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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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
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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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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Jun 28, 2019 9:26 pm

In June I have done a paltry amount of reading, just five books including one audiobook. Going to have to work on that page count or else I will not reach my 2019 goal.

I gave In The Company of Soldiers three stars, it was good and not amazing, there were a couple of silly grammar errors and I didn't like the way the author wrote about the Bible. I also read Louisa On The Front Lines by Samantha Seiple (three stars) and Ski Soldier by Louise Borden(four stars).

I currently have two audiobooks in progress: The Boys of '67 by Andrew Wiest and Worship by John MacArthur.

My preordered copy of Ronie Kendig's new book Storm Rising arrived yesterday and it will hopefully be my weekend. :D

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Jun 29, 2019 7:12 am

I'm reading a translation of Les Miserables by Norman Denny. I'm used to the older translation by Charles Wilbour. It's interesting to read a more modern translation though I like the phrasing in the Wilbour version better. (Though for all I know, the Denny version is closer to what Victor Hugo was saying.)

It's also the least abridged version of the book I've read so I'm reading all the parts that normally get cut. I'd say there's definitely a reason for cutting those parts.(Hugo's main reason for writing seems to have been to give his thoughts on...a variety of topics. The stories and characters were more an excuse for that. But the fact is his stories and characters are what made him a great author.) But as a fan of the book, I feel like I have to at least try to read those parts. And once in a while you find a really great quote in the digressions. Like this one from the Waterloo section (which is probably even better in the Wilbour translation.)

The daylight of history is merciless. It has the strange and magical quality that, although it is composed of light, and precisely because of this, it casts shadows where once only a brilliance was to be seen, making of one man two images, each opposed to the other, so that the darkness of the despot counteracts the majesty of the leader Thus the world arrives at a more balanced judgement. Babylon ravished diminishes Alexander, Rome in chains diminishes Caesar, Jerusalem sacked diminishes Titus. Tyranny follows the tyrant. It is grievous for a man to leave behind him a shadow in his own shape.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Jul 03, 2019 2:15 pm

I finished Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig, it was good, although The Tox Files are still my favorite. Tox tops Runt any day in my opinion. :D That being said I will be eagerly awaiting the release of book #2, Kings Falling, next spring.

I have hit pause on my audiobooks to listen to Drive By Theology, will be continuing both books on hoopla soon.

Current fiction read is The Unexpected Champion (High Sierra Sweethearts #3) by Mary Connealy and nonfiction read is Smokejumper by Jason A. Ramos and Julian Smith. Just a little ways into both books, but while I loved the start of the High Sierra Sweethearts series now I am just wanting to finish it.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Cleander » Jul 04, 2019 1:35 pm

I just finished Around the World in 80 Days, never having read the unabridged version before. (Until a few weeks ago I was stuck with the old "Great Illustrated Classics" version. :ymblushing: ) I was really impressed at how Jules Verne almost seems at times like he's writing a movie. Lots of high action scenes,(such as the main characters riding through the Indian jungles on an elephant while being shot at by Hindu priests, tearing across the Atlantic ocean son fast that they have to chop the ship to shreds to fuel the steam engine, driving a train over a bridge at full speed before it collapses into a snowy gorge hundreds of feet below, then being attacked by Indians, etc.). Fast pacing, an interesting side plot- if you haven't read it, please do. It's good as a light, easy read, which is rarely true of 19th century fiction.
I'm planning to pick up again with the Revolutionary War diary I've been reading, now that my classes are ending. Last time I checked, the author actually met and spoke with George Washington! :-o Twice! :-o :-o
I also started reading an interesting little work on the Roman Military, just for fun, and inspiration for my own writing. Still wondering if they offered retirement plans...
I read Prince Caspian a two months ago, so I'll be getting out The Voyage of the Dawn Treader pretty soon, so... nothing new there, really. I read through the Chronicles about once a year. :D
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Jul 10, 2019 9:11 pm

I've been reading more non-fiction than fiction the last couple of months, which is highly unusual for me, but I am tired of Christian fiction that all reads the same. And of course allowing me to browse at the library for more than ten minutes is not the smartest thing to do as I will usual pick up five to six extra books. :D

So, I started reading Disarmed by Izzy Ezagui a couple days ago and the language is driving me crazy. Izzy's story is interesting, but I have come very close to throwing the book at the wall over the crude language which of course would be a terrible thing to do because it's a library book. Seriously, there are so many words in the English language, why can't people learn to be more descriptive and use fewer expletives.

Anyone have any recommendations for historical graphic novels for children/teens? I got one via interlibrary loan for the kiddos called Behind Enemy Lines: The Escape of Robert Grimes with the Comet Line by Matt Chandler, even the older teens enjoyed reading it. And the littlest brother has read it least a half dozen times.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Jul 11, 2019 7:01 am

The children's graphic novel, Bluffton, about the childhood of Buster Keaton, by Matt Phelan is good. I'm not sure if it'd be what you're looking for though since it's a speculative story about history, not a real biography.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Lady Haleth » Jul 30, 2019 1:50 pm

I'm reading the original Mistborn trilogy right now, and I'm almost halfway through.
I really enjoyed the first book, mainly because of the concept and magic system, which was really neat. The pacing was a bit slow in some places, though it picked up later on. I also enjoyed Vin's character arc, and Kelsier was interesting because he was a wild card of a character and I kept reading to see what he would do next. (Lets just say he makes the Thief of Eddis and Admiral Naismith look charmingly quirky by comparison.) The friendship between different team members was also fun to read.

I started the second book recently, and while I enjoy seeing all the characters I liked again, there are also some issues I have with it. Mainly related to the fact that there had to be a love triangle? I really don't care for them at all, but it seems they pop up everywhere these days.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby daughter of the King » Jul 30, 2019 2:33 pm

Oooh yes, another Brandon Sanderson fan!

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.

On the subject of your spoiler: Yeah, that love triangle is one of the reasons I am probably never going to re-read the first Mistborn series. Romance is definitely one of Sanderson's weak points. He is getting better, but his other stuff is getting better faster than his romances.

I've recently been reading The Ancestor series by Mark Lawrence. It's about a militant order of nuns in a world that is slowly freezing over. I'm almost done with the second book. It has a decent magic system, and complex world-building, as well as several interesting characters. Sometimes it gets a little bogged down by the religion vs government though. Can't have a religious order without conflict surrounding theology I guess.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Lady Haleth » Jul 30, 2019 4:19 pm

The other reason I was bothered by the love triangle was the fact that it seemed it was just being dropped in for cheap romantic drama when there were better ways of showing the challenges in Vin and Elend's relationship. And Zane being pretty much a walking cliched Emo Bad Boy doesn't help. I guess the cliches bothered me more because I was used to the books subverting that kind of thing instead of playing them straight.
I do like a lot of the character interactions between friends in this book, however. :)

I'm probably still going to finish the trilogy, though.
The whole 'good with writing friendships, not so good at romance,' thing reminds me of David Weber (author of the Honor Harrington series). He writes amazing friendships, but the romantic relationships are often hit-or-miss.
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