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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:19 pm 
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ndpittman wrote:
I finished Becoming Madame Mao, and I give it a 'meh.' I didn't like the shift in narration between an unknown and Madame Mao. I also didn't like the overall tone of the book. It seemed a little flip considering what it dealt with.

I'm not reading The Other Boleyn Girl, and it's terrible/I love it. Since Wolf Hall I've been on a Tudors kick. I started watching The Tudors on Netflix, but my home internet has stopped working, so The Other Boleyn Girl it is. I think I'm going to do Bring up the Bodies next though. I miss Thomas Cromwell.


Have you read Margaret George?

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Currently reading Cormac McCarthy's Suttree. Really enjoying it so far.

I also recently finished The Misogyny Factor, by Anne Summers. It's an Australian book mainly about the awful and horribly sexist treatment of our (now former) Prime Minister, and frames it around the legality of what she went through as 'workplace bullying' under the Fair Work Act. None of it was surprising or new to me but it was still a good read- and appropriate timing to have picked it up, too!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:48 pm 
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LazySmurf wrote:
I just started "Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science" I figured it would be a good pool read.



Hmm, I wonder if my husband would like this one. Maybe I should send it in a care package.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:53 pm 
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annak wrote:
LazySmurf wrote:
I just started "Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science" I figured it would be a good pool read.



Hmm, I wonder if my husband would like this one. Maybe I should send it in a care package.


If that is the same book about Marie Tharp that I read a year or so ago, it is excellent. Not always super light reading, but a great mix of the people and the science, and it's nice that Marie Tharp has been getting her due praise over the past 10 years.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:41 am 
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I finished Shadows of the Workhouse. I tried to read it as fiction since the author admitted (or someone discovered - can't remember) that most of her "memoirs" were largely fictionalised. It was alright.

Then I read Rip It Up and Start Again, which is about the music scene after punk. The author seemed to think really highly of himself because he just kept going on and on. He also used the word "hipster" in the context of late 70s/early 80s music fans, which I found annoying. The book seemed to cover a lot of really small, barely known bands as if they were massively important but glossed over other bands that not only were more obviously influential but are in fact still performing. For example, he spent about a chapter on The Associates but glossed over The Cure in 2 paragraphs (within the Goth section, in which he pretty much dismissed every band, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, and implied that The Cult became just another metal band after they dropped the "Southern Death" part of their name). But it (re-)introduced me to a few bands, so it wasn't a complete failure.

I'm now about 75% through Stand and Deliver, Adam Ant's autobiography, which is actually pretty good. He's very honest about his mental illness, which went undiagnosed for a really long time (I'm in about 1994/5 and he still hasn't actually been diagnosed).

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:02 am 
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I'm listening to Mrs Dalloway by Viginia Woolf

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Just started Graceling

I've heard great things! I want to start the series this year, I own book two but never got around to buying book 1

ijustdiedinside wrote:
Her newest series is great! The first book is The Name of the Star it's about boarding school, ghosts and murders! but it's a series and only 2 of 4 are out yet. so if you don't like waiting a long time for books to come out, maybe pick something else.

Ooh, 4 in total? Woo! The ending of book 2 - ag! I need 3 now ;)

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:32 am 
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lavawitch wrote:
annak wrote:
LazySmurf wrote:
I just started "Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science" I figured it would be a good pool read.



Hmm, I wonder if my husband would like this one. Maybe I should send it in a care package.


If that is the same book about Marie Tharp that I read a year or so ago, it is excellent. Not always super light reading, but a great mix of the people and the science, and it's nice that Marie Tharp has been getting her due praise over the past 10 years.



Hm, I think I'll have to get it for him then! Sounds right up his alley. He's a big map/chart dork (and former ship's navigator) and also loves reading scientists' biographies, so it sounds perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:01 am 
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rachell37 wrote:
I'm now about 75% through Stand and Deliver, Adam Ant's autobiography, which is actually pretty good. He's very honest about his mental illness, which went undiagnosed for a really long time (I'm in about 1994/5 and he still hasn't actually been diagnosed).


Ooh, I want to read this! I'm going to see him in August. So excited. I had posters of him all over my room when I was in 8th grade.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:12 am 
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Kitteh, I really liked the Graceling and I'm on to the second book. The female characters are great!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:57 pm 
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annak wrote:


Hm, I think I'll have to get it for him then! Sounds right up his alley. He's a big map/chart dork (and former ship's navigator) and also loves reading scientists' biographies, so it sounds perfect.


If this extends to land, he might like The Map That Changed The World, by Simon Winchester. It is about William Smith and how he created the first geological map of England. I loved it; lots of very cool stuff about how the rise of paleontology interest collided wth the industrial revolution (lots of digging for canals and railroads) to make it possible for geologists to get great exposure to otherwise buried strata.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:45 pm 
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blondiefk wrote:
rachell37 wrote:
I'm now about 75% through Stand and Deliver, Adam Ant's autobiography, which is actually pretty good. He's very honest about his mental illness, which went undiagnosed for a really long time (I'm in about 1994/5 and he still hasn't actually been diagnosed).


Ooh, I want to read this! I'm going to see him in August. So excited. I had posters of him all over my room when I was in 8th grade.

Just finished - it's really good. I love how candid he is.

I was meant to see him in 2011, I think, but the concert was in Glasgow and I couldn't get there because the weather was terrible*, so the trains were stopped and the buses were running about 2 hours behind. And then he came to Edinburgh, but I couldn't afford tickets.

I think I'll read Seraphina before I move on to the John Taylor autobiography. If I like it, I might book a ticket to see him at the Book Festival (though unfortunately I can't get him to sign the book because it's on my Kindle).

*I thought it was during Hurricane Bawbag, but that was in December according to Wikipedia.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:04 pm 
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annak wrote:
LazySmurf wrote:
I just started "Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science" I figured it would be a good pool read.


Hm, I think I'll have to get it for him then! Sounds right up his alley. He's a big map/chart dork (and former ship's navigator) and also loves reading scientists' biographies, so it sounds perfect.

I think he'd like it! It's really well written and enjoyable stories about all the stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:28 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
ndpittman wrote:
I finished Becoming Madame Mao, and I give it a 'meh.' I didn't like the shift in narration between an unknown and Madame Mao. I also didn't like the overall tone of the book. It seemed a little flip considering what it dealt with.

I'm not reading The Other Boleyn Girl, and it's terrible/I love it. Since Wolf Hall I've been on a Tudors kick. I started watching The Tudors on Netflix, but my home internet has stopped working, so The Other Boleyn Girl it is. I think I'm going to do Bring up the Bodies next though. I miss Thomas Cromwell.


Have you read Margaret George?


Nope! I will check her out. Thanks, LW!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:20 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Shy Mox wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
I was a weird kid: I used to go to the library of Congress to read old Minerva Press gothics in French (most only survived in the original french and not the english translations).

There is some really interesting feminist theory about the rise/fall cycles of gothic novel popularity and it fits in with how women at a given time tend/tended to perceive their power and progress in society. I guess the last big gothic revival was in the 70s/early 80s with Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. And then Elizabeth Peters (of Amelia Peabody fame) wrote some great gothic/female in jeopardy novels that were simultaneously ruthlessly skewering the genre and writing within it. I love EP and her rapier wit.

I have this morbid fascination with the genre and how awful it is. One of my favorites (that I never actually managed to get through) was one that I found at a used book store for .50. It was set in a Mayan jungle somewhere and had the dippiest cover art. Maybe I can google it.

Isn't that just what you would wear while fleeing through the jungle for your life? flip flops and mini skirt?


Lavawitch, have you ever read Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood? I just finished it a few days ago, its about a woman who has written a very popular, respectable poetry book, but secretly she has been writing really awful gothic romances under a different name for years. I thought it was a great analysis of romance novels in general (at least the really cheesy kind) without being an obvious analysis, if that makes sense (little things like the writer becoming sympathetic of the rival love interest instead of the heroine). Anyway, I enjoyed it, and it was probably the most fun and lighthearted Atwood I've read. Kind of like Cat's Eye only I like the main character.

Right now I'm reading Born In Death by Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, and so far I have to say she's not bad. A friend of mine recommended it to me and told me to ignore it was by Roberts and now I kinda wonder why Nora Roberts has a reputation of being bad but James Patterson or Dean Koontz doesnt, and I think it might have to do with her being a lady writer or a romance writer.


Ding, ding, ding! Nora Roberts will never get any respect because she writes romance novels. She is not writing literature, but neither are most people on the NYT list. James Patterson is unreadable to me because of his simplistic writing, yet he gets plenty of respect, even from people who marvel who he doesn't even write his own books any longer.

I overall like her and think she can be a good writer. I'm just not a fan of the shorter style "category" romances or trilogies, but I enjoy her hardcover releases. I love the JD Robb books; I'm listening to them all on audio now. I have no idea how she keeps the series going and still feeling fresh.

The only way romance writers start to gain any respect is when they cross over into another genre like romantic suspense because people automatically assume that the romance genre has no value and must be all badly written dreck.

As far as I know is is still true, but Nora Roberts, an author who has routinely outsold the pants off almost everybody else, has never been reviewed by major publications like the Post or NYT. All the male best sellers have been.

Jayne Ann Krentz has written a lot on this topic. The Smart bisques, Trashy Books blog has also.

The Atwood sounds up my alley--I'll look for it.


I'll check them out! I think you'd really like Lady Oracle then, she does have to deal with if people find out, they won't take her seriously/ think she's an awful feminist. But I think Atwood does a great job explaining romance formulas, why they're there, why they work, even if its not the central part of the novel it has a lot to do with the theme of escapism.

And I just finished Born In Death. And yeah, its not amazing literature, but it was a good fun read and better written than most light reads. A few cliches made me roll my eyes,

Spoiler: show
The two friends going into labour at the same time and the wedding at the end made me laugh out loud, at first I was annoyed but then I thought, Nora must know her audience. Lots of women love murder, babies, and weddings! And I'm not being sarcastic! Its kind of how I love all the true crime shows on OWN, with all the girly commercials.


But for the most part, it was good, it kept me interested until the end, and I felt really satisfied with the investigation part and whodunnit. I'll probably check out more from the series when I'm in the mood for light reading.


Going to start Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:40 pm 
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Most of the In Death books don't have babies or weddings. I'm trying to remember the better books in the series, but the titles all run together. Some require more suspension of disbelief than others, but they are mostly all pretty solidly plotted as far as the police procedural aspect goes. The books were actually on the best seller list and well reviewed in mystery circles before any body had a clue they were written by NR. The style is quite a bit different than her usual.

I'd suggest reading the first one just to get the series started (Naked In Death) and because she does develop the characters a lot, which is half the fun of the books. A warning though: she does often deal with sex abuse topics, so that could be triggering for some people, especially later in the series as Eve unravels more of her past. I don't think NR is ever gratuitous about it though.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:11 pm 
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I figured, but I still thought it was pretty funny. I'm sure she was just having fun with that scene, so I decided not to be a snob about it XD. Honestly if that was the worst book in the series, that's pretty good.

And I figured about the sexual abuse, too, nothing was explicitly said but it was referred to a lot, especially when Eve uncovered someone's own past of abuse. And I'd like to read more about Roarke since he was just kinda there, so I'll probably start from the beginning and read in chronological order.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:31 pm 
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Vengeance in Death delves into Roarke a lot more than some. Most of the character development is gradual though, which is good because it means the focus of the books is the plots and not trying to stuff 100003 characters into each scene. She teeters close every so often, but, for the most part, I think the characters are juggled pretty well.

Immortal in Death was fairly good. The latest Calculation in Death was as close to a "phone in" as the series gets. It wasn't bad, it just lacked zip. I'm on Purity in Death now, going back through the series on audiobook (I prefer listening to books I've read so if I get distracted by traffic, etc it isn't a big deal.)

www.jdrobb.com/fans/indeath.php has a sort of series summary. I don't think later books really spoil earlier ones though, but character events get referred back to.

Ceremony in Death is one of my favorites just because I like the Wiccan/Satanist/Cult plot. Delusion in Death was pretty good, and Fantasy in Death. Fantasy had a completely unbelievable plot, but it worked for me. Kindred in Death opened with a really awful murder and I stalled on a series for a year or so because I didn't get past it. I eventually went back to it, and it was good, but even though the series can be dark, a torture murder of a 16yr old girl was a bit much.

Let's see. Salvation in Death, Strangers in Death, Origin in Death (this book *is* spoiled by a few, particularly Celebrity in Death), Visions in Death. Loyalty in Death.

Seduction in Death is kind of a Leopold & Loeb twist.

Actually, if you are interested in reading them, I would probably just pick them up here and there in order. I think you would figure out pretty quickly if you are going to like the series or not, which mostly depends on the characters.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:39 pm 
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[quote="lavawitch"]
Ceremony in Death is one of my favorites just because I like the Wiccan/Satanist/Cult plot.

Maybe I should skip that one, I'm focusing on new religions, particularly Wicca, in school, and it'll probably peas me off XD

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:01 am 
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Maybe not. I don't know tons about Wicca, but she always presents it in a positive way.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:26 am 
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A Jealous Ghost - A N Wilson ... sitting here in the shaded early morning light after my day in the sun yesterday.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:51 am 
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I just finished Julie and Julia (which I enjoyed, super fluffy read) and I'm half way through the Science of Yoga - super interesting!


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:46 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
annak wrote:


Hm, I think I'll have to get it for him then! Sounds right up his alley. He's a big map/chart dork (and former ship's navigator) and also loves reading scientists' biographies, so it sounds perfect.


If this extends to land, he might like The Map That Changed The World, by Simon Winchester. It is about William Smith and how he created the first geological map of England. I loved it; lots of very cool stuff about how the rise of paleontology interest collided wth the industrial revolution (lots of digging for canals and railroads) to make it possible for geologists to get great exposure to otherwise buried strata.



Thanks!! Clearly I should have asked here a few months ago when I was looking for stuff to put in halfway boxes. This time I think I'm just going to send him the kindle version so that it magically appears when he has an internet connection!

Have you read David Sobel's "Longitude"? It was a quick read for him, but I recall him really enjoying it.. except instead of geology I think it's more math-focused, about the contest to develop the chronometer.

Thinking about this is making me miss him! *sniff* I want my nerdy husband back!

Also, I am still reading Clash of Kings. They are clashing veeeeery slooooowly. Stupid me and my stupid insistence on keeping ahead of the shows as I watch them.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:42 pm 
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Invictus wrote:
Kitteh, I really liked the Graceling and I'm on to the second book. The female characters are great!



Okay, finished the whole trilogy in 4 days of marathon reading. I really, really liked it. Fantasy isn't my genre, normally, but I loved this series. Lots of badass women.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:49 pm 
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annak wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
annak wrote:


Hm, I think I'll have to get it for him then! Sounds right up his alley. He's a big map/chart dork (and former ship's navigator) and also loves reading scientists' biographies, so it sounds perfect.


If this extends to land, he might like The Map That Changed The World, by Simon Winchester. It is about William Smith and how he created the first geological map of England. I loved it; lots of very cool stuff about how the rise of paleontology interest collided wth the industrial revolution (lots of digging for canals and railroads) to make it possible for geologists to get great exposure to otherwise buried strata.




Thanks!! Clearly I should have asked here a few months ago when I was looking for stuff to put in halfway boxes. This time I think I'm just going to send him the kindle version so that it magically appears when he has an internet connection!

Have you read David Sobel's "Longitude"? It was a quick read for him, but I recall him really enjoying it.. except instead of geology I think it's more math-focused, about the contest to develop the chronometer.

Thinking about this is making me miss him! *sniff* I want my nerdy husband back!

Also, I am still reading Clash of Kings. They are clashing veeeeery slooooowly. Stupid me and my stupid insistence on keeping ahead of the shows as I watch them.


All of Dava Sobel's books are pretty good. If anyone is interested in meteorology/clouds, another good read is The Invention of Clouds about the guy who devised the modern classification scheme. Talks about the development of the beaufort scale for wind too.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi. So far it's unputdownable.

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