Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Lady Arwen » May 12, 2019 11:12 pm

Mel, I have The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle on order, but have had trouble getting it; our library system doesn't have it, I don't have it on my index, and even Amazon can't get it to me for another month or so (which is just weird; it's not old). Fagan's much more middle grade than elementary, but I think it would be manageable!

Isn't Megan Whalen Turner more YA? Will pursue that line, especially the short stories!

I think this is an area that needs some story attention...it's so hard to find stuff. Thank you for the suggestions!
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » May 14, 2019 10:59 pm

The only Chesterton I have ever read is the Father Brown Mysteries and that was several years ago. I think I read the whole collection, I'm not one hundred percent sure if I finished it. I remember having a bookmark in it for quite a while. However I did enjoy what I read. :)

Since my last post, I have finished several books. I have been mostly reading fiction.
*Ghosts In The Fog by Samantha Seiple - Interesting story, but not very well written.
*Jesus Unmasked by Todd Friel - Fairly easy to read, learned quite a bit, will read again.
*In Too Deep (Dive Team Investigations #2) by Lynn H. Blackburn - It was okay, will finish reading the series.
*Living Lies (Harbored Secrets #1) by Natalie Walters - Solid debut suspense novel.
*William Tecumseh Sherman by James Lee McDonough - audiobook - It took me over a month to listen to the whole book, most interested in the Civil War portion.
*The Lieutenant's Bargain (Fort Reno #2) by Regina Jennings - Not quite as good as book 1, but still a fun read.
*The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts #2) by Mary Connealy - Another series where the first book was better, I was interested enough to want to read the third book in the series.

Currently reading Hue 1968 by Mark Bowden (going to take a while to get through this one) and Romeo's Rules by James Scott Bell. Really enjoying Romeo's Rules with one exception, there have been a couple times where the bad guys misused God's name and I was not expecting that in a James Scott Bell novel.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » May 24, 2019 8:29 am

I haven't liked The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis in the past but I decided to give them another chance recently. I reread That Hideous Strength, an odd choice for someone who doesn't like the books since its the last one and the longest. :)) But I remembered that this one had the least otherworldly characters in it and I remembered them as being weirdly boring. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed the book a lot more than I did originally. I wouldn't recommend it to that many people and not without caveats.

A big part of why this book doesn't do much for me is I don't find the message convincing. The whole theme of modern being bad and old fashioned good seems silly and overdone to me. I'm not what you call super modern but I'm not that old fashioned either. The anti-science message is pretty ridiculous but I'll admit that as much as I've benefited from scientific achievements, I've always hated science class, so I get kind of a thrill from anything that offends or insults scientists. :ymdevil: (To be fair, I believe this book was written when eugenics were more of a thing so there was more reason to be wary of scientists.) I'm also pretty cynical about the idea equality is incompatible with romantic love, at least in marriage. People who are inferior or superior to oneself are all well and good in small doses but I think they'd drive you crazy if you had to spend your whole life with them. Marriage is the only chance you get to choose a family member as opposed to being stuck with them. A spouse neither better nor worse than oneself seems like the most practical thing to me. (Of course, I'm not married but Lewis was only married for a small part of his life, I believe.)

(If any fan of the book feels I'm oversimplifying or misrepresenting its messages, I'd honestly be interested in reading a rebuttal. :) )

The reason to read this book IMO is the bad guys who are really great.
I thought it was a great idea on Lewis' part to have them think they had Merlin during the climax when they didn't. If they'd known the good guys had him and been worried, I might have been tempted to sympathize with them. The way they were defeated was poetically appropriate and hilarious (if you have an occasionally sick sense of humor like I do anyway :ymdevil: ) I also thought it was nice that one of them (Curry) got a chance to redeem himself at the end.


Unfortunately, the good guys were not handled as well. There were a lot of more of them than there needed to be and it might have been better to combine some of them especially since only a few of them actually contributed to the plot. Grace Ironwood and the Dennistons were introduced as being important at the beginning but totally faded into the background as the book went. I'm almost convinced Lewis forgot about Ironwood towards the end. The only heroes whose personalities I could describe were the Dimbles, MacPhee and Ivy Maggs. MacPhee and Maggs were actually some of my favorite characters in the book. I love a good comedic character.

I had a hard time with the main characters, Mark and Jane Studdock. I can't relate to Mark's character flaw of being too dependent at all so he seems like a caricature to me. I relate so much to Jane's character flaw of being too independent that I don't really see it as a character flaw so for me she starts out as a real person and ends up a caricature. ;)) For a contrast, I love the main character of Till We Have Faces, another novel by Lewis, because I recognize her flaws in myself and I recognize them as flaws. She feels very real to me, not like a caricature. It's funny actually. Some people find Till We Have Faces unpleasant and its protagonist unlikeable. Although That Hideous Strength is technically a "pleasanter" book and Mark and Jane more technically likeable, I find Till We Have Faces much more enjoyable and likeable for the reasons described above.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Jun 01, 2019 12:42 pm

I spoke too soon on Romeo's Rules, the book fizzled. Mike Romeo is very selfish character and he doesn't change, also the book bordered on crude a number of times. I've enjoyed James Scott Bell's books in the past, so disappointed in this series.

I'm still working my way through Hues 1968, just pasted a third of the way through the book. It's interesting and well written, I am just so slow reading nonfiction plus I am also reading In The Company of Soldiers by Rick Atkinson.

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that opens up to a world they have done nothing to deserve."
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby mm1991 » Jun 03, 2019 9:15 pm

I must read Art Across Time: Fourteenth Century To The Present by Laurie S. Adams for my summer semester. It's only 8-weeks, so I thought we would only need to skim it. Nope! We need to read all 600 or so pages! :-s Well I wanted to read more, so here we go! :p
"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!"
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Reepicheep775 » Jun 12, 2019 6:34 pm

@Col Klink: I think that That Hideous Strength is by far the weakest of Lewis's fiction and I agree with much of your critique. I love Out of the Silent Planet and especially Perelandra, but I think the series as a whole shows some of Lewis's growing pains as an author and even as a thinker.

The books in the Space Trilogy seem like philosophical musings first and stories second. I like Ransom as a character quite a bit and the musings are very interesting (and, of course, I'm partial ;)) ), so I tend to give it a pass, but I think you can really see his growth in the Narnia stories and later Till We Have Faces. They are thought-provoking books, but they are first and foremost stories.

As for me... I've recently developed a habit of reading one fiction and one non-fiction book at a time.

For fiction I am reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This book has been sitting on my shelf for quite a long time and I decided I would finally read it. Romantic fiction isn't generally my thing, but Austen's writing is really good and that has kept the pages turning. I really like her characters. They all seem very real.

And for non-fiction I'm reading India by Michael Wood. It's an overview of Indian history from the Indus Valley Civilization to today. The content is really interesting. I haven't dug too deeply into Indian history, but I think I will after this book. I'm especially interested in the figure of Ashoka and the legends that have sprung up about him. My only gripe is probably a personal dislike, but I really dislike it when history books flash back to modern day and it becomes a travelogue of the author or descriptions of archaeologists' experiences for a while before getting back to the actual history. I always find that annoying and tend to just skim over it.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » Jun 23, 2019 9:45 pm

I finished up The Man Who Was Thursday, and like you all mentioned, the last chapter was well beyond me. If I have some time I'll have to research into the meaning behind it. ;))
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