Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Oct 28, 2019 7:11 pm

I don't think I could ever write a book based on real people like that, Courtenay. Well, I might enjoy writing it but I'd be too embarrassed to show it to anyone because I'd know it wasn't exactly like the historical people who were its inspiration and that it would probably offend them. I can't say that I don't think people should ever do so though. Not without being hypocritical because I honestly have enjoyed books, movies and play which were based on real people. (I don't think I'd enjoy Becoming Mrs. Lewis though. While the excerpts I've read didn't annoy me the way they did you, they didn't impress me either.)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby AJAiken » Nov 12, 2019 6:35 am

It's been a while since I posted here so I'll not go through all the books I've read, but highlight a few!

Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match by Wendy Moore is a book I picked up at the National Trust property Gibside, where Mary Bowes, Countess of Strathmore, lived. Her life is an extraordinary and shocking picture of life for women in the Georgian era - even for a woman of her stature and fortune - when married to a man who is an absolute cad. And that's putting it lightly - he tricked her into marriage with a partly-sham duel, had affairs with countless others, kept Mary locked up and refused to let her see her children from her first marriage, and abused her. It's the sort of story I'm surprised hasn't yet been turned into a film.

A Forger's Tale: Confessions of the Bolton Forger by Shaun Greenhalgh is particularly fascinating as an artist. Though the book is a bit all over the place and the writing isn't great, Shaun's story is what grabs my interest. He outlines his life and weaves through all the forgeries he completed, across an astounding array of disciplines. What makes me sorry is that he is obviously an incredibly accomplished artist in his own right, and I wish that he had found a legal outlet for it earlier in life.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente is a book I've wondered about reading for a while, so when I found a copy in a charity shop I snatched it up. What a strange and lovely story. There's a revelation near the end that is one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever read in my life. I'm not sure whether I want to read any more in the series - has anyone here read them?

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. I've read The Road and this is very different, but similarly stark. It's about John Grady, a teenager in the late 1940s who journeys to and through Mexico on horseback. It's not a happy story, but it's my favourite of this trilogy. (I'm currently struggling through Cities of the Plain.)

Going Solo by Roald Dahl is the sequel to Boy and is an autobiographical novel of Dahl's early adult life. His observations of others is wonderful. I had to hold in my laughter a lot while reading it, as I was on a train and I didn't want to cause too much of a scene.

The Shadowmagic Trilogy by John Lenahan. I hadn't heard of this before, but bought it as soon as I saw it was about Irish mythology in the present day. I found this an easy and fun read, but the main character Conor irritated me. Thankfully his character developed a bit through the books, but a lot of the time it felt like he was a secondary character describing things happening around him rather than taking an active part in what what was going on or, indeed, having his own arc. He also has about six girlfriends at once and sees no problem with this whatsoever. What I'd hoped for never really materialised - the modern day/ancient culture things were mostly brushed over easily. However I enjoyed it, so there we go.

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. So I read this after seeing the film. When watching it I thought 'I need to read the book - there's so much more here that's being skipped over'. Unfortunately that's not the case. There's a tiny bit more detail in the book, but apart from some bizarre changes to the plot (why??) it's pretty similar. One of the highlights of the book for me was the appearance of Tunbridge Wheels, a wonderful wordplay on Tunbridge Wells. I would have loved to see more on the different cities, but I thought the ending of the book was much better - though grimmer!

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is my new favourite book. I enjoy the Temeraire series (though I've not yet read them all) and I really liked Uprooted but this one is special. It is so nice to see a book full of strong women who don't wave swords about. And who don't always know they're strong, but are brave anyway. It took me less than a day to read this book, and then I had to re-read the ending because I'd galloped through it so quickly. Miryem is a wonderful character whose side I was on from the first page. I loved how she has to struggle with survival versus losing her soul, and how that theme is explored again and again throughout. The fantasy elements feel real, much like in Uprooted. The influence of Rumpelstiltskin is, I feel, slight, but this doesn't matter at all, allowing Novik's own mythology to be created. I like how my understanding of the world expanded as the book went on. It's really beautiful. I love this book!
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby shastastwin » Nov 12, 2019 9:44 pm

AJ, I read the first of the Fairyland series and loved it, but wasn't in the right mood for the second one when I picked it up. I need to go back and try again some time.

I listened to Spinning Silver earlier this year and I'm in agreement with you. It's a wonderful book. I don't know which I prefer between it and Uprooted, but I think Spinning Silver might win out by a slight edge.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby daughter of the King » Nov 14, 2019 6:23 pm

As always, I have a stack of books by my bed that just keeps getting taller, and the kindle app isn't helping in that regard. ;)) But I have managed to read a few books over the past few months.

Vox Machina Origins (the first run): A very fun comic book series based on the D&D streaming show Critical Role. I wasn't very familiar with the characters when I started the show, but the comics helped me learn the history.

To Kill a Kingdom: I read this one for a book club (Adults who read YA, it has expanded my general reading list quite a bit). It was . . . okay. The world-building was better than the storyline or the main characters. Sirens vs humans war. Human prince falls in love with siren princess, I think you can figure out the rest from there. ;)

Sunshine: I've read Robin McKinley's books before, but had stuck to her YA. This one was on sale on kindle so even though it's adult I thought I'd give it a try. I'm working through it slowly because it's mostly been the book I read when I don't have a physical book with me. Very good urban fantasy with lots of great lore. The main character does tend to ramble a bit in the middle of scenes, but since the rambles almost always have interesting world-building in them I don't really mind.

Truly Devious: Another one for book club. Girl gets accepted to elite boarding school where some famous murders happened 70 years prior. She's a true crime buff so is interested in murders, but then one of her class-mates is murdered. And then the book ends with "to be continued". :| Apparently it's going to be a trilogy but the third book isn't out until next year. I thought it was a good page-turner until I got to the end. Mysteries should not end without a case being solved.

Isle of Blood and Stone: This month's book club read. Princes get murdered, kingdom goes to war, prejudice against the island kingdom that did the murdering continues to this day, etc. A quest sends the three main characters on a journey to find out what really happened. So far it's pretty good, but I'm only half-way through.

Next up: Out of My Bone; The Letters of Joy Davidman. Picked this up at the CS Lewis conference last week. I haven't read Joy Davidman's letters before, so I'm looking forward to it.

Also Bandersnatch, which is about the creative collaboration of the Inklings. The book vendors ran out at the conference so I bought this one on kindle when I got home.

And Mom and I listened to Bands of Mourning (third book in the second Mistborn series) during the long car ride last week. I've read it before, but she hadn't so her reactions were quite interesting to observe. ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Kalta79 » Nov 23, 2019 12:16 am

Only new book I've been reading lately is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, our new pastor's wife had a few copies to read and gave them out, Sunday evening is the book club 'party' to discuss it. Last one she did was...trying to remember the exact title, Seven Women was the main part of it, and it featured condensed bios on Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Hannah Moore, Mother Teresa, etc.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Nov 23, 2019 6:17 pm

I was totally derailed on my reading plans for the year late this summer, I am still trying to get back on track and although there is no way I will make my page count goal, I can still get 125 books (including around 20 audiobooks). I managed just four books finished in October: Shadow Catcher and the Section 13 series all by James R. Hannibal. I started a couple audiobooks as well, but didn't finish them until recently. Without farther ado here is what I have been reading/listening to in November.

Finished:
*Deadly Deceit (Harbored Secrets #2) by Natalie Walters - I enjoyed book 1 and was really looking forward to Deadly Deceit, but too many superhero references plus the book being a little long for the plot made for an okay as part of the series read.
*Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham - audiobook - very interesting, has me really looking forward to reading Expository Apologetics.
*Deep Clouds, Dark Mercy by Mark Vroegop - I got stuck near the end of this one, it had some great thoughts early in the book, but the latter part was rather wordy.
*Shadow Maker (Nick Baron #2) by James R. Hannibal - yes, I read another James Hannibal book, and it was great. This series is very well written, action packed and hard to put down. B-)
*Devoted by Tim Challies - audiobook - This one was easy listening while I moved files around on my computer.
*Let's Make Jesus Happy by Mack Thomas - I grew up with this book and I had wanted to reread it for quite a while, so I finally pulled it from the shelf this week. It's still one of my favorite childhood books. :)

Currently reading:
*Judge Not by Todd Friel - started this one back in August, then set it aside to read library books. I picked back up this week, it's really good.
*The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep - I've this one on my shelf for a couple months, decided to read it before I start rereading some of my favorite fiction. I might pause on this one to read a couple of library books that Scarlet recommended.
*The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steven J. Lawson - I've been interested in this one for a while, recently found it on sale and now I'm reading it.
*Writers To Read by Douglas Wilson - Picked it up on sale for a couple dollars, enjoying it so far.

To-be read:
Scarlet's library books
Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble - another library book
Expository Apologetics by Voddie Baucham
Do More Better by Tim Challies
The Ashtown Burials by N.D. Wilson - I really need to reread this series. :)
The Chronicles of Narnia - Debating audiobooks versus actually reading the books since it's been on my to reread list for far too long. I have problem with checking out too many books from the library and then not reading my own books.
Stressed Out by Todd Friel
...this is just the very tip of my list.

Given all the books I am currently trying to read, I should totally be reading instead of writing this post.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Arwen_Daeneri31 » Nov 24, 2019 12:20 am

I have been reading Wheel of Time still and The Once and Future King by T.H. White, they are both good reads. I love the fantasy novels and the ones based on the Arthurian legend so those have been my go to books lately.
It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby daughter of the King » Nov 29, 2019 6:23 pm

Finished Sunshine and the end was . . . okay. There are hints of a much larger conflict but the book ends without any sort of resolution for that. It makes sense because the focus is on the relationship between a specific human and vampire, but I would have liked a neater wrap-up other than "we survived that. now what?"

Also finished Isle of Blood and Stone for book club last week. I actually really liked it, and am looking forward to the sequel, which is about one of my favorite characters.

Haven't started on my to-read list yet because I forgot the sequel to Brandon Sanderson's Skyward came out this week! I had to wait for my brother to finish it since he's the one who ordered it, but he didn't take very long. Sanderson tends to write lengthy books, but Starsight is a typical sci-fi YA length. So far it's very good. More expansion of the world, the main character, etc. And this time I remembered to order a Doomslug t-shirt before his store ran out of my size. (If you don't know who Doomslug is, read the book!) :p
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