Haste makes waste.
I would like to reread her early books and see if they are worth it or she's just a read once author. But I have so many other books I want to read or reread that I probably won't touch any of Klassen's books.

Oh, I love North and South the miniseries. ;;) A friend recommended the book ages ago, but I never did pick it put although one of my sisters started reading it. She hasn't finished it yet.

I have seen Connilyn Cossette books a number of places on the internet and in the library catalog, I haven't yet pick one to read. What do you enjoy about her books, Anfinwen?

Oh, I need to read some more Wodehouse. I read Do Butlers Burgle Banks? last fall, what a fun read. :D

The Raven by Mike Nappa is awesome, and I need more Coffey & Hill. Unfortunately book three doesn't have a release date, just a maybe in 2019 or 2020.

The Tox Files are still epic. :x And Thirst of Steel...shattered my heart and put it back in pieces. Yes, it was epic and it made me cry in front of my siblings, I couldn't help it we were on vacation there was nowhere to hide. #:-s It was totally worth it, I just didn't want the character that got killed to get killed. But the rest of the team, Tox, and Haven made it through and I am happy with the book. Now I think I need to reread The Quiet Professionals series.

In the last couple of weeks, I also read the Roland March Mystery series by J. Mark Bertrand (It's awesome, top notch suspense/mystery fiction.), Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks (Doesn't compare with the Gwen Marcey series, Murphy wasn't a likeable main character. I hope CSP's next book is better), and most of Called To Protect (Blue Justice #2) by Lynette Eason.

Today Ronie Kendig revealed the cover for Storm Rising (The Book of the Wars #1) and it looks amazing. I can't wait to read more about Leif Metcalfe, he first appeared in the Discarded Heroes as he is Canyon's little brother and then reappeared in The Tox Files as Runt. And now he's getting his own series. B-) ;;)

I currently reading Called To Protect by Lynette Eason, I should go finish it when I get off here. My next batch of books to read is The Patriot Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse, A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter, and Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon. I also want to read Keep Holding On and All This Time by Melissa Tagg (bought Keep Holding On while on vacation last month, been wanting it for ages) and then With Love, Wherever You Are by Dandi Daley Mackall.

Oh...I just remembered I have two Susan May Warren books to pick up at the library, add them to the list after The Patriot Bride. And I have one non-fiction from the library that I haven't started Ghost Army of World War II by Jack Kneece.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 09, 2018 8:56 pm

Col Klink wrote:What's interesting about Dickens is that his books that I find most interesting aren't my favorites on the whole. Like I'd say that Little Dorrit is a more interesting book than Oliver Twist. It has more original characters and thought provoking themes. But Oliver Twist is much better paced and more engaging. Similarly, Bleak House and Hard Times have more intriguing and original ideas than David Copperfield but David Copperfield is much more consistently enjoyable. I think Great Expectations may be the only Dickens book that is equally interesting and competent. That's part of why it's a favorite of mine.


The trouble is with Charles Dickens is the schoolroom curse. Earnest teachers in the post war era thought books like David Copperfield, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Girl of the Limberlost and Oliver Twist were suitable for primary school students' reading and study. Primary school ages are usually from 8 to 11-12 years of age. Which is why I tended to avoid them ever after. :( I suppose some of those teachers wanted us to appreciate how well off we were, in Australia in the second half of the 20th century. Depends on the students' point of view of course, and in some cases what their circumstances were.

I did read Oliver Twist as an adult, having seen the filmed Musical, which I always find very enjoyable even in local theatre productions. Dickens' books were among those pieces of literature which were among the first to feature in radio productions, television programs and movies. One such television program was A tale of two cities which I saw a snippet of when visiting a relative - that bit of Madame Therese Defarge knitting her way as the tumbrils went by on the way to the guillotine. I had nightmares for years over that one. However, I enjoyed reading the book which I was given for my 13th birthday and enjoyed it immensely. I even enjoyed that story in comic form in what were Children's Illustrated Classics editions. Has anyone else ever seen these Illustrated classics comics or anything like them? Some editions included one about Marco Polo, Alice in Wonderland, HG Wells' books, like War between the Worlds and The Time machine as well as Jules Verne's novels and even two about the Bible, including Exodus and much of the history of Israel and Judah until the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Anfinwen » Oct 11, 2018 6:27 am

I finished re-listening to "North and South" and I think I enjoyed it much more this time. It did seem to drag as much as I remembered because I knew what was coming. I really love that story and definitely wan to see the whole miniseries sometime.

I'm currently in the midst of of re-reading two different series by Lynn Austin, "The Chronicles of the Kings" (I probably won't re-read the 4th book in that series as I personally don't like it as much) and the "Restoration Chronicles." I've really liked most of her books I've read.

SnowAngel wrote:I have seen Connilyn Cossette books a number of places on the internet and in the library catalog, I haven't yet pick one to read. What do you enjoy about her books, Anfinwen?

I like her Biblical accuracy, combined with intriguing plots. The book that got my attention and introduced me to her work was "The Wings of the Wind." It's based around the passage in Deuteronomy 21:10-14. I had thought before that the situation of women married into Israel this way would be an interesting premise for a story, and here it was! It does not disappoint! An interesting aspect of her two series about the exodus from Egypt and then settlement of Canaan, is that it's a good reminder of what kind of cultures God was using Israel to remove, and why He was so adamant that they not mix and become like them. It's hard to imagine the things that went on in those cultures.

SnowAngel wrote:Oh, I need to read some more Wodehouse. I read Do Butlers Burgle Banks? last fall, what a fun read.

I haven't heard of that one; I'll have to look into it!
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » Oct 24, 2018 3:23 pm

In prepping for homeschool during Christmas time, I checked out a bunch of children's Christmas books from the library. I got The Nutcracker, The Snow Queen, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
I couldn't believe I'd never read Nutcracker before, but I really enjoyed it! It's very much a Beauty and the Beast tale.
I haven't read the other two yet, but I accidentally got an abridged version of Christmas Pageant, so I'll probably return that one and find the chapter book instead.
Hoping to get Snow Queen read over the weekend.
Are there any other good Christmas books you all would recommend for younger children?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Oct 25, 2018 4:53 pm

I can't think of any great Christmas books that you haven't heard of already, FantasiaKitty, but I'd like to say that The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is one of the greatest American books I've ever read! (Most of the my favorite books were written by English or French authors.) Barbara Robinson did a great job sort of satirizing Church culture without coming across as offensive or mean spirited. I hope you can get a good unabridged copy.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Anfinwen » Oct 26, 2018 10:18 am

fantasia_kitty wrote:Are there any other good Christmas books you all would recommend for younger children?

I don't know what books you are already familiar with, but some that our family has enjoyed are "The Crippled Lamb" by Max Lucado, "The Three Trees" by Angela Elwell Hunt, "Jacob's Gift" by Max Lucado, "The Legend of the Candy Cane," and "The Legend of the Christmas Tree" both by Lori Walburgh.

There's a really sweet version of the "Nutcracker" story illustrated by Scott Gustafson.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 26, 2018 2:07 pm

I really liked The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, fantasia, although I think I was a bit older than your kids when I first heard the story.

In other booksy news, I'm currently reading Heretics by G.K. Chesterton and enjoying it a lot. I keep trying to get my mother to read his essay on cheese so she'll understand why I keep referencing him. =))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby aileth » Oct 26, 2018 11:37 pm

Betsy-Rose wrote:In other booksy news, I'm currently reading Heretics by G.K. Chesterton and enjoying it a lot. I keep trying to get my mother to read his essay on cheese so she'll understand why I keep referencing him. =))

So then I just had to go read it myself! (Hmmm, was that deliberate? Tsk, tsk :ymsmug: ) My first Chesterton essay was the one on chasing one's hat. Don't remember what it's called, but it was funny, and coaxed me into reading all of the Father Brown stories. There are some other's of his sitting on the shelf; haven't got to them yet.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Oct 27, 2018 3:40 pm

On the subject of Charles Dickens, I have Oliver Twist, Dombey and Son and possibly Our Mutual Friend on my bookshelf to be eventually read...

Anfinwen, hurrah for another The Blue Castle fan! :D
I'm still meaning to do a reread and then rewatch of North and South - hopefully sooner rather than later, but who can say!

Jo, I love that your dad is such a big fan of Dickens and names household items after his characters. :D

SSBN_Dawn_Treader, glad that you got to do a reread of CoN! :D

SA, have you worked any more Wodehouse into your reading rotation yet? :)

wagga, I've seen various illustrated classics for children, but apparently not the series you are referencing.

fk, I think I already mentioned Herriot's The Christmas Kitten, though that's not longer than a picture book. Otherwise, sorry - we never did much specific Christmas reading. Hope you find some good books, though! :)

Welllllll, I made another trip to the uni library and checked out a bunch of books. :P Most of them are about pioneering and homesteading women, but there are a couple about women in WWI and one about US Army nurses in the Korean War.
One of the WWI books was Faithful to Our Tasks: Arkansas's Women and the Great War by Elizabeth Griffin Hill; it was a bit dry and academic, but it had a lot of interesting details and was a fairly fast and short read.
I also read Oil Field Child by Estha Briscoe Stowe, which was an amusing read - and an informative memoir of growing up on Texas oil fields during the mid-to-late 1920s.

I also went to a booksale last month, and came out with about a dozen books (three being Foxtrot collections) - I have finished about half of them, though it's a little less impressive since several were middle grade books. But both The Finches' Fabulous Furnace by Roger W. Drury and The Family from One End Street and Some of Their Adventures by Eve Garnett were fun - and had cute illustrations. ;)) The latter reminded me a little of the All of the Kind Family books, simply in the style of storytelling (though it didn't hurt both were about large families).
I also read Woman of the Boundary Waters by Justine Kerfoot, a memoir about living and working in far northern Minnesota, on the Canadian border, in the 1920s and onward. I didn't love the book, but it was an interesting read; I also now would like to visit the area. ;))

I also read The Eleventh Trade by Alyssa Hollingsworth in the past couple of days. It left a bit of an ache - which is appropriate, due to the main character and his grandfather being Afghan refugees settled in Boston - but also seemed very familiar; I can't figure out the latter, other than an idea of a non-fiction book I read (and a fictional one I started) and a story I heard on a radio program. The characters felt very real, though, and I enjoyed guessing what trades would be made. I also figured out there would be a hitch with buying the rebab back, but I didn't factor in another refugee buying it. I was left with questions about some of the characters, but not enough to see where a sequel would naturally fit in. :) I will be definitely keeping an eye out for more books by the author, though.

I also just finished a reread of Alex O'Donnell and the Forty CyberThieves by Regina Doman. It's still not my favourite of the series, but I understood some of the characters and their dilemmas better this time around. :)

And I am currently reading Montana Woman Homesteaders: A Field of One's Own, edited by Sarah Carter; it's a collection of letters, diaries, and other accounts of female homesteaders in Montana, mostly during the early 1900s. I've just started, but so far it's been informative. :)
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