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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 11, 2019 10:28 pm
by Arwenel
I read the remainder of Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle sometime over the weekend -- i borrowed the e-books one right after the other, and weekends blur together anyway. It's not the worst way to read a series, but it does mean everything is kind of blended together now.

I really enjoyed it. It's a very character-driven story, and i loved the characters. It's been hard to start reading anything else, though i don't have anything else from the library that i'm super-excited about reading.

The Josephine Tey book turned out to be A Shilling for Candles, which so far is much less predictable than the first book i read by her, but not much gripping. I don't expect to hate it, but i don't plan on reading more of her books, either.

I also skim-read Fairest -- skim-read because of the intense secondhand embarrassment i had, mostly in scenes between Evret and Levana. I think it could have gone on a little longer, shown how she went from where she was once Evret died to where she is at the start of Cinder, but i have a better understanding of her now. I put Winter on hold, so almost done with the series.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 12, 2019 11:30 am
by johobbit
I just now saw this on Andrew Peterson's Rabbit Room Chinwag FB page, and had to share it here. I grew up on many books that became lifelong favourites, Cleary's many fun and beloved tales being some of them. She turns 103 today, wow!
Then, in turn, we read and re-read her books to our own kids, who also hold very fond memories of the adventures of her memorable characters. B-)

Honouring Beverly Clearly's 103rd birthday!

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 13, 2019 1:02 pm
by SnowAngel
johobbit wrote:
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.
Ah, no, the size of the biographies has kept me from attempting to read them in the past.

Would you believe my dad also had Amazing Grace in another box of books? He brings his (IHMO) boring books into the house and leaves the possibly interesting ones in boxes. 8-| And my library does have 7 Women, so I have add it to my list to get next time I go the library.

I thought it would be a good idea to start a long nonfiction audiobook that I could listen to for a few weeks that would also be a book I would probably not be able to read through due to the length, so I picked William Tecumah Sherman.'s just 28 hours. After nearly three weeks I am just over a third of the way through it, and while it is interesting I am really ready for the story to get the Civil War years.

Last night I finished Elementary My Dear Watkins by Mindy Starns Clark, not the most satisfying ending to a series. But I am happy I was able to finish the series. This is only "grownup" book I have finished this month, all the rest of the books I have read in April where my brothers' juvenile military books they wanted to share with me. :) I might have helped them pick out the books at the library...and allowed them to get extra books via my library card. ;)

Next up Border Son by Samuel Parker, probably not going to get much sleep or work done once I start this one.


Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2019 7:30 pm
by fantasia
I had to set Outlaws of Sherwood aside for a bit and finally finished it up this past weekend. And now I have to reply to a couple comments... ;)

Rya wrote: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.

Valia wrote:But, also, Robin really did nothing at all. Which was kind of an interesting concept but mostly really disappointing

On one hand I can kind of see your points and I kind of agree, but at the same time I disagree. For the record, the book is called 'The Outlaws of Sherwood,' not 'Robin Hood', and I liked the fact that there are four main characters the story focuses on, not just Robin Hood. And I like that all four have their shining moments. :) And while I agree that Marian is a bit of a Mary Sue character, I definitely DO NOT agree that she's the hero. I would even put her in fourth place of the four main characters. She does not solely set up the outlaws, though she does help. She aids Robin in saving Sir Richard and his estate. But then she shows up at the archery match and about gets herself and all of Robin's men killed as a result. Nor do I agree that Robin does nothing at all. It's just that the book doesn't focus entirely on him. But he does manage the outlaws well, the classic rob the rich to feed the poor, rescues Marjorie from the horrid wedding, helps Sir Richard save his estate, and in the end, defeats Guy. If you're going to make a hero of anyone, it'd have to go to my favorite pair Little John and Cecily. Cecily in particular gets to save the day multiple times. ;)

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 27, 2019 6:45 am
by Cleander
Right now I'm reading the wartime journal of James Thacher, an American army surgeon who served in the American Revolution. This book has been in print since the 1800's, and IT'S AMAZING!! The guy has so many great stories to tell, including treating Benedict Arnold after he was wounded at Saratoga! (If you're a history buff like me, this book is an absolute treasure.)

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Apr 27, 2019 4:06 pm
by SnowAngel
Hooray new posts in the book thread...there was serious danger of me double posting.

Mmm, I am going to have read Outlaws of Sherwood again, although I will have to get it from the library one of these days since we no longer have a copy of it.

That sounds like neat read, Cleander.

I finished a few more books since my last post: John: The Gospel of Amazement commentary by Michael Card (excellent, I can't recommend this one enough), Border Son by Samuel Parker (his books are amazing, this might be my favorite of the three), Apollo 8 by Jeff Kluger (interesting read), and A Tender Hope by Amanda Cabot (last book in the Cimarron Creek series, just barely done through this one...only finished it to finish the series).

So, the story behind how I ended up reading Apollo 8 is kinda funny, I went to the library with mom and the siblings just to take pictures since I already had a stack of library books at home and I was talking to my mom while she was looking for books and random pulled Apollo 8 off the shelf in front of me. I couldn't go home from the library without at least one book and it look rather interesting, so I check it out. :) Of course I checked out several other books at the same time, but they were from the kids section and suppose to be for the younger siblings. ;)

I'm almost finished reading Jesus Unmasked by Todd Friel, I would like to finish this one this weekend and then I can start the new Charles Martin book. I'm also reading Ghosts In The Fog by Samantha Seiple, I had no clue the Aleutian Islands were invaded by Japan during World War II. I got the book for the siblings, but since it's not something I have read about I really needed to read it first. ;) Still working my way through the Sherman audiobook.

I'm getting ready to start In Too Deep (Dive Team Investigations #2) by Lynn Blackburn and Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden.


Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 10, 2019 6:43 am
by fantasia
I was recently challenged as I had never read anything by Chesterton, so I picked up 'The Man Who Was Thursday' last night at my local library (it was the only book they had by him lol). I know there's been some discussion in this thread in the past on this book, and it seems to be fairly positive, so I'm looking forward to diving in. :)

If I like this one, are there any other Chesterton books you all would recommend?

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 10, 2019 8:27 am
by Col Klink
I've read a nonfiction book by G K Chesterton if that counts. It was his book on George Bernard Shaw. What I'd read of Shaw previously made him sound like a self-righteous crank who disliked everything fun. (Christmas, Shakespeare's comedies, etc.) But reading Chesterton's description of him, I actually found that I related to Shaw in many ways. Here are some examples.

"Bernard Shaw threw himself as thoroughly as any New Woman into the cause of the emancipation of women. But while the New Woman praised woman as a prophetess, the new man took the opportunity to curse her and kick her as a comrade. For the others sex equality meant the emancipation of women, which allowed them to be equal to men. For Shaw it mainly meant the emancipation of men, which allowed them to be rude to women. Indeed, almost every one of Bernard Shaw’s earlier plays might be called an argument between a man and a woman, in which the woman is thumped and thrashed and outwitted until she admits that she is the equal of her conqueror."

"Shaw has many of the actual opinions of Tolstoy. Like Tolstoy he tells men, with coarse innocence, that romantic war is only butchery and that romantic love is only lust. But Tolstoy objects to these things because they are real; he really wishes to abolish them. Shaw only objects to them in so far as they are ideal; that is in so far as they are idealised. Shaw objects not so much to war as to the attractiveness of war. He does not so much dislike love as the love of love. Before the temple of Mars, Tolstoy stands and thunders, “There shall be no wars”; Bernard Shaw merely murmurs, “Wars if you must; but for God’s sake, not war songs.” Before the temple of Venus, Tolstoy cries terribly, “Come out of it!”; Shaw is quite content to say, “Do not be taken in by it.” Tolstoy seems really to propose that high passion and patriotic valour should be destroyed. Shaw is more moderate; and only asks that they should be desecrated."

Of course, those are Chesterton's interpretations of Shaw, not necessarily how Shaw described himself.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 10, 2019 8:23 pm
by Lady Arwen
* pops in with a tiny ray of hope *

I don’t think I’ve ever posted in here before, but then again, I’m afraid once I come in, I’ll never leave. But alas, here I am, and I’ve come for recommendations. ;)) specifically, I am looking for a 3rdish grade level sci-fi or fantasy book with a black girl as the MC. I’ve had a youngling grab A Wrinkle In Time and become very disappointed to learn the identities of the book characters. I’m hoping to find something to fill that gap, but haven’t read much sci-fi/fantasy at that level for quite some time, and none of my usual recommendation sources are proving helpful.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 11, 2019 5:23 am
by fantasia
I actually had to google because I couldn't think of a single story. But I was reminded that The Wizard of Earthsea features a main protagonist with "red-brown" skin. That's the only one I know of, though it might be a little higher level for your reader? Everything else that was coming up dealt with pretty adult issues.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 11, 2019 6:16 pm
by Rivulus
Dangerous by Shannon Hale had a main character who was Latina, I think? I don't remember what age exactly that book was for, though. Everything else I can think of was aimed at adults.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 11, 2019 6:56 pm
by shastastwin
fantasia, I'd recommend the Father Brown stories for Chesterton's fiction and Orthodoxy for his nonfiction. The latter is in a similar vein to Lewis's Mere Christianity.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 12, 2019 1:54 am
by Arwenel
I've read a few more books since my last post. Not many, as my streak finally seems to be slowing down without more fuel to keep it going, but a few.

I read Winter, and didn't like it much. My only experience with revolutions is secondhand through history textbooks and fictional stories like The Hunger Games, but even i can tell you the attempt to overthrow Levana was poorly handled. It actually kind of made me mad, at the characters and the author for caring so little about the place and people they were supposedly helping that they did almost no planning and showed no concern for the consequences.

The earlier books were fun because i could overlook the revolution as a rather sorry subplot, and focus on the sci-fi retellings. Winter didn't even have that. Winter herself is an interesting character, and i kind of liked her and Jacin, but she had so little to do with the main story, and the poison apple/plague subplot had no point that i could see. There was a ridiculous amount of people being mind-controlled or captured with no lasting consequences of any kind. Top it all off with the grand plan to dethrone Levana involving revealing her as scarred and ugly, and it left a very bad taste in my mouth. The whole series was always a little underwhelming, never quite as good as i felt it could be even for something that wasn't trying to be more than it was, so it's a shame it had to end like this.

Unfortunately, i didn't really like any of the other new books i read, either. I didn't dislike The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, but it didn't quite click with me, either. Probably because it's equal parts sports story and horse story, and i've never really been into either kind. The kind of book i can understand others liking more than i did.

A friend of mine recommended the author Charles Todd (actually a mother-son writing team), who writes two detective series taking place during or after World War I. I tried An Unwilling Accomplice from the Bess Crawford series, and found it so boring i skimmed through most of it. My friend liked the other series better, and reviews on goodreads suggested other Todd books were better, so i went ahead and tried The Confession from the Inspector Rutledge series. It got off to a better start, but while it was never boring, a plot element introduced three-quarters in started straining my disbelief, and i ended up skimming that one too. In my experience, stories about small towns with dark secrets rarely if ever have satisfying dark secrets, and this book was no exception.

I picked up The Farthest Shore, the third Earthsea book, from the library, but after flipping through it, i decided not to bother. Le Guin's writing style is just not to my tastes, and nothing i saw suggested anything in it would change my mind on that score.

I did like my re-read of Murder Must Advertise, one of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothy Sayers. I read most (or perhaps all?) of those years ago, and almost liked them; it's hard to look back and see what i didn't like, but i think it's that, compared to Agatha Christie, there's a lot of side stuff and not a ton of crime-solving. I wish the one chapter hadn't relied so heavily on knowledge of cricket, the cultural differences between 20th century Britain and modern-day America are hard to follow sometimes, and the straight-faced usage of "Right ho!" and "I say, what?" and "toddle off" kind of hurt me, but i'm going to go on re-reading the other Wimsey books. I don't have much else on my plate right now.

Last note, i started The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, the first book in the Wheel of Time series. I've been hearing about this book series for years, and have had it recommended by multiple people, but some of the stuff i've heard has me hesitant to really get into it. Still, while i've barely started, it's more interesting than Earthsea, and if i do end up liking it there's a lot more books to follow.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 12, 2019 6:31 pm
by Meltintalle
Wren, how about Megan Whalen Turner? There's a short story featuring Eddis, though the Eddisians may not be quite the ethnicity you're looking for; I think the short story collection Instead of Three Wishes also falls in the right reading level. The MC in the story I'm thinking of is a boy, though, so...

Nancy Farmer's The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm and Woodwalker by Emily B. Martin are probably too YA. Perhaps The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle by Deva Fagan? I haven't read that one myself so I'm judging by its cover... :ymblushing: (I did like Circus Galacticus so it's not entirely a left-field recommendation.)

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 12, 2019 7:21 pm
by fantasia
Arwenel wrote:Last note, i started The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, the first book in the Wheel of Time series. I've been hearing about this book series for years, and have had it recommended by multiple people, but some of the stuff i've heard has me hesitant to really get into it. Still, while i've barely started, it's more interesting than Earthsea, and if i do end up liking it there's a lot more books to follow.

I'll be curious as to what you think of it. I started in on the series when there were three, maybe four books out? IMHO it starts off great buuuuut... .the storyline slows, and then it crawls, and crawls, and crawls. Between that and having to wait a while for the next to release, I finally gave up around book nine or ten and never finished the series. It didn't help that Robert Jordan passed away without completing it and his son (I think?) finished it later on.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: May 12, 2019 7:45 pm
by shastastwin
My experience with the Wheel of Time series was diving in full blast for the first 10 books, then waiting a long time for book 11, then waiting for Jordan's successor (the much-lauded Brandon Sanderson -- not his son, but a huge fan of the series) to finish it. I stuck with it despite the slowness in places, and while I'm still a fan of the series, my attempts to reread it have never quite kept up the steam. There's a lot to its credit but some things aren't as skillfully handled as they could be and there are certain aspects that are decidedly adult in nature later in the series.