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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #3021
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    elk, I read We Need to Talk About Kevin a few years ago, so my memory is a little blurry, but like you I empathized with the narrator to some extent while at the same time disliking her deeply. Actually, I think the book should be required reading for anyone who is ambivalent about having a child. I don't think I've ever read anything that makes it clearer how horribly wrong an uncommitted attitude can go in child-rearing.
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  2. #3022
    CCL
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by MsFroggy;2704429;
    I just started on Atonement by Ian McEwan. I want to read it before I see the movie. So far so good.
    I loved Atonement. It's one of those books that have really stayed with me. I'm eager to see what the movie is like.

    Speaking of books made into films, I'm starting PS I Love You. The film ads look good, but I don't like Hillary Swank (she plays the lead), so I'm going to read the book instead.
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  3. #3023
    FORT Fogey Starbucks880's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl;2674342;
    Take it from me: the Scarpetta series just keep getting worse. Ever since Patricia Cornwell changed the point of view from first person to third, the books have gone from tolerable (in my humble opinion the last truly great Scarpetta novel was Point of Origin) to plain bad. Exhibit A: the brand new Scarpetta novel, Book of the Dead, which I dutifully dragged myself through this past week. There was a time when I'd stay up all night, compelled to finish the latest Scarpetta novel in one sitting. These days, I feel like giving up half the time. I don't know what's happened to Cornwell, but her writing is just horrific - lazy, clichéd, and downright embarrassing. The characters make no sense whatsoever; Marino's character development in particular just seems implausible to me. Also, seen from an outsider's point of view, the Doc is pretty unbearable, what with her self-righteousness and holier-than-thou attitude. While I was reading The Book of the Dead, which in all fairless is marginally better than the two last ones (although that doesn't say much), I found myself wondering if perhaps even Patricia Cornwell herself has grown sick of Kay Scarpetta.

    Has anyone else read Book of the Dead yet? This is the last time I'm buying a Scarpetta novel in hardcover. In an ideal world, of course, I'd change that statement to "this is the last time I'm ever wasting my time with a new Scarpetta novel, period" but see, I know myself pretty well. I refuse to give up on authors I've liked at some point, so rather than seeking out new, fresh alternatives, I'll stay put on the sinking ship, inanely hoping that the next novel will be a return to the good old days. Sadly, though, in the case of Patricia Cornwell, it would take a small miracle for her to get her act together at this point.
    I won't waste my money on Book of the Dead, but a friend of mine bought it, so I am going to borrow hers when she is done. Cornwell used to be one of my favorite authors, but she is such a disappointment now. I am not sure why I am going to even bother borrowing my friend's copy and put myself though another disappointment, but maybe I am like you--I have the hope that she will return to her former glory.

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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbucks880;2705437;
    I won't waste my money on Book of the Dead, but a friend of mine bought it, so I am going to borrow hers when she is done. Cornwell used to be one of my favorite authors, but she is such a disappointment now. I am not sure why I am going to even bother borrowing my friend's copy and put myself though another disappointment, but maybe I am like you--I have the hope that she will return to her former glory.
    Please let us know if it is worth it !! I just returned from purchasing Sue Grafton's new one - "T is for Trespass" - can't wait! I will post about it when I am done.

  5. #3025
    MRD
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I am reading Fiery Cross (must say this with broad scottish burr and really extend those R's) by Diana Gabaldon. (my husband is going to get beaten over the head with the book (and its good sized) as he has to say it like that every time he see's me reading it.) I've loved her Outlander series and am re-reading the ones that take place in America in pre-revolutionary war times.

    I also have Red Hills and Cotton which is a local author, but written in 1942. It was reccomended by someone at the museum for local history and color.
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  6. #3026
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by CCL;2705354;
    I loved Atonement. It's one of those books that have really stayed with me. I'm eager to see what the movie is like.

    Speaking of books made into films, I'm starting PS I Love You. The film ads look good, but I don't like Hillary Swank (she plays the lead), so I'm going to read the book instead.
    *Sigh* I'm done with it. Stayed up late last night and finished the thing. I'm a fast reader. Oh, okay, I'm a fast reader but in this case I also skipped a lot. Mostly I skimmed the overblown, pretentious descriptions and run-on paragraphs that never wanted to end and were ultimately pointless. McEwan's prose is sometimes inspired and vibrant but too often it's just tedious and overwrought, unsuccessfully aiming for literary brownie points by being as tortuous as possible. This book is like a Rococo chair that's more an ornament than a functional piece of furniture.

    Then I got to the last part, which is written in the 1st person. I already knew the ending, so that was not a shock, however the final self-serving "explanation" and the argument it tried to make about atonement left me furious. I won't give it away here but suffice it to say that I felt Briony's character didn't evolve at all: she started out young, cowardly and arrogant and ended up old, cowardly and arrogant. Hardly worth all that wearisome grandstanding for such an insipid and fundamentally flawed final message.

    I'm pretty sure I'll like the movie better. The guy playing Robbie alone is worth a trip to the multiplex.
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  7. #3027
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Just finished Eleanor's Story: An American Girl in Hitler's Germany by Eleanor Ramrath Garner. If you read Anne Frank or other Holocaust stories, this adds a whole different dimension to that era. This is a YA book. I just started another YA WWII book, Code Talker, by Joseph Bruchac. While not a fan of any war stories as a rule, reading these stories helps put some current events into perspective.

  8. #3028
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by MsFroggy;2705820;
    *Sigh* I'm done with it. Stayed up late last night and finished the thing. I'm a fast reader. Oh, okay, I'm a fast reader but in this case I also skipped a lot. Mostly I skimmed the overblown, pretentious descriptions and run-on paragraphs that never wanted to end and were ultimately pointless. McEwan's prose is sometimes inspired and vibrant but too often it's just tedious and overwrought, unsuccessfully aiming for literary brownie points by being as tortuous as possible. This book is like a Rococo chair that's more an ornament than a functional piece of furniture.

    Then I got to the last part, which is written in the 1st person. I already knew the ending, so that was not a shock, however the final self-serving "explanation" and the argument it tried to make about atonement left me furious. I won't give it away here but suffice it to say that I felt Briony's character didn't evolve at all: she started out young, cowardly and arrogant and ended up old, cowardly and arrogant. Hardly worth all that wearisome grandstanding for such an insipid and fundamentally flawed final message.

    I'm pretty sure I'll like the movie better. The guy playing Robbie alone is worth a trip to the multiplex.
    I thought the "overblown, pretentious descriptions" were in keeping with Briony's character. I haven't read any of McEwan's other works, however, so I don't know if they were more emblematic of his style rather than hers.
    I didn't know the ending before I read the book. I wonder if knowing the ending would have changed my opinion of it. I think it probably would have in that I would have known from the beginning that the narrator was unreliable and would have based my perceptions and reading accordingly.
    I agree with you that Briony's character did not evolve but I thought the dichotomy was interesting in that it appeared from her writing that she thought she had very much changed whereas the reader, being removed from the situation, could see that, in truth, she was still much the same. I know for a lot of people Briony is not a very sympathetic character but I found myself liking her despite her flaws.
    James McAvoy plays Robbie in the movie. I agree with you that he is worth the trip to the cinema.
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  9. #3029
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I've heard that Atonement (the movie) shouldn't disappoint if you like the book. (Love Kiera Knightly).

    Aside from an onerous amount of Christmas flyers and magazines, I'm trying to read Adam: The Path of the Dreamhealer...The quantum world of energy healing.

    Adam will be in town next year for a workshop so I'm interested if he has anything really mindblowing to say.
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  10. #3030
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I've just been making a list of books I want to read. It's hugely long. I wish I had tons of money, because the bookstore is the one place I could spend ALL my money.

    I've filled up my allotment of book requests from the library and now its a waiting game because I'm pretty far down the list on most of what I requested.

    Have decided that my new year's resolution is going to be to go back and read all those Southern Authors I had to read and hated way back when.
    Tennesee Williams, Eudora Welta, Capote, Lillian Smith, Flannary O'Connor, Faulkner, Wolfe and a few others.
    My biggest problem in school was being told what to read. If I found it on my own, that was ok, but when it was assigned, I tended to have a problem with it for some reason.
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