Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Dec 22, 2018 4:30 pm

ValiantArcher wrote:The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones. Has anyone else read this one? I wasn't impressed; the best aspects were Nick and Mini (and there wasn't enough of that) and then Roddy and Grundo, which was terribly undone at the end by the revelation of the spell :P and those weren't enough to save the book for me. Plus, Nick fixating on Roddy and the hints they'd end up together despite Roddy being very uncomfortable at the idea was unsettling.


I read that book when it was published and I didn't like it either. I think the thing I like the most is just the title. :P I honestly had forgotten all of the characters' names until you jogged my memory, so it didn't make much of an impression on me. It's funny, because Diana Wynne Jones is definitely one of my favorite authors of all time (I adore Howl's Moving Castle), but as I think about it, I was rather "meh" about several of her books and I'm not sure why. I read many of her stories as a young teen, so it would be interesting to re-read them again now and try to figure out why I loved some and was lukewarm towards others. Aside from countless rereads of HMC, the first four Chronicles of Chrestomanci, The Ogre Downstairs, and HMC's sequel The Castle in the Air are the other DWJ stories that I remember reading multiple times.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Dec 24, 2018 3:54 pm

Dot, how was Sanderson's secret project? I just read his year-end update, which was pretty interesting - even if there's still no progress on Wax & Wayne 4. :(

Congrats on making your goal of 120 books for 2018, SA! :D I hope your reading of the book by Ben Sasse goes well.

Ahhh, thanks for affirming my thoughts on The Merlin Conspiracy, Rose! I also have read a lot of DWJ books that I either didn't like or wasn't impressed by. HMC, Chrestomanci, and The Outward Bounders stand out to me, though. I haven't read The Ogre Downstairs, but I may have to keep an eye out for it. :)

I finished Out Here at the Front and while I'm still not sure how Nora Saltonstall measures up to some of the frontline WWII nurses, my opinion of her did improve as the letters progressed. She did end up sticking mostly with her work and she served willingly to help in a number of capacities as needed. :)

I am currently reading a book I picked up at a whim at a booksale: "A Funnie Place, No Fences": Teenagers' Views of Kansas, 1867-1900, edited by C. Robert Haywood and Sandra Jarvis. It's a collection of diaries and letters, with a memoir selection or two, about growing up in Kansas during the aforementioned times. It's been fine, but nothing incredibly exciting to me - I might enjoy it more if I had more familiarity with the locations, I suppose. :) The quality of spelling definitely leaves something to be desired. :P On the other hand, my coworker saw the book and apparently remains impressed with my breadth of reading material. ;))
So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory."
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby shastastwin » Dec 24, 2018 8:40 pm

I just finished up my first reading of Robin McKinley's Rose Daughter this evening. I remember this one and McKinley's previous Beauty and the Beast retelling, Beauty, were a subject of some discussion in NarniaWeb's bygone days on the old forum. I read Beauty back then and enjoyed it (apart from what I felt was a rushed ending that skipped some parts I was hoping for), though I remember Rose Daughter had a bit of a poor reputation for its own ending among NWebbers.

Beauty has to choose whether the Beast is restored to his previous beauty, along with all the wealth and prestige and power to do good that would come with it, or to keep him as a Beast and live quietly with her family in the countryside. She chooses the latter because the life it represents is better and closer to her heart and the Beast's.

I remember there being some kerfuffle years ago about how this was tantamount to unsavory things and such, but I found myself not really seeing things that way as I was reading the story. Perhaps I'm forewarned and therefore forearmed against that reading. Maybe having read a similar ending in another B&B retelling I'm not as shocked. Maybe the book isn't as literal about his being beastly (in the physical sense) as it might appear.


In any event, I found McKinley's talent for an ending much improved here and this one is probably equal to if not slightly better than Beauty in my estimation.

Now to ponder my next reading selection. ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia_kitty » Dec 29, 2018 1:34 pm

Did anybody get any good books for Christmas? My husband got me my own copy of 'Howl's Moving Castle' since I liked it so well. ;))

I'm finally reading a book that I've wanted to read for years and years. I picked up 'The Princess and the Goblin' from the library and have started it. The irony is that it feels familiar, so I'm wondering if I have read it long, long ago and forgot that I did, or if I've just heard the story before. I think I know kind of what happens, but we shall see.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Dec 31, 2018 5:01 pm

ValiantArcher wrote:Congrats on making your goal of 120 books for 2018, SA! :D I hope your reading of the book by Ben Sasse goes well.
I wasn't sure I was going to make it for a while, I still didn't read as many as I would have liked to. I listened to 20 audiobooks, so my total "read" ended up being 118 with several kids books.

FK, I think I read The Princess and Goblin for the first time in 2016. I really enjoyed finally reading it and my younger sisters loved it. I still need to read the sequel, The Princess and Curdie, I should add it to my 2019 goals.

My 2019 reading goals are less about the number of books and more about
rereading and finishing previously started books.
In 2019, I want to reread The Legends of Laramie by Sigmund Brouwer, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Cheney Duvall M.D. by Gilbert Morris.
And I want to finish Ben-Hur, Notes From A Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson, The Courage To Be Christian by Mike Nappa, and The Inheritance by Michael Phillips. All four I got from the library and didn't complete before having to return them, but now I have Notes From A Tilt-A-Whirl and my siblings have The Inheritance...time to finish them.
And I am aiming for 35,000 pages in 2019.

I paused just past the halfway point on Them by Ben Sasse to finish Band of Brothers which I had started in November. I finished it yesterday, now I really want to watch the mini-series. :)

For fiction, I'm reading Fawkes by Nadine Brandes, I have been planning to read it for several months. I started Fawkes a couple days ago, currently on page 240 and enjoying it. It seems like a book the usual book thread suspects would enjoy. ;)

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby daughter of the King » Jan 09, 2019 5:28 pm

Valia wrote:Dot, how was Sanderson's secret project?

'Twas excellent. :D 300 pages of amazingness. It was a good ending, but left me wanting a lot more in that world. But not at the expense of his other projects. :p

Finished Crooked Kingdom today. Another fun read. I was not at all sad when Matthais died. I was a bit worried that the rest of the crew might not make it because Kaz Brekker is not as smart as he thinks is. He's really, really, really, really close to being that smart, but it is possible to fool him even if he thinks otherwise. And it seems to be other people who pay for it. I was glad to see his plan come together at the end though. Excellent sequel to Six of Crows and a fun read about a tight-knit street gang.

I still have the last two Penderwicks books to read, and I recently started a sci-fi anthology about humans being assets in space travel instead of a less desirable species. So far it's interesting, but I haven't gotten very far yet.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Jan 09, 2019 6:42 pm

stwin, I know I never read Rose Daughter and that it wasn't as well-liked. I have a vague impression that it was for a slightly older audience than Beauty - can you confirm or deny? ;))

fk, I haven't had a chance to read them yet, but I got a few more installments of the Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan. They're actually math stories for grade schoolers, though I was introduced to them in high school by my Geometry teacher. ;)) Your kids might be a bit young for the math side (though they cover a range of concepts), but you might look into them, if they sound interesting. :)
I hop you enjoyed The Princess and the Goblin. :) I bought it on a trip as pre-teen and remember enjoying it; though due to some literary tyranny, vindication may've been the strongest feeling. ;))

SA, all the best with your 2019 reading goals! :D They look like some good ones.

;)) Dot. I'm glad you enjoyed the secret project! :)
How many Penderwick books are there now? I read the first two, but never made it further.

Does anyone besides have any reading goals or programs they're trying to follow? One of my sisters has sort-of talked me into trying the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge; I'm not particularly inspired, but the last time I did one of their challenges, I stuffed as many WWII books into their categories as I could. So I may just try that again. ;))

I finished "A Funnie Place, No Fences" and stand by my earlier impression. I also recently read a book about Scottish church history during the 1500s-1600s (from James VI to William & Mary); I did learn some new information and had some old information looked at in a different light, though it was a bit odd to not have footnotes and sources after a lot of the recent history books I've read. ;)) Regardless, it remains an area of history I'm quite interested in.

I'm almost finished with my current read - Factfulness by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund. The subtitle is "Ten Reasons We're Wrong about the World - and why Things are Better than You Think" and it serves as a pretty good synopsis. It's been a good read - the author is humourous, makes a lot of good points, and gives a lot to think over - but I'm not sold on everything. The author, for all his thoughtfulness, has some suppositions and biases that I don't agree with and that he doesn't think to scrutinize as he does most everything else. Still, it has helped me understand a number of viewpoints I've seen around me and even some ways of thinking I've been prone to. :)
So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory."
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby shastastwin » Jan 09, 2019 7:01 pm

ValiantArcher wrote:stwin, I know I never read Rose Daughter and that it wasn't as well-liked. I have a vague impression that it was for a slightly older audience than Beauty - can you confirm or deny?


I don't think it's necessarily that it's aimed at an older audience as the author was older when she wrote it. The characters definitely seem more mature on all sides (though their ages don't seem vastly advanced; no one's out of their thirties by my estimation, except the characters who are meant to be older like the father). It's a very quiet-seeming novel. It doesn't race or even sprint most of the time, but it still feels like you're along for an enjoyable ride.
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