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Topic: November, What are you reading discussion- HF

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Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Subject: November, What are you reading discussion- HF
Date Posted: 11/1/2010 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,721
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What are we reading for good books this month?

Alice



Last Edited on: 11/5/10 1:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 11/1/2010 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,721
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I read a chilling mystery yesterday,  Predator by Terri Blackstock. It is about a stocker on a social networking website. He gets the participants information and goes around killing young girls. Very chilling...

Alice

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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I just started reading Dancing with Kings aka Garden of Venus by Eva Stachniak.  It takes place in the 18th century about a Bythinian girl of Greek origin, who starts life as a courtesan and marries a Polish count.  He happens to be one of the richest landowners in the Ukraine.  She becomes the darling of kings and queens and the nobility throughout Europe.  Based on a true story of Sophia Potocka. 

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I'm reading Genghis: Birth of An Empire by Conn Iggulden.  It certainly is compelling, but I'm almost halfway through and am missing things like love, tenderness, tranquilty, etc.  So far young Temujin's life has been nothing but coldness, harship, violence, etc.  Obviously, times were tough back then, but a chapter about daily life with flashes of goodness would be nice from time to time.  LOL!

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Reading the Lady's Slipper by Deborah Swift 

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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Just about through another 100 pages of Falls the Shadow, then I will turn to a book for the 2010 CF challenge.  I think I've figured out what I don't really like about Falls the Shadow.  I can't really figure out who the story is about.  The back cover says "This is Simon de Montfort's story" and I didn't really believe that until I was over 300 pages into it. By then, I didn't really care.  There were too many people and not a clear plot.  And the interchangable use of their given names with their titles is driving me batty. I don't know who she's talking about half the time!  I could over look all of that in Here Be Dragons because the over-arching story of Llewellyn and Joanna was so compelling.  But I'm not getting that here.

That's what I so appreciate about hanging out here.  I'm learning from you guys how to express why I have an opinion about a book...not just "like" or "dislike".

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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I'm reading Nefertiti by Michelle Moran for the 2010 HF challenge. It's okay, I'm interested enough to continue reading it, but I have some real problems with Ms. Moran's writing style - it's rather one dimensional and parts of it are a little disjointed. I am really enjoying learning about Nefertiti & ancient Egyptian court life, along with all the political intrigue ... just goes to show ya ... ain't nuthin' too new under this sun!

Kelly

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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That's what I so appreciate about hanging out here.  I'm learning from you guys how to express why I have an opinion about a book...not just "like" or "dislike".    So true and I am still learning.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 11/1/2010 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,721
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Kelly I read Nefertiti and did not like it. The writing was very juvenile I thought. I did not like the whining of the main characters. The plot was some what interesting but I felt it written for a young adult audience rather than adult audience.  For some reason I have gave the author anohter try read Cleopatra's Daughter. Much better book and one of my favorites this year.

Alice

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Legacy by Susan Kay. Not sure which planet I've been on, but I was surprised to see it's a bio/novel about Elizabeth I--I think I ordered it based on raves from you all, but I would have picked it up much much sooner if I'd (duh!) realized!



Last Edited on: 11/1/10 6:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/1/2010 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,495
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I've started The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease for my "V" alphabet challenge for 2010.  The jacket cover on this book is absolutley gorgeous, hope the story is good as well!

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I didn't particularly care for Nefertiti either. It was okay, I guess, but definitely not a great book by any means for me.

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I am with Shelley,  I thought Nefertiti was over hyped.

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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I put Gwenhwyfar: the White Spirit by Mercedes Lackey back on the shelf and started The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart.  I was able to find an ancient copy of it at the library and it piqued my interest more than the Lackey book did, maybe because I've read a Guenevere book recently....



Last Edited on: 11/1/10 9:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/1/2010 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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RE: Nefertiti. I had it out from the lib once and never went past first chapter. 1) I was having a book slump and everything was flying and 2) I'm not overly fond of that period so I bailed. Never went back.

Still on Outback by Aaron Fletcher. I have learned way more about sheep than I ever cared to :)

Date Posted: 11/1/2010 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I've just finished Rennie Airth's newest mystery, "The Dead of Winter" and really enjoyed it. It's another intricately plotted mystery filled with memorable characters and a great sense of place. Loved it.

Now, I'm back in the modern world, reading one of the books short-listed for the Booker; "The Slap" by Christos Tsiolkas. This one is filled with memorable characters too, but they are all horrible people you wouldn't want to know. The basic premise of the book is a child being slapped at a BBQ by a man who is not his father. These people are all so awful that I don't even feel any sympathy for the kid, nor for the adults whose lives are being made miserable over this.

Next up is a book for the 2010 challenge. With just 2 months left, I've decided it's time to get serious about finishing. ;-)

Date Posted: 11/2/2010 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Great! I really wish you all had expressed your opinions months ago about Nefertiti before I spent a credit on it. With so many other books on my TBR, this may just have to go directly, unread, to the "Post It" pile.

Valli -- I grabbed a 50-cents copy of The Slap a few months ago, but after reading a number of customer reviews, decided not to even bother reading it. It went directly to the "Post It" pile and was swooped up immediately. I'll be eager to know from you whether I made the right decision.

Colleen -- I thought Legacy was excellent. Kay's other book, Phantom, is also terrific, though dark and haunting.

Date Posted: 11/2/2010 6:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,715
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You know, I listened to the audio version of Nefertiti and enjoyed it.  I then read Heretic Queen, and really felt it had a YA sensibility to it, rather than adult.  So I went back to audio and listened to Cleopatra's Daughter, and again I enjoyed that.

I do love the time periods though, so that may help too.

Date Posted: 11/2/2010 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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Deb - I think you should definitely consider Nefertiti as one that you could give a pass to. It's just not all that great. If I didn't need it for the 2010 Challenge and if I weren't mildly interested in the characters, it would easily be a DNF. I believe there are better books out there about Nefertiti if you are interested in her.

We also have Cleopatra's Daughter - and Linda agrees with most of you in that it was better, more enjoyable, etc. So I may give that one a try for my 2011 ancient Rome, Greece or Egypt trend setter book. Or not. Meh.

Kelly

Date Posted: 11/2/2010 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,495
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This is so interesting as I thought Nefertiti was just okay and I really didn't care for Cleopatra's Daughter.  I guess I thought Heretic Queen was the best of the bunch.

Date Posted: 11/2/2010 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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You're right, Cheryl ... very interesting! Heretic Queen was a DNF for Linda & I didn't even try it. Guess it takes all opinions ... otherwise there would be a lot of out of work authors & a lot of books sitting on bookstore shelves!

Kelly

Date Posted: 11/3/2010 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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Nefertiti is my least favorite of Moran's books, but I did enjoy the other two.

Getting ready to start Helen Hollick's The Kingmaking. 

As for my husband, he is almost finished with The Pale Horseman (book 2 of Cornwell's Saxon books) and told me to get the next two.  He's read more than I have in the past couple of weeks!!

Date Posted: 11/3/2010 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Deb, you definitely didn't miss any earth-shattering fiction when you posted "The Slap" unread. I read the whole thing and came away feeling like I needed a shower. The characters were all the nastiest, most selfish people you'd never want to meet. It really is a well-written book that kept me eagerly turning the pages, but only because of the "trainwreck" aspect; I couldn't turn away! Plus, I really do enjoy the occasional book filled with dysfunctional people, lol. On the back of the book, there is a blurb that says "It is thrilling to have our life reflected back at us so accurately" and I wondered if that made the people of Australia feel insulted, lol.

It's a little odd to me that the Booker judges chose this book to sit alongside the books by Andrea Levy, David Mitchell, and Peter Carey. For me, "The Slap" was not at all on the same level as the books written by these other authors.

Date Posted: 11/3/2010 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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As for my husband, he is almost finished with The Pale Horseman (book 2 of Cornwell's Saxon books) and told me to get the next two.  He's read more than I have in the past couple of weeks!!

Yeah -- sometimes husbands can do surprising things. Since I joined this forum, about a year ago, my husband has read (among other books):

  • all five of the Saxon series (he finished long before I did)
  • Aztec  (which I have yet to read)
  • Chadwick's The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion
  • Pressfield's Gates of Fire (which I have yet to read)
  • Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles (yes, all six totalling a gazillion pages)
  • the first few of Saylor's ancient Rome mysteries and Lindsay Davis' ancient Rome mysteries (his comment: "Wait, you're telling me that there are multiple series set in ancient Rome with a finder as the main character??"); again, I have yet to read these
  • the Ariana Franklin Mistress of the Art of Death books 1 and 2 (we are both waiting until we have the fourth book in hand before reading the third given others' comments on this forum)

So now I can no longer chide him, as I oh-so-lovingly used to, for reading "insipid, stupid stuff!" (But he's still due for a Penman deflowering.wink)

Date Posted: 11/3/2010 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Thanks, Valli, for letting me know that I made the right choice re: The Slap. Though given that I too like reading about dysfunctional people (something which my family unmercifully teases me about), maybe I'll try it from the library if I ever get through my TBR stack (i.e., the likelihood of which is between nil and never).

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