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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Aug 02, 2019 8:00 pm
by fantasia
It's funny seeing what books my kids really attach to.

My four-year-old daughter just LOVED Charlotte's Web (which I just finished last week). I started Homer Price this week and my six-year-old son can't get enough of it. ;))
For those who have read it, there's a chapter in there with doughnuts so we had to go get some doughnuts this afternoon to eat while we finished that chapter up. ;))

Meanwhile, I've picked up a book (there's a VERY long story behind this that I'll spare you from) called Essential Writings on Church History. It's more or less a compilation of what the title says. Thankfully it's broken into tiny sections so I can get through it ;)) But church history between the Bible and Now is something I've always been interested in learning about, but know absolutely nothing about. I just finished the section called the Martyrdom of Polycarp, which was excellent. I've heard the story before, though I didn't remember names or locations or anything like that, so it was great to read the actual historical account.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Aug 07, 2019 8:14 pm
by SnowAngel
I have very fond memories of my dad reading Homer Price and Centerburg Tales when I was a kid, although we never had donuts with it. Sound like fun. :D

Oh, Essential Writings on Church History sounds a neat book, fantasia! I'm going to have to look into that one.

I got several more graphic novels for the siblings, but will be sending most of them back to the library. I did get a Pride and Prejudice graphic novel via the library, told Scarlet it's totally the way to read classics and no surprise that she gave me that big sister look as only big sisters do (I myself have given it to my younger sisters more than a few times). I enjoyed reading it and then it the rounds with the younger siblings :) I'm now reading a Sense and Sensibility graphic novel and I'm thinking a viewing of the 1995 movie is going to be on my to-do list. :)

I got Bluffton via interlibrary loan, Col Klink, I haven't look through it yet...but it is on my to-do list.

In the last couple of weeks, I have read Caleb Breakey's debut novel, The String, and Dani Pettrey's latest, The Killing Tide. The String was okay at times it bordered on horror and I didn't care for that. The Killing Tide was actually what I expect from Dani Pettrey - romantic suspense.

I started reading Knox by Susan May Warren, but had to return it yesterday do to there being a hold on it and it's the only copy in the library system. I have placed another hold on it, should have it back in a couple of weeks. If I had only started it a day or two sooner I would have had it finished.

I'm not really into ereaders, but I won a Kindle at my library! Picked it up today, I'm currently setting it up. I will probably use it for listening to audiobooks via Hoopla (and my favorite radio show Wretched). :)

SnowAngel

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Aug 08, 2019 2:51 pm
by Cleander
Oh yes! Homer Price is the only book I know that has the ability to give me an insane craving for donuts! What I wouldn't give to get my hands on that donut machine... OK, I'll avoid giving spoilers here. :D

Just finished my speed-read of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. (It took me about a week. The book is rather huge, and my weekend was busy.) Hilarious story about a fat old gentleman,his group of friends, and their adventures in the countryside and cities of England, with a brief stopover in one of the last debtor's prisons in the UK. (I never realized how qualified Dickens was to write about debtor's prisons until I learned that he spent most of his young life working to get his father out of one. :( )
The book also contains a weird prototype of The Christmas Carol, in the form of a short story about a misanthropic old church sexton who gets kidnapped by goblins as punishment for his grouchy behavior at Christmas. He is then shown "visions" that cause him to reform... much like a certain old moneylender.
I've now begun Undaunted Courage, by Stephen Ambrose. Lewis and Clark's adventures always interested me, and this seems to be the most detailed story I've seen on the subject, so I'm looking forward to getting into it.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Aug 13, 2019 12:39 pm
by Ryadian
daughter of the King wrote:It is certainly very easy to tell that the first Mistborn trilogy is some of Sanderson's early work. The second Mistborn series is much better. But that's one reason why I keep reading Sanderson: his writing is noticeably getting better with each thing he publishes.


Good to know. ;)) I've been thinking about picking up some Brian Sanderson's books at the recommendation of my former roommate. I haven't started yet for two reasons: one, I'm not quite sure where to start, and two, I've been busy with the rest of my reading list. ;))

Speaking of which, I've been listening to an audiobook of The Silmarillion. I tried to read the book back in 6th grade, but I don't think I made it past chapter 1, so now I'm starting over with an audiobook. ;)) That may have been a mistake, however - it can be really hard to keep track of all the names and places without being able to read them! I'll admit, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect going into it - I'd expected an entire book of appendices, and only realized after starting that there was a narrative of sorts to it. So far I am enjoying it, though I've decided The Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy are going to have to be next on my reading list so that I can put everything together.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Aug 13, 2019 2:15 pm
by daughter of the King
Ryadian wrote:I haven't started yet for two reasons: one, I'm not quite sure where to start, and two, I've been busy with the rest of my reading list.

Sanderson's site has a helpful guide.

My personal recommendations are Warbreaker if you want to jump into his fantasy. Mistborn if you want to start a series (and if you're bored or frustrated, skip to the second series. There are spoilers for the first series, but it shouldn't be confusing.) The Way of Kings is also the start of a very good series, but those books are an intimidating length. Skyward or Steelheart if you want sci-fi. The Rithmatist if you want to join us fans in bemoaning the current lack of a sequel to one of his best books. :p

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Sep 11, 2019 8:10 pm
by SnowAngel
In the last week I have finished reading several books; Knox and Tate by Susan May Warren, Slave by John MacArthur, and The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal. Knox and Tate were the usual SMW reads, so fun quick reads with some annoying country music thrown in. Slave was really good, I especially liked coming across a Michael Card quote late in the book; I was reading it and thinking this sounds like MC, I looked down at the footnote and sure enough it was MC. :D

And now we come to The Gryphon Heist, WOW! :D It's the kind of book that makes you wonder why you would want to watch an action flick instead of reading a book such as The Gryphon Heist. :) It starts a little slow, but builds up pretty quickly once the main characters are introduced. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an action-packed thriller. B-)

SnowAngel

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Sep 30, 2019 5:58 pm
by Lady Haleth
So I finished the Mistborn trilogy a few weeks ago. Overall, I would say that I enjoyed it. The first book is definitely the best. I especially liked the kandra, since I was expecting them to just be a one-off source of impersonators, and then they turned out to have an entire society of their own. Plus, TenSoon was fascinating.
The posthumous characterization of the Lord Ruler in the sequels wasn't terribly convincing to me, though, even with the reveal of Ruin's influence.
Its hard to say which characters were my favorites, because that tended to shift a lot from book to book.

Right now I'm reading Warbreaker, and I'm enjoying it so far, especially Siri and Lightsong (who reminds me a lot of Breeze from Mistborn, actually.). I'd tried it before, but I'd bounced off
due to trying to read at at the same time as my Lord of the Rings reread. :P

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Oct 01, 2019 6:08 am
by Arwen_Daeneri31
That sounds like an interesting series. I have mainly been reading the Wheel of Time series and Icewind Dale series for a book club. Other than that I'm all over the place with studying and reading books.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Oct 01, 2019 10:14 am
by Shawna
Speaking of Sanderson, I haven't been able to quite get into his epic fantasy yet, but I loved the Reckoners series, and the Alcatraz series is also very entertaining.

I haven't been reading many novels lately since I've kinda been on a manga kick all year.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Oct 01, 2019 3:26 pm
by Ryadian
Wow, it looks like I have a lot of catching up to do if I want to jump into the Brandon Sanderson library! ;)) At Dot's recommendation, I actually just finished Warbreaker, and I found that I really liked it! I found that I genuinely never really knew what was going to happen next, and not in a "the plot is too confusing" or in a "a plot twist every five minutes" kind of way - the story was unique enough that I couldn't rely on all my usual tropes to predict the plot for me. ;)) I really liked pretty much all of the characters, and I was so utterly betrayed by Denth turning out to be a bad guy. :( I mean, I get it, the whole point is that you're supposed to like him only to realize he was the villain all along, but... he did his job too well.... :(

If I have one complaint, it's that Vasher kind of disappeared from the story for too long to be so important at the end. It also felt like he suddenly had a burst of new abilities, and yes I get that he had them all along and just hid them, but there was a level of, "Oh... I didn't know that was possible in this magic system." But I liked the rest of the book enough to overlook that. I'll try to jump into one of his other books/series, probably sometime after I do that Hobbit/LOTR reading that I keep promising myself I'd do. :P

Arwen, The Wheel of Time is another one of those series that's on my "to read eventually" list. ;)) I actually have the first book of the Icewind Dale trilogy from the library, so I'm going to be reading that soon. I'll let you know what I think of it! :)

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Oct 05, 2019 1:51 pm
by Lady Haleth
I just finished Warbreaker today. It was great.
I kept cracking up laughing at Nightblood. Even if it was creepy, it was also hilarious at the same time.
But then I ended up crying because of Lightsong's sacrifice (and backstory), and the fact that his brother ended up watching him die twice :(( :((

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Oct 09, 2019 1:22 pm
by fantasia
I am very slowly crawling through Essential Writings on Church History. On one hand I'm REALLY enjoying it as it has all of these historical stories of things that happened to the disciples after the Bible ended and that's really fun to read about. I've moved on past those segments. I'm somewhere around the 100AD to 150AD approximately. Currently going through Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History.

But last week I was down for the count for a few days and needed something a bit lighter to go through, so I reread The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. That was fun. I had heard from more than one person that it's much better the second time around and I definitely found that to be the case.
What was so funny though, aside from the way it ends, I remembered absolutely nothing about the story. So it was almost like rereading it for the first time again. :)) And I TOTALLY did not remember that Sophos was one of the group. I was going along like "Isn't he the main character in the fourth book?" And sure enough, he is. Apparently book one did not sink in at all the first time I read it. :)) Need to reread books 2-4 again too (I LOVED the Queen of Attolia, favorite in the series).
Admittedly I've never read book five. My husband bought it on Audible so I could at least listen to it if I want.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Oct 09, 2019 7:49 pm
by shastastwin
Oooh! Glad you've stepped back into this world, fantasia. I reread all of them last year and every time I find I love them more. Even book 4, which didn't sit well with me the first time, I found worked much better on a second round. I think books 4 and 5 are going to feed into the last book the way The Thief and QoA fed directly into KoA, so I'm anticipating a thrilling August next year (provided book 6 isn't delayed again). (At least it's already pre-ordered and I just have to wait for it to show up. ;)) )

I'm currently listening to Harry Potter: A History of Magic (audio version narrated by Natalie Dormer; a slow listen for me because even though it's interesting stuff I just don't always feel in the mood for it on my commute), reading the novelization of Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke (beautiful though the prose is sometimes a little bland), and re-reading Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes for the first time since high school when I first encountered it. I'm finding that though I identified with Will more as a teenager, I resemble Jim almost as much. It's interesting how one's perspective changes over the years.

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Oct 26, 2019 3:22 pm
by SnowAngel
I've had so much going on in the last couple months I've barely been reading, just one book a week this month and barely that. The library catalog had four James R. Hannibal books and I interlibrary loaned them all late last month. I read Shadow Catcher first, and then I started the Section 13 series. I've currently reading book 3 of Section 13, The Clockwork Dragon. I really enjoyed The Lost Property Office and The Fourth Ruby, which upon finishing I shared with the siblings. A group of us were reading the living room the other evening and three of us each had a Section 13 book. :)

For nonfiction, I have been reading Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament by Mark Vroegop. My sister stumbled across this one online before it's release, and placed a request for the library to purchase it. My dad picked it up shortly after I got it from the library and was looking at it, so I asked him if he wanted to read it and he read about half of it before he bought his own copy so he could highlight in it. If my dad buys a book to highlight in, it's got some good stuff in it. :)

SnowAngel

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Oct 27, 2019 1:13 pm
by Courtenay
I've been reading Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan, a fictional imagining of the love story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman Gresham, told in the first person from Joy's point of view. I haven't seen that anyone else here has read it (or admitted to reading it!), so just wanted to post my thoughts here.

I'm not a big fan of romantic fiction in the first place (except Jane Austen, but that's different :D ), and I was already a bit uncomfortable with the premise of this one. There are plenty of people still around who knew Joy — her sons, in particular — and it does seem more than a little presumptuous to think that a novelist who didn't know her can write from her perspective and capture realistically what she was going through in her failing first marriage, her unexpected conversion from atheism to faith in God, her correspondence and growing friendship with Lewis, and of course all that came of that for both of them, not to mention her cancer diagnosis soon after their marriage and her death a few years later. But I'd seen a good review of this book somewhere and I was curious, so I decided to order a copy and give it a go.

My review... well, I was genuinely enjoying it at first. The prose is thoroughly purple and the supposed-to-be-romantic-or-meaningful musings — read: cliches — come thick and fast (hmmm, "thick and fast" is a cliche in itself :p ), but what drew me in, in the first chapter, was the description of Joy's conversion experience as she finds herself praying desperately to a God she didn't believe in. That was beautifully written — if it's not based on Joy's own reminiscences, then certainly I get the feeling the author has had a similar experience (I've been there myself, though not in the same way) — and gave me hope that the rest of it would be worth it, mushy frothy stuff notwithstanding. And the first 100 pages or so were certainly a light and fun read.

Now, though, 16 chapters in, I've just felt impelled to give up. It's got to the point where it IS grating on me that this is told from the perspective of a real person who actually existed, and yet we have no way of knowing whether this is what she was REALLY thinking and saying — particularly on such personal matters as her growing feelings for Lewis. About which, predictably, Ms-Callahan-as-"Joy" goes on and on and ON, when I wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about Joy's real life and her faith and how it developed and how she got to this point where this respected Christian writer became so important to her. We don't seem to be given much at all about that, despite the length of the novel. 8-|

So, on the whole, I think my initial misgivings were justified — though I don't regret finding out for sure — and I just cannot be bothered reading further. I would honestly much rather read a genuine biography of Joy, one that draws directly on her own actual writings and the reminiscences of those who knew her — of course this novel presumably is based on those, but there's no indication at all of where fact ends and fantasy begins (and the way a lot of it is written, I suspect there's more fantasy overall than fact). I wouldn't say it's outright disrespectful — and Ms Callahan thanks Douglas Gresham in her acknowledgments and says she's honoured to call him a friend, so one assumes he's not offended by any of it — but... I just feel I don't need any more of this book.

I'm aware there have been several biographies of the real Joy and her relationship with Lewis — has anyone here read any of them, and if so, which would you most recommend? :)

Re: Books: 2nd Edition

PostPosted: Oct 27, 2019 10:15 pm
by Arwen_Daeneri31
Ryadian, I hope you enjoy those books. I am still reading them because of how long they are and I love them. Especially the wheel of time. I look forward to hearing what you think of them, I am still on book one of the Icewind dale trilogy too.