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Thread: The 2017 AW Reading Challenge! A "Pick 12" Choose Your Own Adventure

  1. #26
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    My current read qualifies under more than one category. I bet I'm like some of you all--when I'm writing a lot, I read little, and right now I'm writing. It may take me the full month.

    It fits Coming to the Theater Near You (adapted to film), Tuesdays with Balaam's Ass (non-human main character), and Loose Ends (unfinished read), since I've begun this book more than once in the twenty or thirty years since I bought it.

    Already my interest is flagging. Someone convince me Watership Down is going to better engage me if I keep going.

    Maryn, "grandma" to a very nice black lop-eared rabbit
    Pretending I'm a reasonable and pleasant person is utterly exhausting.

    Brick by Brick, a ménage à trois novel (soon to be re-released)
    Taming the Wilde, FemDom spotted--and striped--in the wild
    Men in Love, anthology about--hey, you're already there, aren't you?
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  2. #27
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post

    Already my interest is flagging. Someone convince me Watership Down is going to better engage me if I keep going.
    Keep reading until you get to the part where Hazel arrives in London then looks for a train to Dover. Let me know when you get there.
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  3. #28
    Resist. Love. Go outside. Marlys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    My current read qualifies under more than one category. I bet I'm like some of you all--when I'm writing a lot, I read little, and right now I'm writing. It may take me the full month.

    It fits Coming to the Theater Near You (adapted to film), Tuesdays with Balaam's Ass (non-human main character), and Loose Ends (unfinished read), since I've begun this book more than once in the twenty or thirty years since I bought it.

    Already my interest is flagging. Someone convince me Watership Down is going to better engage me if I keep going.

    Maryn, "grandma" to a very nice black lop-eared rabbit
    It's been many years since I read it, but I distinctly remember not loving Watership Down.

    Traveling kept me from writing much last week, but I did finish my Loose End, Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers. I liked the supporting characters and loved that the sleuth used both science and a copy of A Shropshire Lad to solve the case, but thought Lord Peter Wimsey came across as a less-well-developed copy of Margery Allingham's Albert Campion. A little sleuthing of my own turned up the tidbit that Wimsey came first, and Campion was supposedly created as a parody of him.

    I also started Gaston de Blondeville by Ann Radcliffe (What your great-grandparents read; published 1826). More on that when I finish, but I've settled into the rhythm of the style (wordy, descriptive, deliberately archaic) and am quite enjoying it.
    I'm a twit, too: @PearsonMarlys

  4. #29
    Perpetually in transit Helix's Avatar
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    Finished Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery last night. This was my Christmas gift from a friend who knows me well. And, as you've already work out from the title, it's about octopuses, intelligence and emotion (occy and human). I wasn't expecting to be so invested in the lives of four Pacific octopus at the New England Aquarium. The thing about occys is that they grow fast and don't live for very long. The hayfever was awful while I was reading this; I had to keep wiping my eyes.

    Not sure how to categorise the book -- it's not detailed or introspective enough to be a memoir, and although there's a five and a half page bibliography, I don't think it is deep enough to be a popsci study of its subject. What I'd have loved was more of the people who care(d) for the molluscs -- both the aquarists and the people who visited the aquarium.

    Despite the quibbles, this one gets a tick from me.


  5. #30
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
    I will probably finish White Trash: The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America today. A more descriptive subtitle I think would be "How People Have Perceived the American Lower Class." I was expecting Isenberg to go deeper into what the lower classes experience and their culture. She rarely goes beyond describing the stereotypes laid on them by the upper classes and media. White trash who've "done well," such as Elvis Presley and the occasional governor or senator, are mentioned in passing but there isn't (yet) any discussion of what it was like for them. You know, that's what's missing: accounts of the lower classes speaking for themselves. Shoot, there isn't even a discussion of America's most famous white trash fiction protagonist: Huckleberry Finn. That book is all about social classes.
    That's disappointing. I keep seeing it go through the library and thinking it might be worth reading, to understand some of what went so haywire in the 2016 election, but if it doesn't even let the people speak for themselves... they're people, after all, not plants. If they're worth writing a book about, aren't they worth talking to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    Already my interest is flagging. Someone convince me Watership Down is going to better engage me if I keep going.
    I found it picked up some in the second half, when they were establishing their colony and dealing with General Woundwort and Efrafa... though I'd seen the movie before I read the book and thus had some idea what was coming to keep me going. I also recall skimming some bits, though I did enjoy some of Adams's descriptions, particularly the way light flowed and moved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    Finished Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery last night. This was my Christmas gift from a friend who knows me well. And, as you've already work out from the title, it's about octopuses, intelligence and emotion (occy and human). I wasn't expecting to be so invested in the lives of four Pacific octopus at the New England Aquarium. The thing about occys is that they grow fast and don't live for very long. The hayfever was awful while I was reading this; I had to keep wiping my eyes.

    Not sure how to categorise the book -- it's not detailed or introspective enough to be a memoir, and although there's a five and a half page bibliography, I don't think it is deep enough to be a popsci study of its subject. What I'd have loved was more of the people who care(d) for the molluscs -- both the aquarists and the people who visited the aquarium.

    Despite the quibbles, this one gets a tick from me.
    Sounds interesting, but then I also enjoyed Virginia Morell's Animal Wise, about what scientists are finding as they investigate intelligence and emotions in various animals, from ants and fish to dolphins and dogs.

    As for me, I'm still picking titles, though I'm a little ways into Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Not bad, though once in a while I wish Truss would get to her point rather than being clever.
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  6. #31
    partial to trees ajaye's Avatar
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    I finished Go Set A Watchman on the weekend. Not sure how much to say (cos of spoilers?) but the portrayal of Atticus that floored some readers didn't bother me*. In Mockingbird I saw him not as a saint but a saintly father, and he's still a wonderful pa in Watchman. I loved Scout's flashbacks to her childhood, laughed at loud at one. Was bothered by some of the thinking. Was disappointed with the somewhat pat and abrupt ending. But I went in not expecting a lot - certainly not expecting Mockingbird - and perhaps that helped me to enjoy it muchly.

    ETA *ouch, I should clarify that. I mean I'm not bothered by Atticus being shown to have a distasteful side. I am quite bothered by that side.

    Next to read: My Brilliant Career.
    Last edited by ajaye; 01-09-2017 at 04:31 AM.

  7. #32
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    ajaye: Good point about spoilers.

    Everyone: Please warn us early in the post if you can. You can also put a spoiler tag and set the text color to the same as the background, and those who want to read it can by highlighting. For example: SPOILER: Tea is a drink with jam and bread that will lead us back to doe. Highlight over the "missing" part to see the spoiler.
    Last edited by Chris P; 01-09-2017 at 06:00 AM.
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  8. #33
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlys View Post
    I also started Gaston de Blondeville by Ann Radcliffe (What your great-grandparents read; published 1826). More on that when I finish, but I've settled into the rhythm of the style (wordy, descriptive, deliberately archaic) and am quite enjoying it.
    They rhythm of old writing really was something, wasn't it? As a joke once, I wrote about half a page (three sentences, I think) in Charles Darwin's style of the time. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but it is a real treat to find that type of old timey style done well in modern works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    The hayfever was awful while I was reading this; I had to keep wiping my eyes.
    Allergic to molluscs, huh? I doubt anyone discussing Watership Down would fault you for your allergies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightdreamer View Post
    That's disappointing. I keep seeing it go through the library and thinking it might be worth reading, to understand some of what went so haywire in the 2016 election, but if it doesn't even let the people speak for themselves... they're people, after all, not plants. If they're worth writing a book about, aren't they worth talking to?
    It's still a good overview, just not what I was expecting. If someone had no exposure it would be a good starting point. The writing is generally tight, though not remarkable, with a few muddy passages now and then and some repetition. This is common among scholarly writers who write for general audiences. It's awfully hard to turn off that academic dictator in our heads (I say "our" because I have the same problem!). Not all of us can be Jared Diamond, Stephen Hawking or David McCullough.

    ETA: Your interest in this book in light of the 2016 election is apt. I kept thinking the same thing. The parallels between the appeal of Trump and of Andrew Jackson in his time are quite striking, despite some big differences in upbringing. However, I don't feel I have any better insight into the supporters of Trump than I did before.

    As for me, I'm still picking titles, though I'm a little ways into Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Not bad, though once in a while I wish Truss would get to her point rather than being clever.
    It's been years since I read it. I remember enjoying it at the time, but nothing about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajaye View Post
    I finished Go Set A Watchman on the weekend. Not sure how much to say (cos of spoilers?) but the portrayal of Atticus that floored some readers didn't bother me*. In Mockingbird I saw him not as a saint but a saintly father, and he's still a wonderful pa in Watchman. I loved Scout's flashbacks to her childhood, laughed at loud at one. Was bothered by some of the thinking. Was disappointed with the somewhat pat and abrupt ending. But I went in not expecting a lot - certainly not expecting Mockingbird - and perhaps that helped me to enjoy it muchly.

    ETA *ouch, I should clarify that. I mean I'm not bothered by Atticus being shown to have a distasteful side. I am quite bothered by that side.

    Next to read: My Brilliant Career.
    You've tilted me towards getting it when/if an opportunity arises, such as if it goes on sale on BookBub again. I read Mockingbird last year for this challenge, and my take on Atticus was a tirelessly upright father, but something about him revealed a very weary man underneath. He could still keep up the example for his children, but leaving the kids with Judge Taylor and taking a two-week vacation at Gulf Shores would have done him good!
    Last edited by Chris P; 01-09-2017 at 07:24 AM.
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  9. #34
    Did...did I do that? cmhbob's Avatar
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  10. #35
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmhbob View Post
    [COLOR=""]testing[/COLOR]
    Bob, the color I use is on the bottom row, second from the right on the drop down text color in the tool bar. ​This color here
    Last edited by Chris P; 01-09-2017 at 07:28 AM.
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  11. #36
    Perpetually in transit Helix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
    They rhythm of old writing really was something, wasn't it? As a joke once, I wrote about half a page (three sentences, I think) in Charles Darwin's style of the time. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but it is a real treat to find that type of old timey style done well in modern works.
    Two novels I'm reading at the moment are written in period style. One is set in the late 1890s and fails, I think, because it is sprinkled with anachronisms, whereas the other is set in the mid-1700s and pulls it off quite well, both in language and style. The latter is one on my list: Golden Hill by Francis Spufford.


  12. #37
    Moderator AW Moderator Sophia's Avatar
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    Everyone: This is just a reminder of one of the stickied threads for this room:

    Quote Originally Posted by MacAllister View Post
    Discussions of books in this forum will include spoilers. This forum is designed for a frank discussion of specific books by people who have read the books. In order not to spoil the flow of conversation it will not be considered essential to note spoilers in posts or thread titles, nor rude to post un-warned spoiler comments.
    You're welcome to avoid posting unmasked spoilers if you wish, as it's certainly a considerate thing to do, but please don't ask anyone to do it, or feel that you've transgressed if you haven't hidden them.
    Last edited by Sophia; 01-09-2017 at 04:00 PM.

  13. #38
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    Here are my picks. All will be kept in a large drawer in my nightstand. This is a great way to seriously read the books I've been collecting for years.


    1. Coming to a theater near you: A book made into a major motion picture. (Stardust by Neil Gaimon)
    2. East meets West: A book taking place in Asia (anywhere in Asia; Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Indonesia) (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See)
    3. What you read: A book you loved as a child. (The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling)
    4. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished. (Cinder by Marissa Meyer) NOTE: Not really crazy about this one, that's why it's taking me so long to finish.
    5. No hablo: A translation. (The King of the Fields, Isaac Bashevis Singer)
    6. Out of the park on first at bat: A debut. (Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor)
    7. Huh, I never knew that: A book in a new-to-you genre. (The Aviary Gate, by Katie Hickman. It's Historical Romance.)
    8. Rainbow warrior: A book with a color in the title. (Yellowtail, Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief, an Autobiography told to Michael Oren Fitzgerald)
    9. Who was that, again?: A book about a person you know little about. (The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire, by Jack Weatherford)
    10. God’s mansion has many rooms: A book based in a religion not your own. (Harm, by Brian W. Aldiss)
    11. Ye olde booke shoppe: A book written before 1700. (Gilgamesh.) NOTE: Pretty sure this qualified,right??
    12. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. (TBD) NOTE: My local library has an excellent of these.


    Stardust is an OK, genial read for my lunch hour, but I'm not overawed. I've never read Gaimon before and while he does capture a Lord Dunsany tone well, he sucks at action scenes.

    How can anyone not love Watership Down? I was obsessed with this book when I read it... I even invented my own animal language based off of it. I did like the first section better than the last -- General Woundwart reminded me of Stalin and there was a very WWII escape-from-the-POW-camp feel to it. More of a page turner than the first half, definitely, but I don't have a desire to reread it again like I do with the first half. I also didn't like the deus ex machina (in the person of a mastiff the rabbits let loose from a human's yard) that finally does the General in. I was in high heaven when years later the author posted a collection of short stories set in the same rabbit world.

  14. #39
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
    Everyone: This is just a reminder of one of the stickied threads for this room:



    You're welcome to avoid posting unmasked spoilers if you wish, as it's certainly a considerate thing to do, but please don't ask anyone to do it, or feel that you've transgressed if you haven't hidden them.
    Thanks for the note!
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  15. #40
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    I just started my What I Read: A book I loved as a child: The Woodshed Mystery (Boxcar Children Book #7) by Gertrude C. Warner. This is the first book-book I ever read. I was a late bloomer with reading, not being able to much at all until I was 8 or so, then lagging behind my peers until about age 11. For whatever reason, at 10 I checked out this book from the school library and couldn't read it fast enough. I became a mystery junkie, tearing through other Boxcar Children books, to The Three Investigators (a sixties-multicultural Hardy Boys knock off) to Agatha Christie within a year. A year later I was reading my older brother's high school books (Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace). I was so attached to mysteries Catcher in the Rye confused me. I kept expecting the murder or art theft which never came. But this book started it all for me.

    Back to Woodshed Mystery, it was published in 1962 and is amusingly dated. "Aunt Jane could use a man around the house" got a hearty laugh from me. I also forgot that if you wanted someone to come to the phone, you had to *gasp* stand there and hold it until the person came over to take the receiver. "This long distance call is costing you money, so I'll let you go." How quickly things have changed!
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  16. #41
    Did...did I do that? cmhbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
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    I thought I deleted both of those.

    I found the exact color designation once. It's buried in the CSS files.
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  17. #42
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobalt Jade View Post

    1. Coming to a theater near you: A book made into a major motion picture. (Stardust by Neil Gaimon)



    Stardust is an OK, genial read for my lunch hour, but I'm not overawed. I've never read Gaimon before and while he does capture a Lord Dunsany tone well, he sucks at action scenes.
    I love Gaiman's adult books (American Gods, Anansi Boys, Neverwhere), but I haven't enjoyed his children's titles as much. I don't know anything about Stardust, though.
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  18. #43
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    About a third of the way into Nigel McCrery's SILENT WITNESSES: THE OFTEN GRUESOME BUT ALWAYS FASCINATING HISTORY OF FORENSIC SCIENCE, and thus far I'm a bit disappointed. I read a fair amount of true crime stuff, including a number of books on forensics (especially forensic pathology), so maybe that's why so much of this feel elementary and somewhat rehashed. I'll keep reading, though.
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  19. #44
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cobalt Jade



    1. Coming to a theater near you: A book made into a major motion picture. (Stardust by Neil Gaimon)




    Stardust is an OK, genial read for my lunch hour, but I'm not overawed. I've never read Gaimon before and while he does capture a Lord Dunsany tone well, he sucks at action scenes.

    I love Gaiman's adult books (American Gods, Anansi Boys, Neverwhere), but I haven't enjoyed his children's titles as much. I don't know anything about Stardust, though.
    Stardust is definitely adult, there's sexy stuff and the gory murder of a unicorn.

  20. #45
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Good to know about Stardust! I'll move it up my list.

    mrsmig: I sometimes wonder if non-fic sales are based on a lot of new people wanting to read about a topic and need only an introduction to get started, and also want a recent title for the latest information. Those who've read half a dozen titles or so know most of what the latest title has to say. Reflecting on it, I imagine there isn't much of a market for nonfic that bridges the gap between cursory overviews and scholarly journals and textbooks. They'd be too basic for scholars, too academic for general readers.

    Today I finished rereading the first full book I ever read: The Woodshed Mystery. I remembered quite a bit of it, but it was less whodunit and more kids seeing weird stuff and running around until they find out. "YOU stole the eggs? Wow!" I had to suspend quite a bit of disbelief, even more so than I would expect even for a kids' story, but it was nice nostalgia for the first time I really got so into a story I loved and knew every single character and every event.
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  21. #46
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    I also began my selection for Lol random, a book chosen by the Gutenberg Project "Random titles" page: The Discovery of the Source of the Nile by John Hanning Speke, published in the 1860s. I chose this from among the other random titles because I lived in Uganda for two years and have been to the source of the Nile.

    As with the discussion above, I am enjoying the old timey style. It fits how I think somehow.

    If I thought the 1960s language of The Woodshed Mystery was "amusingly dated," I ain't seen nothin' yet. Not even 10 pages in, we are treated to this cogent gem of objective, rigorous sociological scholarship: " . . . for the negro is too lazy to [grow enough food to store for the dry season] effectively, owing to . . . want of a strong protecting government." I get it that Speke was a product of his time, but . . . oof.
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  22. #47
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Got a couple more titles filled in, and I indulged in a B&N order with some Xmas cash while it lingers (most of it's going on groceries), so more of my chosen titles are on my way to my book pile. While I was at it, I ordered the newest Tad Williams book, The Heart of What Was Lost, a tie-in between his two Osten Ard trilogies (the second trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard, doesn't seem to have an official release date, unfortunately.) Not part of the challenge, but I'm looking forward to going back to one of my favorite fantasy realms.

    As for the challenge, I'm still in the early bits of Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Wild Seed. Both are going well, though I should be spending more time reading them. (Every time I think I'm coming out of the November Numbness, something even worse comes along to knock me back...)

    Updated list:
    1. No hablo: A translation. The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin.
    2. Rainbow warrior: A book with a color in the title.
    The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan.
    3. Bits and pieces: An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever).
    The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, edited by John Joseph Adams.
    4. Out of this world: A book taking place in space or on another planet.
    Golden Son, by Pierce Brown.
    5. Tuesdays with Balaam’s Ass: A book with a non-human (animal or fantastic creature) main character.
    The Hunt for Elsewhere, by Beatrice Vine.
    6. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
    Eats, Shoots, & Leaves by Lynne Truss. Started
    7. Crossing the (color) lines: A book about a PoC, any variety, written by an author of the same variety.
    Wild Seed, by Octavia E. Butler. Started
    8.
    What you will read to your grandchildren: A children's book (middle grade or lower). Pax, by Sarah Pennypacker.
    9. Steady there, cowboy: A western. TBA
    10. He did drone on a bit: A book more than 600 pages.
    11/22/63, by Stephen King.
    11. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. TBA
    12. Better known for . . .: A book by someone who’s more famous for doing something else.
    Holy Cow, by David Duchovny.
    Last edited by Brightdreamer; 01-15-2017 at 10:30 AM.
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  23. #48
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    I've just finished my I've met them! book: The Red Sari by Javier Moro, which could also fall under the headings: East meets West as it's about Indian politics, or They Do Drone on a Bit, as it was over 600 pages, or even I remember that as it covers world events that I remember.

    I liked it more than I thought I would. I found it a very interesting and easy-to-read history of Indian politics since Independence to the present, seen from the perspective of Sonia Gandhi (née Maino), a 19-year-old Italian language student in Cambridge who falls in love with Rajiv Gandhi. When They marry, she has to adapt not only to life in India, but also to living with the most important political family in India, with the indomitable Indira Gandhi as her mother-in-law, with whom she forms a very close relationship. Neither Rajiv nor Sonia want to be involved in politics, yet their destiny belongs to the Gandhi mystique and they are caught up by the volatile political situation in India. The power they never wanted, comes at a very heavy price. Javier Moro is an expert on India and the book is very well researched, so I learnt a lot about the Congress Party and its founders.

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  24. #49
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,794
    Finished the first of my Challenge books. Wasn't crazy about it; it's rather Brit-centric and basically just rehashed a lot of the same cases I've read about in similar, better-written books.


    1. What your parents read: PEYTON PLACE by Grace Metalious
    2. Still time for more chapters: PATTI LUPONE: A MEMOIR by Patti LuPone
    3. Tuesdays with Balaam’s Ass: THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo
    4. Chances are: BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy
    5. Earth, Wind, & Fire: CASCADIA'S FAULT by Jerry Thompson
    6. Step by step: HOW TO FIGHT A BEAR AND WIN AND OTHER SURVIVAL TIPS YOU'LL HOPEFULLY NEVER NEED by Bathroom Readers' Institute
    7. Revenge of the nerds: SILENT WITNESSES: THE OFTEN GRUESOME BUT ALWAYS FASCINATING HISTORY OF FORENSIC SCIENCE by Nigel McCrery - FINISHED
    8. Out of the park on first at bat: THE SHEPHERD'S LIFE by James Rebanks
    9. You might also like. . . : NORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman
    10. Support the home team: A DANGEROUS FICTION by Barbara Rogan
    11. Three-color mythology: THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN by Moore/O'Neill
    12. Loose ends: HOW TO READ WATER by Tristan Goole


    Next up is my Out of the park on first at bat selection. I need something a little gentler after all that crime and gore.
    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    FISKUR: Releasing November 2017 from Fiery Seas



    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  25. #50
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,042
    Selected and read my graphic novel: The Monster on the Hill, by Rob Harrell. In 1800's England, local monsters are all the rage, drawing tourists from miles around... but one village has what could kindly be termed a dud. Rayburn hasn't even bothered with a raid for years, moping and moaning about his lair - not the kind of behavior that sells trading cards. So the town council sends an eccentric local inventor (and a local street urchin, who stows away) out to see what can be done to turn Rayburn into a proper monster... even as a real threat wakes. A fun, lightweight read, with some decent humor and colorful illustrations, though a touch predictable and thin around the edges.


    Updated list:
    1. No hablo: A translation. The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin.
    2. Rainbow warrior: A book with a color in the title.
    The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan.
    3. Bits and pieces: An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever).
    The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, edited by John Joseph Adams.
    4. Out of this world: A book taking place in space or on another planet.
    Golden Son, by Pierce Brown.
    5. Tuesdays with Balaam’s Ass: A book with a non-human (animal or fantastic creature) main character.
    The Hunt for Elsewhere, by Beatrice Vine.
    6. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
    Eats, Shoots, & Leaves by Lynne Truss. Ongoing
    7. Crossing the (color) lines: A book about a PoC, any variety, written by an author of the same variety.
    Wild Seed, by Octavia E. Butler. Ongoing
    8.
    What you will read to your grandchildren: A children's book (middle grade or lower). Pax, by Sarah Pennypacker.
    9. Steady there, cowboy: A western. TBA
    10. He did drone on a bit: A book more than 600 pages.
    11/22/63, by Stephen King.
    11. A graphic novel or comic book.
    The Monster on the Hill, by Rob Harrell. DONE
    12. Better known for . . .: A book by someone who’s more famous for doing something else.
    Holy Cow, by David Duchovny.
    - Brightdreamer
    Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

    "Inspiration will strike you, and leave you for dead. The police will do nothing."
    - from The Daily Humorscope

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