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I just finished Cold Flat Junction. Would it be a mistake to read Hotel Paradise now, considering the events in that book precede the events on CFJ?

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6 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

Lipman is one of my favorite authors.

Mine too.  I don't know how I missed this earlier, or I would have read it months ago.

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I don't think this book has a US publisher; my copy is from a British publisher.

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You can probably find it at the Book Depository and they ship anywhere in the world for free. 

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I got it from the Evil Empire and I don't think it came from overseas. There's probably a US distributor.

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Regarding The Last Guard ,  I really think it’s a great addition to the Psy-Changling series.   I like that although Canto is Psy, at heart he’s kind of a bear and Payal’s story arch was interesting.  I’m really l hoping we get Arwen and Pavel’s story soon.  Also I am kinda dying for a Nikita/Anthony novella.

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I recently read Walk the Wire and One Good Deed by David Baldacci. Walk the Wire is an Amos Decker novel and One Good Deed introduces a new character named Archer. One Good Deed is different from his other novels since it's set in the 1940's. I loved both books I thought both main characters were sympathetic and there was plenty of action. My only problem with his books is that he relies on female killers too much.

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I am three quarters the way through Tana French's Broken Harbor (having read the previous three books in this series which I believe is called Dublin Murders or something like that), and I am just astounded at how good this is. I very much enjoyed the previous novels in the set but this one is extraordinary. To be honest, I am posting because this is one of those rare books that I am stalling on finishing because I don't want it to be over. (It is a gruesome murder mystery set in a crumbling seaside residential development so if dark criminal investigation is not your thing, this would not be your next read :)

Yeah, I know I am late to the party...lots of amazing authors out there nowadays, we are so fortunate!

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The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin is a sweet, gentle story about three lost souls who find each other and make a family.  The ending may be a little too neat, but it was a pleasant summer read.  I liked it a lot.

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On 7/30/2021 at 3:15 PM, peacheslatour said:

I just finished Cold Flat Junction. Would it be a mistake to read Hotel Paradise now, considering the events in that book precede the events on CFJ?

It's been so long since I read these that I can't say for sure. I did rate Hotel Paradise higher in Goodreads and I think that was because it felt like Cold Flat Junction covered a lot of the same ground.

I'm reading Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell. It's divided into different parts covering movements/groups ranging from the deadly (Heaven's Gate, Peoples Temple) to the ridiculous (social media influencers). I didn't know much about some of these things before, so it's sometimes disturbing reading but it's incredibly interesting and well-written. I just finished the section on MLMs (like Amway, ugh) and how they continue to flourish, and have just started the part about the fitness industry (SoulCycle, intenSati, etc).

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I’m reading the biography Shout, Sister, Shout: The Untold Story of Rock n Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe by Gayle Wald.  When I was on YouTube I got sucked into watching a channel called Trash Theory with a recommendation for a video about the legacy of the Spice Girls. It lead me to other videos on the channel like Before Black Sabbath:  How Psychedelic Rock became Metal.  Part of the video went into the history of Rock and Roll and I noticed a name pop up multiple times in the comments that wasn’t included in the video “Sister Rosetta Tharpe” who I had never heard of before.  I looked her up and was interested to read a biography about a woman who was such a big influence in the development of Rock and Roll but who isn’t as well known as people like Chuck Berry.  
 

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10 hours ago, isalicat said:

I am three quarters the way through Tana French's Broken Harbor (having read the previous three books in this series which I believe is called Dublin Murders or something like that), and I am just astounded at how good this is. 

Good to hear!  Broken Harbour is one of my favorite French novels, Faithful Place is the other.

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Regarding the Sister Rosetta Tharpe biography,  I wanted to recommend the audio book.   Leslie Uggams is the narrator but other voices are used for various men and women quoted.  The thing I am really enjoying is that periodically they will play a sample of her music so I get to hear the music being referred to.   Normally I go back and forth between listening to the audio book and reading on my paperwhite but for this book I am happy to exclusively listen to the audiobook.

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On 7/30/2021 at 9:42 PM, kathyk24 said:

I recently read Walk the Wire and One Good Deed by David Baldacci. Walk the Wire is an Amos Decker novel and One Good Deed introduces a new character named Archer. One Good Deed is different from his other novels since it's set in the 1940's. I loved both books I thought both main characters were sympathetic and there was plenty of action. My only problem with his books is that he relies on female killers too much.

Read both of these, and unfortunately, these series are not my favourites.  I think Amos Decker is OK, the thing with his memory is interesting.  Aloysius Archer is interesting (I recently read the second book with him) but sometimes I feel like Baldacci is writing this series as some kind of Humphrey Bogart movie.

I miss Baldacci's series which featured his earlier characters.  My favourites were the King & Maxwell series and the Will Robie series.  Will Robie showed up in the most recent Amos Decker, but I want him to get his own standalone novel again.

I read the first book in the Atlee Pine series and I didn't find the character interesting at all, so I quit this series.  The third book re-introduces another familiar Baldacci character, John Puller.  I guess this is the way Baldacci is going to move forward with old characters, but I'm not liking this approach.

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Valerie Wolzien was a cozy mystery writer I got into years ago and then lost interest when I moved past the cozy mysteries genre.  Anyway I came across her Susan Henshaw mysteries for free on kindle unlimited and decided to give them another look.  Well I'm half way through the first one Murder at a PTA Luncheon and I am really enjoying it.  Dated, for sure, but I can see why I liked her books back in the day.

Edited by WinnieWinkle
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Finishing up Colleen McCullough "The Song of Troy". Only a couple of chapters left. It's a novelization of Homer's "Iliad". The main difference in here is that there are no divine interventions and quite few heroes of the story are quite sceptical about gods intervening in to the war. Its all driven by human lust for new lands, economic power, greed and envy (as well as shattered pride). I think I swallowed the majority of the remaining story whole during my vacation time. It really was an entertaining read.

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On 8/1/2021 at 9:00 AM, sugarbaker design said:

Good to hear!  Broken Harbour is one of my favorite French novels, Faithful Place is the other.

I liked Faithful Place a lot but I thought Broken Harbor was extraordinarily good. I went on Amazon to get the next book Tana French wrote in this series but the reviews for #5 were uniformly luke warm or negative so I skipped ahead and have #6 on the way. In the meantime I am back to the Shetland Islands with Ann Cleeves :)

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Hi...Just finished In the Garden of the Beasts, by Erik Larson. Non-fiction about college professor Dodd taking over as US Ambassador to Germany in the 1930s.  1930s...Yikes!  The rise of Hitler, vicious anti-Semitism, rebuilding the military, etc. Dodd tried to relate these corrosive events to the US Government, but, there was resistance to this analysis.  Larson documents the issue:  the banks had loaned money to Germany, the banks wanted their money back, and they did not want any reason for the Germans to slow their payments. 
Anyway, the strangest narrative centered on ambassador Dodd's  young 20s daughter Martha.  Martha easily attracted various European men, including an acknowledged Russian communist (a spy of sorts) and...egads...the head of the Gestapo.  Yes, the Gestapo! And Martha knew this. 
Of course, we can read this story and say we know what is going to happen...so why didn't the World do something about it.   But, alas, the explanation falls into the realm of being unable to predict the future.  Besides, FDR was trying to get the US through the Depression, the world did not want another major war so soon after "the war to end all wars", etc.  Anyway, a deep, dark book...worth reading even if you know how this ends. 

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9 hours ago, isalicat said:

I went on Amazon to get the next book Tana French wrote in this series but the reviews for #5 were uniformly luke warm or negative so I skipped ahead and have #6 on the way.

Oh, don't skip #5. I understand why it's polarizing (although I personally really enjoyed it), but you also won't get nearly as much out of the sixth book without having read the fifth book, because a key relationship from that book carries over.

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I've started Last Guard by Nalini Singh, & I'm enjoying it so far.

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10 hours ago, Black Knight said:

Oh, don't skip #5. I understand why it's polarizing (although I personally really enjoyed it), but you also won't get nearly as much out of the sixth book without having read the fifth book, because a key relationship from that book carries over.

And Secret Place is much better than The Trespasser.

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6 hours ago, sugarbaker design said:

And Secret Place is much better than The Trespasser.

Okay, y'all have convinced me...I will go get #5 and read that one first....after I finish the Ann Cleeves book from the library because the library likes to get their books back :)

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Just finished The Husbands by Chandler Baker. It’s basically a gender-flipped version of Stepford Wives and…look I’m all about fucking up the patriarchy just as much as the next feminist but 

Spoiler

mind-raping your husband to make him more of an ideal spouse is just as bad as what the Stepford husbands did. Especially when one husband is used to murder someone.

 

Edited by Spartan Girl
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Yesterday I finally got a copy of Hamnet from the library.  Two pages in and I'm ready to give up.  Writers who use phrases like "the fire ruminating in its grate" and "The heat of the day, even this late, causes sweat to express itself from the skin of his brow" drive me batty.  Just write intelligent, well constructed sentences for goodness sake.  Fires ruminating in grates remind me of Disney candlesticks.

Edited by Leeds · Reason: "sentences" not "phrases"
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I have started the historical romance Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare which is the second book in her Castles Ever After series.  In each book, a woman inherits a castle.   For this book, Clio has been engaged for eight years to a Marquess who has shown no interest in actually going through the wedding.  When she receives an inheritance she sees it as an opportunity to end the engagement.   Her potential brother in law Rafe objects to Clio’s efforts to get out if the marriage.  While trying to push for the marriage Rafe is forced to deal with his repressed feelings for Clio.

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I'm reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy, many years after first planning to.

The imagery is fantastic but it's clear that McCarthy just decided he was going to write with complete disregard for punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure. You know, like serious, 'literary' writers are allowed to but the rest of us would be dragged over hot coals for:

Quote

The boy's shadow crossed over him. Carrying an armload of wood. He watched him stoke the flames. God's own firedrake.

Hey, Cormac, you ever heard of a thing called a comma?

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That passage would have a completely different feel if commas were used. That's why McCarthy doesn't. With commas, the words would flow smoothly. But that's not how the character thinks or processes events, and the style McCarthy uses, the fragmented and jagged sentences, really gives the reader an understanding of how he does. The four sentences you quoted are brilliant for how much they tell about the man in question, even though he's just watching some very mundane actions, and it's almost entirely because of the style used. Rewrite it with commas, and we would learn almost nothing about the man, and the passage would be significantly poorer. It's a completely broken world, that has broken the people in it, and the style reflects that.

It's interesting to compare with Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven, which is lyrical and uses proper grammar - but her book is ultimately one about hope, and humanity rebuilding after utter disaster. Rewriting either book in the style of the other would run fundamentally counter to the stories being told.

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25 minutes ago, Black Knight said:

That passage would have a completely different feel if commas were used. That's why McCarthy doesn't. With commas, the words would flow smoothly. But that's not how the character thinks or processes events, and the style McCarthy uses, the fragmented and jagged sentences, really gives the reader an understanding of how he does. The four sentences you quoted are brilliant for how much they tell about the man in question, even though he's just watching some very mundane actions, and it's almost entirely because of the style used. Rewrite it with commas, and we would learn almost nothing about the man, and the passage would be significantly poorer. It's a completely broken world, that has broken the people in it, and the style reflects that.

 

I have never read The Road nor will I ever read it, but I have read another work by McCarthy.  He definitely is in complete control of every detail including punctuation with his writing.  He is a master crafsman.  Everything he includes or excludes is intentional.  I can admire the craft even if I will never read the book.  I feel the same about Nabokov and Lolita.  I will believe the writing is perfection, but writing is only part of what makes a novel great.  

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39 minutes ago, Black Knight said:

That passage would have a completely different feel if commas were used. That's why McCarthy doesn't. With commas, the words would flow smoothly. But that's not how the character thinks or processes events, and the style McCarthy uses, the fragmented and jagged sentences, really gives the reader an understanding of how he does. The four sentences you quoted are brilliant for how much they tell about the man in question, even though he's just watching some very mundane actions, and it's almost entirely because of the style used. Rewrite it with commas, and we would learn almost nothing about the man, and the passage would be significantly poorer. It's a completely broken world, that has broken the people in it, and the style reflects that.

Eh, I'm not having it. I'm sure that's his intention and that literary reviewers gush over it, but it's just a pain to read and makes it incredibly easy to put the book down every time you get to the end of a thirty four sentence paragraph that only covered half a page.

Also, I found a cheeky comma a few paragraphs later, which his editor must have missed.

Edited by Danny Franks
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On 7/30/2021 at 8:29 PM, Luckylyn said:

Regarding The Last Guard ,  I really think it’s a great addition to the Psy-Changling series. 

I got into a nice discussion about this book and series and have to say, yet again, how impressed with Singh's continuity and how well and deeply she has constructed her fictional world. 

This is book #20 and features two Anchors a designation that hasn't featured heavily. In a less well constructed world build this could come off as just a late story addition to add some new thing in such a late book.  But she has seeded them all throughout the series in tiny ways.

In the very first book (written in 2007) she mentions 'Anchors' but doesn't go into real explanation.  We just learn they are important, but that is it.  We also learn that the council refused to kill Santano Enrique instead they give him victims to feed his psychopathology.  We later learn it is not just because he was Council himself but because he was an anchor.  Again an implication they are important but no real explanation why.

Then in Sophia's book (#8 written in 2010) we learn she is an Anchor and if she hadn't been she might have suicided already.  She makes a really off the cuff statement that there are not enough anchors in the Net.  By all logic since the Net is sentient it should produce enough anchors it needs but the fact that is is not is puzzling and troubling.  She she says is 'I don't know why that is.'  and that is the last we hear about that. 

Then in Adria/Riza's book (#12 written in 2012) the Anchors are being targeted by a fanatical PurePsy group in order to seize the net.  We finally learn more about the A's including that their identity is a secret to everyone except the Council and that most of them are older.  Again, a real throwaway detail.

So in this one, they are front and center and all the seeds she's sown are blossomed.  we find out why there are so few, why they are older, why they are so important, and why they tend to go crazier at a higher rate  than the rest of the Psy population (e.g. Santano Enrique). Everything is so logical and makes sense and fits all together.  it is nice when that happens.

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1 hour ago, DearEvette said:

Then in Adria/Riza's book

Auto-NOTCORRECT! Strikes again! Riaz, Darlink.😉

The one line Nalini seems to have dropped is the importance of humans to save the Net. I’m blanking on the book, but it was a conversation that Kaleb had with…Sahara? Aden? That they needed anchors and humans to mate to help save the Net.

After reading this, I went right back to the first. God, Lucas and Sascha’s story is so good. And how she introduced the SnowDancers and the Laurens. Not forced at all.

But I hate the cover of the book on Kindle. I loved the original. The others still have them, but not Slave to Sensation.🤬

So I’d totally forgotten there was another Ravenel book by Lisa Kleypas. Devil in Disguise. But it should have been described and listed as a Wallflower series, as it’s more about those characters. And good floret it’s boring as heck. The original characters’s stories were so much better. And I say this as someone who doesn’t like Lillian. Sebastian ( Devil in Winter) is still awesome as ever and I could see the “mystery” from almost the beginning.

The problem I’m having with this historical romance set in 1880, is the anachronistic dialogue and modern day “thinking” from the characters. 

I’m more interested in the scenes with Sebastian, and hoping Evie shows up, than the main characters, Merritt and Keir.

But at least Lisa didn’t pull a Johanna Lindsey with the mystery revelation.

I know that I’ll be rereading Sebastian and Evie’s story after I’m done.

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12 minutes ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Auto-NOTCORRECT! Strikes again! Riaz, Darlink.😉

The one line Nalini seems to have dropped is the importance of humans to save the Net. I’m blanking on the book, but it was a conversation that Kaleb had with…Sahara? Aden? That they needed anchors and humans to mate to help save the Net.

After reading this, I went right back to the first. God, Lucas and Sascha’s story is so good. And how she introduced the SnowDancers and the Laurens. Not forced at all.

But I hate the cover of the book on Kindle. I loved the original. The others still have them, but not Slave to Sensation.🤬

So I’d totally forgotten there was another Ravenel book by Lisa Kleypas. Devil in Disguise. But it should have been described and listed as a Wallflower series, as it’s more about those characters. And good floret it’s boring as heck. The original characters’s stories were so much better. And I say this as someone who doesn’t like Lillian. Sebastian ( Devil in Winter) is still awesome as ever and I could see the “mystery” from almost the beginning.

The problem I’m having with this historical romance set in 1880, is the anachronistic dialogue and modern day “thinking” from the characters. 

I’m more interested in the scenes with Sebastian, and hoping Evie shows up, than the main characters, Merritt and Keir.

But at least Lisa didn’t pull a Johanna Lindsey with the mystery revelation.

I know that I’ll be rereading Sebastian and Evie’s story after I’m done.

The epilogue in Devil in Disguise disappointed me.  

Spoiler

Why write a barren heroine if you are going to give her a baby??? Why have your hero and heroine have a heart to heart about her not being able to have children and him being alright with that, if you are not going to follow through on it?  Then the epilogue is Westcliff and Sebastian talking about having a shared grandchild??? I love Sebastian and Evie, but I read this book for Merritt and Keir not their parents.

 

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1 hour ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

The one line Nalini seems to have dropped is the importance of humans to save the Net. I’m blanking on the book, but it was a conversation that Kaleb had with…Sahara? Aden? That they needed anchors and humans to mate to help save the Net.

Yeah, that had to be after Ivy/Vasic's book.  I think it was the 'let's see how everybody is doing and catch up' book, Allegiance of Honor.  The E's are in the Net but the rot is still developing.  They realize that the cleanest area is Sophia's Anchor point.  That is when they realize that in order for the Net to become clean the Psy need to make emotional connections with Humans.  It doesn't necessarily have to be an Anchor who makes the connection, it can be any Psy.  They realize the difference with Sophia is that her husband Max is human.  And that is when the pieces all click together.

I am wondering if the end of the series will be when all that does happen?  Since the series began with the three 'races' so completely divided and the Net dying, it would be synergistic for it to end with them reunited and the Net thriving.

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20 hours ago, Black Knight said:

That passage would have a completely different feel if commas were used. That's why McCarthy doesn't. With commas, the words would flow smoothly. But that's not how the character thinks or processes events, and the style McCarthy uses, the fragmented and jagged sentences, really gives the reader an understanding of how he does. The four sentences you quoted are brilliant for how much they tell about the man in question, even though he's just watching some very mundane actions, and it's almost entirely because of the style used. Rewrite it with commas, and we would learn almost nothing about the man, and the passage would be significantly poorer. It's a completely broken world, that has broken the people in it, and the style reflects that.

It's interesting to compare with Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven, which is lyrical and uses proper grammar - but her book is ultimately one about hope, and humanity rebuilding after utter disaster. Rewriting either book in the style of the other would run fundamentally counter to the stories being told.

That is such an insightful analysis, BK.  The Road is written with short sentences, clipped dialog, colorless prose to create a feeling of bleakness, hopelessness.  It's hard to read but it's brilliant.  The writing sets the tone perfectly. 

(And I love Station Eleven for its optimistic spirit.  We can survive this.)

On 8/7/2021 at 8:10 AM, Leeds said:

Yesterday I finally got a copy of Hamnet from the library.  Two pages in and I'm ready to give up.  Writers who use phrases like "the fire ruminating in its grate" and "The heat of the day, even this late, causes sweat to express itself from the skin of his brow" drive me batty.  Just write intelligent, well constructed phrases for goodness sake.  Fires ruminating in grates remind me of Disney candlesticks.

Keep at it, Leeds.  This is also a brilliantly written book, even if you find some passages a bit overwritten.  Just have kleenex ready.

I just got around to reading The Dutch House.  It was very good but in the end kind of pointless.  I guess the message of letting go and forgiving is a point.

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That is such an insightful analysis, BK.  The Road is written with short sentences, clipped dialog, colorless prose to create a feeling of bleakness, hopelessness.  It's hard to read but it's brilliant.  The writing sets the tone perfectly. 

Agreed. It's definitely a depressing book but well worth reading because McCarthy is such a brilliant writer. That being said, I can't even watch the movie. As a huge Viggo Mortensen fan, I really wanted to see it but criminy, it's a downer.

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Some members of our book club had the same thoughts about Hamnet, but I still count it as the best book I read last year.

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On 8/8/2021 at 12:53 PM, Crs97 said:

Some members of our book club had the same thoughts about Hamnet, but I still count it as the best book I read last year.

I really want to read this.  I'm in the early chapters of Shakespeare in a Divided America by James Shapiro (2020) and I thought of Hamnet as a nice companion read.  

 

(I liked Maggie O'Farrell's The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox alot and her writing style didn't seem too... mannered?... in that one).

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On 8/7/2021 at 6:57 AM, Danny Franks said:

I'm reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy, many years after first planning to.

The imagery is fantastic but it's clear that McCarthy just decided he was going to write with complete disregard for punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure. You know, like serious, 'literary' writers are allowed to but the rest of us would be dragged over hot coals for:

Hey, Cormac, you ever heard of a thing called a comma?

I read for pleasure, not because it's good for me.  For me it shouldn't be the equivalent of going to the gym.

On 8/7/2021 at 9:42 AM, Danny Franks said:

Eh, I'm not having it. I'm sure that's his intention and that literary reviewers gush over it, but it's just a pain to read and makes it incredibly easy to put the book down every time you get to the end of a thirty four sentence paragraph that only covered half a page.

Also, I found a cheeky comma a few paragraphs later, which his editor must have missed.

I love me a cheeky comma.

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On 8/7/2021 at 4:39 PM, Ohiopirate02 said:

The epilogue in Devil in Disguise disappointed me.  

  Reveal spoiler

Why write a barren heroine if you are going to give her a baby??? Why have your hero and heroine have a heart to heart about her not being able to have children and him being alright with that, if you are not going to follow through on it?  Then the epilogue is Westcliff and Sebastian talking about having a shared grandchild??? I love Sebastian and Evie, but I read this book for Merritt and Keir not their parents.

 

UGH. This was just awful. And I figured as much at the ending when Merritt

started feeling queasy on her way to Scotland, that she was pregnant

But to have Lillian not even react to seeing her daughter and Keir in bed together; but to just leave them there as if it was no big deal? In 1880? As if this isn't Victorian England?

Everyone is just okay with the sleeping arrangements, or what Keir and Merritt are pretty much doing openly. Like I posted upthread, so anachronistic.

So disappointing.

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1 hour ago, Leeds said:

I read for pleasure, not because it's good for me.  For me it shouldn't be the equivalent of going to the gym.

I'm glad I read the book, even if it's unremittingly bleak and soul-crushing. The story is well told, even if the style of prose is irritating and affected, and McCarthy successfully made me care about the two, unnamed characters that the book focuses around.

Now I'm going to read something by Terry Pratchett, as a nice palate cleanser.

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4 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

I'm glad I read the book, even if it's unremittingly bleak and soul-crushing. The story is well told, even if the style of prose is irritating and affected, and McCarthy successfully made me care about the two, unnamed characters that the book focuses around.

Now I'm going to read something by Terry Pratchett, as a nice palate cleanser.

Can you recommend a starter (for someone who assumed Terry Pratchett was a woman)?

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On 8/7/2021 at 9:16 AM, Luckylyn said:

I have started the historical romance Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare which is the second book in her Castles Ever After series.  In each book, a woman inherits a castle.   For this book, Clio has been engaged for eight years to a Marquess who has shown no interest in actually going through the wedding.  When she receives an inheritance she sees it as an opportunity to end the engagement.   Her potential brother in law Rafe objects to Clio’s efforts to get out if the marriage.  While trying to push for the marriage Rafe is forced to deal with his repressed feelings for Clio.

First one of the series that I read was 'Do you want to start a scandal', the 4th book, Rafe is in it, as a supporting character, and husband to Clio. That was enough to take me to his book straight after!

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14 minutes ago, Lya167 said:

First one of the series that I read was 'Do you want to start a scandal', the 4th book, Rafe is in it, as a supporting character, and husband to Clio. That was enough to take me to his book straight after!

Say Yes to the Marquess is a really good one.  I liked it even more than book 1.

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1 hour ago, Leeds said:

Can you recommend a starter (for someone who assumed Terry Pratchett was a woman)?

Guards! Guards! is always the book I recommend to people who want to get into Terry Pratchett and the Discworld.

The themes and tropes of it are very familiar to anyone who has ever watched a cop movie or TV show - drunken, burned out copper, idealistic rookie, cop on the take etc. And it's the only book I've ever read where someone arrests a dragon for public disturbance.

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I’m reading Billy Summers by Stephen King.  It’s a about a hitman who specializes in only bad people performing one last job which ends up being more complicated then any job he’s had before.  There’s tension because I can’t help anticipating that things are going to go horribly wrong. This job requires 

Spoiler

A lot of downtime leaving Billy too much time to bond with the locals and think too much about  things in his past he hasn’t dealt with.  Also there are signs something isn’t quite on the level with the people he’s working for.  One guy in particular doesn’t seem competent and clearly is being set up as the fall guy.

 

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OK.  I am trying Hemingway again. This time: A Farewell to Arms. I'll finish it (because I have "gotta finish it" syndrome.  It is not curable.)  Can someone tell me why this is supposed to be a gigantic contribution to literature?  

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I hated A Farewell to Arms. The female love interest (Kathy? Katherine?) is the most insipid, bubbleheaded character in literature. She constantly annoyed me with her childish blather. 

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My roommate and I recently joined an online non-fiction book club just to see if we can get to read things we may not otherwise have read. These folks are quite dedicated (and sometimes a little humorless IMO, but that's ok), and this month we've been reading:

Maria Mies and Vernoika Thomsen - The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalized Economy. This one was written in the 90s, but we are reading it now nonetheless to see if the book's diagnoses and insights hold up. For dummies such as yours truly, the group has been nice enough to suggest a list of concepts that we need to understand before partaking in discussions. To that end, I'm now reading up on cost analysis.

I feel like George Costanza here: feeling dragged into something by my roommate and looking for some nice out that wouldn't reveal my mild annoyance with the group or discomfort with the subject matter.

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16 hours ago, grommit2 said:

I'll finish it (because I have "gotta finish it" syndrome.  It is not curable.) 

Suffer from the same syndrome.  Simultaneously a curse and a blessing.

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