Current Reads

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Kookla on Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:13 pm

Glad to see so many fellow introverts enjoying Quiet!

Code Name Verity was interesting to me because it was rather heart wrenching in parts, but I found it one of the hardest young adult books to ever get into because of all the airplane talk. The really detailed technically accurate airplane talk. So much about airplanes. I really had to force myself to stick with it because I heard good things, but I felt like I was reading a manual for a long part of it.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  whatthedeuce on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:11 pm

Kookla wrote:Code Name Verity was interesting to me because it was rather heart wrenching in parts, but I found it one of the hardest young adult books to ever get into because of all the airplane talk. The really detailed technically accurate airplane talk. So much about airplanes. I really had to force myself to stick with it because I heard good things, but I felt like I was reading a manual for a long part of it.
Thank god, it wasn't just me! I was bored half to death by the damn technical airplane details, but I'm glad I stuck with it the entire way because it really was a very moving, heartfelt novel. The dialogue and plot were great, and my only real gripe was the technical stuff at the beginning, which I felt really weighed down the start of the story.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  particle_person on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:57 pm

Kookla wrote:Glad to see so many fellow introverts enjoying Quiet!

Code Name Verity was interesting to me because it was rather heart wrenching in parts, but I found it one of the hardest young adult books to ever get into because of all the airplane talk. The really detailed technically accurate airplane talk. So much about airplanes. I really had to force myself to stick with it because I heard good things, but I felt like I was reading a manual for a long part of it.
Hah, I've been told "The Hunt For Red October" is basically that with submarines. I've been avoiding "Verity" because me and depressing books is basically a recipe for moping for days afterward.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Raksha on Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:36 pm

Today I read Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa translated by Stephen Snyder. It was very good. With a title like that, I was expecting something heavier or harsher. But these stories, while "dark" in the sense that there's a pervasive sadness underlying all of them, were much quieter and gentler than I anticipated. They were good, though. And I liked how all the stories were sort of related, in that an incident that happens in one story becomes a small mention in another story. Like, two kids find an old post office that's inexplicably filled with kiwi fruit. Then in another story, this woman notices her weird elderly landlady hauling boxes from her backyard (filled with kiwi trees) down to an old abandoned post office down the block in the middle of the night. I like stuff like that.

One thing that stuck out to me as kind of odd is that anytime someone mentions food, it's some Italian or French dish. And this is a Japanese book, so it talks about food kind of a lot. Are minestrone and bouillabaisse popular dishes that Japanese people make at home a lot? That is a legit question, I don't actually know. But I kept wondering if it was a choice on the part of the translator trying to get across the same sense of familiarity and comfort to American readers that Japanese readers would have at a description of a popular Japanese dish.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  gannetguts on Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:10 am

Ages behind everyone else, I Read Mrs Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and liked it a lot! I read the second book in the series as well and enjoyed it immensely. It has a rather cinematic quality.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  inversed on Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:39 am

About halfway through Libba Bray's The Diviners and I'm enjoying it so far, despite the heavy-handed "flapper girl" dialogue. It's like Bray looked up every slang term used in the 20s and then decided Evie was going to use every single one.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Coneycat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:30 am

Kookla wrote:Code Name Verity was interesting to me because it was rather heart wrenching in parts, but I found it one of the hardest young adult books to ever get into because of all the airplane talk. The really detailed technically accurate airplane talk. So much about airplanes. I really had to force myself to stick with it because I heard good things, but I felt like I was reading a manual for a long part of it.

Hmm, sounds like something I should check out (says the woman who spent five hours walking around the RAF Museum last summer, gawking at everything and sniffling to myself.)

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Re: Current Reads

Post  puddingcup on Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:13 pm

Raksha wrote:Today I read Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa translated by Stephen Snyder. It was very good. With a title like that, I was expecting something heavier or harsher. But these stories, while "dark" in the sense that there's a pervasive sadness underlying all of them, were much quieter and gentler than I anticipated. They were good, though. And I liked how all the stories were sort of related, in that an incident that happens in one story becomes a small mention in another story. Like, two kids find an old post office that's inexplicably filled with kiwi fruit. Then in another story, this woman notices her weird elderly landlady hauling boxes from her backyard (filled with kiwi trees) down to an old abandoned post office down the block in the middle of the night. I like stuff like that.

I've read her novella collection, The Diving Pool (same translator). I would describe them as creepy and unsettling, and yes, very quiet. I would really enjoy the tiny links you describe between the stories, too, though I didn't notice any in The Diving Pool. Maybe I would like Revenge better? I thought The Diving Pool collection was somewhat interesting, but not great.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Instant Monkeys on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:47 pm

gannetguts wrote:Ages behind everyone else, I Read Mrs Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and liked it a lot! I read the second book in the series as well and enjoyed it immensely. It has a rather cinematic quality.
Oooh, there's another book in the series?? What's it called?

I didn't love that book quite as much by the end, but I still really liked it, and the beginning, I think I read like two thirds of it straight through.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Tabby on Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:07 am

Instant Monkeys, the second book in the Miss Peregrine series is called Hollow City. I'm on the library list for it.

I'm reading Longbourn right now and really enjoying it. I don't normally read any of the modern sequels/variations/etc of classic books I love, but a friend recommended this one and I'm so glad I decided to read it. The author has done a great job of creating interesting characters in their own right, not just re-telling Pride and Prejudice.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  stargirl on Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:56 pm

Tabby wrote:

I'm reading Longbourn right now and really enjoying it. I don't normally read any of the modern sequels/variations/etc of classic books I love, but a friend recommended this one and I'm so glad I decided to read it. The author has done a great job of creating interesting characters in their own right, not just re-telling Pride and Prejudice.
That's just what I thought.
I've just started the newest India Black (series by Carol K. Carr). Haven't read much but it's the kind of book you can read a few pages, put it down, pick it up a couple of days later, etc.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Raksha on Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:11 am

I finished Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells today. It was really cute. It's a vaguely steampunk-y magical adventure book. I mean, not too steampunk-y, which I find kind of annoying, but there were zepplins and a mention of bloomers. I'm a sucker for a good "young girl runs away to become an adventuress!" type story and that is exactly what this is. There was a vague hint of romance at the end, though, that just seemed completely shoehorned in and unnecessary.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Raksha on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:20 pm

Today I finished The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen and I really liked it. It's got all kinds of tips and tricks for growing or finding food, raising animals, cleaning your house, setting up water or power systems. But they're not crazy zealots who insist you have to be an island unto yourself or you're going to bring about the end of the world. They offer a number of possible things you can do, depending on the resources and space you have available and your level of interest. The writing is friendly and easy to understand and they give a lot of resources if you want to learn more about any given topic. Fun book!
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Re: Current Reads

Post  MaddyCat on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:23 pm

Strange Bodies was a great read, y'all. The bones of the plot are pure mystery, but it also raises big questions about mortality, ethics, memory, etc. I was highlighting a annotating all over the place. Maybe the book that has excited me the most thus far in 2014.

Now I'm reading Shotgun Lovesongs for my book club. It's about a group of friends in the midwest, one of whom is a famous singer/songwriter a la Bon Iver or some such, and they're all gathering for a wedding. I just started it, but so far it's promising. I'm from the midwest, so some of it makes me snort in recognition. We'll see how it goes.

I'm also about to embark on (finally!) A Visit from the Goon Squad. I love Jennifer Egan--her book The Keep is a favorite, so I have high expectations. I hear it's a pretty divisive book, though. Anyone read it?

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Raksha on Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:17 pm

I've read it and it's been quite a while and I still don't know what to think of it. I really enjoyed the first half of it, but then I started going "what the hell is going on? I don't know how any of this fits together" and by the end of it, I was just tired.

BUT it was definitely a unique book that clearly had a lot of thought put into it. That alone makes it not for everyone, which is fine. It's worth reading.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  whatthedeuce on Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:39 pm

Raksha wrote:BUT it was definitely a unique book that clearly had a lot of thought put into it.  That alone makes it not for everyone, which is fine.  It's worth reading.
That sounds like my take on Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries. It was a bit tedious, especially in the first 200 or so pages, but the narrative structure and interweaving of character interactions was thought out so well that I think it's worth reading. It truly had a unique feel to it.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  dinahmoe on Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:53 am

MaddyCat wrote:
I'm also about to embark on (finally!) A Visit from the Goon Squad. I love Jennifer Egan--her book The Keep is a favorite, so I have high expectations. I hear it's a pretty divisive book, though. Anyone read it?
I did not enjoy it, to be honest. I found it overly precious and gimmicky. But I am a person who revels in true crime and police procedurals, so take my opinion with a grain of salt:)
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Raksha on Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:04 am

Oh, and I almost forgot. I finished The Marvelous Land of Oz adapted by Eric Shanower with art by Skottie Young. It's the second comic book adaptation of L. Frank Baum's original Oz books and I really enjoyed it. I'm so in love with Skottie's art. He has such a unique and charming style. The story was fun, too. These are definitely the kind of books I'll be giving to my friends' little kids when they're old enough to start trying to get them hooked on comics!

Everyone was such a dick to poor sweet Jack Pumpkinhead, though. What was that about??
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Wildog27 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:18 pm

I just devoured The Martian by Andy Weir. If you like realistic near-future sci-fi, survival stories, and hysterical narrators, this one is a sure-fire winner.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Carrie Ann on Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:33 pm

I received and read the first Veronica Mars book yesterday (The Thousand Dollar Tan Line). I liked it! Clearly, since I stayed up way too late to finish it. It felt like reading a treatment of a multi-episode arc of the TV show, which was great. Honestly, if we'd never gotten the movie and just had the books, I would still be excited. It was really fun to spend more time with the characters and hear more of Veronica's feelings/thoughts.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Putli Bai on Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:08 pm

Wildog27 wrote:I just devoured The Martian by Andy Weir. If you like realistic near-future sci-fi, survival stories, and hysterical narrators, this one is a sure-fire winner.

Oooo, I just requested that from the library. Can't remember where I picked up the recommendation (I had it written on a scrap of paper), but I'm glad to get a positive second review.

I read Goon Squad last year. I wasn't wowed by it, but it did have its moments.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  PineappleGirl on Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:34 pm

We read Goon Squad for my book club, and reactions were completely split. People either loved it or hated it. (I loved it, but I completely understand why others didn't.)

Working through BJ Novak's book of short stories right now, and enjoying most of them a lot. It's a very different type of book than I expected, in a really good way.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  MaddyCat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:23 pm

See, and I just didn't like Novak's book. At all. I felt like he was trying so hard to be clever that it felt shallow after awhile. But I was alone in that opinion among my fellow book clubbers, who almost universally adored it. I think I was just not in the right space for it. May try it again at some point.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Raksha on Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:19 pm

Carrie Ann wrote:I received and read the first Veronica Mars book yesterday (The Thousand Dollar Tan Line). I liked it! Clearly, since I stayed up way too late to finish it. It felt like reading a treatment of a multi-episode arc of the TV show, which was great. Honestly, if we'd never gotten the movie and just had the books, I would still be excited. It was really fun to spend more time with the characters and hear more of Veronica's feelings/thoughts.

Ack, I'm still waiting for mine in the mail. So excited to read this! Glad to see it's good.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Algae on Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:22 am

I've been reading the Charles and Melanie Fraser Napoleonic Spy Novels (also called Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch; the author had to change the character names when she changed publishers). It started as something lighter after reading I am Malala and Code Name Verity, but these books are my catnip and I'm in a buy all the books mode now.

Guys! Married Spies on opposite sides! Illegitimate children! Sex Orgy clubs! Bonapartist plots! What's not to love about them?
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