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formergothardite

Winter Reading

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Depressed
formergothardite

I'm starting to get out of my reading slump. I read all summer and then spent all autumn getting books from the library and then just not feeling like reading anything. 

The book that got me started reading again is A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite and I absolutely hated it. :laughing-jumpingpurple: I kept reading it to see if it got any better but it didn't. 

This is a non-fiction book written by a woman who found out her husband was cheated on her. It is told in a back and forth way where one chapter is about when they first started dating and the next will be about her finding out her husband cheated. One of the big issues with this book, besides that no one wants to read pages about looking at Google, is that the author internet diagnosis her husband as a sociopath. She then finds a therapist that on the first visit, after just meeting the author and never meeting the husband,  also diagnosis the husband as being a sociopath. I give the side eye to any therapist who would do that. The author went to another therapist who would not place a diagnosis on her husband without actually meeting him and asked what the author's goal in her marriage was because if it was to stay married she recommends marriage counseling. It is implied that that therapist is bad. 

Half this book is about how the husband is a monster sociopath. I can't believe the ex-husband hasn't sued. Also I'm bothered because they have a child together and there is no way she isn't telling this kid the father is evil. The guy has a child from a first marriage and even the author admitted he is a loving, devoted father. 

The second issue I have with the story is a great deal of time is spent talking about the "Croation" which is what she calls the woman her husband cheated on her with. There is a lot of talk about how she can't understand how a woman can do that do another woman and how absolutely awful the woman is. It isn't until the end of the book that she casually mentions that her husband was in a serious relationship with someone else when they started dating and that relationship only ended because the woman found text messages showing Marco(the ex-husband) was cheating. She sort of mentions that she probably caused pain to another woman, but there is no real understanding that SHE did the same thing that this woman she hates so much did. Her getting involved with Marco when he was in a serious relationship is just presented as how he is a sociopath.

Finding out your husband cheated on you is terrible, but this book was poorly written and cheaters are not always sociopaths. Sometimes people are just assholes. The husband is a total cheating asshole. There is not doubt about it. Is he some sort of a sociopath? I don't know. She didn't sell me on the idea that he was. I think he is probably just your average, everyday jerk who married her because he needed to become a citizen and her wealthy parents were giving him lots of money to fulfill his dreams.  

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CTRLZero
23 minutes ago, formergothardite said:

I kept reading it to see if it got any better but it didn't. 

Glad to see I'm not the only one to do this!  Right now I am sort of plodding through a rather silly sci fi series by K. Patrick Donoghue.  It's fairly well written, but the plot is starting to fall apart by book two.  And yet I plod along, hoping against hope it will get better.  The one funny thing about this series is the search for magnetized rocks with super powers.  For some reason, it made me think of Gwen Shamblin and her non-magnetized food devotional.  My chuckle of the day!

@Marly  had recommended a novel by Kim Stanley Robinson in another thread.  That particular one wasn't available at my local library, but I started reading New York 2140 by that same author.  It's a fairly large book, so I am walking to the library a few times a week and reading a few chapters at a time.  This is actually working out well as I get my exercise and then think about the book on the way back home.  Good cure for my usual winter doldrums.

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Depressed
formergothardite
3 hours ago, CTRLZero said:

New York 2140 by that same author. 

I'm on a waiting list to read this at my library! 

3 hours ago, CTRLZero said:

but the plot is starting to fall apart by book two.  And yet I plod along, hoping against hope it will get better. 

To me this happened with Terry Pratchett's Long Earth series. I loved the idea behind this series, that you could travel through endless variations of Earth, but by the time I started reading the third book the plot had lost me and I was just forcing myself through in hopes that it would get better. 

I have The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse that I'm starting next. It was on display at the library and the cover looked interesting. I don't know a lot about it except it is about this kid who wakes up in a strange place and keeps living the same day over and over. Or something like that. Hopefully it will be an improvement on the last book I read. 

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Wine time!
Marly
8 hours ago, formergothardite said:

To me this happened with Terry Pratchett's Long Earth series. I loved the idea behind this series, that you could travel through endless variations of Earth, but by the time I started reading the third book the plot had lost me and I was just forcing myself through in hopes that it would get better.  

Same!!! I love the idea, and there are some interesting premises (I like the idea of the Next, for instance), but I think they could have done so much more with it then they ended up doing. I read all the books in the series, but more because I kept thinking "maybe it gets better". It doesn't.
The same goes for Baxter's Proxima and Ultima btw. Interesting premises, but it feels like the story isnt really worked out well. It feels like he had some ideas he just really wanted to get in, and then forgot about them, and then halfway through realized that there were still some loose strands that needed to be addressed and connected somehow. The first book really left me thinking "Did I miss any clues or something? Did he address it somewhere and have I missed it, or has he really only mentioned it once casually and forgot to address it further?". Those things are addressed in the second book, but in a manner that makes you think that he really forgot, or that he just hadn't worked out yet what he wanted to do with it. Doesn't help the story at all.

I read New York 2140 last year and I liked it a lot! I did use google maps to get a better picture of all the locations he describes, as I've never been to New York and am not really familiar with the lay out of the city. But it's a really good book, definitely worth the wait.

I also just started reading again after having a three monty hiatus. I read so much in august and september, and I had a lot of books still "waiting" for me, but I just didn't really felt like reading. But yesterday I started again. I am now reading James Rollins' Extinction. I'm about 60 pages in and so far it's really gripping me!

Edited by Marly

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Kailash

I read The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand yesterday. I really enjoyed it. Not intellectually stimulating but very emotionally satisfying for me. I have The Ties That Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England checked out from the library now. 

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CTRLZero
5 hours ago, Marly said:

I read New York 2140 last year and I liked it a lot! I did use google maps to get a better picture of all the locations he describes

This is such a great idea!  I'm really enjoying my "new" method of savoring this book a few chapters at a time by leaving it at the library.  I won't post any spoilers, but did want to say it was interesting to me that people in 2140 are as interested in New York City real estate as ever.

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LilMissMetaphor

Is there a separate thread for Goodreads challenges? Just wondering.  I'm going for 24 books a year like last year, may try for 36.  Anyway, I'm finally reading The Great Gatsby.  Never had to read it in high school or university.  After that I have a bunch of Austen re-reads slated, since I just got my hands on a set of six.  Previously, I finished the Tattooist of Auschwitz.  Which was a really interesting topic, as the title suggests, but poorly written.

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Depressed
formergothardite

I just finished Echo Room. It wasn't the best book in the world but it was a fun read. 

Trying not be be too spoilerish, but I'll hide it anyway. 

Spoiler

It is a time travel book. It was compared to Maze Runner, and while there are some similarities, it isn't a Divergent type book where it rips off the plot of Maze Runner/Hunger Games. There is originality in the story. 

 

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Aggravated
onekidanddone
On 1/17/2019 at 6:24 PM, formergothardite said:

I'm on a waiting list to read this at my library! 

I just reserved it as well.

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CTRLZero
On 1/17/2019 at 1:40 PM, CTRLZero said:

Right now I am sort of plodding through a rather silly sci fi series by K. Patrick Donoghue.  It's fairly well written, but the plot is starting to fall apart by book two.

Quoting myself, but since I've been stuck indoors due to the cold, I am now plodding through book three in the series courtesy of Kindle Unlimited.  Glutton for punishment, I guess!

Back to New York 2140, which is waiting for warmer weather at the library for me.  The last time I read a section, I was struck by a word and wanted to share it with you.  This is such a complex book, that I don't think the short quote will spoil anything, but I'll put it under spoiler anyway.
 

Spoiler

 

The scene is New York City, partly underwater due to global warming.  There are sections of town called the intertidal, which is where this snippet takes place:

The wrestlers entered the central ring in the pool...Lots of intergender in the intertidal; inter as such was a big thing now, amphibiguity a definite style, which like all styles liked to see and be seen.

Anyway, I keep thinking about amphibiguity.  Such a clever word in the context of a submerged society!

 

I'll look forward to reading your impressions when you get your books, @formergothardite and @onekidanddone.

 

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MarblesMom

I just started Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

Fascinating read!

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Wine time!
Marly

I just finished The 6th Extinction. Nice read, though there were a couple of moments where the female body is described in a manner very typical of male authors that made me sigh heavily. Why do some authors feel the almost compulsive need to emphasize the movement/look of the breasts of female characters all the time while those descriptions add absolutely nothing to the story? (If it's a 50 shades of gray type of novel/softcore porn story, then fine, but in this case it was absolutely unnecessary). Otherwise it was a nice story, very thrilling. I like scientific thrillers.
I'm going to start reading The Eye of God today. This novel is also by James Rollins an is part of the same series as The 6th Extinction. My best friend found 6 books from this series for very cheap at a second hand book market, and she gave them to me when she had finished them.

@formergothardite Echo Room sounds like a book I could possibly enjoy as well. I loved the hunger games and I also like the first book of the Maze Runner series (absolutely hated book 2 and 3 though). I will add this to my "possible reads" list!

For the science fiction/new space opera fans here: I highly recommend Becky Chambers' Wayfarer series. I've read A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit and I absolutely loved them. There is a lot less violence and action than is usually the case in space opera but it is still exciting, there is a lot of character building, the story is good, she has an eye for details, interesting premises are explored in-depth (for instance, romantic relationship between a human and an AI (to make us think about what makes something sentient + equal rights/ human/sentient rights; lots of critical thinking!) and it's a great example of New Space Opera. Highly recommend!

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LilMissMetaphor

I haven't read older fiction in a while, and had forgotten how bad/racist/stereotypical it can be.  It was an 80s' Rosamunde Pilcher novel (NOT historical fiction, so there's no excuse) and included such gems as an Asian character pronouncing "Erica" as "Missee Ellica", someone cracking a joke about "Hoo Flung Dung", a man discussing whether or not a woman was "frigid", and so forth.  

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CTRLZero
29 minutes ago, LilMissMetaphor said:

I haven't read older fiction in a while, and had forgotten how bad/racist/stereotypical it can be.

 

3 hours ago, Marly said:

Nice read, though there were a couple of moments where the female body is described in a manner very typical of male authors that made me sigh heavily.

Whether it is a classic or a run-of-the-mill space opera series, it is absolutely jarring to me to encounter these sorts of things, especially when it's not part of the plot or historical event.  I suppose it's a good thing that we are more sensitive to these things as human beings.  It was very sad recently when I was reading a novel by Dorothy Sayers and the "n" word is just part of everyday conversation.  It took me a minute to get over the shock, and then I reminded myself that things are changing.  (Recent events have shown me how far we have to go.) 

Thanks for all the great recommendations!

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Depressed
formergothardite
7 hours ago, Marly said:

I just finished The 6th Extinction

I read that a couple years ago and found it super depressing. Especially since things have gone down hill since the book was published. 

5 hours ago, LilMissMetaphor said:

I haven't read older fiction in a while, and had forgotten how bad/racist/stereotypical it can be. 

I found this in Agatha Christie books. Some very stereotypical stuff in some of her books. Christie also uses the word ejaculated a lot when writing about people talking. :laughing-jumpingpurple: People constantly ejaculating things can be jarring! 

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CTRLZero

I toddled down to the library to read the next section of New York 2140 and, horrors😲, someone had checked it out!  This led me to take action--I signed up for a library card!*  (It's been literally decades since I've checked a book out at a library.) 

As a substitute, I took home and spent last evening reading Year One by Nora Roberts.  I had heard Year One was not the typical Roberts novel, whatever that is, but I thought it was a good read for a wintry evening with some interesting post-plague occurrences sprinkled in like fairy dust. 

*I'm so super excited to have a library card, I can barely contain myself, lol! 🤓

Edited by CTRLZero
Making more sense. Maybe.

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Depressed
formergothardite
On 1/24/2019 at 9:21 AM, CTRLZero said:

I toddled down to the library to read the next section of New York 2140 and, horrors😲, someone had checked it out!

The nerve of them! :laughing-jumpingpurple:

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CTRLZero

I finished New York 2140 and really enjoyed it!  Along with humans coping with new environmental realities, it was the story of real estate skulduggery, financial shenanigans, and political philosophies.   And adventures!  And romance! 

It took a while for the various threads to start coming together, but it was worthwhile hanging in there to the end.   It even gave some perspective for the future, which quote I'll put under spoiler:
 

Spoiler

 

[My commentary:  The set up for this quote is that the author makes it look like we are headed for a happy ending.  But is anything in history permanent? ] Quote:

...but there was no guarantee of permanence to anything they did, and the pushback was ferocious as always, because people are crazy and history never ends, and good is accomplished against the immense black-hole gravity of greed and fear.

 

 

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LilMissMetaphor

I'm now re-reading Persuasion.  After that I'm going for Barbara Kingsolver's Unsheltered.

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Depressed
formergothardite

Persuasion is one of my favorite! 

I just finished reading Twelve by Twelve by William Powers. I really wanted to like this book, but I just didn't. So this woman in NC lives totally off grid in a 12 x 12 cabin. She is a medical doctor but lives in this small cabin and is very much into permaculture and has this amazing plot of land that she has spent years developing into a massive self-sustaining garden. 

The book was not about her. If it had been it would have been interesting. It is about this guy who house sits for her while she is off protesting environmental stuff. I would love to read a book about her but she is extremely private and he could not reveal the location of her cabin or her name. 

The basis of the book is that an extremely privileged white guy bonds with nature.  He house sits for the lady because he was essentially bored. He never really seems what privilege he has. 

He did point out something interesting which was that the people in rural NC tend to be very racist towards Mexican immigrants, the massive factory farms couldn't survive without these immigrants. And that while the farm owners might vote against immigrants, they are more than happy to hire illegal ones because they know they can treat them like crap and get away with it. 

 

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