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

  1. #51
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    1. Coming to a theater near you: made into a motion picture: About a Boy - Nick Hornby
    2. No hablo: a translation: Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    3. Rainbow warrior: with a color in the title: The Color Purple - Alice Walker
    4. Still time for more chapters: memoir/biography of someone still alive: An American Demon - Jack Grisham
    5. What you read as a child: a book I loved as a child: The Woodshed Mystery - Gertrude C. Warner Done
    6. I’ve met them!: by someone I've seen in real life: Commonwealth - Ann Patchett
    7. Be the change you want to see: nonfic about a sociopolitical issue: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America - Nancy Isenberg Done
    8. Lol random: from Gutenberg's "Random Titles" page: The Discovery of the Source of the Nile - John Hanning Speke 22% Done
    9. He did drone on a bit: book over 600 pages A Strangeness in My Mind - Orhan Pamuk
    10. Support the home team: by an AWer: Mr Katz is a Zombie - Margaret Lesh
    11. Be your own boss: self-published: I Hate that You Bloody Left Me - Heather Hill
    12. Ye olde booke shoppe: written before 1700: The Romance of Tristan and Iseult - M. Joseph Bedier



    Discovery of the Source of the Nile balances its time between describing how he paid the local chiefs to cross their territory, logistics checklist, and travel adventure. I'm reading the ebook (the Gutenberg page said "download with illustrations"), so although he mentions woodcuts and maps, they aren't included unless they're elsewhere in the file. The place names have changed or places have changed in importance, so it's hard to track where they are. However, it's a great insight into the political dynamics of pre-colonial Africa, albeit through Speke's very pro-English lens. The Indian and Arab traders has been interacting (for good or ill) with the local Africans for over 1000 years, and the Europeans had been coming (for good or ill) for 400 years. Despite my knowledge of Africa, I sometimes mistakenly think everything before the 1880s Scramble for Africa was not well documented and not as cosmopolitan. My pro-American lens is showing
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  2. #52
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    02. East Meets West - Kim by Rudyard Kipling
    03. What Your Parents Read - The Andromeda Strain by Michael Chrichton
    12. Tuesdays with Balaam's Ass - Animal Farm - George Orwell
    16. Counting Your Chickens - Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    18. You Really Shouldn't Have - Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
    19. What You Read - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
    25. No Cliff Notes This Time - 1984 by George Orwell - Done!
    32. Steady There Cowboy - The Virginian by Owen Wister
    34. Wow. Nice! - Frankenstein by Mary Shelly - 25% done
    41. What the Greatest Generation to Post-Millenials Read - Night Watch by Terry Pratchett 10% done (had to start this when the 21 day loan became available from library, so Frankenstein on hold)
    49. What Everyone Else Was Reading - Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen - Done!
    53. Ye Olde Booke Shop - Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
    2017 Goals
    Read 50 of these books
    Come up with a good book idea and actually write it!

  3. #53
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    OMG - Night Watch is one of my favorite Discworld books. In fact, I just finished it last month. I've been working my way through the series in chronological order and I tend to use them as "rewards" when I finish a difficult task. Hope you like it!
    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    FISKUR: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    STONEKING: Releasing February 20, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing






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  4. #54
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    The only Pratchett I've read is Good Omens, coauthored with Neil Gaiman. Fun read! One of my favorite literary lines comes from 1984: says Julia: "They let you break the big rules if you follow the little ones." Pretty much explains politics right there.

    Frankenstein is among my all time favorites. I didn't think it was scary at all, in fact I find it tragically sweet. I'd love to discuss it more when you're finished.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  5. #55
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    Crossed Number One off my list! I was pleasantly surprised by Stardust. Up to the last quarter of it, I thought it was OK, if insubstantial, but it ended in ways I hadn't expected. I say ways because there were several endings, plus a coda. Being used to the standard Hollywood ending, where everything builds up to a huge, busy climax that goes on forever where the good guys triumph over the bad guys by the slimmest of margins, it was refreshing. (If you've ever seem the claymation movie Chicken Run, you'll know what I mean.) What I didn't like about it was the at-times treacly interaction with the other villagers the hero had; the novel went from using that element in a loving pastiche to actually homilizing it. On the whole, though, I did admire Gaiman's careful skirting of twee-ness and standard fantasy rules. A good solid 3, on a scale of one to five.


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


    I started reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I'm enjoying that, even though I cringe when I think about it. It's set in 19th century China and the description of footbinding -- on innocent six and seven year old little girls! -- is hard to take. I just want to slap the parents and by entension the whole society, even though the author, to her skill, lets us see inside that world and why they thought it was "necessary." Still, it's barbaric. I can't help but feel that's why China remained out of the modern world for so many centuries -- they were literally crippling half their labor force.

  6. #56
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
    The only Pratchett I've read is Good Omens, coauthored with Neil Gaiman. Fun read! One of my favorite literary lines comes from 1984: says Julia: "They let you break the big rules if you follow the little ones." Pretty much explains politics right there.

    Frankenstein is among my all time favorites. I didn't think it was scary at all, in fact I find it tragically sweet. I'd love to discuss it more when you're finished.
    Agreed - not scary at all. The first quarter was a bit rough, but it was finally getting semi-good with the repartee between Frankenstein and his creation when the Terry Pratchett got checked out, so I had to put a bookmark on it.
    2017 Goals
    Read 50 of these books
    Come up with a good book idea and actually write it!

  7. #57
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    One more down: Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss, the by-now-classic guide to modern punctuation. A decent read, though some of the tangents were a little too clever for their own good.

    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. A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. DONE
    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.
    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

  8. #58
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Cobalt Jane: you got me more interested in Stardust. I'll keep an eye out for it.

    Brightdreamer: I'm having trouble recalling any specifics of Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I know I read it and enjoyed it, but as for anything that stuck with me . . . zilch!

    Slogging my way through Tanzania with Discovery of the Source of the Nile (35%). There's enough going on to keep me interested, but I do get a bit tired of hearing in full detail how many yards of the different kinds of cloth and coils of copper wire he had to pay in taxes to cross some chief's territory.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  9. #59
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    I loved Eats, Shoots and Leaves, but then I'm a bit of a grammar nazi. It really pisses me off when I see something badly written. Typos are understandable, and we all make booboos when writing in a hurry, but so many basic errors are unacceptable IMHO. English pronunciation and spelling is, I fully admit, a minefield for non-english speakers, but punctuation is easy peasy!

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

    Goodreads

  10. #60
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Whom are using bad grammar? Their probably thinking they's being sophisticated by use's of watt they think are "proper" rules.

    I worked as a copy editor/proofreader for a while, mostly on ESL scientific papers. Even when people are wrong, they make the same mistakes repeatedly because they think they're doing it right. This actually made plagiarism really easy to spot. If the grammar mistakes suddenly changed (or the grammar got really good) it usually indicated a different author. Putting the first sentence into a Google search nearly always pulled up the entire plagiarized passage.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  11. #61
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    I started reading The Hunt for Elsewhere, by Beatrice Vine. Under the influence of an old crow, a young fox grows up with traits not normal for his kind: empathy, cooperation, and compassion. Reviews made it look interesting, but so far I'm rather meh about it. Hopefully it picks up some... (I've read worse, definitely, but I've also read much better, particularly animal-based fiction. The animals feel awful human, even knowing human geography and other concepts, for being wild beasts, for one thing.)
    - Brightdreamer
    Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

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

  12. #62
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    It sounds like the kind of thing I'd like to read, Brightdreamer - be sure to let us know what you think when you're done.
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  13. #63
    Perpetually in transit Helix's Avatar
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    I'm currently reading The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araujo by Germano Almeida, which is set in Mindelo on Sao Vincente in the Cape Verde Islands. (It was my Where is it again? choice.) While it's quite funny and easy to read, I'm not picking up a strong feeling for the place. That's a disappointment.


  14. #64
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Brightdreamer: I wrote some short stories with a dog main character, and one of the hardest things was staying consistent about what he understood about the human world. As far as anthropomorphising to make a point, I can see that done very well (Watership Down, Animal Farm) or very, very poorly. I'll be interested in your final opinion.

    Helix: I know nothing about Cape Verde and it's a shame the sense of place doesn't come across in the book. How's the story, though?

    The Gutenberg ebook of Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile doesn't have illustrations or maps, but I found some online scanned from the print version. They're quite good, and I hope a local library has a copy so I can look through it.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  15. #65
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    I thought the rabbits in Watership Down, while having a rabbit mindset, spoke like humans. In particular, English human soldiers during WWI.

  16. #66
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    And I cleared my third book: The Hunt for Elsewhere, by Beatrice Vine. The young fox Saxton, influenced by an old crow, learns of compassion and kindness and other things alien to his kind. Thus begins a journey across much of North America, filled with encounters friendly and fierce, characters good and evil... and the outcast one-eyed wolf Dante, who teaches him that family can be found in unexpected places.

    I think this book was misbilled. It's more of an inspirational fable than the animal adventure I thought it was. There's going to be some anthropomorphizing in any animal fiction, but here it really messed with my suspension of disbelief, as the wild animals knew all sorts of things they probably shouldn't have known, used all sorts of expressions that wouldn't make sense, just plain thought too "human" to be beasts, and yet had weird gaps in their knowledge as the plot required. The storytelling was uneven in spots, with a tendency to drift into omni POV (and to "tell" a little too often), and the characters tended to be thin, though occasionally with more depth than one might suspect. I'll grant, however, that it was not a Fluffy Bunny adventure, with several violent, even deadly encounters (a few of which felt forced just to teach Saxton how cruel the world could be.) I also noticed a subtle sexist slant in the way characters were presented. Overall, it just isn't what I was looking for, I'm afraid, though others - particularly those with a higher tolerance for inspirational fable fiction - will likely enjoy it more. It was, at least, an original tale.

    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. DONE
    6. A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. DONE
    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.
    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

  17. #67
    Perpetually in transit Helix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
    Helix: I know nothing about Cape Verde and it's a shame the sense of place doesn't come across in the book. How's the story, though?
    It's not bad. It's about a self-important buffoon, who thinks of himself as a great man doing good deeds for the masses and who doesn't understand why people treat him without the respect he feels he deserves. A story for the ages.


  18. #68
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! Just finished Night Watch! Hooked on the rest of the series now, but shifting to Robert Heinlan because that's due back to the library in another week. Updated list:

    02. East Meets West - Kim by Rudyard Kipling
    03. What Your Parents Read - The Andromeda Strain by Michael Chrichton
    12. Tuesdays with Balaam's Ass - Animal Farm - George Orwell
    16. Counting Your Chickens - Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    18. You Really Shouldn't Have - Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
    19. What You Read - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
    25. No Cliff Notes This Time - 1984 by George Orwell - Done!
    32. Steady There Cowboy - The Virginian by Owen Wister
    34. Wow. Nice! - Frankenstein by Mary Shelly - 25% done
    41. What the Greatest Generation to Post-Millenials Read - Night Watch by Terry Pratchett Done! (had to start this when the 21 day loan became available from library, so Frankenstein on hold)
    49. What Everyone Else Was Reading - Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen - Done!
    53. Ye Olde Booke Shop - Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
    Last edited by Jason; 01-23-2017 at 04:34 AM.
    2017 Goals
    Read 50 of these books
    Come up with a good book idea and actually write it!

  19. #69
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    It's not bad. It's about a self-important buffoon, who thinks of himself as a great man doing good deeds for the masses and who doesn't understand why people treat him without the respect he feels he deserves. A story for the ages.
    Zorba the Greek meets Confederacy of Dunces? Sounds like something I could get into.

    Quote Originally Posted by CBJason View Post
    Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! Just finished Night Watch! Hooked on the rest of the series now, but shifting to Robert Heinlan because that's due back to the library in another week.
    Great to hear! I'll have to keep my eyes out for it.

    Brightdreamer: I wondered if that might have been the verdict. I think the temptation for the author of similar books is to try too hard.

    The Journal of the Discovery of the Nile is in danger of being the journey in real time. I'm still enjoying it, but the details get boggy and Speke's Great White Savior attitude is starting to show (and get old).
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  20. #70
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Started my Out of the park on first at bat book this week: THE SHEPHERD'S LIFE by James Rebanks. I'm at rehearsals eight hours a day, six days a week for my current project, so my only chances to read are when I get home from work - but I think it's making me appreciate it even more. (That, and the fact that it's so different from the midtown-Manhattan life I'm currently living.) The writing is quite good - brisk and even a bit terse - and I'm thinking this might be a book I'd also buy in paperback just to have on hand for impulse re-reads.
    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
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  21. #71
    Resist. Love. Go outside. Marlys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlys View Post
    Very cool. I haven't participated before, but am putting together a list right now.

    ETA: List (subject to change)

    Coming to a theater near you: The Girl on the Train--Paula Hawkins

    Bits and pieces: Scars Upon My Heart: Women's Poetry and Verse of the First World War--ed. Catherine Reilly

    Namesakes: Murder in a Hot Flash--Marlys Millheiser

    What your great-grandparents read: Gaston de Blondville--Ann Radcliffe DONE

    What you read: The Perilous Gard--Elizabeth Marie Pope

    Loose ends: Strong Poison--Dorothy Sayers DONE

    Crossing the (color) lines: Bloodchild--Octavia E Butler

    I've Met Them: Still Life with Tornado--AS King

    Rainbow warrior: The Blue Castle--LM Montgomery

    Counting your chickens: Two Little Girls in Blue--Mary Higgins Clark

    Better known for: Princess Diarist--Carrie Fisher

    Enter stage right: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child--JK Rowling et al

    Addition to list: Out of this world, Wow. Nice., Be your own boss, I've met them: Mitwa--Kate MacLeod
    Finished Gaston de Blondeville on the plane last Friday. Book was written in the 1820s by Ann Radcliffe, but the [then]present-day characters find a book supposedly written in the 1200s, and most of the rest of the text is the book-within-the-book. So what was already to today's reader somewhat archaic language soon morphed into deliberately-more-archaic language.

    I never appreciated how modern Jane Austen is in terms of plot, dialogue, scene, character arc until reading Radcliffe. You can pick up Austen and read with the same enjoyment and expectations you have with contemporary novels. Not so with Radcliffe. There is little dialogue, no character development among the stock characters, virtually no suspense, and reams and reams of description. It's a tale of justice supernaturally obtained: at the festivities surrounding the wedding of one of the king's favorite knights, Gaston de Blondeville, a traveling merchant recognizes the groom as the brigand who murdered his friend some years back. The merchant is jailed for false accusation, and is almost executed before the ghost of the murdered man appears and points his sword at de Blondeville, who then falls off his horse dead.

    But the point of the book isn't the story. It's the pageantry. How else, back then, would someone be able to picture a medieval tournament without page after page of description? It's a word-painting of an idealized time, enlivened by the occasional appearances of a ghostly knight (he shows up several times before making a direct accusation of the murderer, as unhurried as the author in getting to the point). It's not a sit down and tear through story, it's a read out loud by firelight to children dreaming of ye olden dayes whann knichthood was in flowre. I quite enjoyed it once I settled into the rhythm, which includes monstrous sentences like this one (142 words, 8 semi-colons, 18 commas):

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Radcliffe
    Each departed to his own bower; some to think on what had passed this day; others to forget that such a day had been; and others again, to watch for that, which was to come; since joy, or the hope of it, often makes the young as wakeful, as habitual care doth the aged; and many there were, whom delightsome expectation of the finery and pomp they should display, or behold, to-morrow, kept sleepless, till the wayte had piped the third watch and longer, Knights and esquires, lovers and ladies, country folk, serving-men and waiting-women, many a one; and all impatiently looked for the coming hour; but specially the young knights thought how they should triumph, in all the pride of prowess, before their courted fair ones; and doubted not, that the happiness of their whole lives depended on the coming day.
    Or, as we'd edit it down in SYW: Many people tossed restlessly the night before the tournament.

    Now reading Mitwa by Kate MacLeod. YA science fiction that wasn't originally on my list, but was on my Kindle when I had a hair appointment yesterday.
    I'm a twit, too: @PearsonMarlys

  22. #72
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    I'm putting aside Discovery of the Source of the Nile, although I'm worried I won't pick it back up.

    Instead, I'm starting my "Memoir/biography by/about someone who's still alive": An American Demon by Jack Grisham. Grisham is the lead singer of the hard core punk group TSOL, who released a new album TODAY!!! I've only heard a couple songs so far and I'm stoked! TSOL should have been more popular, but they came to the scene late (1980) and at the time sounded just like everyone else. Despite not being very prolific, a short-llived line up change (they lost Grisham and eventually every original member for a while) and a brief, bizarre rebranding as an 80s hair metal band, they are one of the few groups from that time and genre to last long enough for their music to evolve. Not every album has been a winner, but this latest release so far sounds really solid. As for the book, from the reviews it looks like I'm in for an intense read.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  23. #73
    Perpetually in transit Helix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    Started my Out of the park on first at bat book this week: THE SHEPHERD'S LIFE by James Rebanks. I'm at rehearsals eight hours a day, six days a week for my current project, so my only chances to read are when I get home from work - but I think it's making me appreciate it even more. (That, and the fact that it's so different from the midtown-Manhattan life I'm currently living.) The writing is quite good - brisk and even a bit terse - and I'm thinking this might be a book I'd also buy in paperback just to have on hand for impulse re-reads.
    I bought that after hearing a radio interview with James Rebanks. It's now near the top of my TBR stack and I'm looking forward to reading it.

    in other news:

    East meets West: Earth Dance by Oka Rusmini -- read
    No hablo: This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
    Bits and pieces: Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories by Joost Zwagerman (ed) --
    started (one story a day)
    Still time for more chapters: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
    You really shouldn’t have: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery -- read
    What you read: Owl Service by Alan Garner
    Loose ends: Golden Hill by Francis Spufford -- done
    Crossing the (colour) lines: Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko
    Where is that, again?: The Last Will & Testament of Senhor da Silva Araķjo by Germano Almeida -- read
    How we got to where we are: Atomic Thunder by Elizabeth Tynan -- read
    Revenge of the nerds: Georgiana Molloy by Bernice Barry
    Out of the park on first at bat: Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall -- read

    And I've also made a small impact on the towering TBR stack, but it still threatens to topple and crush me.


  24. #74
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Location
    Virginia
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    Finished James Rebanks THE SHEPHERD'S LIFE (my Out of the park on first at bat book, which I very much enjoyed. He has a rather clipped style (lots of sentence fragments, which took some getting used to - I wasn't surprised to read that he admires Hemingway), but some of his descriptive passage were quite beautiful. I might have to get a print version of this book so I can re-read it and also appreciate the photography more.

    Not quite sure what I'm going to start next. I've got a lot on my plate at the moment and get most of my reading done in bed before I conk out for the night, so I'm considering either THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX or THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, although I could certainly work on HOW TO READ WATER (I'm stalled out at the halfway point).



    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 Balaamís 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 DONE
    8. Out of the park on first at bat: THE SHEPHERD'S LIFE by James Rebanks DONE
    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 Gooley
    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    FISKUR: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    STONEKING: Releasing February 20, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing






    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  25. #75
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    15,612
    I like the one story a day idea. I have several anthologies I get every year, but the novel TBR pile seems only to grow while I'm reading shorts.

    I enjoyed the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie. It was the first steampunk I'd been exposed to, and I didn't know what to think of it at first. But once I let go I really liked it.

    I'm 25% into An American Demon by Jack Grisham. The reviews were right that it's an intense read. Grisham describes himself as a literal demon and he did some nasty, heartless stuff in his time. He reminds me of a collection of several people I've known throughout my life. I can't decide if I think he's narrating as his state of mind at the time, unrepentant and thinking of himself as a separate creation from the rest of the human race. It will be interesting to see if the narration and how he describes himself changes throughout the book. So far, he's been able to run around and set fires and torment the neighbor kids and drink and smoke and huff cooking spray and have all the sex he wants so there's no reason for the teenage Jack to question anything. At one point in my life, I would have been more open to believing that some people were in fact demons, but now I believe certain people were born without whatever part of us that gives a damn about how we affect other people.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

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