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Last Book You Read and Rate It (Part II)

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Old
03-13-2012, 01:11 PM
  #151
Freedomov76
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A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin
4/5

Not quite up there with the first 2 and certainly not as amazing as "A Storm Of Swords" but still really enjoyable when taken as part of the story as a whole.

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03-13-2012, 02:42 PM
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeySeven View Post
I read a lot, yeah. Mostly classic books. (explanation of Gatsby below)



It doesn't have much of a plot but it's driven by its mind-blowing prose. I've read a lot and there are those times where you can see that the author is on a roll and he just paints a marvelous picture in your head with ideas that you would have never pieced together but fit in perfectly.

The opening scene and the last last scene of Gatsby are almost perfect. Roger Ebert has a piece on the book actually. My favorite passage was about the green light from across the bay, Daisy's light which Gatsby was staring at every night and when they were re-introduced Nick talks about having your dream realized but being unfulfilled (or something). It just moved me.

Beautifully written.
coolio, I was just curious, you're obviously not alone in liking that book, it's pretty popular, just wasn't for me. I just finished reading David Copperfield last week or so, and if you like eloquently written books, you may wanna give that a try. But it's pretty long and, for myself at least, I had to reference a dictionary more than I wish I had to.

btw, the link I'll post below is great for aiding in reading more advanced books, I used it a few times reading David Copperfield..\

http://www.shmoop.com/

Have you ever read catch 22? if so, any recommendations on some comparable classics/?

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03-13-2012, 02:52 PM
  #153
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If you like Copperfield you should read something like The Luck of Barry Lyndon by Thackeray.

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03-13-2012, 03:18 PM
  #154
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Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
If you like Copperfield you should read something like The Luck of Barry Lyndon by Thackeray.
ok, will place it on hold at the library in a few days. I've got a couple other Dickens book to get through first though.

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03-13-2012, 03:37 PM
  #155
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The Hunger Games 7.5/10

Starting to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

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03-13-2012, 10:53 PM
  #156
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Originally Posted by bostone737 View Post
Have you ever read catch 22? if so, any recommendations on some comparable classics/?
I read it a long time ago and loved it. Check out A Confederacy of Dunces and stick with it. It's a magnificent book and almost perfectly arranged; and it's Will Ferrell's favorite book (amongst many other comedians).

It's not too ornate or hard to understand and the plot is active enough to keep your attention. The main-character is really unlikable though, so it's kinda like the Office, you watch it but you hate Michael's antics. I love it.

Slaughter-house Five is really good too and shares some themes with Catch-22 (but keep in mind that Catch-22 isn't an anti-war book, it's about bureaucracy more than anything) and it's a classic and Vonnegut is a great writer.

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03-14-2012, 12:05 AM
  #157
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Originally Posted by WhiskeySeven View Post

Slaughter-house Five is really good too and shares some themes with Catch-22 (but keep in mind that Catch-22 isn't an anti-war book, it's about bureaucracy more than anything) and it's a classic and Vonnegut is a great writer.
If you're comparing it to Slaughter House 5, which is strictly an anti-war book, then I can agree.

But on its own, Catch-22 protests the complete absurdness of war, of death and bloodshed on a massive scale to move some line forward or back, just as much as the absurdness of bureaucracy. The war is a byproduct of said bureaucracy, but the book is stands strongly as an anti-war novel.

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03-14-2012, 12:53 AM
  #158
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Originally Posted by Captain Tripps View Post
If you're comparing it to Slaughter House 5, which is strictly an anti-war book, then I can agree.

But on its own, Catch-22 protests the complete absurdness of war, of death and bloodshed on a massive scale to move some line forward or back, just as much as the absurdness of bureaucracy. The war is a byproduct of said bureaucracy, but the book is stands strongly as an anti-war novel.
Maybe I should've cleaned up my sentences a bit, but yeah I agree completely.

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03-14-2012, 03:38 AM
  #159
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I like Kurt Vonnegut, just read Sirens of Titan(pretty good) and Cats Cradle(really great) by him, will get to some more of his stuff eventually. I\ll give A Confederacy of Dunces a go soon too.

my line up:
Great Expectations
A tale of Two Cities
The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

then i'll get to you guy's suggestions

then I'll go back to some regular sci-fi so i don't burn myself out on classic stuff

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03-14-2012, 09:12 AM
  #160
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Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
If you like Copperfield you should read something like The Luck of Barry Lyndon by Thackeray.
Flaubert's Sentimental Education is well worth a read, too.

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Old
03-17-2012, 05:47 PM
  #161
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So I started reading Peregrine Pickle and it's absolutely maddening. The arrangement of his sentences is not fun to read, but when I got to the second page with this gem of a sentence, I had to call it quits.

Quote:
These qualifications, one would think, might have been the means of abridging the terms of her celibacy, as she never expressed any aversion for wedlock; but, it seems, she was too delicate in her choice, to find a mate to her inclination in the city: for I can not suppose that she remained so long unsolicited; tho' the charms of her person were not altogether enchanting, nor her manner over and above agreeable.
I'm all for 3, 4, maybe even 5 commas or pauses in a sentence, but this was ridiculous, almost every sentence is like this. No way I'm digging in to an 800 page book of that

On to Great Expectations and placing holds on some of you guys suggestions

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03-19-2012, 01:02 PM
  #162
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The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence

7/10


Last edited by Pink Mist: 03-19-2012 at 03:34 PM.
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03-19-2012, 01:11 PM
  #163
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The Stone Angel by Margaret Lawrence

7/10
Why so relatively low?

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03-19-2012, 03:34 PM
  #164
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Why so relatively low?
I'm not that much a fan of Laurence's writing style, I find it a bit too dry and was a bit choppy at times flipping between her past and present. As well, I wasn't really able to connect well with Hagar (the protagonist); I disliked her most of the book and couldn't really feel much empathy for her.

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03-19-2012, 04:32 PM
  #165
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As well, I wasn't really able to connect well with Hagar (the protagonist); I disliked her most of the book and couldn't really feel much empathy for her.
That was one of the books I had to study in high school back in the 80s, and that was my opinion of it as well.

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03-19-2012, 07:34 PM
  #166
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Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis: This is a bitingly funny book about life in British academia during the '50s. Jim Dixon gets his first probationary job teaching in a redbrick University in England. He is not exactly prepared for his responsibilities in the history department, but he still wants the job. Whether he will be allowed to keep it, that's the question. His life is made immeasurably more complicated by eccentric professors, untrustworthy colleagues, conniving students and a highly manipulative potential lover. There is one particular prof whom he wants to impress but unfortunately he is falling in lover with the girlfriend of the prof's son, a guy who is a total buffoon. If you have attended university for any length of time, you will undoubtedly recognize several of these people. One of the best comic novels that I have ever read.

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03-23-2012, 07:53 AM
  #167
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Boone by Robert Morgan 4/5

Absorbing and incredibly detailed biography of an American legend. Plays down much of the myth while playing up the actual man. Great as he was an explorer/frontiersman he was an equally terrible businessman and lost what could have been a fortune in land holdings. Fascinating paradox that the more he searched for untamed wilderness the more he led to its disappearance upon finding it. As well as a study of Boone, this was also a great examination of 18th century frontier life in all its hardships and successes.

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03-23-2012, 08:22 PM
  #168
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The Man Called Noon, by Louis L'Amour: After being disappointed by Vanderhaege's A Good Man, I was still hankering for a Western, so I turned to the most reliable source. L'Amour wrote seemingly millions of them, and this one is a pretty good yarn about a gunmen with amnesia who begins to piece together the notion that he has been hired to kill four very dangerous men and protect a damsel in distress in the process. L'Amour isn't much for character development, much less romance, but he is good at spinning Western lore and strong, silent heroes into an entertaining narrative. Not a great novel, but a good, solid page-turner.

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03-28-2012, 09:25 PM
  #169
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The Code, by G. B. Joyce: Here's a new wrinkle. Brad Shade, NHL hockey scout, doubles as a semi-professional sleuth. This new mystery series gets off to a good, not great, start. A well-respected OHL coach and the team doctor are both murdered in a parking lot after an old-times game. Shade who is scouting one of the Peterborough players finds that his due diligence is not only helping him evaluate the potential draft pick, it may be leading him closer to the killer. The hockey-related bits are fun, but the whodunit is easy to figure out, and our erstwhile scout/detective is a little too cynical for his own good. Joyce might eliminate the kinks in subsequent mysteries, but he needs to work on his writing, too, as there are too many clunky phrases scattered about whose prose can be close to impenetrable. He produces too many lines like this: "I was going to start breathing through the sleeve of my shirt." Even in context it doesn't make any sense that I can fathom. A hockey scout sleuth is certainly a fine idea for a detective series, so I will give the next one a try, but if I were scouting this particular writer, I would say that he isn't worth a first round draft pick.

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03-28-2012, 10:35 PM
  #170
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The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft (1917-1926), H.P. Lovecraft: 8/10
I downloaded a free epub collecting Lovecraft's entire bibliography, but so far I've only read through 1917 (beginning with his first published work, The Tomb) through to 1926 (I stopped after his first novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath).
As with any collection, there are hits and misses. A lot of the short stories become repetitive if you're reading them back-to-back, and not in a weekly or monthly magazine as they were originally presented. Many of them follow a similar structure (an everyman's encounter with something supernatural, terrifying, inexplicable, etc) so sometimes you feel like you're just waiting to get to the "big reveal" and the prose leading up to it is just padding. But for the most part, they're enjoyable. My favorite stories are the ones steeped in reality but with something slightly askew - stories that, if you stretch your imagination, seem plausible. The ones that are entirely fantasy-based I found much less likeable; the novel The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath was particularly torturous, and lead to my decision to step away from the tome for the time being. Some of my favorites, in no real order: Beyond the Wall of Sleep, Herbert West - Reanimator, The Call of Cthulhu, The Moon-Bog, The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Temple, The Nameless City, The Quest of Iranon, The Outsider, The Lurking Fear, The Shunned House, Pickman's Model.


The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins: 7.5/10
I'm seeing the movie soon, so I thought I'd check out the source material first. I've never read or seen a Twilight thing but as far as teenage phenomena goes, this has to be worlds better...if for no other reason than the strong-minded and respectable female protagonist Katniss, who seems to be an anti-Bella Swan if there ever was one.
It's easy to see why this is such a hit - the dystopian backdrop as a foil for repressed teenage love, self-discovery and anti-authority sentiments is a smart choice even if the story itself isn't blindingly original. It's well-written, with the exception of a pretty clumsy deus ex machina that ensues no one important gets (seriously) hurt. The end of the book feels less like an ending and more like an advertisement for the next book in the series, and I wouldn't at all be surprised to learn the trilogy was originally one long book (but that wouldn't play with teenage audiences, so it got hacked in three).
No great revelation, but not much to complain about either.


Satantango, Laszlo Krasznahorkai: 9/10
I enjoyed Satantango the film very much so when I saw there was a brand new translation of the Hungarian novel released recently I decided to give it a whirl, and I enjoyed it very much as well...although I'm not sure if I would have liked it as much if I hadn't seen the film. The two complement each other extremely well, and the novel felt like I was adding more depth and shading to a work I already liked.
It's a surprisingly easy book to read - Krasznahorkai's sentences threaten to stretch on for as long as a page or more, but they're quite decipherable (I've heard his later works are more challenging). His prose is exceptional and the book, like the movie, has such a strange, unique depiction of humanity at its most pathetic and destroyed. The central character of Irimias is a fascinating riddle too. I'll definitely be re-reading this at some point.

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03-29-2012, 02:31 PM
  #171
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Downloaded Wool on my iPad via Kindle. It's a short read and only .99 via Amazon.

Great Sci-fi story about a society living in a post apocalyptic world confined to a silo.

I immediately downloaded the next two. There are five all together. 8/10.

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03-29-2012, 05:49 PM
  #172
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Zapata Lives by Lynn Stephen.

9/10. Good historical and social context for why the Zapatista Uprising occurred.



Developing Zapatista Autonomy: Conflict and NGO Involvement in Rebel Chiapas by Niels Barmeyer.

8/10. Good research book by some dude that went down to Chiapas and documented a lot of information on the formation and systematic coordination of NGOs in Chiapas Mexico.

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03-30-2012, 11:16 AM
  #173
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Drive, James Sallis: 6/10
I was surprised at how little I cared for Drive's source material, one of my favorite movies of 2011. It actually doesn't bear a whole lot in common with the film, but even on its own merits, I didn't find much to write home about. With some 30 chapters packed into 150 pages, it's a brisk read, with characters entering and departing forever sometimes in the span of a single chapter. It's tough to care about anything that happens with everything moving at breakneck speed (or is that the point?) and only two or three characters are given any sort of depth. The chronology jumps around a bit, which is more annoying than anything else. And sometimes Sallis aims for dramatic and noirish and completely falls flat (Driver, upon killing someone we'll call Steve, places a box of pizza on his chest. Sallis writes, with no apparent irony, "The pizza smelled good. Steve did not." End chapter. Seriously?)

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03-30-2012, 12:25 PM
  #174
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8/10

Finally gave in and decided to see what all the fuss is about. Masterfully paced and the characters are incredibly strong - but I didn't like how long the story took to get going. At one point I was asking myself when the intrigue would finally start.

Some of the most difficult scenes I've ever read are in this book. If you've read it, you know which one in particular I'm talking about.

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03-31-2012, 09:02 PM
  #175
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Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes, by Elizabeth Bard: Chic lit, just look at the cover. But in my personal list of Really Good Ideas, lunch in Paris is very, very near the top, so I was a sucker for the title. Good little book, though. It's a memoir about a young woman from New York who studies in England but spends her weekends in Paris because she loves the city and the food. The food is very important (put it this way, English food is to French food what the present Columbus Blue Jackets are to the 87/88 Edmonton Oilers). She meets a nice French guy, they buy an apartment in Paris and she commits to a life's journey of living in France. Her New York family and his French family intertwine for special occasions. She writes entertainingly about Paris (with some great restaurant tips), but also about the different values of her adopted culture, about how expectations differ dramatically in Paris and New York, about how "success" is measured in near opposite ways in France and the US, about how her husband is concerned not with material success but with happiness, about why the French can seem to be difficult to know, about all the rhythms she needed to change and all the things she needed to unlearn or learn for the first time. So many of these changes take place in and around food in some way, buying it, preparing it, savouring it, eating it. It's not always easy, but she sticks to it and comes out the other side a very content person. It's a very good piece of writing, and it made me terribly hungry.

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