cammykitty's 12 in 12 challenge - 2nd thread
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Time for a new thread!!!
And, so I keep an eye on what's on my shelf, here's a Books-on-the-shelf ticker. The goal is to have roughly half the books I read come off of my shelves.
The categories are:
14. BONUS: Books off the shelf, or audio books already in library or on wishlist
Mini-challenge: September 15-October 15 is Latino Heritage month, so I'll try to read only books by Latino authors during this time period.
And one rule - a book over 400 pages counts as two.
When asked if she'd ever tried to write realistic fiction, Patricia Wrede answered "I tried that once. A wizard showed up on the third page."
1. YA Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror
1. The Ghost Cadet
2. Shadow of the Red Moon by Walter Dean Myers
3. Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede
4. Sang Spell
5. Almost to Die For
♥6. Howl's Moving Castle
The She by Carol Plum-Ucci
A String in the Harp by Nancy Bond
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Curse of the Wendigo
2 Young Adult Other
The essential element in human interactions is to feel in the hearts of others an echo of our own heart, Julius Lester
I loaned one of my favorite books, When Mom killed Dad by JL, during summer school and the girl loved it so much that she kept it. She had about 1/2 left to go and summer school was over.
1. The Killer's Tears by Anne-Laure Bondoux
2. The Junkyard Dog by Erika Tamar
3. Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt
4. Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel
5. Al Capone Does My Shirts
♥6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
To Be a Slave
After byFrancine Prose
When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune
Evvy's Civil War
The Book Thief
One Crazy Summer
Marcelo in the Real World
Code Name Verity
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
After all, there has to be some belief in the magic-- however small-- for any world to survive. -- Terry Brooks
3. Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror
1. Neuromancer by William Gibson
2. The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo
3. The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss
♥4. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K Dick
The Windup Girl
The Name of the Wind
The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Best Australian Science Fiction available through interlibrary loan
Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology
Her Smoke Rose up Forever by James Tiptree, Jr
Mockingbird by Sean Stewart
Wildlife by James Patrick Kelly
4. Written by Diversicon guests. Diversicon is a conference celebrating Diversity (thematic, gender politics, racial etc.) in Science Fiction and Fantasy. I've been going to it for several years, and last year began attending several of the planning meetings. We have both living and posthumous guests. The upcoming guests are Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes and Andre Norton. Since Andre Norton wrote soooooo many books, I'd love to hear which ones were your favorites so I can focus my reading on her best works.
1. Witch World by Andre Norton
2. Riverrun by S. P. Somtow
♥3. Great Sky Woman by Steven Barnes
4. The Year of the Unicorn by Andre Norton
5. Joplin's Ghost by Tananarive Due
6. 2nd 1/2 of Joplin's Ghost by Tananarive Due
The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust
Andre Norton who would be 100 years old in 2012 if she were still with us.
A Fabulous Formless Darkness by David Hartwell
Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke
Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber
Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson
The final mystery is oneself. Oscar Wilde
5 Mysteries/Histories/True Crime
♥1. Beloved by Toni Morrison
2. All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann
3. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
4. Gathering of Waters
5. Inside Scientology
6. The Midwife of Hope River
Devil in the White City
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane
Wild Kat by Karen Kijewski
The Celtic Riddle
Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb
Death comes by Amphora by Roger Hudson
In the Woods by Tana French
Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk
The Sisters Brothers
The Reinvention of Love
The Mistress of the Art of Death
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Aunt Dimity's Death
I love having a theme and being able to push push push up against that theme as hard as possible without breaking through (or out of) it. Ellen Datlow on editing anthologies.
6. Short Story Collections
1. Latin American Folktales by John Bierhorst
2. The James Tiptree Award Anthology 2: Sex, the Future, & Chocolate Chip Cookies (The James Tiptree Award Anthology series) (No. 2) by Karen Joy Fowler
♥3. Eternity and Other Stories by Lucius Shepherd
4. 1st 1/2 of Teeth: Vampire Tales
5. Three Messages and a Warning
6. Behind a Mask by Louisa May Alcott
Teeth: Vampire Tales edited by Ellen Datlow
Unexpected Magic by Diana Wynne Jones
Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery and Fantasy
No Easy Answers: Stories about teenagers making tough choices
I Live with You by Carol Emshwiller
Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett
Collected stories by Frank O'Connor
The Best of Cordwainer Smith
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
The personal vocabulary, the individual melody whose metre is one's biography, joins in that sound, with any luck, and the body moves like a walking, a waking island.
1. Borrowed Finery by Paula Fox
2. I, Rigoberta Menchu
3. Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-li Jiang
4. Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation by Clarence B. Jones
5. 1st 1/2 of Life by Keith Richards
♥6. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Anything we love can be saved by Alice Walker
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
A Mighty Hard Road
Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston
We of Nagasaki from 1951, available through interlibrary loan.
The Road From Home by David Kherdian
Tibet: Through the Red Box
We humans may be brilliant and we may be special, but we are still connected to the rest of life. No one reminds us of this better than our dogs. Patricia B. McConnell
8. Animals, including humans
1. Bats Sing, Mice Giggle
2. Why Does My Dog Act That Way by Stanley Coren
3. Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable by Faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts
4. Love has no age limit
4 1/2. I'll be home soon
4 2/3. Feeling Outnumbered
5. Do Over Dogs: Give Your Dog a Second Chance for a First Class Life (Dogwise Training Manual)
6. Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding by Jean Donaldson
♥7. Scaredy Dog by Ali Brown
8. Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt
Going Home: Finding Peace when Pets Die
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
Aggression in Dogs by Brenda Aloff
Canine Body Language by Brenda Aloff
Winter World by Bernd Heinrich
The Latchkey Dog
Training you to Train your dog
Born on a Blue Day
Stalking Irish Madness
Lads before the wind
The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin
The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry
She is Cuba. If you want to love her, you have to be with her, but you can't be with her in her current state. It's the point of view of all exiles - you have to leave the thing you cherish most. Andy Garcia
9. From the Caribbean - Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico
♥1. Cecilia Valdes or El Angel Hill by Cirilo Villaverde
2. Cecilia Valdes or El Angel Hill by Cirilo Villaverde 491 pages
3. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
4. The Orchid House by Phyllis Shand Allfrey
5. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
6. The White Witch of Rosehall by Herbert G de Lisser
When I was Puerto Rican
The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier
Dreaming in Cuban
Down These Mean Streets
Farming of Bones
A House for Mr. Biswas
Bride of New France
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
Pao by Kerry Young
Adios, Happy Homeland by Ana Menendez
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle
Brother, I'm Dying
The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography by Sidney Poitier
10. In the Spanish Language
1. Nine Centuries of Spanish Literature - the first half of it up to middle of Golden Age, Fuenteovejuna
2. Easy Spanish Reader edited by William Tardy
♥3. Nine Centuries of Spanish Literature - the second half
4. La Maquina Del Tiempo by H.G Wells and adapted by Terry Davis (graphic novel)
5. El Gesticulador by Rudolfo Usigli
6. Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence
Aunt Tula/La Tia Tula by Unamuno
The Censors by Luisa Valenzuela
Nine Centuries of Spanish Literature edited by Seymour Resnick and Jeanne Pasmantier
Granta: Best of Young Spanish Language Novelists
Treasury of Classic Spanish Love Stories in Spanish and English
... y no se lo trago la tierra by Tomas Rivera
Barrio on the Edge
The Granta issue and the Nine Centuries are so long (for Spanish language) that I will count them as more than one book, maybe several. I may read portions and then put them down for a long while. Last time I timed it, it took me about 7 minutes to read a page of Spanish. I'm sure I'm better now, and I'll be even better by the end of 2012, but it is still quite time consuming compared to reading in English!
ARNOLD: But supposing it doesn't come off? Women are incalculable.
C.-C.: Nonsense! Men are romantic. A woman will always sacrifice herself if you give her the opportunity. It is her favourite form of self-indulgence.
ARNOLD: I never know whether you're a humorist or a cynic, father.
C.-C.: I'm neither, my dear boy; I'm merely a very truthful man. But people are so unused to the truth that they're apt to mistake it for a joke or a sneer. William Somerset Maugham from "The Circle"
11. Vintage and Classics (books published over 50 years ago)
♥1. The House of Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazan
2. The Woman in White 1st 1/2
3. The Woman in White 2nd 1/2
4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
5. The Well of Loneliness 1st 1/2
6. The Well of Loneliness 2nd 1/2
Pierre and Jean
The Literature of Ancient Egypt
The Razor's Edge
12 Begged/Borrowed or Stolen - Wishlist/Group Reads/Early Reviews/On loan from friends
2. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters 1st 1/2
3. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters 2nd 1/2
4. Aids and Accusation by Paul Farmer
1. The Devil in Silver 1st 1/2
5. The Devil in Silver 2nd 1/2
6. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can't stop talking
The Tortilla Curtain was moved to prize winning category to make room for an ER book, and a loaned book. Those two books will complete this category.
Las Soldaderas: Women of the Mexican Revolution by Elena Poniatowska
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
James Baldwin: Collected Essays
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
The God of Small Things
The Land of Green Plums
Hide in Plain Sight by Paul Buhle
The Bookseller of Kabul
The Crying of Lot 49
Mason and Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
13. New BONUS category: Prize winning books. These books must come from either my current library or my wishlist (prior to April 8, 2012) and must not be for the same prize. Two books can have the same prize, but they won't be included for the same prize. For example, two books may be Printz awards, but if the second book also has the Coretta Scott King award, I could list it for the CSK instead of the Printz. Get it?
1. Wolf Hall
2. Wolf Hall for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction published in the UK
3. White Cat Andre Norton finalist
4. The Tortilla Curtain Prix Médicis étranger
5. Water for Elephants Alex award
♥6. Counterfeit Son Edgar Award, ya
Owl in Love for the mythopoeic award
Troll: A love story for the Tiptree award
Maisie Dobbs for an Agatha
The White Tiger for a Booker award
The Changeover for a Carnegie medal
The Child Goddess for Campbell award
Hard Love for Lambda award
Spilling Clarence for Minnesota Book Award
Charming Billy for National Book Award (US, like there's only one nation)
Expiration Date for a Nebula
Stones from the River for a PEN/Faulkner
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay for a Pulitzer
Silver Birch, Blood Moon for World Fantasy award
The Feast of the Goat for Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Shortlist
Brave New World 1001 books
A long way gone africana book award
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie American Indian Youth Literature Award
Zoo City Arthur C Clarke Award
The Haunting of Hill House National Book Award finalist
Feast of the Goat Independent foreign fiction prize (British)
Suite Francaise PEN translation
BONUS: Books off shelf or books already in personal library/wish list on audio or Early Review books
1. Curse of the Winter Moon by Mary Casanova
2. Rescuing the Children: The Story of the Kindertransport
3. The Glass Butterfly by Louise Marley
4. Marcelo in the Real World
5. Charming Billy
6. Hell House
7. The Tent
8. Oscar Wilde and a Game called Murder: a mystery
9. Beastly by Alex Flinn
10. Treasury of Classic Spanish Love Short Stories in Spanish and English
11. Plain City
13. How to Ditch Your Fairy
I'm adding this category mainly because I've been using audio books as a carrot to help me get housework done. It's difficult to find audio books in my last few categories. I've been on the waiting list at the library for the audio of Devil in the White City for four months now, and I've still got at least 70 people ahead of me. So, this category will help me make that work.
I don't intend to complete this category before the end of the year, but if I do complete this and my other categories as well, I think I'll start 2013 early.
#33 2nd half of Nine Centuries of Spanish Literature : Nueve siglos de literatura espanola edited by Seymour Resnick. Dreadful translations of the poetry, but from what I hear that's par for the course. It had some very interesting selections, but got annoying at times because some were brief excerpts - sometimes so brief that it was hard to tell if I'd like the whole work or not. I definitely want to read Dona Perfecta by Benito Perez Galdos and Niebla (Mist) by Miguel de Unamuno eventually. Maybe not in the original Spanish though. It depends on the length and if I can devise a way to have a translation available so I don't have to look up words several times a page.
& non-book news. I picked up my second foster dog tonight. She was the one I was supposed to get first, but she was held up in Missouri with kennel cough. They couldn't transport her while she was sick. She's a sweetie, but Hobbit is a bit jealous. Her name is Lana, but I don't think she knows it yet.
Thanks! She is a sweety. A bit clingy, needs a big confidence boost, but the last month or so of her life have been tough - so she probably thinks things are absolutely great now but there's got to be a hitch. ☺
#34 Al Capone Does My Shirts 5 star for me because it hits close to home. A lot of kids at school have been really into this book, and I'd heard that it was a really funny story about a kid growing up on Alcatraz where Al Capone does the laundry. Well, yes, it is that. It is also a very sensitive book about the troubles of a young adult whose sibling has Autism.
They didn't know what Autism was in 1935, which made Moose's life even more difficult. There was no place to turn. Nowadays,we don't know how to "cure" Autism, but we know what it is, what to expect and what strategies work. Back then, plenty of people claimed to have the answer but they were just experimenting and if something caused an improvement, happy happy.
Moose loves his sister very much, and goes through all the emotions a brother with a sister such as this would - responsibility, guilt, anger, resentment, embarrassment, protectiveness, love. Choldenko portrays all this believably and with great depth, all with no apology or call for pity. And on top of that, it's a great historical glimpse of Alcatraz, and funny too.
What a cute picture!
On a different note; I'm in the middle of House Rules by Jodi Picoult which is also about a young man with autism who has been accused of murder. She does extensive research even though her books are fiction and I've learned quite a bit more about autism than I knew before. The boy in the story also has a brother and has some of the same emotions you mention above.
22 - Interesting. I didn't know Jodi Picoult had written about anyone with autism. Another adult fiction piece is The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. She captured the speech patterns of some of my students so closely it was almost painful to read.
23 - Thanks! She's starting to settle down a bit - last night I only had to push her a teeny bit to get her into her crate. :) I'm starting to fall for her.
Good review of Al Capone Does My Shirts. I'll have to move it up on my TBR list.
I was surprised at how good Al Capone was! My school is loaning us Nooks for spring break, so I started playing with one of the Nooks. I'm reading Red Scarf Girl which is another one I keep hearing about but never read.
Cool! I'll have to get Al Capone Shines My Shoes too. I'd love to know what "Onion" gets up too, although it seems like he is no more nefarious than a ball thief.
news! Lana is going to her forever home on Monday - 99% sure - it was an adoption by proxy.
#35 Sang Spell by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor who is better known for Shiloh. Sang Spell wasn't anything like or anywhere as good as Shiloh. It was a fantasy where a young man whose mother has just dies falls into an alternate world peopled by descendents of Precolonial Portugeese+ settlers in the Appalachains. The world was fabulous, but once we were in Canara, the end was pretty predictable. I also felt like the conversations were repeating themselves. Not a book for me to revisit, although it looks like everyone else who read it liked it better than I did.
I talked to the woman who is adopting her on the phone today. I still feel really good about it - but she mentioned reading books by Cesar Milan. :( I can't imagine her using any of his more agressive techniques though and I steered her towards Patricia McConnell.
#36 Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-li Jiang Very scary memoir! Well done, and totally appropriate for middle school kids. I was reading it with our social studies teacher's Holocaust question in mind - how do governments turn people into "others" so they can be persecuted. This book demonstrates that very well, to the point where children turned on their own families. Highly recommended for anyone interested in The Cultural Revolution or in large scale civil rights abuses. That said, this wasn't an uncomfortable read like The Diary of Anne Frank can be. While you're reading it, you know Ji-Li survives it and that those days are over.
Whenever I read a book like this, I'm reminded that much of modern dystopia/science fiction owes a debt to Orwell and the Spanish Civil War. I'm not sure a writer can come up with something worse than things that have actually happened on this planet.
I've been listening to a lot of audio books for a bunch of reasons - trouble falling asleep since I lost Dillon, housework, Lana-puppy likes licking my face while I'm reading - is that enough reasons? but I've been having trouble finding audio books on my category lists at the library. So I'm looking for advice - Have any of you read Julia Alvarez? specifically In the Time of the Butterflies. She was born in the US, which technically means she doesn't fit in my Carribean category even though she writes about the Dominican Republic. However, that's where her family comes from and she did live there 9 to 10 years in her early life. Is her outlook Dominican enough to count her in that category? If the book sounds at all like an author writing about something well-reasearched, than it's not what I'm looking for at all.
I haven't read that book, but I have read her other book, How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents, which didn't feel forced at all, more like it was from family memories.
No, I haven't read Julia Alvarez so cannot comment there. I am starting to wade into the audio book arena and finding it very difficult to decide what type of stories would make good audio books - I am such a visual person and haven't gotten comfortable yet with just listening to a story....... crazy, huh?
Thanks for the advice - I'll consider Alvarez Caribbean enough. :) & Lori, it took me awhile to get used to listening to books. At first for sure, if you'd tested me on comprehension, it would've been lower on an audio book. I don't think it works well for every type of book, but for a YA title, sure.
Re audiobooks - it took me a while to train my ears, too. Now I love them, I often listen to them (or the books / plays on BBC Radio 4 Extra) as I prepare my classes. For me, the most important thing is the narrator, you have to connect with the voice. I was totally thrown when they changed the narrator of the Artemis Fowl series from the lovely Nathanial Parker to a different man.
I started listening to audiobooks to increase my auditory comprehension. I've always had trouble listening to lectures, monologues, etc. As soon as I'm not participating actively in the "conversation" my mind zones out. Listening to audiobooks helped a lot with that. Though I still have pretty severe attention deficit...and I only listen to certain types of books that I probably would never get to in physical form. :)
I agree! The narrator makes a huge difference! - & Hibernator, I know what you mena by needing to "participate actively." I participate actively while I read, imagining where things might be going and filling in details, but it took a while for me to transfer those skills to audio. Good luck! I'm sure it will help.
#37 - on audio - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick. This was an odd book, as any book by Dick is. I began listening to it, knowing that Dick suffered from schizophrenia and that it influenced his later works. One of my friends told me she couldn't read Dick because it "read like pathology." This one doesn't, but it is very tied up in unreliable mindscapes. I see this book as a forerunner to Cyberpunk, but instead of the action happening in cyber-selves it happens in drugged-out selves. The drug, Can-D, was to be taken while you looked at a "Perky Pat Layout" which is a sort of Ken & Barbie playhouse for adults. ROFL, except, wait, isn't that a lot like a bunch of facebook games? Farmville, Cafe world, etc etc. And let's not just stay on Facebook. There's World of Warcraft and all sorts of other games where a person builds a persona and buys all sorts of things for their Cyber-person, and the live person may even suffer from computer game addiction in ways that may look like drug addiction. -- Huh? How did Dick hit on this before I was born? This book was published in 1963, and comes so close to describing a lot of the things we do now. & of course it deals with the typical Cyberpunk themes, the meaning of existence, confusion, creation, immortality and God.
Good to see more love for PKD. Glad you enjoyed that one Katie as it's still one that I haven't gotten around to as yet but it does reside on the tbr shelves.
A great reader can make any book shine - if you ever come across an audiobook read by Jeremy Irons, just pick it up regardless of the book!
I recently started listening to audiobooks too (last November) and I agree that a good reader makes all the difference. So far, the best reader I've heard has been Bronson Pinchot of all people! You know - Balki from Perfect Strangers.
PKD is great - our local mover & shaker in the SF world is a PKD accolyte, and I'd read Do androids...sheep, so I knew he deserved some accolytes, but it was fun to be reminded why with The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.
44 Bronson Pinchot! I haven't heard that name for forever. I remember, the guy with the fake foreign accent. I used to have a crush on that character.
SPOILER!!! Close your eyes re Dracula!
How did Lucy survive 4 unscreened blood transfusions? That should've killed her deader than Un-Dead! She must have been AB+. Lucky her.
Hi, Katie! I've been doing audio books for a year or so now. It's increased my reading totals; and I get more housework done because I can "read" and clean at the same time! I agree that the narrator makes a real difference. I've only had a few that were really bad, but a really good one can make for a marvelous experience. Oddly, a narrator that a lot of folks were raving about over on the Audio Books group was one I didn't like. Of course, it was a book I didn't like, too . . .
I'm listening to Stephen King's Bag of Bones now -- narrated by the author. I do think scary books work well on audio -- hearkens back to ghost-story-around-the-campfire days. King isn't the world's most effective narrator, but there's something about hearing him read his own work, like being a kid and asking "Tell me a scary story, Uncle Steve!" Only this story is definitely not for kids!
I've heard the audio renditions of LOTR/Hobbit and Harry Potter are AMAZING! and only available in the UK. :p:p:p
How did Lucy survive 4 unscreened blood transfusions? LOL
That reminded me of a review for the movie Robocop where the only thing, apparently, that bothered the reviewer was his aim when he shot the man holding a lady through her legs. That was the only unbelievable part of the movie?
Yes!! The UK version of Harry Potter is read by Stephen Fry who is a genius. As well as being a brilliant audiobook reader! :)
I agree - amazing! He has the best voice, like settling down with an old friend for a natter. I do love Stephen Fry!
OMG! Why do they think HP read by Stephen Fry wouldn't be a hit in the US. Are they stoopid? We LOVE Stephen Fry here. I actually just returned a copy of Fry & Laurie to the library, and was half-tempted to cruise through youtube to see if I can find postable versions of some of their skits. I just love Fry's prim British lady character that says things deadpan like "I was so surprised to find out that my son's boyfriend is a homosexual." Okay, I'm not a huge HP fan, but I'd listen to it if Fry was reading.
& @51 - Fey reading Bossypants sounds great too. I heard an audio of one of Louis Black's books awhile a go, and you can't beat a comic reading their own work. No one else could do it.
#38 Dracula Mamzel, I'm so sorry they didn't do any fancy shooting in the book version. I would've loved to see Arthur shoot Drac between Lucy's legs. There was a little knife play, but nothing flashy enough for a Hollywood choreographer.
I'm glad I read Drac, but it was more of a historical curiousity for me than a good read. The tortured, ungrammatical language he used for van Helsing's sections drove me nuts. Mina's "shorthand" sections were pretty linguistically artless too. It's a great story, but the average native speaker of our century will never be able to read it with fresh eyes. I was wondering what it might have been like to read it then when the reader wouldn't know that Drac was going to be defeated and that only the girls were lunch and that all the good guys were really good guys. If I hadn't seen both the classic Dracula movie and Nosferatu, (SPOILER ALERT IF YOU'VE MANAGED TO AVOID ALL THE DRACULA MYTHOS UP TIL NOW) I might have been wondering why van Helsing was so close with his information. Mina is refreshingly intelligent for a book from that time period, but I have to admit, the repeated comments about her having a "man's brain" in a woman's body got on my nerves! - so this isn't really a review, just some reactions.
And #53 Hibernator, yes 4 different men - and SPOILER ALERT after Arthur goes on about feeling that the transfusion was their wedding, van Helsing/Jack can't remember which, does snicker to himself about Lucy being a polygamist then.
#39 In the Time of the Butterflies Not really sure what I think of this book. I liked it a lot. It's a historical fiction piece about 4 sisters who worked to put an end to Trujillo's dictatorship. Alvarez tried to de-deify these four women, and instead show their vulnerabilities and their longing to be with and protect their families. It is making me anxious to read The Feast of the Goat to compare the two. Same events, but I'm sure it is a completely different approach.
I'll be interested to find out what you think of The Feast of the Goat. I have been hanging on to those two books with the intent of reading them back-to-back(ish). I assumed that Alvarez would have a much more feminine storyline than Mario Vargas Llosa. Do the "butterflies" appear as characters in The Feast of the Goat? I didn't see them in the description...
I'm not sure if they appear or not. They did truly exist. I'm sure a feminine perspective versus a virile perspective is going to be a huge difference between the two. In Butterflies, there's also a repeated sense that if people had been braver, they could have stopped what happened. I'm sure the Vargas Llosa one will be much more scheming and cynical. Back to back is a good idea, but I've got some Early Review books that showed up, so it will be awhile until I can pick it up. The title The Feast of the Goat was explained in Butterflies. Goat is Trujillo of course, and his assassination was planned to take place on the feast day of the Virgin.
#40 The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Not always a plausible mystery, but very inventive and the narrator, young Flavia de Luce is wicked and funny - and smart enough to put a new twist on poison lipstick.
She is great escapism! & it was just what I needed.
& speaking of just what I needed, my Irish Water Spaniel friends have come through for me! A young man is needing a new home, so he'll be coming my way as soon as my foster dog is out of the cone of shame (neutered, poor boy!) The IWS is 2 years old now, and here is possibly one of his puppy photos. It's a photo from his litter, but it may not be him.
Thanks - he's a big boy now, but I'm sure he's still adorable at least up to 10, and he will liven up the place. His name is Sage - and from what I'm hearing it isn't "Sage" for sagacious. It's more like "Sage" will eat all the stuffing from your turkey dinner. After all it's "Sage stuffing" and therefore belongs to him.
"will eat all the stuffing from your turkey dinner"
Ah, one of those. :) Well, with eyes like that...
Yup - dogs would've gone extinct long ago if it weren't for their soulful eyes. :) And their cute fur and... Oh face it, they've got us humans wrapped around their paws.
My goodness! He is adorable. Just make some extra stuffing and share...
I finished "Sweetness" last weekend but haven't gotten around to updating my thread yet - too busy reading everyone else's. Maybe later today or tomorrow. I'll be continuing with the series.
I have a huge soft spot for spaniels as we tended to always have one as a family pet. Sage is a beautiful boy and I bet it will be hard not to spoil him!
@68&69 - I already bought him his first toy - a huge kong that can be stuffed with food. Turkey stuffing would work quite well. ;)
& yes, I'll be reading more of Flavia's stories. They are fun.
#41/42 The Well of Loneliness finishes off the classics section. Odd, I certainly didn't read the books I intended to for this category, but I did enjoy the ones that happened. The Well of Loneliness is a 3 1/2 star read for me, but it deserves a better rating if you're taking into account literary merits and bravery. It was a slow-going and at times painful depiction of life in the late 1800s/early 1900s of an "invert," the term for lesbian (or gay) of the time. The book was clearly a book of witness, that was meant to explain what a lesbian is and what their lives are like to a hetero audience. Radclyffe Hall must have had mixed feelings about it's reception. It was published, banned, argued about in the courts, confiscated - yet it sold well and is still available today, almost 100 years later. It's purpose was to gain more acceptance for lesbians, but it certainly didn't seem successful at its goal at first. Without her, though, we probably wouldn't be able to read books with lesbian characters who are simply a normal woman who loves another woman.
The book was well written, worth reading but had an oddly distant narration style. The overall effect was numbing - not mind numbing boredom - more numbing as in anesthetized. The book is filled with deep emotions of love, disillusionment, betrayal, rage and many other emotions but none of them are fully released on the page. Certainly, Stephen, our main character never allowed herself to fully experience her emotions. I'm sure this is deliberate, but it does create a book that is admirable but not a terribly pleasant read.
5 stars though for David, the Irish Water Spaniel in Paris. !!! Any book with an Irish Water Spaniel in it is fine by me - and there were quite a few quotes worth sharing with my IWS friends. Alas, David only frolicked through 1/4th of The Well of Loneliness. Certainly it was the best quarter of the book. :)
>21 I'm a bit behind (still working on the computer files, etc) but have you seen the movie "My Name is Khan"? The main character grows up with Asperger's and is undiagnosed until he is an adult and moves to the US to live with his brother & sister-in-law after his mother dies. It is a very moving story.
>71 I think that the whole "oddly distant narration style" is common for older literature. . . at least so far that is what I find/feel. Which is why I have been reading a "modern" book. . .
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
I haven't seen "My Name is Khan" but I've heard about it. Sounds like one to put on my netflix list.
& yes, that narration style is quite Victorian/Edwardian. I wonder what WoL would have felt like if it had been written in a more modern style. It seems out of date to me, and I keep thinking glbt has come a long way since then, but then I run into things that make me think I'm being naive. I'm reading Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation by Clarence B. Jones right now. It's one of my ER books. Clarence Jones was Martin Luther King, Jr's lawyer so he was involved in all the behind the scenes meetings, compromises and fundraising. Apparently one of the main people in the MLK's organization was a gay man who had been arrested for "morals violations) ie being gay. That wasn't that long ago, and it shocks me to realize that people served jail time for that within the last 100 years.
#43 Bellwether by Connie Willis I was expecting to love this book, but was disappointed by it. I'm not sure why. I was listening to it on audio and eventually got fed up with the exaggerated stupidity of flip, tired of the fad facts and tired of stupidity in general. I'm wondering if I would've preferred it if I read it, but I think I still would've felt these things were overdone. It's the kind of ridiculous geeky romp that I would usually love, a scientific setting with geek romance, trivia, sheep and a fairy godmother -- but ultimately it felt a bit overdone, under-researched, elitist/cynical and shallow. Sigh.
>73 Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation is one of my ER books too! I have found it very interesting so far.
>74 We are listening to The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak in the car and I was wondering the same this about it. One reason is that I am a very fast reader (normally) and audio books seem to take so much longer.
I still have two books by Connie Willis on my TBR shelf. . . things don't seem to be looking up for them being read anytime soon judging by how I felt about the 1st book I read of hers and what you said about the one you read. That and since it was payday I ordered a couple more books . . . the theme this week is french wine. French winre tours is an idea for our 'fantasy' French hotel. . . Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure might just be what I will be reading in bewteen chapters of The Well Of Loneliness.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
#44 I put this in my biography/autobiography/anthropology section, but am not sure it totally belongs there. Perhaps it should go in begged/borrowed/stolen. My ER book Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation by Clarence B. Jones has elements of biography (MLK), autobiography (Jones was MLK's lawyer and jack of all trades) or anthropology/social studies since it addresses race and economic issues and the activities of leaders and organizations of social progress. It doesn't have the fire that many books on MLK and the Civil Rights Movement have, but it is in a very real sense primary source material. Jones, I'm sure, has done much to change this country but what he has done has been of the backstage variety. He's clearly a very intelligent man, and I'd love to sit back and listen to him converse on the country today and matters that are important to him. My official review is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/10556019
Next ER book up is an historical fiction piece on the murder of Emmett Till. It's a great book to follow Behind the Dream but I'm afraid of it. I've seen a documentary on Emmett Till and know that if the book doesn't have some element of the horrific, it hasn't done justice for the Till family.
#45 Gathering of Waters Save your time and read Beloved and watch a documentary on Emmett Till instead. I wanted to like this one, and I don't feel comfortable making blunt, negative reviews in general. I think I'm the only one who hated it. My review is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/11692001/84523708
Doesn't it make you wonder sometimes, Katie, when everyone but you loves a book? For me, the book is A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. I never even finished it. Oh well - if we all liked the same book, we'd have less to read and talk about.
Hmm, A Moveable Feast is my favorite book of all and I reread it every few years (twice last year!), but I forgive you. : )
After all, if we all liked exactly the same books, only a few dozen would be published each year. And group read discussions would be boring.
Totally boring!!! I might like A Moveable Feast but I don't enjoy his spare style - but the main thing I didn't like was dead bulls and stuff like that. :)
Uh oh - I'm at the library just to get an address for Kindest Cut - Hobbit needs to see a vet to get one stitch out! - and there's a BAG SALE!!! Eek! At least Hobbit is in the car. That will hurry me up. ;)
#46 Finishing my adult science fiction category with Soulless - Fun, paw-filled romp through faux Victorian England. I enjoyed it, but am not going to run out to get the rest in the series. After all, there's no spots left in that category!
Wow, you keep to your categories so scrupulously. I just read whatever I want and hope it eventually works out. :) But then, I cheat and include each book in every category in which it fits. So far, my “other” category is the hardest to accumulate books in, because I don’t allow overlap for that one. Who knew I’d be struggling to read 12 “other” books this year?
Glad you enjoyed! But rather disappointed you're done with that category.....
I'm disappointed too. I still have my Diversicon category though which is all SF&F, and my new "awards" category can fit Nebula, World Fantasy Award, Tiptree, Campbell - I'll find a way to get more SF&F reading done.
Hibernator - I learned to make my categories nice and broad! & LOL as to Other being the problem, but look - my Begged/Borrowed/Stolen category is basically an "other" category, and I only have one book read in that one. Other can be tough!
Good question. My favorite of the adult sf was The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick. It's an old book, one year older and it would have qualified for my classics section. It was an odd book, kind of a precursor to Cyberpunk, that riffed on marketing trends, drugs, forced planetary colonialization and perception. It had a cyborg in it, but it predated the term "cyborg" so I at least didn't feel like I knew all about what the cyborg was like, about, or able to do. Much science fiction doesn't wear well, but this one did. Definitely worth reading.
Just finished Feeling Outnumbered. It was so short that I'm just going to group it with the other two short booklets by Karen London and Patricia McConnell that I read earlier. It's a crash course on how to manage a multi-dog household. This weekend, two Irish Water Spaniels (Sage and his sister Lobelia) are joining me and my foster dog. Sage is hopefully coming to stay, but Lobelia is just for a week to help him get adjusted. Hobbit doesn't mind one big brown curly dog, but he thinks two are going to steal everything good in life. Wish me luck!
I am puppy sitting this week, so 4 dogs - what fun! At least 3 of the 4 are litlle dogs, our house is too small for more then 1 big dog.
We snagged How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurection this month. Hopefully it comes without too much of a delay. Sorry you are done with your SF category. . . or congrats on finishing it??
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
I think you need to post a picture of everyone! Puppy Love!
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
How to Build an Android sounds great! I didn't look at the ERs this week. did I miss that one? Wah!!!
As for finishing the SF category, it's both sorry & congrats. I can sneak SF into a lot of the remaining categories, and certainly plan to do so.
I'll post pictures as soon as I get some that show the proper spirit of mayhem. & I do mean mayhem. Sage jumped up on the kitchen table last night. Greg said Sage thought it was a grooming table. ??? Looks to me like Sage has managed to avoid many a grooming table in his brief 2 years of existence. I think he thought it was a platform meant to help him look out the window.
Di, Enjoy your pack!!!
Another reason to have small dogs - table??
The Rehab Addict is having an open house today. We are tempted to go. But we have things to do, like find trim for the door that was put in like 3 years (maybe longer??) ago. Of course the big box stores don't carry it. So a salvaging we go! Sad that all of the Re-Use centers closed.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Enjoy your multi-dog household! As far as my cats are concerned, anything and everything can be a platform for them to look out the window....
LOL Dejah! I was thinking that. When we had a cat, that table was hers! She even had her own water glass on the table. I tried to train her to stay off tables, but wasn't getting any help. With a dog though, I think I'll have to keep my resolve!
Di - Good luck salvaging! There are so many things going on today. I'm finding it impossible to be all places at once. It's free comics day, and there's a library book sale at Southdale, & Walk for the Animals and No-Kill Walk for the Animals etc etc. Have fun!
We saw a cat in a bowl at one place. . . Bruce thought that he looked like Fat Louis from the Princess Diaries. They also had a very friendly dog. And lots of lovely stuff if you have a much older house then we do!
I have discovered if you have a house before the 50's you should be able to find stuff for it, 50's woodwork is not really something you can find too easliy.
We might have found a nice peice for the living room, but we forgot the tape measure. So will need to take some careful measurements and go back. Thankfully the one we want it missing a bottom door and the glass from the top doors and looks like it has been there for a awhile so it should still be there when we go back. Then there will be the issue of getting it home. Glass isn't an issue since I have lots of it. Maybe one day I will finish that Tiffany lamp in the basement . . .
Oh, I almost forgot! I found the doors from our old plant. (My work moved to Chaska and the old place was demolished.) It was weird/funny to find the old doors. I saw them from the back, so I was reading, Norhern Star and thought, huh, I wonder what building that came out of, then I saw the street number! They even still had the paper laminated signs that HR taped on about forgetting your access card. I of course took pictures and emailed them to my co-workers.
Hopefully you have had an enjoyable day as well!
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Ha ha!!! Finding the doors to your old work place is just too weird! I haven't worked in a place with doors nice enough to salvage. Sounds like a great day.
Walk for the animals was fun. It didn't rain until we got on the bus going home, & Hobbit mostly behaved. He did start play-bowing and jumping on every dog he could at about the 2-mile mark.
& now, I'm in purgatory. The IWSs are here, and the sister, who was supposed to be a calming influence, has decided that I am the devil. She won't go in her crate. I can't get a leash on her, so I don't know what I'm going to do about a potty break for her. She's known to jump fences. !!! But Sage is being a trooper. Probably because sister is here to protect him. :) Although to be honest, I think he's spent enough time with me that his fear has worn off. Hopefully by tomorrow she'll realize that if I planned to shove her in the oven or bake her into a pie, I would've done it already.
I'll pass too! Icky. Sage came around today and kissed me this morning and hovered a bit too close tonight while I was eating pizza. I'll keep him. :)
This is Sage teaching Hobbit a new pastime - chewing empty plastic bottles. Yum. (Sage is the dark brown dog. Hobbit is mostly white.)
I'm getting caught up on your thread. It appears that you currently have an amazing number of dogs in your home! Wow! That's awesome. We can barely handle one.
Just two. Lana was adopted by a nice woman who works out of her home - but really, two is plenty. Hobbit seems to think all the food and all the toys are not meant to be shared, but he can't figure out why stuff keeps landing in Sage's crate "by accident."
#47&48 The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters is a fun modern Gothic Romance. Like the traditional GR's it has a slow-moving start which turns into a grim steady pace that keeps you reading late into the night. But talk about an unreliable narrator - this is the kind of narrator Agatha Christie would've thought up. Very satisfying, creepy ending.
SPOILER: I was reading/listening to the book in the car, had 5 minutes to go and had to shudder when I got out of the car and saw my friend wearing a shirt that said "Trust me. I'm a doctor." END SPOILER
The people who said that if you liked The Woman in White you should read Sarah Waters were right.
A Dr. Who t-shirt?? :-)
"The angels have the phone box." That's my favorite. I've got that on a t-shirt!
-Larry Nightingale, "Blink"
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
It was actually a Dr. Seuss t-shirt, but Dr. Who would've been great. & my friend actually is a Dr.
You know, I have a hard enough time handling two cats. I'm not even sure I could handle ONE dog! :)
#105 - I agree! I had two cats for about 17 years (one was diabetic for the last 6 years of her life and needed insulin shots twice a day) and it was nowhere near the work of one neurotic (but loveable) hound dog! We found out he has epilepsy last September too, so that makes it even more of a challenge. (It is my lot in life to adopt animals with chronic, expensive health problems.) Dogs are fun though.
Dors - may all your future pets be incredibly healthy!!! I'm glad you took care of them. Not everyone does. :( & Sage is looking a bit neurotic. I'm totally in love with him, but he's jumping the fence to check out any dog that walks by on a leash. Argh!!!
Major computer malfunction!!! I'm now home computerless for some time, so perhaps I won't see you all so much here for awhile. :(
I'm totally hating this computer silence - I'm so tempted to just go impulse buy!!! Tech guy at work tells me it may just be the power supply though. :(
Hope your computer problems get solved quickly for you, there's nothing that can frustrate me more than a computer malfunction! We'll miss you till you get back.
I sent my computer home with a friend who has a computer wiz son. He plugged it in and it worked. He thinks my surge protector died and I just need to plug it in somewhere else. Yeah! I may be back on line soon, and certainly for less $ than I feared. :)
Your experience isn't as bad as that of my niece whose TV "died" earlier this year. After doing without for days she finally called in a repairman only to discover that she had just accidentally turned off the wall switch that controlled the electrical outlet.
I managed a tech support department for years, and would tell people that most problems can be resolved with three questions: (1) Is it plugged in? (2) Is it turned on? (3) Is it right-side up?
Indeed! The library's computers are in high demand at this time of the year. A student was sitting at a computer but not using it. When I asked her to move she snipped, "Well, it's not working any way!" The monitor's plug had loosened. All better!
That is one reason to have a surge protector with a light indicator on it. . . but yes, is it plugged in, is the outlet working, is it turned on are all good questions to ask . . . we have similar issues with the radios at our convention, the headsets might look like they are plugged in, but really are not.
Of course if you have a chewer you might also want to check the cords! Not that I am talking from experience or anything . . . but there is a reason why we switched to wireless internet.
We will all be keeping our fingers crossed that the solution is really that simple!
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Personal experience has taught me that sometimes devices just need a little rest. Turning them off completely and then starting them up again a half hour later usually works for me.
Yes, thank heavens for geeky kids!!! I'll be baking cookies sometime this weekend to send as a thank you. Mom insists that I don't get him a gift card, even one to a place that sells used computer parts.
& I have a friend who used to do tech support to, so I knew to ask "is it plugged in" first. It was the surge protector - but only one socket in it. All the other sockets work. So obviously, one socket died in the line of duty. I can deal with that!
Chewing??? My house??? - Leaving the plastic recycle bin in dog reach seems to have channeled the chewing to preferred items. :) They think it's a toy box.
What is everyone planning to read this weekend? I'll be finishing Do over dogs for obvious reasons (basement has become private poo palace) and then will start Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment Camps.
Getting caught up here and happy to learn your computer woes were restricted to a faulty surge protector!
@124 Thanks Lori! A batch of cookies is just my price range for computer repair. ;)
#49 Do Over Dogs: Give Your Dog a Second Chance for a First Class Life (Dogwise Training Manual) I just finished writing a
Oh well, the review is lost so I'll have to tell you in a few brief words, the book is very useful if you are working with a dog that is coming to you with some baggage. However, the section on resource guarding covers dog-human resource guarding well but doesn't offer a training plan for dog-dog guarding. Which is what I need. But which also isn't too surprising. After all, I'm asking the book to teach me how to make a dog share... when I won't share my Ben & Jerry's with anyone! Not even my dogs!
Good luck with the dog sharing thing. I always wondered if it was their way of controling their world. You know, they had no control over anything in their previous life so this is how they get it. I only say that since none of the dogs I got as puppies have had this issue (maybe I have just been lucky. . . )
I hope to work on the gardens (if the weather co-operates & if the ground isn't too wet) and catch up on my 75 book challenge (just a tiny bit beind.)
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
I think you hit on the secret - they have to learn to share as puppies. Once they've been out on the streets for awhile, it's a really tough proposition.
Looks like today might be a garden day, although it's probably an even better day to set up a goldfish pond. :) Good luck with the book challenge!
#00 - Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment This is one of the earliest books on my wishlist, and it got there because I was intrigued by an lt member's comments on a challenge thread. He had said the photos were great but the essays that went with it were only mildly interesting. I'll have to say, I found my mind wandering while I was reading too so I didn't finish reading it, but of course, I looked at all the photos and they are great. I only wish some of them had been reproduced larger. There was a lot of white space on the photo pages. That seemed a waste.
We took the long-term (which is to say lazy) strategy with our dogs. One had been starved & then food used as a way get her near so that she could be beaten by her former owner. So there were Issues. We simply kept seperate bowls in seperate rooms & kept them both full at all times. Over time, we were able to get them to share a single bowl, although it is still kept full (I have an unreasonable fear of gastric torsion).
This method took years, but it did work.
Does it work to feed the dominant dog first?
I'm not sure which dog is dominant? They take turns intimidating each other, which is probably a good thing. Your poor dog!!! - and as for fears of torsion, it's a real fear. I've heard mixing water in with the kibble helps - but they also need the hard kibble for their teeth.
I tried throwing Sage's breakfast into his open crate. He's got crate issues. Then I took Hobbit outside to work for his food (sits, downs, & shake). Sage decided to whine at the window instead of finishing his breakfast, and then acted surprised and snarky when Hobbit ran into the crate and finished the meal.
I'm thinking a lot of hand feeding side-by-side might help.
I'm #177 on the waiting list for Wolf Hall. Do ya think I'll get it in time for the group read in June??? For those of you who have read it, is it worth spending some of my limited cash resources on? considering I have around 300 unread books in the house.
Hi! I'm glad you got your computer issues worked out. I might check out the Do Over Dogs book, as it sounds like it might help with Geezer. We're still trying to figure out some stuff, especially the separation anxiety problem.
Have a great holiday weekend!
Unless there's a clearly dominant dog, I'd guess whichever dog was the most recent addition is at the bottom of the dominance hierarchy. I know this sounds silly, but I always feed my dominant cat first...the younger one stands aside and waits.
132 Hope you have a great weekend too! Do Over Dogs might help with the anxiety issue. I'm thinking Sage has a mini version of that. I've started him on Prozac & will let you know if it helps.
@133 That would work except #1 is a foster and #2 is permanent. And I don't want either of them thinking they can boss around the other. So far it seems to be the possession law. Whoever has the object at the moment is the one with the right to it, and also the most vocal too. Cats seem to have more respect for hierarchy than these dogs do. Although my old boy demanded a certain respect that neither Sage or Hobbit can.
#131 - I would say so, but you might want to check used book stores before shelling out for a new copy. I've seen copies at local Half Price Books stores. They have stores in your area, I believe, and everything is 20% off today.
I second Steven's suggestion that you check and see if the used book stores in your area have a copy. The copy I will be reading is a used one.
I think that Rachel is right about the most recent pet being dominant. At least, that's how it worked in our house--with a cat/dog mix.
137 Rachel is right - it's just this is an oddball case. The first dog is under a year old and has only been here about 6 weeks. The second dog is 2 years old and has been here 3 weeks (but only mine for 1). Usually a mature dog outranks one under a year old. So complicated!
I think I'm going to resort to feeding 1st dog (Hobbit) first, simply because I'm feeding them in their crates. Hobbit is smaller and his crate is too small for Sage to get into. If I feed Sage first, Hobbit can try to squoosh into the big crate too. Two dogs in one crate = very bad thing!
As to Wolf Hall, I walked Sage to my used bookstore on the corner. They thought Sage was very cute, but laughed when I asked for a used copy of Wolf Hall. They have a 5 person waiting list, and he says he hasn't seen a single used copy yet. As for half-price books during big sale, aroo!!!! What a bad idea! Almost as dangerous as a library booksale. I got hit bad!
The Power of Positive Dog Training
Your Adopted Dog
The Dog Listener
- Mine! on resource guarding has been requested through interlibrary loan.
Out from Boneville
Ella Minnow Pea
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Fortunately, most of these books were off the $3 and under cart. :)
And no Wolf Hall. Fortunately a friend has agreed to loan me her copy. !!!! Thanks friend!!!
Don't give up on Wolf Hall, I found a used copy at the local FOL sale. I've sneeked a peek at the first chapter and I think it's going to be really good.
Copy of Wolf Hall is on its way to me! A friend is sending me their copy. :)
@140 I've seen nothing but great reviews of Oscar Wao - it was a tough pick because I realized I only had one slot left for my Caribbean books - 3 left to read, and I have 1 book from a friend, and 1 at home for that category. Oops, two. I forgot I have Wide Sargasso Sea too. :( Too many books! Perhaps I can slip one into my prize winners category.
#50 in Begged/Borrowed/Stolen - a friend loaned me Aids and Accusation by Paul Farmer for my Caribbean category, but it doesn't really fit there. Farmer wasn't born in the Caribbean, and that category is for books written by people of that culture; not books by others about the culture. I've found books by and books about have a completely different feel. Aids and Accusation is about the AIDS epidemic in Haiti, what caused it, what circumstances surround it, how it has effected Haiti's economy and international status. It was quite interesting, and covered the history of Haiti from the now extinct Tainos, through the slave rebellion and into the 90s. The AIDS virus got into Haiti through tourists, and although Haiti is perceived to be the hotbed of AIDS in the Western Hemisphere, it actually does not have the highest incidence. Interesting information, but I found the book a bit tedious to read at times even though it did follow the personal lives of three people.
Wolf Hall arrived! Happy dance! It looks good.
#51 Eternity and Other Stories by Lucius Shepard - this is how I got into Lucius Shepard. I was going to the World Fantasy Convention being held in Madison and had read that he was going to be there. Then I went to a bookstore signing of Octavia Butler's. Not many people came (she was doing another signing in a bigger bookstore the next day) so I got to talk to her one-on-one for quite a while. Lucky me!!! We talked about WisCon, and I mentioned world fantasy and that Lucius Shepard was going to be there (I never actually found him at the con) and she got excited enough that I knew I had to pick up a copy of his book. So I left the store with a signed copy of Fledgling and Eternity and Other Stories. I've picked at the book for a period of years. The stories are novellas, and it isn't the sort of collection you want to bolt down whole. Excellent collection of psychological horror. Most of the stories were based on contemporary events, and sometimes the fantastical element was very tiny. He seems fascinated with religion as a social construct, and specializes in situations where human power has elevated a person beyond human status. More food for thought than scary. I'll certainly be reading more of his work.
>140 Just to bring your expectations down to a reasonable level: I wasn't convinced by The brief and wonderous life of Oscar Wao. Loved the bits where I learned more about Trujillo's regime, but many other parts of the book fell a bit flat for me. It felt very much like a Pulitzer winner - which isn't automatically a good thing IMHO.
As for computer support telling me to check if the cord is plugged in, it drives my absolutely nuts. But it HAS turned out to be the remedy on a copule of occasions. Blush.
@144 Thing is, I did do the stuff computer support tells you to do. Turn it off and on, unplug it and replug it - it didn't occur to me that one stinking plug in a functional power strip could've caused all that!!! Oh well - it just cost me a batch of cookies. :)
Good warning on Brief and Wonderous - I don't always like Pulitzer prize winners either. Confederacy of Dunces? Please! Give me a break!!! That book, IMHO, was best put to use as a dog chew toy! & it won a Pulitzer?
145 Oh, I loved A confederacy of dunces (even if I was seventeen at the time, might feel different now). And The Road. And so on. But there sometimes seem to be a "Tall-ish tale with strong and colorful setting in some corner of the States" that comes across as a little formulaic to me. Mambo Kings is a good example. A meh book if there ever was one - to me. I'm sure that's a difficulty with all prizes. They tend to get kind of stuck in their criteria after a while.
>145 - I'll bet though that you might save a bunch of us aggravation. I know that's something I would never have thought of either - but now I will!
Confederacy of Dunces was just really annoying to me. I couldn't stand the characters...even though I was MEANT to not like the characters it bothered me! I liked The Road reasonably well, though I didn't think there was anything particularly amazing about it. It wasn't a new theme, it didn't surpass genre boundaries, it was good--and that's that. I think I would have liked it more if it hadn't been hyped.
See, I wasn't sure we were meant to hate the main character in Confederacy of Dunces. He was a bit of a loser, yes, but I was reading him as a thinly disguised portrait of the author himself. I thought we were supposed to appreciate how clever the loser was in his attempts to be lazy and loser-like. That may have just been me. & I can totally see how it would appeal to adolescent boys, no offense Gingerbreadman! 17 seems the perfect age to read that book.
Mambo Kings - I never read it, but saw the movie & know I wouldn't like the book if it is at all like the movie. It was Antonio Banderas's first US movie and I remember, when his character died, my friend and I looked at each other and said "we may as well leave now."
& I think you're right about the prize perhaps getting stuck in it's own criteria, but I think it's an expectation rather than an actual "criteria." Apparently to be eligible for the fiction award, someone (anyone) has to enter the book and pay $50. The following is straight from their website:
What books are eligible for consideration? Books first published in the United States during 2012. All entries must be made available for purchase by the general public in either hardcover or bound paperback book form. In the Fiction, Biography and General Nonfiction categories, authors must be United States citizens. In the History category, the author may be of any nationality but the subject of the book must be U.S. history. In the Poetry category, the award is for original verse by an American author.
It's pretty wide open. If it said the award was for "excellence in the portrayal of American lifestyles" then I'd grumble about Confederacy, but I'd understand why it won. But that would put The Road on shaky ground, since it shows a future lifestyle that hasn't come to pass. I haven't read The Road but from what I've seen, I'm willing to back Hibernator's assessment. I've had and will have categories in this challenge that are for a specific prize. I find it interesting because you do see that there is an often unwritten specific quality that the prize is all about. Hmmmm.
I think that much of the reason books like A Confederacy of Dunces receive awards and attention is that they are experimental or they approach the novel in an untraditional way. The authors are willing to take big risks in how they say things and in what they say and that is what is being appreciated instead of, say, how well the plot holds together or the how sympathetic the main character is.
That said, I still hated Vernon God Little.
I haven't read Vernon God Little. I'll avoid that one! If the point of the Pulitzer is to award books that portray a slice of the US, I've heard Confederacy actually did a great job portraying New Orleans during a certain time. That doesn't mean I liked it. I much prefer Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which came close to winning a Pulitzer.
I've been remiss in keeping up with everyone the past couple of weeks so I'm stopping in now. I started CoD a few years ago and quickly gave up on it. Don't see myself going back to it any time soon. I read Wolf Hall last year. I think it was one of the reasons I have gotten back into historical fiction in a big way. Enjoy! I hope to win the sequel in the Early Reviewers but competition was stiff and I was not lucky.
I have missed a lot of very entertaining discussion! And I am quite intrigued at the Japanese internment photos -- I am going to have to look for that book. How did the approach of feeding Hobbit first work?
153&154 - I know! So many good discussions, so little time!!! I'm definitely enjoying Wolf Hall but know when it's time to review it, I won't know what to say! I'm glad I know about the Borgias, and love the way they slip in stuff about Thomas's Italian past without going into much detail. I've got a vintage Britannica that includes the name of Cesare Borgia's chief poisoner and his garrote man. I can see Thomas on that payroll.
The Japanese Internment photos are very interesting. I hope you can find a copy. It was an ER a year or so ago, and I found it on my library shelves.
As for feeding Hobbit first, in the crate works. One day, I fed Sage first in his crate #2 which isn't near Hobbit's crate, so I scattered Hobbit's food on the kitchen floor by the water dishes and waited for him to finish before I let Sage out. Mistake!!! Hobbit decided that even though all the food was eaten, the kitchen floor was his turf and worth guarding.
They seem to be working some stuff out on their own though. I had them at a friend's house, and they found the resident dog's rawhide. Resident dog decided she was done with it. Hobbit found it, but Sage dug it out so he got first chew. When he walked away from it, Hobbit pounced on it and growled whenever Sage came near but Sage just ignored him.
As for them getting along, we were at a dog adoption event yesterday where the forever dogs were welcome too. Basically they ran around in the front yard while we ran a garage sale to raise money for the rescue. One of the rescue dogs (Corgi mixed with German Shepherd or something? Oddest thing. Looks like Corgi on steroids) started talking smack to Sage, and Hobbit intervened and told the Corgi-mix to back off. Good boy, Hobbit! He was saying "I'm the only one who can pick on my big brother."
Regarding the low opinion many seem to have of the Pulitzer, you might be interested in this comparison of awards I posted to "The Prizes" group. It seems LT members rate Pulitzer winners higher than the winners of any other major awards. I was really surprised myself.
>156 Thank you so much for that thorough work - very very interesting! I don't know most of these awards, sadly. If you ever feel inclined to expand your statistic, I think it would be pretty interesting to see how the Nobel compares (I'm pretty sure it won't make the top), and also some of the major sci-fi/fantasy awards - where I have a hunch we'd see some rather high rankings. Which might say more of the tastes of us LT-ers than anything else, but still.
Re 156 - very interesting indeed, especially the difference between awards.
I have A Confederacy of Dunces and Vernon God Little on my TBR pile, the former came in a 10 pack of Penguin Classics I bought a few years ago and the latter I bought cheaply in a charity shop. Neither have jumped out to be read, but are there because they are both on the 1001 list. Might leave them for a while longer.
As for Wolf Hall, I may have to break my buying books moratorium (again!), it really looks up my street.
156 Wow Steven! That's really an interesting link. & the fact that none of the awards rank into the 4s which may something about the diverse tastes on LT, or it could say something about the awards. I'd never heard of a lot of the highest ranked books.
@157 It would be interesting to see the rankings on the science fiction & fantasy awards and the mystery awards, especially since the way many of those books are chosen is quite different. Many of those awards are linked to a popular convention, books can be nominated by anybody and the winner is determined by a poll of the convention attendees. I'm assuming that many of the major literary awards are chosen by a few judges that read tons and tons of books during the year. I know the Tiptree award is done by a combination of open nominations and judges reading. One of the SF awards, I think the Nebula which is awarded by SFWA, has a few judges read until they think their eyes are going to pop out. Then the judges debate.
Speaking of SFWA, Ray Bradbury just passed. Here's a link. http://www.sfwa.org/2012/06/rip-ray-bradbury-1920-2012/ I didn't like a lot of his work, but Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all-time favorite books & as for "The Veldt" I read it in 5th or 6th grade and still remember it very, very well.
Soffita - yes, you should break down and get Wolf Hall. Last I looked, the waiting list was 205 long at my library. It's a complex book and quite historically accurate. Much of it is based on a journal one man kept about the relationship between Wolsey (cardinal during Henry VIII's break with the Catholic church) and Thomas Cromwell - not Oliver the roundhead. There's a tutored read in the 75ers here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/137481
Wolf Hall is worth owning. It's long and complex and you'll finish it thinking that you'd quite like to read it again one day.
Ok, FINE. . . Wolf Hall is going on the wish list. I didn't before since there were so many reveiwers who didn't like it. . .
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
You mean reviews like this one? http://www.librarything.com/work/9209435/reviews/84684891 ?? The use of "he" bit has gotten lots of commentary on our group read, and I'll agree that it does make it a bit confusing. I'm still enjoying it though, and didn't realize I had more rolling heads to look forward to. Shouldn't surprise me though. My question is, and perhaps Mantel will answer it, how can one person have been favored by so many diverse people. Was he a mirror? Was he slimy? Two-faced? Good at not taking sides? Good at ducking? He should've been executed/assassinated/killed in the crossfire long before he actually died.
". . . Martel's language is like being in a revolving door that is spinning too fast - I think I'm entering the book only to find myself spit out again. Martel is in love with being clever at the expense of clarity, and I am not impressed. . ."
" . . . The author pretentiously disposes of pronouns frequently - so the reader is left wondering who is talking/thinking. Not worth the reading time and certainly not worth the money. "
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Ah - I see where those comments are coming from, but I think it may also show a lack of patience on the part of the reader. Eco said about The Name of the Rose that he wanted the reader have to work through the language because it suited his subject matter. Martel isn't too worried about clarity, but I will say she developed her style to get to a certain effect.
#52 in the Spanish Language section. La Maquina Del Tiempo by HG Wells and adapted into a graphic novel by Terry Davis. It was a quick little read. I read it while waiting for my charge at the library. It was enjoyable, but I found it a little odd that an English man was speaking Spanish to future humans who have evolved into short, childlike cattle but he was still understood.
#53 finishes my category on the mind, animal and human. Alas, I never got to any of the books on humans because this year I've badly needed a little extra dog advice. Maybe in 2013, I can break them into two separate categories.
Jean Donaldson is a well-respected dog trainer, but I'm a little reluctant to recommend her works to someone who is not really into the dog training world. Her book Culture Clash is considered a classic in the field. It's quite entertaining and informative, but it crosses the line into a rant more than once. Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding is the book I just finished reading. It was a quick, but tedious read designed for dog behavior consultants. It addressed resource guarding from humans quite systematically, but alas never addressed resource guarding by a dog from other dogs -- which is my problem. :(
As for the category, the best book in the lot was Do-Over Dogs by Pat Miller. I'm impressed with Miller's thorough writing style, and am totally in her camp training-wise. I picked up a copy of her Power of Positive Dog Training on a sale day at Half-Price Books. I'm looking forward to reading it... next year.
Arooo!!! Sage thinks the basement is the place to poo. Hobbit herded a person (minor scratch to woman) so he's on quarantine, which means he's not allowed out of the yard, and even that has to be on a leash. He's decided he's not supposed to go to the bathroom on a leash... so his potty training is completely ruined, and worse actually. He's sneaky about going to the bathroom. At least a puppy isn't sneaky.
But the dogs have developed a "possession is 9/10ths of the law rule" so there is much more peace in the house. Sage refused to enter his crate to eat breakfast today, so I locked the crate for awhile, tried again. Then after a polite length of time, Hobbit ate Sage's breakfast and Sage only looked quite dismayed, and then looked at me "My breakfast!" Then he got a rawhide and ate it to show Hobbit he had something better. Hobbit just kept eating Sage's breakfast. ... So at least the resource guarding is improved!
As for the human in the house, I'm going nuts!
Ha! Emmie considers the deck as officially outside, and we're just so happy it's not indoors, even if we have to be hyper vigilant about scooping.
Meatloaf ate 2/3s of a pizza yesterday. By the time his misdeed was discovered, he'd forgotten about it entirely. That was my fault, though. It was left on the countertop alone. He has made me into quite a tidy person.
I'm glad the food guarding thing is working itself out. In a year, they'll be fine. ; )
Icky! The deck! & I'm thinking Sage is hoping to have pizza for breakfast. Hah!!! He lost his chance at breakfast.
Icky, yes, but technically outdoors. She's not good at nuance. But she's very, very good at licking. And letting kids hug her.
We have the same issue with the deck once in a while. I wait and watch, if she comes right back onto the deck I know to watch yell at her right away before she actually does anything. But if it is the hubby he has to go out and chase her off. . . hmm. . I wonder who is the alpha dog in our house??
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
LOL!!! Bruce not alpha??? My "deck" isn't much of a deck, and isn't convenient enough for them to be tempted. Sage did well today. Outside!!! & on Friday, Hobbit gets to start all over with potty training.
Kisses & hugs are definitely good qualities in a dog. It makes us forgive all sorts of transgressions. :)
Thank goodness Gracie doesn't like the deck. She does like to herd though. One time we had friends for dinner and were out on the deck with her watching us from across the yard. One lady asked to use the bathroom and she followed us in. I pointed out the bathroom and Grace decided to waited outside the bathroom door to "escort" her back to the deck. She then went across the yard and lay down to continue and watch us.
Wow! That's a smart dog. Obsessive perhaps, but smart.
We are really hoping to find a person to adopt Hobbit that has something with hooves to herd. He's a bit to rough for herding children or guests.
Hi Katie - It seems like you read a lot of dog books, so I thought I'd ask: Do you have a recommendation for a basic training guide for an older dog who is not particularly food-motivated (book or DVD series)? He was a disaster in the obedience class last summer, so we've been trying to do stuff on our own.
@176 If your dog isn't motivated by food, you want to figure out what does motivate him. Food is great because it is fast (try cheese, hamburger, liverwurst for super high-value) but tug games, tennis balls, squeaky toys, high pitch voices, walks etc work. Tug can easily be paired with a clicker.
Do-over dogs is great for addressing issues dogs may already come with, but for a basic book look at books by Ian Dunbar or try Sophia Yin's How to Behave so Your dog behaves. I haven't read the Yin book yet, but I've looked over it and it comes highly recommended by dog trainers I know and trust. Good luck! You can private message me if you've got specific training questions.
#177 - Thank you! I just reserved the first and put the second on my wishlist. The choice of dog training books is overwhelming, and I much appreciate the advice!
@178 It is overwhelming, and there are some bad ones out there. I'd hate for you to be reading stuff that says you should alpha-roll your old boy.
#54-55 Wolf Hall Since this book is a definite door stopper, it counts as two. Most people who know about Wolf Hall know it received the Man Booker prize in 2009, but don't know it was the inaugural winner of the Walter Scott Prize in 2010. Walter Scott is believed to be the first person to write historical fiction, and his ancestors started this award in his honor. If it weren't for the long short list, one might think the award was created just for Wolf Hall. ;)
SPOILER: as for the name Wolf Hall, someone on our group thread questioned why that name. After all, we don't spend much time in wolf hall, and saying that you have to be a wolf to be a courtier doesn't cut it for me. I'm thinking Wolf Hall is not only the den of incest, it's the home of wife #3 who is perhaps Cromwell's next project? After all, Anne isn't terribly suitable.
Well.... I was intrigued enough to read your spoiler even though I haven't finished - have hardly begun -to read Wolf Hall. Good question and one I will keep in mind as I continue to work my way through the book!
You all got me thinking about the title so I looked to see if there was anything about it on Wikipedia. There was:
The title comes from the name of the Seymour family seat at Wolf Hall or Wulfhall in Wiltshire; the title's allusion to the old Latin saying "Man is wolf to man" serves as a constant reminder of the dangerously opportunistic nature of the world through which Cromwell navigates.
Hilary Mantel originally planned to tell Cromwell's story in a single volume, but it grew into a trilogy. I wonder if Wolf Hall wasn't the planned title for the original 1-volume work where it might have been more self-explanatory, but was retained just as the title of the first volume because it has obvious symbolic appeal.
@181 So many good questions to keep in mind while reading Wolf Hall. It's definitely one that would reward a reread (after a crash course of history.) Steven and Mamzel, thanks! Good thoughts. Definitely plenty of predatory behavior in the book, and sadly, that wasn't made up. Like the movie Hotel Rwanda, I have the feeling a lot of the violence of the actual historic events were left out to make it more palatable, for lack of a better term.
>172 Our dog is also called Gracie! But she is a lap dog, no herding tendencies for her.
>184 I am reading The Divorce of Henry VIII: The Untold Story from Inside the Vatican and I can't help thinking how differently things are/seem now.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
@185 That would be an interesting book to pair with Wolf Hall. It's hard to believe how deeply H8's actions affected British society. I'm sure it shook up the Vatican too.
#56 1st 1/2 of Teeth: Vampire Tales. This is a YA collection of stories with vampires, not vampire romances. So far, I'm impressed with how original most of the stories are. Vampires are such the rage right now that I expected to feel deja vu-ish about the collection. Pleasant surprise.
Sad thing though is I started reading Three Messages and a Warning which I expected to be really unique and original. It's being a bit deja vu for me, but the last story I read in it today was fantastic.
Hi Katie, I'm always looking for addition to my Monster Mash category and Teeth: Vampire Tales sounds like one I should consider. I am also trying to expand my reading genres and short stories is one I often neglect.
Hehe! Yes, it would work well in a Monster Mash - most of the stories aren't really horror, but they do have blood suckers and plot twists.
Haha - I came to check by on all you, my challenge friends, last night when I was at the 3/4 mark of a 13 hour pca/babysitting stint. I was on the kid's computer that had "net nanny" on it - and more than 1/2 of you were blocked! For alcohol, weapons, language, mature content. Henry VIII is certainly mature content. I had no idea we were such a wild bunch!!! I didn't check to see if I could get to my own thread. I should've. Rats! Next time.
> 190 - LOL, who would have thought! It is nice to know that net nanny does its job.... as someone with no kids of my own I have always wondered just how effective those screening software tools really are.
Well, the kids do find ways around it ... like convincing older brother that he doesn't have to log off.
That is really funny - although I doubt I was one of the blocked ones, I'm feeling very dangerous right now! :)
#57 Three Messages and a Warning This is a collection of Mexican Science Fiction and Fantasy. I was really, really looking forward to it ever since Kelly Link announced that they were going to publish it. I liked the collection, but not as much as I had expected too. As SF&F, the stories were very conservative - playing with the fantastic less than your average Garcia Marquez or Allende novel. Many were folklore based, the ghost story etc. Many of them were metafiction, fiction about fiction. I'm scheduled to do a panel discussion on this and I've got no idea what I'm going to say!!! I tagged a bunch of stories that I really liked that I will read again, but discussing them as a whole??? And in relation to what I know about Mexican culture and movies??? Yikes! Can I hide under a rock?
Good luck with your panel discussion! I don't know enough about Mexican culture or Mexican Science Fiction and Fantasy to do more then just provide peripheral support.
Thanks! I don't think there actually is much Mexican Science Fiction and Fantasy. Plenty of horror and ghost stories, but that's sort of different.
oh good luck! Sounds fun (I am sure you will be fine).
I quite enjoyed Three Messages and a Warning (loved “Photophobia") but most didn't stick out as Mexican stories which I guess is good as I probably have a terribly stereotypical view of Mexico (I know so little about it!) :)
clifsha - I think you've got a point. US natives (Mexicans are Americans too, as are Canadians) have a strange view of Mexican culture as being drug cartels, calaveras (skeletons), poor farmers, masked luchadores, La Llorona, chupacabras and iguanas. Not a single iguana in this batch! But no mariachis??? I used to joke that it wasn't a Mexican movie if a Mariachi didn't show up somewhere. - Even very modern movies like Matando Cabos (Killing Cabos) sneak a personalized love song in their somewhere. I think viewers/readers from the US enjoy those things that are so very *Mexican* and want them to keep doing it. - Like a kid who wants you to repeat that favorite story over and over until you are sooooooo sick of it.
Their love of ghost stories and the influence of Catholicism though is in a lot of the stories. Photophobia was cool. I loved the "Wolves" and "Pink Lemonade" and several others. "Pink Lemonade" seemed particularly Mexican to me - the desire to feed people and help people out feels to me to be a part of their culture, and the Cienfuego (Cuban General) look-alike in a Monsanto building brings a great depth to that story on the political/conceptual level - besides the obvious. Monsanto has been splicing genes from bacteria (and perhaps other sources) into their seeds to make them resistant to pests, and to Round-up which is a pesticide they sell. They are very much in the fore-front of GMO food and certainly have many plants in Mexico.
Sorry that Three Messages and a Warning was somewhat disappointing. I'll probably skip that one - not a big fan of ghost stories. Good luck on your panel discussion!
Thanks Dors! I'll need that luck! Even their ghost stories are a bit different from ours. We have the picking up a hitchhiker on the road ghost story. They have it to, but in theirs, they drop the ghost off at the church where the woman was supposed to have had her wedding but died right before it. :)
Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo is a Mexican ghost story that is considered one of that country's greatest works of literature. It would be classified as magical realism rather than horror. You won't find any of the cultural chichés you mentioned, at least not that I recall.
That's a tricky one, having to lead a panel without really connecting to the work - I wish you all luck. I'm sure you'll do brilliantly!
Thanks Steven. I'll have to read Pedro Páramo before the panel. It's been on my WL for awhile. Was planning it for next year when I'm going to focus on Mexico instead of the Caribbean. It sounds like I should move it up though. My other favorite Mexican "ghost" novel is Aura by Carlos Fuentes.
@203 Thanks GBM! It is going to be a bit hard - I really feel I need to walk in with a plan and some research done. :)
Oh! Sorry to hear Fuentes died. Aura is really a novela, so you probably did read the whole thing. He was really good at writing short fiction, especially with creepy controlling older women.
The panel sounds really interesting, good luck! I will be checking out the books you mentioned, always looking for good lit from the Spanish-speaking world.
Thanks soffita! I love Fuentes writing. Hope you enjoy it. Next year, I'm going to change my Caribbean category to Mexico - so I'll be reading more Fuentes, probably Bolano and anyone else I can find. I'm totally looking forward to it.
A reading group friend of mine in Mexico City recently recommended three Mexican women authors you may want to keep in mind when you get around to selecting your Mexican reading. (I know it's early, but I'll forget if I don't mention this now.) They are: Elena Garro, Carmen Boullosa, and Josefina Vicens. All three are available in English translation.
Thanks!!! It is early, but I'm already keeping my eyes open when I'm in bookstores. After all, I've bought something to fill every slot for this year already. I'm especially on the lookout for Latinas because the men have dominated Spanish literature for centuries.
Book 58/59 finishes up the Diversicon Guests category. Joplin's Ghost was written by this year's guest of honor. Sad to say, I was disappointed by it. Well written and researched, but it dragged. I loved the sections in Scott Joplin's time, but I never really wanted to hang out with rappers. And of course, I wanted more of the haunted piano.
Best book of the category was written by this year's co-GoH and Tananarive's husband Steven Barnes. Great Sky Woman
Oh, dear. I just got this book a few weeks ago. Too funny that we both got it.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
I got it from the library, so no great loss. It looks like tons of people love it. I just didn't have the patience to weed through what bored me to get to the good bits. & I really don't care what Marianne Faithful did or did not do with a Mars bar.
I can never understand the wanting to do stuff like that. . .
Hey any big plans for summer 2014 or maybe 2015? I think it would be a hoot to try fotrally. The US needs some representatives. We could pick a couple long audio books to listen to, and make special LT fotrally t-shirts. I'm not saying that we do the whole thing but just over 12.5 hours should put us in the top 75 if it is anything like this year. Of course just showing up would be an adventure and an acheivment for two old ladies from Minnesota!
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
LOL! It would be an adventure. & if we couldn't make it to Sweden, we could start up our own version on the Superior Hiking Trail. Then we'd have the deer flies the size of helicopters to contend with.
But no traveling toilet. I think that's the key to the success of the whole thing.
I am sure that we could find a truck and trailer that we could strap a port-o-potty to . . . though they seem a little precarious when they are on solid ground, so I am not sure how it would be while moving. But it would certainly be an adventure!
There are 32 trails on former railroads in MN that are suitable for walking and are over 20 miles long. One in the Twin Cities is - Lake Minnetonka and Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail and is 27 miles long. It looks like the Superior Hiking Trail is the longest at 220 miles, but probably not civilized enough for this. . . I think someplace where we can easily be rescued by someone in a car would be nice. . .
I am really starting to see some fun training possibilities. Just think of all the trails we could check out. And the puppies would love it! (Well except for our older dog, she would have to stay at home, or at base camp with the hubby.) Now I wish that I had a trailer hitch and a teardrop trailer for camping. It would be fun to drive somewhere on a Friday, set up camp, spend Saturday on our walk, Sunday recovering and Monday going back home. Of course if it was close enough, we could be home on Sunday night. There are some many places to go in MN.
We will have to check out the Swedish Immigrant Trail when it is done. It is supposed to be a 20 mile, multi-use hard surface trail in Chisago County.
Must look for books on walking . . . besides The Long Walk!
(Bruce's evil twin:-))
:) Sounds like a plan! & if we get a trailer hitch, we can put a dog bed on it and your old dog can travel in style. & if my day chasing after a 10-year-old at the zoo is any indication, I need to get into training now for 2014. :)
Speaking of dogs, Sage and I are taking a behavior class called "Changing Attitudes." The hope is that it will help Sage become a brave boy instead of the quivering mound of curls he is now. The suggested reading list for this class is endless, so I'm going to reopen my category #8 - Animals, including humans. I'm over halfway through Scaredy Dog and have Control Unleashed on request through interlibrary loan. I'm trying really hard to keep the class from becoming an excuse to go browse Amazon and Half-Price Books.
You will have to let us know all about the class and the books. As I am sure you are aware small dogs fequently have those issues.
We stopped at 1/2 Price on the way home from the monthly breakfast in Maplewood. Surprisingly enough we only got 5 new cook books. I also got Pathways Through Minnesota even though it is an older book I am sure that it will be a great start to finding fun & interesting places to walk. Although it is not about places to walk it does have interesting stuff and very brief write-ups on most of the towns.
I told the hubby that we need to be on the look-out for camping stuff on clearance for next year. Nothing elaborite - just a tent, some chairs, basic cooking & cleaning stuff, keeping it simple & light.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Good plan! I've got some hiking books - they aren't very good at marking which places are dog friendly though. The state parks are though. Sage seems boldest in a natural park.
& yes, Sage acts like a small dog in a big body. :) The other dogs in the class are all big. Boxer, labamut, great dane & I think the 4th is another lab mix.
I was actually thinking that since I own a small dog, and my daughter has two. . . one of which is about 3 pounds.
Silly me. I didn't think about trails being off-limits to dogs. But I have since learned (the sad truth) from looking at some web sites. I guess I can understand becuase I know that there are some bad dog owners out there.
Boldness as in good boldness?
I guess we can check out the ones closer to home dogless first. I found a website called - Bring Fido, but it looks like it deals mostly with hotels & stuff. Though I guess if they aren't too expensive we could do that especially earlier or later in the season. If we are walking with the dogs they will be too tired to make trouble while we are sleeping! (must look on Amazon for a book or two . . .)
Time to look for the puppy papers & make sure everything is up to date & in order.
I was thinking Stone Arch Bridge might be the first one to check out. Might drag the hubby there tomorrow before going to the Y. Sunrises are always nice to photograph.
Maybe we should write our own book - Hiking is for the Dogs! Exploring MN with Your Two Legged Friends by Sage, Gracie and Rosie.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Hi Katie, I've only just realised you're missing from my starred list, so just popping by to skim through your thread and say hi. No way am I going to fully catch up now, but looks like you've had some lovely dogs in your house this year, and been reading some interesting books :-)
@224 Hi Kiwi! Thanks for swinging by. Yes, it's been quite a dog-filled year! & book-filled too.
@223 Di, I've thought of writing that book before, but am overwhelmed by the idea!!! Stone arch is beautiful and dog friendly. I can be dragged out there any time! Some of the 3 Rivers parks have off-leash areas, some with tempting water holes and rivers so not to be attempted unless there are dog-bath plans afterward.
And yes, good boldness. Sage is chick-chick-chicken, so any boldness is good. :)
#61 - #7 in the re-opened dog etc category is Scaredy Dog by Ali Brown. I loved it because it gave me an action plan for Sage. I just started a class for scaredy dogs, and this book fits right in with the class so well that I'm wondering if the instructor didn't refer to it when she was putting together the course. The course is mostly based on Control Unleashed which I haven't been able to get on my hands on yet.
The book didn't go into great detail on exactly how to do what needs to be done, but it did provide a general outline. I actually found that refreshing. I knew most of the techniques; I just needed someone to put them together. It was nice not to have to read instructions for how to train attention, how to teach touch etc.
As for Sage, he greeted several dogs at the dog park today. That's a victory!
#62 The Orchid House by Phyllis Shand Allfrey is a book about returning to a small island in the Caribbean, Dominica, shortly after the end of World War II. It was a semi-autobiographical work with great characterization, lush description and some pretty obvious symbolism. The relationships are all twisted and messed up, and the politics are very personal. I really enjoyed this novel. It seemed quiet, while at the same time murder, drugs and other items one expects to find in a thriller showed up although the words "murder" or "drugs" were never used.
#63 Also in the Caribbean section, Wide Sargasso Sea. I had to read it right away because it was heavily influenced by The Orchid House. It was a darker look at the same history that underpinned The Orchid House. I'm also see a bit of similarity between these two books, and the post-apartheid books I was reading last year.
Stunning book. It's a follow up to Jane Eyre, but don't let not having read or not liking Jane Eyre stop you from reading it. It is a very different, very beautiful and very violent story. It certainly has more passion and more horror than Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper.
Glad you enjoyed Wide Sargasso Sea. It's a book that has stuck with me this year.
I'm sure it is going to stick with me too. It's beautiful, in an ugly sort of way.
>214 I really don't care what Marianne Faithful did or did not do with a Mars bar LOL! I, on the other hand, am now insanely curious. Of course.
>215 I'm sure fotrally would be proud of the Minnesotan representation! And this year's 4th place was in his late fifties. Just saying :)
@231 Stones, girlfriends - Marianne Faithful fresh out of shower but instead of wrapping self in towel like a normal person, uses fur rug - cops drop by. Mars bar on table - Alleged use of Mars bar similar to Bill & Monica's use of cigar. I know you don't live in the US, but I'm assuming everyone heard about Bill Clinton's indiscretion.
Late 50s!!! That's one man that just won't stop. I'll bet his kids don't know what to do with him! Di, it's time for us to get into training. Looks like I still have at least 10 years to do it. ;)
Category #6 short stories is finished with Louisa May Alcott's blood-and-thunder tales, Behind a Mask. I've never been able to finish Little Women. The moralizing got to me. There is none of that in the tales she wrote anonymously or under pen names. The title piece of the collection is quite good, and went up against the superficial value of good breeding.
The second story was a revenge piece. Pauline finds that her fiance has left without a word because he is already married, so she devotes her life to getting even. Perhaps this is where the collection is dated, but I couldn't take this piece. I kept reading it as a high school drama - boyfriend takes girl's best friend to prom, so girl takes sweet guy who has crush on her to prom to make boyfriend jealous. - it was on a more dramatic scale than this, but I couldn't get over the feeling that a mature woman would've figured they were better off without the spineless man.
The third story was kind of sweet, and would've had Catherine Moreland turning the pages very quickly.
232> I'm reading Steven Tyler's autobio and there is a story he tells of Jim Morrison (at least I think that is who it was) using a recording microphone while it's recording. . .
It’s obstinacy, I’m not going to let those darn youngsters beat ME! I told my sister-in-law that the best thing about training for Fotrally is there is no real limit to reach. It’s not like a 5k or a marathon where you go a certain distance and you are done. I am sure if we get you and Sage out walking somewhere interesting you will be in shape sooner then you think!
I suppose we will need to learn a bit of Swedish. . . it would be rude not to learn at least a little bit. Good thing it is North Germanic and uses subject-verb-object word order. And while we are there we can find some used bookstores and see if we can find a copy of Kvinnligt mode under två sekel by Britta Hammar that doesn't cost an arm & a leg :-)
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
OMG - it took me a while to figure out what was odd about using a recording microphone for recording... I believe it.
& I want to pick up that Swedish Winnie-the-Pooh gone dark. Being from Minne-so-ta, it shouldn't be hard to find someone willing to teach us a bit of Swedish as long as we're willing to say that lutefisk is good.
Oh Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden (I have actually seen them before when i worked at Northrup Auditorium) will be visiting the American Swedish Institute (ASI) and Gustavus Adolphus College in October this year. The ASI's new expansion, The Carl and Leslie Nelson Cultural Center, just opened last month and they will be officially dedicating it on their trip. Too bad they don’t seem to teach Swedish at ASI, but if you knit they have a class on twined fingerless gloves.
I say Sweden in 2015 not in 10 years.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Yes, the sooner the better! I'd heard the King & Queen were coming because it is Gustavus Adolphus's somethingeth anniversary. Kind of cool. Guess I need to go to ASI again - I went years ago, and all I remember is the pretty medieval room heaters. Knitting - I never got beyond scarves. Alas.
#65 in the YA Fantasy & Science Fiction section - Almost to Die For by the alter-ego of local author Lyda Morehouse. She's been dying to set a story in a very detailed St. Paul ever since she read War for the Oaks which is set in Minneapolis. It's that St. Paul/Minneapolis rivalry. & yes, this book is very much set in St. Paul, complete with the main farmer's market and the Peanuts mania. Enjoyable. I didn't get that "what's so sexy about kissing someone who wants to eat you" reaction that I get to most Vampire romance, and it wasn't Twilighty at all. I wasn't falling for either of the love interests though, but I'm not 14.
It's the Sesquicentennial (150 years).
I found an English-Swedish joke book for the Kindle -
“Mamma, får jag ha behå nu när jag är sexton?”
Mama can I wear a bra now that I'm sixteen?
I refuse to do any 'serious' studying of Swedish until after I get a better 'handle' on Turkish though. But there is so much more available for Swedish, it is so tempting. But I am going to keep an eye out for some books on Swedish.
I am sure that Anders can give us the names of some good childrens books that we can start out on. . . :-) You know good actual Swedish books, not popular english books translated into Swedish. Then we can work our way up to some young adult and maybe some good murder mysteries (short ones not ones with 600-700 pages! You know what books i am talking about here i am sure)
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
No Harry Potter in Swedish??? & No Girls with pannakouken tattoos? :)
Poor David - I like that joke.
Harry Potter is HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
In a foreign language! I'm sure it is. It's long and has all sorts of things that aren't in common vocabulary lists.
#66 El Gesticulador in my Spanish language category. I remember reading this in my college Spanish class and hating it!!! It was such a slog to read. Lots of vocabulary I didn't know, and it was on politics - yawn!
My Spanish must actually be far better than it was then, which surprises me. I was using it every day then, and no one forces me to talk now. I wasn't confused like I had been then, and trust me, I didn't remember enough of it (or understand enough of it in the first place) to help with a second read. Divinely subtle ending - and yes it's about history and politics, but also about identity, family and ideals.
I've decided I hate housework, and I've also decided that it still has to be done. Brilliant idea - an audio book might help! I'm at the library and found Adriana Franklin's A Murderous Procession and Louise Penny's A Rule Against Murder. These are both 4th books in a series, and 1st book isn't on the shelves. Any reason I shouldn't read out of order for either of these? I know both of these authors got on my list from reading your threads, so I'll respect your advice.
>239+240 I would be happy to provide you with tons of good Swedish children's books if you want to! I feel for David, too.
Lol "The girl the pannakouken tattoo"! You should be careful with how you attempt to spell "pannkaka". You came very close to "kuken" there, which is something quite different.
Were you trying for pannekoeken? Which is a Dutch spelling? At least the old cookbook that I have with a recipe for something like what they serve in the restaurant (there are some restaurants here in MN called Pannekoeken Huis) is called Dutch Nannies . . . and now I will never think of pannekoeken quite the same way!
See we are on our way to learning Swedish already! Maybe not something we want to use with people that we have just met, but then you never know I understand Sweden is very open minded . . . :-)
Katie we should be able to remember good day (god dag) easily too, it sounds a lot like - good dog. :-)
>245 Yes some good book titles would be fabulous!
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Yes, what Di said. It's very dangerous to attempt something in a language one doesn't really know. :)
Yes, every day is a dog day - I can remember that!
>244 I always listen to audiobooks when I'm exercising or doing housework. It encourages me to keep going. :)
I'm thinking it's the only way to make myself do housework! That, or throw a party at my house and invite lots of people who don't know me well enough to know how bad I am at being tidy.
>244 You will certainly be able to understand what is going on in both of those books but I really think you would enjoy them more if you read the series from their beginnings. The latest in the Three Pines series comes out at the end of this month. I love, love, love both series.
The cookbook that I was telling you about is 101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes: Single-Serving Snacks in Less Than 10 Minutes.
Besides the complicated ingredients for a very simple thing (a cake in a mug), the first recipe that I looked at has 4 tablespoons of brown sugar in it, plus the instant pudding, oh and did I mention 1 tablespoon of carrot juice? Another one has 3 tablespoons apple juice, 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons raisins and I forgot to mention 2 tablespoons oil! No wonder they don't list the calories per serving . . . it would be 240 calories just for the oil, plus 180 for the sugar that’s 420 calories, plus the egg, let’s say a small one at only 54 calories, that’s 474 before we add the flour, juice, pudding or anything else. That is not a guilt free treat.
I might just have to make up some recipes for my 'Cake in a Coffee Cup' basic recipe. I am sure that you will volunteer to be a guinea pig! First order of business is to find my recipe. . .
Great walk today!
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Of course I'll volunteer to be a guinea pig! I'm all for trying out cake in a cup - carrot juice, brown sugar & instant pudding???? Were they trying to do carrot cake in a cup??? & yes, I have all those things lying around in my house waiting for me to say I don't feel like coffee this morning, I think I'll microwave a cake in my mug instead. ??? It would take me more than 10 minutes to gather the ingredients!
& yes, great walk! Fotrally here we come!!!
#67 in the overflow dog behavior category Control Unleashed. Sage is in a class that I call his "Bravery Training" that is based on this book. The book is at times dry, and is written more for an instructor than a handler with a problem dog, but the theory and curriculum in it is sound. I'm glad I've read it. It is certainly helping me help Sage to become a confident dog.
& thanks to Di aka Bruce's evil twin and Gracie for accompanying Sage & I on a big scary walk ;) in the wilderness. We killed more mosquitoes than bit us, so it was a success, right?
@250 Thanks Mamzel - I'll keep an eye open at the libraries to see if I can find the earlier ones, but I might plow ahead. Someone has reserved my Penny book already. I think I'm lucky to find either of those authors on the shelves!
This is the boy who has been inspiring all my dog book reading. Sage at the dog park in one of his bolder moments.
Cute! Where is that?
Just wondering have you read How to Get Your Dog to Do What You Want: A Loving Approach to Unleashing Your Dog's Astonishing Potential? it looked interesting, and i was thinking that I could use a little more mindful interaction with our puppies (well Gracie at least.)
And when & where is our next walk? Gracie is terribly out of shape! We are thinking of checking out the Nordic walk on Tuesday though.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
@257 Thanks! I haven't had him long & he's very fearful, so those moments of happy dogdom give me hope! He does love running around like a looney. :)
Di - I haven't heard of Warren Eckstein who wrote "How to get your dog..." It sounds like it's using positive reinforcement though, & my guess is it is describing pretty much the current "basics." Sophia Yin's How to Behave so your dog behaves is a book I've only looked at. I don't own it. But for basic training books, it is one of the better & respected ones out there.
The photo was taken at "the airport dog park" which is an unofficial dog park in the evacuation area of the Mpls/St Paul airport - hwy 62 and south on 28th st? (The exit just east of Cedar)
& Di, for walkies, Tuesday is great! Anywhere. Where's the Nordic walk? Any Vikings that might pop out from behind the trees? Anders, any little elementals/supernatural critters you think we might find transplanted over here?
This weekend was Diversicon - Great fun, great guests of honor - Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due - & their little boy Jason who is cute cute cute.
The Three Messages and a Warning panel didn't happen. The other panelist had to cancel because life hit him on the head. I'm sorry for his misfortunes, but was relieved to have the panel "held over" for next year when we will broaden it to include Aura and some other books of Mexican SF&F/Folklore/Magical Realism. If you have any suggestions of books/authors I need to look into, let me know. I love Aura and can certainly talk about that enthusiastically.
We had an auction of course and I came home with two books by Angela Carter and 4 books in the Borderland series. One of the books I already have, but the others are out of print so I was happy to snag them - although someone snickered about them probably because they are sooooo 1980s. I was outbid on the dragon postcards/cat mummification kids book. Sigh...
Also bought Catherine Lundoff's new book Silver Moon (menopausal werewolves) and had her sign it. I still haven't read her note - must run upstairs to do that. Giggle!
Also, the Mount Wishlist has now reached avalanche proportions - Mike Levy's recommendations on the "What Should I read next" panel always get me, & a few of Greg L Johnson's suggestions hit too. First one I must get is The Dragon Growl by Lucius Shepherd. They spoke highly of After the Apocalypse by Maureen McHugh too and I know some of you have read and enjoyed that one. The Black Opera by Mary Gentle sounded intriguing, and Night Sessions by Ken McLeod sounds like an irresistible mash-up of sf&f and police procedural.
I was going to say that I just ordered abook on Nordic Walking and you could borrow it want I was done but. . . but it turns out I ordered Dog Tricks and Agility For Dummies. Is that a sure sign of bookoholism? Not remembering what you ordered?
Next Tuesday the Nordic walking (club? thing?) is at Cedar Lake South Beach at 6:15. You can check out the Hoigaard's Events calendar for more information. The only thing that I can think of that would be bad about Nordic walking is how do you take the dog along when you are walking with poles? I am thinking that would take lots of coordination and practice.
Menopausal werewolves . . . I can't wait for you to tell us about that!
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Ah, poles to poke at the little trolls. I get it.
Catherine read from her menopausal werewolves book. I can't wait to read it now, but a few ER books showed up first.
Dog Tricks & Agility??? Yup, you're a bookaholic. Tell me if there are any super cool tricks I have to teach Sage. Must confess, not much training has happened this week so the tricks he's learned (opening zippers) are ones he's taught himself.
Naughty girl stayed up late ordering The Dragon Griaule from Powell's. And of course I had to add a few books to get free shipping. Tinisima and Everyone here spoke in sign language. That one isn't in our library system, and I have a friend whose a medical anthropologist who will love to read it after me. Yes, have to justify it to self now!
Yup, up way late reading book #68 Inside Scientology and then decided to verify some info on one of scientology's victims, Lisa McPherson, on line. Couldn't sleep after that.
Anyone in "fandom" (ie a diehard f&sf fan who goes occasionally to conventions) has heard the story of how Scientology started. It goes something like this. L Ron Hubbard was at a convention and on a panel with other writers, including Harlan Ellison who tells his own version of this story. An audience member asked something about how to make money as a science fiction writer. L Ron snorted and said "Make money as a science fiction writer? If I wanted to make money, I'd start my own religion." Which, of course, he later did.
This story is always told as though it's a great joke, a daring and scandalous thing to say, and the subtext is that the people who followed him into his religion were fools ripe for the picking. No one seems to like L Ron as a person when they tell this story, but there's always a sense of admiration that the scoundrel managed to pull it off. This origin story is not mentioned in Inside Scientology. The story that is told is far more sinister.
David Miscavige - current "Chairman of the Board" of Scientology
I could've placed book #68 Inside Scientology in several categories: biography, anthropology, begged, borrowed or stolen - but I'm going to put it into Mysteries/Histories/True Crime because in my opinion, this is a True Crime book - complete with fraud, deception, clinical paranoia, lawyers and manslaughter charges. IMHO, Scientology has hidden behind it's status as a "religion" and therefore managed to pull off human rights violations, including slavery, all over the civilized world. If you had told me they were a criminal organization before I had read the book, I would've laughed at you and said "Tom Cruise is nutters, but preaching that people should refuse psychiatric medication isn't a crime." I've got a totally different attitude now. Inside Scientology is well researched, well documented and riveting. If you like reading about the workings of the mafia or various underworld organizations, you'll enjoy this. It isn't all that different.
I just read about the activities of Scientology and "the hole", unbelievably bizarre if true (but who doubts it?) and extremely creepy. Good review btw.
Oh. . . now I am really intrigued. They must be good salesman too?
(Bruce' evil twin :-))
I have no doubts that the hole is true - and Miscavige's wife has been missing since 2006 and is allegedly in the hole. Her lawyer has said she is still well and working for Scientology, but if that's the case, why didn't she say that to the media herself? & if she is alive and in the hole, that is technically well and working for Scientology.
& yes, they have some excellent sales tactics. Ex, in Hollywood, they tell people to come in for acting workshops and workshops on how to get agents. They address those concerns for a little, and then it's Scientology time. I totally understand how someone gets involved in it. I just wish it wasn't so rotten at the center.
Glad you like the pic - it scares me!!!
Amazing how something as little as a "scratch" can be extremely painful, make you miss work and meals, make you sleep & while awake lie with eyes closed while listening to audio book when the "scratch" is on the cornea. Argh!!! So fortunately, I had an audio book to finish today. #69 in the bonus - awards category The White Cat by Holly Black.
The White Cat was on the shortlist for the 2010 Andre Norton award which is a fairly new award for young adult science fiction and fantasy that is given out by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Holly Black has been my favorite YA fantasy writer ever since I read Tithe years ago. She has the nastiest fairies on the market. The White Cat is the first in The Curse Workers series, which is touted to be a very dark series indeed. It is. The ability to curse people is rare and hereditary. The workers are victims of discrimination, but justifiably so since "working" is illegal and many workers are members of crime families who work like the mafia.
Yes dark, yes mind-bending, yes unreliable narrator. However it was a cozy dark for me. After all, I was comparing it to the Scientology book I had just finished reading, and also to Holly Black's previous work. If you know her for Spiderwick Chronicles, think again. Holly's books for an older audience hit very uncomfortable topics - addiction, mother's sleeping with daughter's boyfriends etc etc etc. The problems in this book didn't feel as true-to-life as in her other books, so it was an oh creepy entertaining sort of dark rather than a dark that hits close to the bone.
Off to close my eyes again. I hate being wounded!
The White Cat sounds interesting. I will make a note of it and if I have a Young Adults category next year I will include it. I don't think I can fit it in this year.
It's that time of year, isn't it! The books I'm finding on audio almost never fit in with what I have left now. Which is probably good. I'm behind on my off the shelf books! Zozette, hope you like it when you get to it. I want to read the next book in the series, although the ending is strong enough that you don't need to read the rest to get a sense of closure.
Thanks Pam! It is a fascinating book. I really feel for the people who got caught up in Scientology to later find it to not be what they had hoped or needed it to be.
Yes, your review of Inside Scientology is interesting. I have difficulty reading books like that because I'm never sure when the author is biased or not, though. I'm certain there's some questionable stuff going on in the inner echelons of Scientology, but...Is the author a former member?
As an interesting aside, my grandpa actually knew L. Ron Hubbard. Apparently he was eccentric. ;) They were a part of the same Science Fiction writers club. (Grandpa also knew Ray Bradbury, apparently...) I've read Dianetics and was rather choking on the Freudian BS of it all.
David Miscavige is terrifying. I think I'll stick to the mob - Scientologists are much too scary for me! :)
@277 Your grandfather must have been very interesting! From what I've heard about L Ron, once he went really weird, he isolated himself. When your grandfather knew him, he was probably on the cool side of eccentric. The author was a "member" of Scientology, but I believe she was only a member in order to do some basic investigation. She went to a few auditing sessions but didn't get big into it. Of course most of the people she interviewed had left Scientology, so it was biased but I don't think it was that biased. She did spend a few chapters following some young girls through their experiences, being considered weird by the non-scientology community etc and talked about what it meant to them at the daily life level. & in L Ron's defense, he didn't leave Scientology to Miscavige under whose guidance the worst human rights abuses have "allegedly" happened. He left it to a couple who were driven out of Scientology by Miscavige. I'm with Eva. I'd rather deal with the mob.
You need to read David Weber's Safehold series. The religion/faith aspect is so interesting. The whole belief system was made up. Of course they based it on old Earth beliefs, but they made it fit their agenda.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Oh my - what do you do when you get an Early Review Copy that you really, really don't want to finish. I've got The Midwife of Hope River and it's got all sorts of interesting things going on with it - coal mines, hooch, law-breaking, KKK etc etc. Author obviously knows stuff and has done research. I just don't care about any of the characters, except perhaps the crabby WWI vet veterinarian who gets in a fight with a farmer for beating a dead horse. I've got about 150 pages left, and all the reviews so far have been 4 star or higher. Huh? Am I a weirdo for wanting a plot?
Oh, gosh. Sorry to hear that you got a dud. That is one reason I came up with my form for doing reviews, I suppose to support why my review was so different from everyone else. And I have questions that I think about for each category (character, plot, theme, style, setting, entertaining?). Like - Are the characters flat or three-dimensional? Do you feel attachment to the characters? Are the characters characters for the plots sake or would they be interesting without the plot? Is there a plot? Etc. Then I can sort of ‘pin’ down what I don’t like about it. Some books have no plot but are totally character driven but they can still be entertaining, sorry that the one you have isn’t one of those.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
I plow through, pulling examples as I go of why I hate that book. I don't use them, but mentally writing the review as I read does help. And then, when you go to write the review, be honest. Not mean, but say why you disliked it. I've written some pretty negative reviews for ER books.
Good advice - I may have to adopt your form, Di. & Ridgeway, I should keep a few post-it flags by me. Then I can pull some quotes or examples. It hasn't been in reader's hands long, so perhaps the first reviews are reflecting the people who were so eager to get it that they ripped right through it.
I'm a writer and active in a critique group so every time I read my brain is asking what's working, what isn't, how can this be improved. I know it hasn't gone through it's final edit so it isn't fair to site things like the passage where it says they threw "Katherine and the baby's things into a valise." How did a grown woman fit into a valise? And who was taking care of the baby while she was inside the valise? Oh.... they threw Katherine's things into the valise. Don't the baby's things also belong to Katherine?
Lack of focus for the first 200+ pages is a real issue. I hit three chapters in a row with a plot last night which makes me hopeful for the last 100 pages. Seriously though, a few rewrites could've put plot, tension and pacing into this novel. All nice things to the average modern reader.
I also increasingly find myself mentally writing a review of a book as I'm reading it. I stick several post-it flags on my book mark when I start a book; that way they're always handy when I want to flag a passage.
I have an ER from Dec that I haven't been able to finish yet. It sits on my nightstand and every night I look at it and say "I really should try to finish that". But so far - not! And it's one that others have liked. I do keep a paper or post it to write things down as I read.
BTW - I do love misplaced modifiers; there's a famous one from here in RI that gets mentioned all the time -"Throw the baby down the stairs a kiss".. Usually in reference to the city where they talk that way all the time.
maybe Katherine could fit into the valise because the baby's things were really, really small. And the valise was really, really big.
I had one recently which was really, really badly written but had received all rave reviews. It had A Very Important Message in it, so I think that the first readers were responding to that and not to the clear evidence that the book was short a few rewrites and a good editor.
If you really don't want to finish the book, I say don't finish it! You can simply state in your review, "I couldn't finish this book, and here's why." That way, you will both fulfill your ER obligation and provide helpful information to other people who are interested in the book. But don't torture yourself with something that you're really not enjoying!
>287 Maybe it is . . . bigger on the inside?
Sorry I couldn't resist.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
286 - Steven, I can tell! You write such careful, well-structured and detailed reviews.
@290 - It was really a Tardis!!!! That totally makes sense! Now I understand the book.
@287 - Ah, perhaps they threw the baby down the stairs a kiss and then put it in the valise too??? I think Christina's advice goes for you too. Time to finish off that old ER book one way or another. It's not for you.
@288 - This one has a VeryImportantMessage too - but I've read lots of books on the depression, know lots of mine/union stories - both sides of my family has historically been in mine management, so I've also heard tacky comments from my grandmother like "getting the wobblies out of the mines is like getting rats out of the house. Only thing to do is shut it down." Yup, my grandmother was a trying woman, & in retaliation I became rather liberal and learned what exactly the wobblies were fighting for. & on the other side of my family, I had a doctor who died right before the depression got rolling. His widow kept finding "payment" in trade left on her doorstep for years - a sack of potatoes, or whatever people had whenever they had it. & yup, I've read tons and tons on race/prejudice too but fortunately haven't lived through the KKK variety - so not much new in this book for me.
& one last snark - If a novel is not a comedy, the phrase "I have to pooh" can not be used in dialog more than once in the entire 400 pages.
Christina, this one may be my "couldn't finish it review." We'll see. I know a big isn't going well for me when I find myself thinking about doing house cleaning. ;)
I have two ER's I am struggling with. One is really good, just needs more brain cells than I currently have available (bad week.) The other. . . it's not very, um entertaining? It is interesting, it's just pretty . . .dull. I had blissfully put them out of my mind until this!
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
@292 Ooooo... wishing you brain cells. It has been a bad week over here too. Perhaps there's a bad week front blowing through Minnesota. Dully interesting??? and not a college text?
#70 Finishing up the Mystery/history section with The Midwife of Hope River. Owie!!! I can't believe I read the whooooole thing. Okay, I did skim over some of it, especially the birthing scenes. Except for 1 or 2 of the birthing scenes, they didn't advance the plot at all. Plot? Wait, was there a plot to be advanced? - Nuff said already. I'm trying to get the sarcasm out of my system before writing the ER review.
& best one in category? Beloved by Toni Morrison of course. It sorts of squeaks into the category as historical, set during early emancipation years.
I wish I'd gotten a chance to read more mysteries.
I'm moving The Tortilla Curtain from Begged/Borrowed and Stolen to my prize winning category. I've got 2 books that only fit in Begged/Borrowed. I wasn't going to scoot books around, but can't resist and I'm at that silly phase of the challenge where I'm worried about completing it - not number-wise - it's category distribution that's the issue.
The Tortilla Curtain in it's French translation, received the 1997 Prix Médicis étranger from France. It is an award for the best book in French translation by an author whose fame has not reached the level of his talent. - I just have to say, I hope the French don't think that all white Americans are as twittish as they are portrayed in The Tortilla Curtain.
I hated The Tortilla Curtain, I read it for the book club at work (when I was at the corp office, the people at the plant read much better books!) I thought that it was totally unrealistic.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
The Tortilla Curtain kind of had a whack-a-mole feel to it. The "white" characters were clearly being mocked by the author, and absolutely everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong for the Mexican couple. Maybe not completely unrealistic, but not subtle. Certainly the bleakness was exaggerated. It would be interesting to discuss the book with Mexicans and Mexican Americans, because it doesn't have the feel of true immigrant stories I've read or heard. I'm wondering if on the whole they would feel it was a fair portrayal, or if they'd be offended by it. They are shown as almost too helpless, too lambs to the slaughter. Not my favorite read of the year either.
"whack-a-mole feel to it"
Great description - I feel I know exactly what kind of read it was!
#71 A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah finishes up the biography/autobiography/anthropology section. It was a five star read, and by far the best book in the section. My official but brief review is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/book/66228564
I've had an ARC copy of this book since it first came out and was really popular years ago when I worked at Borders. I always wanted to read it, but also put it off for a long, long time because I knew it was going to be super-disturbing, like watching Hotel Rwanda.
Well, I never actually did crack open my ARC. I got it from the library on audio, and am glad I did. The reader was excellent, and it was easy to imagine that the reader was actually the author telling you what he had been through. This helped, because even in the darkest passages, the reader's voice was a subtle reminder that the boy survived and found safety in the US. Yes it is a traumatic read, but well worth it.
& if I can give a SPOILER::: one of the parts that fascinated me the most was Beah's rehab from being a soldier. I was a bit naive and thought that any boy taken from that situation would be so relieved to be safe and to have food and shelter that, except for nightmares and ptsd, he could go back to a civilian life. Hah!!! Beah makes it very clear how the experience of being a soldier shaped his actions, self-worth and personal image so much that taking the boy from the war was certainly not enough to take the war out of the boy.
The Tortilla Curtain kind of had a whack-a-mole feel to it.
Humm... interesting but not sure I want to venture into that one.
I was dog-sitting today and tried checking my thread with "net nanny" on - it says this thread has adult/mature content and is an adult dating site. ??? So which one of you is dating me without me knowing about it?
I'm thinking it must be your love affair with Sage. Weren't you mentioning you went to the park with him, went to class with him, etc?
Catching up on a whole month of posts here (with a squirming baby badly wanting to hammer the keyboard in my lap). This is a very entertaining thread indeed!
>258 Nordic forest walks can be risky affairs indeed. I'd watch out for trolls, giants, rår, Näcken, Bäckahästen, vittror and lyktgubbar especially. Skogsrået is probably my favorite: a gorgeous naked woman, luring you deeper and deeper into the forest. And when you're good and lost is when she'll show you her back: a rotten, hollow treetrunk. Bring a pole.
>256 Excellent review of Inside scientology! Scary fact is that they are running kindergartens in the Stockholm area these days where it, of course, doesn't say "scientology" anywhere. You really need to pay attention to the wee letters at the bottom talking about "applied scholastics" to get it. A friend of mine realised that she was about to put her kid in a scientology kindergarten only two weeks before was to start!
Holly Black souns interesting, thanks for the tip!
>291 I sometimes mumble over the fact that almost no physical books are available through ER for me as a swede. Then I'm reminded there's also a upside to that :)
>306 Good thing that we have been bringing our dogs and picking up litter on our Nordic walks then! I am sure that they only go after people who leave garbage behind. :-) Though I think Sage would just hide behind his Mommy. . .
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Betty, it must be Sage! After all, we've even discussed meeting times for his walkies. And Di's book "A Loving Approach to unleashing the potential." Net Nanny missed the "of your dog" part. Or could it be the discussion of Marianne Faithful and Mars bars? Or perhaps Net Nanny thinks that photo of Miscavige is a hot date I went on. Eek!!! Hot after I gave him a hot foot perhaps.
GBM, say hi to your squirming baby for us!!! & do stay away from those Scientology Kindergartens. That's really scary!!! A friend of mine lives with her elderly mother, and her mother was looking at a pamphlet about addressing her worries and unleashing her potential. My friend grabbed it from her hands. "Stop Mom!!! That's from the Scientologists!!!!" They took over an old (yet still very modern looking) museum building in St. Paul. They are obviously going for a shiny presence here.
& I've heard of those sexy women with the hollow/rotten tree-backs. Eek!!! Fortunately, there don't seem to be as many sexy men with rotten tree-trunk backs. I'm sure we've barely gotten away from some trolls and the like. Di & I are still trying to figure out what the man on the pink chair in the middle of the river really was. Sage certainly thought he was of the demonic variety. & yes, he was hiding behind Mommy.
Di, yes, let's keep picking up litter and bringing the dogs. I'm sure Gracie can handle a vittror. ;)
net-nanny disapproves of a bunch of us!!! Actually, I'd worry a bit if it didn't disapprove of us. It would mean we were on the Spongebob level of the world.
I once had a net-nanny disapprove of me when I tried to looked for a recipe for 'chicken breasts' so I am not surprised that some of the conversations here upset nanny.
So, how does this Net Nanny work? Is it trolling for keywords, or does it just frown disapprovingly at random?
I think they still use keywords but nowadays Net-Nanny is better able to recognise innocent phrases such as 'chicken breasts' than it was able to when first released. I am not even sure if it was Net Nanny I was using, it might have just been a similar program, as it was at least 8 or 9 years ago. I was working in a school library at the time and the librarian asked me to look for a recipe for chicken breasts so it was obviously a setup by her.
Ooooo - those chicken breasts can be awfully appealing, even sexy, if you haven't eaten for awhile. ;) Yes, it's trolling for key words, and for the format of things posted such as photos or videos. Net-Nanny is at the house of the kid I PCA for, and he is obsessive (and I'm using that as a DSM type of term, not as a common descriptor) about the internet so something is needed, although at times I'm thinking banning him from tv and computer altogether might eventually lead to a more peaceful household. At school, we went from one year where they used a pretty thorough blocking program that blocked facebook, most talk websites, all blogs etc. although one kid still got to a slash-my-wrists-suzy sort of game. Next year, they dismantled it and I had one kid storm off & end in the office several times because I had to say no blood, no violence and enforce it myself. Sigh... I don't know. Especially when you know the no blood, no violence rule isn't being used at home. And then facebook is a complete other can of worms! They're all on it, even though they aren't old enough by fb's guidelines. I wouldn't care if they are on it, except the school is somwhat liable for any cyberbullying they might get up to on school equipment. & trust me, those kids can get me online. FB actually closed the personal account of one of our 6 grade girls. She'd broken up with a boy and didn't have much sense about what should or should not be said in public. Although I'm sure she would say all over fb wasn't public, because she was at home alone at the time.
#72 finishes the Young Adult other category with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I'm not sure how to review this. Should I discuss it as a literary work? Should I react/respond to it as someone who has met, read and watched Sherman Alexie on TV for years?
As a book, it's going to appeal more to boys. It's a 5 star read for sure, and ties with Al Capone Does my Shirts as the best in my YA other category. It's candid, crude, funny and poignant account of a Spokane Indian who decides he needs to go to a school off the reservation. Of course it's semi-autobiographical, but I couldn't tell you what parts are true and what aren't. I've got a good guess, since many of the elements in Part-Time Indian are also in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Reservation Blues. I'm curious of course, but I don't really care. Alexie obviously blended autobiography with art to create a message that was to be both entertaining and informative.
Alexie, is by his own words "a pissed off Indian." His writing is sharp, cutting and out-spoken. He's gotten the worst of both worlds - criticized for being too white, stomped on for being too native, criticized for discussing the booze and violence. However, there is a disconnect between his writing and his personal mannerisms in my own mind. I watched him once on a TV interview being talked over by another minority representative. I remember being irritated because I wanted to hear what he was trying to say, but he never got a chance to say it. The moderator never jumped in and said please, let Mr. Alexie make his point. I'll get to the point he was trying to address later in my comments. What I learned was true when I watched this interview, was that Sherman Alexie was voiceless. His writing was his voice. He represented many, many people in this world who don't have a voice. His writing is fueled by the anger of being voiceless.
His characters are voiceless, at least off the rez, too. When Junior, made Arnold because Junior is a silly name off the rez, begins speaking in class he is belittled. He's in trouble for challenging the teacher. He's also right. We hear Junior's thoughts, his reasons for his strange reactions, what he thinks versus what he says because what he thinks isn't anybody's business. I'm not American Indian, so I don't know, but I've heard this is a cultural thing for them. I also know much that I know and think about modern American Indians has been shaped by Sherman Alexie's writing. Holding back is also a human thing. Children and teens are often asked by adults to spill their guts, and they feel like it's an order. It came from an adult, so they have to. They don't want to, but they have to. Sigh.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is important because it speaks for people who are voiceless. For American Indian teens, it describes something familiar. It gives comfort by validating their experiences. For non-American Indians, it opens their eyes to the other. It points out that some things are naively racist. It shows the way to open your heart.
But the educators should be looking at this book too. A boy came to our school. He looked like an Olmec statue sitting in the classroom. He was big and silent. His body language was often unreadable. He was Lakota/Nakota/Dakota or Ojibway, I never learned which. He was initially thrown into Special Ed - EBD - because he didn't do anything. He must've come with some sort of report that said his grades in his old school were miserable and they thought something might be wrong with him. In class, he listened. Sometimes he did his work. Sometimes he didn't. He never turned it in. We tested him. He was super-intelligent. He never got into fights - he clearly wasn't EBD. What was going on? I think Sherman Alexie could've told us. He probably would've told us to throw him into our Gifted-and-Talented program, talk to him, encourage him, let him know we knew he was super smart.
So what was the interview about? It was about minorities going to college. The woman who kept talking over Sherman Alexie was Asian and she was angry because some Asian kids had been told we aren't taking you at this college because we have lots of Asian kids. We want a diverse student population. Sure, if I were Asian that would get me mad, but perhaps what the schools were really trying to say is affirmative action and outreach isn't needed to get Asians to college anymore. Other minorities have it harder than you. Sherman Alexie didn't get to say much, but he asked her, have you seen the Indian kids in those schools? You haven't. Because there aren't any. He didn't even get to say what he said clearly in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. They might want to go to college, but their parents haven't. No one in their family has gone. They don't think it is even possible. So, I ask the educators this - it isn't a new question - educators talk about it a lot, at least in the school I work at - how do you get a kid who is plenty smart but believes college is as impossible as walking on Saturn to have confidence in themselves and live up to their potential?
I really like this book, too. It was one of the choices for the National Book Giveaway last year and I distributed it to a Read 180 (a remedial reading program) class in my school. I chose this book for the message that a student needs to take matters in his own hands and do whatever possible to get as much as possible out of the public school education while he/she can. That the star is a Native American may or may not reach the Hispanics in that class who probably have a lot of Mexican Indian blood in them.
I think it's a great choice for that. Rowdy, and the really frank narrative style, appeal to kids that aren't the best students.
Eva, I love Alexie too.
#74 is an ER book, The Devil in Silver. This one is hard to classify. Here's a brief synopsis: After Pepper "helps" his not-quite girlfriend with her ex, he finds himself locked up in the psychiatric ward of New Hyde Hospital in Queens New York. That would be bad enough, but to make matters worse the patient "suicide" rate is up and there seems to be a devil roaming the ward. - so would that be horror? Dark fantasy? Mystery?
It isn't really any of these. Social commentary is the closest category I can think of. The characterization is excellent. The devil - is he more like Jim Morrison's penis? - or is he like a buffalo? (I'm just trying to twig net-nanny.) What is clear for sure is that something is going on, the staff either doesn't care or is incredibly incompetent, and this particular psychiatric ward isn't doing anyone's mental health any good.
Definitely an entertaining page-turner, but ultimately this novel is not what you might expect it to be.
It actually is pretty interesting, and fun... but I'd like to think it's exaggerated and no place is really like that.
With that plotline, I'm certainly surprised that you ended up at "Social commentary" - not at all what you'd expect. :)
I've heard a lot about Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It sounds like I ought to put it on my TBR list. :) Those are some interesting issues that you bring up and you've gotten me curious.
Eva, I know - it sounds like it would be a thriller of some sort, but really "social commentary" is the best I could come up with. Romance? But the romance doesn't go terribly far.
Hibernator, it is really interesting - it does have some foul language in it that is character appropriate, but I still will recommend it to the YA readers I know, especially the "reluctant" ones.
Thanks Delta! Devil is rather odd. It managed to portray something I've always thought of as strange, which is that people who are mentally ill enough to be committed still have a form of rationality. It may be an unusual, or even wrong, rationality, but it is rationality. The book is certainly not for everyone - if you don't get into the characters, then it has nothing to offer.
75 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can't stop talking finishes up my Begged/Borrowed/Stolen category. I've got mixed feelings about this one. It's written by an ex-wall street lawyer. Nothing against lawyers, but anyone who would use the phrase "wall street" to describe themselves is out of my sphere. No personal/emotional connection there. Much of what was in the book was interesting. I liked the fact that she pointed out that the United States and the business world in general favors and values extroverts over introverts. If you are an introvert in the US, that's obvious once you think about it but how often would you think about it? Now that I know, I feel armed. When I finally get my butt in gear and re-enter the normal work world (yuck! I have a huge allergy to corporations), I now know some things to look for including an idea of corporate structures/philosophies that will or will not work for me. Sadly, I think introvert-friendly workplaces are actually rare - and oddly enough, I have an introvert-friendly workplace that sounds like it could never possibly be one. The school. At least 90% of our staff has got to be introverts. I can just feel it.
According to Quiet:, 1/3 to 1/2 of the population of the US are introverts. ??? How come I can't think of a single friend that I'd classify as an extrovert? How come when I read the list of questions you would say yes to if you were an extrovert, I think why would you say yes to any of those??? How come I've had an (ex)friend introduce me to someone as an "extrovert" which means I may take the introverted-someone some getting used to? Not sure.
I really enjoyed her sections on China/Chinese Americans and on raising introvert children, and the introvert in the public education system - I have to say our school does do most of the things suggested including small group work with clearly designated roles. However a lot of the business stuff triggered my corporate allergy. Her brain psychology sections felt a little unclear, and when she said that identical twins share 100% of their genetics while fraternal twins share 50% my hackles went way up. Fraternal twins have a probability of sharing 50% of their genetics. They may share 100% or 1% of their genetics. They are more likely to share 50%. Perhaps I'm nitpicking, but a scientist certainly wouldn't have made that mistake.
Anyway, if you are an introvert in the business world, it's worth reading. If you are an uncomfortable introvert, it's worth reading. If you are an introvert and are happy with it, maybe not so much. IMHO - extroverts rule the playground, but the introverts already have taken over the world.
As for picking a favorite from the Begged/Borrowed/Stolen category, I really can't. They are all very different books, and very strong books.
Seen a lot of people enjoy that book. Would you say it's US centric? Generally Brits are more reserved but not sure if that means we're a more introverted society? I guess it contrasts US and China from what your saying? I think like any spectrum there's a bell curve and therefore more people would fit in the middle, the Ambiverts. I seem to remember being told that the book doesn't really discuss Ambiverts at all though?
It mentions the term "ambivert," but it doesn't discuss it, and yes I think it is very US centric. More reserved would tend to go with more introverted, but not necessarily. Main question to tell the two apart is "where does your energy come from." If you say "I feel energized after a quiet weekend at home" you are probably introverted. If you say instead "I feel energized after being with a large group of people" you are probably an extrovert.
I realize that I'm a little uncomfortable with the book because it has an us against them feel, which is always dangerous ground. & like you say, there's a lot of shadings to intro/extroversion, and it certainly isn't the only factor in a person's personality - so ultimately, as detailed as she can make this book, it will always fall into the "generalization" category.
Been thinking about reading "Quiet" for awhile now, but I much preferred another book about introversion (Introvert Power), and I figured I'd eventually read Q, but I'm not in a rush.
Joining in the praise of your review of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It was already on my list, so no new bullet. But a very thoughtful and careful review. Thumb!
Thanks GBM! It's totally worth reading. The book I mean. I'm more humble about my review.
#76 in my awards section - Water for Elephants received the Alex Award, which is an award given out by the American Library Association (same people who give out the Newberry, Caldecott and Printz awards) to a book that is written for adults but will appeal to teens. I think they are right on about this one - adventure, cruelty, romance and an elephant who knows what she thinks about people - specific people.
>329 Hey! My hubby is a total extrovert; everyone in his immediate family is one too. Really would an introvert volunteer to get up on stage knowing that he was going to have to put on women’s underwear?
I know lots of extroverts. I can introduce you to them, though I don’t think many of them work in ‘corporate America’. No, pretty sure a lot of them wear tights on a regular basis, the guys that is . . .
I think that I got a totally different view of Quiet because my hubby is such an extrovert (and I like lawyers.) I think that is it all down to energy. Quiet gives introverts energy and extroverts get it from not being quiet.
As for your ‘friend’ who thought that you were in extrovert, I think that we fake being extroverts well enough that a lot of people think that is what we are. We adapted, learned tricks to make it seem like we are extroverts because that is what was expected of us. Extroverts are good, introverts are bad.
Lawyers aren’t all that bad. I worked for the Office of the General Counsel for a Fortune 100 company before my current job & I loved it. OK so other departments called it ‘the shark tank’ but it was still a nice place to work (until that ‘merge’ thing and we all lost our jobs because they moved the headquarters to NJ.)
The truth is change is scary. The first step is to just start looking for a job, see what is out there. You might be surprised . . .
(Bruce's evil, introverted twin :-))
I like lawyers - just not Wall Street ones. Trail lawyer certainly isn't the most comfortable career for an introvert though. I've known and liked plenty lawyers, and depending on the type of lawyer, it can even be a noble occupation. Didn't mean to make it sound ick lawyers!!!
As for extrovert friends, I forgot about all those theater majors I know. & festival types - who are/were in a large part theater majors. I agree, it's the energy thing.
& yes, change is scary. Will start looking soon, but I still don't want to leave the school. I love it there. It's just hard to find a complementary job that fills in the hours I'm not at school at the same pay rate.
#77 finishes up my Caribbean category. I've really enjoyed this category a lot, and surprised myself too. I was expecting to read a lot of modern literature by Caribbean authors, but instead read older novels, many dealing with the problems of a culture transitioning from a slave culture to a free culture. The White Witch of Rosehall published in 1929 is set in such times - the 1831 Baptist War in Jamaica, a huge slave uprising in which around 500 slaves died and 14 whites, according to Wikipedia.
This is Rosehall.
It's been refurbished and now doubles as a museum of slave-times and as a haunted house - seriously.
The White Witch of Rosehall could be described as a Jamaican Slave Gothic. It's dark, romantic and violent. I thoroughly enjoyed it, both for its plotline of manipulative romance but also for its depiction of the Jamaican culture and the uncomfortable interplay between races.
The favorite book of the category is Cecilia Valdes, which is set in Cuba and also looks closely at slavery and racial assumptions. Where The White Witch of Rosehall races through details of daily life, Cecilia Valdes describes the dances, clothes and customs with so much intricacy that you feel you could either run a plantation or blend in on the mulato side of town after you've read it.
So, sadly I leave the Caribbean now. Next year, Mexico.
Sounds like you finished your Caribbean category on a high note! I have made a mental note of The White Witch of Rosehall as it sounds fascinating.
It did finish on a high note - Warning though about The White Witch - one reviewer says it ends a bit like Birth of a Nation - I see what they're getting at, but I looked at it more as a commentary on racial identity than as propaganda. Of course the characters are racist by our standards. They were masters, slaves or freed slaves.
#78 Howl's Moving Castle finishes off the YA fantasy section. There's a reason Diana Wynne Jones has been revered granddam of fantasy for many years. I'm totally jealous of her ability to create a whimsical spectacle that still somehow seems believable. She says it is so, and we believe her. I always try to hard to make the unbelievable seem logical. That's the urban fantasist in me. Instead, Wynne Jones' characters walk into an urban setting and make it seem like the most bizarre place of magic ever.
& yes, Howl's Moving Castle was the best of the YA fantasy I read this year. Dealing with Dragons was the only one that came close to it - and Wrede too just says it is so, and you need to take her at her word.
Howl's is quite a fun read, and I'm thinking I'll read it over again. Of course you can spot the romance coming a mile away, but it still caught up with me so suddenly that I want to look at it again and see how she did that. If you like Dealing with Dragons, you probably will like Diana Wynne Jones and the Middle Grade books of Margaret Mahy too. Mahy's older books have a completely different tone than her MG books.
Katie, the Rose Hall book caught my eye. I'm somewhat familiar with the history and alleged hauntedness of that property.
If you've been there, I'd read it for sure. It's certainly had a bloody enough history to start rumors about being haunted.
The White Witch of Rosehall sounds interesting. I've not read many books set in Jamaica but would definitely like to read more. One of my closest friends grew up in Jamaica and my brother lived there for several years, so I frequently hear about the social issues that were prominent when they lived there.
I'll bet they've heard of it. I'd be interested to hear what writers they recommend. I didn't get a chance to read a lot of the more modern books. :( So many interesting places/things/times to learn about - but only 24 hours in a day.
My Jamaican friend and her sister both liked Small Island by Andrea Levy, as did I. It's mainly about Jamaican immigrants in England, but part of the story is set in Jamaica. The story had also been made into a mini-series for television, but I've not seen that yet.
346 Never been there, but the house is notorious. I think Ghost Adventures did an episode there. I remember reading about in the *wince* National Enquirer or some such rag, way back when I was a teen and my Mom used to be a regular reader of the tabloids.
We used to joke in our family that whenever a significant weather event (hurricane, blizzarrd) was predicted, my mother didn't want milk and bread like most people, she wanted cigarettes, wine and new scandal sheets.
@351 I think you're mom had a healthy attitude towards natural disaster. Plan to enjoy time at home, and hope it doesn't turn out as bad as people think.
@349 I remember considering Small Island earlier in the year. I think because so much is in England, it didn't make the final cut. I'm putting it on the WL now though!
@350 - I'd love to see what kind of write up The Weekly World News could do on it. ;) I'm not surprised it's notorious. Allegedly, Annie Palmer murdered 3 of her husbands by Obeah inside the house. She, herself, was strangled there and thrown out the window allegedly by an Obeah man. If any place is haunted, Rosehall has to be.
I'm so curious about how DWJ handled the romance in Howls Moving Castle that I rented the movie. I didn't make it past 5 minutes!!! I couldn't take it - they had Sophie being accosted by guys that actually looked creepy, when really the were supposed to be tipsy revelers who didn't understand when flirting wasn't appreciated. Then Howl shows up with a stalker voice, and then he breaks into a Mary Poppins act. I couldn't take it!
So, here's the question. Should I watch it and pretend it's named something like "Steampunk Castle of the Wandering Variety"? Is it good if you don't compare it at all to the book?
The movie version is excellent, if very different from the book. Give it a chance.
I think the movie is brilliant as well and you should definitely give it a chance! :) Maybe watch another Studio Ghibli-film first to get a feel for their particular story-telling style?
LOL @ "Steampunk Castle of the Wandering Variety"?
Yes, I watched Wizard Bark's Steampunk Palace of Wanderingness last night. For all I know, the scriptwriters never read the book but were just told pretty girl gets turned old and doesn't break the curse until she returns the heart of vain wizard with a fire demon. Use names Howl, Sophie, Lettie, Calcifer. Include scarecrow, dog, wicked witch, prince and aerial battle. Btw, wizard cries green slime. Go!
I did like the movie, but wouldn't have if I hadn't renamed it.
#79 Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence finishes off the main part of the challenge, as well as my Spanish Language section. This book paired photographs of Neruda's home in Isla Negra with his poetry, and paired photographs of his friends with their memories of Neruda. It gives a context for Neruda's poetry in a way a biography never could.
Favorite book of the section is probably Nine Centuries of Spanish Literature if for no other reason than the incredible expanse and variety it includes. The translations of the poetry is miserable, and I was always frustrated when they included an excerpt instead of a complete work but that said, it was still an excellent introduction to Spanish Literature.
Now to focus on the books off the shelf - you can see I've fallen flat on my face over this aspect of the challenge.
finishes off the main part of the challenge, as well as my Spanish Language section.
I bolted #80 down whole. I don't know why it has taken me so long to read Counterfeit Son. I've owned it for years, new it would be good but just never got to it. It finishes up my bonus awards category. It received the Edgar award in the Young Adult category in 2000. The Edgar award is a major mystery award, named after Edgar Allen Poe, given by Mystery Writers of America - basically the mystery writer's union in the US.
This book was incredible!!! Yes, I figured out the twist/mystery part of it within 3 or 4 chapters, but the average YA reader won't. It wouldn't have succeeded as a novel if the writer hadn't put in enough details to make the final conclusion believable. This is a rough story about a boy whose Pop tortured and murdered boys. The cops have killed Pop, so the boy uses information from Pop's victim files to pose as a victim that has survived. Very realistic. Some adults will think it's too brutal for kids, but sometimes I think the middle school kids can handle this kind of subject matter better than we can. I don't understand why Counterfeit Son seems to be flying under the radar. I've never seen a copy of it in anyone's hands, but I'm sure if the school library had it, it would be checked out almost as often as A Child Called It.
Tough choice, but I'd say this was my favorite from the awards bonus category. Now I'm on to my very amorphous bonus category - off the shelf and audio, plus one dog book that the instructor of my Chicken Dog Class wants me to read. I'm tempted to start 2013, but I really should clear off some books from my shelf - especially the ones that don't fit into my usual categories.
Well done - congrats from me too!
"I really should clear off some books from my shelf"
Yeah, there was that... :)
Congrats Katie! Clearing books off the shelf is a good idea and I hope it works for you.
I checked and my library does have Counterfeit Son so I will read it post haste. I am slowly weeding all of Peltzer's books and it's good to have alternatives.
Thanks Wolfy! Hopefully I'll reclaim at least 4 inches of space.
!!! Yeah Mamzel! I send a note to our school librarian, and she'll be ordering it for the kids with a comment that she wouldn't read it herself - too gruesome, but the kids will love it.
you are supposed to put your books on a shelf??? WHat would I do with all the desk & floor space then? :-)
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
LOL - I use dog crates as shelves, and kitchen tables, and ... Shelf is a rather broad term.
Congratulations! You've read such a variety this year. I have also failed at reading books I already had, but there is still time! I like the sound of Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence, that sounds like a lovely edition.
Congratulations on finishing the main part of your challenge! As for "books off the shelf", I'm having a bit of trouble with those too.
I finished Counterfeit Son today and already recommended it to a student. Thanks for digging it up!
Thanks for the congrats & @381 mamzel - Isn't it a great book!!! I'll bet it's going to go from kid to kid at your school.
#81 starts my overflow off-the-shelf or audio section. Curse of the Winter Moon by Mary Casanova. I can't figure out how this book came to be on my shelves, and that bothers me. It wasn't cleaned out from some public library. It doesn't have any of the marks used to indicate a book is used or second hand. I think I may have bought it at a local author book festival, where when I used to have money, the book buying fever could hit bad.
Mary Casanova is well-respected locally as a middle grade adventure story writer, and this book looks like it is marketed as a werewolf adventure. No! It is for the middle grade reader (even though it received the 2001 Minnesota Book Award in the Young Adult category), but it is historical fiction. It tells of a boy in 16th century France whose family is persecuted by local superstitions (youngest born on a cursed day) and for religious reasons. The book is very good example of what it is, but I wished it had aimed for a slightly older reader. Then the pace could've slowed down and the story could've had more depth.
If I come across a book and wonder how I came to acquire it (no indication in my LT library), chances are I bought it on one of my visits to a charity shop where I tend to buy anything that remotely catches my eye because the books are just so darn cheap it would be a crime to not buy them!
I was wondering if that was it, but this isn't the kind of book I'd expect to find at goodwill. ??? And I'm also thinking there are a few bags of books from library sales that aren't on LT yet. Kind of hard to focus on that off the shelf thing when I'm not really sure what's in the house. Sure sign of bookaholism, right?
A veeeery late congratulations on finishing the challenge! Great job!
As for the books off the shelf problem (the "BOSP" perhaps?), for me it isn't mainly about space. But rather that I do have the ambition to sometime read all the books we own - and realise I might have a decade of reading lingering on the shelves, without buying a single book more. That's actually one of the few downsides of LT - it makes it very clear how much you read, and how much you buy, sometimes making you feel a little daunted.
Oh, well, there's always the possibility of needing to seal off the house due to the zombie apocalypse, and guess who'll stay sane and keep busy then, eh???
Thanks GBM! I'm actually looking forward to a zombie apocalypse, or an incredible blizzard that would close down the city for a month - will never happen here - the blizzard could happen, but this city would find a way to blast a way through a glaciar to the school if necessary. Funny, I feel bad about my teetering Mount Wishlist even, and those aren't actaully physical books anywhere. It's just a very, very long list of books that really do sound worthwhile.
I couldn't agree more Katie. At my current rate of reading, I could probably read 7-10 years and not read everything already on the shelves, never mind adding even more. And my wishlist is also huge. Before LT, I tended to read within a comfort zone of books; the same authors or similar types of books, occasionally a book that had been reviewed in a local paper, but now I've been exposed to many authors through these threads that I would probably never have heard of before. I also joined bookmooch about a year before LT and started haunting library sales for cheap books to list on BM. Then I'd get home, read the back cover, and decide maybe I should read it before it left the house. And actually that's why I joined LT - so I could have an easy place to keep track of what I had and had read. I really need to retire so I have more reading time.
Betty, so true!!! We all need to retire - or get paid for infecting more people with bookmania. I've got at least 5 years of reading, and that's if I'm very very good and don't check out any books from the library or accept any ER books. I'm scared of bookmooch!!! Everyone tells me they join BM to get rid of books, and somehow the ones on their shelves start reproducing and having babies. I've been rehoming so far, a lot to the school library. Funny thing was I was trying to help a girl find a book during class Wednesday, and pulled out one thinking "odd, our library usually doesn't carry much of the first wave urban fantasy authors." When I was showing it to her, I realized it was autographed to me.
That's kind of cool :) I eally joined BM hoping to get some books and so that's why I started going to library sales - hoping to pick up some books I could send out and get some points to spend. Like I said, then I ended up keeping some of them and then I joined LT and the rest is history.
The combination of BookMooch and LT will keep me reading for decades.
@394 LOL - I'm sure -
@393&394 The best thing about LT is you never think "oh there's nothing good to read." & BookMooch makes sure the next book is always in your mailbox.
Speaking of, I work with some kids that "hate" reading, and I think it's because 1. they're reading below their grade level, but they are interested in subjects that are age appropriate. 2. they haven't found the right book. So if anyone has ideas of short books for a 6th grade girl reading at 2nd grade level - she honestly looks at the type size to choose her books - let me know. She likes Missing May. Another is an 8th grade girl who wants realistic romance and she's probably reading at the 4th grade level. I'm thinking Weetzie Bat and Son of the Mob for her. Third is an angry young Somali boy, 6th grade, who grunts at me when I ask him what kind of TV and movies he watches. All I can tell you is he likes playing Monopoly. My guess is he's at the 2nd grade reading level, but I could be wrong. He might be at a much higher level, but just resistant to anything an adult wants him to do. So obviously, any book I want to suggest to him has to be left on a table where he'll stumble upon it. I can be devious that way.
Just reading you asking those questions makes me kind of proud to know you. Your students are very lucky!
Love the attention you give your students. It must be difficult finding interesting age appropriate books for readers at different reading levels. Sadly I have no recommendations to give to you but wanted to let you know how great it is all you do for them!
Thanks both of you. I'm blushing. I'll keep my eyes open, and I think I'll head over to the YA group and ask.
I suppose the classics like The Three Investigators, The Boxcar Children, Five Children and it, and the Melendy Quartet are out of the question? How about The Mysterious Benedict Society? Not sure how to really tell what is the appropirate age/grade level. i know how frustrating it can be. Good Luck.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
I work for a small non-profit that gives kids in low-income schools (measured by the % who qualify for free or reduced price lunches) books at the end of the school year. We focus entirely on books kids will want to read as we can't assume any parental or outside involvement at all. You can find us here:
On the left side you'll find a list of our most popular books and series. You might get some ideas from that. I'm presently compiling a master list of books that we need and I'll go through it for possibilities. Have you considered sports books for the boys? If you know what sports they like, I can give you some titles. The Captain Underpants series is tremendously popular for readers who lack confidence, as are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The Babymouse books might be good for your girls. Graphic novels are great for poor readers because they can start by looking at the pictures and then move on to the words. Super hero books work well with boys reading below grade level because they don't look like baby books and publishers are quick to have books at every level about the most popular super heroes (these change rapidly). We just got a large shipment of books about the Avengers -- full of pictures and large text, but the themes are acceptable to older readers. We plan on having them available for all grades. We've also found books based on popular TV shows to do well with reluctant readers. The Candy Apple or Poison Apple series are popular with girls.
Generally, the books that kids who enjoy reading like are not the books that reluctant readers will choose. They need bright, colorful covers. Old-fashioned covers are automatically rejected. The Babysitters Club has the first few books reissued with modern covers but the older ones are not going to be picked up. The graphic novel versions go over well. Bone is great for older kids.
I've heard that the Binky the Space Cat series, aimed for readers 7-10, is still quite appealing to older kids. I've not read the books myself, but I love the artwork that I've seen.
Great suggestions! Holes might definitely work for the boy, and super hero books is a good shot. I've got a copy of Bone. Someone might go for that. I've read a Binky the Space Cat. They are really cute and funny but I'm thinking they might feel a bit "too old" to be caught reading that in school. At home, of course, but at school there's a lot of self-consciousness. Captain Underpants, oh yes. I used to work with a boy who claimed to be "allergic" to books and CU was the only thing we could get him to read. His reading level went up 2 grade levels that year, and he actually started enjoying to read. Not all because of Captain Underpants, but having something that hit his sense of humor certainly helped. I'll check into your suggestions and keep you posted.
What I think happens is that once a child loses himself in a book, he looks at books differently. He understands that the possibility is there. Boys especially, but girls too, upon finding a book like that will read only that series or author until they're out of books and have to branch out.
Until that happens, however, they can be quite resistant to reading. That's why series like Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid are so important. Not only are they accessible, but peer pressure can also get them to read it.
Scary books are also really popular. Have you tried offering Goosebumps? The new covers are excellent.
I thought of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I think some newer editions have been published with "cool" covers, if the old-fashioned ones are an issue.
Goosebumps usually do pretty well with our kids. I think it might work for the boy. Nancy Drew perhaps for the younger girl, but I think she'll want something more modern. He looked at one historical novel - a newberry - and tossed it aside immediately as "too old." A lot of them LOVE Diary of a Wimpy Kid. That might work for the girl. I think she's into dogs, so that Animal Ark or whatever they're called series might work. One of the girls in class told me she wanted to be a junior handler (it's a show dog thing) but I can't remember which girl it was. It was the second day of school when we were talking, and they all blended together at that point. If a kid actually knows the term "junior handler" they are way into dogs.
I've found that nonfiction about felines and canines, whether domestic or wild, work really well for both girls and boys. They just need an attractive cover and lots of photos along with a few neat facts to go down well and they can be at a range of levels and still seem interesting even to the somewhat older child.
@ 408 -- I'm a bit baffled by that, honestly. I mean, I can see why it would be true that nonreaders would shy away from "old" books. But when I was growing up, I didn't even realize that the Babysitters' Club and Sweet Valley Twin books were "old"! I mean, I was reading them in the mid-90s, and they were already old at that point, but that didn't register for me at all! Of course, this probably just means that I was an unusually dense child. :)
LOL - funny what you said about tossing aside anything with a medal. They do!!! And I always thought about a medal as being a plus. It really is a very individual thing, finding the right book. I'm in one special ed language arts class and I gave them my little spiel about needing to find the right book, and the teacher said that finding the right book might actually take them longer than reading it. & he's right. They get in a library though and don't know where to start, don't want to put the time into looking and won't ask anyone for help. I've started telling them to ask a friend or classmate what book to read, and they act as though that had never occurred to them. Then they do ask, which is really the way to go. Face it, they don't trust us adults to pick books for them. ;)
& christina, I never thought about the "age" of a book until I was a bookseller. Then I realized that the books that had sat on my shelves waiting for me to get to them had already become old news. I'm wondering if this is what happens when we have fast technology, mass production and a marketing economy. Either that or the kids think, as every group of kids has always thought, that the world they are experiencing is totally different from everything that has ever happened before so 1. adults don't understand them 2. anything about the past doesn't apply to them.
I think that also children's publishing has improved dramatically in the last decade or so. I blame J.K. Rowling for there now being a huge amount of truly imaginative fiction aimed at every kind of young reader. Face it, would you be reading Nancy Drew if you had had all that fantasy and adventure to choose from?
>411 It probably depends on the kid. I didn't really get into speculative fiction until about four years ago when I read The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas for an American short story class, and then decided that I had to read more Le Guin. As a kid, I read mysteries and British children's classics almost exclusively, with brief digressions into Jules Verne and the best part of middle school spent on Star Wars novels.
So I'm going to go with Nancy Drew because my obsession with mysteries and television crime dramas is clearly all her fault (along with the Hardy Boys, the Boxcar Children, Sherlock Holmes, and my grandmother, for buying me Sherlock Holmes books in the first place).
@411 It really has improved! In the '60s, we didn't even have YA writing. And for a long time, publishers were publishing what adults wanted kids to read instead of what kids want to read. That's still an issue and once in awhile I have to slap myself. I keep thinking that this book with an abused child or an alcoholic dad or a cruel situation is too dark for them. Hah! they love dark and they're able to handle a lot more than we tend to think they can.
@412 I agree on the spec fiction comment. I think fantasy is just the trend now, and that it will crash and crash big like horror did in the '80s. That makes me sad because fantasy is my preferred genre, and I'm rather found of Science Fiction - which there is very little of for YA right now. Mysteries will have their day. A lot of the boys are interested in crime books. I just think the publishing world in general is more in tune with what makes kids tick than they used to be. They've also realized that there's money there. After all, kids are frequently required to read and most adults don't read as avidly as we do.
BTW - my computer at home is dead, at least temporarily, so I'm stuck with library computers for awhile and it looks like they've started enforcing the 1 hour rule even though I'm surrounded by empty computers right now. So... see you when I can!!!
Ah, the library is being nice to me and is adding 15 minute increments to my time. That's fair. I'm sure if someone was waiting for this computer, they'd cut me off.
#82 Rescuing the Children: The Story of the Kindertransport is my latest ER book. The official review is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/12997404/90638412 It was a quick read for an adult, but it's really a non-fiction book targeted at 4th to 8th graders which would be about 9 years old and up. Its design is great for our reluctant readers. It has quotes from the actual survivors in nice gray boxes. If a kid read just the quotes, they'd get something out of the book. That said, it is about an absolutely incredible topic - evacuating Jewish children from Germany right before the official start of the war. The book covered the basic facts well, but could've packed a far more emotional punch.
Type, type like the wind!! :) Hope the home computer gets resurrected soon!
amazing how fast I can write a review when I think the computer is going to kick me off! Computer is still dead, but there is still hope.
Dead computer at home is not fun. ;-(
Hope it gets fixed and back in business for you soon, but happy to see the library computers are keeping you connected with us in the meantime!
OK - I just catching up here - great discussion on books for kids.
> 400 - I'm about 1/2way through The Mysterious Benedict Society and I'm afraid the size would discourage some kids that are not readers to begin with. But I'm enjoying it quite a bit.
Kay - I hope you finish that list soon. I find I pick up the same kind of books for BFK all the time because I'm not sure what else to get. I should be sending you a few more boxes soon.
>411 & 413 - I agree that the sheer volume of books for kids and YA that keeps coming out gives them tons of more things to choose from than when I was those ages. I think that's why many of us that are "older" still have YA categories in our challenges.
>418 I too loved The Mysterious Benedict Society!
katie - did you want to borrow my netbook? It is tiny, but works. . .
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Di, yes I'd love to borrow it!!!
Speaking of the disadvantages of having a dead computer, here's one I never thought of. It makes you go to the library more often to use their computers. And libraries have booksales. Yup, they dragged me into the bag sale today and forced books on me. Not sure what all landed in my bag, but there were a few really unusual things, including a Spanish copy of Cecilia Valdes. I'll let you know once I have a chance to see what slipped into the back. I only had 30 minutes before they kicked everyone out.
15 pages left of The Glass Butterfly so I'll have to let you know what I think later. Slow start, a bit disappointed at first especially since it's an author I've read before. I think the end may make up for the start.
Argh library is closing & I haven't finished posting puppy photos - longish story - and have had no time to speak of for LT. Grrr - drat those people who made me spend my time buying books. ;)
But.... but..... but..... puppy pictures are important! They couldn't keep the library open longer for you to post them? :-(
I guess we will just have to wait for puppy pictures, but only because you spent your time buying books because that is important! :-)
great discussion on reluctant readers - I was at a "how to write stories kids will read" discussion at Bristol Lit Fest and each of the 4 authors had been involved in reluctant readers programmes in schools which is very positive I think
>420 - do you have time to get together tomorrow? if nothing else there is a Taco truck on 43rd & Central. Authentic tacos for $2 each (+tax. . .)
Taco truck tuesday??? Yum!!! I'll give you a call. Sounds good.
Puppies - I've become an auntie to a litter of Irish Water Spaniel puppies. I was with a friend when she got a call on her cell phone, 7 weeks ago saying "Shae is giving birth! Come over now!!!" so I tagged along and have been visiting the puppies and photographing them every week since then. Whelping a litter is an amazing experience. I'll get some photos up, and you should see some photos of my boy Sage too now that he looks more like a water spaniel.
#83 I finished The Glass Butterfly and will give it 3 1/2 stars. Slow start, but the ending made up for it. The pace is why it didn't earn a 4 star from me. It's by Louise Marley who I know as a fantasy writer. This novel is more a suspense novel with a supernatural/musical/biographical subplot. The main character hides for awhile (and hiding usually isn't a highly-paced activity) and while she's in hiding she has vivid dreams from the experiences of a maid to the Puccinni family. Yes, the maid's life is based on solid historical evidence. Very interesting, and worth reading.
As for my pack of reluctant readers, I handed The Story of the Kindertransport off to a social studies teacher I know and he practically did cartwheels because it's a high interest but low reading level book on WW II, which he covers every other year. He's planning on keeping it by his desk and when they have reading time and a kid complains about having nothing to read, he's going to be offering it.
The Somali boy is reading The 39 Clues which makes me happy. I haven't read any of this series yet, but it is a series of YA mysteries and each book in the series is written by a different established YA writer. They've been popular, and I believe they are fairly accessible. The 6th grade girl is still reading Mister Boots by Carol Emshwiller and I'll check in with her tomorrow to see what she thinks. The other girl is trying another school for awhile.
Pete, I'd love to hear more about the Bristol Lit Fest and your reluctant reader's panel. I'd like to know what books work over the pond, and I'm wondering if they are different from the ones popular with kids here.
Having just read Inside out and back again I was wondering how prose books would work for reluctant readers, mainly because I adore Love that dog. Some kids take to nonfiction more easily that fiction, though sounds like you are having a little success now. Here in New Zealand we have quite the car culture and one of the books that reluctant boy readers enjoy is Fleur Beale's Slide the Corner which is about car rallying.
I read Monster Island by Justin Richards earlier this year, it's published by Pearson Educational and part of the Heroes series which looks suitable for reluctant readers.
The 39 Clues series does well -- they're fast-paced adventure novels with lots of cliff-hangers. Something happens all the time, so even slow readers are quickly rewarded. Good choice!
@427 - I tried Love that Dog on the girl. Didn't fly. Sigh. A lot of kids do love that book though, and so do I. I'll check out the other three.
@428 I haven't read them yet, but I'm going to start pushing that series. I've talked to some kids who read them as fast as they can get them.
As for Mister Boots, it struck out so we're trying Weetzie Bat. She got excited when I told her it was a romance. It's pretty hip and weird, but I'm thinking that might be a plus.
As for the lagging behind books off the shelf piece of my challenge, I only got 60 pages into Last Breath before I decided it was poorly written and not going to hold my interest. It's a YA mystery from the Body of Evidence series that follows a girl who is going to college and assisting a coronor. One of the girls was looking for mysteries, the gorier the better so I promised to give her the book tomorrow with the caveat that I haven't read it so if her parents get offended by her reading choice, don't talk to me. She assured me her parents wouldn't mind and when I told her that it starts with a body being dumped into a shark tank she got very excited and told me not to tell her more because she didn't want it spoiled. Cool. One off my shelves, made her happy. But I'll never get 8 books together to start a bookmooch account. That's sort of a good thing, right?
I found last year that 4th & 5th grade girls would jump enthusiastically when I described a book as being about being bullied. Sometimes how you describe a book can make all the difference. Apple puts out a series of books called Candy Apple which are light, high interest books, often with a romantic angle. There's a sister series called Poison Apple with a bit of a light goth edge. The covers are very attractive to girls.
I've seen Candy Apple, not sure we have them though. Poison Apple sounds like it would be a hit. We'll see about the "bully" angle. The "romance" angle worked for Weetzie-Bat.
As for the Somali boy, I think I'll quit worrying about him so much. I got a look at his reading log. Very sketchy, rumpled, blank most weeks but week two was Divergent and it looks like he power read it - over 2 hours the first day and about an hour the next. That tells me he likes to read, knows how to find books but the trouble is in documenting it. Phew!!! There's still a problem from a class work point of view, but I prefer trouble with organization/follow through to difficulty reading/apathy towards books.
Other stuff - I've been spending 1 day a week helping out an Irish Water Spaniel breeder with her recent litter of puppies. They'll be 8 weeks this Saturday. I go over there and "socialize" (play with) the puppies and photograph them for her. I promise you photos soon, but am still dealing with computer issues. I've got Di's beautiful little netbook now, but last night couldn't quite figure out how to get it working with my ISP and ISP closed at 5:00 - how dare they!!! So all I did was play one hand of solitaire while listening to her Turkish music. Fun. Thanks Di! :) As for the Taco Truck, yum!!! Yum yum yum!!! We'll be going back.
Hard work, isn't it, "socializing" a bunch of cute 8-week-old puppies! :) *envious*
Not sure what I am most envious of - socialising the puppies or the taco truck!
It's great that there are so many YA options nowadays, but it depresses me that I hardly ever see my students reading or hear them discussing books. I always had a book in my hand, as did my best friends, but now it is all about phones. (I know - I sound like a fogey!) On Monday, though, it was nice to hear that one of my tweens is reading a book from the How to train your dragon series - in English - with her mum.
Maybe they just relate to books differently than we did? I know my daughter once spent hours texting back and forth with someone else who was reading the same book (The Hunger Games, of course). I'm sure the generation before ours despaired of us! I just finished a book in which the teacher mentions that most kids are listless and don't care -- and this was the 1950s!
432 I know - hard work - I'm going to miss them when they go off to their forever homes.
@433 but yes, the taco truck was pretty cool too! That dragon series sounds fun. I noticed a review or two about it a day or two ago. I understand what you mean about books vs phones - I used to always have a book, partly because I was shy and knew I wouldn't have to talk to anyone if I was reading. Now shy kids use Ipods or txt messages to avoid talking to their classmates - but that only works outside of the school.
Update on the boy - He's reading Insurgent now and I got him to actually talk to me (previously it's been grunts and snarls) by saying "I hear that's better than The Hunger Games.) So we talked about getting his reading log in so he can get credit for what he's doing, and now I've officially stopped worrying about him. It's in his court now.
#84 was an audio book - Marcelo in the Real World. Marcelo has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and has been in a special school for kids with disabilities most of his life. Now that he has only one year left of high school, his father makes him work the summer in a law firm. He finds out the "real world" works in some strange and sometimes not so nice ways and that his father's business clashes with his own personal moral compass.
This book hit a lot of big issues, and it did it well. As for the portrayal of ASD, the sentence structure and language choices the author (and actor) made bothered me. It came off as too stilted. I've known several people on the Spectrum and plenty of them have a few speech ticks, but I haven't run into one that is as high functioning as his character is but also so linguistically awkward - which isn't to say it couldn't happen. The grammar choices put me off, but the actual thought patterns described felt accurate, authentic and interesting.
The other thing that bugged me was the name choices - wow I'm being picky!!! The father's name was Arturo Sandoval, so I'm thinking of the real Arturo Sandoval. He's an incredible jazz trumpeter from Cuba. The real Arturo Sandoval is such an amazing musician that he can make a schlocky movie like "Vampires in Havana" into a classic. I had difficulty reconciling what I know about the character, Arturo Sandoval lawyer, with what I know about the real Arturo Sandoval. Another lawyer was Jerry Garcia - yes, common latino name. Jerry Garcia Grateful Dead coincidence? I think not. I'm sure there were more of these borrowed musician names that I missed. Music was a big part of Marcelo's world and the book, but I still found it distracting. That said, I'm still giving it 4 1/2 stars.
Great review of Marcelo in the Real World Katie! If I get around to reading it I will keep in mind your comments about the stilted language, because something like that can throw me off my reading if I am not ready or in the mood for it.
Lori, it can throw me off big time too. When I read The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon imitated a sentence structure that is very typical of ASD. At the beginning of the novel, I kept hearing the voice of a boy I worked with at the time and eventually "corrected" the voice in my head because it was slowing me down.
Gorgeous photo Katie! Socialisation is one of my favourite "jobs" when I'm working with our SPCA cats and kittens :-)
That is a great picture! BTW did you see this link about dogs and yawning? It was featured on the BBC - http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/10/bone-tired-study-shows-yawning-do...
I think kids today (OK even that phrase dates me!) do relate to books differently, on Wednesday I did 2 pages of a graphic novel with my teens and they really got into it, they couldn't stop discussing what might happen next, etc. One of the other teachers though said it crashed with her class, they just didn't care. Each to their own, though I have to admit it made me really happy to see even the slightly stroppy teens excited by the pages.
LOL! Each group is so different! Which novel? And I wonder what would've happened in your teacher's class if they'd snuck a ringer in there, some kid that loved the novel. A few summers ago, I did little mini book talks for a summer school group and I did the first page of The Demon's Lexicon. The kids didn't seem to think much of it until I asked them "why on earth would you keep a sword under the sink?" Then, they were off and running.
& cool article!!! Thanks for the link!
#85 Charming Billy Beautifully written unpleasant book about how a beloved alcoholic shapes the lives of people around him.
Sort of glad I read it but seen too much of that in the world already.
It was just the one that came with the ESL book - 1984-esque, but they really liked it. As you say, once their eyes have been opened to the possible interpretation, and that there isn't a right or wrong answer, they really seem to get involved.
Thanks for the tip about The Demon' Lexicon, actually I have been keeping an eye on your YA fiction with an eye for a couple of my students with a really high level of English.
The Demon's Lexicon would probably work for them. It's an average length, first person - but the narrator has difficulty reading (won't tell you why - that would be a spoiler) so the language level is pretty accessible. It would probably work pretty well for some of them, especially if they are good at using context clues.
>444 Doesn't everyone keep a sword under the sink? Though, admittedly mine is currently keeping my closet door shut.
I despaired that my daughter would ever become a reader. She had one book that she liked the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, but now she has an iPad she is reading like crazy.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
Ah! The all things electronic cure! I love The Mixed up Files! & I personally prefer to hide my swords as curtain rods.
#86 Hell House by Richard Matheson - note to self - only read horror short stories and novellas. Otherwise you'll have to power read it to get out of that world.
HH was profane, manipulative and frightening - quite the rated r Halloween read. I will say the steam bath thing has been so overdone since - I think even Maxwell Smart got stuck in a steam bath once - that I groaned at that scene. And I've got a complaint with the end - the way to exorcise the house was way too easy IMHO, but perhaps other people disagree with me.
Keep hearing good things about Matheson, but I've yet to check him out. Where to start? I am legend?
I haven't read a lot of Matheson, but I am Legend is a safe start. The short stories with I am Legend are inconsistent - some aged well and others didn't. Legend is less scary than Hell House, but it is also more thought provoking. He wrote a ton of screenplays for Hammer Horror and other production companies so you've probably seen something he's done already without knowing it.
Hmmm, I think most of his short stories could be categorized as horror too. The Box: Uncanny Stories sounds like a good way to sample his writing to see if you want to read more. As for getting dated, what dates his writing for me is a 1950s attitude toward women. It doesn't always show up, but sometimes it does and in Hell House the women and men both followed gender roles appropriate for the time it was written in but a modern writer might've not made the same characterization decisions.
Very true about the sexism, although I am not sure why the sexism annoys me in horror more than say hard boiled crime but it does. I recently read Ghost Story by Peter Straub (written in the 70s) and the misogyny just about killed it for me.
I know what you mean. I guess in hard boiled crime, it's a genre trope. Why it wouldn't be a genre trope in horror too, I don't know, but it isn't. It seems like the way women are portrayed has more range and is up to the author. - Although I doubt that's really true. I was watching Whedon's Little Cabin in the Woods last night which is a great horror film that treats all the horror tropes very tongue-in-cheek. Spoiler for movie: the people in charge of manipulating the night of horror make it very clear - the victims are to be 1 whore, 1 jock, 1 studious guy, 1 fool and 1 virgin. The virgin's death is optional, but it has to be last. If that isn't a sexist trope, I don't know what is.
I loved what Whedon did with Cabin in the Woods :) ** Spoiler.. **making her stupid through hair dye thing was brilliant!
Although it makes me wonder why they just remade The Evil Dead .. again... hmm..
Hmm maybe it's the black and white sexuality morality leading to static characters in horror that makes it all less palatable and way less interesting, at least in Noir you get the the femme fatale who has a bit of oomph and sometimes even intelligence!
@457 Yes, the hair dye!!! And she was a femme fatality no oomph - I loved the (Spoiler) pheramone mist
@458 - Vampires in Havana is campy good - you'll love it. & I'll take the warning on the box.
#87 The Tent by Gary Paulsen is a quick read, great for just the right reluctant reader. However, I'd be cautious recommending this book in a public school because of it's subject matter. Steven's father, Corey, has had trouble making ends meet so he decides that they are going to take an old military tent on the road and become preachers - even though neither of them have stepped into a church for years or know much about Christianity. Think Jim Baker on the road without Tammy Faye, and add a couple clowns that are experts in suddenly becoming healed and you've got the picture. -- I won't say anything more for fear of entering spoiler city, but I really enjoyed this little journey.
@461 I love Gary Paulsen too. I haven't read My Life in Dog Years yet, and I haven't read Dogsong or any of his mushing books - he actually had a sled dog team at one time. Might still for all I know. Great adventure writer! My life is going on the WL right now!
Hi Terri! Thanks. You have too. I think I lost your thread for the first half of the year though. :(
I read Hatchet somewhere around Intermediate school and really enjoyed it, never picked up another Paulsen though, I might have to remedy that.
#88 Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder is Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death in the UK. Enjoyable little romp. As historic fiction quite good. As a mystery, not so much. - which almost brings me to my Off the shelf goal. The original idea was that half my books would be off the shelf. That ain't going to happen this year. Realistically, I doubt it will ever happen. I just joined bookmooch, which is another incentive to clear the books out... but I don't believe for a second that it will reduce the number of books in the house.
Is your name the same on BM? I want to be able to "stalk" your inventory just in case there's something I absolutely need to have.
Yes, I'm going by Cammykitty on bookmooch too. I see you found me already!!! I don't have much in my inventory yet, but I'm sure I'll be adding stuff.
#89 Beastly by Alex Flinn was a fun modern retelling (New York, and starts in a chat room) of Beauty and the Beast. This is another book that would be good for reluctant readers. If it weren't for the cover, it would appeal to both boys and girls. No normal boy is going to willingly carry around a book that depicts a single white rose on the cover, although they like a romance just as much as the girls. Their romances need to be a bit tougher so they don't have to admit they're reading a romance.
I've had several students say they liked that book. Flinn is a popular author.
I discovered Flinn early in her career - Breathing Underwater. For some reason, she hasn't taken off here. I think the only book our school library has is Beastly, and I wouldn't swear to that. She's great - and she started her career as a counselor for kids who were in tough home situations so she knows her subject matter. I used to have an ex-library copy of Beastly. You can guess what happened to it. A student absconded with it. ;)
#90 Treasury of Classic Spanish Love Short Stories in Spanish and English finishes off my books off the shelf *obligation*. This was supposed to be 1/2 of the books read this year, but it isn't even close to that. It is 1/2 of the projected books of the year though. This collection was okay. The first story was historically interesting, but had plot holes in it big enough to be used as a heffalump trap. Mayor and friends go out to harass moors. They see a lovelorn but buff moor, attack him and take him prisoner. Moor says you couldn't have bested me if I hadn't already been bested in spirit - ie he'd lost his love - but, at this point in the story he had only been separated from his love, but it was all going to plan. ??? I know my Spanish isn't that great, but I don't think it's so bad that I missed a line saying that the father had discovered their plan and opposed them etc etc. Father clearly wasn't being consulted, and yes, they knew father wouldn't like that but it was no cause for tears. As for the translations of that story, they were also from the 16th Century and weren't all that clear either. The other stories (and translations) were better, and yes 1 out of the 5 stories was written by a woman, Emilia Pardo Bazan. As for the selection from Don Quixote, I've read some of it in the original Spanish before and decided to go straight to the English. Wimp wimp! I was tired and wanted to finish the book and knew Cervantes Spanish isn't exactly the Spanish used today. It was funnier than a lot of what I've read from DQ.
> 476 - Don't have much to say except kudos for expending the effort to finish that one. Sounds like a slog to get through!
I notice yours is the only review, and you've kept a lot of the exasperation out of it. I'm glad I'm not the only one who does that! Congrats on making it through another book off your shelf!
LOL - it was a bit of a slog. & yes, I do give you guys the more off-the-cuff response and then get "professional" on the review. After all, it doesn't look too intelligent to say things like "I thought logic predated the 16th century, but from this, I see not."
#91 Plain City by Virginia Hamilton There are only two reviews on this one, and since it is by a well-known author and certainly not new, that surprises me. I'm wondering if it is because it is hard to talk about it without giving mega spoilers. It is about a very light-skinned African-American girl, Buhlaire, who is having trouble fitting in with her community, partly because of where she lives, and partly because everyone knows what her mother does for a living. She has been told her father is dead, but that's not the case. The book is a quiet, atmospheric one about how Buhlaire comes into her own SPOILER once she finds her father. Needless to say, her family lied to her about her father being dead for a reason. The reason changes her.
It's a simple and short enough read for the average fourth grader, but I'm not sure it is fast-paced enough for those reluctant readers we've been talking about.
You won't believe it - I've risen to the top of the library waiting list. Gone Girl is on hold for me.
cool! We can compare notes. I'm picking it up tomorrow and suspect it will be one of those books you stay up late to finish.
>468 Don't say that. Don't EVER say that. The illusion we'll one day whittle Mt. TBR down to nothing is what we all cling to as we keep buying more books. Saying it isn't realistic is like killing Santa.
LOL! You think? I think I'd panic if I had less than 50 good, unread books in the house. But perhaps I could whittle Mt. TBR down to 50?
Yes, you totally could. Of course you could. No doubt. And quit buying books too, anytime you wanted to.
488 Yes, yes and I could quit eating chocolate too. And ice cream. And I could quit breathing, anytime I wanted. Wouldn't hurt at all. ;)
So there are three of us with Gone Girl now. Doesn't Mr. WriterMan sound like a creep. Talking about the beauty of her brains and her centipede thoughts zipping along. Eeyou!!! He's creepier than OJ.
I'm a little bit past half in Gone Girl and it really is a page burner! I won't have any cooking to do tomorrow so I'll really put a dent in it.
I'm not as far as you, but I still think the guy is a creep, and an unreliable narrator to boot. Although I wouldn't put it past Amy to just up and leave, perhaps leaving a few clues behind so he could find her if he cared to try.
#92 How to Ditch your Fairy is a very amusing book about two girls, mostly enemies, who are going to a Sports High School. In this world, many people have fairies who specialize in one specific kind of luck. Charlie's fairy finds parking spots for cars, which sounds good but she doesn't drive. Charlie's fairy gets borrowed frequently, and when someone borrows her fairy, she has to go along for the ride whether she feels like it or not. Firenza's fairy is an Every-Boy-Will-Like-You fairy, which has gotten pretty inconvenient as well. Very amusing story, but considering that it was written be Justine Larbalestier, it could've been much more. My real review is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/book/91798724
This will probably be the last book on this thread. I've got 160 pages left of Gone Girl, and it doesn't fit into my overflow category - So I'm planning on entering it as my first book in the 2013 challenge. When I set up that thread, I'll come back and leave a link here. See you all in 2013!
& btw, when will the 75ers be setting up a 2013 group? Do 75ers wait patiently for New Years Eve?
I was looking a How to Ditch your Fairy not too long ago. Looking forward to following your reading over on the 2013 Category Challenge! As for the 75ers, it is my understanding that their group administrator doesn't create the new group until sometime during the holidays near the latter part of December - something to do with stemming a potential mass exodus from the current group to the new one, but as I have only been with the group for one year this is pretty much heresy on my part! ;-)
@494 Thanks!!! potential mass exodus!!! Okay, I'll admit I find the goal of 75 books a bit daunting and would love to start early, so I can see why the group admin wouldn't want to let them "cheat" a bit. I just want to get started though!!!
@495 LOL - what a twisty book. Alternate title: Sociopaths in Luv
Yes, that's how we do it on the 75er thread, I've been there for about 4 years and earlier crossovers don't really work as we don't start the challenge till Jan 01 and that means twice as many threads to keep up with for too many weeks if they start up early. It's fast & furious for the first while as everyone posts on everyone else's thread, sort of like a high school reunion except that we've all been talking to each other on the old threads anyway.
I haven't started Gone Girl yet, I've got one chunkster to get out of the way to complete this challenge and I'm holding off till then. I must pick up How to Ditch your Fairy one of these days.
How to Ditch your Fairy is quite fun, and it's set in alternative Australia/US take your pick - which I find kind of hysterical because the two countries are so different, but quite a bit the same too.
I was thinking 75ers could get messy split up. You see that sort of thing at changeover time in the category challenge too. I started the 12 in 12 early and the first few months were lonely!
Kerry, try to read Gone Girl before the spoilers get out there. Even some of the blurbs on the back of the book give away too much. I've got about 130 pages left but probably won't be able to get to them until the end of this week.
Even some of the blurbs on the back of the book give away too much.
That's one reason I don't read them much any more. If I do, my terrible memory doesn't retain it so I'm surprised in any case.
Reminds me of a Red Dwarf episode where the ship's computer asks to have it's memory of all the agatha christie books wiped so he can read them again. Sometimes a bad memory is a good thing, yes?
That's an excellent idea! I can think of a huge number of books I would like to read for the first time again!
I used to read Justine Larbalestier's blog and as she's an Australian married to an American (Scott Westerfeld) they split their year between both countries and she likes to bring up the differences. Her Magic or Madness trilogy involved a door in Sydney that opened up in New York. I'd love one of those, mine would open up in Paris or London!
Yes, category challenge changeover but x10
I'm dragging my feet on my chunkster, I might even pick up something else and read Gone Girl this weekend. I agree about blurbs that tell too much, movie trailers that give away an entire movie plot are also irksome. Most blurbs are forgettable, but those that spoil a book are hard to forget.
Eva - me too!!! Although I was thinking it would be fun to read The Little Stranger again knowing full well how it ends. I'd like to see how Waters pulls it off.
Ava - True about those blurbs - that makes sense about Justine. I knew Scott Westerfeld split his time between both countries, but didn't know why. So have they been an item for over 10 years??? I've run into both of them at WisCon but I haven't been to WisCon for eons and I don't remember them ever being together there. Oooo... a door between Minneapolis and ??? Barcelona? I'm not sure where. Hawaii? I'd wan't a roving door.
>503 The little stranger lined up for next year's challenge. Mighty curious now!
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