View Full Version : The last book you read...

10-08-2008, 01:45 AM
Yay, nay, indifferent? And why?

10-08-2008, 01:52 AM
Robin Hobb's "Assassin's Quest." I really liked it. There's deep world building but mostly I think I liked how warm the book was. Hobb is right in close to the POV character, letting us feel what he feels and know what it's like to be him.

In contrast I just started a YA novel by a very respected author and the distant, omniscient POV is boring me silly. I know that's a matter of taste, not right and wrong.

Mr Flibble
10-08-2008, 01:55 AM
American Gods, Neil Gaiman

Absolutely loved it. Laughed quite a lot at the depiction of Odin - there's a lot about that depiction that is my vision of him.

It was long and rambling and I didn't care. It broke a lot of so called 'rules' but the narrative was never boring, always colourful. An education.

10-08-2008, 05:32 AM
Some ridiculous thing called Death's Head. I got about 40 pages into it before I gave up. First-person, present tense, ultra-badass character. "I leap up and tear his windpipe from his throat." Bleh. I tear your silly book in half and toss it out the window.

Before that, I tried Wayfarer Redemption. Didn't get far with that, either. Like the above book was written for a male audience, this was apparently aimed at female readers. When I feel like I should be having a candlelit bubble bath while I read the book, it's too much. "Oooh, look at the lovely winged man. Isn't he dreamy?" No, not really.

An attempt at a sci-fi novel called Marrow. This was on a recommendation. Got to the violent alien-on-human sex and had enough. what is it with sci-fi authors and weird sex?

Magician: Apprentice. This wasn't terrible, I guess. I'm just completely over elves and dwarves and dragons (even little dragons). I might go back to finish it someday.

I guess the last book I actually finished was The Count of Monte Cristo. The first time I've read the full, unabridged, uncensored version. Surely this book is bad by modern standards. Unrealistic characters, unrealistic dialogue, unrealistic plot. Meandering, overblown, and verbose. I loved every page of it.

10-08-2008, 05:42 AM
I just finished with Waterborne, by Bruce Murkoff, and was literally amazed at it's beauty, complexity, poignancy, and craft.

I'm serious, this book is a masterpiece.

I have to say the antagonist, Lew Beck, is perhaps the most complex, despicable, pathetic, and misunderstood fictional character I've ever read.

Below is a blurb from the Randomhouse website.

A panorama of human desire and enterprise, Bruce Murkoff’s first novel is exceptional for its ambition, its grasp of history and, above all, its stunning array of characters.

Waterborne is set in the Great Depression, and culminates at the Boulder Dam: the greatest engineering project of its time, and a beacon of hope capable of altering the course of society. The nation, crippled by poverty and despair, clearly needs a transformation, and the same is true of the people. Filius Poe grew up with everything, then lost nearly all of it. Lew Beck felt deprived of everything, and now means to have his revenge. Lena McCardell, who thought she had exactly what she wanted, discovers almost overnight that only by taking her son and joining the multitude already on the road will she have the chance of a fresh start and a brighter future.

From various directions and distances, these three are inevitably drawn to this vast construction site in the Nevada desert, along with the stories of their families, their friends and their fellow travelers–the novel itself developing the force of a mighty river, then channeling and harnessing its prodigious energy. With generous understanding and absolute authority, Bruce Murkoff captures the conflicting imperatives of these vivid lives as well as the heart and breadth of the country through which they move, and whose destiny they help shape.

10-08-2008, 05:46 AM
Goodnight Moon, this evening. It rocks, as always.

10-08-2008, 06:01 AM
Left to Die by Lisa Jackson. A pretty good thriller that keeps you turning the pages. I read it in two days and it was a 500 page book. Only complaint with it is it's part of a series and the next instalment doesn't come out until August 09 so that's a long time to wait to see who the killer is!

Clair Dickson
10-08-2008, 07:02 AM
Severence Package by Duane Swierczinksi.

Eh. It was a clearly intended to be over-the-top fun. But I'm more realist than over the top. And I couldn't find anyone to root for. The book wasn't so bad that I was rooting for the bad guys but I didn't have any empathy for the good guy(s) either. Not even the whole "wife and kid at home" angle did it for me.

If you like action and adventure and over the top, this is an exciting, action filled book. Just not my particular flavor.

10-08-2008, 08:03 AM
Gabor Mate's book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. He's a physician in Vancouver's Downtown-Eastside-- the book is non-fiction-- a very insightful, thought-provoking discussion of addiction. Definite yay.

10-08-2008, 09:11 AM
I was reading Bungalow 2 by Danielle Steel. I'm not a reader of hers, but borrowed this one from the library cuz it's about a freelance writer who goes to Hollywood to write a screenplay. Turned out to be quite a dull book and very predictable and I can't finish reading it. Nay.

10-08-2008, 10:05 AM
Blindness by Jose Saramago. Recommended by a portuguese writer I know. It's not gripping me. I know Saramago has a nobel prize in literature which is all well and good, but so far, this book leaves me cold.

Oh and Arissa, to spare you the anguish of trying her again, all of danielle steele's books are dull and predictable and follow the same premise with pretty much the same characters. Read one, read them all. :D

10-08-2008, 10:33 AM
Last book I read? The second book of the Farseer.

Momento Mori
10-08-2008, 02:00 PM
The Falls by Ian Rankin. I really enjoyed it - Rankin maintains the tension in the two main plot lines and then slowly ties them back together. I just wish that Rebus had better luck with women.


10-08-2008, 03:30 PM
The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine. I really liked it, although I thought the ending was a bit of a cop-out.

10-08-2008, 03:59 PM
Threshold by Caitlin R Kiernan.


Why? The writing is beautiful, the imagry wonderous. But there's only so many run on, present tense sentences with no seeming destination a body can handle. The story is rambly and directionless and the characters none too likeable. Maybe I'm just dumb but the ending did not match the rest of the story. The style is perhaps more suited to short stories, not novels.

The lesson I learned is that when a book is prefaced with "This book is best read aloud" I should avoid it.

All my opinion, of course. The book and author have received a lot of praise.

Cheers, Lisa.

10-08-2008, 04:35 PM
Ill Wind by Rachel Caine, the first book in the Weather Warden series.

I liked it, actually! I've been a bit burned out on the kickass-female-heroine-in-urban-fantasy thing lately, but this one wasn't bad. I'll read the rest.

10-08-2008, 06:05 PM
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

Claustrophobic story of a teenager going through the 'end of the world' after the moon gets knocked closer to Earth by a comet. Not sure about the science, but loved the book anyhow. LOVED it. Definite Yay.

10-08-2008, 06:08 PM
Salem Witch Judge, a biography of Samuel Sewall by his many-times great-granddaughter Eva LaPlante. LaPlante also wrote a biography of her ancestress, Anne Hutchinson (American Jezebel). Talk about bloodlines!

Sewall was one of the most prominent figures in late 17th through early 18th century New England. He wrote diaries for much of his life and so has provided scholars with valuable information on the public and private life of the era. He is also noted for his public repentence of the part he took in the Salem witch trials and for his writing against slavery, the mistreatment of the Native Americans, and even the inequality of women.

This is another book that addresses the complexity and variety of the Puritan mind, like Middlekauff's The Mathers. A definite yea. On to Farmers and Fisherman: Two Centuries of Work in Essex County (Daniel Vickers)! Does it sound like I'm in the middle of a research jag? ;)

Charlie Horse
10-08-2008, 06:22 PM
American Gods, Neil Gaiman

Absolutely loved it. Laughed quite a lot at the depiction of Odin - there's a lot about that depiction that is my vision of him.

It was long and rambling and I didn't care. It broke a lot of so called 'rules' but the narrative was never boring, always colourful. An education.

One hundred percent agree. American Gods is Gaiman at his finest and a great lesson on how to toss aside all those rules you've learned as a novelist and just write.

Now you have to read Anansi Boys.

As for myself, I'm almost through reading 'Bluebeard' by Vonnegut. Interesting perspective on life from one of the greatest writers ever, who seems to have moved past the need for writing to please anybody but himself.

10-08-2008, 06:29 PM
Ghost Story, by Peter Straub

Indifferent. This is probably because my expectations were so high. It wasn't bad, not by any means. But it didn't strike me as great.

10-08-2008, 06:32 PM
I'm almost done with A Deepness In The Sky by Vernor Vinge. It's the first Vinge book I've read and I'm giddy in love with him. I'd always heard he was a great author but I'd never stumbled across any of his books. Now I plan on reading eveything he's written. Deepness is the best space opera I've read since Dan Simmons' Hyperion series.

Oh and I just read Elizabeth Moon's The Speed Of Dark two weeks ago which was pretty darn good too.

10-08-2008, 06:36 PM
Cripes!! I can't even remember what the last book I finished was! :o I tend to work on two at a time, and currently one is always in the Time-Life "American Indians" series, so one of the last books I finished was one of those. I can't remember the other one.

Well, currently I'm working on the "Bartimaeus" trilogy, and it's okay, but not what I really expected (I'm more of a traditionalist in terms of fantasy so the modern speak of the protagonist, and the switching POV, irk me), so I'm kind of "eh" on it. Still, I'll read the whole thing, just because I bought it and I started reading it and I'm picky that way.

And I realize this is the book I'm CURRENTLY reading and not the LAST book I read, but eventually, it will be the last book I read and I'll be working on something else.

Regarding the "American Indians" books, they're nice and informative, though I can't wait to get to the ones on the tribes I'm actually interested in.

10-08-2008, 07:02 PM
Dark Lover by J R Ward.

Now reading the sequel.

10-08-2008, 07:58 PM
Another yay for Speed of Dark. One of the best scifi books I've ever read. The POV character was unique and handled deftly. The plot was smooth and kept pulling me along, despite the absence of planetary or galactic-scale destruction. The near-future setting seemed well-conceived. The book is powerful, thoughtful, and extremely insightful. Elegant. Maybe that's the word for it. Now I need to find the rest of Moon's books.

10-08-2008, 08:59 PM
Still re-reading Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas. Loved it the first time and the two books after. Love it again this time around.

Finished Irgraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke - I loved it. My 9 yro girl loved it. My 5 yro boy liked it "sometimes." - Lots of magic, integrity, loyalty, and a few battle scenes, and lots of silliness.

10-08-2008, 09:06 PM
Greywalker by Kat Richardson. I liked it, but it was also a book I could put down too easily. Even though this one was urban fantasy, it felt more like a quiet mystery than a slam-bam thriller.

10-08-2008, 10:21 PM
I'm opening myself up to "mainstream" jabs here, but I recently finished EAT, PRAY, LOVE and I have to say it lived up to the hype...and then some. :) Currently reading my first Jodi Picoult novel, TENTH CIRCLE. Anyone read her? It's sold on the chick-lit shelf but, IMHO, is not really chick-lit at all. Why must so many books written by women have a pair of high-heeled legs slapped on its pink cover and be banished to the chick-lit shelf?

10-08-2008, 11:12 PM
I'm about 150 pages into Alex Scarrow's latest October Skies and it rocks the casbah.

And no I'm not saying that just becase he's a member of AW.

10-08-2008, 11:58 PM
Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim. Lyrical, beautiful, yet spare, and undeniably wrenching. Now I understand why the special features of the movie included the two main actors reading aloud from the novel.

Maryn, who put it on her Santa list

10-09-2008, 06:16 AM
I just finished Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey and I confess it was a bit of a "meh" for me. The story is much longer than what is contained in book 1 (book 2 is not out yet), and the story definitely has the potential for greatness... but the first book was a lot more buildup than payoff, and I felt like it was trying a bit too hard to be a Dark! Gritty! Fantasy!