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Topic: Now that you've compiled your best of list, let's name the dogs of the year

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Subject: Now that you've compiled your best of list, let's name the dogs of the year
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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  • Love's Wine Patricia Hagen
  • Texas Hold Him Lisa Cook
  • Love from the Ashes Denise Agnew (boy, am I picking up the non helpful votes for that review)
  • Lady of the Rivers PG
  • Grace by Deneane Clark
  • Lord Protector Clayton Spann
  • The Virgin King Joseph Fullam
  • The Immigrants Howard Fast
  • Pale Rose of England Sandra Worth
  • Threads West: An American Saga Reil Rosenthal
  • The Land of the Painted Caves Jean Auel
  • A Rage Against Heaven Fred M Stewart
  • Southern Cross Terry Coleman
  • Heathcliff Jeffrey Caine
  • Cat's Cradle Shannon Donnelly
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Since I put  books aside that I don't like I only read 2

Land of the Painted Cave

Pale Rose of England...   I will have to go and see if there are others.



Last Edited on: 12/10/11 7:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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I'm like Jerelyn...I rarely work my way through something I don't like.  Not anymore..

But, here are some of my disappointments from 2011:

  • Drood ~ Dan Simmons
  • The Swords of December ~ Robert York
  • The Winter Mantle ~ Elizabeth Chadwick (don't hurt me)
  • No Dark Place and The Poisoned Serpent ~ Joan Wolf
  • Death of a Musketeer ~ Sarah D'Almeida
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 9:42 AM ET
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The Winter Mantle ~ Elizabeth Chadwick (don't hurt me)

cheeky We won't. This time anyway.

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
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Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors

Sunrise on Kutsatsu Harbor by Dan Maloney

Imperial Hostage by Phil Cantrill (a review copy, so I couldn't "wall fling" it)

Delilah by India Edghill (another review copy, so I couldn't "wall fling" it)

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
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Vicky -

Ack!  I wanted to read Drood by Dan Simmons frown  What didn't you like about it (without giving away spoilers)?

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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My failures:

The Tomb – F. Paul Wilson ( poor writing, predictable secondary characters)

The News from Paraguay – Lily Tuck (do not read this book - you will lose admiration for the National Book Award - if you had any to begin with. I did. Now . . . I don't.)

The Light Horseman’s Daughter – Crookes (cliched, cliched, cliched)

 

Cathy - thanks for the heads up on The Immigrants. I picked it up free on my e-reader but I've read Fast once before and was not impressed. If I decide to dive in I will be quick to quit if I don't care for it.

Vicky - I'm curious about Drood also. I really liked my last book by Simmons but all authors have a disappointing one now and then.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 11:31 AM ET
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Well, when I started Drood, I posted this:

I"m listening to Drood by Dan Simmons.  The narrator is Wilkie Collins (of Moonstone fame)  and he's talking about his best friend Charles Dickens.  All  this bizarre stuff is happening: dramatic train wreck, Collins addicted to laudanum/opium, dopplegangers, and so on.  So I decide to read up a bit on Collins and Dickens, and lo and behold, the author is following history pretty closely!  What a hoot!  Truth IS stranger than fiction.  Collins was highly addicted to opium and seriously thought he had a doppleganger (who was a better writer, btw); Dickens was in a terrible train wreck, and so on.  I'm enjoying it much more now!

As you know, this is a HUGE book.  I listened to an abridgement, which was still 10 1/2 hours of listening time.  I was enthralled until the last 1/3 of the book.  It just kept getting stranger, and when I finished, I posted this:

 Odd.  Very odd.  I'm lukewarm about the whole thing. 

If I recall, I got to the end and just felt as though I didn't know what was going on for sure; that perhaps Simmons was trying to take us so deeply into Wilkie Collins' drug-addled mind that he lost his way too. Wilkie Collins is so addicted and fogged up that you can't trust what he, as the narrator, is telling you.  Sometimes you can't quite understand it either.  I guess it speaks against opium addiction!  LOL.  I have loved Simmons' other books, but this one was a let-down.  If you're still curious, I would definitely try the abridged audio.  I would imagine the detail in the book would bog this slow story down.  And then to get to the end of almost 800 pages and realize...nothing.  Ack! 

 

 

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 11:36 AM ET
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But, the abridgement might have been the problem? Maybe they inadvertently left out important details.

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 1:11 PM ET
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Sheila, I did wonder about that too.  But I wasn't enthralled enough to see if that was the case.  If you do read it, let me know what you think!

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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I was fairly fortunate this year and only read two real woofers:

The Skystone by Jack Whyte

Crown of Aloes by Norah Lofts

 

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel - started but couldn't get into it

The October Horse by Colleen McCullough was really two books in one and I found it hard to read.  Nevertheless, the author's attention to detail continues to amaze me.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - found the street language difficult to decipher and understand

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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Sheila, The Immigrants was what I call the squicky male sex kind of pot boiler. Just so *meh*.

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
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The News from Paraguay – Lily Tuck (do not read this book - you will lose admiration for the National Book Award - if you had any to begin with. I did. Now . . . I don't.)

I completely agree, Shelia. This was a Book Club book for me a couple of years ago, and I actually felt guilty when it was requested on PBS for sending it to someone :)

I didn't like "In Pursiut of the Green Lion" by Judith Merkle Riley. Since I loved the first in this series, I wonder if I was just off that week.

"One Day" by David Nichols. In which Mimi realizes she needs likable characters to enjoy a book.

"Brigid of Ireland" by Cindy Thomson. Oh my goodness, characters talked like Yoda for no apparent reason.

"Symphony" by Jude Morgan. I believe I used the phrase "hot mess" in my Goodreads review ;)

"The White Queen" by Philippa Gregory.

 



Last Edited on: 12/10/11 6:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Bruce -
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
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Just started "The Drood" - hopefully it will be my cup of tea.

Stinkers:

An Imperfect Lens- Anne Riophe

Weaver - Stephen Baxter

The October Horse - Colleen McCullough

Voyager - Diana Gabaldon

The Thirteenth Tale- Diane Setterfield

 

Disappointments:

The Black Rood - Stephen Lawhead

Luke's Story -  Lehaye/Jenkins

Ysabel - Guy Gavriel Kay

Bonnie (LoveNE) - ,
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
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Land of the Painted Caves,Land of the Painted Caves, Land of the Painted Caves, Land of the Painted Caves, Land of the Painted Caves, Land of the Painted Caves, Land of the Painted Caves, Land of the Painted Caves, Land of the Painted Caves, Land of the Painted Caves...now I think it is finally out of my system!

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 10:11 PM ET
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cheeky Didn't like it much?

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 12:32 AM ET
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Vicky, thanks for the additional info about Drood.

Well, Bruce, you'll have to report back and let us know what you think of Drood! Carolyn and I are interested in your opinion also.

I did look at Amazon and Vicky, you had company :-)

Ha Ha Bonnie! I've read so many bad reviews of Land of the Painted Caves and I thought Shelter of Stone was such drivel that I decided to not to catch up with Ayla and Jondalar this time around. I wonder if there are any good fanfic authors of the series. 

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 7:32 AM ET
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I did look at Amazon and Vicky, you had company :-)

Ha!  That's good to know!  I think my expectations were so high: Dan Simmons, Victorian England, mystery, real people as characters....and if the author's intent was to create an atmosphere of mystery, fog, confusion and paranoia, he succeeded. Completely!    

Bruce, you have to report back, okay?  Maybe we could turn it into a read along discussion!  wink

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 7:33 AM ET
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Bonnie...thanks.  I was on the fence until I read your review...cheeky

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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I generally have a 50 pages and out rule and don't record the books I don't like. I know for sure most the books I did not like where YA or paranormal just plain bad writing.

The one HF I really didn't was Ken Follet's Fall of Giants. I finished it but did not like it. I didn't like Pillars of the Earth either (liked the miniseries though).

Alice

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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I'm another one who doesn't read the book if it doesn't grab me by about the first 50 pages. In looking over my lists, the only ones which I could possibly call disappointments (about 3 stars) were:

God's Lions - the Secret Chapel by John Lyman

Prophecy by S J Parris



Last Edited on: 12/11/11 5:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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My Stinkers:

  1. Incas, Book I The Puma's Shadow by A.B. Daniel 1/5
  2. An Army of Angels by Pamela Marcantel DNF
  3. Tall, Dark & Kilted by Allie Mackay 1/5
  4. Love From the Ashes by Denise Agnew 2/5

There were more, but they were freebie or really, really cheap e-books for which I didn't have much expectation anyway.  Love from the Ashes could be in that category, too, but it was worse in that it gave me some hope before bombing out.  It really could and should have been much better.

 Disappointments:

The Fort by Bernard Cornwell 3/5
 



Last Edited on: 12/11/11 7:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Bruce -
Date Posted: 12/20/2011 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
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I'm not quite finished with Drood yet but here are a few impressions: It is waaaay to wordy. I knew from Terror that Simmons takes his time telling a story but he seems to wander from the plot a little too often for my tastes. I suppose a Dickens or Collins conneissuer would find the information in this book worth every word but I am not a huge Dickens fan so for me it was distracting. His editor was not his friend. This might have been a great book if pared down to 500 pages but we'll never know. It's hard to either recommend or advised against this book.

Date Posted: 12/20/2011 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
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The one big dog for me (as in Giant Alaskan Malamute / Great Dane / St. Bernard kind of big) this past year was Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander - I am sooo done with this series. Blech! What a waste of time!

Two disappointments:

Antony & Cleopatra. I have loved or really enjoyed all of the other books in this series, but McCullough really let me down with her heavy-handed treatment of the main characters in this one. (In all honesty, this may have something to do with the fact that I had just recently completed (& loved) Hand of Isis by Jo Graham, same general story, but told from Cleopatra's POV.

Angel of Darkness, Caleb Carr. I had enjoyed The Alienist, and like all silly readers, was hopeful that the 2nd one would be as good as the first. Silly me.

Kelly

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 12/20/11 2:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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