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Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

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Member: Cecrow

CollectionsYour library (216)

Reviews216 reviews

Tagsfantasy (52), 501 Must-Read (48), classic (43), sci-fi (25), sequel (21), young adult (21), history (17), historical fiction (13), Malazan (10), conclusion (10) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

Recommendations63 recommendations

About me41, married male sci-fi/fantasy reader who also enjoys history (fiction and non-fiction) and the classics. I generally value sheer entertainment over other qualities, but I've a rapidly growing appreciation for good technique.

My primary goal for maintaining this profile is a personal memory aid (I can always use more of those), but I'm also fond of making lists in general so this helps feed that obsession. It records what I've been reading (regardless of whether I borrowed or own it).

About my libraryI've read and own considerably more than what's listed here but I'm only adding as I read, while deleting anything that proves forgettable. I average one or two books a month. For that reason I'm very careful about what I choose, which is probably (and happily) why I give so many positive reviews. Discounting the occasional impulsiveness, I pretty much know what I'll be reading several months in advance.

Five stars = very impressed, one of the best I've read
Four stars = met expectations; I will recommend this one
Three stars = a bit disappointing, take it or leave it
Two stars = very disappointing, regret reading
One star = (I won't read these; life's too short)

Groups501 Must-Read Books, Bestsellers over the Years, Book Listers UNITE!, Book reviewers, Canadian Bookworms, Famous voluminous novels, FantasyFans, Geeks who love the Classics, Historical Fiction, Hobnob with Authorsshow all groups

Favorite authorsIsaac Asimov, Pierre Berton, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Jacqueline Carey, James Clavell, Charles Dickens, Stephen R. Donaldson, Umberto Eco, Steven Erikson, E. M. Forster, Mark Helprin, Gary Jennings, Guy Gavriel Kay, George R. R. Martin, Ayn Rand, Michael Scott Rohan, Dan Simmons, John Steinbeck, Tad Williams, Alette Willis (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresAllison the Bookman, Chapters - Kanata, Chapters - Pinecrest, Chapters - Sudbury, Coles - Northgate Square, Gulliver's Quality Books and Toys, Second Story Books, The Book Market - Bell's Corners

Favorite librariesNorth Bay Public Library

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

LocationNorth Bay, Ontario, Canada

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Cecrow (profile)
/catalog/Cecrow (library)

Member sinceDec 14, 2007

Leave a comment


I honestly haven't been reading much of anything lately. :( Thanks for checking up on me though!
I'd like to reply to your comment on my review of The Metamorphosis. I agree with the point you made about the sorrow in how they adjusted to life without Gregor's contribution. Thank you for your feedback!
LOL. I'd read it as "TBR", so you're all good.

Thank you for letting me know ... I'll have the image up pronto!

Thanks so much for letting me know!
haha, I'd just been thinking how it'd be nice if we had some more active folks joining us, and so I posted just directed at the one person because they mentioned having a specific few books they were looking to read for 2014; I had no idea so many would trickle over! It worked out far better than I could've anticipated! :P There should probably be at least one more coming over, too, she already joined the group just hasn't made her list yet. She's a friend from another site and I'm slowly getting her active in LT, joining some challenges and whatnot. :D
Thanks! for the comment.
"the book of the book ... wow"
I'm taking that as a compliment rather than a comment on over-lengthy reviews! So thanks!
heh thanks for thinking of me! I've been ridiculously slacking with my reading lately, so sadly, nothing more from me on that end. But, I'm only 2 shy of the 12 goal, so I'll still very easily be able to reach that one. Verrrry highly doubtful I'll hit my intended goal of all 24, though :( haha oh well. :)
As some who writes and studies it, I very much liked your review of Rhetoric of Fiction by Booth, which I am working my way through now. There are a number of other books that deal with the narrator, the second self as Booth puts it, but this is the most thorough. Vivian Gornick The Situation and the Story which , while it starts with memoir, ends up doing a great job of explicating this notion. But , anyway, well done. Thanks,
Hey there! Thanks for the invitation, but I might change up my goals over the year though, as new books come in and I might discard one or two from the list. But good luck with your goals! If I'm keeping the pace I'm at now, I'll be way ahead of 10 or 12 too :)
Oh thanks for the correction! Must tell my dad that he's wrong now. hahah
Thanks for the comment. I agree with your Malazan remark. Read my review on Deadhouse Gates. I did dislike Gardens, but Deadhouse completely changed my opinion on Erikson.
Hi. Thanks for stopping by.

Part of me wants to know where the Erikson stories are going and, therefore, to continue reading. We'll see. There's kind of a dearth of fantasy stories that interest me in the stores right and I like to mix up my reading, so maybe I'll give the next book a try once the numbness fades from my brain. :-)

I see you're in North Bay. I was just there last week. We have a cabin down on the French River and come through on our way. Small world!

Thanks for the kind remarks regarding a review of mine. After perusing your library, I would like to return the gratitude for all of the historical non-fic books that caught my eye. You've given me some targets for future reading! :)
Applaud your apparent intention to review every book you list (I'm belatedly trying to catch up with myself on this!) and enjoying the few reviews I've read so far: critical but fair.
Hi there, thanks very much for your comment! I see we both have an interest in fantasy, and classics - don't think there's too many of us like that!
thanks so much, Cecrow, for your response to my review of The help. nice to have Canadian feedback. :) i feel quite passionate about it. i'm 68 and was involved in the Civil Rights and anti-war movements in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60s and what was going down in Oakland was bad there as well. this wasn't, and isn't, just a southern thing.

I take that as a great compliment, thank you!

*[I] will probably try her latest one at some point (Elizabeth I), in hopes it serves almost as a Henry VIII sequel.*

I suspect either that or Margaret George's Mary Queen of Scots book might be the best bet. I have a friend who I know also loved the Henry VIII book, but also couldn't get into the Cleopatra book--unfortunately she then stopped there with George, so she couldn't tell me which book is the outlier. It's as if they're by different authors. Especially since the Henry VIII book was her first, I wonder if it's just that was her passion--that particular figure and period of history, and that if then trying to find another "big" historical figure for a novel, she chose an era, that of classical antiquity, she didn't have the same affinity for. That's what makes me suspect either Mary, Queen of Scots or Elizabeth I might bring out her best once more.
Just wanted to say thanks for the Stephen King suggestions. I will definitely keep your recommendation in mind, though it may be awhile before I get to it... my TBR list is 900+ and growing. :)
You and I have a lot in common regarding books. I too am a lover of lists. Can't get enough. I took your advice and looked for a copy of 501 Must Read Books. I really liked the sound of it, especially how she limited it to one book per author and then listed other books by the author with the one book. That was one of my big complaints about 1001 BYMRBYD, too many books by the same author and several authors that I thought should be included but were missed. My other complaint, like yours, was that there were not really any Sci-fi/fantasy books included. Yes, Interview with a Vampire was a good book, in my opinion there are so many better ones available or in addition to. Sadly, my library did not have a copy of 501 books nor did Barnes and Noble or Borders, so I went to Amazon and got a used hard back for $3.50 [the shipping was more expensive]. So thank you for the recommendation.

So I keep hearing about The Great Gatsby. I appreciate that many people see a lot in this novel but, for better or for worse, I am the type of egotistic reader who doesn't particularly care what others see in the books he is reading (or has read). I enjoy reading well-written reviews from time to time, but I do so exclusively for pleasure. I regret to say that I never sensed anything of any depth in The Great Gatsby.

As for Arthur Clarke, I am convinced that he suffers from TMS (The Maugham Syndrome). This simply means that he - like my favourite author - is seldom taken seriously just because he took the trouble to write lucidly and in a simple style which is accessible for everybody who can read and is of (at least) average intelligence. I have very little patience with florid and convulted writing styles, even less so with the literary snobs who hail them as 'high literature' at the expense of everything else.

For my part I very much like your reviews of Emma and The Kon-Tiki Expedition. The former I have not read yet, but Pride and Prejudice convinced that the sadly short bibliography of its authoress is worth exploring in toto. The latter is among my all-time favourites, along with more or less everything by Thor Heyerdahl I have read so far.
Oops. Thanks for letting me know of the typos on Geisha--now fixed. *blushes*
Thought you might like to know that one of your reviews led directly to the purchase of a book, namely, The Rhetoric of Fiction. I just reread your review, and something you wrote caught my attention again, and that is the part about the implied author. This strikes a chord just now because I am currently on a Melville kick, and Melville seems to have used this concept. I say this because more than one critic has mentioned the idea of an "unreliable narrator" with respect to some of his novels. I am currently reading The Confidence-Man, and I believe this is a perfect example. It is very hard to figure out what the real Melville is thinking or intending. At any rate, thanks for your review and I'm looking forward to reading the book.

Best wishes,

Thanks for your comment on the Freddy reviews. It's been getting harder to review each one, as they are somewhat formulaic. But I really want Freddy to have new readers and I figure this is one of the best was to try and do that.
I just read your post on 2011 Sendai Earthquake. I really appreciate how you view that country.
Some of the twitter are being very rude to the victems there, and I was a bit offended lately. Your post soothed me a lot. お言葉痛み入ります。
Thank you for your review of Jane Austen. Your reviews are always worth a look, even when I'm not familiar with or only semi-familiar with the work in question.

Thank you for the compliment!

I do love the Austen novels and find them such a pleasure to read. Well, most. I'm not all that fond of Mansfield Park, though I appreciated it more on reread, and I don't think Lady Susan is a strong work. But I'm still astounded at times reading the reviews of the other Austen books that stream by in the "reviewed by others" column and find people unimpressed by Pride or Prejudice or as in a recent review complaining she didn't like any of the characters of Sense and Sensibility. If any classics were sure to charm, I would think it would be Austen's novels.
Thanks for the kind words, and give my regards to your unusual wife! Don't you think she'd like Book 7? I found it (review forthcoming!) one of the best of the lot, and far more exciting than the rather poor movie adaptation of its first half.
I bought the Andersen book and thought that he was going to get better. But his format, and the holes that he had were such that he never overcame them. I suppose more fool because it did not get better and I did not seek out buying them as used books.
Well, thanks very much! I enjoyed your review of The Amulet of Samarkand too, by the way! It's been such a long time since I've been so immersed in a YA fantasy series. It really took me back to my reading habits as a teen, when I would become deeply involved in the story to the point of blocking out everything else. I read the last two Bartimaeus books in a day apiece. I still need to write a review of the last one, though I'm sure I can't do it justice. Have you heard that Stroud is writing a prequel called The Ring of Solomon? I think it's coming out in November (but I could be wrong).

Thanks for the recommendation; I will look for Tigana. I have The Lions of Al-Rassan and The Summer Tree already. When you hear such good things about an author so consistently, you just start picking up his stuff on spec at booksales and thrift stores :)
Hello, and thanks for the interesting library add! I'm always curious, how did you bump into me?

I see we have a lot in common in our book tastes. You have Guy Gavriel Kay listed as one of your favorite authors; I'm looking forward to reading him. I've heard nothing but good about his books! Is there a particular title of his that you would recommend to a newbie?
Thanks so much for the thoughtful response. I'm actually really interested in seeing who we draw to the book club. I am new to this library and it is traditionally held there that fantasy is not a popular genre for the area. But I tend to think that it is more that fantasy has not been popular among the librarians so the collection is pretty random and the readers have learned to go elsewhere.

I decided to start with some pretty recognizable names in the genre in the effort to spread my net as wide as possible. I'm hoping that once I have a good base of readers that we can explore some more meaty books. After all, I was an English major and I love to dissect works of all kinds. But even if it turns out that the members just want to read fun books, at least it is always nice to talk to people about books. I take it most any way I can get it :)
Thanks. I'll have to check it out as well.

Thanks for noticing my cut and paste error on the Simmons review. That'll teach me not to read over what I just wrote!
Thanks for that update on Kushiel series - you've made my day! And I've literally just ordered Naamahs Kiss. Now I have to wait - and I hate waiting.
Always good to hear encouragement. I tend to have a problem where, once starting a series, I find it hard to call it quits unless it becomes truly dreadful, so even though I was disappointed by Inkheart, I could tell that one day, I'd dive back in and attempt the sequel.
Do you know if the film takes from the whole trilogy or just the first book? I only ask as I netflixed the film, but if it's going to use the whole trilogy as its basis, I might send it back. Hm. Must do some research.

Again, thanks for letting me know that the next two get better.

Just dropping in to say thanks for adding me to your Interesting Libraries!

Just responding to your quesion in the Farseer thread in the fantasy fans group about the common character between Liveships & Farseer - Amber is the fool :) Interesting huh! & its sparked many a discussion :)

See ya!
Seanie :)

Thanks for the tip! I'll add Guy Gavriel Kay to my tbr list.

Thanks for the info concerning the Mistborn trilogy - I wasn't aware the last book was out yet, and will amend the review. Did you by any chance read the series and was it good?
Nice review of The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers
Foreigner is perhaps the CJC best loved by fans - although the first few chapters are a bit awkward, and it's now on book 10 or so which don't quite have the same attraction as the first.
Pride of Chanur and the 4 sequels have her best characters.

Cyteen and Downbelow station are her award winners

I would say Faded Sun is a fine introduction to her style.
Thanks for the comment about Left Hand of Darkness. I think it's just one of those you had to be there books.

Is your catalog just books you've read? It's great to see so many reviews. I'm slowly working my way through reviewing all the books I own.

As we seem to have similar opinions of a few books I'll recommend in passing that you try some of CJ Cherryh's work.
You absolutely should. I really didn't enjoy Gardens the first time I read it, and probably would have given up on the series if I hadn't chanced upon Deadhouse Gates first. Going backwards and reading Gardens in retrospect, it makes a lot more sense. It remains, however, the weakest link in the series. I'm just now starting the series over again, so I can finally move on to books 6 & 7 (long been sitting on my TBR shelf) & 8, which is being released next week. I'd forgotten how great Erikson's writing is, and can't recommend him strongly enough.

I was so happy to find out they had made the movie, since I loved the book. Wow, what a shock I got.
Thanks for your feedback. I'm sending some old favourites off to a young nephew for his enjoyment. Before they go, I am rereading them and adding them to my library. It is fun after such a long time to go back and see old friends through different eyes.
Hi I'm Kennedy1 and i also like the chronicles of Narnia and i like the book you have in your library.
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