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

  1. #201
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    ChrisP, I somehow managed to avoid having it assigned to me in high school, so I figured it was about time I read it.
    KINGLET: Coming in August 2017 from Fiery Seas Publishing
    FISKUR: Releasing November 2017 from Fiery Seas



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  2. #202
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    The City Of Seattle Public Library has also started a reading challenge, a kind of book bingo. You get a form at the library divided into 25 squares, and read a book of the topic listed in that square. The center square is a freebie. This challenge runs throughout the summer. I'm gonna double-deep with some of these ;-) Well, not that much, because the categories are different. There's a chance to win prizes which I like. The one other time I did a SPL reading challenge, I won something. (I think a Starbucks card? Memory's hazy.)

    I did finish another one, the excellent Harm by British SF author Brian Aldiss, who at the time my chosen book was published, 2007, was in his eighties. (!) I can only hope I write as long. Harm was the story of a young half-Muslim English writer who is imprisoned and tortured in a near-future London because of a seditious line in his humorous novel. As he is interrogated, he creates another story in his mind, that of a character on a recently colonized planet where society is not doing so well because of idealics and politics. It was a fascinating read, I blazed through it on my lunch hours which was not the case with Cinder, my previous read, which was a damn chore. I wonder why I could read something difficult and thought-provoking so readily, and something simple and spoon-fed, so slowly? Anyway, the book was not so much about Islam as about the paranoid environment after Al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorist attacks. Christianity actually figured in the story more, used as a plot element but neither derided nor espoused.

    One of the things I liked about the book, and a thing I have never before seen done properly before, was how the protagonist creates the dream world he goes to, written in a way similar to the progression of real, REM-type dreams, where there's a bare skeleton of a place and situation at first that is later sketched out as the mind sleeps along, incorporated pieces of real-world recent events and memories also. The author explains this away as the hero's affliction of multiple personality disorder, which seems too obvious -- it's really about the creative process of a writer, whether or not they are dreaming, in coming up with a character and a situation, then musing it and adding more elements.

    Next up is Yellowtail, because I've got an interest now in reading some Native American stuff. Wow, I'm only four more books away from finishing!



    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. (CHANGED: A Wrinkle Out of Time, by Madeleine L'Engle)
    4. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished. (Cinder by Marissa Meyer) FINISHED *
    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.) FINISHED ***
    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) FINISHED *****
    11. Ye olde booke shoppe: A book written before 1700. (Gilgamesh.) FINISHED ***
    12. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. (Tiger Lung, by Roy Simon) FINISHED *****

  3. #203
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great book, Cobalt. I had high hopes for John Updike's Terrorist being more like how you decribe Harm. However, I though Updike missed a chance to really connect with the radical mindset. Orhan Pamuk in Snow did this really well.
    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.

  4. #204
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Finished THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, my No Cliff Notes this time selection. I'm sure it was ground-breaking in its day but I don't think it's aged well. The protag seems more like an angsty 14 year-old than a person on the cusp of adulthood, and I found most of his interactions with and constant judgment of his peers tiresome. It wasn't until Phoebe came on the scene that I found a character I could like. Somehow I think my teenaged self wouldn't have liked this any better than my grown self did.

    One left! Looking forward to reading about GOATS!!!!

    [x] 1. Coming to a theatre near you - THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN by John Fowles (and I've never seen the movie, so I'm coming to it with no expectations)
    [x] 2. I remember that! - A TIME TO DIE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE KURSK TRAGEDY by Robert Moore
    [x] 3. Bits & pieces - THE YEAR'S BEST DARK FANTASY AND HORROR 2016 edited by Paula Guran
    [x] 4. What you read - BEAUTIFUL JOE by Marshall Saunders
    [x] 5. I've met them! - THE WATERWORKS by E.L. Doctorow
    [x] 6. No Cliff Notes this time - THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
    [ ] 7. Step by step - THE BACKYARD GOAT: AN INTRODUCTORY GUIDE by Sue Weaver
    [x] 8. Ripped from the headlines - THUNDERSTRUCK by Erik Larson
    [x] 9. Wow. Nice. - SNUFF by Terry Pratchett
    [x] 10. Revenge of the nerds - ATOMIC ACCIDENTS: A HISTORY OF NUCLEAR MELTDOWNS AND DISASTERS by James Mahaffey
    [x] 11. Better known for... BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey
    [x] 12. Gramma would have loved this - TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST by Richard Henry Dana[/QUOTE]
    KINGLET: Coming in August 2017 from Fiery Seas Publishing
    FISKUR: Releasing November 2017 from Fiery Seas



    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  5. #205
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    Finished THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, my No Cliff Notes this time selection. I'm sure it was ground-breaking in its day but I don't think it's aged well. The protag seems more like an angsty 14 year-old than a person on the cusp of adulthood, and I found most of his interactions with and constant judgment of his peers tiresome. It wasn't until Phoebe came on the scene that I found a character I could like. Somehow I think my teenaged self wouldn't have liked this any better than my grown self did.
    My high school English teacher would be so proud of you! If she's right, you have absolutely picked up on Holden's character. Holden hates adults and adulthood (notice how he called everyone he doesn't like "Old"? Old Stradlater, etc.). Therefore, the only likeable character, as narrated by Holden, is the only child in the entire book.

    I liked that teacher in high school, and the more I read the more I recognize how excellent of a teacher she was.
    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. #206
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Catcher in the Rye was too new to be textbook material in my day. Lots of kids read it, but from what I heard, the book sounded like a long ramble with someone with a high octane negative attitude. So, no thanks; I don't intend to read it, ever.

    Blessings,

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

  7. #207
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Yeah, I couldn't wait to be done with it. I found Holden so exasperating.

    I did notice how he only connected with the children in the story, and how his memories of his late younger brother seemed almost envious - as if Allie dying before he reached adulthood elevated him to some special place. And of course Holden's inability to "step across the threshhold" and actually lose his virginity is so blatantly about not wanting to grow up.
    Last edited by mrsmig; 07-16-2017 at 08:35 PM.
    KINGLET: Coming in August 2017 from Fiery Seas Publishing
    FISKUR: Releasing November 2017 from Fiery Seas



    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  8. #208
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Aaaaaaand I've finished my Step by step selection (THE BACKYARD GOAT) and with that, completed my second round of the Challenge! I enjoyed reading about goat raising although it made me decide there's too much work involved, so I'll just have to satisfy myself watching other people's videos.

    There's just too much time left in the year not to attempt a Third Round. I'll be back once I've perused the master list and decided on my titles.

    [x] 1. Coming to a theatre near you - THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN by John Fowles (and I've never seen the movie, so I'm coming to it with no expectations)
    [x] 2. I remember that! - A TIME TO DIE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE KURSK TRAGEDY by Robert Moore
    [x] 3. Bits & pieces - THE YEAR'S BEST DARK FANTASY AND HORROR 2016 edited by Paula Guran
    [x] 4. What you read - BEAUTIFUL JOE by Marshall Saunders
    [x] 5. I've met them! - THE WATERWORKS by E.L. Doctorow
    [x] 6. No Cliff Notes this time - THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
    [x] 7. Step by step - THE BACKYARD GOAT: AN INTRODUCTORY GUIDE by Sue Weaver
    [x] 8. Ripped from the headlines - THUNDERSTRUCK by Erik Larson
    [x] 9. Wow. Nice. - SNUFF by Terry Pratchett
    [x] 10. Revenge of the nerds - ATOMIC ACCIDENTS: A HISTORY OF NUCLEAR MELTDOWNS AND DISASTERS by James Mahaffey
    [x] 11. Better known for... BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey
    [x] 12. Gramma would have loved this - TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST by Richard Henry Dana
    KINGLET: Coming in August 2017 from Fiery Seas Publishing
    FISKUR: Releasing November 2017 from Fiery Seas



    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  9. #209
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Very impressive, mrsmig!

    Am taking a break from formal reading while I take care of my mother, who has vascular dementia. When her caregiver returns and Mr. Siri & I return home, I'll resume. Meanwhile, I'm perusing research materials and glancing at Mom's old books, when I have the chance.

    Blessings,

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

  10. #210
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    ::rubs hands together::

    Okay, here is Round Three of my 2017 AW Reading Challenge! Twelve new categories, twelve new books, lots of new-to-me authors and heavier on the fiction side this go-round.

    [ ] 1. East meets West: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING by Rudyard Kipling
    [ ] 2. No hablo: MEMOIRS OF A POLAR BEAR by Yoko Towada
    [ ] 3. My hometown: AMERICAN FIRE: LOVE, ARSON & LIFE IN A VANISHING LAND by Monica Hesse (from the DC Metro area; close enough)
    [ ] 4. Namesakes: THE LITTLE FRIEND by Donna Tartt
    [ ] 5. Out of this world: RED RISING by Pierce Brown
    [ ] 6. Enter stage right: OSLO by J.T. Rogers
    [ ] 7. Counting your chickens: STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel
    [ ] 8. They've been watching us: A SALOON-KEEPER'S DAUGHTER by Drude Krog Janson
    [ ] 9. Crossing the (Color) lines: THE WOMAN WARRIOR by Maxine Hong Kingston *
    [ ] 10. Who was that, again?: FALL FROM GRACE: THE TRUTH & TRAGEDY OF 'SHOELESS' JOE JACKSON by Tim Hornbaker
    [x] 11. Holy moly some authors like to use lots of words: BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE by Aron Ralston
    [ ] 12. What everyone else was reading: A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman

    I've already begun #11 (Holy moly etc), which is written by that back-country trekker who got pinned by a boulder and had to self-amputate his hand in order to get free. I'm already finding it a little overwritten, so that professional distance may get me past the squicky details to come.

    *I was actually taking an acting class from her husband Earll back in the day, a year or so before THE WOMAN WARRIOR came out, just as she was gaining traction as an author.

    ETA: Finished BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE. Not a bad read, but it felt somewhat padded, especially in the beginning. At least the prose turned a good bit less purple as I got deeper into the story - which is still an amazing one, whether I liked the book or not.

    On to THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING.
    Last edited by mrsmig; 07-20-2017 at 02:15 AM.
    KINGLET: Coming in August 2017 from Fiery Seas Publishing
    FISKUR: Releasing November 2017 from Fiery Seas



    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  11. #211
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    On my last book!!! Birdsong by Sebastian Faulkes. I found it a bit slow to start with, but am now enjoying it.

    My list stands as follows:

    1. I've met them! - The Red Sari by Javier Moro. DONE
    2. East Meets West - A Daughter of the River by Hong Ying. DONE
    3. Support your home team - Ageless erotica: an anthology DONE
    4. Halcyon Days - Devil Water by Anya Seton. DONE
    5. What your great grandparents read: Cosas de encantamiento by Bernal Díaz del Castillo DONE
    6. Out of the park at first on bat. A debut. The light between oceans by M. L. Stedman DONE
    7. Who was that again? Elfrida, the first crowned queen of England, by Elizabeth Norton. DONE
    8. Loose ends Bright Tapestry by Margaret Pearson. DONE
    9. Step-by-step How to Outwit Aristotle & 34 other really interesting uses of philosophy by Peter Cave DONE
    10. Earth, wind and fire. The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humbolt's new World, Andrea Wulf. DONE
    11. Feast your ears: Birdsong by Sebastian Faulkes ONGOING
    12. Holy Moly: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. DONE


    I'm feeling inspired by mrsmig, so I'm planning a second reading challenge for when I finish this book.

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

    Goodreads

  12. #212
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    mrsmig you are on ROUND THREE already? That's really impressive!

  13. #213
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Thanks, Cobalt Jade. I'm understudying a Broadway show and consequently have a lot of down time backstage - without books I think I'd lose my mind.

    I finished my East meets West selection: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING and really enjoyed it. I didn't realize what a short book it is - more of a novella than a novel, but it's held up very well over the years. I'm nearly finished with my Namesakes pick (Donna Tartt's THE LITTLE FRIEND). The writing is quite good but I'm finding the story depressing, and am happy it's just about done. Next up is THE WOMAN WARRIOR, my Crossing the (Color) lines selection.


    [x] 1. East meets West: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING by Rudyard Kipling
    [ ] 2. No hablo: MEMOIRS OF A POLAR BEAR by Yoko Towada
    [ ] 3. My hometown: AMERICAN FIRE: LOVE, ARSON & LIFE IN A VANISHING LAND by Monica Hesse (from the DC Metro area; close enough)
    [x] 4. Namesakes: THE LITTLE FRIEND by Donna Tartt
    [ ] 5. Out of this world: RED RISING by Pierce Brown
    [ ] 6. Enter stage right: OSLO by J.T. Rogers
    [ ] 7. Counting your chickens: STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel
    [ ] 8. They've been watching us: A SALOON-KEEPER'S DAUGHTER by Drude Krog Janson
    [ ] 9. Crossing the (Color) lines: THE WOMAN WARRIOR by Maxine Hong Kingston
    [ ] 10. Who was that, again?: FALL FROM GRACE: THE TRUTH & TRAGEDY OF 'SHOELESS' JOE JACKSON by Tim Hornbaker
    [x] 11. Holy moly some authors like to use lots of words: BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE by Aron Ralston
    [ ] 12. What everyone else was reading: A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman

    ETA: Finished THE LITTLE FRIEND. Onward!
    Last edited by mrsmig; 07-23-2017 at 08:13 AM.
    KINGLET: Coming in August 2017 from Fiery Seas Publishing
    FISKUR: Releasing November 2017 from Fiery Seas



    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  14. #214
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    I've finished my twelfth book!! Birdsong by Sebastian Faulkes. Wow! What a book! I'm so glad I left it for last as it was quite a finale. I'm a big fan of Faulkes, but this is clearly the best I've read by him so far. A heartbreaking tale set amidst the horror of trench and tunnel warfare in the First World War. Haunting descriptions. Probably not for the faint hearted.

    So my list of books read is:

    1. I've met them! - The Red Sari by Javier Moro. DONE
    2. East Meets West - A Daughter of the River by Hong Ying. DONE
    3. Support your home team - Ageless erotica: an anthology DONE
    4. Halcyon Days - Devil Water by Anya Seton. DONE
    5. What your great grandparents read: Cosas de encantamiento by Bernal Díaz del Castillo DONE
    6. Out of the park at first on bat. A debut. The light between oceans by M. L. Stedman DONE
    7. Who was that again? Elfrida, the first crowned queen of England, by Elizabeth Norton. DONE
    8. Loose ends Unfinished. Bright Tapestry by Margaret Pearson. DONE
    9. Step-by-step How to Outwit Aristotle & 34 other really interesting uses of philosophy by Peter Cave DONE
    10. Earth, wind and fire. The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humbolt's new World, Andrea Wulf. DONE
    11. Feast your ears: Birdsong by Sebastian Faulkes DONE
    12. Holy Moly: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. DONE

    Following in Mrsmig's footsteps, I'm taking the plunge and setting myself a second reading challenge for 2017 with the following new areas and titles.

    1. Wow! Nice! Caín by José Saramago
    2. No cliff notes this time: The Last of the Mohicans by J. Fenimore Cooper.
    3. What the greatest generation to post-millennial are reading: In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje 4. No hablo: Simple stories by Ingo Schultz 5. Enter stage right: Los intereses creados by Jacinto Benavente.
    6. Bits and pieces: The Tree House (poems) by Kathleen Jamie
    7. You might also like: The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison
    8. Crossing the colour lines: The other hand by Chris Cleave
    9. Rainbow warrior: Crome yellow by Aldous Huxley
    10. Out of this world: The ship who sang by Anne McAffrey
    11. Tuesdays with Balaam’s ass: Me llamo Lucas y no soy perro by Fernando Delgado
    12. You really shouldn’t have: The tobacconist by Robert Seethaler

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

    Goodreads

  15. #215
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Finished THE WOMAN WARRIOR, my Crossing the (Color) lines selection. I found it a tough read. I liked the author's writing a great deal, but I found her mother's whinging, bullying character hard to stomach. I've moved on to my Counting your chickens pick: STATION ELEVEN. So far I'm really enjoying it.


    [x] 1. East meets West: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING by Rudyard Kipling
    [ ] 2. No hablo: MEMOIRS OF A POLAR BEAR by Yoko Towada
    [ ] 3. My hometown: AMERICAN FIRE: LOVE, ARSON & LIFE IN A VANISHING LAND by Monica Hesse (from the DC Metro area; close enough)
    [x] 4. Namesakes: THE LITTLE FRIEND by Donna Tartt
    [ ] 5. Out of this world: RED RISING by Pierce Brown
    [ ] 6. Enter stage right: OSLO by J.T. Rogers
    [ ] 7. Counting your chickens: STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel
    [ ] 8. They've been watching us: A SALOON-KEEPER'S DAUGHTER by Drude Krog Janson
    [x] 9. Crossing the (Color) lines: THE WOMAN WARRIOR by Maxine Hong Kingston
    [ ] 10. Who was that, again?: FALL FROM GRACE: THE TRUTH & TRAGEDY OF 'SHOELESS' JOE JACKSON by Tim Hornbaker
    [x] 11. Holy moly some authors like to use lots of words: BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE by Aron Ralston
    [ ] 12. What everyone else was reading: A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman
    KINGLET: Coming in August 2017 from Fiery Seas Publishing
    FISKUR: Releasing November 2017 from Fiery Seas



    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





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