Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Aug 28, 2018 5:07 pm

220Christian, the Austen books I've read are Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. (I've read parts of Sense and Sensibility and someday I'd like to read the whole thing.) I would say that Persuasion was the most emotional and also the least enjoyable of them. LOL.

I probably shouldn't have made it sound like I think Austen having an unemotional prose style was a bad thing. It fit in with the message she was trying to convey which was that being overemotional leads to trouble. That's a good message and not one that's popular nowadays if, indeed, it ever was. So kudos to her. In a way, the fact that she's still has a fanbase actually gives me hope for society.

I feel Jane Austen's strengths were humor, character development and psychological insight. I think that's why Persuasion, which was more about emotions, was my least favorite thing I've read of hers. (And from what I've read, Mansfield Park which is more melodramatic and Dickensian, is kind of a you love it or you hate it deal.) She was great at writing about real life and I'm not that interested in reading about real life. (Why should I be when I could go out and experience it for myself anytime?) That's why she's not a favorite of mine though I can certainly understand why she would be someone else's.


Maybe it's telling that her favorite work of mine is Love and Friendship which is a silly parody with no attempt to be realistic. She wrote it when she was a teenager and it's available to read online. Check it out if you haven't read it.


P.S.
I love me some Victor Hugo though I admit I skim parts. I've only read his most famous books, Les Miserables and Notre Dame de Paris. Sometime it might be nice to read his others. Did he actually write any others?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Aug 29, 2018 9:35 pm

Anfinwen wrote:I use Hoopla as well. I listened to "Sylvester" read by RA and enjoyed it, but I don't think his voice is worth having the book abridged. It just felt a little lacking. "The Grand Sophy" is on Hoopla and is a great story, and "Faro's Daughter" was also enjoyable. The reader for "The Black Moth" was really good.
Okay, going to skip the abridge versions and add The Grand Sophy, The Black Moth, and Faro's Daughter unabridged to my list. Thanks, Anfinwen.

Hey, 220, long time no see. Have you read Julie Klassen's latest releases, the Tales Of Ivy Hill series? My library has the first two books, but I haven't read them yet. I am undecided as to whether or not I really want to read any more of her books since I really did not enjoy The Painter's Daughter.

My sisters had been using my hoopla account recently and listened to Pride and Prejudice which I have not read, so I am finally listening to P&P. :) All of my sisters agree it was about time I "read" it. We've enjoyed watching the '05 version of P&P a number of times and nearly every time Scarlet would hint that I needed to finally read the book.

I finished Cherry Ames Chief Nurse by Helen Wells this morning. I had interlibrary loaned the first four books in the Cherry Ames series, I rate the books 3 stars each. They were fun little reads, but the main character Cherry Ames lacked character development over the course of the four books. I also found Cherry's refusal of Lex Upham's proposals (once each in books #2 and #3) and then in book #4 her thinking how much she wanted to him propose again someday and then she would accept him decidedly lacking maturity.

I had completely forgotten when last I posted that I had planned to read The Raven by Mike Nappa next and then The Tox Files by Ronie Kendig. So I am going to start The Raven tonight (probably not get any sleep) and I am super excited to finally read it. The first book in the Coffey & Hills series, Annabel Lee, was terrific, one of the best Christian suspense books I have ever read.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby 220chrisTian » Aug 30, 2018 11:34 am

Col: I'm confused. You don't like the emotion you see in Austen, yet you find her cold? Dickens is saturated in emotion, yet you prefer him? And you don't like real life in novels? Why read them? I haven't read Love and Friendship, and I do prefer real life in fiction. I've loved fiction, fantasy, and mysteries since I was a child. Lately I've been reading a lot of nonfiction.

SnowAngel: I haven't read anything by Klassen since The Painter's Daughter. The more popular she became, the worse her style, which might have something to do with her publishing contract (X books per year). Haste makes waste.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Aug 30, 2018 12:06 pm

Hi, 220.

I didn't say that the emotional parts of Jane Austen's works are bad. I just don't consider them interesting enough to sustain a book by themselves. I guess when I read Dickens' books, I feel what the characters are feeling. (Well, to a lesser extent since I know they're fictional but you get the idea.) When I read Austen, I feel sorry for the characters but only in the way I would for distant relatives who live miles and miles away from me. (Actually, I'd feel more for them since I know they're real people even if we aren't close aquainatnces.)


By "real life" I mean going to boring social events, putting up with annoying people and worrying about financial security. This is what Jane Austen wrote about. (Yes, I understand that she also wrote about themes. I touched upon that in a previous post. I'm just talking about plotlines here.) I experience all these things in my day to day existence. They have no glamor for me. I'd rather read about things that either couldn't or are very unlikely to happen to me. (Like jumping into a pool and emerging in another world to use a Narnian example.)


But I can respect someone for doing a good job writing about real life even if I'm not particularly interested in it. It requires skill and a good sense of humor, both of which I think can reasonably be attributed to Jane Austen.


P.S.

I am aware Victor Hugo wrote other works. It's just that no one ever talks about them. You don't have to sound condescending.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Sep 14, 2018 3:33 pm

Anfinwen, I've read a few of Georgette Heyer's books, but my thoughts ranged from finding them okay to hating them. I keep thinking I'll find one I love, but no such success yet...

SA, I understand trying to keep a booklist short. ;))
SA wrote:ValiantArcher, you are so much like Scarlet sometimes it's crazy. All of your historical non-fiction reads sound awesome. I need more hours in a day.
Haha! :D Scarlet sounds like she has excellent book tastes. ;) But I understand needing more hours in the day - most of my reading takes place over my lunch breaks at work.
I hope you're enjoying the Cherry Ames books! I've never read them, but one of my sisters read and collected them. :)
I know I've read The Mysterious Affair at Styles before, but I can't tell you what it was about either. ;))

Mel, I still won't bite on the Belinda book, but I can see why those things appealed to you. ;))

Col Klink, I'm sorry you don't enjoy Jane Austen's works. I like works by both Dickens and Austen, but Austen has a much higher rate of enjoyable for me than Dickens. That said, I remember loving Little Dorrit and Bleak House when I read them; Hard Times was distinctly disliked, though.

I finished And if I Perish - overall, a very good read. One note of caution: there were a few more graphic descriptions and few instances of too much information (mostly in relation to treatment & disease connected to the soldiers' relations with local women), and some rather hard incidents covered, so reader beware if those bother you. But I think it's well worth reading; I learned a lot. :)

I have also recently read the following:
Desert Wife by Hilda Faunce. Adeona recommended this book to me, which an account of a trading post on a Native American reservation in the mid- to late-1910s by the trading post owner's wife. It was an interesting read, to be sure, and I enjoyed it overall. It wasn't without problems, but it was honest and the author did a pretty good job of showing some of the cultural differences on both sides that made it a challenging time and place to be.

To Darkness Fled and From Darkness Won by Jill Williamson. These were the second and third books in a Christian fantasy trilogy which sadly suffered from some common flaws to Christian fantasy/sci-fi. Namely, trying to rebuild Christianity in a fantasy setting. Despite the author taking most of the theology/religious statements directly from the Bible and just replacing names, it fell flat and weak. It just often seems like the harder people try to put Christianity in sci-fi and fantasy settings and the harder they try to portray God, the harder they fail. The stupid decisions characters made, the not-always-well-handled romance, the several poor characters who got unfairly shafted, some hazy worldbuilding, and a dose of kill-your-heroes didn't help matters any. On the plus side, there were a couple of characters I liked pretty well throughout. :)

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. This one was a retelling of Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer; I'm not familiar with the latter, but the former has my interest. Unfortunately, I feel like either I or the author just missed a piece in the telling as it doesn't quite make sense, and there were some pretty big questions left at the end. Also, despite some of the more objectionable parts of the story being left out, I was rather uncomfortable about the timeline, particularly Polly being 10 when she meets Thomas, and then striking out on a romantic relationship at 19. There's a lot of grey in there, but there's no getting past Thomas using a 10 year old girl and encouraging some sort of relationship as a means to get free - and the fact that he was using Mary as a shield also carries the implication that he had some idea of what was going to unfold. :/
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby AJAiken » Sep 15, 2018 2:13 am

Valia, from a couple of pages back, it's great to see someone reading and enjoying Arthur Ransome! I have a set of the Swallows and Amazons books that my mum gave me that were hers when she was young, and some of them were her father's when he was young. Funnily enough I always loved the Ds. My mum never liked them as she thought they were interlopers, but as a city child who didn't know how to sail I related to the Ds very strongly. ;))

I recently read A Wizard of Earthsea for the first time. I have a foggy memory of watching TV movie of it years ago and either I forgot everything that happened or it was not a good adaptation because the book was completely unfamiliar. The writing is beautiful. I love the character development and how real the whole world becomes. I'll need to get the others in the series.

A book I was really looking forward to was Jasper Fforde's new one, Early Riser. I don't know whether my expectations were just too high or whether it simply isn't as good as his others, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped to. It took me a long time to get into and, as I got interested, it sped up to the point where the ending came far too abruptly. The whole concept, that of a world where humans hibernate in the winter, is as brilliantly bizarre as usual. It just seemed like the book hasn't been as tightly edited as his others. For those who haven't read any Fforde, I can't recommend him highly enough. Start with The Eyre Affair or Shades of Grey (not THAT one!) and avoid this book for now ...
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Meltintalle » Sep 15, 2018 11:53 am

SnowAngel wrote:No, no, no, Mel, you can't say that you like one of Davis Bunn's books that I haven't read, especially not when my library system has The Book of Hours.

B-) B-) B-)

I ended up binge reading both A Civil Contract and Laddie after they were mentioned here and (no surprise on the latter) really enjoyed them both. :) Now I want to read another Heyer, but my to-read stack (it's an impressive pile :ymblushing: ) of actual books is looking at me accusingly--and I just checked North and South out of the library. It'll be my first time through, and all I know is that Richard Armitage plays the love interest in the mini-series. :p

Too bad about the newest Fford book not living up to expectations, AJ. I remember enjoying The Eyre Affair.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Sep 16, 2018 7:51 am

I just wanted to say I do like Jane Austen. (I even liked Persuasion, the book I said was my least favorite.) I just don't love Jane Austen. But she's the kind of author whom I can understand being someone else's favorite even if she isn't mine. :)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia_kitty » Sep 16, 2018 9:13 am

AJAiken wrote:I recently read A Wizard of Earthsea for the first time.

I'm so glad you posted this. It's been on my to-read list for a long time but I forgot about it. I jumped on it and checked it out from the library yesterday. Looking forward to getting into it. :)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Anfinwen » Sep 16, 2018 9:56 am

ValiantArcher wrote:Anfinwen, I've read a few of Georgette Heyer's books, but my thoughts ranged from finding them okay to hating them. I keep thinking I'll find one I love, but no such success yet...

They're not everyone's cup of tea :) They're very novel-y novels. The only one I've read so far that isn't is "The Spanish Bride." It's interesting, and I enjoyed it as it was an audiobook. I don't know if I would have had the patience to plow through it otherwise. It's much more like a Henty than a Heyer.

Meltintalle wrote:I ended up binge reading both A Civil Contract and Laddie after they were mentioned here and (no surprise on the latter) really enjoyed them both. Now I want to read another Heyer, but my to-read stack (it's an impressive pile ) of actual books is looking at me accusingly--and I just checked North and South out of the library. It'll be my first time through, and all I know is that Richard Armitage plays the love interest in the mini-series.

So glad you liked them! I have to say that "North and South" may be one of the rare books where the movie (well, mini-series) is better. I haven't seen the mini-series all the way through, but it felt like one could really connect to the characters and their struggles more when one could see them.

Some of my recents are "Summer Lightning" by Wodehouse, "A Tangled Web" by L. M. Montgomery, and "Light on the Hill" by Connilyn Cossette. I really liked "A Tangled Web" though it was a slow start and I really wanted a family tree to sort everyone out. "Summer Lightning" definitely doesn't rank among my favorite Wodehouse, but it was interesting.

Has anyone else read anything by Connilyn Cossette? She is a current favorite right now, and I can't wait for her next book! I started with the third book of her "Out From Egypt" series because I was intrigued by the premise. I really liked it, so I read the others. Her new series picks up where that one left off, and she's on Hoopla!
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Sep 16, 2018 7:10 pm

AJ, it's great that Swallows and Amazons is a third-generation series in your family! :D My favorites were always the Walkers; I actively disliked the Pirate Blacketts, but I think I just wasn't all that interested in the D's. ;)) I'm hoping to do a full(er) reread at some point and see if my opinions have changed - I definitely appreciated them being new to sailing in The Picts and the Martyrs. :) I again have a desire to learn sailing now. ;))
Is Early Riser part of the same series as The Eyre Affair? One of my coworkers loves Jasper Fforde's books, but (oddly enough) we've never actually talked about books, so I know little beyond the general premise of the series. And that Shades of Grey is excellent, though with an unfortunate title and with a terrible cliffhanger...

fk and AJ, you'll have to let me know what you think of the Earthsea series as you read it. :) I read the first four, and thought the first was well enough, the second really good, the third okay, and the fourth I rather disliked. I was recently urged to finish the series, so I may consider trying the fifth and seeing if things improve or not... :P

Mel, I hope you enjoy North and South! :D I read it ten years back or so and loved it. I have been meaning to do a reread for ages, but alas, not yet. *eyes stack of library books, books to read, and books to reread, not to mention recommendations*

Anfinwen, thanks for the note about Georgette Heyer - she may just not be my cup of tea.
Interesting that you think the North and South miniseries is better than the book. Other than a slight change in ending, I thought the miniseries was a pretty faithful adaptation of the book, but not necessarily an improvement.
I remember being surprised by liking A Tangled Web; it's another one I'm overdue for a reread on. Though I'm still more likely to reread The Blue Castle instead...

I forgot to mention in my last post that I'm reading The Inextinguishable Symphony by Martin Goldsmith. The author tells the story of his parents, Jewish musicians in 1930s/1940s Germany, and the Kulturbund (Jewish theater, opera, symphony, and other cultural organizations - created when the Nazis banned Jews from German cultural/public life; it gave the Jewish artists and public a way to create and share music, etc. but also allowed the Nazis to keep tight observation and control). So far it's been fascinating.

I also read Court Duel by Sherwood Smith over the weekend. It's the second part of a duet, the first part of which I read a number of years ago. I remember being rather unimpressed with the first book, but I enjoyed the second one more than I thought. A lot of threads were obvious and a few unanswered questions in the end, but the biggest flaw seemed to be the world-building - despite how powerful magic seemed to be, that aspect seemed to really be tacked on like an afterthought. It's entirely possible that the magic was better explained and integrated in the first book and I just don't remember. That said, the heroine annoyed me less than I remember her doing in the first book, and I really liked some of the new characters - I really liked Nimair, and had a special appreciation for Linet. All in all, I didn't love it but I have a somewhat better idea why so many people seem to love the books. :)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Sep 17, 2018 4:26 am

ValiantArcher wrote:AJ, it's great that Swallows and Amazons is a third-generation series in your family! :D My favorites were always the Walkers; I actively disliked the Pirate Blacketts, but I think I just wasn't all that interested in the D's. ;))


Did you know that the Walkers were a real family, whom Arthur Ransome met, and that Titty was still living somewhere in the Lake District as late as 1997? There was a boating museum just out along the road following Lake Windermere, out of Bowness on Windermere, where they had one of the boats in the museum and also a motor boat set up like Uncle Jim's boat complete with a little cannon, a birthday cake and a parrot? Apparently Titty was a family nickname after a book called Titty mouse, Tatty mouse, and the real name of the third of the Walkers was really Mavis.

That particular museum was just past the Beatrice Potter display, dioramas for some of the books for people to see. All the favourites were there, including Mrs Tittlemouse, another possible source for the nickname. We've had copies of the Peter Rabbit books, and also some of the Swallows and Amazon books for my own children for ages, but I don't remember reading any Beatrice Potter books when I was still a child.

There was another series of books that I do remember reading as a child which wasn't written by Beatrice Potter. It was about a flying rabbit called Pookie, befriended by a little girl called Belinda. I never owned them but the teacher we had at the time used to allow us to read them at our desks every now and then. Has anyone heard of them, or who wrote them?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby AJAiken » Sep 17, 2018 6:38 am

FK, I hope you enjoy it! :)

Valia, Early Riser is a new standalone book, so not a part of the Thursday Next series. Fforde has three main series (Thursday Next, Nursery Crime, and Dragonslayer) as well as Shades of Grey and Early Riser. Everyone is hoping for that elusive Shades sequel ... though I would also really like to see another Nursery Crime book. I love the nursery-rhyme littered world - the first book, The Big Over Easy, deals with solving the murder of Humpty Dumpty.

I also like the Walkers but I think I was somewhat put off both them and the Blacketts because they would have thought me a landlubber. My one comfort is that Nancy gets seasick, which is exactly what happened to me during my one sailing experience! I would like to learn to sail. I now know a friend who has a very small boat, so it's possible I'll get the opportunity now.

wagga, I did know that about the family. I never went to the museum, but I've been to the Lake District many times and have been to the Beatrix Potter museum. My family also has a few books about the author and the area. I recommend Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint's Trunk by Christina Hardyment, which explores the Lakes and elsewhere to find the real places that inspired Ransome. My mum and I used it to find Swallowdale!

I haven't heard of the books about Pookie, but Google says the author is Ivy Wallace - does that sound right?

North and South - I prefer the TV series over the book, but mainly because the series cut down the final third of the book where, for some reason, Margaret and Mr Thornton don't see, write to, or speak about each other. I also like the TV series because a lot of it was filmed in Edinburgh. There are some shots where you can tell they've digitally erased Edinburgh Castle!

I picked up Diana Wynne Jones' last book, The Islands of Chaldea, in a charity shop on Saturday and finished it yesterday. What a lovely read. It had everything I wanted in a story. I didn't realise until after I'd bought it that it had been finished by her sister, but though some of the ending felt a bit rushed I don't think it was all that noticeable.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby coracle » Sep 17, 2018 8:54 am

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Did you know that the Walkers were a real family, whom Arthur Ransome met, and that Titty was still living somewhere in the Lake District as late as 1997? There was a boating museum just out along the road following Lake Windermere, out of Bowness on Windermere, where they had one of the boats in the museum and also a motor boat set up like Uncle Jim's boat complete with a little cannon, a birthday cake and a parrot? Apparently Titty was a family nickname after a book called Titty mouse, Tatty mouse, and the real name of the third of the Walkers was really Mavis.


I got interested in the Swallows & Amazons series after a Californian couple of Anglophiles began to talk about them on another forum. I bought and read the original book while in the Lake District, and enjoyed seeing some of their haunts.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cumbria/content/articles/2005/07/26/swallows_and_amazons_feature.shtml

I'm sorry the BBC changed Titty's name.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/23/family-of-swallows-and-amazons-titty--furious-as-bbc-film-change They made a mess of several 20th century classics in the 21st century, including the ridiculously-cast Ballet Shoes (all three girls much too old to play children). Bring back the good old days, I say!
Try to find the early 1970s film of Swallows & Amazons that was beautifully made with authentic RP posh accented children... I have it on DVD, so you may well find it. I will look for the old BBC followup serials too.
Here are some stills on pintarest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/437271445040584714/. In fact, I have just signed up on pintarest for the first time, to find more. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/178666310191594718/
I see that the oldest child was called Tacqui, and was a girl. She became a published writer, so if you are really keen, and here is a talk given by her at age 77.
https://www.allthingsransome.net/literary/sevens.htm
Now I want to read her work!
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » Sep 20, 2018 10:36 am

Col Klink wrote:My favorite author might be Charles Dickens. But from I what I remember from being a lurker on this forum, he isn't particularly popular here.

Dickens is popular with me. :D My dad is probably one of the biggest Dickens fans in the world, and has thankfully passed on his love of that great story-teller to us kiddos.

Anfinwen wrote:I like Dickens, and I’d actually rank “A Tale of Two Cities” among my favorite books.

Ditto, Anfinwen. I would put A Tale of Two Cities as my top Dickens' book, with A Christmas Carol as a close second. But I don't think there is a Dickens book I have read that I have not appreciated. I still want to read some of his lesser known writings, all of which my dad has, so it may be time to borrow from him soon. :ymsmug:

Books I have read (and loved) lately:

*The Radium Girls by Kate Moore: this is a must-read for those interested in little-known history of the early 20th century. A tragic tale in so, so many ways, but heroic too, as these young ladies exposed to radium just kept on fighting. What is devastating, though, is how the radium company responded to their cries for help. Denying truth is never a good thing. :(

*Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith (2017) by James Warner Wallace. This book is a follow-up to Cold-Case Christianity (2013). In Cold-Case, Wallace investigates the claims of the gospels. I have yet to purchase his God's Crime Scene (2015), in which he examines the evidence for a divinely-created universe. Wallace is quite the apologist (a defender of the faith) and these books are of excellence! You can find clips of his talks to mainly high school and university students on youtube. Wallace is very passionate (having only become a Christian at age 35, after years of outspoken atheism) and knowledgeable, loving the Lord God with all his heart, soul, and mind.

*the first two hefty journals of Lucy Maud Montgomery: she writes the same way she wrote Anne, etc. But much of her life is very, very hard and sad, and the ending, which I am not anticipating, is even harder. Fascinating reads, though, and full of history (her almost daily thoughts and distresses during the terrifying years of WW1, for example). These are not small books, but so worth the read! My friend has loaned me LMM's last three journals, so I will begin #3 sometime this fall.

*Sophie Scholl and the White Rose by Annette Dumbach and Jud Newborn. This is a re-read for me. This young lady is one of my greatest female heroes, as she and her brother and his friends rose up with tremendous conviction in written and verbal resistance to the horrific Nazi regime. These young people had much more insight and wisdom and bravery than many. She and her brother and a friend were charged with high treason and executed when Sophie was only 21 years of age, on February 22, 1943.
In a more trivial note, I am so honoured to share the same birth date as Miss Scholl.

I have begun my 24th read of The Lord of the Rings. ♥ I try to read this beloved tale biennially, and this year is the year, so ... ♥. I would even like to read it annually, but don't want it in any way to start becoming old. Besides, as there are so many other books to delve into, I need to space it out a bit. This story becomes more wondrous to me with every read, as do the Narnia Chronicles. I just read the A Knife in the Dark chapter before bed last night. And shouldn't have. :P Terrifying! What a powerful, epic story-teller Tolkien was!!! And his humour, oh my, how I love his sense of humour!
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Sep 21, 2018 10:19 am

I'm always surprised to hear that someone isn't familiar with Beatrix Potter. Her books were some of the first ones I read that weren't movie tie-ins. She was the first person to inspire me to want to write books. (Of course, I've only written one short book that probably won't be published so that arguably wasn't a big deal in my life.)

My favorite Dickens books are Great Expectations, which is kind of a you-love-it-or-you-hate-it thing, and Nicholas Nickleby which hardly anyone has read.
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