Current Reads

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Re: Current Reads

Post  VodouDoll on Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:47 pm

I just finished Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon and it was baaaaaaad. So bad. I bought it because a book blogger I read said it was creepy and exciting but it was just awful. Stupid characters. Convoluted plot that doesn't go anywhere. Lazy, sloppy writing. Just bad. I want my $10 back.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  mokey75 on Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:04 pm

I'm about half-way through 11/22/63, and while I'm enjoying it, I keep thinking a)thank the baby jeebus I got this on my Kindle, and b)this book could have been half the length if the portal dumped you in 1961, Stephen King.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  epudom on Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:36 pm

After reading it for a week, I'm finally enjoying Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Once I worked out that it is essentially palindromic in structure, it all started making more sense. I'm at the halfway point now, so am looking forward to seeing how it ends (and how little sense that ending will make...)

I've managed to get this far without seeing the trailer but am completely intrigued as to what aspects of the novel will be in the film; it really isn't an obvious choice (at least not up to the mid way point) for translating to the big screen.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Jasmine on Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:26 am

I just read Cloud Atlas for a book club -- we had no idea that a movie was coming out until right before our meeting, and we were all perplexed about how you'd do a movie. I watched the trailer afterwards, and...visually it was beautiful, but it didn't seem to reflect the book much to me.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  inversed on Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:41 am

I'm reading A Train in Winter, nonfiction about women in the French Resistance during WW2. I have trouble keeping track of who's who, but it's fascinating and I am in awe of how badass these ladies were!

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Re: Current Reads

Post  big chicken on Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:46 am

Once I finish A Song of Ice and Fire, I'm going to go back to reading about the French resistance and women spies so thanks for the title.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Cynara on Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:07 pm

mokey75 wrote:I'm about half-way through 11/22/63, and while I'm enjoying it, I keep thinking a)thank the baby jeebus I got this on my Kindle, and b)this book could have been half the length if the portal dumped you in 1961, Stephen King.
Heh. So true. My major complaint was that Jake was constantly "omg the 50s and 60s were SO MUCH BETTER I THINK I WILL STAY HERE" and it is so clearly Cranky Uncle Stevie telling the damn kids how much better that time was. But he was a kid then! My parents say the same thing and then I'm like "Yeah, unless you were a minority. Or gay. Or abused, or mentally challenged, or a woman, or wanted a divorce, or anything that wasn't white and middle class" and even my parents will concede my point. And the thing is the damn book deals with a lot of these issues and makes them very effectively horrifying and he's STILL saying it. WTF?

Also, maybe I'm remembering this wrong, but it seemed to me that a huge plot flaw is that Jake never once actually stops himself and thinks "Hey, what if by stopping the Kennedy assassination I make something even worse happen?" Anybody who reads enough to become an English teacher has run across time travel literature at some point! Has he never read one single time-travel short story, where that is literally the first question asked? "A Sound of Thunder"? Never heard of the butterfly effect? Didn't even cross his mind once or twice and slow him down? It seems to me too that "everything went to shit after JFK" is yet another instance of King speaking through the character, because as someone of that generation who was a child on that day, of course he would think so, but Jake as a man who is what, 34-35 in 2010? No way would he have the same emotional attachment and drive.

Haha, teal deer. I guess I had stronger feelings than I thought. Also, none of this stopped me from buying the book and ripping through it in three days.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Gilraen on Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:25 pm

Cynara wrote:
mokey75 wrote:I'm about half-way through 11/22/63, and while I'm enjoying it, I keep thinking a)thank the baby jeebus I got this on my Kindle, and b)this book could have been half the length if the portal dumped you in 1961, Stephen King.
Heh. So true. My major complaint was that Jake was constantly "omg the 50s and 60s were SO MUCH BETTER I THINK I WILL STAY HERE" and it is so clearly Cranky Uncle Stevie telling the damn kids how much better that time was. But he was a kid then! My parents say the same thing and then I'm like "Yeah, unless you were a minority. Or gay. Or abused, or mentally challenged, or a woman, or wanted a divorce, or anything that wasn't white and middle class" and even my parents will concede my point. And the thing is the damn book deals with a lot of these issues and makes them very effectively horrifying and he's STILL saying it. WTF?

Seriously, have we, as a nation, learned nothing from Mad Men, Stephen King?

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Menshevixen on Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:47 am

I thought the solution to the butterfly-effect problem was that if preventing the assassination DID make something worse, he could just go back in time again because that was the reset button.

However, as we know, I didn't finish this book. So I probably shouldn't be talking about it.


Topically, currently reading Stalking the Goddess, which is mostly about why Robert Graves was a terrible historian.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Jessica on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:12 am

I really like King but holy shitballs his editor is not working any more. I liked 11/22/63 fine, although MY GOD THE MIDDLE DRAGS as pointed out, and I liked Under the Dome well enough too (possibly better), but it had the same problem. I'm reading 'Salem's Lot now, and the different in the tightness of the plotting and the pacing between this and the more recent King books is amazing. And Salem's Lot is LONG. It's like 800 pages. But that mother MOVES ALONG.

I enjoy King a ton, but I feel like his editor is just letting him do whatever he wants now. 11/22/63 could have lost easily 200 pages in there.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Unlucky Bear on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:18 am

There are some authors who I can read for hundreds and hundreds of pages when the story probably could have used an editor (Rowling, GRRM), but King (and I love him) is not one of them.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  QueenSix on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:14 am

Does Stephen King still have an editor? Because I thought I read an article once that said he, and I think it said Anne Rice as well, were so well established and such good sellers that they were pretty much free to publish without anything major being done to their books. Or at least, without having to pay heed if someone said that they should drop a chapter or seven.

But feel free to correct me on this one.

While in America, I read Keeping the Castleby Patrice Kindl. It's a nice YA story set in Regency times. Slight enough but enjoyable. The blurb called it Austen-esque, but I'd say it's more like Jude Morgan's An Accomplished Woman, in tone and heroine, if not quite in execution. Still, it was a good read and I enjoyed it.

I also read Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. Wasn't that the book that started that internet furore when it was taken off a YA best of list because of problems with a part of the book, or rather the attitude of one of the characters towards girls who were 'asking for it' i.e. getting dolled up and eaten by werewolves. I thought it was a good book. I have to say, the character of Scarlett made me eye-roll a few times but then I remembered she's supposed to be super intense because of what happened to her as a child.

I got my hands on the Montmarayseries. Finally! Thank you, the Coop bookshop in Harvard Square, only my new favourite bookshop in Boston. I was glad my cousin suggested we take a look at it. I'm reading the first book at the moment. It's good fun. I'm looking forward to reading more.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  mokey75 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:47 am

Jessica wrote:I enjoy King a ton, but I feel like his editor is just letting him do whatever he wants now. 11/22/63 could have lost easily 200 pages in there.
Yeah, this was my biggest problem with the book. There was just SO MUCH detail, but none of it added anything. Like, did we need 27 examples of Lee and Marina fighting? No, we did not. One or two would have sufficed. I dunno. It was fine and all, and I'm glad I read it, but I don't get the This Is the Best Book EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR that a lot of people got from it, apparently. (And, I can't lie- after spending all that time on NOTHING INTERESTING HAPPENING,
Spoiler:
I was extra annoyed that it didn't fucking matter in the end anyway, heh.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Tabby on Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:34 pm

Does Stephen King still have an editor? Because I thought I read an article once that said he, and I think it said Anne Rice as well, were so well established and such good sellers that they were pretty much free to publish without anything major being done to their books. Or at least, without having to pay heed if someone said that they should drop a chapter or seven.
I don't know for sure that this is true, but I've believed it about King for at least the last couple of decades. I suspect it's also true of the techno-thriller writer Tom Clancy - his more recent books are three times the length of his earlier ones.

I've just started Sybil Exposed, about the famous multiple-personalities case.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  MaddyCat on Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:36 pm

Finally getting around to March by Geraldine Brooks about the father in Little Women and what he went through during his time away from his family. I'm only a few chapters in, but the writing is superb. I definitely feel like I know, respect, and like this man a lot. And the observations about war are both harrowing and insightful.

Also dipping into Arguably by Christopher Hitchens, when I want to read a short, brilliant essay before bed. I don't always agree with him, but his writing is sharp and witty. I'm sad he's not with us anymore.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:36 am

MaddyCat, I really enjoyed March, I hope you do too.

A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington. She's a triathlete who competes in - and wins - ironman-distance events. On a whim her coach entered her in her first ironman event in 2007, she won, and the rest is history. I'm not even nearly an athlete, but I'm interested in 'ultra' events, and I went through this in about two sittings.

The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I love it, I wish I could read it more slowly, but it's due back at the library and there's a huge waiting list for it.

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