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  • I just finished reading the Inkheart trilogy, and I loved it! It was strange getting used to the style of writing (using apostrophes instead of quotes, using correct preterit tense, etc.), but the storyline was amazing, and I always wanted to read more. However, there was one point in Inkdeath where there were so many bad things happening for such a large amount of pages that I was really, really depressed even thinking about continuing to read it. I only read for 15 minutes or a half hour in the evenings, so there were several nights in a row just about problems, frustration, false hope, etc. It sure was nice when good things started to happen.

    I spend all of my Study Hall time in the library. My normal Study Hall place is in the cafeteria. I find it easier to concentrate in the library. I finished up my work and was looking through the children's section and came across The Diamond of Darkhold, the fourth book of Ember. I've read the previous three and loved them all. Starting out, this isn't nearly as exciting as Inkheart, but it's nice to switch series after weeks of reading Inkheart. And it's also nice to be reading typical American-style writing again.

    I don't remember if I mentioned this here, but I got The End of A Series of Unfortunate Events, so I read the entire series, from book one to book thirteen. I might have started Inkheart after that, but I don't remember anymore.

    I also have expanded my collection of The Last Apprentice. I might read that from beginning to most current, also. It's about time that I do the same for YW as well.
    "...Some of growing up is the knitting together of our cognitive webs, and some things take time and experience to make sense...." - Taran


    • I read Lament: the Fairy Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater. Ironically enough this was the funniest book I've read in awhile. Here are some funny nonspoiler excerpts:
      "You're the piper aren't you?" she asked coldly.
      James smiled firmly. He had already identified her as a piper-hater. "Yes, but I do it against my will. The aliens won't let me stop.
      Delia's smile was iron. Not amused.
      I said, "This is James, Delia. He's the number two piper in the state of Virginia this year."
      "Soon to be number one," James said with a charming smile. "I hired a hit man."
      Delia's face remained exactly the same.
      Page 29

      "When did you get so smart?"
      He tapped his forehead. "Brain transplant. They put in a whale's. I'm passing all my classes with my eyes closed now, but I can't get over this craving for krill."
      Page 130 Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (9780738713700): Maggie Stiefvater: Books
      There is the Amazon page. I enjoyed it....
      I think I'll go ennoble some waffles.


      • For anybody looking for good mystery/spy stories with a historical note, I should probably point out my latest obsession: Anthony Price's "David Audley" series.

        May I just say: O.M.G. I have not had this much fun since I found Patrick O'Brian. Seriously. I'd rate them that high.

        I was recommended these books ages ago when I was telling John M. Ford how much I enjoyed his cold-war spy thriller-with-Christopher-Marlowe bits, The Scholars of Night, and he said, "Well, I just wrote an Anthony Price." And then the entire PJF (at least the members who were there at that particular Fourth Street Fantasy Fair) dogpiled on to tell me I should. So, I hunted up Other Paths to Glory, loved the hell out of it, made a mental note to get the rest, and (sadly) forgot about it.

        Until Charles Stross's third "Bob Howard"/Laundry book came out: The Fuller Memorandum. You know how much I love Charles Stross. And there, at the front of the book, he dedicated it to John M. Ford, and he also acknowledged that he was basing FM on Anthony Price.

        So, I hunted down the rest of them and started reading. Now, there is violence and sex, but of the PG-13 variety for the most part. The books revolve around a British intelligence guy, David Audley, who's also a historian (medievalist), and the group of people he works with. The series is... well, a series, but not like most serieses you know. Each book is typically told from one character's point of view, and it's very rarely the same character who did the last one. If you read them in publication order, the story mostly propels forward in real time, but the occasional book can be a historical flashback. Continuity and timelines are strictly observed. And they're just plain fun and intelligent, and Price is the kind of writer who likes you to do your own thinking and putting together of the pieces.

        Now, these are all Cold War spy stories. So you have to just take as read that the Brits are the good guys, the Russians are evil and overwhelming and very well funded, the Special Relationship is a good thing, and all that jazz. But what's really amazing about Price's books is that he tends to weave in some historical element into his espionage.

        The book I'd recommend starting with is Other Paths to Glory (which is the 5th one in publication order). It starts out with a character named Paul Mitchell, who's a graduate student in History, whose specialty is WWI and trench warfare. He's working in the library when men in black who are working for the government (David Audley and Colonel Jack Butler), come to him with a fragment of a military ordnance map. He immediately identifies it for them, answers some of the questions about WWI, and when they press for more details, he sends them to his old tutor who is the expert on that specific area (and why he knew the map fragment). They thank him and leave.

        As Paul walks home along a deserted towpath, he's attacked, and barely manages to escape with his life by ducking into the canal. As he arrives home, dripping wet, his mother is in hysterics and the police are there, because she'd found his suicide note. The one he hadn't written.

        The men in black return, and basically tell him they found his old tutor, murdered. And they're going to take him into protective custody and see if they can figure out what's going on and who planned his murder. And then things really start to get dangerous and interesting.

        There are 19 of these books in all (so you'll know what you're getting into), and I'm about up to the thirteenth. Each one seems to be better than the last. I'm really having a blast with these.
        New to the board? Please take the time to read the YW Board-Specific Rules, or Why We're Not Like Other Boards FAQ.


        • just in case....

          ... you buy of the eBooks, I've noticed that Terry Pratchett's Dodger and Diana Wynne Jones's Howl's Moving Castle are up on Amazon/B&N as $2.99/$1.99 ebooks.

          Anybody else notice any other Harper Collins YA Fantasy bargains?
          New to the board? Please take the time to read the YW Board-Specific Rules, or Why We're Not Like Other Boards FAQ.


          • Lately I haven't been reading as many new things, because of school and just not being terribly interested in the YA being published lately. So what I have gotten round to reading is mostly Japanese stuff, actually, like the Kwaidan and Natsume Soseki's Kokoro. Earlier this year I started in on some of Kazuo Ishiguro's work (Remains of the Day) (you may argue that he's not properly Japanese since he was raised in England, but he has the name and the ancestry, and I think that book is brilliant so it's worth mentioning no matter what). I'm going to read IQ84 when I eventually get around to reading 1984, which may take a while, because it's hard to approach a classic with the intent to read it outside of class. Classics take a different approach.

            The Book Girl (Bungaku Shoujo) books by Mizuki Nomura are extraordinary. I've read three so far: Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime, Book Girl and the Famished Spirit, and Book Girl and the Captive FoolThursday Next by Jasper Fforde will make you think. Gotta love intertextuality and insanity. My mother can't endure the hijinks. :-)

            I don't know if I mentioned this before, but Noriko Ogiwara's Dragon Sword and Wind Child and Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince are fantastic. Just ... epic. Authentically epic, without any irritating Tolkien-esque trappings that usually get put around the genre (although the author does write that Tolkien made an impression). The books aren't even doorstoppers, but I still see them as epic. And the mindset of the characters is not Western at all (well, what else would you expect, given who wrote them?). In many, many ways, it's very refreshing. I hope the third book comes out soon.


            • I feel like I've asked this before but can't find it anywhere in the search. Anyone read Heart of Darkness? I was forced to read it in my English 4 class in high school. It was too deep for me... not to mention so boring and confusing that I'd find myself looking at the words without actually comprehending them*.

              *Off-topic: I say the words in my head as I read, and I read silently at the same pace I read out loud, but sometimes when I'm reading when I'm extremely tired or my mind hasn't yet settled into reading or I'm bored with what I'm reading, I just move my eyes in sequence over the lines, but I don't actually "read" consciously.
              "...Some of growing up is the knitting together of our cognitive webs, and some things take time and experience to make sense...." - Taran


              • Re: Heart of Darkness

                Yeah, I read it, for English AP. I thought it wasn't that interesting until whatshisface, the narrator, gets into the jungle, and gets stuck at some dinky outpost... And then the Kurtz thing really got going. And everything in the sepulchral white city I went *blip


                • The narrator, huh.... It's at the tip of my tongue. But it's not. I feel like we simply knew him as a last name, a kinda boring one, perhaps starting with an M.... *Looks it up* AaaHAAH! Guess it's not simply a last name -- Marlow! My mind isn't as blown as it's seemed the past few weeks. Hehehe.

                  Yes, we talked about all those things. We also had to write an essay on it. *Finds it on computer* My question was, "Is imperialism worth it?" I said no due to the madness, hypocrisy, lost lives, and natives' stubbornness. I believe that's how it ended up being structured, but I only wrote the first paragraph in the version I'm looking at, so maybe it changed before the final draft. I had 2 flash drive crisis that year and eventually I was saving things in 2 or 3 locations, so who knows where the finished version is....

                  [Un]fortunately, I'm not a very deep thinker and tend not to really analyze what I read. I take things rather literally, and sometimes I take what I read and use it to enhance my own view on the way things are. I don't usually think about "What is the author trying to say?".

                  Birdhead mentioned that she used to read a lot more often than she does now because she had more time back in the day. I agree, plus the books I was forced to read for school interfered with my personal reading. Reading in general was made less enjoyable during high school due to the constant analysis, essays, etc. I just want to read, and whatever I get out of it, I'm content with. Further scarring my enjoyment of reading is the fact that every single piece of literature we read in high school was depressing. Anyone else notice that? The good news is that I'm possibly done with English classes for life; only one is needed for Computer Science at the university I'm going to go to, and I already took it at my community college to transfer.

                  Don't get me wrong, I still take pleasure in 95% of what I read, even though, oftentimes, my classmates will complain about a book we're reading and say it's boring or whatever. I always get something out of things I read. I think people tend to be overcritical about literature and films (I've never had a movie I regretted watching), but every now and then something comes up that I can't stand/give up on, such as Clive Barker's Abarat (but that was several years ago so perhaps I should try again) or Heart of Darkness.
                  "...Some of growing up is the knitting together of our cognitive webs, and some things take time and experience to make sense...." - Taran


                  • Hmm, Marlow was one of the narrators, but then there was the framing narrator who sat like Buddha. Was that him? There was another layer...

                    I hear you about the depressing books. Sophomore year was all about the Holocaust, and more tragedy, and then there was Kite Runner which featured a more figurative and personally brutal kind of death. Then there was American Lit, and of course it's all, all, all disillusionment Awakening, Heart of Darkness, Othello, M. ButterflyCatch-22,Mrs. Dalloway and in school for half the hours I was in high school, so I actually have a life. Finally. I'm even searching for a job.


                    • Yup, the tantalizing American Dream was a big part of my English 3 (junior year) program with readings such as The Great Gatsby, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Of Mice and Men.

                      I also tested out of the beginning-level English class in college. I took English 101 (Composition). We read materials from Rereading America about how family has changed (for better or worse), the problems with the education system today and how potentially to fix the system, etc. My favorite reading was called "Still Separate, Still Unequal" (I forget the author), which is about how inner-city schools are still segregated, and the ones dominated by African-Americans are understaffed/supplied, are lacking in opportunities, are delapidated (sp?), etc. At least what I read was pertinent to everyday life and there were often opposing viewpoints on certain issues. The professor was hilarious and every class flew by. Classes were highly discussion-based, and we were assigned about 20 pages each class (Tuesday and Thursday evenings for an hour and a half). I was pleasantly surprised to get out of that class having only written one five-page persuasive essay and one eight-page research paper despite its name of "Composition." I love writing to communicate with other people and engage in conversation with them as in emails and as we do here in the forums, but I hate writing pages and pages of some forced-upon-me topic written in some special format that's centered around avoiding plagiarism like the plague that nobody will care about except my professor and me. But enough about that, you guys must be tired of hearing me complain.

                      I agree that college is nice. I'm not finding it much more difficult than high school (so far, after only one semester of an English and two computer classes). Starting off easy with three classes left me room to work around 30 hours a week in the IT department at my high school.
                      Last edited by EricG1793; January 18, 2013, 11:43:25 PM.
                      "...Some of growing up is the knitting together of our cognitive webs, and some things take time and experience to make sense...." - Taran


                      • They seek him here...

                        Moving some titles from my "should have read long long ago" list to the "read" column.

                        I have FINALLY managed to sit down and read The Scarlet Pimpernel, thanks to Project Gutenberg and having an ereader. I have no idea why it took me so long, and I know I've seen at least three separate film/tv adaptations of it (maybe that's why). But I finally have it under my belt, and of course, after reading The Scarlet Pimpernel, I had to read I Will Repay and am now into The Elusive Pimpernel. Figure I'll manage to whack my way through El Dorado and The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel in short order.

                        Anything you've been meaning to read for a while?
                        New to the board? Please take the time to read the YW Board-Specific Rules, or Why We're Not Like Other Boards FAQ.


                        • Inheritance, at long last.... I've had it since last Christmas? Or March 2012? Christmas 2011? The first Christmas/birthday after it came out, I guess.

                          I've also been pecking away at the Bible since February 2012. I'm only a couple hundred or so pages into it. I had decided that I was going to stop reading anything else before I finish that, however, now that I'm in college and I'm taking Public Speaking, International Relations, World History, and Psychology... there's a crap load of reading that I'll have to be doing, so who knows when I'll even be motivated to read anything of my own.
                          "...Some of growing up is the knitting together of our cognitive webs, and some things take time and experience to make sense...." - Taran


                          • crazy. Just so I could discover something new and not remember almost everything, I would have preferred reading the less well-known letters and books. But the well-known letters and books are where almost all the best stories are! Sigh. Although I think the effort was worthwhile. Maybe I should, but I don't read the Bible very often. I feel a little guilty about that, but it pains to me to re-read what I remember so well and vividly. When I do sit down to read, I gulp it in huge chunks...

                            Currently, I am reading a book one of my professors authored, a biography about a Boston Gilded-Age photographer named Clover Adams (this is fun, NOT required); a large book of Jewish stories and myths and what I would call fairy tales (curiosity, not fun); and Natsume Soseki's I Am a Cat (ooh, I've been looking for this!).

                            I keep meaning to read Necromancing the Stone and haven't gotten to it yet. I loved the book before it, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. I am not up to date on my YA genre reading. I tried this summer. I really did. I got through some manga and other procrastinated reading, but I honestly didn't make a dent in what I intended to devour. Mine eyes. Bigger than both my brain AND my stomach.


                            • There was an advert on the side of a bus; "In cinemas from ..." and a date. What caught my eye, however, was the title, "Ender's Game". Clearly it was time to do a little research. Who was behind the movie. Would it be faithful to the original story. Movies never manage to cover entire novels anyway, so a lot depends on the line the screenwriters take. However, it seems the book's author has a hand in this movie. Normally, I'd consider that a promising sign, but not so much in this case. As eah parallel-story novel has been published, the original story has become more and more twisted, so much so that I abandoned reading them at all for fear of having the original yet further defiled. I hope the movie's faithful to the original, not the pwisted parallel novels, but the odds don't at the moment seem good...

                              ...and in the meantime, so that I can do it before the movie colours my view, I'm giving "Ender's Game" a re-read.
                              Last edited by Lazy Leopard; October 20, 2013, 11:13:05 AM.
                              -- Rick.


                              • New titles by Neal Stephenson and William Gibson!

                                If anybody reads either of them, you'll want to check out the two newest ones. Seveneves was very memorable, but I'd say Gibson's The Peripheral was the best book I've read in quite a while. A big surprise from him. Time travel is not what I would think of as one of his typical topics.