The 2020 AW Reading Challenge! Perfectly visionary.

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Chris P

Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
2,694
Location
Vienna, VA
Welcome back Reading Challenge alums, and welcome all new comers. As 20/20 is a synonym for perfect vision, we can look forward to a year of reading adventures and discoveries.

As in prior years, each us chooses books fitting 12 from the list of categories to read and discuss throughout the year. We each read our own 12, unless you have titles in common and want to discuss; that would be quite cool. Sorry, no cash or prizes for finishing first. The only rule is to have fun.

Please read the sticky in this forum regarding spoilers.

Aaaaaand away we go:



  1. Another’s Mother Tongue: Any book in the foreign language of your choice.
  2. Armchair voyages: A book taking place somewhere you have always wanted to go, but have never been.
  3. Dearly Departed: A book by an author who died within the past four years.
  4. I spy: A book featuring spies or espionage.
  5. Holiday cheer: A book focusing on a holiday.
  6. Eyes to the skies: A book connected to weather, or with a weather-themed title.
  7. Year of the Rat: 2020 is the year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac. Choose a book written by someone born in any year of the Rat: 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912, 1900 (keep subtracting by 12 if you want to go earlier).
  8. It’s kind of a funny story: Any book you discovered or obtained through an amazing coincidence that just doesn’t happen under normal circumstances.
  9. Youthful exuberance: A first-person book with a child narrator.
  10. So that’s what they think of us: A book about your country by someone from another country.
  11. Interrogatively speaking: A book whose title is a question.
  12. Take note: A book where music features prominently, or about musicians.
  13. Do you deliver?: A book where food, cooking, restaurants, chefs, etc. play a major role.
  14. No Cliff Notes this time: A book that’s required reading in most high schools or universities.
  15. Anyward, ho!: A travel story (any genre, including non-fiction).
  16. By its cover: A book you know nothing about, chosen solely by the FRONT cover (no reading the jacket flap, back cover blurb, or reviews).
  17. Better known for . . .: A book by someone who’s more famous for something other than writing.
  18. Out of Africa: A book taking place in Africa (including North Africa).
  19. Howdy, stranger: A book about immigrants or immigration, or with an immigrant main character.
  20. Flights of fancy: A book in which airplanes figure prominently.
  21. Still time for more chapters: A memoir/biography by/about someone who’s still alive (as of January 1).
  22. Setting sail: A book taking place mostly or all on water.
  23. New horizons: A book in a new-to-you genre.
  24. Getting started: Read the first book of a series.
  25. Support the home team: A book by a fellow AWer (Check people’s sigs, or this thread might help: https://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?215354-What-AWer-book-are-you-currently-reading).
  26. Face your fears: A book that intimidates you, for any reason.
  27. Old world charm: A book taking place in or about Europe.
  28. Mail call!: An epistolary novel.
  29. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book.
  30. Happy days are here again: A book published between 1945 and 1960.
  31. Revenge of the nerds: Read a book (fiction or nonfiction) about science and STEM, or where scientists are the main characters.
  32. The heart and mind of a writer: An author memoir or collection of essays by an author.
  33. Bits and pieces: An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever).
  34. Out of this world: A book taking place in space or on another planet.
  35. Namesakes: A book by an author who shares your first or last name (maiden name counts).
  36. Tag team: A book by more than one author.
  37. Literary literal alliteration: A book whose title or author’s name is an alliteration.
  38. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
  39. You really shouldn’t have: A book bought for you as a gift.
  40. Ripped from the headlines: A true crime book.
  41. Succinct: A book with a one-word title.
  42. You might also like. . .: A book recommended by someone real, or by a bot.
  43. Speed demon: A book you can read in one day.
  44. Epic Odyssey: Read an epic poem (or any poem more than 25 pages long).
  45. Down on the farm: A book featuring farmers, agriculture, or taking place in an agrarian setting.
  46. Learn the Quadrille: A regency romance.
  47. Just the facts, Ma’am: Non-fiction on any subject.
  48. Takin’ care o’ business: A book taking place in a corporate setting, about a business, or about a business leader.
  49. What your great-grandparents read: A book written more than 75 years before you were born.
  50. No hablo: A book originally written in another language (i.e., a translation).



Have fun everyone!
 

Chris P

Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
2,694
Location
Vienna, VA
I recently realized this is the fifth year of the AW Reading Challenge! It all started New Year’s Day 2016 when my daughter, who is not a big reader, posted a link on Facebook to a reading challenge. Thus began for me a fantastic journey into reading worlds I never were there (Thanks Trisha!).

I feel kind of like I cheated having more time than all of you to choose my books and start reading. But I'll get over it :evil

Here's mine:

Another’s Mother Tongue: Any book in the foreign language of your choice.
French: Short Stories for Beginners - various

Eyes to the skies: A book connected to weather, or with a weather-themed title.
House of Sand and Fog - Andre Dubus

No Cliff Notes this time: A book that’s required reading in most high schools or universities.
Democracy in America - Alexis de Tocqueville

By its cover: A book you know nothing about, chosen solely by the FRONT cover (no reading the jacket flap, back cover blurb, or reviews).
Cherry - Nico Walker

Better known for . . .: A book by someone who’s more famous for something other than writing.
Gristle: From factory farms to food safety - Moby and Miyun Park

Howdy, stranger: A book about immigrants or immigration, or with an immigrant main character.
The Book of Unknown Americans - Cristina Henriquez

Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
The Gilded Age - Mark Twain and Dudley Warner

Tag team: A book by more than one author.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green and David Levithan

Ripped from the headlines: A true crime book.
Catch and Kill - Ronan Farrow

Down on the farm: A book featuring farmers, agriculture, or taking place in an agrarian setting.
The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture - Wendell Berry

What your great-grandparents read: A book written more than 75 years before you were born.
A Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

No hablo: A book originally written in another language (i.e., a translation).
Drive Your Plows over the Bones of the Dead - Olga Tokarczuk
 

Verboten

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
117
Reaction score
14
Location
Midwest
Looks like a great list, Chris. I've been dying waiting for the website to come back up so I could see this post. :hooray:

1. Out of this world: Cibola Burn by James Corey

2. Tag team: Still Life with Crows by Preston and Child

3. Ripped from the headlines: The Shoemaker: The Anatomy of a Psychotic by Flora Rheta Schreiber

4. No hablo: IQ 84 by Haruki Murakami

5. Succinct: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

6. Loose ends: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

7. Face Your Fears: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

8. I Spy: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carre

9. No Cliff Notes this Time: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallinger

10. Better Known For...Bossypants by Tina Fey

11. Mail Call: House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

12. Old World Charm: The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas
 

Chris P

Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
2,694
Location
Vienna, VA
Great list Verboten!

I loved Bossypants due to her complete lack of celebrity-sized ego. It's one of the few celeb memoirs I've read where I felt like she was just a normal person like anyone else doing a job. Catcher was my favorite book as a teenager, and I read it probably six times. My opinion of it evolved. I can't wait to see what you think of it.
 

CJEvermore

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
58
Reaction score
2
Location
Nottinghamshire, UK
I'm looking forward to this!

Youthful exuberance
Alice Seabold: The Lovely Bones

Anyward, ho!
Douglas Adams: Last Chance to See

Better known for . . .
Rik Mayall: Bigger Than Hitler, Better Than Christ

Still time for more chapters
Bruce Dickinson: What Does That Button Do?

New horizons
Martin Amis: The Rachel Papers

Three-color mythology

Batman: Hush

The heart and mind of a writer
Paul Magrs: The Novel Inside You

Bits and pieces
Various: Doctor Who - The Target Collection

Loose ends

Thomas Harris: The Silence of the Lambs

Ripped from the headlines
Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry: Helter Skelter

Epic Odyssey
Dante’s Inferno

No Hablo
The Diary of Anne Frank
 
Last edited:

Chris P

Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
2,694
Location
Vienna, VA
Interesting choices CJEvermore! I'm actually a little envious of your list. I look forward to your assessments of the books.
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,671
Location
Virginia
I'm in! I'm out of town so it'll be a few days before I can list my Challenge picks, but I can't wait to participate again!
 

Verboten

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
117
Reaction score
14
Location
Midwest
Love the lists so far! Can't wait to see everyone's thoughts about what they are reading!
 

Chris P

Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
2,694
Location
Vienna, VA
Welcome back, everyone! This has been a long, dry spell and thanks to all the AW volunteers and supporters who've brought us back and keep us running.

Welcome Cindyt!

Lots of updates here.

First: I'm swapping out my No Cliff Notes: Required reading selection of Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. I got through about 250 of the 950 (!!!) pages. It's a good time capsule of the American thinking at the time, but none too relevant today despite the parallels between Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump. When Democracy in America was written, we had only really been tested by the War of 1812. No president had yet died in office, the most brutal of the Indian removal and genocide polices were just getting underway, the abolition movement was just gathering steam, and of course the Civil War and Reconstruction hadn't happened yet. de Tocqueville was quite impressed with our judiciary (which only rarely registers on most Americans' radar today until there is an issue), was snowed by the illusion that class only plays a small role in American society, and more often than not seemed to be making a point on how much better the French government would run if only they would follow the US example.

Second, the first book I completed went quickly: By its cover: A book you know nothing about, chosen solely by the FRONT cover. Cherry - Nico Walker. This book opened with a compelling flash forward in the depth of the unnamed main character, his addiction to heroin, and his small-time bank hold ups to fund his addiction. He walks up to the window, hands over a note, then leaves with cash. No "All right folks, nobody panic" moments. Then, it flashes back to his enlistment in the army, deployment to Iraq, and return to the US. It was convincingly told, and I'm not sure how much of it is actual memoir, how much is embellished memoir, and how much is full-on fiction. I didn't much care for the main character, and hated him by the time the book concluded at about the same moment in the narrative it opened. The voice reminded me of Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye, with everyone being an idiot except for once in a while certain people were okay. But when one portion popped into my head in the voice of Forrest Gump, I lost it and it took me a chapter or two to get back into it. It fit too well.

Just last night I finished Howdy, stranger: A book about immigrants or immigration, or with an immigrant main character: The Book of Unknown Americans - Cristina Henriquez. This slice-of-lifey book follows two families, the Toros and Riveras, living in the same apartment complex in Newark, Delaware. The book opens with the Riveras arriving from Mexico with their daughter Maribel, and alternates POV between the wife Alma Rivera and Mayor Toro, the teen son of the Panamanian family who has been in the US for 15 years. Mayor develops a crush on Maribel, who suffers from cognitive issues following a brain injury back in Mexico. Not a lot of high drama in this one, but a refreshing take on an "unseen" population, and that lacks an Anglo hero (or even sympathetic supporting character, actually) and isn't completely about being Hispanic in the United States (although that is of course a huge part of the plot, as symbolized by one of the bad guy characters).




Another’s Mother Tongue: Any book in the foreign language of your choice.
French: Short Stories for Beginners - various

Eyes to the skies: A book connected to weather, or with a weather-themed title.
House of Sand and Fog - Andre Dubus

No Cliff Notes this time: A book that’s required reading in most high schools or universities.
[strike]Democracy in America - Alexis de Tocqueville[/strike]

By its cover: A book you know nothing about, chosen solely by the FRONT cover (no reading the jacket flap, back cover blurb, or reviews).
Cherry - Nico Walker Done

Better known for . . .: A book by someone who’s more famous for something other than writing.
Gristle: From factory farms to food safety - Moby and Miyun Park

Howdy, stranger: A book about immigrants or immigration, or with an immigrant main character.
The Book of Unknown Americans - Cristina Henriquez Done

Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
The Gilded Age - Mark Twain and Dudley Warner

Tag team: A book by more than one author.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green and David Levithan

Ripped from the headlines: A true crime book.
Catch and Kill - Ronan Farrow

Down on the farm: A book featuring farmers, agriculture, or taking place in an agrarian setting.
The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture - Wendell Berry

What your great-grandparents read: A book written more than 75 years before you were born.
A Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

No hablo: A book originally written in another language (i.e., a translation).
Drive Your Plows over the Bones of the Dead - Olga Tokarczuk
 

Brightdreamer

Just Another Lazy Perfectionist
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
9,097
Reaction score
1,174
Location
USA
Website
brightdreamersbookreviews.blogspot.com
Okay, a bit belated on posting, so a few are already done:

1 - I spy: A book featuring spies or espionage. - The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind, by Jackson Ford. (Caveat: the back cover indicates some spywork/espionage, but I'm not positive the book actually involves them. May swap out.)

2 - Eyes to the skies: A book connected to weather, or with a weather-themed title. - Ill Wind, by Rachel Caine.

3 - Take note: A book where music features prominently, or about musicians. - Crystal Singer, by Anne McCaffrey.

4 - By its cover - Camp Tiger, by Susan Choi. DONE - 1/4/20

5 - Setting sail: A book taking place mostly or all on water. - The Bone Ships, by RJ Parker.

6 - Getting started - The Rage of Dragons, by Evan Winter. DONE - 1/19/20

7 - Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. TBA

8 - Out of this world: A book taking place in space or on another planet. - Cards of Grief, by Jane Yolen.

9 - Tag team - Bob, by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead. DONE - 1/28/20

10 - Succinct: A book with a one-word title. - Updraft, by Fran Wilde.

11 - You might also like. . .: A book recommended by someone real, or by a bot. Highfire, by Eoin Colfer.

12 - No hablo: A book originally written in another language (i.e., a translation). Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, translated by Walter Starkie. ONGOING
 
Last edited:

Chris P

Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
2,694
Location
Vienna, VA
I love the green dragon avvie, brightdreamer!

Don Quixote was quite good. It had a lot to do with turning me on to the older literature. I look forward to your review, especially the Ill-Advised Curiosity inserted tale. People either love it or hate it.
 

Brightdreamer

Just Another Lazy Perfectionist
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
9,097
Reaction score
1,174
Location
USA
Website
brightdreamersbookreviews.blogspot.com
I love the green dragon avvie, brightdreamer!

"Gorbash" was a thrift store find in January. No markings, no idea who made him, not even sure what he's made of - something light that's intended to mimic hardened leather. Got a few minor problems that I'm hoping to patch with some light air-dry FIMO when I can get out to my workshed.
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,671
Location
Virginia
Hooray! So glad we're back!

I never had the chance to post my list before we crashed, but in the interim I've been reading like a FIEND. So here it is, albeit with some titles already finished during the month and a half AW was down:

Rain: Four Walks in English Weather is a book I picked after Robert Macfarlane mentioned it in his book The Old Ways (which is also about walking in England and Europe). It's a slight volume and an easy, enjoyable read with lots of beautiful imagery.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a book I'd always intended to read, and while I figured out the "twist" within the first three chapters, I still found it intriguing, particularly the dialogue between the main character and her surviving family. It was another quick read: I finished it in a day.

Mudlarking was terrific - it's a new release from a woman who looks for historical artifacts in the Thames (she has a great Twitter feed, too). Her enthusiasm on the topic is infectious.

I'm currently reading Roger Deakin's Waterlog, which is about swimming in the UK. I guess I'm on a UK historical/natural history bender!


2. Armchair voyages – Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez
6. Eyes to the skies – Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison DONE
9. Youthful exuberance – We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson DONE
17. Better known for – Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives by Terry Jones and Ed Ereira
22. Setting sail – Waterlog by Roger Deakin
25. Support the home team - Chasing Danger by Richard C. White
27. Old world charm – The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
37. Literary literal alliteration – Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem DONE
38. Loose Ends – Medieval Children by Nicholas Orme
40. Ripped from the headlines – Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
42. You might also like – Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham
44. Epic Odyssey – The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 
Last edited:

Cindyt

Gettin wiggy wit it
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
4,195
Reaction score
317
Location
Bulldog Town
Website
growingupwolf.blogspot.com
Reading List

I was just about to post my list when AW went out again. But here it is!

1. Armchair voyages: A book taking place somewhere you have always wanted to go, but have never been.
France: The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

2. I spy: A book featuring spies or espionage.
The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad

3. Youthful exuberance: A first-person book with a child narrator.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou

4. Interrogatively speaking: A book whose title is a question.
Whatever Happened to Janie? - Caroline B. Cooney

5. No Cliff Notes this time: A book that’s required reading in most high schools or universities.
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald READING

6. By its cover: A book you know nothing about, chosen solely by the FRONT cover (no reading the jacket flap, back cover blurb, or reviews).
Dragonfly - Leila Meacham

7. Out of Africa: A book taking place in Africa (including North Africa).
The Covenant - James A. Michener

8. Getting started: Read the first book of a series.
The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler

9. Face your fears: A book that intimidates you, for any reason.
Vertigo - G. S. Jennsen

10. Happy days are here again: A book published between 1945 and 1960.
Alas Babylon - Pat Frank

11. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
Robicheaux - James Lee Burke FINISHED 1/15/20

12. Ripped from the headlines: A true crime book.
If You Tell - Gregg Olsen FINISHED 2/220


Love me some James Lee Burke, but, man, he describes everything and every person and what they are wearing. :roll: But he never disappoints in thrills and chills, and Robicheaux is a prime example of Mr. Burke's talent.

I read one or two of Gregg Olsen's true crime books decades ago and just bought this book on his name alone. It reads like a novel--so much so, I looked up the case to see if he had exaggerated a bit about this heinous crime. He had not. SMH @the evil people can do.

I'm about halfway through Gatsby, and you can throw all the tomatoes at me you want, but this read is boring me to death. I'd change it, but I bought it, and I'm going to read it.
 
Last edited:

Chris P

Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
2,694
Location
Vienna, VA
Great lists, mrsmig and Cindyt!

I've been eyeing up The Light We Cannot See for quite some time. Excited to hear what you think! I can understand Gatsby being boring. This is one of the few cases where for me having seen the movie first (in my case it was the 1970s one) helped a lot, and I really liked the recent version with DiCaprio.
 

Verboten

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
117
Reaction score
14
Location
Midwest
1. Out of this world: Cibola Burn by James Corey

2. Tag team: Still Life with Crows by Preston and Child - DONE

3. Ripped from the headlines: The Shoemaker: The Anatomy of a Psychotic by Flora Rheta Schreiber - DONE

4. No hablo: IQ 84 by Haruki Murakami

5. Succinct: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

6. Loose ends: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

7. Face Your Fears: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

8. I Spy: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carre

9. No Cliff Notes this Time: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallinger

10. Better Known For...Bossypants by Tina Fey - DONE

11. Mail Call: House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

12. Old World Charm: The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas - DONE

Still Life With Crows - In a small Kansas town that's barely on the map, people start losing their lives. They haven't had a murder there in many years, or ever. Agent Pendergast comes in and researches the town, adopting one of the towns trouble makers as an apprentice. Many years ago, the town was known for some caves. A lady who'd lived there for many years ran the caves and many years ago, she gave tours of the caves. The caves end up having a very big secret . This book is filled with adventure, murder and suspense. I always enjoy Agent Pendergast books and this one was no different.

The Shoemaker: Anatomy of A Psychotic - I had originally heard of this story from a podcast that I listened to. This book got deep into the difficult life of the man who became The Shoemaker. As a small child, he was in and out of orphanages. He eventually ended up with a family, the Kallingers that his biological mother thought was a good family. This ended up not being the case. Something incredibly significant to how his life panned out happened when he was 6. The Kallingers abused him, made fun of things that he wanted to do in his life. The reason that he was adopted was so that they would have someone to carry on the legacy of the family shoe store. That was the only reason. This book was very raw with feelings and somewhat difficult to read. But, I like these types of books and honestly, the life that this kid led, it's no wonder he ended up how he did.

Bossypants - I listened to this book on audiobook. It's read by Tina Fey and it made it that much better. I thought it was hilarious. I've always enjoyed Tina. It was upsetting in some parts when she was talking about women in the workforce, but I think that she handled things really well. It's always super interesting to get into the lives of famous people and to learn how they got where they are.

The Art of Theft - This one is the 4th in the Lady Sherlock Series. Charlotte Holmes is Sherlock, but because it's back in the day where women weren't accepted as much for working, she hides the fact that she solves mysteries from everyone. She tells everyone that wants help solving a problem that it's Sherlock who does it, but he's ill and can't meet wit them. In this story, someone of royalty comes to Charlotte to find a painting that has love letters in the back of it. Charlotte and company have to travel to London to find this painting and they concoct a complicated plan to crash a party and get the painting so that the letters can be returned to the rightful owner. I love this series and can't wait for the next one.

**I am disappointed to say that I am replacing the Neal Stephenson book with a different one. I started it and couldn't get into it. I definitely want to read something else by him, but this one wasn't interesting to me at all. I was about 50-75 pages in. I'd be interested to see what opinions people have of Cryptonomicon. I'm replacing it with Panchiko by Min Jin Lee.**

I'm currently reading The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and IQ84. I'm so happy the site is back up! I've missed this group.
 

Cindyt

Gettin wiggy wit it
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
4,195
Reaction score
317
Location
Bulldog Town
Website
growingupwolf.blogspot.com
Great lists, mrsmig and Cindyt!

I've been eyeing up The Light We Cannot See for quite some time. Excited to hear what you think! I can understand Gatsby being boring. This is one of the few cases where for me having seen the movie first (in my case it was the 1970s one) helped a lot, and I really liked the recent version with DiCaprio.
I saw parts of the 70s version with Robert Redford and keep getting flashbacks of it, but not enough to up my interest in the book. I'll watch the movies and then go back to it and let you know.
 
Last edited:

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,671
Location
Virginia
I saw parts of the 70s version with Robert Redford and keep getting flashbacks of it, but not enough to up my interest in the book. I'll watch the movies and then go back to it and let you know.

I read Gatsby about ten years ago, as prep for a (horrible) writers' retreat. I certainly got the craft of Fitzgerald's writing, but didn't care one way or another about the characters.
 

Cindyt

Gettin wiggy wit it
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
4,195
Reaction score
317
Location
Bulldog Town
Website
growingupwolf.blogspot.com
I read Gatsby about ten years ago, as prep for a (horrible) writers' retreat. I certainly got the craft of Fitzgerald's writing, but didn't care one way or another about the characters.
I got him too but had no empathy for his characters. I saw the Robert Redford version in the wee hours of today. It was interesting, but not as much as I'd hoped. It was a different time as you said, but the book sold only 20,000 copies upon publication in its own generation.
 
Last edited:

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,671
Location
Virginia
Probably my experience with the aforementioned (horrible) writers retreat has colored my opinion somewhat. I remember being extremely annoyed that "required reading" for the retreat included Fitzgerald, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ken Kesey and the organizer of the retreat himself - all older white male authors. And then we didn't discuss any of the books. It has always irked me that the organizer didn't just charge us to listen to him yak for five days, but also required us to read his (not very good) book, which was published by a very small press and not available in libraries - which meant we had to buy it, and thus fill his pockets further.
 

Chris P

Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
2,694
Location
Vienna, VA
Wow, that is horrible! Sounds like ego on his part as much as scammy.
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,671
Location
Virginia
Wow, that is horrible! Sounds like ego on his part as much as scammy.

Indeed. AW romped on his case pretty badly some years back. He still occasionally pops up with a sockpuppet account here.
 

AW Admin

Herder of Hamsters
Staff member
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
18,123
Reaction score
5,026
Location
On the Server
Website
www.digitalmedievalist.com
Indeed. AW romped on his case pretty badly some years back. He still occasionally pops up with a sockpuppet account here.

If you or anyone sees an account that they think is a sock of someone, do let Mac or me know so we can investigate it. There are a handful of really reprehensible banned members who do their damnedest to sneak back and spam members.
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,671
Location
Virginia
If you or anyone sees an account that they think is a sock of someone, do let Mac or me know so we can investigate it. There are a handful of really reprehensible banned members who do their damnedest to sneak back and spam members.

Thus far you've done a pretty good job of outing this particular individual's sock personalities. Haven't seen newbs lately with the same hysterical edge, but I'll let you know if I have any suspicions.
 

Featured Book