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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Mar 15, 2019 2:19 pm
by Avra
Re: Robin Hobb
I read a book of hers over 10 years ago at the library, and have wanted to reread it ever since. Unfortunately, I clean forgot a) the title and b) the author’s name. I just now rediscovered it: it was The Blue Sword!
I did this before with a book called The Best of All Possible World’s by Karen Lord. Thankfully, that only took me half a decade to rediscover, instead of the entire decade.
Anybody else ever done that?

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Mar 17, 2019 5:48 pm
by flambeau
Well, here I am, posting for the first time in *checks notes* almost four years. :ymblushing: I don't even know where to start on what I've been reading in that amount of time, so I guess I'll just give an update on what I've done so far this year. I'm planning on reading 52 books this year; I started out strong, lost all motivation in February for life-related reasons, and am just starting to get my reading feet under me again.

1: Caraval, Stephanie Garber. I can't say I was impressed. The story concept could have been cool, but I felt the execution was lacking and the author's prose was much too purple for my tastes. I won't be continuing the series. 2/5.
2: Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel. I enjoyed it well enough, but came away with more questions about the world-building than answers. Decent writing though, so I'll give it a 3.5/5.
3: The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith. Creepy, but so, so good if you like dark and twisted characters. I enjoy them in moderation and Tom Ripley certainly makes an impression. 4/5.
4: Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear. I didn't find it engaging at first and I figured out the mystery plot pretty quickly, but I'm glad I stuck with it because I really liked the ending. Will be continuing the series. 4/5.
5: Close Range, Annie Proulx. I picked this one up at work because I was in the mood for short stories. The writing was very moody and atmospheric, but I didn't much care for the stories themselves. 3/5 because it kept my attention and distracted me from things I didn't want to think about.
6: This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab. I really enjoy Schwab's work and this was no exception. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where monsters exist and humans fight one another for control, the question of what truly makes someone a monster is an appropriate one (this is a recurring theme in her work so if that's a question you find intriguing then I'd recommend giving her novels a try. Vicious is a personal favorite). 4/5.
7: The Archived, Victoria Schwab. Ghosthunting teenagers trying to solve a mystery that someone doesn't want them to solve. It was an enjoyable read and I've already borrowed the sequel from the library. 4/5.

The reading list never gets any shorter, but I'm hoping to make a dent in it. I miss the days when I could read 150 books in a year with no trouble.

--- flambeau

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Mar 18, 2019 1:09 pm
by SnowAngel
flambeau! :ymhug: It's so nice to see on you on the forum. :)

Due to family stuff it took longer for me to finish The Sky Above Us than I thought possible, but I did finish it Sunday afternoon. I liked Adler and Violet better than Wyatt and Dorothy (main characters in The Sea Before Us), but I think the pacing of the plot was better in The Sea Before Us. Love/hate the parallel stories in each book of the series, if all the books are available to would be super cool...but now it's almost a year until the final book will be released and I need to know now how the brothers are all three reconciled. /:)

My next fiction read is Searching For You (Orphan Train #3) by Jody Hedlund.

Still reading Spearhead by Adam Makos, it's harder to read than most of the WWII nonfiction I have read. It's very well written, just a hard subject. The people seem more real in this book than a lot of what I've read and oh, there are so many deaths.


Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Mar 23, 2019 2:55 am
by Arwenel
I don't know what's different about this year, but i've been reading so many more books this year ...

In the past week or two, i've read Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (the second book in her Lunar Chronicles), Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (also writes under Victoria Schwab), and just finished An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson.

Scarlet: A fun re-telling of Red Riding Hood in a cyberpunk, vaguely dystopian setting. I read Cinder, the first book in the series, a few years ago and found it enjoyable but not gripping, and this book was pretty much the same. It doesn't really try to be any more than that, though. Planning on reading the rest of the series. 7.5/10

Brat Farrar: If you've read any Agatha Christie books, you can probably tell where this book is going within the first few chapters. I wouldn't have minded that so much if there had been anything interesting or inventive done with it, but there wasn't. The characters were mostly pleasant -- except for Simon, who was a disappointingly bland (and obvious) villain, and Alec, who doesn't do much after the beginning and never gets his comeuppance -- and there were some funny moments, like when Brat was arguing with himself, but otherwise it was just "meh". 6/10

Six of Crows: I'd seen a lot of enthusiasm for this, but the first time i tried reading it i didn't find it gripping. Second attempt, i found the characters unique and very interesting. I'm old enough now that a cast of teenagers involved in such spectacular events raises an eyebrow -- there really weren't any experienced adults available for this? -- but it's kind of inevitable with YA, and given that in the book's setting teenagers might very well be considered adults, it wasn't a deal-breaker. The plot is a bit helter-skelter near the end, but it was one of the better reads of late. Definitely looking forward to the sequel. 8.5/10

A Darker Shade of Magic: A bit underwhelming. The idea of four Londons, one cut off from magic, one devoured by it, one dying to it and a fourth flourishing with it, was fascinating. But the actual descriptions in the book were disappointing for me -- i didn't get a good feel on how Red London had been shaped by magic, and White London wasn't nearly as compelling and creepy as it sounded in the blurb. The two main characters were okay, though i wanted to smack Lila a couple times, but there wasn't much description for the others, which was particularly disappointing with regards to the villains. The dialogue pulled me out of it a couple times -- i'm pretty sure that the word "okay" wasn't common parlance in Regency England. I'm going to give the sequel a shot, but i'm not particularly hopeful. 5/10

An Enchantment of Ravens: As someone who's never had heart-fluttery feelings or been flustered just by another person's good looks, i'm always a bit put off when a book relationship begins just because one character thinks another one is hot. But in this case, there seemed to be more to it than just appearance, Isobel managed to act sensible about it (most of the time), and Rook didn't fall into the "he's a jerk because he likes you!" cutout that i've seen in other books. Apart from that, this was another good read that didn't expect or try to be more than that. 8/10

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Mar 23, 2019 8:40 am
by Meltintalle
Arwenel, thanks for the complete update on Robin Hobb. I think I'll keep her work in my possible to-read list, but not move it up in priority. :)

I also just read An Enchantment of Ravens! As a romance I was left underwhelmed, but as a venture into the realm of faerie it was delightfully weird and well-done. (I liked the sisters, and wished we could have seen more of them.)

While looking up mystery authors, I ran across the name Ngaio Marsh and happened to find a selection on the shelf while visiting the library. I picked up Scales of Justice. I'm not finished yet, but I do have a strong contender for who-done-it with an equally possibly second choice. On the whole, I'm enjoying it, but it's not run-tell-all-your-friends amazing. ;))

The same library trip also put Move Your Bloomin' Corpse (Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle solving a mystery? It'll be an interesting data point for my thoughts on sequels and reimaginings of iconic media), We Bought a Zoo (non-fic), Cheaper By the Dozen, and Dawn of Wonder (by Jonathan Renshaw) in my to-read stack.

re: Robin McKinley: Outlaws of Sherwood is one of my favorite takes on Robin Hood; I prefer Blue Sword to Hero and Crown (but the first half of Hero, where we have the princess bonding with a cranky horse is the perfect mix of fantasy and horse story that if it had ended there it could very well have been my favorite book ever); and of the fairy tale retelling entries I like Beauty and Door in the Hedge.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Mar 27, 2019 6:36 pm
by ValiantArcher
fantasia, North and South was my first Gaskell book and it remains my favourite. ;)) Cranford was also pretty fun - and short. I never made it past the first couple of chapters of Wives and Daughters though I should give it another try sometime. I remember Cousin Phillis being a bit sad/melancholy, as was My Lady Ludlow. Mary Barton is a bit of a cross between a crime drama and a romance, but is definitely a first novel (I enjoyed it anyhow).
Your book lists always look like a lot of fun. ;)) I enjoyed Homer Price but I don't think I really got some of the humour until I was a teen (not that it was inappropriate, but it just flew over my head).

Arwenel, I completely understand not getting into Father Brown/Chesterton. :P If you do end up reading Ngaio Marsh or Ellis Peters, I'd be curious to hear what you think! :)
By the by, I've heard Josephine Tey most in connection with her Daughter of Time book, if that rings any bells? (The same apparently has some rather negative portrayals of a historical group of people I am rather defensive of, which is the author's prerogative - but means I have never wanted to pick it up.)
Thanks for the review of Robin Hobb! I'll keep her on my "maybe when I have more time and interest" list, but won't rush to pick up her books. :)
Arwenel wrote: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?
Haha! But definitely. :P I'm trying to think if any of the ones I've read would interest you. Unfortunately, only a couple stand out strongly, and the only one I can say with strong certainty that I like (The Shining Company) is one I've been informed my opinion of is not an universal one. ;))
I'm glad you liked Scarlet pretty well! The Lunar Chronicles never really tries to pretend it's more than fairy tale retellings, but a) they're pretty fun and b) Meyer does do a pretty good job weaving an overarching story with them. ;)) If you haven't heard, though, there's a novella (Fairest) that's sort of a 3.5 in the series - it goes between Cress and Winter and explains some of Levena's backstory. I'm not sure if I would ever reread it, but I thought Meyer did a good job of explaining her and garnering some sympathy without removing WHY she's the Evil Queen.

*high-fives Rya on The Outlaws of Sherwood opinion* I found the book at a booksale and it was REALLY nice with a dustjacket in excellent condition, so I bought it and eventually read it. Overall, I liked it fairly well, though what I remember most is what annoyed me. :ymblushing: Marian's excellence in everything was kind of irritating. But, also, Robin really did nothing at all. Which was kind of an interesting concept but mostly really disappointing - I understand the legend being bigger than the man, but the legend having nothing to do with the man didn't sit great.

Avra, I'm sure I've forgotten a book title that I really wanted to know, but all I'm coming up with right now is that I saw a Wishbone episode based off The Moonstone but didn't know it - I spent years convinced it was a Sherlock Holmes story, eventually read all the Holmes stories with no success, and then (after, oh, ten or fifteen years) was finally enlightened when I actually read The Moonstone. I was VERY happy to have figured that out. ;))

*waves at flam* I've seen Jacqueline Windspear around, but have never gotten around to picking up her books. After hearing your thoughts, I may have to give them a try. :)

I can never remember which book I read, but I think it was The Hero and the Crown? Whichever it was, it soured me completely on trying the sequel (though not the author, thankfully) due to some plot elements (the whole "I love one character, but I'll marry someone else right now because I should, but I'll still be around after they've died and then I'll go find the first character and be with them, haha!" thing was really horrible).

Speaking of sequels, I discovered a month or so ago that Edith Pattou had a sequel to East out - after fifteen years. I have never been head over heels for East but a sequel intrigued me, so I put West on hold and found a copy of East to reread. East held up decently well on a reread, though my list of annoying things grew a bit (for one, the mix between real-life events and magic never quite works for me, as some things are never explained in-universe and don't have immediate roots in the fairy tale or Norse mythology (such as the occasional visions). Unfortunately, all the things I disliked in East reappeared in full force in West; in addition, the sequel is a rehash of the first and, even worse, undoes a lot of the happy ending/good of the first.
SHOW SPOILER East and West
The Troll Queen is back. And then she dies again. She hates softskins with a blind rage and wants to destroy their entire world through "Aagnarok" but yet she wants Winn (a softskin and child of the softskin she hates the most) to raise to be king of the Trolls??? Surviving trolls suddenly appear and then just as suddenly disappear from mention?
Also, Urda survived and then dies just as meaninglessly as her son??? (Tuki's death bugged me on my reread.) So much more could've been done! :(
AND THEN SARA DIES IN TWO SENTENCES AND ALMOST NOTHING MORE IS SAID ABOUT IT DESPITE HER BEING ILL WAS SO BIG IN East AND A LARGE PART OF THE REASON ROSE WENT WITH THE WHITE BEAR, TO SAVE HER LIFE???? And Sofia died too??? And SIB. ARGH, SIB. To be honest, I don't remember if she was actually named in East, but her big part in this book was to a) provide a sudden and unexplained romantic interest for Neddy, b) look mysterious and tragic, and c) have some weird relationship with winds which she teaches to Rose (who just picks it up instantly, SO CONVENIENTLY). This is especially frustrating because the winds in the original fairy tale were replaced with humans merely guiding Rose, and I missed the winds being winds or some sort of wind creatures in East. And now one of them just happens to show up? And she only saves Neddy, not Sara???
This is small, but I also missed having the author at the end actually reference some or all of the real-life things she put in. I figured out the Lewis chessmen, but only because I already knew about them.
Also, Rose was really kind of Mary-Sue-ish. One of the things I did appreciate in East was Rose's love of weaving and how that was a huge strength for her. Instead, it gets sidelined for a magic sword that acts on its own almost, incredibly convenient dreams and visions, and a sudden ability to call on the winds (her weaving shows up once as a plot point but it's really unnecessary). Oh, and her ability to memorize a key based on touch (mentioned in one sentence at the time she needs to remember it) and replicate it perfectly using her own finger bone. *shudders* (It's not explained WHY it has to be a bone key, come on...)
And don't get me started on Charles' amnesia! I understand ANGST AND DRAMA, but this is one point where Pattou could've improved on her first book and she takes a hard left the other direction. We never got to know a lot about Charles due to the curse in the first one, but we kind of buy him and Rose falling in love due to all the time spent together - since they've been married three years, this would be a great time to SHOW how much they love each other and the things they love about each other. Instead, Charles forgets Rose and Rose spends all the time thinking how hurt she is and how sad it is he doesn't know her. We don't even get to see Charles falling in love a second time or Rose showing her love for him. This was a golden opportunity to show a couple AFTER the "happy ending" and instead it was squandered. :P
One more thing: In retrospect, it was fitting that the Troll Queen died because of her own powers and anger in the end of East; I didn't love it, but it was fitting. Less fitting that Rose kills her with a magic sword in the end of West. But she's also sure to proclaim her certainly dead this time (ha...). :P
The good thing is that, like East, West is a pretty fast read due to the constant perspective-skipping - you rarely stick with anyone longer than two pages so there's no time to get bored - and it's incredibly easy to think "I'll read just one more page". :P ;))

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Mar 28, 2019 4:22 pm
by SnowAngel
Spearhead was excellent, very well written, and a fascinating story.

I ditched Searching For You by Jody Hedlund, I read several chapters, but wasn't that interested in the story so I read the ending and sent the book back to the library. I haven't done that for quite a while...but there are so many books and so little time. I've moved onto Expect The Sunrise by Susan May Warren.

Scarlet was ordering some new books, so I caved and preordered Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig. ;;) Now I only have to wait 4 months for it to be released. 8-| I guess that gives me enough time to read the other book I ordered Do More Better by Tim Challies. :)


Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 03, 2019 4:09 am
by AJAiken
ValiantArcher wrote:I can never remember which book I read, but I think it was The Hero and the Crown? Whichever it was, it soured me completely on trying the sequel (though not the author, thankfully) due to some plot elements (the whole "I love one character, but I'll marry someone else right now because I should, but I'll still be around after they've died and then I'll go find the first character and be with them, haha!" thing was really horrible).

That's The Hero and the Crown. Don't let it put you off The Blue Sword though! They're very different. And Hero is the prequel, rather than the other way around.

All this love for The Outlaws of Sherwood though ... I didn't like it very much at all. What did I miss?

Elizabeth Gaskell: I've read North and South, Cranford, and a small collection of two rather creepy short stories called The Old Nurse's Story. North and South is definitely my favourite, but I much prefer the BBC series from 2004. (Shocking, I know.)

I've recently read the last two Wingfeather books, The Monster in the Hollows and The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson. I really loved Hollows, it went in some unexpected directions but it was a surprisingly emotional book. This made me very excited for the final book but it didn't reach the same depth, I felt, which was a shame. Part of that may be because it's suggested that Janner's sacrifice will immediately be undone. I might not have minded if this had been a true part of the story, but tacking it on at the end irritated me. Overall I think Peterson did a good job at tying up loose ends, and it is a good conclusion.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman is a nice collection of myths retold. Much of my knowledge of Norse mythology outside of Marvel and Rick Riordan has come from Neil Gaiman (through this and other works), so I should really look into them more. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I've just finished reading Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. It's been a long time since a book has gripped me so thoroughly. I love the idea that the main character isn't immediately the hero, or viewed as such, and that the greater part of the story deals with the after ever after of the Sleeping Beauty tale. The ending could have been a bit more satisfying - I like how it ended, and that the permanence of the situation was addressed, but I have so many questions that weren't answered. The times don't run at the same speed - how do they know when to return to the modern day? How do they make the decision of where to stay, and who to leave where? What is their family life like in both places? Basically, I just want more! I'd like to read more by Card - I haven't read anything else of his.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 03, 2019 10:05 pm
by mm1991
I hate to admit this but I haven't had a library card in quite a while! I've finally got one and I can't wait to start reading a lot more books! :D

I read I'll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara last year and it was very well done considering the final version was hurriedly pasted together (the author tragically died before finishing it). It is about the Golden State Killer so there is some sensitive material. But I think this book is an excellent example of a work that can portray the true heinous nature of crimes but also being respectful and not sensational.

I'll also mention Great Catherine by Carolly Erickson. This was a biography of Empress Catherine The Great of Russia. The beginning of this book was so good, I felt like the author was very passionate about this project. Until we get to the middle. It's like the author lost all passion and interest in telling this story. It went from an exciting, vibrant story to a dull, rote, almost-textbook that was an absolute bore to sit through.

I did read a few others but they aren't worth mentioning here. ;)

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 04, 2019 6:42 am
by johobbit
SnowAngel wrote:Let us know how you like Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, Jo. Scarlet and I have been interested in that one for a while. Public library doesn't have it yet, but I am going to request they purchase it.

Definitely I will. :) We will be getting this book from my dad at the beginning of May. It may not be until the summer months that I can start reading it, though, because of other books on the go 'til then, such as ...

If I Had Two Lives: the extraordinary life and faith of Costas Macris, by Dan Vorm: this is the bio of a Greek man who has more passion, determination, vibrancy, faith, and love than most of us put together. ;)) What a life! This story is especially meaningful to me, because the mission Costas was with in Irian Jaya is the one my family (particularly my father) has been associated with for over a half century now, so names and such are familiar to us.

The Songs of Jesus
by Tim Keller (who is a favourite speaker of ours): this is a devotional book on the Psalms. Every page of writing is so meaningful, as well as very raw, understandably given the subject matter in some of the Psalms.

At the Heart of the White Rose: letters and diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl edited by Inge Jens. While I have almost made a study of the lives of the Scholls and the other brave souls in the White Rose movement during WWII, I recently found an entire book of the letters of Hans and Sophie. I am deep into that now, and quite dreading the ending, even though I know well where it is headed. These young people are such heroes of mine.

Next up is Fire Road by Kim Phuc Phan Thi, who lives in Toronto now! This lady is the young girl whose terrible photo was shown around the world as she ran, screaming, naked, after being burned from napalm bombs as they fell from the Vietnam skies in June of 1972. We had very good family friends who were missionaries in Vietnam, so again, this story is somewhat more personal, than removed.

Morgoth's Ring (volume 10 in the HoM-e series) arrived in the mail the other day. :) I am especially eager to read "The Athrabeth", thanks to this revelation (to me) in Varna's post!

I just finished reading Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre (mentioned in my post above). What a tale!!! Phenomenal ... one of the many that, had it failed, could have drastically (and terrifyingly) changed the outcome of WWII. So many things could have gone wrong, but obviously God's providential hand was over it all to bring it success. Wow.

I purchased another book by Ben MacIntyre, A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the great betrayal. My hubby has his nose deep in this now—he is allowed for one of my birthday gifts to him ;;) —but I'll nab it right after he finishes. ;))

I always glean and learn from anything Ravi Zacharias and his team write, so have been benefiting in a big way from their quarterly magazine, Just Thinking, as well as the radio broadcast, Let My People Think. We so appreciate their slogan, Helping the Believer Think and the Thinker Believe.

A family member gave me Planet Narnia for Christmas. I am excited about working my way through this. Prior, I only had The Narnia Code, which is a shorter, and not so academic version of PN, 'though still fascinating.

I'm about to order Churchill's Spy Files: M15's top secret wartime reports by Nigel West,, as well as Operation Garbo: The Personal Story of the Most Successful Spy of World War II. The bit about Garbo already drew us in in Operation Mincemeat. These should be extremely intriguing!

I think that is all for now. :)

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 05, 2019 11:06 am
by SnowAngel
mm1991 wrote:I hate to admit this but I haven't had a library card in quite a while! I've finally got one and I can't wait to start reading a lot more books! :D
Life without a library card is so boring, even if you don't use it regularly a library card is a must have in my humble opinion. :) I'm still trying to convince my older brother that he needs one.

My library is getting What If It's True? by Charles Martin! :D I am so excited and nervous to read it. I love Charles Martin's fiction, but I'm not sure if his non-fiction will be as biblically solid as I hope it will be...the problem with high expectations.

I'm currently reading Jesus Unmasked by Todd Friel (pretty good so far), The Gospel of John commentary by Michael Card (I keep stopping and starting on this one, trying to take it slow and really learn from it, but I might be taking it too slow.), and Elementary, My Dear Watkins by Mindy Starns Clark (I've been wanting to read this one for at least 5 years, finally got my hands on a library copy).

Oh, my dad had Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas in a box in the garage, the siblings found it and put it on one of the family room bookcases. I've been interested in reading some more Christian biographies for a while, might actually be able to read through this one over the course of a couple months since it wouldn't be a library book. :)


Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 05, 2019 1:39 pm
by fledge1
My goal is to read 50 books this year!!! I have quit a few to go yet..however this thread has basically given me TONS!!!

Currently reading The Legends of the First Empire series. So far really good, lots of details but I have enjoyed the first one so far! I believe there are three total.

fantasia wrote:Beings that you have just moved out of Kansas, I MUST recommend the '100 Cupboards' series by N.D. Wilson. The series starts out in... Kansas! :D ;)) And it has a very Magician's Nephew spin to the story line. I'll say no more for fear of spoilers. ;) It has some flaws, and not all NarniaWebbers care for it, but I really REALLY liked it.

I also must put in a mention for the 'Lamb Among the Stars' series by Chris Walley. It's nothing like Narnia at all, aside from the author being a Christian. I read this little known series recently and cannot believe that it hasn't taken off among the Christian community, so now I recommend it anywhere I can. I'll warn you now, it's hard to get a hold of. I THINK my mom got it on Kindle and I did manage to get my copies on interlibrary loan, so... yeah. ;)) I think that's part of the reason not many have read it. You're not likely to pop into your local library or bookstore to find a copy.

I will be checking into these when i am done with my current series. Totally forgot you posted this!

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 05, 2019 7:10 pm
by ValiantArcher
SA, I'm glad to hear a positive review of Spearhead! One of my coworkers was reading it recently, which was fun - and he had a positive review too. :)

AJ wrote:That's The Hero and the Crown. Don't let it put you off The Blue Sword though! They're very different. And Hero is the prequel, rather than the other way around.
Too late - I was put off it a dozen years or so ago. ;)) I did actually know Hero was the prequel, but I couldn't figure out what the term was for a book sequentially following a prequel but written before... :ymblushing:
Ooh! So I wasn't completely sold on Sherwood but I found it fine enough - what didn't you like about it? :)

Hurrah for getting the new library card, mm1991! :D It's such fun to get one for a new library system.

Jo, your reads always sound so interesting. ;))

fledge1, 50 books is a great goal! :D How far are you?

I just started Tom Brown at Oxford by Thomas Hughes. So far, it's fine, nothing super-exciting - but it is a bit big to comfortably fit in my lunch bag. :P

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 06, 2019 12:36 am
by mm1991
You guys speed through books so fast, my goodness! It takes me forever to read a book! My current goal for the year is 3 in total! :p (I guess it doesn't help that I tend to read books as if they are little movies in my head, so I usually have to keep adjusting my little movie as I keep reading the story!)

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 06, 2019 1:37 am
by Arwenel
I found out where i heard the name Josephine Tey before: my sister and i have started a Google doc where we store quotes that we think might be good to put at the start of a book or chapter we write someday, and one of the quotes she contributed was from Josephine Tey.

I looked up the summary for Daughter of Time, and i can't say it sounds terribly interesting, though apparently it is one of the books she's really known for. I have another book by Tey on hold at the library -- something with "shilling" and "candles" in the title -- and i'm going to give that a shot.

My crazy ... not sure of the analogy i want here, but i've read six more books since my last post (well, five and most of the sixth) and have started on the next one. Here's my drive-by report:

A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula Le Guin, one of those series i've been hearing about in the background for years and years but hadn't ever read until now. I can't say i see what all the fuss is about. The prose leaves a "this is good" taste in my mouth that i can't elaborate on, the world is more unique than some, and certainly there's nothing done badly, but the wide-angle, pulled back omniscient narrator view makes it hard to get engaged, and the books are so short. I'm sure that's a good thing for some, but i prefer my books long and detailed. I'm probably going to keep reading the saga, just to see where it all goes, but i very much doubt i'll feel inclined to pick it up again. 5/10

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab, second in the "Shades of Magic" trilogy. This is the "sort-of" sixth book, as i got ... mm, let's say 2/3rds of the way through and just started skimming. I didn't think it was going to win me over after the first one was so "meh", but wow, i hated this book. More specifically, i hated Lila Bard. She was a little irritating in the first book, but she is unbearable in this one. Absolutely not going to bother with the third book. 1/10

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, sequel to Six of Crows. While nowhere near as bad as A Gathering of Shadows, this was slightly disappointing. With the exception of two characters, the cast felt less interesting than they had been in the first, and the plot felt even more haphazard than the first (though not a total disaster). There's a major character death that is handled horribly -- no narrative point for it, it just happens because we can't have everyone making it to the end alive, i guess. I think it really would have benefited if the conflict in this book had been internal, the characters having to deal with their flaws and issues established in book one, rather than the comparatively bland external threats from boring, one-note villains. Still, i could stand to finish it, which is more than can be said for other books. 6/10

Cress by Marissa Meyer, third book after Cinder and Scarlet. Not really anything to say about this one that's different from what i said about Scarlet. I'm borrowing the ebook of Fairest from the library, will probably be getting to that this weekend after i finish my current book. 7/10

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, first of a four-book series. Uhh .. wow. I loved this. It was kind of an intense read, to the point that i was actually relieved to put it down for a while. Not the action-packed kind of tense, but just layering foreshadowing and interconnecting plot points on top of layers of foreshadowing and interconnection, building and building and building. I actually re-read this yesterday before beginning the second book The Dream Thieves, which i didn't even do with Six of Crows before starting Crooked Kingdom. Stiefvater's prose is as lovely as it was in All the Crooked Saints, and her characters are even better -- i'm glad i read that other book first, because while it was good, i'm enjoying this series more. 10/10

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 10, 2019 4:07 pm
by johobbit
SnowAngel wrote:Oh, my dad had Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas in a box in the garage, the siblings found it and put it on one of the family room bookcases.

Read it, read it! :D So good, with much detail, immersed in Metaxas' always interesting, sometimes quirky (wittily so), and very memorable way of writing. Have you read his Bonhoeffer or Amazing Grace (William Wilberforce) bios, SnowAngel? They are also of excellence. As well, we very much gleaned from and enjoyed his 7 Men and 7 Women books (mini bios). He is one of our favourite modern-day authors/biographers.