What Are You Reading Now.

Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Writing Forums Staff, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

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    Well, I'm into the Heart of Darkness, and it's pretty good. He does write 'pass the bottle' a lot but other than that...
     
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  2. Kinzvlle

    Kinzvlle Plunging Along Contributor

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    "The Vampire Defanged." by Susanna Clements. An interesting look into the vampire myth and it`s evolution in pop culture. Figured it`d be a fitting read for October.
     
  3. ohno_you do!

    ohno_you do! Banned

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    I bought two copies of amazing stories digest from the 70s from used bookstore..
     
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  4. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Contributor

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    That may be my favorite novel. Still deciding.

    I finished The Awakening by Kate Chopin and I hated it. The writing is excellent, the play on the romanticism and realism is great, but I just don't like anyone involved. I guess that's sort of purposeful, but still, not up my alley really. Doubt I'll read it again.

    Reading Leaves of Grass by Whitman. Some of the parts I like quite a bit, but I'm not sold on others. Seems to idealistic, but it is a romantic work so that kind of makes sense. We shall see.

    Doing a little Jack London soon too. Looking forward to it. Have yet to find any work from him I don't like.
     
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  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    I was gonna warn you when you posted you were reading it earlier, but I didn't want to spoil the surprise!
     
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  6. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I hated The Awakening, too. The MC is touted as being such a strong, convention-defying, self-liberated woman, but by the end of the novel she's just as passive, aimless, and somnolent as she was at the start. And a wet mess? Did I say a wet mess? :whistle:

    Maybe that was Chopin's intention. But that's not the scholarly take on it, that I've ever seen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  7. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'm about 3/4 through Mary Higgins Clark's mystery, Nighttime Is My Time. I started out really liking it, but now it's beginning to drag. Worse, I'm starting to pick up character-plot holes, and I feel guilty, since everyone else who left a comment on the review slip in the back of the book (I got it from the library) gave the novel nothing but high praise.

    But I've just finished the scene where the supposedly-highly-intelligent female MC, who knows there's imminent danger hanging over her daughter's life and probably over her own, who's been warned by the detective on the case to be very, very careful and to keep him apprised of developments . . . gets a phone call from a missing friend who tells her to meet her right away at a remote location. You'd expect this highly-intelligent woman to call the detective and tell him what's going on. Heck, no, she doesn't. Saying nothing to anyone about it, she rushes right out to said remote area, is kidnapped herself, and now she, the missing friend, and the daughter are all, apparently, Doomed to Die.

    I want to scream.
     
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  8. NoGoodNobu

    NoGoodNobu Contributor Contributor

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    Deathless by Catherynn M. Valente.

    It’s hard to put into words the sheer disappointment I feel in this book.

    The Death of Koschei the Deathless is my favourite Russian fairy tale and probably my favourite fairy tale of all time.

    Because the hero finds the remains of a slaughtered army and one soul on the brink of expiring tells him who defeated them: “Marya Morevna.”

    When the hero comes to a beautiful tent, he is greeted by a breathtaking beauty dressed for war, and Marya Morevna finds herself taken with him, brings him into her tent, is so pleased with him she decides to marry him, and takes him back home to her castle to be her prince. After being happily married for a few months her fighting spirit overcomes her so she ventures back to go a-warring, leaving her husband our hero to stay home and keep house. And then typical fairy tale shenanigans commence.

    What I always loved is how nonchalant and just matter of fact this woman warrior is. No big deal was made. She just led armies, married a man and made him keep house, and then went back off to war. It was told as matter of factly as a third son off to make his fortune. She only ultimately ended up kidnapped by Koschei the Deathless because of the stupidity and disobedience of her husband. And he died trying to save her when she told him it wouldn’t work and he only ended up resurrected & successful by the help of others.

    So when there was a modern retelling of this fairy tale, and with such pretty prose as:

    And so Olga went gracefully to the estates of Lieutenant Gratch, and wrote prettily worded letters home to her sisters, in which her verbs built castles and her datives sprung up like well-tended roses.

    . . .

    And so Tatiana went happily to the estates of Lieutenant Zuyok, and wrote sophisticated letters home to her sisters, in which her verbs danced in square patterns and her datives were laid out like tables set for feasting.

    . . .

    And so Anna went dutifully to the estates of Lieutenant Zhulan, and wrote properly worded letters home to her sisters, in which her verbs were distributed fairly among the nouns, and her datives asked for no more than they required.
    I had such high hopes.

    But the author literally takes the strong woman warrior badass from my favourite fairy tale and literally abuses & stockholme syndromes her into a sexual pet of the villain Koschei and she is now not strong or wilful or clever and the story is making a very big deal about a theme of “who is to rule” (hitting the reader with it spelt out just like that over & over like a sledgehammer) which was NEVER a question of the original tale.

    She took one of the most interesting & unique female characters from all of fairy tale, warped her into something completely unrecognisable, and made a dumb theme.

    I am 3/5 through the book and have been for a few weeks, and I could easily finish the story in less than an evening but I can’t really bring myself to keep reading it. . .
     
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  9. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Waaaww! :cry:

    After waiting a LONG time for him to publish it, I finally got the second installment of Phillip Pullman's Book of Dust series. The Secret Commonwealth. Read it in a couple of large gulps. And now it's DONE. It'll be a while till the next installment. I'm bereft.

    It's really good. In lots of ways, this series is even better (in my opinion) than His Dark Materials. I don't know why exactly ...maybe it's the fact that it's definitely an adult story now—deals well with disillusionment, a sense of starting over, and the politics is applicable to our own at the moment. And I really like the new 'main character' (along with grown-up Lyra) who has been underpinning so much of the plot—of this, and the first in this series, the prequel La Belle Sauvage. Malcolm is terrific. This is really good stuff.

    Snifff....
     
  10. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Contributor

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    Just finished Heminway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Fitzgerald's Winter Dreams, Crane's The Blue Hotel, London's To Build a Fire, and some T. S. Eliot, E. E. Cummings, and Edwin Robinson poems. Now I'm on to the play "A Streetcar Named Desire" for a second time. Still my favorite play I've ever read and I'll see if it maintains its place.
     
  11. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    Wow. That’s a lot of books on your plate. Do you tend to read all those books at the same time??

    I’m currently reading Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan. Crime seems to be a somewhat popular genre and although I’ve only just started the story, the book’s about a politician (and someone’s husband) who’s been accused of rape. Did he do it or didn’t he? It’s a pretty popular book though and I recommend it to anyone who’s up for something entertaining and who enjoys a story with a few twists or who’s wants to know more about one or two authors on the current market.

    I’ve also been reading some Mills and Boon recently and this might be an inspiration for my next story! I’ve got to get my writing caps on soon!
     
  12. Mary Elise

    Mary Elise Member

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    If I can forget the facts about Jack London I can enjoy his work. Alas, forgetting is difficult for me.

    Ever read Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod? Paulsen usually writes for a young male audience but Winterdance is definitely an adult book. Laughing aloud hilarious in places.
     
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  13. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Contributor

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    Read those all in the last five days. They are all short stories in the 8k to 15k range, so not a huge amount. Excited to start Streetcar soon though. Maybe this weekend.
     
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  14. Mary Elise

    Mary Elise Member

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    I have to stop reading when I'm writing to prevent both procrastination and contamination. I plan to resume The Prince of Tides once I have the worst of this piece in the Cloud.
     
  15. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Contributor

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    Read the theatrical plays of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Really loved Miller's work.

    Also read some poems from Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Robert Frost, and Claude Mckay.
     
  16. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Trying to get through As Time Goes By by Mary Higgins Clark before it's due back at the library on Sunday. One thing it's teaching me: I'll never be a churn-'em-out-and-make-millions kind of genre author. All I'm seeing in this book is the tediously simplistic prose and, most likely, missing the underlying story that attracts countless readers to her work.

    She's got something I don't have and never will. Them's the breaks.
     
  17. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Contributor

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    This week I'm reading The Swimmer by John Cheever, Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison, No Name Woman by Kingston, Lullaby by Leslie Silko, and Sexy by Jhumpa Lahiri. A lot of short works, but it's a good survey.

    Also reading some poems by Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg.

    I'm enjoying a wide variety now before next week. I jump into a month straight of Shakespeare for November. I've only read maybe four of his plays and some of the sonnets, so it will be good to expand upon.
     
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  18. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    Finished "Rabbit at Rest" by John Updike. Very long book, but it goes really quick when the writing's perfect. Updike does favor setting and description more than most, but he's really good at it, so I don't mind. He establishes time and place, that's for sure.

    The plot's pretty simple. Rabbit Angstrom's a jerk. Rabbit's world/family is crumbling. Rabbit is dying. This isn't a spoiler, the title pretty much sums up what the ending is going to be. I like this character simply because he's so irredeemable. You do NOT live vicariously through him, or at least I hope you don't, because he has every flaw you can name. He's not something you're supposed to aspire to. He's racist, (deeply) sexist, homophobic, petulant, judgmental, disloyal, and surprisingly obscene, but he has these moments of kindness, and coming from him they really seem to matter. The old writing advice is give your hero a flaw, give your villain a virtue, but here it's almost inverted.

    Any one star reviews (and I have seen this book close to last in some lists) are because the reader thinks that Rabbit should serve as a template for the audience. Leave the moralizing for priests and philosophers. Story and character matter most. It's important that the characters don't strive for the ideal because we can predict what the ideal should be, and that makes the ideal boring.
     
  19. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just finished reading Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It was a bit of a slog at times, with all the sanctimonious soliloquys and the endless will-they-won't-they carry on (and I like Victorian-era novels) but the characters and the situation were interesting enough that I persevered.

    Anne was a very different kind of writer from her more famous sisters, in fact. This book was quite 'before its time' in terms of outlook, and is considered a feminist treatise in some circles. Anne grappled with how marriage trapped females, and how difficult it was, back then, for a woman to get herself out of a bad one. Makes me quite thankful that we have 'moved on' considerably since then. She, of course, never married herself, but apparently a lot of her story was drawn from situations she was personally familiar with.

    It's interesting that her last surviving sister, Charlotte, repressed the re-publication of this book after Anne's early death, because she considered it 'unsuitable,' and also not characteristic of what she believed Anne was like.
     
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  20. Zeppo595

    Zeppo595 Member

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    I read a selection of essays by Kingsley Amis. I've now read Lucky Jim, One Fat Englishman and New Maps of Hell. He's always entertaining. The anger you sense behind some of his viewpoints make him more entertaining. I prefer reading his essays to his prose.
     
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  21. Moon

    Moon Phases of the Moon Contributor

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    Economic books....fun. Current small one is Economics In One Session by Henry Hazlitt.

    Still reading that Wasteland collection, even though some stories put me to sleep....

    Need some recommendations asap. Fantasy or science fiction - doesn't matter.
     
  22. Alesia

    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    My "homework" for the weekend is reading a tech manual for Keyence IV-G series ultra compact visual sensors...
     
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  23. Kinzvlle

    Kinzvlle Plunging Along Contributor

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    A 25th anniversary edition of "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho that I found in a local book,gifts, and cafe shop that opened up as part of our downtown's little renascence. Nice little shop, wasn`t expecting much from there book selection but it was actually pretty good. Very very curated but it`s at least attempting to have some semblance of upscale. Still not quite the place to find the little tucked a while gems I love but theres still a used book store specializing in out of print books down the street a bit from there for that. Was talking to the owner at the used book place (a friend) about Mark Twain (one of my favorite authors since high-school) and he ended showing (and selling) me "Letters From Maui." a collection of his travel letters from Hawaii. An interesting read by far and next on the TBR.


    The Alchemist is a Brazilian fantasy adventure book focusing on a Shepherd boys journey and destiny/being at one with oneself. All themes that i`m the mood for them to appeal to me for. The cover on it is also very beautiful, should be joyous read.
     
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  24. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Contributor Contributor

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    I'm still chipping my way through the audio of The Underground Girls of Kabul...... But while reading a completely unrelated article, discovered the book The Bookseller of Kabul. So now I've started that. I'm also reading an Orhan Pamuk book as well..... I'm sensing another trend :superthink:

    My last unconscious trend was books that take place in Nigeria (Beneath the Tamerind Tree which took place in Chibok, Nigeria, and My Sister The Serial Killer which took place in Lagos, Nigeria).

    Perhaps I'll move into East Asian literature. I just got The Woman In The Dunes by Kobo Abe
     
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  25. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Contributor Contributor

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    I absolutely could not get through it. I believe I finished it (eventually) but I remember next to nothing about it.....
     
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