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amanda4242's thread

This topic was continued by amanda4242's thread #2.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: May 14, 9:56pm Top

Dec 29, 2016, 6:19pm Top

Welcome back!

Dec 29, 2016, 7:10pm Top

I think you can safely assume that I will stop by once in a while, Amanda. xx

Dec 30, 2016, 2:51am Top

>2 drneutron: Thanks! And thank you for all the work you put into my favorite group.

>3 PaulCranswick: I'd be heart-broken if you didn't.

Dec 30, 2016, 5:45am Top

Happy New Year, Amanda!

Dec 30, 2016, 1:48pm Top

>5 DianaNL: And to you!

Dec 31, 2016, 8:26am Top

Dec 31, 2016, 9:11am Top

I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.

Thank you for also being part of the group.

Dec 31, 2016, 10:28am Top

Happy reading in 2017, Amanda!

Dec 31, 2016, 10:03pm Top

Checking in here for 2017.

Dec 31, 2016, 10:29pm Top

Jan 1, 6:27pm Top

Hi, Amanda!

Jan 1, 11:47pm Top

Jan 1, 11:52pm Top

1. The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth

A sf dystopian version of Mad Men. The ending isn't great, but the rest of it is very good and depressingly still relevant some sixty years after it was first published.

Edited: Jan 3, 2:37am Top

2. The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen

One of those modernist novels that just seems hopelessly old-fashioned these days.

Jan 3, 2:02pm Top

Hi, Amanda. Just stopping by to drop a star. The Space Merchants is going on my list - love a good dystopian book!

Edited: Jan 3, 11:21pm Top

3. Black Robe by Brian Moore

Very impressive tale of the tragic clash of two radically different cultures.

Jan 3, 11:23pm Top

Jan 4, 8:46am Top

>18 amanda4242: I am pleased that you liked Brian Moore.
I am worried that you hated The House in Paris.

Edited: Jan 4, 10:46am Top

>20 PaulCranswick: "Hated" is a bit strong in this case; there were some parts that were actually pretty good, but the dialogue inspired a lot of eye-rolling.

Edited: Jan 5, 3:36am Top

Jan 5, 4:06am Top

>20 PaulCranswick: Amanda I am a bit prone to hyperbole and exaggeration as you may have noticed!

Jan 5, 6:57am Top

How did you like Voices from Chernobyl, Amanda? I started reading it last year but didn't get very far into it, and I want to revisit it later this year or next year.

Jan 5, 4:54pm Top

>23 PaulCranswick: :)

>24 kidzdoc: It was, unsurprisingly, a painful read, but definitely worthwhile.

Edited: Jan 6, 3:40am Top

5. The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany

Didn't like this as much as the others of his I've read.

Jan 7, 2:04am Top

6. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

A fantastic novella and one of the best Lovecraft-inspired stories I've read in a very long time.

Jan 7, 10:53am Top

I'm glad that you liked The Ballad of Black Tom, Amanda. I bought it last year, and will move it higher on my TBR list.

Jan 8, 1:45am Top

>28 kidzdoc: It's definitely worth bumping up the list.

Jan 8, 1:47am Top

7. Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

Amazing, as have been all my experiences of Butler's works.

Jan 8, 9:43am Top

>27 amanda4242: Book bulleted on a Sunday evening!

Jan 8, 9:36pm Top

8. The Dragon's Boy by Jane Yolen

Pretty good little book about the education of young Arthur. Perfect for 8-10 year-olds.

Edited: Jan 9, 2:24am Top

9. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

The title character was very well written, but some of the sci-fi elements weren't fleshed out enough to make much sense. Still, not a bad read.

Edited: Jan 10, 2:51am Top

10. The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Bartleby the Scrivener as a Korean woman.

Edited: Jan 11, 2:46am Top

11. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

This is one of those books that is disappointing because it should have been so much better than it is. The world Wilson created is interesting but the first 2/3 of the book just drag on, there are pointless and distracting footnotes, and lines like "every night the brazen sphere dissolves in a molten line, compelling the gaze westward when the sky's dark otherwise" that induce severe eye rolling.

Jan 11, 10:49am Top

Hmm, yeah, eye-rolling indeed.

Jan 13, 1:17am Top

12. Survivor by Octavia E. Butler

I was surprised to find that my local library had a copy of this long out of print entry in Butler's Patternist series. I was even more surprised to find that, despite the author's dislike of it, it's a really good book. It sits uncomfartably with the rest of the series as it takes place on another planet and barely mentions the psionics that dominate the other books, but it's still a great story.

Edited: Jan 14, 3:04am Top

13. The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

My parents clearly failed me as I was never read Pooh as a kid.

Jan 14, 3:08am Top

A baker's dozen read already, Amanda. Going at a book a day so far.

Have a great weekend and don't get eye strain!

Jan 14, 3:50am Top

>39 PaulCranswick: We've had a lot of rain recently so I've had little to do but read...of course, now that the rain has stopped I'll be ignoring all the things I should be doing and reading instead!

Enjoy your weekend.

Jan 14, 4:08am Top

>40 amanda4242: I will go and pray for rain then so I can catch up my own reading a bit!

Jan 14, 10:13am Top

>38 amanda4242: So now that you've experienced the non-Disney Pooh, you might like The Tao of Pooh. It's fun!

Jan 15, 3:00am Top

>41 PaulCranswick: It's certainly helped reduced the tbr stack.

>42 drneutron: I'm pretty sure I have that one on the shelves somewhere; I'll have to give it read soon.

Jan 15, 3:01am Top

14. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

I didn't like it when I had to read it in eighth grade and I still don't like it.

Edited: Jan 16, 2:33am Top

15. Who? by Algis Budrys

Aged very well for a Cold War-era sf novel, although in 2017 the central problem of the book would have been solved in no time with a DNA test.

Jan 18, 2:19am Top

17. Human Acts by Han Kang

It's not poorly written, but I can't help but think all the people who are praising it are mistaking suffering for profundity.

Edited: Jan 20, 1:27am Top

18. Doctormania by Cavan Scott

Pretty good Ninth Doctor graphic novel. Nothing to write home about, but it reminded me of how much I liked the first series of the show.

Jan 21, 12:16am Top

>47 amanda4242: mistaking suffering for profundity.

I like that, Amanda.

Have a great weekend.

Jan 27, 1:27am Top

20. The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler

Beautiful picture book done predominately in shades of blue.

Jan 27, 5:09am Top

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Feb 1, 12:32am Top

Amanda, the BAC thread is up:


Thanks for offering to deputise. xx

Feb 1, 2:40am Top

>53 PaulCranswick: No problem. You have a lot going on this year so do let me know if you need a hand.

Feb 1, 2:42am Top

21. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

A truly kick-ass novel based on Russian folktales.

Edited: Feb 2, 2:45am Top

22. A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan

When a book has the word dying in the title I don't expect it to be a laugh riot, but damn that was way more depressing than I expected.

Feb 3, 2:25am Top

>54 amanda4242: Thank you Amanda. xx

Feb 3, 2:38am Top

23. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett

A collection of some of his earliest works, written in his late teens and early twenties for a newspaper's children section. The stories aren't particularly sophisticated, but they're charming and silly and made me smile. I especially liked the stories of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo, the wildest town in the wildest west of all wests: Wales.

Edited: Feb 4, 2:43am Top

24. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

A year after her dramatic arrival at university, Binti is struggling to find a place among her peers, is living with PTSD from witnessing the massacre aboard her transport ship, and feels guilty over leaving her home and family. She decides to return home to attempt to heal and reconnect with her family, taking her friend Okwu with her as the first Meduse to visit Earth in peace. While initially glad to see Binti home, it's not long before the recriminations start and dangerous tensions rise over her bringing a Meduse with her.

I found myself enjoying Binti: Home far more than I did its predecessor, which I thought was a little weak in the world-building; in this volume Okorafor does a better job in showing what it is Binti does and what it means to be a "harmonizer." That being said, it is still Binti and her journey of self-discovery that makes me want to read more.

I would give this novella four stars but I have to ding it a bit out of spite for the cliffhanger ending.

Edited: Feb 5, 2:21am Top

25. Strata by Terry Pratchett

I feel as if I've been given a peak down the other leg of the Trousers of Time into a world where Sir Terry decided Discworld should be science fiction rather than fantasy. Strata is a hodgepodge of various science fiction tropes mixed together with a generous helping of irreverence. Set mainly on a disc world*, the story is basically about a planet builder traveling around this impossible planet trying to figure out how the hell it works. Truth be told, it's not a terribly good book**, but it has so much in it that obviously was recycled into the Discworld series that I can't help but feel a deep affection for it.

*But not theDiscworld

**Although I've read far worse

Edited: Feb 6, 2:31am Top

26. There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

An excellent reminder that love stories don't have to be about romance or have happy endings.

Feb 6, 1:22pm Top

Hi, Amanda. I saw your post over on the BAC thread and was led to your reviews. I enjoyed them and distributed a few thumbs. I love a succinct, witty review.

Feb 6, 2:22pm Top

>62 bohemima: Thank you!

Feb 10, 1:59am Top

29. Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Volume 5 - The Twist by George Mann

Two rollicking good Twelfth Doctor adventures made all the better, imho, for not having Clara in them.

The first story finds the Doctor attending a rock concert on a space station where he meets Hattie, the band's bass player and his companion for the book. Soon the two of them are trying to solve a murder and uncover the hidden secrets of the station. Story two has the Doctor and Hattie trying to help a family with a house that has suddenly become bigger on the inside...

I enjoyed this one much more than I have the previous Twelfth Doctor graphic novels--and not just because it is Clara-free. The first story has the Doctor fighting to protect non-humans from humans, something that isn't seen often enough; the second story, while hardly mind-blowing, is a well told tale with characters who actually do more than sit around and let the Doctor save them. Hattie is an intelligent and thoughtful companion whom I wouldn't mind seeing again. And on top of all that, the art is fantastic.

Feb 10, 1:07pm Top

>60 amanda4242: Next week will see my first attempt at reading Terry Pratchett.

The Discworld books of Terry Pratchett
Are a habit but I've yet to catch it;
Next week is my first try
And I'll know by and by
Where, verily I need to bury the hatchet.

Have a lovely weekend.

Feb 11, 1:48am Top

30. A Walk in Wolf Wood by Mary Stewart

Younger readers will probably enjoy this more, but it's still a decent read for an adult.

Feb 21, 2:08am Top

Well I am almost finished with my first Discworld book, Amanda and it won't be the last.

Feb 21, 2:10am Top

I am almost through my first Discworld book, Amanda and it won't be the last one.

Feb 21, 3:16am Top

I'm glad to hear it, especially since the series gets way better.

Feb 21, 3:21am Top

>72 amanda4242: That's good!

Feb 24, 7:43pm Top

>74 amanda4242: Don't know about you, Amanda, but I was a little disappointed with Palin's book. It seemed to lack either the insight or humour I would have expected of him.

Have a great weekend.

Feb 24, 9:08pm Top

>75 PaulCranswick: I liked it as a companion to the series, but consider on its own it's not the best.

Feb 25, 2:16am Top

34. A Kind of Loving by Stan Barstow

Too soap opera-ish for my taste.

Feb 26, 12:03am Top

35. Georgy Girl by Margaret Forster

The cover of my copy declares Georgy Girl "sharp, affectionate and very funny"; clearly these words had different definitions in the 60s than they do now.

Feb 26, 12:06am Top

>77 amanda4242: & >78 amanda4242: That's a quick start to March BAC, Amanda and 0 for 2! Both of them are possibles for me next month and I shall try not to be put off by your splendid put-downs!

Feb 26, 12:07am Top

>79 PaulCranswick: A Kind of Loving was well-written, but wasn't to my taste; Georgy Girl was dreadful all around.

Edited: Feb 28, 1:32am Top

37. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré

I'll stick with Bond, thank you very much.

Feb 28, 1:41am Top

>81 amanda4242: & >82 amanda4242: 0 for 4 - wow my picks are going down a bomb!

Feb 28, 1:47am Top

>83 PaulCranswick: I liked Wide Sargasso Sea when I read it several years ago so there's at least one March book I like.

Edited: Mar 1, 2:38am Top

Mar 1, 2:57pm Top

>85 amanda4242: I enjoyed that one a few years back.

Edited: Mar 2, 1:44am Top

39. The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

Another March pick I like! Even though the characters and plot seem like an afterthought, the world Ballard created and the richness with which he describes it are enough to make me forgive almost all of the books shortcomings.

Edited: Mar 2, 2:24am Top

40. How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman

Graphic novel adaptation of one of Gaiman's stories with pretty good art.

Mar 4, 3:05am Top

Edited: Mar 6, 1:03pm Top

Edited: Mar 17, 3:42pm Top

45. The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

A strange book that's part Gothic novel and part fairy tale. I found the main character annoying at first, but she grew on me and I wound up really enjoying this one.

Mar 7, 11:25pm Top

47. Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman

A graphic novel adaptation of one of my favorite Gaiman stories. The art is fantastic, with a kind of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari vibe to it.

Edited: Mar 8, 5:45pm Top

Edited: Mar 13, 11:34pm Top

>93 amanda4242: So I make that 4 duds and 3 goods this month so far, Amanda on the BAC which is much better after a dodgy start.

Mar 13, 11:54pm Top

>98 PaulCranswick: Not too bad, and I'll probably find a couple more I'll enjoy.

Mar 14, 7:55pm Top

>99 amanda4242: I really ought to go back and check what is the most BAC books you have read in a month is!

Edited: Mar 14, 9:52pm Top

>100 PaulCranswick: That would be when I read eleven books by Penelope Lively and Kazuo Ishiguro in January 2015.

Mar 17, 1:56am Top

52. The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks

When I started this book I thought, "Oh god, another one with an unmarried woman getting pregnant", but I soon found myself warming-up to Miss Jane Graham when she informed her doctor that he should confirm a pregnancy before offering an abortion. I was so pleased that Banks didn't have Jane wallow in misery or spend all her time trying to secure a husband; she created a character who has many flaws, but is generally sensible and who learns and grows.

Despite my affection for the main character, I was sadden by the casual racism and homophobia in the book. I found an interview Banks gave in 2000 saying she was embarrassed by that aspect of the book.

In summary, painfully dated in some ways, but still worth reading.

Mar 17, 2:21am Top

>101 amanda4242: Your ability to dredge up such information is impressive, Amanda!

Mar 17, 3:32pm Top

>105 PaulCranswick: In this case all I did was look at the links at the bottom of the book's Wikipedia page.

Mar 17, 7:53pm Top

53. The Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer

Another one for the dislike column.

Mar 17, 9:39pm Top

>107 amanda4242: I hope your next read is better for you, Amanda!

Happy weekend :)

Mar 17, 9:45pm Top

>108 alcottacre: Thanks! And welcome back!

Mar 17, 9:50pm Top

>109 amanda4242: It is good to be back, believe me!

Edited: Mar 22, 2:31pm Top

54. The Garrick Year by Margaret Drabble

At least no one was pregnant in this one.

Mar 20, 1:29am Top

55. A Compass Error by Sybille Bedford

An unpleasant book which consists of characters speaking to each other in an affected way, a fifty page info dump about the main character's grandmother and mother, and tedious monologues from a narcissist.

Edited: Mar 20, 10:15pm Top

Edited: Mar 22, 2:35am Top

Mar 22, 4:52am Top

16 of your 57 books to date have been B.A.C. books which is mightily impressive. 11 this month so far ties your best ever - a number 12 this month?

Edited: Mar 25, 11:54am Top

>115 PaulCranswick: I'm actually at 19 for the year since I skipped ahead and read a few by Neil Gaiman, a December author. As for this month, while I've read 11 of this month's titles, I finished a few of them in February so my total BAC reads in March is actually 9. I have a few more March titles on hand so I may yet beat my own record!

Mar 22, 4:55pm Top

58. The Long March & The Clap Shack by William Styron

For the AAC. Not recommended.

Mar 22, 11:28pm Top

59. Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen by George Mann and Cavan Scott

Too much packed into too small a space with not very good art.

Mar 25, 11:20am Top

>116 amanda4242: However I muddle up counting them - it is by any stretch of the imagination impressive reading, Amanda.

Have a lovely weekend.

Edited: Mar 31, 6:49pm Top

60. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

I think it is an excellent book, but the middle dragged some and Helen could be a bit preachy. I really enjoyed how Bronte flipped around the Gothic trope of "innocent girl becoming fascinated by mysterious man living in imposing house."

61. The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones

Fascinating and an enjoyable read. The dynasty wasn't overly burdened with likable people, but they did achieve many great things and leave an indelible mark on the country.

Mar 31, 9:58pm Top

>120 amanda4242: I'm hoping to read The Plantagenets later this year. It's been on the list for a long time, and I identified it as one I'd like to finish this year.

Mar 31, 10:03pm Top

>121 thornton37814: It's long, but it's divided into ~100 page sections with short chapters so it moves along pretty quickly.

Edited: Apr 3, 7:12pm Top

62. Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A.S. Byatt

Kind of boring. There's a barely there framing story about a "thin child" during WWII reading a book about the Norse gods but the book's little more than thumbnail tellings of some myths.

Edited: Apr 3, 10:34pm Top

63. Constantine, Volume 1: The Spark and the Flame by Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire

A so-so story starring a sanitized Constantine. Not great, but it could have been much worse.

Apr 5, 1:21am Top

64. A Darker Shade of MAgic by V.E. Schwab

Great fun to read!

Apr 11, 7:21pm Top

65. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

A little slow in places, but still a good read.

Apr 11, 8:01pm Top

>126 amanda4242: I think that is a pretty fair assessment, Amanda. xx

Apr 13, 7:11pm Top

66. In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

Kept putting me to sleep.

Edited: Apr 14, 3:21am Top

67. Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

What a charming novella! I am now anxiously awaiting the sequel to arrive at the library.

Edited: Apr 16, 1:44pm Top

68. How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom

As erudite and unapologetically snobby as I expected. I probably would have been better off reading the books Bloom discusses, but that may have been his point.

Apr 16, 2:00pm Top

>120 amanda4242: I need to get to The Plantagenets soon. Thanks for the recommendation, Amanda!

>129 amanda4242: I will have to give that one a try too.

Happy Easter, Amanda!

Apr 17, 1:56pm Top

>131 alcottacre: Happy (belated) Easter to you, too!

Apr 17, 1:58pm Top

69. Angels and Insects by A. S. Byatt

A collection of two essentially unrelated novellas. The first novella, "Morpho Eugenia," was a well-crafted tale of the similarities between human and insect behavior; "The Conjugal Angel" was a nearly incomprehensible mess about Spiritualists and Tennyson.

Apr 17, 9:47pm Top

70. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Loved it now as much as I did when I was a kid.

Apr 18, 4:16am Top

>133 amanda4242: To be honest I am not really looking forward to my Byatt read. I have changed it to The Biographer's Tale as The Children's Book is so bloody long and I am not in the mood for it. I brought 10 books to Florida with my and have read three of them already!

Apr 18, 7:19pm Top

>135 PaulCranswick: I haven't been impressed by Byatt, but she isn't completely awful.

If you run out of reading material, there are a few books stores in this country.

Apr 20, 2:59am Top

72. Constantine, Volume 2: Blight by Ray Fawkes

Who the hell thought it was a good idea to turn Constantine into an action hero?!

Some of the many problems in this collection: a story arc that has huge chunks of the story missing; characters appearing and disappearing with no explanation; a Constantine that is slinging around spells like bullets instead of conning his way out of trouble; and, worst of all, Constantine sounds like an American.

Honestly, I'd rather re-watch the awful Keanu Reeves movie than read this crap.

Apr 20, 10:47am Top

Apr 20, 5:27pm Top

>139 drneutron: Yep, that one hurt.

Edited: Apr 20, 5:29pm Top

Edited: Apr 21, 3:23am Top

Apr 22, 2:19pm Top

75. What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton

Fantastic! It's a collection of blog posts Walton did for tor.com, mostly concerning about her re-readings, but it also has entries on what not to say when you meet an author, different types of series, and a lament that George Eliot never tried writing science fiction. Highly recommended.

Edited: Apr 22, 6:00pm Top

Congratulations on hitting 75, Amanda!
And with an appropriate title ;-)

Apr 22, 8:49pm Top

>144 FAMeulstee: Thank you!

Edited: Apr 23, 1:18pm Top

76. Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth

I enjoyed it, although I'm sure I missed quite a bit by not knowing much about late 18th century Irish history. The glossary is not to be skipped!

Apr 22, 10:54pm Top

Congrats on blowing past 75!

Apr 23, 3:03am Top

Apr 23, 3:06am Top

77. Lady Susan by Jane Austen

It's a bit rough, but it raises catty gossip to an art form.

Apr 23, 7:03am Top

Well done for zipping past 75 so efficiently and giving me plenty of smiles with your succinct and very decided reviews.

Have a great Sunday.

Apr 23, 8:51pm Top

Edited: Apr 23, 8:52pm Top

Apr 23, 8:53pm Top

>143 amanda4242: I am slowly (as I am taking tons of notes!) but surely making my way through that one.

Apr 23, 10:01pm Top

>153 alcottacre: Wonderful, isn't it? Of course, it *did* increase my tbr list...

Edited: Apr 24, 4:20am Top

79. Marble Skin by Slavenka Drakulić

Not to my taste.

Apr 24, 7:25pm Top

Just realized you are past 75 already. Congrats!

Apr 24, 7:52pm Top

Apr 24, 7:54pm Top

>154 amanda4242: Yes, it is wonderful!

Apr 24, 7:57pm Top

80. Constantine, Volume 3: the Voice in the Fire by Ray Fawkes

Much better than the last collection but still nowhere near the old Hellblazer.

81. Lady Mechanika, Volume 1: Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse by Joe Benitez

Fun steampunk adventure graphic novel. I do wish that someone had told the writer the difference between the pupil and iris and the definition of decimated.

Apr 28, 3:11am Top

82. Lady Mechanika, Volume 2: The Tablet of Destinies by M.M. Chen

Great adventure story with sumptuous art.

83. Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany

Why did I wait so long to read this?! An excellent book that's aged pretty damn well.

Apr 28, 6:36am Top

>160 amanda4242: Delany is fabulous, isn't he?

Apr 28, 7:43am Top

>160 amanda4242: Not read any Delany, so I am going to have to track some of his stuff down!

Apr 28, 9:10pm Top

>161 scaifea: Yes, although he be a bit...esoteric at times.

>162 alcottacre: Babel-17 would be a good place to start. I also liked The Ballad of Beta-2, although it's not one of his best.

Apr 30, 6:46pm Top

Apr 30, 10:09pm Top

85. Infernal Parade by Clive Barker

A collection of interconnected stories which were originally written to go with a collection of figurines. The stories are inventive, but they never build to anything.

Edited: May 1, 1:47am Top

86. Constantine, Volume 4: The Apocalypse Road by Ray Fawkes

Much better than the previous three volumes. Here we see something of Constantine as he is in Hellblazer: a guy with a bit of magical knowledge saving the world with a con and leaving a trail of dead friends in his wake. Not perfect, but didn't make me want to hurl the book across the room.

May 1, 10:43pm Top

87. Frida's Bed by Slavenka Drakulic

Not bad. It helps to know a bit about Frida Kahlo's life and her paintings before reading it.

May 1, 10:49pm Top

Still reading at a fair old clip, I see, Amanda. xx

May 2, 2:11am Top

May 2, 2:16am Top

>168 PaulCranswick: Have to fill my time somehow as we can't all be jet-setters. ;)

May 2, 9:45am Top

>169 amanda4242: Yeah, I'm done with DC. I'm so over this whole rebirth thing.

May 2, 6:12pm Top

>171 drneutron: Awful stuff, isn't it?

May 2, 6:40pm Top

I wonder if Trump will read the US Constitution before he replaces it and notice that outlawing slavery would have prevented The Civil War...?

May 2, 9:39pm Top

>174 amanda4242:

Just prompted by thinking about being done with Washington DC.

May 2, 10:08pm Top

>175 m.belljackson: Um, okay. Not sure how you got politics out of a Hellblazer discussion, but I would prefer that my thread remain free of political discussions.

May 3, 10:31am Top

>176 amanda4242:

Thank you. I'm new here and so just learning which Threads to avoid.

May 3, 4:08pm Top

We were actually talking about DC the comics, not DC the city. :)

May 3, 4:38pm Top

>177 m.belljackson: You don't have to avoid my thread unless you want to. I like to stay away from politics because they can turn a thread toxic in a heartbeat.

May 3, 6:01pm Top

>178 drneutron:

Thank You!

I was going quickly through many of these longer Threads that had never been visited
and so did not read the entire discussion.

From recently reading so many other LT Threads,
I just assumed DC was a new way of saying 'things.'

May 4, 3:13am Top

89. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

It's amazing that the creation of the monster is usually one of the most memorable scenes in the movies, but in the book it's only bare glimpse and dealt with in just a couple of pages. And the eloquence of Frankenstein's creation! His descriptions of gaining awareness and his wonder at beholding nature are incredibly moving passages.

May 4, 11:08am Top

Just catching up after a long tax season!

>66 amanda4242: I think I'd have to agree with you about Clara. I haven't kept up on my Doctor Who reading for some years, but definitely keeping up on the show - I assume you watch? I have to say that I don't care much for many of the New Who companions. The love interest with the Doctor just really turns me off. That's probably why my favorite New Who companion is Donna with the second being Amy - well, technically, I actually think I liked Rory better. And Nardole is shaping up to be quite likeable - I'd rather see him than Bill.

>89 amanda4242: As always, I think most movies really make a hash out of the books. Frankenstein is one that the movies really turned into something else entirely. It's been many years since I've read the book, but I always found the monster to be a very sympathetic character, goaded by others into the horrible things he did. The movies make him something to be afraid of, while I think he was really someone to be pitied or even sympathized with.

>169 amanda4242: >171 drneutron: I'm a Marvel girl, myself!

>160 amanda4242: Been meaning to read Babel-17

May 4, 11:08am Top

May 5, 3:23pm Top

>182 rretzler: I've only seen the first episode of the new season but I do like Bill more than Clara...of course, I like Daleks more than I like Clara.

I don't read Marvel myself, but do remember seeing the news that they made Captain America Hydra...sounds like things are as fucked-up there as they are at DC.

May 5, 3:24pm Top

90. Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

Slow-moving and scattered. It's not bad, but I won't ever read it again.

May 6, 12:34am Top

>184 amanda4242: Too funny - I would also say that I like Daleks more than Clara...or Rose...or Martha...and I'm not really big on River either, just don't see why so many people like her.

I guess I must have missed Captain America being made Hydra...sigh!

May 7, 2:35am Top

>186 rretzler: I liked River's introduction and The Husbands of River Song, but I think most of her story line was really poorly written, which is a shame as she was one of the few companions who was actually an intellectual equal to the Doctor.

May 7, 2:41am Top

Wishing you a great weekend, Amanda. xx

May 7, 2:51am Top

91. Believe Me: a memoir of love, death, and jazz chickens by Eddie Izzard and Laura Zigman

I was excited when I saw this one offered on First to Read because I've long been a fan of Izzard's stand-up. His memoir is written in the same stream of consciousness style as his comedy, but it doesn't work nearly as well on the page as it does on stage; in print, it's rambling and repetitive, with no clear sense of a time-line. I do wonder if it would be better listening to him read it.

Despite the style, it was a fairly interesting book and Izzard isn't given to bragging or name dropping; mostly, he wrote about his family and childhood, and how his success is the result of self-confidence and a lot of hard work.

92. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle

In A Wrinkle in Time we learned that the evils of communism could be defeated by the power of love. In A Wind in the Door we learn that sickness is caused by evil attacking creatures which live on mitochondria and that the evil can be stopped by the power of love. Honestly, I don't understand why people love this series.

May 7, 2:51am Top

Edited: May 8, 4:16pm Top

May 8, 7:47pm Top

94. Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid

Not bad, but not good enough to justify the shelf space.

May 9, 2:48am Top

May 9, 3:04am Top

>192 amanda4242: I suppose it need not take up space anymore now that you've done and read it! Closing on 100 already!

May 9, 11:37pm Top

>194 PaulCranswick: Books just keep following me home and I'm rapidly running out of free space so I've decided to try to get to some of the unread books on my shelves so I can decided if they're worth keeping.

Edited: May 9, 11:53pm Top

96. In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made by Norman F. Cantor

Complete crap. I made a list of some of the major annoyances:

1. Jumps around time and topics so it's hard to establish what the world was like pre- and post-plague.

2. Cantor never passes up a chance to demonize the Plantagenets, except for Richard II, who he describes as a "sensitive, intelligent monarch." I know the dynasty had more than its share of utter bastards, but was it really necessary to ridicule their sense of fashion?

3. He makes claims without providing any evidence. (King John was manic-depressive, Richard II was gay)

4. He treats legends and rumors as facts. (Robin Hood, the story of Edward II and the hot poker)

5. Focuses almost exclusively on England

6. Paints medieval people as stupid and superstitious.

Avoid this one like the, well, you know.

May 10, 5:46pm Top

>189 amanda4242: A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite books growing up. I think I first read it when I was 8-9 and I was fascinated by the idea of a tesseract and travel through different dimensions and the fact that Meg and Charles Wallace were very smart and misfits at school (I could relate to this somewhat.) This was maybe the first science fiction book that I had ever read, and I loved it. Unfortunately, at that age, I totally missed the religious connotations, which turned me off upon later rereads. The basic plot, like that of many other books and movies, is good versus evil - the good here taking the part of love and family. I like the fact that it sends the message that its okay to be smart - most books are written about the average kid, and the smart kid is the one who gets picked on. I still enjoy the book, except for the religious parts, because of the good sci-fi and the characters. However, I didn't really enjoy the rest of the series, it just fell flat for me - but that's possibly because I read those books as an adult. Just my opinion.

May 10, 7:59pm Top

>197 rretzler: I had to read A Wrinkle in Time when I was in sixth grade and I hated it then; I remember feeling like I was being talked down to and that the kids did not speak like any kids I had ever met. My opinion of it went even lower when I reread it last year. Despite the alleged intelligence of Meg and Charles Wallace they don't really solve anything by using their brains, relying instead on Meg's love for her creepy little brother to save the day...and isn't it just typical that it's the girl who's the emotional one? And the sci-fi I found to be really fantasy with some misused scientific terms thrown in.

Well, now that I've had my rant I feel better. Thank you for sharing your experience of the book, even though we will never agree on its merits.

May 10, 8:01pm Top

97. Planet of Exile by Ursula K. Le Guin

Another one I enjoyed. It's not a great novel, but I do like the detail Le Guin puts in to her worlds.

May 12, 5:35pm Top

98. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

Made some good points but was mostly long-winded and classist. Also, given her dislike of novels, I wonder what Wollstonecraft would have said about her daughter writing one of the world's most well-known novels.

May 13, 12:41am Top

>200 amanda4242: I have that one on the shelves too, Amanda. She would have probably criticised her daughter publicly and been extremely proud of her privately.

Have a great weekend.

May 13, 5:45pm Top

>201 PaulCranswick: She came across as really judgmental, so she may have been even worse in private.

Hope you enjoy your weekend.

Edited: May 14, 9:34pm Top

May 14, 9:52pm Top

I think it's time for a new thread.

This topic was continued by amanda4242's thread #2.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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