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

  1. #76
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    I'm nearly done with American Demon. It's turned out to be a gripping read, even if disturbing at times. But, it's real people living real life and he's so far describing his change of heart in a very relatable way. It's not that it's (so far) such a profound change, but that it's engagingly written.

    The new album doesn't have a loser on it, either. Well, one or two low-to-mid-level efforts, but still one of TSOL's best in a while. Jack's voice has held up if not improved since 1980.
    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. #77
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Finished THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, my Three-Color Mythology choice. I didn't really care for it. I like the premise - characters from Victorian-era fiction unite in a steam-punky setting to solve crimes, etc. - but I found the artwork messy and a lot of the "bonus" material a bit tiresome (especially an attempt at a non-illustrated sidebar story in the literary style of the time). I was also bugged by the lone female character in the league - even though she seems to be the smartest of the bunch, she kept blundering into situations and getting nearly-raped and/or having to be rescued. There's also what's essentially a rape scene in a rather peculiar girls' school that is, I think, supposed to be amusing. I wasn't amused.

    Headed back to HOW TO READ WATER, which I'd put aside for the graphic novel.



    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 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 DONE
    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.





  3. #78
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    I finished up Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Very enjoyable book, it made me think on many different levels. About Chinese society, how the rulers maintain control of the society, and its effects on ordinary people, womens' lives, womens' friendships. The friendship angle was universal. The author's afterwards really added to the book and from them I could see how she developed the overall tone of it. Some parts, as a modern woman in American society, I found difficult to stomach -- these women had to put up with all kinds of bullshit, they had very rigid, compartmentalized, constrained lives, for all the poetry and embroidering they did. "Finding beauty in sadness" -- that quote encapsulated the kernel of their lives. The most alien thing to me was the acceptance of footbinding. Children's feet were literally deformed and broken to fulfill an idea of beauty, and as women, they could barely walk. In one part of the book, the villagers have to flee from rebels, and they climb up a trail into the mountains, and the women fall right and left off the cliffs. That's just one example. Anyway, I do give it a five, because it's stuck with me and I'm happy I persevered and read it.



    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) FINISHED
    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)
    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) Working on
    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.)
    12. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. (TBD)


    I'm reading a YA fairy book now, Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer. It's one I happened to have lying around that fit one of these challenges. It's OK, and actually written better than a lot of other YA fantasy books I've read, but I'm meh on it. Granted, I'm not the intended audience. I don't believe in fairies and I'm not inspired by them, not even the dark Unseelie Brain Froud kind. I'm mildly entertained so far, but overall this book is a chore.

  4. #79
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Okay, I'll take the plunge. I've been lurking. I'd planned on typing out my list after I'd completed half of the books, but decided that's going to be too cumbersome, so here we go.

    1. Loose Ends: Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett. Completed. I like Patchett's writing, but I can't say I liked Lucy Grealy enough to fathom how anyone put up with her for years.

    2. What You Read: Mopsa the Fairy by Jean Ingelow. Completed. Highly episodic. One of the few books I really liked as a kid that I didn't reread multiple times. For this challenge, I got a reprint. Unfortunately it's formatting is terrible. But I still liked the book's details.

    3. What Your Great-Grandparents Read: The Sketch Book by Washington Irving. Working on.

    4. No Cliff Notes This Time: Othello by William Shakespeare.

    5. You Really Shouldn't Have: Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler.


    6. I've Met Them: Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen.

    7. Support the Home Team: Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas (AKA aruna)

    8. Steady There, Cowboy: Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry.

    9. Ripped From the Headlines: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale. (Technically a historical narrative about a true 19th Century crime.)

    10. Bits & Pieces: a poetry book TBD.

    11. & 12. Categories TBD. Most likely: Ye Olde Book Shoppe, Wow. Nice., Still Time for More Chapters, Where Is That, Again?, Holy Moly Crossing the (Color) Line, No Hablo.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  5. #80
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Sat Nam, Siri! Glad to have you on board.

    My progress:


    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 Done
    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 53% 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


    I think I'm going to have to finish Discovery of the Source of the Nile in bits. It's dragging on and thinking about putting as much effort into it as I already have without a break is just . . . ugh.
    Last edited by Chris P; 02-13-2017 at 07:28 AM.
    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.

  6. #81
    Resist. Love. Go outside. Marlys's Avatar
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    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 Blondeville--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 DONE
    Finished Mitwa. Liked the world-building. Moving on to The Girl on the Train, because people who read it said it was much, much better than the movie.
    I'm a twit, too: @PearsonMarlys

  7. #82
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Completed: 3.What Your Great-Grandparents Read: The SketchBook by Washington Irving. A mixed bag. Much of it could be powered up to makean effective and non-addictive sleeping potion. But I did find my epigraph(header quote) for my current W.I.P. in an early essay. And enjoyed The Art ofBook-Making and The Specter Bridegroom immensely. It was also interesting toread accounts of life written after the War of 1812, but before the IndustrialRevolution, electrification, and Wounded Knee. Not to mention a time with a much smaller population worldwide.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  8. #83
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Finished my Loose ends selection, How to Read Water. I had to take it in small bites, as it was fairly technical, and I'm not entirely certain I understood it all, but the reading was enjoyable. It's the kind of book I might take with me to the beach, just so I could duplicate some of Gooley's observations for myself.

    The next few weeks are going to be stressful (a perfect storm of my current show going into tech/previews, cover reveal and galleys due for Book #1 in my series, trying to finish my Sekrit Solstice short story and finishing my final editing pass on Book #3 so it'll be ready to submit to the publisher). I need easy, relaxing reading material - so I'm going for The Tale of Despereaux, my Tuesdays with Balaam's Ass selection.



    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 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 DONE
    12. Loose ends: HOW TO READ WATER by Tristan Gooley DONE
    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.





  9. #84
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    And one more down: Wild Seed, by Octavia E. Butler, first in her Patternist series. An immortal predatory spirit, Doro, gathers "special" humans for his breeding projects, seeking to create a superrace (and more ideal hosts). He encounters Anyanwu, herself centuries old and perhaps the most powerful talent he's met: she can change her own body at will, even taking animal form, though mostly she hides her gifts and great age, working as a healer in remote villages. Doro convinces her to join him as he leaves Africa for the New World, adding her to one of his American "seed villages," but Anyanwu won't be broken as his usual stock is. Will the two seemingly-immortal beings become allies through the years, or bitter enemies?
    A SF classic, tackling issues of race, gender, slavery, abuse, and immortality, I nevertheless struggled to push myself ahead several times. The characters and situations could be downright repulsive; even Anyanwu doesn't have clean hands by the end. Some of it was a necessary function of the book; immortal beings, especially involuntary predators like Doro, are not going to have the same morality as normal humans, and even Anyanwu finds her moral compass shifting as the weight of generations presses down on her. Other times, it felt gratuitous, grinding the reader's face in the characters' helplessness and the atrocities being committed. Overall, while I'm glad I finally read it, I don't see myself reading further books in this series.

    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. DONE
    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

  10. #85
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    I'm closing in on the end of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile. Spoiler: He found it. I skipped about 15% when the previous 20% showed nothing was going to happen while he was being hosted by the Ugandan king. It all became formulaic: Speke begs to meet the king; king brushes him off; Speke throws a hissy, visits the Queen, then sulks in his tent while his men steal from the locals; the king finally meets him, asks for gifts then makes false promises that Speke can continue his journey "soon"; then they all go hunting for hippos but only shoot antelope. Repeat. About 15 times for over 1/3 of the book.

    However, once he gets moving again we have some of the most memorable scenes in the book, where boating down the Nile they encounter a rival kingdom that is none too pleased with Speke's cozying up to the Ugandan king.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marlys View Post
    Finished Mitwa. Liked the world-building. Moving on to The Girl on the Train, because people who read it said it was much, much better than the movie.
    Let me know what you think. Enough people are reading it it's got my curiosity up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Siri Kirpal View Post
    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Completed: 3.What Your Great-Grandparents Read: The SketchBook by Washington Irving. A mixed bag. Much of it could be powered up to makean effective and non-addictive sleeping potion. But I did find my epigraph(header quote) for my current W.I.P. in an early essay. And enjoyed The Art ofBook-Making and The Specter Bridegroom immensely. It was also interesting toread accounts of life written after the War of 1812, but before the IndustrialRevolution, electrification, and Wounded Knee. Not to mention a time with a much smaller population worldwide.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    I liked Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. If you're interested in nonfic about that time period, I thoroughly enjoyed What Hath God Wrought. It was engagingly written and well researched.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    Finished my Loose ends selection, How to Read Water. I had to take it in small bites, as it was fairly technical, and I'm not entirely certain I understood it all, but the reading was enjoyable. It's the kind of book I might take with me to the beach, just so I could duplicate some of Gooley's observations for myself.

    The next few weeks are going to be stressful (a perfect storm of my current show going into tech/previews, cover reveal and galleys due for Book #1 in my series, trying to finish my Sekrit Solstice short story and finishing my final editing pass on Book #3 so it'll be ready to submit to the publisher). I need easy, relaxing reading material - so I'm going for The Tale of Despereaux, my Tuesdays with Balaam's Ass selection.
    I actually know nothing about either book. And all the best on your busy time ahead! Sounds like a lot of exciting happenings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightdreamer View Post
    And one more down: Wild Seed, by Octavia E. Butler, first in her Patternist series. An immortal predatory spirit, Doro, gathers "special" humans for his breeding projects, seeking to create a superrace (and more ideal hosts). He encounters Anyanwu, herself centuries old and perhaps the most powerful talent he's met: she can change her own body at will, even taking animal form, though mostly she hides her gifts and great age, working as a healer in remote villages. Doro convinces her to join him as he leaves Africa for the New World, adding her to one of his American "seed villages," but Anyanwu won't be broken as his usual stock is. Will the two seemingly-immortal beings become allies through the years, or bitter enemies?
    A SF classic, tackling issues of race, gender, slavery, abuse, and immortality, I nevertheless struggled to push myself ahead several times. The characters and situations could be downright repulsive; even Anyanwu doesn't have clean hands by the end. Some of it was a necessary function of the book; immortal beings, especially involuntary predators like Doro, are not going to have the same morality as normal humans, and even Anyanwu finds her moral compass shifting as the weight of generations presses down on her. Other times, it felt gratuitous, grinding the reader's face in the characters' helplessness and the atrocities being committed. Overall, while I'm glad I finally read it, I don't see myself reading further books in this series.
    I really want to like Octavia Butler for the reasons you (and others I know) mentioned about the social and racial issues. I got about one-third into Lilith's Brood, but it all seemed to be world building. The MC wakes from a suspended animation to find the world totally changed. There wasn't any story beyond that, and all the pages were about her discovering what had changed but nothing happening to move the story forward. Would this be called an expository novel? Seems to me such things wouldn't be that popular, so I'd be surprised if the entire Lilith's Brood was like this.
    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. #86
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    I've always liked Rip van Winkle too. Sleepy Hollow was just a touch too...well, sleepy in parts for me to enjoy that much. Some of the essays (The Sketchbook could also qualify as Bits & Pieces) verge on non-fic. I'll keep your recommendation in mind.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  12. #87
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    I finally finished Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor. I didn't know it when I chose it, but she is also the author of the highly regarded YA urban fantasy novel A Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and its sequels. Dreamdark was her debut, though. I will say it did have a first-time novelist's typical problems, particularly with unnecessary POV shifts -- it could have been edited better, and chopped down by one-third without losing anything. It seemed very long for a borderline MG/YA book, at least 100,000 words. It got tedious and windy for me, and I'm an adult. I grant that it might not have mattered to someone younger, who might really want to sink into the world the author created and not find its shortcomings.

    The other thing that bothered me was the relationship of humans to the fairies. The fairies have a mythology that is presented as actual, with fiery djinn that created the world by weaving a tapestry of spells, and exiling one of their own who in the plot returns for revenge (to "unmake into nothing" as per The Neverending Story.) Years passed are given for all of this, and world's creation from magic... the problem is, there's also the real historic world of what I assume is Victorian-age Italy with girls' schools, catacombs, and dams that was created millions and billions, not tens of thousands, of years ago, from shifting continents, evolution, and extinctions. It's never explained how these two versions co-exist, which is weird. Evolution was mentioned in that the fairies knew humans descended from monkeys in the trees, yet modern forest animals are spoke of as being created at the beginning of the world. OK, it's just a book about fairies. But it bothered me because it seemed no thought was given to the reasoning powers of young readers, who surely would have learned geology and biology in school.



    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) FINISHED
    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)
    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) FINISHED
    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.)
    12. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. (TBD)



    Next up: A graphic novel.

  13. #88
    Now with bonus eyelashes AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
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    He did drone on a bit: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
    Wow. Nice: Avalon by Mindee Arnett
    Be your own boss: Oracle by Kelly Meding
    Feast your ears on this: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    You really shouldn’t have: These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker
    Support the home team: Lazarus by Kelly Meding
    Loose ends: The Queen of Shadows (technically 2015)
    Revenge of the nerds: Cress by Marissa Meyer
    Coming to a theater near you: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (but we won’t talk about whether it was at all faithful…)
    I’ve met them!: A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
    Where is that, again? The Martian by Andy Weir
    Out of this world: Winter by Marissa Meyer
    Paranormal Bromance and Joy (PB&J) - NaNoWriMo - 25,004 words

    "This isn't Scooby Doo. We're not meddling kids who are going to find clues and solve the mystery."
    "This is Scooby Doo, except the monsters and witches are real, and they have your family! You and Joy are the only ones who can do anything about it."




  14. #89
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Finished The Tale of Despereaux, my Tuesdays with Balaam's Ass selection. At first I wasn't certain I'd like the voice (it teetered on the edge of twee a few times), and the end felt a bit abrupt, but ultimately I fell under its spell and it was EXACTLY what I needed. Not sure what I'm going to start next - I know I'm going to need more light, easy reading, which kind of knocks the Cormac McCarthy and most of the non-fiction out of the running. Perhaps a Pratchett Discworld treat is in order.



    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 DONE
    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 DONE
    12. Loose ends: HOW TO READ WATER by Tristan Gooley DONE
    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.





  15. #90
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    Updated list:

    02. East Meets West - Kim by Rudyard Kipling - Done!
    03. What Your Parents Read - The Andromeda Strain by Michael Chrichton
    12. Tuesdays with Balaam's Ass - Animal Farm by 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 - Done!
    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 - Done!
    41. What the Greatest Generation to Post-Millenials Read - Night Watch by Terry Pratchett Done!
    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

    Thoughts thus far:

    Kim - I can see why it is considered a classic, but it dragged for me after a while. I'd give it 3.5 stars

    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
    - Don't ask me why, probably because I laughed and cried so much while reading it as a kid, but I found myself doing the same as an adult. 5 out of five stars!

    1984
    - Amazing timing on the read of this, right before and as the election was taking place, so my mindset was right there in the "Uh oh, oh shit..." mode, which made this probably more impactful for me, but nonetheless a great read. 4.5 stars

    Frankenstein
    - Ugh. Glad I am able to say I read this, but at the same time, it took me so long to get through it comparatively speaking. Maybe I am going stupid in my old age, but I found my patience tried with Shelly's lengthy discourse. 3.5 stars

    Night Watch - The time shifting element combined with the fantasy element really made this hook for me, though I did start finding a few sections a bit tending toward speeches. Of course, I am finding this in some other stuff now too, so maybe I should take a break from reading and write a bit more. 4 stars

    Water for Elephants - What a great book - I read this on a whim when I started getting back into the habit of reading regularly, and it was such a great starter because it had me hooked almost instantly. In mixing things up, I keep finding myself thinking I can't wait to get back to Gruen. 5 stars!

    Taking a break from the above list though as I have others in my library that must be (or had to be in the case of #3) finished first before the loans end through my library, including:
    1. The Dragonbone Chair (Tad Williams) - 10%
    2. Gatc'hh'en's Rite (John Talisker) - 2%
    3. Starship Trooper (Heinlen) - Done
    4. The Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
    5. The Phantom Tollbooth (Juster)
    2017 Goals
    Read 50 of these books
    Come up with a good book idea and actually write it!

  16. #91
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    Finished my graphic novel selection, Tiger Lung, by Roy Simon. In Seattle each library branch has a section they specialize in, and for my local branch, it's graphic novels. So I have a wonderful pot to pick from, and pretty much anything I grab at random is going to be interesting.

    I nabbed Tiger Lung because I thought it sounded Chinese (Lung means Dragon) so I thought I was getting something about Chinese myth or history, but it was better than that, it was a series of short stories about a stone age shaman living in the Ukraine about 30,000 years ago. The author/artist really did his research. The art was sketchy, and had a nervous, lively quality, like the artist was actually living amongst the tribe and sketching them on the fly. The colors were muted and added with watercolor. The story was about a shaman named Tiger Lung (as in the organ) and his adventures with the spirit world. One story was in black and white, one had a unified color palette, one has several -- tan and sepia for the actual world, sickly pink and blue for the spirit world. The spirits looked looked like see-through corpses with an abstract set of internal organs, which was cool. It reminded me slightly of Aboriginal Art. Recommended, and I give it five stars.



    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) FINISHED *****
    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)
    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) FINISHED **
    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.)
    12. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. (Tiger Lung, by Roy Simon) FINISHED *****


    Next up: Gilgamesh. I've noticed a theme in my picks of ancient cultures.

  17. #92
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    CBJason, I first read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as an adult. And I agree, it's a 5 star read...as are all the Narnia books.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  18. #93
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Coming to a theater near you: made into a motion picture: About a Boy - Nick Hornby
    No hablo: a translation: Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Rainbow warrior: with a color in the title: The Color Purple - Alice Walker
    Still time for more chapters: memoir/biography of someone still alive: An American Demon - Jack Grisham Done
    What you read as a child: a book I loved as a child: The Woodshed Mystery - Gertrude C. Warner Done
    I’ve met them!: by someone I've seen in real life: Commonwealth - Ann Patchett
    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
    Lol random: from Gutenberg's "Random Titles" page: The Discovery of the Source of the Nile - John Hanning Speke Done
    He did drone on a bit: book over 600 pages A Strangeness in My Mind - Orhan Pamuk
    Support the home team: by an AWer: Mr Katz is a Zombie - Margaret Lesh
    Be your own boss: self-published: I Hate that You Bloody Left Me - Heather Hill
    Ye olde booke shoppe: written before 1700: The Romance of Tristan and Iseult - M. Joseph Bedier


    I finished Discovery of the Source of the Nile. I think I've commented enough on it as I went that I don't have much else to say about it now that it's done.

    Now, hmm, what next. I'm tempted to knock out a few of the short ones, especially the fun ones, but I want to pace myself. Ooooh, analysis paralysis!
    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.

  19. #94
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobalt Jade View Post
    It seemed very long for a borderline MG/YA book, at least 100,000 words. It got tedious and windy for me, and I'm an adult. I grant that it might not have mattered to someone younger, who might really want to sink into the world the author created and not find its shortcomings.


    I think you're spot on with this. In my teens and early 20s, I loved sweeping worlds I could see myself in. I'd spend hours daydreaming my own functioning in that world and the characters. I didn't know fanfic was a thing back then, or I could have written some.

    The other thing that bothered me was the relationship of humans to the fairies. The fairies have a mythology that is presented as actual, with fiery djinn that created the world by weaving a tapestry of spells, and exiling one of their own who in the plot returns for revenge (to "unmake into nothing" as per The Neverending Story.) Years passed are given for all of this, and world's creation from magic... the problem is, there's also the real historic world of what I assume is Victorian-age Italy with girls' schools, catacombs, and dams that was created millions and billions, not tens of thousands, of years ago, from shifting continents, evolution, and extinctions. It's never explained how these two versions co-exist, which is weird. Evolution was mentioned in that the fairies knew humans descended from monkeys in the trees, yet modern forest animals are spoke of as being created at the beginning of the world. OK, it's just a book about fairies. But it bothered me because it seemed no thought was given to the reasoning powers of young readers, who surely would have learned geology and biology in school.
    I noticed this in some fantasy novels as well. There is almost never gunpowder, so the technology is 1200s-ish or before, but then there are universities and other later innovations. I guess that's why it's fantasy and not "magical historical."

    Sage: Welcome to the challenge! I hope you find some new gems. Keep us updated on how you're progressing.

    Quote Originally Posted by CBJason View Post
    Frankenstein - Ugh. Glad I am able to say I read this, but at the same time, it took me so long to get through it comparatively speaking. Maybe I am going stupid in my old age, but I found my patience tried with Shelly's lengthy discourse. 3.5 stars
    This is one of my favorites. I do think it took a while to get going (I think the monster isn't created until halfway through) but once it did I thought it was great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobalt Jade View Post
    Next up: Gilgamesh. I've noticed a theme in my picks of ancient cultures.
    A big reason I read this is the parallel with the story of Noah's Flood. I've heard several theories: both stories reflect different cultures' memory of the same, widespread event (which Isaac Azimov insists was a meteor strike that caused the Persian Gulf to tsunami all the way up the Tigris and Euphrates Valley) or that one culture borrowed the story and adapted it. Unfortunately, I don't remember Gilgamesh being all the memorable. I think this is usually a fault of the translator, to be honest.
    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. #95
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    It seemed very long for a borderline MG/YA book, at least 100,000 words. It got tedious and windy for me, and I'm an adult. I grant that it might not have mattered to someone younger, who might really want to sink into the world the author created and not find its shortcomings.


    I think you're spot on with this. In my teens and early 20s, I loved sweeping worlds I could see myself in. I'd spend hours daydreaming my own functioning in that world and the characters. I didn't know fanfic was a thing back then, or I could have written some.


    I think part of it is the novelty too, a book's world can be very new to a young person. When you become older, the surprise factor disappears and you're not interested.

    Next up: Gilgamesh. I've noticed a theme in my picks of ancient cultures.
    A big reason I read this is the parallel with the story of Noah's Flood. I've heard several theories: both stories reflect different cultures' memory of the same, widespread event (which Isaac Azimov insists was a meteor strike that caused the Persian Gulf to tsunami all the way up the Tigris and Euphrates Valley) or that one culture borrowed the story and adapted it.
    I do a lot of reading of ancient history, and one theory for the story being so dominant is that there were hundreds of floods across the world because the glaciers were receding, causing ice dams to break. Also the sea level was rising, causing the same. There was no single instance of it happening.

  21. #96
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    I'm closing in on the halfway point of Ann Patchett's Commonwealth. I can see why it's a best seller: it's fast moving, well written, and the characters are relatable and realistic. It's more of a character study, however. There isn't any central conflict driving the story, but more learning how the different characters respond to their lives. It's a good book, and if you're going to do this do it this way, but I must have read half a dozen books in the past year almost exactly like it: character heavy, story light, jumping around in time between multiple characters who don't interact with each other most of the time.
    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.

  22. #97
    partial to Tigers in shorts ajaye's Avatar
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    Time I updated:

    1.
    Coming to a theater near you
    : A book made into a major motion picture. Coraline - Neil Gaiman ETA My Brilliant Career - Miles Franklin I've been poking through my bookcase, found a copy of this and realised I've never read it nor seen the movie. (Plus there ain't enough gals on my list!) Sat down and read the preface and now I want to read it right away, then see the movie. But I'll finish Watchman first. (Still aiming to read Coraline one day.)
    Kept changing my mind here, ended up reading Tomorrow When The War Began - John Marsden DONE Had seen the movie (good) but had to read the book after seeing the TV series (woeful) - couldn't leave that as my last impression. Marsden captures the teens brilliantly. I was left with a couple of niggling questions (what the hell happened to Ellie's dog that was left in the house?) and had to skip over some bits (maybe that was my problem??). Anyway I loved it, will be reading the rest of the series now.
    2. East meets West: A book taking place in Asia (anywhere in Asia; Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Indonesia) Seasonal Adjustments - Adib Khan
    3. No hablo: A translation. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky hmm, this might be above me, we'll see how it goes
    4. My hometown: A book by a local author. Barracuda - Christos Tsiolkas
    5. Bits and pieces: An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever). Interior Darkness - Peter Straub Just After Sunset - Stephen King halfway
    6. What your great-grandparents read: A book written more than 100 years before you were born. Nicholas Nickleby - Charles Dickens
    7. You really shouldn’t have: A book bought for you as a gift. Mistress Of The Monarchy - Alison Weir
    8. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished. Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee DONE I was saddened/amused/delighted/bothered during this read, so it resonated. More to it than I'd expected, glad I read it.
    9. No Cliff Notes this time: A book that's required reading in most high schools but that you never read (even if it was assigned) Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
    10. Where is that, again?: A book about a place you know little about.The Hitman's Guide To Housecleaning - Hallgrimur Helgason
    11. Steady there, cowboy: A western. Riders Of The Purple Sage - Zane Grey
    12. Out of the park on first at bat: A debut. Lilian's Story - Kate Grenville
    Last edited by ajaye; 03-03-2017 at 05:41 AM.

  23. #98
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Updating again... Finished another one last night. Holy Cow, by David Duchovny, about a dairy cow who learns about the slaughterhouse, and sets off for India (where cattle are worshipped) with a Jewish pig and a cell-phone-savvy turkey. The idea was amusing and original, but the book was more stylish fluff than meat, full of slapstick moments and narrator tangents.

    I'm also nearly through the Sherlock Holmes anthology. I've only read one true clunker - so bad it felt like an insult to the great detective, rather than an homage - and a couple that seemed more like fanfic exercises than solid stories. The rest are mixed-to-good so far.

    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.
    Ongoing
    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. DONE
    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. DONE
    - Brightdreamer
    Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

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

  24. #99
    Resist. Love. Go outside. Marlys's Avatar
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    UPDATED:

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

    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 Blondeville--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 DONE

    Finished THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, which I read because several people insisted that it was much better than the movie.

    It wasn't.

    Not sure what's next--first I'm going to finish a book that isn't on my list.
    I'm a twit, too: @PearsonMarlys

  25. #100
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    And one more update. Yes, already. I finished the Sherlock Holmes anthology last night. As usual for anthologies, particularly those pushing Big Names, I found it a mixed bag, varying from okay to good for the most part. Two seemed like fanfic exercises, and there was only one real clunker in there - the characters were even off, to the point where I wasn't sure if it was meant as a joke or an insult. A few really interesting takes on the detective, too. The blurb, though, promised more paranormal and SF than ultimately appeared; some had specfic elements, but mostly they were explained away.

    I'm currently between titles, though the next one up won't likely be on the list. (I've been watching Season 1 of The Expanse via Amazon Prime, so I picked up Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey.)

    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.An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever).
    The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, edited by John Joseph Adams.
    DONE
    4. Out of this world: A book taking place in space or on another planet.
    Golden Son, by Pierce Brown.
    5. 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. DONE
    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. A book by someone who’s more famous for doing something else.
    Holy Cow, by David Duchovny. DONE
    - 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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