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Post  Red Wolf on Wed May 07, 2014 5:53 am

I think she crops up in one of Pratchett's YA books, but I haven't read those.

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Post  Raksha on Wed May 07, 2014 11:13 pm

And today I finished Beyond the Pillars: An Anthology of Pagan Fantasy edited by Ashley Horn and did not care for it, on the whole. This is a collection of short stories by Pagan writers and written with a general Pagan sensibility. A few of the stories were great ("Gorse-Girl and Nettle-Boy" which was a cute fairytale, "The Serpent in the Throat" which was a fictional adventure of Canaanite hero Bukru, and "Nana" which was a tale about several generations of slave women), but most were really meh. One was so awful I threw the book down and didn't pick it up again for months (it had some Celtic Gods bowing down and praying to Jesus, then volunteering to go away and make room for the new faith).

Overall it was a good idea, but a disappointing execution.
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Post  Raksha on Sat May 10, 2014 12:13 am

Today I finished Appetites: Why Women Want by Caroline Knapp and I really did not care for it at all. Basically, she tries to tie things like eating disorders, compulsive shopping, self-harm, and excessive drinking all together as a reaction to appetites that have been thwarted or shamed. That general idea seems sensible enough, but when she tries to expound on it, it becomes nonsensical or just plain frustrating. I couldn't recognize myself or anyone I know in what she was saying and the constant no-win mother-blaming became frankly offensive. Later in the book, she starts referencing psychoanalytic theorists directly, and the non-stop criticism of mothers (every kind of mother) without even a mention of fathers, much less an actual discussion of their roles in their daughters' lives, suddenly makes sense. Feh. Moving on.
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Post  mialoubug on Sat May 10, 2014 1:53 am

Raksha wrote:Today I finished Appetites: Why Women Want by Caroline Knapp and I really did not care for it at all.  Basically, she tries to tie things like eating disorders, compulsive shopping, self-harm, and excessive drinking all together as a reaction to appetites that have been thwarted or shamed.  That general idea seems sensible enough, but when she tries to expound on it, it becomes nonsensical or just plain frustrating.  I couldn't recognize myself or anyone I know in what she was saying and the constant no-win mother-blaming became frankly offensive.  Later in the book, she starts referencing psychoanalytic theorists directly, and the non-stop criticism of mothers (every kind of mother) without even a mention of fathers, much less an actual discussion of their roles in their daughters' lives, suddenly makes sense.  Feh.  Moving on.

I was disappointed in that as well. I absolutely love (LOVE) her "Drinking, a Love Story." When this one came out I had very high hopes. I had been reading Knapp's work for a long time, even when she was writing for the Boston Phoenix and the Providence RI equivalent, and really loved her Alice K series.

If you don't know much about her, this book was her last as she died very young of lung cancer. She had a ton of problems and a very odd and separatist type relationship with her parents.
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Post  Bad Username on Sat May 10, 2014 7:57 am

I just finished Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, and I loved it. I love that he's deceptively light and funny, but on close inspection you realise he's actually conveying some pretty heavy stuff. I haven't read a lot of his books, but I kind of want to go on a tear now.

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Post  MaddyCat on Sat May 10, 2014 2:36 pm

mialoubug wrote:
Raksha wrote:Today I finished Appetites: Why Women Want by Caroline Knapp and I really did not care for it at all.  Basically, she tries to tie things like eating disorders, compulsive shopping, self-harm, and excessive drinking all together as a reaction to appetites that have been thwarted or shamed.  That general idea seems sensible enough, but when she tries to expound on it, it becomes nonsensical or just plain frustrating.  I couldn't recognize myself or anyone I know in what she was saying and the constant no-win mother-blaming became frankly offensive.  Later in the book, she starts referencing psychoanalytic theorists directly, and the non-stop criticism of mothers (every kind of mother) without even a mention of fathers, much less an actual discussion of their roles in their daughters' lives, suddenly makes sense.  Feh.  Moving on.

I was disappointed in that as well.  I absolutely love (LOVE) her "Drinking, a Love Story."  When this one came out I had very high hopes.  I had been reading Knapp's work for a long time, even when she was writing for the Boston Phoenix and the Providence RI equivalent, and really loved her Alice K series.  

If you don't know much about her, this book was her last as she died very young of lung cancer.  She had a ton of problems and a very odd and separatist type relationship with her parents.

And if you want to know even MORE, you can read Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell, which is about her deep, enduring friendship with Knapp even as she was dying. It's a good book.

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Post  Raksha on Mon May 12, 2014 11:42 pm

Today I finished Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson and it was fantastic! I love her blog, so I figured this would be funny and it most certainly was! Her childhood was especially bananas. I think its a good thing her father lives in Texas, because I think if he lived anywhere else (well, except maybe northern Idaho) he'd be locked up as an actual crazy person, though he seems mostly harmless even though he occasionally tosses live bobcats on people when first meeting them. This whole book is golden.
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Post  sagitare on Mon May 12, 2014 11:50 pm

Red Wolf wrote:I think she crops up in one of Pratchett's YA books, but I haven't read those.
Yep, in I Shall Wear Midnight. I was so thrilled - and surprised - when she turned up in that.
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Post  Algae on Tue May 13, 2014 8:39 am

I read The Golem and the Jinni over the weekend. That was fun - a "I can't put this down" book to me.. I loved the descriptions of New York and the people and seeing everything come together in the end.
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Post  snorf on Tue May 13, 2014 7:18 pm

Today I finished Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson and it was fantastic! I love her blog, so I figured this would be funny and it most certainly was!

It is one of the open books in my Kobo, I mainly read on the bus but have to stop with her because I keep laughing. Every chapter I think "She has to be making it up" and then she provides photographic evidence and I just lose it even more.

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Post  whatthedeuce on Tue May 13, 2014 8:22 pm

Algae wrote:I read The Golem and the Jinni over the weekend. That was fun - a "I can't put this down" book to me.. I loved the descriptions of New York and the people and seeing everything come together in the end.
I got about 80 pages into this last month, and though I thought the writing was quite nice and descriptive, and the characters drawn out very well, it just didn't move quickly enough for me. I could very well give it another try in the future though. I just may not have been in the mood for such whimsical yet somber storytelling.

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Post  Algae on Wed May 14, 2014 8:30 am

Yeah, I think you definitely need to be in the mood for it. And there's a lot of back story. I was thinking, later, about how it would work as a movie, but then decided it wouldn't because there would be about 2 hours of introducing people and places and ideas before the main characters even meet.

It sort of reminded me of The Night Circus in terms of storytelling and world building. Very lush, immersive worlds but you have to be in the mood to take the time to get to the story itself.
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Post  MaddyCat on Thu May 15, 2014 2:55 pm

I finally read Gun Machine thanks to all the recs here, and it was terrific. I loved all the characters and the premise had me hooked. I wish someone would turn it into a movie!

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Post  Raksha on Wed May 21, 2014 12:36 am

Today I finished another of Yrsa Sigurdardottir's Icelandic mysteries, The Day is Dark, and I loved it! In this one, Thora Gudmundsdottir is hired to go with a team of people to a remote mining outpost on the east coast of Greenland. A woman disappears from the outpost and then six months later, when most of the rest of the employees had gone home to Iceland for the holidays, the company loses touch with the two men who stayed behind to mind thing. And worse, they recover a short video from the company's servers of what appears to be a body being dismembered in one of the offices. So the group goes up there and there's no sign of anyone, dismembered or not, and the locals in the nearby town are acting really weird.

It was a very atmospheric and creepy book. I enjoyed it a lot.
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Post  mokey75 on Wed May 21, 2014 10:15 am

I'm reading Looking for Alaska, and I kind of hate all of the characters. A lot. Alaska is every manic pixie dream girl rolled into one, and I am pretty sure I would want to slap the shit out of her if I had to spend more than 5 minutes with her.
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Post  mayram on Wed May 21, 2014 2:33 pm

mokey75 wrote:I'm reading Looking for Alaska, and I kind of hate all of the characters.  A lot. Alaska is every manic pixie dream girl rolled into one, and I am pretty sure I would want to slap the shit out of her if I had to spend more than 5 minutes with her.

I really liked that book, but I can't disagree about Alaska being the uber-manic pixie dream girl. I think I just really missed the YA genre after reading other types of books so returning to teen angst was refreshing.

My hands-down biggest problem with this book is the last third of it:

Spoiler:
When the boys are tying themselves in knots trying to figure out where she was going the night she was killed. It was so completely telegraphed based on that "worst day of your life" scene halfway through the book, how do three people devote so much mental energy to the topic and not hit on that right away?

On another note, maybe I'm stupid or maybe the book jacket didn't allude to it, but I was really surprised when Alaska was killed. I truly didn't see that coming and the whole [however many days] before/after didn't clue me in.

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Post  whatthedeuce on Tue May 27, 2014 11:43 pm

Still making my way through A Storm of Swords, and everytime a Jon Snow or Sam Tarly chapter appears, I'm just like "Godsdammit! I don't wanna read about the Night's Watch!" I like Jon well enough on the show and love Sam, but man, the Night's Watch stuff just doesn't interest me like it should.

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Post  Unlucky Bear on Thu May 29, 2014 11:14 pm

Yeah, I am rereading the book too and I'm doing a hard skim through the Night's Watch and Khaleesi chapters.
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Post  whatthedeuce on Thu May 29, 2014 11:51 pm

I have gone from really loving Dany on the show to being quite irritated by her, and my annoyance is seeping into the reading experience. I basically only care about the Starks and Lannisters though Jaime is much more unpleasant when you can read his every thought.

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Post  naughty zoot on Sat May 31, 2014 8:50 pm

I'm only about 60 pages into it, bit so far The Goblin Emperor has proven to be every bit as delightful as the io9 review promised. It's about the youngest (half goblin, half elf) son of an emperor. He has lived his entire life in exile from court, until the unthinkable happens and the Emperor and all the other heirs are killed, leaving the young man to inherit the crown. Maia, the main character, is fast becoming my favorite literary character ever. Sweet, humble, but no one's fool. All I want to do is wrap myself in his story.
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Post  Raksha on Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:48 pm

On my last trip to the library, more than half the books I went there for had been checked out by the time I get there, so in a fit of frustration I randomly grabbed a book off the shelf, and I think I'm going to make that a habit from now on because I really enjoyed the book I grabbed and I never would have chosen it for myself had I bothered to read the summary.

I read The End of Everything by Megan Abbott. It was a very melancholy and quietly fucked up story told from the POV of a 13-year-old girl named Lizzie who is completely inseparable from her BFF Evie. Until Evie goes missing after school one day, that is. The book follows the aftermath of that disappearance and the investigation through the eyes of Evie. It's a very compelling read and one that's going to haunt me for a while.
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Post  naughty zoot on Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:50 am

I loved The End of Everything. Abbott's other book, Dare Me, which is about cheerleaders and also not my usual thing, might be even better.
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Post  Kiran on Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:11 am

Agreed. And I am reading an arc of her latest that comes out next week Fever and its also fantastic.
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Post  mayram on Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:29 pm

Raksha wrote:On my last trip to the library, more than half the books I went there for had been checked out by the time I get there, so in a fit of frustration I randomly grabbed a book off the shelf, and I think I'm going to make that a habit from now on because I really enjoyed the book I grabbed and I never would have chosen it for myself had I bothered to read the summary.

I did that once, I don't even know how I ended up pulling this book off the shelf but I ended up loving it. It fell right in my wheelhouse of stories of about introverted people who make a strong connection with an extroverted person and the different path their life takes after that meeting. The Myth of You and Me

I related to the main character SO much, similar to "LuLu" in Just One Day or Louisa in Me After You. One of my favorite random book selections. I read the rest of her books after that and also enjoyed The History of Us quite a bit. She has another book Husband and Wife but that one I didn't care for as much.

I loved The End of Everything. Abbott's other book, Dare Me, which is about cheerleaders and also not my usual thing, might be even better.

Ran right to the library for these, they sound awesome. I'm off to the beach next week so I'm going to save them for beach reading.

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Post  Raksha on Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:31 pm

Today I finished Mort by Terry Pratchett. Not my favorite Discworld book, but that's like saying something isn't my favorite kind of chocolate cake. It's still yummy! Mort himself was fun, as was Ysabelle, but Princess Keli was just kind of there, I thought. I loved Cutwell, though. I don't know why, but I love crappy wizards. I was really torn on Death. Half the time he was funny and half the time he was kind of a dick. I did enjoy the way time and history work on the Disc.

On to the next one!
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