Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Mar 01, 2019 8:51 pm

SA, if the oldest teen really enjoys Austen & Dickens, I would suggest Elizabeth Gaskell as well - I always think of her as a mix of Austen's social commentary and Dickens' societal commentary, though I'm not sure if that's entirely accurate. ;)) I've only read a handful of her books, but I would recommend North and South and Cranford at least to start (both of which have recent/good adaptations; the Cranford one actually ties together stories from several of her books, I believe). I've heard good things about Wives & Daughters as well, but it's unfinished so you apparently should have the adaptation on hand to watch immediately after if you want a satisfactory end. ;))
Also, my guess is the oldest teen could handle any Dickens based on what's already been read, but it depends on what you're concerned about.
You all have probably read them (I actually haven't), but if not, Heidi, The Little Princess, or The Secret Garden are well-respected and loved classics - and I'm pretty sure there aren't too many (or any, hopefully) murders in them. ;))

Arwenel, I realized that most of my loved mysteries were children's books. XD However, in addition to your list, G. K. Chesterton has the Father Brown short stories, which are pretty good. :) Also, in my reading, I ran across two mysteries that stood out by authors who are better known for other things: The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne and Darkness at Pemberly by T. H. White (yes, that Pemberly, but in the mid-20th century); I don't remember tons about either, but I liked the first enough to own it and I remember bits of the second, so it stood out for something. :ymblushing: Also, I've heard good things about Ngaio Marsh and Ellis Peters, though I haven't read either as of yet. :)
That's too bad that the library system doesn't have Eagle of the Ninth! :( What other Sutcliffs does it have?
You'll have to let me know what you think of the Robin Hobb books/series when you finish. I've heard good things about her but never read any.
Thanks also for the refresher on Wilkie Collins! :)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Mar 02, 2019 7:05 am

As someone who enjoys the occasional classic, I've been wanting to try some Elizabeth Gaskell. But they don't have any of her books at my library.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Mar 02, 2019 2:14 pm

Was there a particular Gaskell you wanted to try, Col Klink? If you do well with e-books, it looks like Project Gutenberg has her books available. Otherwise, would requesting them via Inter-Library Loan be an option?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Mar 02, 2019 9:06 pm

I should look into getting Elizabeth Gaskell's books through interlibrary loan for the girls. We older girls have seen the mini series for Cranford, Wives and Daughters, and North and South, but I wasn't able to get into whichever book a friend loaned us years ago...I don't even remember which book it was now. :-\

Heidi, yes. The Little Princess, not sure...I think the library doesn't have it. The Secret Garden, I am pretty sure yes.

The teens have some biographies and non-fiction they have to read for school before I can help them get anything more from the library. So I am going to work on putting together a checklist for them and myself.

My February books read:
*Thunder Voice (Sam Keaton: Legends of Laramie #4) by Sigmund Brouwer
*Leave It To Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse - I listened to the audiobook for this one, and then found the library had it and got for the teens to read. They enjoyed it.
*The Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski - read as a kid, but couldn't remember if I liked it or not. So reread to be able to rate on Goodreads. It was okay.
*Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini - audiobook - I've seen the 1935 movie several times and so enjoyed listening to the book.
*Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How To Heal by Ben Sasse - It took me several tries to get all the way through this one, mostly 'cause I don't read this kind of book very quickly.
*The Happy Hollisters books 1-4 and 6 by Jerry West - Got these for the younger siblings, wanted to be sure I knew what they were reading. They were fun little reads.
*Kill Devil (Jed Patrick #2) by Mike Dellosso
*The Last Battle by Cornelius Ryan - audiobook - My brother shared this copy of The Last Battle with me several years ago, but I only read the first few chapters before putting it down and not picking it back up. I wanted to cross it off my list of books to finish and so choose the audiobook. Not an easy listen, but an interesting one.
*Code Of Valor (Blue Justice #3) by Lynette Eason
*and a couple of short children's books

Pages read in February: 2,550
2019 pages read: 6,193

I'm currently reading A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz, Spearhead by Adam Makos, and John: The Gospel of Wisdom by Michael Card. And listening to Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Anfinwen » Mar 03, 2019 11:11 am

SnowAngel wrote:I need help again for early teen books, this time from the classic fiction fans. Which Charles Dickens books and similar would be appropriate?

Others have said Elizabeth Gaskell, and I definitely agree. Someone mentioned Secret Garden, but as a children's book it is less Dickensian that some of Burnett's other books. I have only read a couple, but to me, That Lass O'Lowrie's is very similar to a Dickens book. Objectionable things are a young woman who returns with a baby after running off with a young man. She goes off with him again. A man gets caught by his own scheme to hurt someone else, and dies of his injuries; he is also abusive. However, these things are handled in the way they are in many classics, and I don't think it is too much for a slightly older teen. It's a really great book with a good hero and heroine, and good supporting characters. A Fair Barbarian is also a really fun, short book by Burnett, but not as Dickensian.
Ivanhoe and The Talisman are really satisfying classics with history thrown in. Silas Marner, and The Prince and the Pauper are good options, you can look them up on Wikipedia and read the plots to see if you find any of the content or situations objectionable.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » Mar 03, 2019 12:09 pm

I hate to admit this, but I don't think I've ever even heard of Elizabeth Gaskell. :ymblushing: Looks like she has some shorter books though, so I might have to look into them. What's everybody's favorite of hers?

I was looking through the reading list for the upcoming school year and I thought I'd post that list here because it looks pretty fun. ;)

Read-alouds:
The Usborne Time Traveler
Tut's Mummy Lost & Found
George Muller
(really looking forward to this one)
Archaeologists Dig For Clues
The Great Wall of China
Around the World with Kate and Mack
Catching Their Talk in a Box
Wonderful Houses Around the World
The Usborne Book of World History
A Child's History of the World
Henry Huggins
Gooney Bird Greene
The Year of Miss Agnes
Homer Price
Greek Myths for Young Children
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Mountain Born
Understood Betsy
Detectives in Togas
Little Pear
Owls in the Family
National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry
Happy Times in Noisy Village
The Year Of the Baby
Babe the Gallant Pig
Kildee House

.......
(Daughter's Reading List)
Put Me in the Zoo
Little Bear
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
A Fly Went By
The Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham
A Big Ball of String
The Best Trick
The Bravest Dog Ever
I Can Read It! Book 1
I Can Read It! Book 2
I Can Read It! Book 3
I Can Read It! Word Lists

.......
(Son's Reading List)
Frog and Toad are Friends
Frog and Toad Together
Owl at Home
Hill of Fire
Pompeii: Buried Alive!
Titanic: Lost and Found
Wagon Wheels
The Big Balloon Race
Mouse Tales
The Beginner's Bible
Daniel's Duck
Nate the Great
The Fire Cat
Greg's Microscope
Frog and Toad All Year
Amelia Bedelia
Surprises
The Sword in the Tree


ETA: Forgot Science
Pasteur's Fight Against Microbes
Space
First Encyclopedia of the Human Body
See How It's Made
What Makes You Ill?
Science Activities, Vol. 1
The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks
Why Do People Eat?
The Usborne World Of Animals


#:-s

A couple weeks ago, Sonlight sent out an email saying they were trying to clear out their warehouse of damaged books and offering 50% off to get rid of them. I sure jumped on that! I ended up getting about a third of this list steeply discounted, and the only one that was really damaged was Homer Price (half the front cover had been torn off). The rest were just little nicks and scratches. Score! ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby aileth » Mar 03, 2019 12:47 pm

fantasia wrote:I hate to admit this, but I don't think I've ever even heard of Elizabeth Gaskell. :ymblushing: Looks like she has some shorter books though, so I might have to look into them. What's everybody's favorite of hers?

North and South was the first I ever read and remains a favourite. It also helps that I watched the 1975 BBC version with Patrick Stewart and Rosalind Shanker (far too often; as soon as I watch it, I want to read the book again, and vice versa).

Anfinwen wrote:Others have said Elizabeth Gaskell, and I definitely agree. Someone mentioned Secret Garden, but as a children's book it is less Dickensian that some of Burnett's other books. I have only read a couple, but to me, That Lass O'Lowrie's is very similar to a Dickens book. Objectionable things are a young woman who returns with a baby after running off with a young man. She goes off with him again. A man gets caught by his own scheme to hurt someone else, and dies of his injuries; he is also abusive. However, these things are handled in the way they are in many classics, and I don't think it is too much for a slightly older teen. It's a really great book with a good hero and heroine, and good supporting characters. A Fair Barbarian is also a really fun, short book by Burnett, but not as Dickensian.

I always lump North & South, That Lass o' Lowries, and Charlotte Bronte's Villette together in my mind, due to the similiar setting and themes, I suppose.

Ever read T. Tembarom or The Shuttle? The latter is not a kid's book, but at the time I first read it I knew someone similar to Nigel Anstruthers, in thought process at least, so it was interesting. And FHB's Ruritanian book, The Lost Prince, is a good teen book, I would think. Fun read, at any rate.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Mar 03, 2019 9:03 pm

Anfinwen, The Talisman and Silas Marner are both a part of Abeka's curriculum, so we have them. I think one of the siblings is currently reading The Talisman as it is not on the shelf.

I meant to say thanks in my last post for recommending Leave It To Psmith several years ago, at the time the library didn't have it and I wasn't yet using Hoopla for audiobooks. So glad I revisited my list of NarniaWebber suggested books. :)

fantasia, hooray for books on sale. :D Homer Price is one of my favorite books, I have very fond memories of my parents reading it to my siblings and I. In fact we have two identical hardcover copies of The Complete Adventures of Home Price and just yesterday I put one of them away in a box for safekeeping...and more shelf space. :)

I made progress on A Bound Heart today, want to finish it and then really dive into Spearhead.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Mar 04, 2019 7:52 am

If your kids end up liking Homer Price, Fantasia, you should try to get the sequel, Centerburg Tales. I remember it being better than the first one. (The last chapter is especially great.)

I checked it out from the library a lot when I was a kid. But it's been weeded now. Don't you just hate that?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Meltintalle » Mar 04, 2019 9:25 pm

Arwenel wrote:Can you recommend any mystery authors besides Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or Dorothy Sayers, Valia? I like mysteries myself, but i'm hesitant about just picking up a book i haven't heard of before.


Not Valia, but if you enjoy that list you might also enjoy Margery Allingham and Patricia Wentworth. They wrote witty British detectives and if I remember correctly, Wentworth wrote a Miss Marple type heroine. I need to go back and find some more by these ladies. (And when I googled their names to check the spelling, Google reminded me that Josephine Tey is another good mystery author!)

Valia wrote:[Arwenel,] You'll have to let me know what you think of the Robin Hobb books/series when you finish. I've heard good things about her but never read any.
Ditto this! :)

I ADORED North and South when I picked it up last fall, so I may need to track down That Lass O''Lowrie's.

I can't remember why I picked up Jackie Castle's Illuminate series, but I enjoyed the first two installments. It's Christian Allegorical Fantasy, and Indie, so that's about four handicaps when you lump them together. :p The prose is weak, but the story had some original flourishes and ended up being a fun twist on 'follow the yellow brick road'. I finally got back around to starting and finishing the third installment, Emanate, and found it to be all the worst parts of the first two. It suffered from being mostly filler, but I guess I'm still interested in how it wraps up in the end, so there's some potential there.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Arwenel » Mar 05, 2019 8:21 pm

ValiantArcher wrote:Arwenel, I realized that most of my loved mysteries were children's books. XD However, in addition to your list, G. K. Chesterton has the Father Brown short stories, which are pretty good. :) Also, in my reading, I ran across two mysteries that stood out by authors who are better known for other things: The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne and Darkness at Pemberly by T. H. White (yes, that Pemberly, but in the mid-20th century); I don't remember tons about either, but I liked the first enough to own it and I remember bits of the second, so it stood out for something. :ymblushing: Also, I've heard good things about Ngaio Marsh and Ellis Peters, though I haven't read either as of yet. :)


I've tried Father Brown in the past, and have never been able to get into those. I'll have to look into those other authors. I'm pretty sure i've heard of Ellis Peters before, not sure about Ngaio Marsh.

Meltintalle wrote:
Arwenel wrote:Can you recommend any mystery authors besides Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or Dorothy Sayers, Valia? I like mysteries myself, but i'm hesitant about just picking up a book i haven't heard of before.


Not Valia, but if you enjoy that list you might also enjoy Margery Allingham and Patricia Wentworth. They wrote witty British detectives and if I remember correctly, Wentworth wrote a Miss Marple type heroine. I need to go back and find some more by these ladies. (And when I googled their names to check the spelling, Google reminded me that Josephine Tey is another good mystery author!)


Thanks, i'll keep those authors in mind when i next head to the library. I'm sure i've heard the name Josephine Tey before, but nothing comes to mind.

Meltintalle wrote:
Valia wrote:[Arwenel,] You'll have to let me know what you think of the Robin Hobb books/series when you finish. I've heard good things about her but never read any.
Ditto this! :)


I liked it overall, though it didn't quite feel like a complete story -- a lot of plot threads left dangling and many questions unanswered, but it's not only the first of a trilogy, but the first in a whole series made up of several trilogies, so i suppose that's to be expected.

There are some books that only occasionally reference activities like eating and sleeping, and there are some books that lovingly detail every single physical process, even the ones we aren't supposed to talk about in polite company. Judging from this first book, this trilogy is going to come closer to the second type than i like. That's not to say there were graphic depictions of anything in Assassin's Apprentice, just that from the number of times food was discussed, or the manner in which certain things were talked about, makes me suspect there's going to be content in later books that's more detailed than i usually like. But based on the person who recommended the series to me, and another Facebook friend who liked it, i'm confident it's never going to reach George R. R. Martin levels of detail.

It reminds me a bit of the Queen's Thief books, with the amount of political intrigue going on in the background, the fact that everyone (or nearly everyone) has their own goals and ambitions that may end up conflicting with those of someone they like or care about, and the potential for more supernatural events happening later. That may change as the books go on. Fitz (the main character) isn't nearly as skilled at court intrigue as Eugenides, but he's also still a teenager and in training, and one of my Facebook friends praised the author's skill for character development very highly, so i'm interested to see how that works out.

ValiantArcher wrote:That's too bad that the library system doesn't have Eagle of the Ninth! :( What other Sutcliffs does it have?


Twenty, including several Wikipedia tells me are connected to Eagle of the Ninth. If there's one thing more annoying than the library not having a book, it's having books that follow chronologically from that book. What do they expect me to do, read a sequel without having read the first one, like some kind of barbarian?

I finished All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater, and my re-read of Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.

The former was good, but a little odd. "Miracles" are mentioned several times on the book flap and in the first two chapters before we actually find out how they work in the book, and it's very different from turning water into wine or feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. Still, as i mentioned in my last post, the prose is lovely -- not something generally important to me, i think, since i can't remember the last time i thought to compliment a book's prose, but an admirable quality all the same. It was a book of themes, more than characters or plot, but the characters were still good and the plot didn't strain my suspension of disbelief. Definitely going to be looking into other books by the author.

Understood Betsy was interesting to re-read. Apparently the author was a big supporter of the Montessori learning method, which doesn't surprise me, even though i don't know much about Montessori. The writing style was a little too old-fashioned for my tastes (the story takes place around 1920), so i don't think i'll be picking it up again, but it wasn't a bad book, and it was nice to get a chance to re-read it.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Mar 06, 2019 9:18 pm

I finished A Bound Heart, it was a pleasant read. Although I much prefer the author's previous release, The Lacemaker, probably because of the setting and maybe a little bit because of the cover. :)

I made the mistake of starting Breach of Promise by James Scott Bell, Scarlet said to read it, but she didn't say it would be so hard to stop reading once I started. Between last night and this morning I read over two-thirds of the book.

Scarlet, my wonderful sister, was picking on me again for having instrumental music on while I was reading, to be fair the siblings were being noisy in another room and I had the music on it balance the noise. She is merciless with this one, even though I don't do it that often. Does anyone else ever put on instrumental music when reading?

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Arwenel » Mar 09, 2019 4:27 am

Literally just finished the third Farseer Trilogy book just now.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (i make do with 1 to 5 for amazon and goodreads, but it just isn't nuanced enough for me) i'd probably rate the trilogy as a whole as 7.5. It's the sort of book series i can understand other people loving, though i don't. I've seen some spoilers for the later books, and while i might pick some of them up at some later date, i think the ending of this trilogy is good enough for me.

The story is about Fitz, the illegitimate son of the crown prince of the Six Duchies, who gets brought to the court at six years old and, a few years later, is trained as an assassin. While his life isn't exactly easy for him, it only gets worse as foreign raiders begin to plague the coasts, one of his uncles plots against him, and he is caught between what his country asks of him and what he wants for himself. That is not a great summary, but these books are hard to summarize, particularly without major spoilers.

One of my Facebook friends praised Robin Hobb's character development skills highly, and i take it that comes from the later books in the series. The characters aren't bad, many of them are interesting and likable, but there's not a terrible amount of growth over the course of the three books. Some, yes, but not a staggering amount.

Some reviewers complained about the pacing, most notably of the third book, and i think that's a fair complaint. There's a lot of traveling and repetition. I didn't notice it a lot while i was reading, a testament to how much i was enjoying it, but ... yeah, certain things reoccur without an obvious point to them.

One other note, the book did get more ... descriptive on certain activities than i would have liked, but not to George R.R. Martin levels.

So, on the whole, not a wasted experience, but i'm not likely to go back and re-read or continue the series any time soon.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » Mar 11, 2019 7:52 pm

I'm rereading The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley. I remember liking this book, but I'd forgotten all of the details other than it's about Robin Hood. I'm glad I picked it up again. It's REALLY good. :D
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Ryadian » Mar 12, 2019 10:09 am

I just read that book sometime last year, I think? I liked it for the most part, though I'll admit I was kind of annoyed that Marian basically ended up being the true legend of the story. I don't mind a twist on the classic tale, but Marian went way too far into Mary Sue territory for me, what with being the most amazing archer and being the one who basically actually began the outlaws and everything. I read it right after reading Spindle's End by the same author, which I thought was a better book all around (aside from one plot element I didn't like), so maybe that colored my opinion. ;))

While I was reading it, though, I realized that I'd read The Hero and the Crown by the same author a long, long time ago - I was in 5th grade, I think? I hadn't realized at the time that it was a prequel to another book, which I never got around to reading. ;)) But now I'm reminded again that I really need to find both books again and re-read/read them for the first time. *Adds to reading list*
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Mar 12, 2019 8:59 pm

Oh dear, I meant to finish Spearhead before starting another fiction read, but that plan is probably out the window. Picked The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin up from the library today. I've been waiting for the next book in the Sunrise Over Normandy series since I finished book one, The Sea Before Us. Always enjoy Sarah Sundin's books. :)

I've read The Outlaw of Sherwood, but it's been several years. Scarlet had picked up a copy at a thrift shop after seeing it recommend on here. I never did get around to reading any more of Robin McKinley's books, although the library has several of her books. Should put them on my ever lengthening to read list.

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