Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » Apr 04, 2020 10:00 am

ValiantArcher wrote:A friend just emailed me that there's some news on the fourth Ashtown! In a very odd but creative turn of events, we're back to subscription serial novels. ;))


Ummm.... what's that? :ymblushing: :-\ Or should I just follow the link and it will be explained?

ETA: Just found it! I had to scroll down a bit on the page.

ETA2: I have ordered my subscription! :D Ironic that I just finished these books and now there's news. LOL
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Courtenay » Apr 04, 2020 10:59 am

I've just finished reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle — I'd encountered it as a 10-year-old in primary school (my excellent Grade 4 teacher, Mrs King, highly recommended it), but I thought it sounded a bit weird and was put off. Now that I have finally read it all these years later, I'm really glad I did.

The story was a little odd to start off with, as a fantasy/sci-fi mash-up — after the first few chapters I decided to give up on it, but by the end of the day I realised I was rather missing the characters and wanting to know what happened to them next, so I continued. I was already aware that Madeleine L'Engle was a big fan of C.S. Lewis, and it definitely shows! The only bit I wasn't really happy with was Jesus being included as just one of a list of great fighters against the darkness of evil, the others being a mishmash of famous historical figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, Bach, Madame Curie, Gandhi and Buddha. All of whom are important, sure, but... well, while I'm not the ultra-conservative type myself, I would say Jesus has done a BIT more to overthrow the powers of darkness than any of those others!!! :-o

(That was British-style ironic understatement, by the way, in case anyone didn't pick it up — i.e. for "a BIT more", read "EVERYTHING". ;) )

But that one quibble aside, I felt this book's heart is definitely in the right place and I especially enjoyed the themes of goodness and love overcoming evil, with some very thought-provoking episodes, including one where a creature that looks outwardly bizarre and monstrous turns out to be very tender and motherly. Not to mention at least one implicitly divine being (I won't give too much away for those who haven't read it) who is wondrous and protective and loving and at the same time oddly bonkers. :D I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series when I can get hold of them!
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » Apr 04, 2020 11:17 am

A Wrinkle in Time was one of my Mom's favorite books growing up. It had a big impact on her. I'm not as big a fan myself, not being a science fiction fan. But I can definitely understand why it's a classic.

Madeline L'Engle's books tend to be of mixed quality. Parts of them are great and parts of them are boring. I think A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door were her mostly consistently good ones.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Apr 04, 2020 12:50 pm

I saw the announcement for The Silent Bells serial on twitter, but hadn't seen how to order it. Will have to get that done soonest. :D One of the sibling is reading The Drowned Vault this weekend and another one is reading Leepike Ridge.

Hope you are enjoying Death by Living, Valia. :)

Last night I finished reading Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill, it was pretty good, definitely one of the better suspense novels published by Revell in recent years.

I currently reading Agent Jack at Scarlet's recommendation, I think I'm on chapter 3. I haven't read any of it for several days. I'm also reading R.C. Sproul's commentary on Mark, I borrowed it from dad. :)

I'm trying to decide if I want to start reading Von Ryan's Express (library book) or The Austin-Stoner Files (my books), I have read both before and since we've been watching a lot of western films lately I am leaning toward The Austin-Stoner Files by Stephen Bly.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » Apr 08, 2020 2:45 pm

@Courtenay, I adore Wrinkle in Time. I can't read it anymore without crying though. :P

We just started a book via our homeschool curriculum called Understood Betsy. I'd never heard of it before, has anyone read it? I'm all of three chapters in (and we're taking a break now until late next week for Easter and my daughter's birthday), but it is SO SWEET. I really love it already. It has the same flavor as The Secret Garden.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Meltintalle » Apr 08, 2020 3:57 pm

Understood Betsy is one of my favorite books! It is very gentle and encouraging. Not surprisingly, the farm was one of the fictional places I wanted to visit when I was a kid. :)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Rivulus » Apr 10, 2020 2:08 pm

Understood Betsy is great, but not very well known. And if you're ever curious, you can still find Northern Spy apples in certain orchards in New England.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Courtenay » Apr 10, 2020 3:41 pm

Understood Betsy sounds like something I'll have to read some time soon! :) Thanks for the recommendations, everyone — I'd never heard of it at all.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby aileth » Apr 10, 2020 9:33 pm

It's a New England story, Courtenay; that might be why you haven't heard of it. But you might find a copy in the library, or if you can abide ebooks, you can find it at Project Gutenberg. I've always meant to read more of Dorothy Canfield Fisher's works, since I enjoyed "Betsy" so well; alas, they remain on my TBR list.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby AJAiken » Apr 11, 2020 2:44 am

Meltintalle wrote:After seeing AJAiken's recommendation of The Outcasts of Time, I read that about a month ago and I also really enjoyed it! It was interesting to think about what changes and what doesn't in an hundred years, and also what you can see and do in just a day.


It is good. It felt, for something that's essentially fantasy, very realistic. I was on kind of a 'time travel' kick so I also read Matt Haig's How to Stop Time which is about a man who's been alive for centuries, rather than travelling through time. I liked The Humans so I was looking forward to reading this, but it was probably a mistake to read it so close to the other book. It had some nice details but a lot of it felt contrived. I was intrigued by the story, but the ending came all in a rush. A pity.

My grandfather lent me George Gissing's New Grub Street, which is a semi-autobiographical account of writers trying to earn a living in London during the 1880s. It's very well written but rather depressing, as characters worry about the workhouse and how they are going to pay their rent and fall into melancholy, sickness, and despair. The light touches of romance kept me going, but in the end I wanted to throw it across the room. Perhaps, as a freelancer myself, it all was too close to home!

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby - I think the best thing about this book is the cover, but I liked the story once I got into the rhythm of it. The problem is that anything associated with Austen has huge expectations put on it, and (sadly) nothing can compare. I enjoyed learning more about the Austens, and other family members. I'm not sure how accurate it is in terms of how they are represented, though.

I really enjoyed reading Graham Robb's The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe, which uncovers some of the mysteries of the Celtic civilisation. This book is stuffed with all kinds of explanations and diagrams which, to summarise, show there is a pattern to the layout of Celtic places. Though some historians seem unsure about Robb's claims I think a lot of it makes sense. We already know that the orientation of buildings was important, and he takes this further by extending these solstice lines across Europe to see where they fall. Again and again, Celtic settlements and holy places line up along these ways. What's especially fascinating is how he compares the trajectory of Roman roads with these Celtic sites, and how it's clear that the Romans built on top of pre-existing routes. A really good read.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » Apr 21, 2020 8:05 pm

ValiantArcher wrote:A friend just emailed me that there's some news on the fourth Ashtown! In a very odd but creative turn of events, we're back to subscription serial novels. ;))

Thank you again for posting this Valia! I owe you. :D Mr. Wilson posted tonight that the goal of 2,000 subscriptions has been reached (actually hit 2,300) and so it's going to happen! I only put in one subscription, but I learned that once he starts sending them out, then there will no longer be any opportunity to sign up. So maybe I should get another couple just in case in the future? :-?

So for those of you who think you MIGHT want to read the conclusion to the Ashtown series sometime in the future, now's your chance to get these. I'm not sharing mine. :P ;) jk jk
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Apr 25, 2020 3:09 pm

Super excited about The Silent Bells, there are six eager readers here, I haven't been able to talk Scarlet into reading Ashtown Burials yet. :D I am currently reading Empire of Bones, when I finish it I am going to loan it to the siblings. :)

Since my last post, I read the Austin-Stoner Files by Stephen Bly and The Drown Vault by N.D. Wilson. I made a little progress on Agent Jack, but I have mostly been focused on reading Ashtown Burials. :)

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » Apr 28, 2020 8:34 am

I have just ordered Understood Betsy. :)

And with the talk/recommendation of Ashtown Burial books, I may have to get them sometime this year too. ;))

I am enjoying a re-read of Andrew Peterson's The Wingfeather Saga, along with listening to/watching online some of AP's nightly readings of the Saga. When I read the first three books within the past ten years, I was determined to pick up the fourth and final book shortly after. However, due to the costly price here in Canada, I never did. Therefore, I am sadly short of the conclusion in the finale book! I have been checking again this week with various sellers, but again without success. Because AP is re-doing the books (the releases are in hard cover with new illustrations), The Warden and the Wolf King looks like it is not available until the new edition releases, coming out this September. Does anyone know where I can get a hard copy now (I'm not into e-books)—paperback or hardcover? ;;)

Fantasia and I were going back and forth about this a bit, so I have covered a number of sources already, yet without success.

EDIT on May 3/20: it looks like TWatWK is out of print until the new edition comes out in the Autumn. Ah well, patience, patience. ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » May 02, 2020 3:52 pm

I finished Empire of Bones on Thursday and now the younger siblings are passing it around. If the library is closed for much longer, I think I will have to get a copy of Dandelion Fire as we have the other books in the Hundred Cupboards series including the prequel and the younger siblings haven't read them yet. And I would very much like to continue reading through the N.D. Wilson books we have. :)

I only read six books in April: Collision of Lies, The Austin-Stoner Files, The Drowned Vault, and Empire of Bones. I have a couple of audiobooks partially listened to on Hoopla, but I wasn't enjoying either very much, so I was easily sidetracked by an old time radio show also on Hoopla. :)

I'm now reading Von Ryan's Express, I've made progress on R.C. Sproul's commentary on Mark, and I started listening to The Magician's Nephew on Hoopla. I still need to finish Agent Jack, it keeps ending up at the bottom of my stack.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby daughter of the King » May 02, 2020 8:45 pm

I forget if I mentioned that I finished Bandersnatch. Anyhow, it is an absolute must-read if you're a fan of Lewis, Tolkien, and the Inklings in general.

February's book club read was The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton. It had promise, but the plot was slow and a bit clumsy in parts. The world-building and atmosphere was interesting: some gods had a jealous fit and now most of humanity is doomed to be hideous but others are beautiful (the Belles) and can temporarily make other people beautiful. So there is a whole society around who can and cannot be beautiful and laws governing how far you can take the transformations (at one point one of the characters is given a pig snout). There is palace intrigue and a brewing rebellion and so on, but the main character is unaware of most of it and so if a reader is familiar with the genre they will figure things out faster than the main character. I have been told the sequel is better but I don't think I care enough to look for it.

March's book club read was The Looking Glass by Janet McNally. It was alright. A girl goes on a quest to find her estranged older sister and struggles with how to be herself when everyone else compares her to the sister. I probably would have liked it better if it wasn't marketed as magical realism. I wanted more of the magical.

April's read was also a bit disappointing. Red Rising by Pierce Brown is one of those types of books that was popular after Hunger Games, except more adult. It's technically YA because the main characters are teenagers, but some of things that happen are really more adult. It's an interesting set-up with society divided into castes labelled by color. And then a Red (lowest caste) is transformed and trained to infiltrate the Golds (highest). I was intrigued with where I thought they were going but then part of the infiltration process was going through an elite Gold school and the school was basically a Hunger Games arena where houses fought against each other instead of individuals and death wasn't required but wasn't always prevented either. I might look for the sequel and then see after I read that if I want to bother with the rest of series.

Currently I'm reading Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Because Wonder Woman and Leigh Bardugo seemed like a great combination and so far it has been. I'm about half-way through and I like the combination of mythology and superhero.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » May 09, 2020 5:43 pm

Johobbit will be very happy to hear that I am reading 'Anne of Green Gables.' Finally, finally reading this after... I don't even know how long. ;))
Though the way I came about this is rather annoying/funny. Our public library has stayed shut down even though our state has started to open up. But our library does allow the app Libby, though I'm not super clear how this works... kind of odd. Anyways, the ONLY book I could find on there that I was interested in, was Anne of Green Gables, so that's that. ;))

So far so good. :) I vaguely remember the Megan Follows TV show and the book seems to be following it accurately.
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