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Thread: What Are You Reading Now?

  1. #2941
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    During a moment of weakness half way through "A World Undone", I started the V.E. Schwab "Shades of Magic" trilogy. I just finished it. She is a very good writer. Her style is easy enough to read dozens of pages in one sitting. I'm very picky with my fantasy reading, and I really enjoyed it. Characters are interesting, and her world of magic was unique. I recommend it to fantasy fans.

    Now I got to get back to WW1.
    That is good to hear. I have the trilogy sitting on my kindle but haven't gotten there yet. May have to bump it closer to a priority.

  2. #2942

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    That is good to hear. I have the trilogy sitting on my kindle but haven't gotten there yet. May have to bump it closer to a priority.
    Give the first book a whirl. If it's your style you'll like the rest of the series.
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  3. #2943
    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyone View Post

    A Novel

    Lionheart
    Author Ben Kane normally writes HF set in acient Rome. With this novel he has switched eras. This is the first novel in a proposed series on one of England's greatest warrior kings - Richard I. This novel covers the time before Richard actually becomes King. He is the Duke if Aquataine and the story revolves around his struggles with his father and brothers. To say that the family did not get along is an understatement. Richard was at war with his father about just who controlled his duchy, who would succeed his father, the relationship Richard had with the King of France among other things.

    One of the main supporting characters in William Marshall, who became know as "The Greatest Knight"

    Excellently researched and a fun read, if you are interested in that era of history. Covers much the same ground as Sharon Kay Penman's Devil's Brood trilogy.
    I haven't read much about him, but I was somewhat surprised that Richard spent very little of his life in present-day Great Britain - that much of his kingdom was in present-day France. Apparently his mother (I think) propagated stories of him endearing him to the people so that they'd be willing to pony up more for the ransom(s) that had to be collected to free Richard from his captivities.

    Did I get any of that right?

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  4. #2944
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    I haven't read much about him, but I was somewhat surprised that Richard spent very little of his life in present-day Great Britain - that much of his kingdom was in present-day France. Apparently his mother (I think) propagated stories of him endearing him to the people so that they'd be willing to pony up more for the ransom(s) that had to be collected to free Richard from his captivities.

    Did I get any of that right?

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Most of it From everything I've read, Richard considered himself the Duke of Aquitaine first and foremost. He didn't even speak English. He never expected to be King of England - that was his older brothers. In fact Henry II, Richard's father, had his son Henry actually crowned KofE during his lifetime. Then the Young Henry up and died. Part of the problem between Richard and his father is his father's refusal to name Richard as his heir.

    Henry II controlled more of France that the King of France. The Plantangents controlled most of western and southern France. Henry was the Duke of Normandy, Britany, Aquitaine, count of Poiteu and a couple of other titles. When he died, that all passed to Richard.

    If you've ever seen the movies "Becket" or "The Lion in Winter" (both of which I highly recommend) - the King in both is Henry II. In "Lion in Winter" (the 1969 version) Richard is played by Sir Antony Hopkins in one of his first screen roles. Henry II is played by Peter O'Toole in both.

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  5. #2945
    Board Bookworm happyone's Avatar
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    A couple of more books that might be interesting to some here

    The World Beneath Their Feet

    This is a look at the "Race to the Top of the World", the attempt to scale the 8000 meter peaks during the '30s -'50s. Of course the British attempts to scale Mt. Everest are recounted ('31, '37, '38, '53), but the attempts of the Germans to be the first nation to put people on top of an 8000m mountain (Nanga Parbat), the American attempts to scale K2 are all recounted. Also the differences in technique, expedition size, the fact differences in how Sherpa's and other porters were treated are all gone into. A fantastic read.

    The Journey to the Mayflower
    This a bit academic (it the reworking of the authors PHD thesis). I find it a fascinating look at the development of Puritan theology and just how it drove the "Seperatists" to migrate to the New World. Starting in Mary I's reign, the author looks at the devopment of Puritan thought and doctrine and how Puritans related to both the Church of England (which they considered Non-Christian) in particular and the Gov't in General.

    One thing I found interesting - in the beginning (1550s-1570s) the Puritan leaders didn't want "Freedom of Religion", they wanted to "Purify" the CofE to reflect their views on what was Christianity and proper worship and everybody would worship as they did.

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

    A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to, "The United States of America ", for an amount of "up to and including my life - it's an honor."

  6. #2946
    Faith crisis consultant SeattleUte's Avatar
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    I just finished The Histories (Herodotus) and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Brodie was nothing I expected. I expected a sentimental story about a female teacher who influenced girls. It's a beloved novel like To Kill Mockingbird. Actually, the teacher is a fascist who initiates her students to sex. A lot of dark humor. Weird but very enjoyable. Before that I read Giovanni's Room, by James Baldwin. About a young man in Paris engaged to a young woman, who falls in love with another young man. A couple of weeks ago I finished volume 1 in Proust's In Search of Lost Time, Swann's way. Am well into Budding Grove. These are all with the twitter book clubs. Part of the fun is I read stuff that I always wanted to but never got it done, and some that never would have occurred to me.
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    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam. It's shortlisted for the National Book Award. It's interestingly quite similar to DeLillo's newest, The Silence as well as having a similar feel to the opening chapters of Station Eleven. It addresses that age old question of "what would happen if the apocalypse occurred during the week my family rented a sweet Airbnb in the country?"

  8. #2948
    Faith crisis consultant SeattleUte's Avatar
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    I finished 2666. I didn’t expect it to be my light reading, but it was. Compulsively readable. But I’m still trying to decide if it’s really a great novel. Kind of a weird 900 page concoction. It’s mostly storytelling, and reads like a bunch of loosely related fairy tales. By that I mean an omniscient narrator, no internal monologue or stream of consciousness, just unflagging story telling, with lots of odd characters and discrete stories and loose ends. Not much tying together anyway. Anyway, it has a lot of stuff I like in literature, like humor, crime, romantic triangles, some interlocking, literary theory, philosophy, the WWII Russian front, drug cartels, serial killings, cosmopolitanism.

    A lot of the humor comes from this tic Bolano has of overdeveloping unimportant facts. Like how a character peruses a menu and decides what to order, or a discussion about leather coats. I already bought another Bolano book, so 2666 must have worked with me. Here is an example of the discussion about the leather coat:

    Then Ingeborg’s health took a turn for the worse and an English doctor told Reiter that the girl, that lovely, delightful girl, probably had no more than two or three months to live and then he just looked at Reiter, who began to weep without a word, but the English doctor wasn’t really looking at Reiter, he was staring at his handsome black leather coat, assessing it with the eye of a furrier or a leatherworker, and finally, as Reiter continued to weep, he asked where he’d bought it, where did I buy what? the coat, oh, in Berlin, lied Reiter, before the war, at a shop called Hahn & Förster, he said, and then the doctor said that the furriers Hahn and Förster or their heirs had probably been inspired by the leather coats of Mason & Cooper, the Manchester coat makers, who also had a branch in London, and who in 1938 had made a coat exactly like the one Reiter was wearing, the same sleeves, the same collar, the same number of buttons,
    And it goes on like this for three pages, literally in a single sentence. I’ve never seen anyone explain the point of these bizarre digressions, other than humor. I can’t explain it.
    Last edited by SeattleUte; 10-19-2020 at 07:34 PM.
    When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

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  9. #2949
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I finished 2666. I didn’t expect it to be my light reading, but it was. Compulsively readable. But I’m still trying to decide if it’s really a great novel. Kind of a weird 900 page concoction. It’s mostly storytelling, and reads like a bunch of loosely related fairy tales. By that I mean an omniscient narrator, no internal monologue or stream of consciousness, just unflagging story telling, with lots of odd characters and discrete stories and loose ends. Not much tying together anyway. Anyway, it has a lot of stuff I like in literature, like humor, crime, romantic triangles, some interlocking, literary theory, philosophy, the WWII Russian front, drug cartels, serial killings, cosmopolitanism.

    A lot of the humor comes from this tic Bolano has of overdeveloping unimportant facts. Like how a character peruses a menu and decides what to order, or a discussion about leather coats. I already bought another Bolano book, so 2666 must have worked with me. Here is an example of the discussion about the leather coat:



    And it goes on like this for three pages, literally in a single sentence. I’ve never seen anyone explain the point of these bizarre digressions, other than humor. I can’t explain it.
    I finished this one last month and "compulsively readable" is about the best description I've come across. I have been going through withdrawals since finishing, struggling to attend properly to anything I've read since. In fact I ordered The Savage Detectives and By Night in Chile hoping to get my fix again. I have no idea what the meaning of the novel was, and as time has passed I've realized I don't really care. I just enjoyed being there, reading those stories, wondering what the hell was happening, where it was all going and never getting an answer. It was life in a thousand pages.

  10. #2950
    Faith crisis consultant SeattleUte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    I finished this one last month and "compulsively readable" is about the best description I've come across. I have been going through withdrawals since finishing, struggling to attend properly to anything I've read since. In fact I ordered The Savage Detectives and By Night in Chile hoping to get my fix again. I have no idea what the meaning of the novel was, and as time has passed I've realized I don't really care. I just enjoyed being there, reading those stories, wondering what the hell was happening, where it was all going and never getting an answer. It was life in a thousand pages.
    I'm reading Bolańo's Distant Star. Another favorite subject of mine for literature is dictatorships and revolutions.
    When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

    --Jonathan Swift

  11. #2951

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    I just finished Colin Quin's Overstated: A Coast to Coast Roast of all 50 States. It was a fun, light read where he gives his impressions of all 50 states. This is a portion of what he said about Utah:

    Speaking of inclusion, BYU is also known to have a good basketball team, even though it's all white guys. They always have one great, white mormon guard. Jimmer Fredette, Danny Ainge, Nick Emery, even though he got all their wins vacated for a scandal where a booster gave him a free resort trip and tickets to a Broadway show. Even Utah's scandals are PG. Most players on other D1 teams are getting Las Vegas sex trips and new Porshe's and at BYU they give you a three day spa treatment and orchestra seats to Dear Evan Hansen.
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  12. #2952
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    I just finished Erik Larson's newest offering

    The Splendid and the Vile

    I think this has been mentioned previously somewhere in the thread, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

    This a look at Winston Churchill's first year as Prime Minister, the Battle of Britain and The Blitz from a very personal level. Larson uses WSC's daughter's diaries, one of the Private Secratary's and his body guard's to give a look at how the family worked and more importantly how they coped with the stress and bombing.

    Excellent as usual with some humor, a good look at WSC's son Randolf and his marriage to Pamala - which didn't end well and started unraveling during this time frame, WSC's insane work schedule, just how the bombing affect the common Londoner amoung many other topics. I think it is a five star read for GR
    Last edited by happyone; 10-29-2020 at 10:05 PM.

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

    A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to, "The United States of America ", for an amount of "up to and including my life - it's an honor."

  13. #2953

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyone View Post
    I just finished Erik Larson's newest offering

    The Splendid and the Vile

    I think this has been mentioned previously somewhere in the thread, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

    This a look at Winston Churchill's first year as Prime Minister, the Battle of Britain and The Blitz from a very personal level. Larson uses WSC's daughter's diaries, one of the Private Secratary's and his body guard's to give a look at how the family worked and more importantly how they coped with the stress and bombing.

    Excellent as usual with some humor, a good look at WSC's son Randolf and his marriage to Pamala - which didn't end well and started unraveling during this time frame, WSC's insane work schedule, just how the bombing affect the common Londoner amoung many other topics. I think it is a five star read for GR
    I have this on my nightstand. I think it’s 2nd it 3rd in the queue. I just finished Devil in the White City and thought it was fun, if not quite as enthralling as I was hoping.
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  14. #2954

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuthole View Post
    I have this on my nightstand. I think it’s 2nd it 3rd in the queue. I just finished Devil in the White City and thought it was fun, if not quite as enthralling as I was hoping.
    i read them back to back and the thought they were both boring.
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    i read them back to back and the thought they were both boring.
    Everyone has different tastes, thats what makes life interesting

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

    A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to, "The United States of America ", for an amount of "up to and including my life - it's an honor."

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyone View Post
    Everyone has different tastes, thats what makes life interesting
    I finished it tonight.

    I liked Devil better. I was disappointed in how this was really only Churchill's first year as prime minister and then it fast forwards though the rest of the war.

    I also finished The Haunting of Hill House this afternoon. Not scary, but I enjoyed the writing. Though now I may watch the Netflix show.

  17. #2957
    Faith crisis consultant SeattleUte's Avatar
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    I devoured Walter Kempowski’s “All for Nothing” set before and during the East Bavarian evacuation in 1945. One of the greatest novels I’ve ever read. It’s said to rival The Tin Drum (which I’ve not read). According to James Wood in the linked review, it’s a novel for the ages and possibly the best novel from a German perspective, ever set in the collapse of Nazi Germany and the beginning of the reckoning. And it’s told in this detached, whimsical way that is almost like comedy. Very readable. Guns are booming in the East, and the civilians are wondering, are the Russians really going to break through this time? How can that be? Kempowski himself experienced the evacuation as a youth, and the 14 year old protagonist is loosely autobiographical.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...ny-in-collapse

    Beware: in this excellent review Wood is not shy about revealing spoilers. The novel has some real suspense, but I suppose he thinks that that’s not the point of it.

    I finished the second volume of Proust, In Search of Lost Time. It’s kind of habit forming.
    When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

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  18. #2958
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I devoured Walter Kempowski’s “All for Nothing” set before and during the East Bavarian evacuation in 1945. One of the greatest novels I’ve ever read. It’s said to rival The Tin Drum (which I’ve not read). According to James Wood in the linked review, it’s a novel for the ages and possibly the best novel from a German perspective, ever set in the collapse of Nazi Germany and the beginning of the reckoning. And it’s told in this detached, whimsical way that is almost like comedy. Very readable. Guns are booming in the East, and the civilians are wondering, are the Russians really going to break through this time? How can that be? Kempowski himself experienced the evacuation as a youth, and the 14 year old protagonist is loosely autobiographical.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...ny-in-collapse

    Beware: in this excellent review Wood is not shy about revealing spoilers. The novel has some real suspense, but I suppose he thinks that that’s not the point of it.

    I finished the second volume of Proust, In Search of Lost Time. It’s kind of habit forming.
    Thanks, that looks interesting. And my library had it available! I'll start that once I finish John Banville's Snow that I started yesterday. So far so good on that one.

  19. #2959
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    Thanks, that looks interesting. And my library had it available! I'll start that once I finish John Banville's Snow that I started yesterday. So far so good on that one.
    I just picked up John Banville's The Sea in a thrift store the other day.

  20. #2960
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    I just picked up John Banville's The Sea in a thrift store the other day.
    I got that from the library as well. I'm only half way through Snow, but I like the writing a lot. It is a mystery, but I find myself thinking at times how beautifully written it is.

  21. #2961
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I devoured Walter Kempowski’s “All for Nothing” set before and during the East Bavarian evacuation in 1945. One of the greatest novels I’ve ever read. It’s said to rival The Tin Drum (which I’ve not read). According to James Wood in the linked review, it’s a novel for the ages and possibly the best novel from a German perspective, ever set in the collapse of Nazi Germany and the beginning of the reckoning. And it’s told in this detached, whimsical way that is almost like comedy. Very readable. Guns are booming in the East, and the civilians are wondering, are the Russians really going to break through this time? How can that be? Kempowski himself experienced the evacuation as a youth, and the 14 year old protagonist is loosely autobiographical.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...ny-in-collapse

    Beware: in this excellent review Wood is not shy about revealing spoilers. The novel has some real suspense, but I suppose he thinks that that’s not the point of it.

    I finished the second volume of Proust, In Search of Lost Time. It’s kind of habit forming.
    "All for Nothing" sounds interesting. I'll pick it up.

    Re: In Search of Lost Time, I miss being in Proust's head each week. I almost want to start again.

  22. #2962
    Corporate lackey for Jesus Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Recently finished Silence by Shusaku Endo. Can't believe it took me so long to read it. I watched the Japanese film version way back in the day at a BYU international cinema even when I was an undergrad. And of course, I watched the Martin Scorsese version. Loved them both. This story really resonates with me as a former missionary. As is often the case, the book is always better. The book ending is deeply moving and powerful and impossible to accurately portray in a movie.

    Now I am going to read it in Japanese.
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    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Recently finished Silence by Shusaku Endo. Can't believe it took me so long to read it. I watched the Japanese film version way back in the day at a BYU international cinema even when I was an undergrad. And of course, I watched the Martin Scorsese version. Loved them both. This story really resonates with me as a former missionary. As is often the case, the book is always better. The book ending is deeply moving and powerful and impossible to accurately portray in a movie.

    Now I am going to read it in Japanese.
    I'm so jealous. Japan has some amazing authors and I'd love to be able to read them as they wrote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Recently finished Silence by Shusaku Endo. Can't believe it took me so long to read it. I watched the Japanese film version way back in the day at a BYU international cinema even when I was an undergrad. And of course, I watched the Martin Scorsese version. Loved them both. This story really resonates with me as a former missionary. As is often the case, the book is always better. The book ending is deeply moving and powerful and impossible to accurately portray in a movie.

    Now I am going to read it in Japanese.
    I'm impressed. I couldn't start to read something in Japanese these days.

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

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    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Recent reads:

    Death in Her Hands by Ottesssa Moshfegh. Highly recommend. An elderly widow attempts to solve a mystery. Adventures in unreliable narration.

    The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli. Not for everyone. Weird but I dug it.

    The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I was expecting much more from these names. I think the idea would make a cool Netflix series and I'm guessing that's at least a little bit of what this effort was about. Hated the writing and overall a let down for me.

    Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes: Read this one on the recs of SU and Piney. I liked it a lot. Thanks for the heads up.

    After the Winter by Guadalupe Nettel: I enjoyed this read about death, love and wandering old cemeteries, especially Pere Lachaise. Another one that's not for everyone, but hit on a lot of topics that I find interesting.

    The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones: This one was a gory read. Really different. Four native American friends poach elk from a section of their reservation where only the elders are allowed to hunt. The spirit of one of those elk returns to haunt them a decade later in various mostly violent ways.

    The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares: This is one of those I've heard about many times over the years. I loved it. Brilliant plot and slow reveal and lots to think about regarding time, life/death, immortality and consciousness. Highly recommend.
    Last edited by SteelBlue; 11-16-2020 at 01:27 PM.

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Ring Shout by P. Djčlí Clark. Mix of historical fiction, horror and fantasy as a group of females, mostly, fight the Klan. Short but very different.

  27. #2967
    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    Recent reads:

    Death in Her Hands by Ottesssa Moshfegh. Highly recommend. An elderly widow attempts to solve a mystery. Adventures in unreliable narration.

    The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli. Not for everyone. Weird but I dug it.

    The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I was expecting much more from these names. I think the idea would make a cool Netflix series and I'm guessing that's at least a little bit of what this effort was about. Hated the writing and overall a let down for me.

    Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes: Read this one on the recs of SU and Piney. I liked it a lot. Thanks for the heads up.

    After the Winter by Guadalupe Nettel: I enjoyed this read about death, love and wandering old cemeteries, especially Pere Lachaise. Another one that's not for everyone, but hit on a lot of topics that I find interesting.

    The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones: This one was a gory read. Really different. Four native American friends poach elk from a section of their reservation where only the elders are allowed to hunt. The spirit of one of those elk returns to haunt them a decade later in various mostly violent ways.

    The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares: This is one of those I've heard about many times over the years. I loved it. Brilliant plot and slow reveal and lots to think about regarding time, life/death, immortality and consciousness. Highly recommend.
    I read the Invention of Morel in Spanish when I was at BYU. I remember loving it, but now I can’t remember a thing about it.
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

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    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

  28. #2968

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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    I read the Invention of Morel in Spanish when I was at BYU. I remember loving it, but now I can’t remember a thing about it.
    I have pretty low retention if I don't purposefully remember something, so there have been several movies that I've seen a second time not knowing how it will turn out--and occasionally not realizing I'd seen it before until towards the end.

  29. #2969
    Senior Member BigFatMeanie's Avatar
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    Just added Midnight in Chernobyl to my Kindle Fire. Anybody read it yet?

  30. #2970
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFatMeanie View Post
    Just added Midnight in Chernobyl to my Kindle Fire. Anybody read it yet?
    I found it really interesting. It was a slow start in my recollection (took 60 pages to really get going), but overall was very good. Russian ineptitude at its finest.

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