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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #2551
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl;2309869;
    Any other fans of Peter Høeg out there?
    I LOVED Smila's Sense of Snow. I have History of Danish Dreams, but haven't gotten to it yet (as often happens when you have too many books waiting to be read!).

    With my thesis due date fast approaching, I haven't had much time to read for pleasure. I'm slowly making my way through The Rescue Artist by Edward Dolnick. It's about the theft of Edvard Munch's The Scream from the National Gallery in Norway. Nice short chapters, so I can get through one chapter quickly. I've also been reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen, about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The book deals with the architects of the exposition as well as the serial killer who stalked the city during that time. Heavy reading, but really interesting and well-written. I'm sure I'll be finished with it by June!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  2. #2552
    FORT Fogey cricketeen's Avatar
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    Geek, I loved Smilla's Sense of Snow and based on your recommendation, Borderliners is on my book pile.

    Devil in the White City was such an interesting, shiver inducing book. Amazing how this killer does not have the same notoriety as say, Jack the Ripper. I felt it was a bit slow in parts, but worth the time investment. When I visited Chicago, I found myself looking for the buildings and remnants of the fair.

    Let us know how you like The Rescue Artist. I like the theme.
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti

  3. #2553
    Teach your children Uncle David's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;2309897;
    I've also been reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen, about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The book deals with the architects of the exposition as well as the serial killer who stalked the city during that time. Heavy reading, but really interesting and well-written. I'm sure I'll be finished with it by June!
    It was my next read, but if it will take YOU that long to read it, I can't imagine how long it will take me. And (blasphemy ) with book 7 of Harry Potter coming out in July, I best not chance it. Besides, it may take me that long to get through the final book of the Otori Trilogy.
    The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realise it doesn't say anything it's too late to stop reading it.

  4. #2554
    Premium Member DesertRose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remote_goddess;2308312;
    My favorite by Picoult was My Sister's Keeper. I cried my eyes out several times while reading that book. That was my first experience with her work, and since then I've read almost everything she's written. While they are all good, I haven't been quite as touched by any of them as I was by that one.
    I just started reading this one yesterday. I was hooked from the first chapter. My colleague, who lent me the book is interested in more Picoult novels. I will suggest the Tenth Circle to her!

  5. #2555
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricketeen;2310092;
    Devil in the White City was such an interesting, shiver inducing book. Amazing how this killer does not have the same notoriety as say, Jack the Ripper. I felt it was a bit slow in parts, but worth the time investment. When I visited Chicago, I found myself looking for the buildings and remnants of the fair.
    Devil in the White City is a terrific book. Actually, I found it quite fast-paced and read it in a day, but then I've always been curious about Herman Mudgett but haven't had the time to do the research to satisfy my curiousity because, as you mentioned, he hasn't the notoriety, so consequently he doesn't have the abundance of literature. This was a nice little hors d'oeuvre, though, and I'm inspired to research further, more about the people in his life than the killer himself. And while I haven't been to Chicago yet (fingers crossed for this summer), I do want to do an archicture tour while I'm there, though I understand that the grounds of the nineteenth century world's fair are no longer standing - I'm not sure about the fair that took place in the 20s or 30s (can't remember which decade).

    Right now I'm reading Spoiled Rotten America because I've been in the mood for funny lately, and Larry Miller is a funny, funny man.
    All I wanted was a 45, a stinking 45 - the record or the gun. I'd even settle for the damn malt liquor. - Al Bundy.

  6. #2556
    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    I just finished Odd Thomas - I've never been a fan of Koontz but I heard so many good things about this one that I decided to give it a try. I'm still not in love with Koontz's style, but I liked the premise and the little twist at the end. My only real problem was Odd's age - the narrative sounds way too "old" for a 20-year-old.

    In spite of that, though, my curiousity is piqued enough to check out the sequel.
    All my life, I have felt destiny tugging at my sleeve.~ Thursday Next
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  7. #2557
    Crabby Cancerian remote_goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJane;2310213;
    I just finished Odd Thomas - I've never been a fan of Koontz but I heard so many good things about this one that I decided to give it a try. I'm still not in love with Koontz's style, but I liked the premise and the little twist at the end. My only real problem was Odd's age - the narrative sounds way too "old" for a 20-year-old.

    In spite of that, though, my curiousity is piqued enough to check out the sequel.
    Hmm. I'm sorry to tell you, but I think book # 2 (Forever Odd) was the worst of the three. But if you can make it through that one, then Brother Odd, the third book, is really good and worth the time.

    gtg - I am so sorry but I completely forgot about the Picoult list. I'll do it this week, I promise. Just got tied up with my daughter's softball game... which they lost.

  8. #2558
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle David;2310143;
    It was my next read, but if it will take YOU that long to read it, I can't imagine how long it will take me. And (blasphemy ) with book 7 of Harry Potter coming out in July, I best not chance it. Besides, it may take me that long to get through the final book of the Otori Trilogy.
    It's not at all a slow read, Uncle David. I just don't have any time to read right now. Two or three pages a day is all I can manage at the moment. That's why it's going to take me forever to finish! I really recommend the book though. I'm sure it won't interfere with Harry Potter

    cricketeen - I'll definitely be back with a review of The Rescue Artist I read The Irish Game last year (can't remember the author at the moment), which is also about art theft. It wasn't quite as readable as The Rescue Artist. Good, but a little slow at points.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  9. #2559
    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    I've three books to offer for your consideration; the phrase 'The Good, the bad, and the ugly' popped into my head thinking of them, though the 'good' one is better than simply good and the 'bad' one is only bad in comparision to the gushingly generous praise that it received. The 'ugly'? close enough.

    I'll deal with the worst of the lot first.

    I believe I'm likely done with Gini Sike's 8 ball chicks: A Year in the Violent World of Girl Gangs even though I haven't read it completely, but who knows, all other reading material in my world might magically disappear except for it so I won't say never again.

    I'm not drawn to either the subject matter or the author. I believe she's not only not that effective at maintaining objectivity and distance from those she's observing, but I can't stand her assigning causal blame for the gang issue mostly if not completely on anything except for the gangsters.

    It isn't a difficult book to read, I'm just not all that empathetic to the plight of her subjects, who she considers at heart children even if they don't appear to possess a heart nor approximate anything I'd consider childlike excepting age and size.

    I finished about half the book, flitting about between chapters. This isn't a book one needs to consume sequentially. I'd not heard of the 'dicing in' option to joining a gang prior to encountering this book, where instead of getting beaten in or shot one rolls two dice and has sex with however many men corresponds with their lucky number. The crime show Cold Case this last episode had a cheerleader get initiated in the same manner.

    Yuck.

    Moving right along to the 'bad', Robert Kurson's Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II disappointed mainly due to the fact that the bar had been raised so very high before I read a single word within the book.

    This book is compared at least a couple of times to The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air. It doesn't match either one in my view, the story is a good one, not a great one. Aside from the less than compelling story, which I mainly believe relates to the author than the possibilities connected to the material, the author downright irked me with his assertion in the Authors Note that:

    So this is their story. All of it is true and accurate. Nothing is imagined or interpreted, and no literary liberties have been taken.
    Whoa, I thought reading that last line. No imagined details, no interpretation, no literary liberties taken? This I've got to see!

    Well, I misspoke above. The aforementioned irking didn't take place with the quote, that took place initially for the first time early into the book when the author proved to me what a big fibber he'd been making such an audacious claim and then failing so early and miserably in living up to it.

    Kurson gives me the impression he's either in love or nominating one of the primary story characters for sainthood or a spot on Mt. Rushmore, and in the way he does it he blows to smithereens any hold on his earlier claim. To my eye, of course. He sure did have some respected by me publications contribute glowing remarks. On reflection, that ought to have counted as my first indicator that some overhype was in play.

    The story itself is interesting, involving the discovery of a sunken WWII U-boat off the coast of New Jersey and the path towards identifying who she was and how she came to be where located, seeing as no one from any side had any record indicating a sub should have been within a 100 miles or more of that site.

    It was an overall good read, it just didn't amount to the greatness advertised.

    Finally, a suspense novel which exceeded my already high expectations.

    In Steven White's Kill Me, a 2006 entry into his suspense series involving Boulder, Colorado psychologist Alan Gregory, White departs from his previous formula and tells the story from the point of view of the patient, rather than Gregory. It works exceedly well, and I was surprised in the post novel Acknowledgements to see White say he'd expected resistance to the concept. Telling a good tale oughtn't be enough, it should adhere to the same old formula always? Doesn't make sense to me.

    Given the choice between reading about or who I'd choose as a psychologist were I shopping and had a choice, I'd much prefer Alan Gregory to Alex Delaware. Delaware is capable, as is his author, but Gregory and White are superior in everything but numerical score. Delaware novels get churned out with mind numbing regularity, unlike Gregory's.

    Oh. The book is about a richer than rich guy who purchases the peace of mind life assurance policy offered by a firm guaranteeing they'll kill him if need be. Even though they went on and on and on and on about the fact that there could be no allowance made for a client having second thoughts after a contract triggering threshold had been met, the client of course has second thoughts.
    Last edited by Leftcoaster; 04-03-2007 at 02:57 PM.

  10. #2560
    FORT Fogey cricketeen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus;2310182;
    Devil in the White City is a terrific book. Actually, I found it quite fast-paced and read it in a day, but then I've always been curious about Herman Mudgett but haven't had the time to do the research to satisfy my curiousity because, as you mentioned, he hasn't the notoriety, so consequently he doesn't have the abundance of literature. This was a nice little hors d'oeuvre, though, and I'm inspired to research further, more about the people in his life than the killer himself. And while I haven't been to Chicago yet (fingers crossed for this summer), I do want to do an archicture tour while I'm there, though I understand that the grounds of the nineteenth century world's fair are no longer standing - I'm not sure about the fair that took place in the 20s or 30s (can't remember which decade).
    I found the lengthy exposition on the architecture, while interesting, dry in parts.

    I was going to pm you on this, but anyone who has read the book might be interested: The current Museum of Science and Industry was the Fine Arts building during the Columbian Exposition and Jackson Park was the site of the lagoon.
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti

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