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Pulp => Pulp Discussion => Topic started by: Bubba McBubba on January 01, 2013, 12:43:55 PM

Title: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on January 01, 2013, 12:43:55 PM
Aim high, I say.

1: "BFI Film Classics: Chinatown" by Michael Eaton

Bought this at Half-Price Books at the same time I bought the BFI entry on "The Big Sleep".  I was greatly let-down by the other book, but found more merit in the entry on "Chinatown".

Eaton has considerable knowledge of both the film's production and the real-life "water wars" of Southern California in the early 20th century that inspired the screenplay.  The author also points out some curious visual "rhymes" (to use his verbiage) throughout the movie that I never noticed before, such as how the bullet that kills Evelyn takes out the eye that she earlier pointed out has a flaw in it.  Or how Jake's encounter with the sudden rush of water released one night makes him lose a shoe--just like Mulray appears when he is found dead on the beach.

Admittedly, the insights found here are nothing startling, but these minor insights do provide some additional illumination on aspects of the movie that are otherwise easy to overlook.  The author's prose leans towards the dry and academic, but I think nothing less is expected from the British Film Institute.

Recommended?  Yes
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on January 01, 2013, 09:12:21 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace

Danny Wallace is turning 30 and mildly freaking out about it. He discovers an old address book in a box of things sent to him by his folks, and embarks on a soul seeking journey to reconnect with the twelve mates listed in the book. His search leads him all over England, as well as several far-flung countries - all for friends he hasn't seen in 15-25 years. He has a lot of fun and good laughs along the way, and we are lucky to be able to enjoy the ride. A great read to kick off the new year.

2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal

I couldn't remember if I'd read this or not, so went ahead and downloaded it from the library. As it turns out, yes, I had read it before, but it was worth rereading. The author was only 10 years old when he and his parents were sent to Auschwitz. He and his father were able to stick together for awhile, and his father protected him as best he could, but eventually they were separated during a surprise SS "selection." He never saw his father again. After eluding death on several occasions - including as a participant in the Auschwitz Death March, where he developed severe frostbite to his feet - he was finally liberated from Sachsenhausen concentration camp by Russian soldiers. An amazing story.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on January 02, 2013, 08:57:05 AM
Aim high, I say.
Thumbs up.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on January 04, 2013, 01:02:38 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
Christmas stocking book of photos where contributors have stuck the word "fuck" over other words on signs. Funny for a few pages then I began to lose the will to live as the photographs didn't even try to be funny.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on January 05, 2013, 10:54:08 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne

Hard to categorize what this book was, exactly.  A very straightforward part memoir, part random thoughts about musical creativity/industry from a pseudo-historical context.  I thought it was going to be a rather long read from the beginning chapters in which the writing style was expectantly almost disingenuous at times, but it picked up.  If I wasn't a huge Talking Heads fan I'm not sure that would have been the case for the casual reader, and it was hard to be engaged a lot of the time.  I think such a book focusing more on Byrne's life as a performer (rather than being delegated to a few select chapters early on) might have been a better strategy and ultimately a lot more satisfying in this context -- but the book tries to paint too broad in being revolutionary covering everything, leading to wacky chapters like a brief history of the phonograph record and it's relation to today's technological advancement and the like.  Obviously to the former point, Byrne doesn't strike me as the type to pen the trite, stereotypical "aging musician" biography, but I think the approach he took was just too broad to really capture the momentum he was hoping for.  For big Heads fans like myself this is obviously highly recommended, the anecdotes about the creation of albums like Remain in Light, the working with Brian Eno and even the early formation of the band was obviously a thrilling read.  For the opposite reader, not so much.  The philosophizing about the industry ultimately seemed to fall pretty flat to me and I would imagine it coming off rather self absorbed and bland to a lot of people.

2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on January 10, 2013, 09:48:40 AM
1. The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe

I read Howe's first book last year, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The beginning of The House of Velvet and Glass started off a bit slow but as Howe started adding more characters, I quickly became engrossed. The story centers around Sybil, a 28-year-old woman who society has written off as a spinster, living in Boston in 1915. Her mother and sister died on a voyage back from Europe on the Titanic where her mother had taken her younger sister (who had come out into society) on The Grand Tour. Sybil went from being an adventurous, if practical young woman, into someone very serious after the event. She suffers from a great deal of grief and guilt and starts attending seances on the anniversary of the event of the Titanic in hopes of communicating with her mother or sister. She is given a scrying glass in which you can see events of the past (or future).

The story also interweaves events of her brother's dissolute life after being kicked out of Harvard as well as her father who is a retired shipping owner/captain. There are two interlude story plots that occur in between present day which gives you an idea of her father on his first ship voyage from home and a visit to Shanghai as well as the final night of her mother and sister's life on the Titanic. It was these interludes that originally kept me drawn into the plot because Sybil was a bit uninteresting. She grew on me though; I always felt sympathy but she was a bit boring.

Opium dens, Boston pre-WWI, society, seances...this book has it all. ;)

One thing I found interesting, in the afterward, the author mentions how much a first-class ticket on the Titanic cost: $4,350 (1912) or $90K (today).  :o

Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on January 12, 2013, 11:19:47 PM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on January 14, 2013, 09:12:30 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child - my first Jack Reacher book - sometimes I felt smarter than the book, but I still learned quite a bit and was definitely entertained until the finale. I thought the ending just sunk the book.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 14, 2013, 09:51:55 AM
Definitely not as satisfying as a Scudder novel, was it?  I've read a few of the Reacher books and I like them, but I'd like them more if I hadn't discovered Scudder first.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on January 14, 2013, 10:07:09 AM
Definitely not as satisfying as a Scudder novel, was it?  I've read a few of the Reacher books and I like them, but I'd like them more if I hadn't discovered Scudder first.
I think that is definitely the problem. Block has already written the perfect character. But, I did like Reacher's army skills.
On the bright side, I finally bought myself a copy of A STAB IN THE DARK. This will be my last Matt Scudder book (I'm out of order because my library didn't carry this one). I'm looking forward to reading it, but I'm also dreading it. It might sit on the shelf for a while.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on January 15, 2013, 02:02:27 PM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible


A fun book that is basically a comic book but in novel form. I really enjoyed it even though I have almost zero background in comics. The cover praise said that it hits on every possible comic book cliche, and although I didn't know what they meant when I started the book, I quickly figured it out. It's really a fun read and I recommend it to anyone who remotely enjoys comics.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on January 15, 2013, 08:45:10 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker

A romping read from my husband's favorite British DJ. Baker has led a charmed life (at least in this, the first of his three autobiographical offerings), and I think what is most likeable about him is that he comes across as completely nonplussed and unaffected by his celebrity, and by the number of celebrity encounters he's had. This book spans the first 25 years of his life, which includes a stint working in the grooviest record shop in London, where it was no big thing to sell albums to the likes of Marc Bolan and Elton John. His shop boss gets headhunted By Seymour Stein and goes to work for Sire, where he sends Danny an acetate of his newest signing : The Ramones! The book rollicks on in this fashion, with Danny taking Debbie Harry shoe shopping in London, helping comedian Peter Cook get discounted porn, and winding up writing for NME, quite by default. From there, he's on the road with Ian Dury, rescued from certain death by Kevin Rowland, and getting legless in bars across the country with Mark E. Smith. Oh, and heart be still, he goes to Germany with The Jam.

I anxiously await Book II.

4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.

This is one of those Arcadia Press books, supposed to give an historical account while being chock full of photos. Well, it does have some interesting photos, but our loftily degreed writer (sorry, but unless you are writing a thesis or something, there's no reason to stick your degree onto the end of your name. Sure you're allowed, but usually it just signifies you're a wanker) fails miserably to tell any sort of a story about his subject. It's possibly the most disjointed book I've ever read. Bowling touches on several meaty items - such as a prominent "African American" family (his description) who look for all the world like Melungeons and probably were, but since he never touches on their lineage or how or why they were a prominent family, readers are left guessing. Then there are the many references to a big fire on Halloween 1913, which is never fully explained and offers exactly zero newspaper stories or first-hand accounts. It's like the author automatically assumes that everyone reading this book already knows everything that ever happened in Breathitt County. There is no excuse for such an appalling lack of research, especially when many of the photos were courtesy of the Breathitt Co. Historic Society and public library. After reading this book, I did a quick search and found a first-hand account of the Halloween fire on the Breathitt Co. Historic society's website. The account was written in 1953, so there is no reason the author would not have had access to it.

If I was a college professor grading this book as a thesis: F.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on January 17, 2013, 06:58:46 PM
1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers.  good travel book.  didn't care too much for the story itself, but it was entertaining.  could pick it up after a hiatus and not miss a beat
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on January 18, 2013, 02:58:07 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket - this is my first Lemony book. I heard Terry Gross' interview with the author and found him to be very entertaining. He discussed his new "mystery" series during the interview, so I thought I'd check it out. It had it's moments, but the ending is very unsatisfying. I've read many series but none that have ended with such an annoying cliffhanger. Nothing was resolved. ANNOYED.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on January 18, 2013, 05:52:03 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs

4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan

I had read some Brautigan years ago and had remembered enjoying In Watermelon Sugar.  There are a ton of (very) short surreal stories here, and the ones that are good I tended to love to death (such as my personal favorite, "Pacific Radio Fire"), the others not so much - mostly because they come off more as just fragments and the prose and wit can be so whimsical elsewhere that it can come off as flat rather easily.  I definitely enjoyed it, and the original cover is really outstanding to boot. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on January 20, 2013, 09:14:40 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches

Without doubt, this is an incredibly well-researched book on one of music's lesser known and mostly forgotten minstrels from the 1920's: Emmett Miller. Miller was one of the country's last blackface singers, and for a few brief years was also the best; better even, than the well-known (or at least well-remembered) Al Jolson. If the book focused solely on Miller, it would have been a slim but interesting read, but Tosches isn't content to simply tell Miller's story in a linear fashion. Instead, the book is bogged down in minutial details and pointless ramblings about the history of American music from before the Civil War through Ed Saunders and The Fugs.

Most of the time, I felt as though I was reading someone's note cards that, having been scattered across a floor, were hastily gathered up and used in the order they were picked up, regardless of the outcome. Very bizarre - but not nearly as bizarre as some of the pompous pontifications that Tosches throws in all too regularly. Take, for instance:

"Emmett Dewey Miller was born in Macon on Friday, Feb. 2, 1900. This may not be the equivalent, perhaps, of a precise dating of the Magdalen Papyrus;but hey pallie, after 20 years searching, it is no matter of mean potatoes, either. That I share this coveted revelation so selflessly, openly, and without gain attests surely that I am the Christian I hold myself to be. So take it, and may it serve you well. All I ask is that you do not take credit where credit is not due. A gift such as this belongs to the world. May scholars everywhere, and seekers after every knowledge, look to me and by my example learn. Pull down thy vanity, thy greed, and vainglory, pull down."

There's plenty more where that came from, sadly. At times, it seemed as though the book was written by two very different people- a fastidious researcher and diehard music fan, and a seriously disturbed nutter. Emmett Miller deserved better.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on January 21, 2013, 08:35:00 PM
2. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë

Finally addressed another one of the many glaring omissions in the litany of great classics I have read.

I approached “Jane Eyre” knowing very little about it except what little I gleaned from Jasper Fforde's debut Thursday Next novel “The Eyre Affair”.  In Fforde's book, characters weave in and out of “Jane Eyre”, and the end result is the original editing of Brontë's novel is changed.  About halfway through my read of this classic, I began to wonder if the ending would be how it was originally in “The Eyre Affair” or if it would be what it was changed to.  Or perhaps it would be something entirely different.  I ain't sayin', just as to not spoil the ending of one or both books.

As for the experience of reading this solely on its own merits, I initially found myself glued to the book.  I thought about silk-screening my own t-shirt that read “Fuck off, I'm reading Jane Eyre”, except I wasn't planning on taking so long to finish it that I would still be reading it during weather appropriate for a t-shirt (whether any situation is appropriate for a shirt with this sentiment is up for debate).

Alas, I found my interest diminishing with each time the plot changes the setting to a new location and started to wonder if I would finish reading it under a tree in full foliage.  I loved the opening pages at the Reed household, but was a tad disappointed when we moved to the Lowood boarding school.  Then I found myself caught up in the storyline at Lowood and hated to leave there for Thornfield, even if that is where the core of the book resides.  I especially found myself attached to one particular character at Lowood who I will not name lest I spoil their fate, and I was surprised by how much this person's fate touched me.

Thornfield is the point where the book began to disappoint me on several counts.  First, the answer to the mystery surrounding the household is pretty daft, regardless of whether or not one tries to put it in context of the period in which the text was written.  Also, I truly and deeply hated the third-and-a-half act that seems to only pad out the novel with the forced melodrama of St. John and his sisters.  I was especially irked at the thoroughly unbelievable coincidence that is introduced by this development.  And as for the smug and pious St. John: what kind of jerk actually has “Saint” as part of his first name?  You don't know how badly I wish somebody would have told St. John to eat a dick.

On the plus side, there were many aspect of the book that surprised me.  The writing was impressive and at times surprisingly contemporary; however, there were passages that I found difficult to follow, or to determine what was the tone or intent of a given character.  I simply chalked up such instances to how the standard style of writing has changed over time, and how even words evolve into entirely different meanings (such as how the word “nice” meant simple-minded only a bit more than a century ago).

I was also surprised at how both Jane and Mr. Rochester are often described as unattractive, as I always thought “Eyre” was supposed to be some epic romance populated with beautiful people.  I believe I was partly misled by the choice of actors in those roles in every TV and movie adaptation I can recall.  As of this writing, the most recent movie cast Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, neither of whom I can remember ever being described as ugly.

Despite my gripes about the second half of the book, I found the conclusion to be quite satisfactory.  I just wish we had not had quite so many, and so many preposterous, steps to get there.  But my reason for taking this journey at all was because it was inevitable I should at some point.  After all, to “Eyre” is human; unfortunately, reading it was somewhat less than divine.

Recommended?  Yes.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on January 21, 2013, 10:16:44 PM
Jane Eyre is my favorite novel, and I read it annually as a teenager/early 20s. It's interesting to think how having read the Eyre Affair first would influence your predictions of the ending. I'm glad you found the ending satisfactory. (I admit that on some re-reads, I'd skip some of the meandering.) The actors cast as Rochester over the years are a fascinating list: Orson Wells, Charlton Heston, Timothy Dalton, and William Hurt. I think Ciarán Hinds comes closest to how I'd imaged him, but I really enjoyed watching how Michael Fassbender portrayed the character.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: va-vacious on January 21, 2013, 10:26:42 PM
Ella, I knew you'd have something to say about Jane Eyre!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on January 22, 2013, 10:03:19 AM
i have a copy given me by my girlfriend.  she didn't trust me with her first edition for some reason.  i'll eventually make around to it once i only buy books when i've read the dozens i haven't gotten around to yet.  i really enjoyed wurthering heights, if i hadn't, no way i'd make time for jane eyre.  maybe, though seeing as it got bubba's seal of approval
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on January 22, 2013, 09:07:45 PM
Jane Eyre is my favorite novel, and I read it annually as a teenager/early 20s. It's interesting to think how having read the Eyre Affair first would influence your predictions of the ending. I'm glad you found the ending satisfactory. (I admit that on some re-reads, I'd skip some of the meandering.) The actors cast as Rochester over the years are a fascinating list: Orson Wells, Charlton Heston, Timothy Dalton, and William Hurt. I think Ciarán Hinds comes closest to how I'd imaged him, but I really enjoyed watching how Michael Fassbender portrayed the character.

Now, seeing as to how "Jane Eyre" is your favorite novel, I want to state that I mean no offense by the following question and am asking out of genuine curiosity: why does the novel have so much appeal to you (to have read it so many times)?

As for the actors who have played Mr. Rochester over the decades, that may be a diverse list, but I still don't think any of them are as unattractive as Brontë describes the character in the book.  Now, if that was 70's era Welles, grossly corpulent and reduced to doing commercials for frozen peas and documentaries on Nostradamus, then that would be something (and I insist he co-star with the same vintage Bette Davis in her "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" drag as Jane).
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on January 22, 2013, 11:25:05 PM
Now, seeing as to how "Jane Eyre" is your favorite novel, I want to state that I mean no offense by the following question and am asking out of genuine curiosity: why does the novel have so much appeal to you (to have read it so many times)?
My favorite books growing in elementary school always featured a strong female lead who had some sort of adventure - Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, The Westing Game, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, A Wrinkle in Time, etc. During junior high, I started reading romance novels for teens (Sweet Dreams, Wildfire, etc.) that weren't going to win any literary awards. So when I had to pick a book to read in 9th grade from the summer reading list, I went with Jane Eyre. There was a bit of the mystery aspect - what are those noises in the attic? - and romance with a satisfying ending (unlike my perception of Wuthering Heights, which I still haven't actually read). So when I wanted to read a good romance where looks didn't matter, I'd go back to Jane Eyre. It wasn't until after college that I discovered the world of regency romances, which satisfied my romance story need. Now I read it to take me back to that point in my life when anything seemed possible - as captured in the story of Jane. It's similar to going back to a favorite album from when you are 14 or 15. (I'm one of the apparently few people who actually enjoyed high school - including ninth grade.) My other favorite book? Howl's Moving Castle - with another self-sufficient heroine
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on January 25, 2013, 09:22:35 AM
I too am a huge fan of Charlotte Brontë. Not just Jane Eyre (which was my first novel of hers that I read back in HS), but also Villette and The Professor. Thank you for reminding me how much I have wanted to read the biography written by her friend...added to my Amazon wishlist so I could remember to read it. I will say, I never found myself wanting to skip parts of the novel and I have read it numerous times. I guess we all have different tastes and tolerances. :)

1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson

The Fifth Knight I purchased as Kindle serial so actually started reading this while on vacation way back in the first week of December. The serial style was kind of fun but waiting two weeks in between each section meant I had to find another book to read. Not a big deal though and for the price of $1.99 for the book, having to wait is a small price to pay. I enjoyed the novel, set back in the 1100s of King Henry and Queen Eleanor and Thomas Beckett. The story involved the murder of Beckett and those who were involved and a few fictional characters (obviously). The main characters were an anchoress who witnessed the murder and at least for the fiction aspect of the novel, was part of the reasons for Beckett's murder. The other character was a knight involved in the murder plot and came to rescue the nun when he realized the plans that the noblemen who lead the murder of Beckett and kidnap of the nun (not very nice plans). The resulting plot involved rescue, pursuit, murder, conspiracy, and romance. My only beef might have been the ending but overall, an easy read, engrossing historical fiction novel.

In the Garden of Beasts was a book I received from a friend for Christmas. I enjoyed The Devil in the White City so was looking forward to reading this book. I love history and any time someone can write it in a way that makes it as fascinating as it really is, I rejoice. Ok, maybe that word is overstating it a bit but I would read more nonfiction if the author was able to make it interesting and not a yawn fest. I personally had never heard of Ambassador Dodd but found myself really feeling for him in the role he was sort of foisted into. The story of him and his family and their time in Germany was very interesting as I didn't really ever know just how long the atrocities went on before WWII. Perhaps I did but forgot. Reading books like these are great reminders why as a people, we cannot be complacent with our leaders. Even though we don't have anyone (thank goodness) who is just batsh*t crazy like Hitler in power, we still need to stay engaged and aware.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on January 25, 2013, 12:52:36 PM
I too am a huge fan of Charlotte Brontë. Not just Jane Eyre (which was my first novel of hers that I read back in HS), but also Villette and The Professor. Thank you for reminding me how much I have wanted to read the biography written by her friend...added to my Amazon wishlist so I could remember to read it. I will say, I never found myself wanting to skip parts of the novel and I have read it numerous times. I guess we all have different tastes and tolerances. :)
It's more a case of wanting to finish so I could go to sleep, as I would generally re-read it all at once. Sadly I haven't read her other books, so I'm adding them and the biography to my to read list now. Thanks!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on January 27, 2013, 09:48:00 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat

A true account of the events in Cambodia during the reign of Pol Pot and the Khymer Rouge (red communists), as told by Keat, whose mother, grandparents and several siblings were murdered before his eyes when he was 8 years old. Keat himself was shot three times, but survived. Over the course of the next few years - roughly between 1973-1980 - he, his older sister, brother-in-law and younger siblings worked as slaves in various Khymer Rouge camps. You've probably heard the Dead Kennedy's lyric "you'll work harder with a gun in your back for a bowl of rice a day..." and the only thing wrong with that is that they never got a bowl of rice; they were lucky to get a handful of rice, and sometimes went days with nothing at all.  That he survived the slave labor, then the Vietnamese soldiers who fought Pol Pots army, then the Thai refugee camps, is a testament to his luck and cleverness. Keat's story is an amazing tale of survival against all odds.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on January 27, 2013, 10:17:55 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan

5. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover

Brilliant.

Curious, has anyone tackled this?

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/af/Ubik%281stEd%29.jpg/200px-Ubik%281stEd%29.jpg)

Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on January 28, 2013, 09:13:33 PM

Curious, has anyone tackled this?
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/af/Ubik%281stEd%29.jpg/200px-Ubik%281stEd%29.jpg)


Yep.  I went through a phase a few years back where I read about a dozen PKD books.  I don't recall being especially impressed with this title, but I have fond memories of "Man In the High Castle" and "A Scanner Darkly".

3. “Jar City” by Arnaldur Indridason

A scent card dangles from the ceiling of the morgue, hanging between two autopsy tables.

Now, it is pretty easy to deduce a “scent card” is an air freshener, and yet this example is indicative of a conundrum I am experiencing regarding this book.  “Jar City” is the first of this author's novels to be translated from his native Icelandic, and it is hard to tell if this mystery is badly translated or simply bad.

I suspect it is a combination of the two, as this novel has a nearly threadbare plot that is somehow still fairly difficult to follow, and that is partly because of many occurrences of odd turns of phrase that require unnecessary effort to untangle.  There also may have been some cultural differences here that I would have appreciated if they were presented in any sort of context that somebody who has not been to Iceland would understand.  But, once again, I don't honestly know if many of the characters' seemingly unprovoked actions and obfuscated dialog reads true to Icelanders, or if this is simply poor writing compounded by an indelicate translation.

“Jar City” is supposedly the most popular crime novel to emerge from what was at one time thought to be a promising literary scene out of Iceland.  But the title of the book seems to sum up everything for me that is wrong with it: it wants to appear mysterious but comes across as a bit silly, it feels like an inaccurate translation from another language even before you learn what the title describes and, once you do learn this, the discovery is not particularly interesting or shocking.

Recommended?  No

4. “We Are What We Pretend to Be” by Kurt Vonnegut

“We Are What We Pretend to Be” is a slim volume containing two novellas that bookend Vonnegut's career, both of which were unpublished until their appearance here.

“Basic Training” was written prior to Vonnegut's life-transforming service in WWII and it shows.  I don't mean that in a bad way necessarily.  It is a very solidly written story (almost surprisingly so) of a teen on the cusp of manhood, struggling with many sudden life changes that have stolen his dreams of becoming a pianist and stranding him on the farm of an obdurate relative nicknamed “The General”.  But, while more enjoyable than I expected, “Training” is missing the voice that we know so well from Vonnegut's key novels.  The experience is not unlike early Tom Waits, where the songs are often clever enough, but there are no hints of the radically distinctive style that was to come later.

On the other end of chronological, and almost every other, scale is “If God Were Alive Today”.  While “Training” tells a relatively simple story in a straightforward manner, “God” is a scattershot and highly abstract character study done in very broad strokes.  What I found most interesting about this novella, is that is was the beginning of what was to be a novel, and yet this works on its own, however perversely.  So, in a way, we are given a unique insight into Vonnegut's writing process, perhaps not for all of his works, but at least what was to be his next novel.

Both novellas contained here are intriguing, not the least because they seem to have so little in common except for being written by the same author.  Having this opportunity to experience the radical transformation of such a legendary talent, by way of two previously unpublished pieces from the extreme chronological ends of his career, was fascinating to me, even if these works are not critical reading on only their own merits.

Recommended?  For Vonnegut completists
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on January 31, 2013, 11:24:02 AM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
A friend I have known since I was 16 - and who has been (amongst other things) Al Stewart's biographer, Tori Amos' date at a wedding and Lemmy's ex-wife's paramour for a while - writes his 'star-ridden' autobiography, then trusts me with initial draft for my consideration. I diplomatically consider it still in 'need of quite a bit of work'
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on January 31, 2013, 12:59:36 PM
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
A friend I have known since I was 16 - and who has been (amongst other things) Al Stewart's biographer, Tori Amos' date at a wedding and Lemmy's ex-wife's paramour for a while - writes his 'star-ridden' autobiography, then trusts me with initial draft for my consideration. I diplomatically consider it still in 'need of quite a bit of work'
HAHAHAHAAHHAHAHA.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on February 03, 2013, 07:56:08 AM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister

The author's maternal family was a wealthy, highly regarded Cossack family. Memories of her childhood through age 12 color the first half of this book. Her grandfather had been a member of the last Tsar (Nicholas Romanov)'s staff and a high ranking member of his army; he was killed during the Bolshevik Revolution and his family escaped into Ukraine, where Nonna was born in 1927. Her early years were idyllic, even as Stalin's imposed hardships on the Ukranian people spread. Nonna's grandmother lived in what she referred to as "The Grand Dacha," a 37-room home near The Black Sea.

Things begin to change rapidly after Hitler breaks his nonaggression pact with Stalin. Nonna's older brother is sent off to Latvia to live with an uncle in the hopes that he will escape the Russian draft. He is never seen or heard from again. Nonna's aunts, uncles and cousins eventually decide to leave the Grand Dacha for the east, hoping to escape the advancing German army. Their train is heavily bombed and none of them survive. Nonna, her father and mother, grandmother and one last hired hand, Petrovich, continue to live at the dacha. Petrovich is caught one morning by the Russian army as he gathers coal for the family. He, too, is never seen or heard from again.

Nonna'a father goes into hiding, living in an underground tunnel between the house and outdoor larder. When the German army arrives, they find the family's wine cellar and proceed to get wrecked. Father has developed a cold while living in the damp, cold tunnel, and his cough is heard by the drunken soldiers, who find him, beat him nearly to death, and gouge out his eyes. He is left to suffer a long, slow and agonizing death.

Nonna and her mother are eventually rounded up by the Germans  and sent to a labor camp in Poland; she last sees her grandmother at the train station as she and her mother leave for the west. While her labor camp experiences are bad, she realizes that the Russian (or Ost - Eastern) and Polish prisoners/workers have it infinitely better than the Jewish ones. Plus Nonna has a secret weapon given to her by her father: fluency in four languages. She quickly becomes invaluable to the Germans and goes to work, along with her mother, as a translator in a Catholic hospital inside Germany. Further atrocities await, however, at the hands of the Gestapo. Nonna is lucky to see liberation. Her mother doesn't get that luxury.

That she was able to maintain a diary, and keep her older ones throughout the war,  is remarkable. That she waited nearly 50 years before telling her American husband and children of her life before and during the war is astonishing.

If I have one gripe about this book, it is that the photos she refers to, which she managed to keep with her throughout the entire ordeal, are not published within the pages. Why refer to and describe the photos of the Grand Dacha, her grandmother, family, Petrovich, and so on, but not show those cherished pictures? Still, it is but a small complaint of an overall fascinating look at WWII through the eyes and experiences of someone who was not Jewish.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on February 04, 2013, 08:57:00 AM
That book sounds pretty fascinating MissKitty.

   1   The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
   2   The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
   3   In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
   4   Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein

The novel is one that IIRC was on a book recommendation list on NPR and is also a teen fiction title. I was a bit hesitant about the age group it is targeted for but because of the recommend, gave it a go. The first part of the book almost made me stop reading it (it seemed VERY juvenile) but I kept at it. I am not sure if the author subconsciously changed the maturity of her narrator or I got used to her style, but the story really began to flow. Because of the writing style in the beginning, I had a hard time liking the character until towards the middle...but I am getting ahead of myself.

The story is about two best friends in England who work for the WAAF in WWII. One is a German translator and the other who helps guide the pilots in to land (she also has a pilot's license). Their friendship is fairly unlikely as the translator is  (apparently) descended from both William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots and the other is working class (her grandfather a Russian Jew who had emigrated to England and was a motorcycle mechanic). Through a couple of events they are thrown together and become friends. The story begins with a person whose code name is Verity is writing a journal entry about being dropped into a town in France to work on a mission and her friend Maggie who piloted the plane from which she parachuted and was captured by the Nazis after looking the wrong way when she went to cross a street. Oops! You find out that she is writing a journal explaining all of the details that she can recall about her work for the resistance in hopes of staying alive as long as possible. Halfway through the novel, the narrative switches to Maggie's story. For me, this is when the story really become engrossing.

Without going into much more detail, I will say I found the last half emotional, interesting, horrifying and worth the first parts of the novel being somewhat tedious and pedestrian. I was very happy I stuck with it.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on February 04, 2013, 10:50:56 AM
1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers

2.  the castle- franz kafka- humor, from kafka? i was amazed to learn (via the intro) that the trial was intended also to be humorous. fooled me. this was the definitive edition, which left off where kafka abruptly stopped (or died).  and those last 30 pages were brutal.  a 20 page sermon from a chambermaid explaining her worth, ehh.  i think i would have liked kafka's original more.  really enjoyed the story though.  unfortunately (or fortunately) k.'s assistants weren't as zany as we were initially led to believe.  i waver how i feel about their utilization because i'm a huge fan of quixote, good soldier svejk, confederacy of dunces etc... literature in that vain... and i'm completely fine with that, esp from kafka who can be so dreary.  it's just that it would have been treading the same water.  but i guess the story itself was completely in tune with all of that satire. 

3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho- my girlfriend suggested i read this as i'm at sort of a crossroads in life, sort of an inspirational coming of age don't give up on your dreams sort of book.  it was very good, quick, easy.  reminds me of hesse's siddartha in a number of ways. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on February 04, 2013, 02:17:31 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto - "Kuni hadn't only given us pain, she had also created moments for us that were so much more concentrated than usual. That's how I saw it then. In the world we now lived in, the good times were a hundred times better. If we couldn't catch that sparkle, only the agony would remain." No one gets to me like Banana Yoshimoto.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on February 05, 2013, 05:12:16 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan
5. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover

6. Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah

After finishing that short story collection by Brautigan not long ago, stumbled upon this and at times the playful prose is eerily similar. The only downside is that the main story "Power and Light" was probably the weakest to me, and that is what takes up over a third of the collection here (with "Even Greenland" being the strongest).

7. Botchan by Natsume Sōsek

I had never heard of this one before, an apparently classic Japanese novel.  The storyline and narration seem very Western-oriented in some ways, which was especially surprising considering this was first published in 1906 (and it was just very different in that regard than a lot of the Japanese literature I had read during my education program in college).  The main character is a relate-able character to a lot of canonical American literature, a sharp-witted, arrogant troublemaker-type who becomes a math professor and prides himself in his morality and own moral standing.  And morality is the key word to the novel here, as the overriding theme was the everchanging westernization of Japan in the early twentieth century in major cities such as Tokyo.  That theme is grounded in the prominent storyline of the main character's ongoing relationship with a fellow professor character who plays the role of a European intellectual.  The content on the politics of working in the education industry involving administration and so fourth was also very cleverly written and comical.  Overall I thought this was a great read a a nice change of pace than the usual standards.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on February 06, 2013, 10:12:17 AM
1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
2.  the castle- franz kafka
3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho  

4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander-  my non practicing culturally jewish friend lent me this book.  a man obsessed with death finds an elderly holocaust survivor alive in his attic, pursuing life.  turns out she's a bitch.  it's hilarious    
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on February 10, 2013, 09:18:37 AM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals

This book, written by one of the "Little Rock Nine," chronicles the author's journey as one of nine African American students who integrated Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. The young Pattillo was a gifted student and dreamer; a girl from a loving family anchored by two strong women, her grandmother India and mother Lois. All she wanted was the best education possible.

Originally, after visiting her uncle in Cincinnati, Melba wanted more than anything to live with him and his family so she could attend school there, where she found everyone friendly and accepting of her, regardless of skin color. But when she learned of the opportunity to be one of the first to integrate the prestigious Central High, she lept at the chance, without really grasping just how controversial and life-changing it would be.

Suddenly, her old friends wanted nothing more to do with her, as they and their families felt she was overstepping her boundaries. Most blacks in Arkansas "knew their place" and were fearful of rocking the boat, as many folks could still vividly recall lynchings of the all too recent past. but once Melba had made her choice, India and Lois made sure she followed through, even as the death threats, physical and mental abuse, and blatant discrimination escalated.

Reading about the horrible things the segregationists did to her and the other eight students made me sick, and ashamed. And the abuse was unrelenting, even after President Eisenhower called in the 101 Airborne to restore order.  

Interspersed with Melba's vivid recollections are diary entries and newspaper clippings, chronicling the daily struggles between the students, Arkansas governor Farbus, the Arkansas National Guard, the 101's, NAACP and the segregationists. It makes for a powerful, and uncomfortable, read.

Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on February 18, 2013, 09:23:20 PM
5. “The Atrocity Exhibition” by J.G. Ballard

I have owned a cheap UK paperback of this for over a decade now.  There seems to be some sort of psychic bond between me and it, as if it taunts me with, “you know you're going to have to read me one day and, when that day comes, I'll still be here”.  It's like having a copy of the “Necronomicon” in your house--this book seems to have a strange life of its own, if only in my head.  I assume I am not the only person who is both intrigued by, and scared of, the book seeing how Ian Curtis wrote a song of the same title without having read the book beforehand.

“The Atrocity Exhibition” is a cubist portrait of a character's (perhaps the author's) mental breakdown, as aspects of his or her personality becomes violently shattered into separate characters and spaces.  These characters seem largely concerned with re-staging the deaths of particular celebrities or creating what they have determined to be the “ideal” death of a chosen public figure.  As anybody who has seen Cronenberg's movie of “Crash” will know, Ballard has a curious obsession with automobile crashes as a sexual metaphor, and “Exhibition” is a Freudian wet dream, as the violence-as-sex metaphor is stretched to include the Vietnam conflict, Kennedy's assassination and even the intersection of walls and ceilings.  And, yes, Ballard is also obsessed with car crashes here, complete with a chapter titled “Crash!”.  Even after saying all of that, I believe I should emphasize the shocking nature of most of the content here.  Very little of that content is graphically detailed, but the clinical detachment with which the author treats this material made it that much more unnerving (for me, at least).

For so slight of a thing, it is amazing how long this took to read.  It's not even the easiest thing to review, as this is my third or fourth attempt to do so.  I had to read almost every sentence at least twice and, yet, I felt I never felt I was remotely close to grasping the material unless I tried not to follow too closely.  The experience was similar to those 3D posters that look like a random pattern until you let your vision go out of focus and then, when you try to focus in on the resulting stereoscopic image, you end up losing it again.

I feel I was fortunate to have my sanity intact at the end of this disturbing, challenging and yet somehow rewarding experience.  There are moments when “The Atrocity Exhibition” is eerily beautiful, other times it is subversively humorous and still other times it is almost indefensibly repulsive.

This is the way.  Step inside.

Recommended? For more adventurous readers.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on February 21, 2013, 11:17:22 AM


   1   The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
   2   The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
   3   In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
   4   Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell (or Azincourt for the rest of the world)

I am a huge Cornwell fan (and still need to read his Sharpe novels darn it!) so this book did not disappoint. Even when I was grimacing about the extremely descriptive details of battle and wanting to put the book down and puke (okay, I might be exaggerating a bit), I couldn't help but keep right on reading as fast as I possibly could. I knew how it ended of course seeing as Henry V is one of my favorite plays and Branagh movies but still, I was drawn in just the same.

The story revolves around Nicholas Hook, bastard son of a local lord, who happens to be one of those infamous (and feared) English archers. He gets into trouble and has a death warrant on his head. He is banished and he goes to France to fight in the battle of Soissons in hopes of making some money. The battle is a complete disaster and the French turn on the people in Soissons...murder, rape, more murder and even more rape (nuns weren't safe). I was never so glad to be living in the current time period as when Cornwell describes the post-battle scenes of Soissons. Hook manages to survive and makes his way back to England. Long story short, he ends up in the service of a great lord and when Henry calls upon the country for fighting men to fight in France to show France who their true and rightful king is, Hook goes along.

What I love about Cornwell's book is the amount of research he does regarding the subject/time period and makes it so engaging and interesting and horrifying. I enjoyed this book so much that I decided to re-read another book of his about the English archers called, The Archer. I just found out the fourth book in this series is out and am waiting for it to be available on the Kindle so that gives me time to read books 2 and 3 after the Archer. ;)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on February 23, 2013, 12:02:46 PM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
4.  Shadow Woman--Linda Howard
5.  In the Pleasure Groove:  Love, Death and Duran Duran--John Taylor
6.  Something Like Normal--Trish Doller
7.  On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave--Candace Fleming
8.  Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond--Tom Cox
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on February 23, 2013, 04:32:11 PM
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde

I wasn't aware of this until your mention, and I previously thought I had all Fforde expect for "Shades of Grey".  So how was it?  It looks like it is aimed at children.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on February 23, 2013, 11:25:21 PM
It's the first Fforde book I've read, so I have no comparison to his adult books. This is a teen book and based on what I'm seeing, there will be more (the Goodreads listing says #1 in a series).  It's a fantasy, a genre I don't normally read.  The premise is that hundreds of years ago, a pact was made between humans and dragons, giving dragons some land that they are allowed to continue living on as long as they quit killing humans, and humans aren't allowed on their land.  Moving to current day time, the last dragon has been predicted to die and now everyone wants to be ready to stake claim to the land.  The dragonslayer is the only person who can actually go on dragon land and is responsible for killing dragons if they break the pact.  There are political  and magical themes in the book as well. I really enjoyed the book...wanted to keep reading and was looking forward to reading the next in the series immediately, but then realized that this is a new release and the next book doesn't exist yet :-)  
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on February 23, 2013, 11:52:08 PM
Actually Book 2 does exist - but you have to go to the UK to get a copy.

I saw Fforde on his last book tour supporting this book (this is the third time I've seen him). He actually came up with the concept before The Eyre Affair but couldn't get it published. Then Harry Potter was out, so he didn't want people to think he was trying to join the teen fantasy bandwagon. So the timing worked out that it's finally out now. The third (and supposedly final) book in the Dragonslayer trilogy is being published this year in the UK and next year in the US. Then a super secret standalone novel, and then a prequel to Shades of Grey. He has a new baby (who's now a toddler), so it's taking longer for each book.

I really enjoyed the book, but I've always liked teen fantasy (Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite authors). I picked up my copy in the UK in 2010 and may breakdown and order book 2 from Amazon.co.uk. It's similar to the Harry Potter and Hunger Games books in that it's targeted for young adults, adults will also enjoy it.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on February 24, 2013, 12:12:22 AM
Thanks for the update Ella...I'll keep this in mind! 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: va-vacious on February 24, 2013, 04:58:20 PM
I just want the Shades of Grey sequel! 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on March 04, 2013, 05:50:55 AM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins

Well the review I wrote earlier this week disappeared in the Randomvilke move and I'm not going to retype the whole thing again. Suffice to say it's a good book about an interesting musician and is highly recommended.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on March 04, 2013, 02:27:10 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt

The premise sounded good. A married couple decides to get off the rental merry-go-round and put down roots. Thing is, their credit is wrecked from grad school and pisspoor hospitality industry jobs, so they can't get a home loan. They end up with a small monetary gift from the author's grandfather and find something within their meager price range: a former crack house with an alarming number of housing code violations.

There are some laugh out loud moments, but much like the house they are renovating, the book is rather haphazardly thrown together and is at times frustrating. For instance, when Batt first goes to view the house he eventually buys, he expends pages of descriptive energy on the horrible stench inside the house. In fact, for the first half of the book, every friend, family member or contractor who comes into the house gags from the eye-wateringly bad odor. The reader would expect to eventually learn what was causing it and how they managed to rectify it, but Batt leaves us hanging.

In fact, Batt seems much more interested in bandying about quotes from Keats, Joyce and Thoreau as some sort of metaphorical introspection than he is about telling the actual story. As it progresses, the book becomes less and less about the house and more about his relationship with his borderline alcoholic mother and surly grandfather. That's all well and good, but readers expecting a madcap DIY adventure will be disappointed.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on March 05, 2013, 08:59:57 PM
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt

That had to be worth reading just for the title alone.

7. “Angela's Ashes” by Frank McCourt

I have been reading this off and on between other titles for the past year.  Odd coincidence I happened to finish it so close to St. Patrick's Day.

This is one of the few books I have read that were passed on to me.  As I have said before, I feel like I am put in a mildly uncomfortable position when others lend me books unsolicited.  I know the lender has good intentions, but I feel obligated to read the book at some point, and there is always a long list of books I already want to read next.  That, and I find it difficult to objectively read a book that somebody I know has already raved so much about.

On the other side of the coin, one of the benefits of books being forced on me is it introduces me to works of which I was otherwise unaware or normally would not read.  Such is the case with “Angela's Ashes”, a memoir of the early years of an author I have not read and who grew up in severe poverty in  Limerick.  Unfortunately, the text itself was not an endless sequence of limericks, and is instead standard first-person narrative that happens to be set in Ireland.

It is here that I find myself in the difficult position of admitting to a bias that distanced myself from the material, and that is this: I don't much care for Irish culture.  Now let me try to tiptoe through the minefield of political correctness as I emphasize that I have nothing against Irish people themselves, but I largely find the nation's culture and its products to be treacly, overemotional and self-absorbed.  That, and it gave the world Bono.  I'm not proud I feel this way, but I think I deserve some credit for openly admitting this bias.  Also, I'm fully half-Irish so one could reasonably conclude my dislike for most things Irish is just my usual self-loathing.

So now that I have rambled so much about all the hurdles I put in front of myself when reading “Angela's Ashes”, how was it?  Actually, it was pretty good.  McCourt fully immerses the reader in another time and place as seen through the eyes of a child.  He does so with occasional moments of excessive sentimentality, but then it is difficult to fault the author for this when the material here is his own life.  Where McCourt's memoirs excel is in what was left out, as he has edited his experiences into a narrative that has few tangents that feel irrelevant. 

“Angela's Ashes” is far from being one of my all-time favorite books.  I certainly won't be forcing it into anybody else's hands.  But despite disliking people passing books along to me and my hatred of the Irish, I do recommend it to most readers. 

And now, this half-Irish person is off to celebrate their rich heritage by throwing shite at themselves.

Recommended? Yes
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on March 06, 2013, 11:10:41 AM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer-Bernard Cornwell
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on March 11, 2013, 01:04:49 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
With thanks to Lando for gifting me this for Crimble. Apparently Block is an accomplished big-selling author? I'd never heard of him before, but C-Land said this personal memoir would appeal due to it dealing with his lifetime of walking exploits. It went off-track a few times but it was inspiring and scary in equal measure. I worry that as I get even older I will become somehow more 'manic' about my walking and like Block feel the need to document each every minute aspect of my hobby/exercise. *ahem*
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on March 11, 2013, 03:34:56 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan
5. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover
6. Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah
7. Botchan by Natsume Sōsek

8. Goldfish Tears by Curtis Ackie

9. The Unreal and Real Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Gun, Vol. 1: "Where on Earth"

10. Rumba on the River by Gary Stewart

Currently:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/b7/Glamorama.jpg/200px-Glamorama.jpg)



Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on March 13, 2013, 09:24:33 AM
8: “Last Days of an Immortal” by Fabien Vehlmann and Gwen de Bonneval

The Bubba McBubba graphic novel review template:

1) Title of book

2) Author

3) Statement about frustration with graphic novels, how much more difficult it is to find quality works in this genre than in any other

4) Lament yet another work's failure to live up to the ridiculously high standards of my favorite graphic novels (Sandman, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, etc.)

5) Pissy, pithy comments about author's ridiculous dialogue/plotting/illustrations/whatever

6) Recommended? Default=no

Some books leave me so underwhelmed that I don't even bother to fill in the template.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on March 13, 2013, 10:48:54 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly - Harry Bosch picks up a 20 year old cold case that originally was his before it got sent to a task force because it involved the murder of a woman during the LA RIOTS in 1992. Very well written, even if everything was almost too neatly wrapped up in the last 25 pages or so.
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block - This is the last Matthew Scudder book I'll read unless Block writes another one (please please please please). I can't believe I'm done with the series. This book is actually pretty early in the series but I could never find it at my library. I was determined to find it in a used book store some day. But, I gave up and bought it used on Amazon. I gasped when I realized that I was meeting Jan for the first time. The mystery was very tight. Lots of walking and dimes for pay phones. The Scudder stuff that I love so much. I'll miss you, Old Friend.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on March 13, 2013, 01:35:08 PM
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block - This is the last Matthew Scudder book I'll read unless Block writes another one (please please please please). I can't believe I'm done with the series. This book is actually pretty early in the series but I could never find it at my library. I was determined to find it in a used book store some day. But, I gave up and bought it used on Amazon. I gasped when I realized that I was meeting Jan for the first time. The mystery was very tight. Lots of walking and dimes for pay phones. The Scudder stuff that I love so much. I'll miss you, Old Friend.
YAAAAAAAAAAAY. There is a Scudder book of short stories called, "The Night and the Music". I'm going to have to find it and save it for a special occasion. I think this may be the end. FOREVER.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 13, 2013, 02:13:56 PM
I kind of hope he doesn't write any more of Scudder unless, like the last one, they are set in the past.  The last two, timeline wise (Hope To Die, and All of the Flowers are Dying) were about the worst of the series.  Once he was an established non-drinker and was completely settled down with Elaine a lot of the grit was gone, even with Mick becoming more prevalent.

But, that said A Drop of the Hard Stuff was pretty good, so he can still deliver a good Scudder novel, it just has to be set in an interesting part of the story arc and not another tacked on to the end.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 13, 2013, 02:23:33 PM
I'm pretty sure all of the stories in "The Night and the Music" are also in his short story collection Enough Rope.  I'd be surprised if your library system didn't have that.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on March 13, 2013, 04:08:20 PM
I'm pretty sure all of the stories in "The Night and the Music" are also in his short story collection Enough Rope.  I'd be surprised if your library system didn't have that.
I think there is ONE new one added to this. But, thanks for the other title. I haven't read that either.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on March 14, 2013, 09:25:13 PM
9. “Sexual Perversity in Chicago and The Duck Variations” by David Mamet

I am a huge Mamet fan (even if he has not been in top form for the past few movies) and, not having read a play before, I figured his work would be a good introduction to the medium.

Turns out reading a play is more difficult than I thought it would be.  I have not seen either of the two plays collected here performed, so I found it quite difficult to picture these scenarios in my head.  And, as often as I have heard actors describe Mamet's dialogue as “difficult”, reading it off the page and trying to imagine how it might best be said aloud left me even more impressed with the actors who have best delivered that dialogue.  Which means that, in my head, I had the voice of Joe Mantegna reading every part, male or female.

Of the two plays here, I was less impressed with “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”.   All I knew about this work before reading it was that it had been developed into a movie in the 80's by a major studio which panicked over the title.  This is ironic, given the script was a hot property largely because of the intriguing name.  Instead, the movie was released as “About Last Night...”.  I haven't seen that movie, but I doubt it improved much on the play's highly unrealistic take on supposedly brutally realistic frank talk in the battle of the sexes.  That is, unless Joe Mantegna plays all of the roles in it.

On the other hand, I was quite taken by the absurdist comedy “The Duck Variations”, a parody of (and maybe tribute to) “Waiting for Godot”, in which the cast and scenery is only two retired men on a park bench ruminating on an increasingly bizarre serious of “facts” regarding ducks.  Not only was I surprised Mamet would ever write a comedy this straight-forward, but that I laughed out loud a couple of times.

Recommended?  Yes
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on March 16, 2013, 10:31:06 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw

Wow, what an engrossing book! Kershaw really did his homework with this phenomenal book about Felix Sparks, who fought in some of the fiercest battles of WWII with the 157th infantry regiment of the 45th "Thunderbird" Division. While the discriptive prose may be too much for the faint of heart, this is the first book I've read on WWII battles that made me feel as if I was there, seeing and feeling what the soldiers themselves went through. And Christ, it was hell.

Kershaw interviewed dozens of surviving Thunderbirds who knew Sparks and fought alongside him,  as well as his wife and children, and Sparks himself. He also gained access to recently declassified WWII manuscripts and documents via the National Archives, and sought out photographers and even former enemy German SS soldiers for this incredible book.

From humble beginnings, Sparks became a soldier in the 1930s as a way of getting his college education paid for via the G.I. Bill. He was only a few classes shy of a law degree when he was called up for action, and even though he had already fulfilled his term in the U.S. Army, he enlisted and was shipped off to the first allied landing, in Sicily. It was the terrible errors made at that landing that taught the Allied generals what NOT to do when The D-Day landing at Normandy happened a bit later. Sparks rose through the ranks by proving his mettle during battle, and being able to think fast, decisively, and keep a cool head when situations heated up.

He and the Thunderbirds made their way all the way from Sicily to the Italian mainland, where they fought at bloody Monte Cassino, seized Rome and fought Germans all the way up Italy's boot. They breached the infamous Siegfried Line, and fought house to house inside German cities, before reaching the horror factory of Dachau Consentration Camp. Sparks and his Thunderbirds were sent to secure Dachau, but had no idea what they were in for.

Honestly one of the best battle books I have ever encountered, and a must for any scholar of history.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on March 24, 2013, 12:52:38 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene

Journalist Bob Greene has that rare gift of tugging on the heart strings with each sentence he writes, and this book - about how the Nebraska town of North Platte made every WWII soldier who passed through their depot between 1941-1945 feel special - is no different. Greene visits North Platte in search of those who participated in the Canteen, providing homemade food and drinks to all the soldiers on the troop trains traveling back and forth across the United States. He finds registries stuffed in the back of an old file cabinet at the North Platte Historical Society and begins the arduous task of tracking down the surviving soldiers who remembered the North Platte Canteen, and how it affected their lives. If you are looking for a feel-good book that will turn on the waterworks, look no further. Wonderful book by a very gifted storyteller.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on March 27, 2013, 02:09:07 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan
5. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover
6. Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah
7. Botchan by Natsume Sōsek
8. Goldfish Tears by Curtis Ackie
9. The Unreal and Real Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Gun, Vol. 1: "Where on Earth"
10. Rumba on the River by Gary Stewart


11. Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis

12. Le Grand Meaulnes by Henri Alain-Fournier

13. The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs

You'll recall that I was experimenting with some Burroughs works earlier this year at the top of the list, my main goal was to eventually get around to either this one or Naked Lunch.  I used the works of "Junkie" and "Queer" as a bit of an introductory, and it was convenient as both of those books are pretty small, light reads.  As anticipated the incoherentness of SM will leave it not even remotely memorable but the experience of reading it for the first time I suppose will be to an extent.  The wobbly writing style between experimental (could I really not have thought of a better literary adjective than that?) and cut-up writing techniques such as in his early works doesn't really do anything for me as a reader, although some of the satirical bits I did rather like, such as the "Mayan Caper" chapter writings on a secret agent using time travel in an attempt to defeat the Mayan calender.  Obviously it goes without saying that, this being William S. Burroughs, a major chunk of the material here can be entire paragraphs if not chapters of fluid imagery related to addiction and homosexuality, so part of the experience is having certain combinations of sexual slang and wordplay perhaps forever burned into your memory, for example let's just say pairing the word "mucus" with, well, something else bodily related.  In the end, I basically came to the conclusion that my own experiment with Burroughs is likely over, and with no desire of completing the Nova Trilogy of which this was the first book.

On a better note, Le Grand Meaulnes ("The Lost Estate") was one of the best novels I've read in a while. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on March 28, 2013, 09:59:58 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
One of those crappy 'gift' books which MK picked up as a promo from work. $10 for flimsy nothing. (Wish I'd thought of it)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
Tyla was the driving force in one of my favourite pub rocks band from the 70s: Ducks Deluxe. He went on to form his own band, The Tyla Gang, signing deals with both Stiff Records and Beserkley. His tale is one of excess and misfortune. Sadly he can't hold the reader's attention too well either, failing to fire up the interest levels because he either leaves out details or comes across a little too bitter and twisted for his own good.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on April 11, 2013, 04:04:34 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
5. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling - British Peyton Place. Good stuff.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on April 14, 2013, 06:51:18 PM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords

Holy crap that took forever to read. Good time. I absolutely could not believe what happened around 2/3 of the way through the book, and the whole whirlwind that followed.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on April 17, 2013, 09:08:42 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block - And I'm back in the Lawrence Block reading business with Keller. Yay.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on April 17, 2013, 05:58:56 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan
5. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover
6. Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah
7. Botchan by Natsume Sōsek
8. Goldfish Tears by Curtis Ackie
9. The Unreal and Real Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Gun, Vol. 1: "Where on Earth"
10. Rumba on the River by Gary Stewart
11. Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis
12. Le Grand Meaulnes ("The Lost Estate") by Henri Alain-Fournier
13. The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs

14. Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks


15. Big Day Coming by Jesse Jarnow

I had put a hold on this through the library system pretty much the day it come out early this year, but a bunch of people had apprently already beat me to it, and when I went to pick up something else the other day I was actually surprised to see it finally came in because I had forgotten about it.  For starters, I am a huge fan of Yo La Tengo, a fandom that transcends simply loving their massive discography from the low-fi beginnings to acoustic cover records and instrumental soundtracks to the classic, seminal rock records to the latest one that just came out four months ago.  Beyond that, they were a "gateway drug" artist for me so to speak.  If it wasn't for the "Big Sky" cover on their first record, for example, there's a good chance that The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society doesn't become what is on many days my favorite album ever.  I might have not even yet been familiar with one of my favorite 80s records, "Crazy Rhythms", had I not once read about how YLT's Ira and Georgia actually first met at a Feelies gig.  And to top things off, aesthetically it doesn't hurt that the trio are huge baseball fans and just seem like genuinely good people, including when I met them after a show years ago in which they made a point to come up and ask my friend how his drive was, as he had just seen them the previous night in another city.  I could go on, but this is about the book.

The book, penned by a WFMU person, is written for the hardcore YLT completest and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone but such.  It follows the standard biography format (complete with the spread of obscure photos in the center) and ultimately accomplishes what I assume the project set out to do.  But if someone were to pick it up expecting mega-chapters on the classic Matador albums, they'd probably be at least somewhat underwhelmed.  Although those do make up a big chunk of the second half, the main focus here is the formation, specifically Ira Kaplan's journey moving to New York and becoming a writer/editor (which includes some hilarious bits including that he actually had to travel to conduct an awkward KISS interview) to the eventual formation of the band in the late 70s/early 80s alternative musical landscape at the time, with namedroppings all over the place.  Although given the band's some going on thirty years of existence and that I was already aware of much of it such as hearing about the early influences all the way from Jonathan Richman to obscure 60s psych to Sun Ra, there are plenty of new interesting tidbits spread out all over the book, for example I had no idea that the band once shared the stage with the late Alex Chilton or Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Band. 

Finally, I was really anticipating the chapter devoted to my favorite YLT record and one that is always sure to crack personal all-time top ten list, "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out."  Perhaps my only disappointment with the book overall was with this chapter, and that's purely subjective, as I think the author did a pretty great job on all of the material here segregated to specific releases.  I suppose I was hoping to hear more interesting insight on, for example, the remarkably personal love song ballads that make up a fraction of the record (given that they were created by a married couple) or what the state of mind and influence was on making abstract YLT formula tracks like "You Can Have It All".  However, I did come away from it a line from Georgia about describing the creation of the album's sounds as a "science experiment", which I thought was pretty great.  Overall, this was a pretty amazing job done by Jarnow, who lists the exhausting research credits in the back of the book -- just take a look at the interviewees from obviously the members themselves and their siblings, ex-employees from Matador and other labels, Maxwell's in Hoboken, The Feelies and dB's bandmembers, etc.  I wouldn't say I got a whole new appreciation or glaringly rare insights on the band's career, but then again, I didn't need to, and hopefully the opposite will happen for those who haven't been in the YLT game for as long as I have.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on April 17, 2013, 10:28:10 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
Very entertaining collection of tales from a comic who is probably completely unknown outside the UK
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on April 18, 2013, 07:58:49 AM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving

My first introduction to John Irving (actually reading his stories vs seeing the film adaptations) and what can I say but that I have found a new favorite contemporary author. While I did find Owen Meany slow to get into, once I got used to the style, I was well on my way to reading a well crafted novel.

What I love about his stories are the depth in which he knows his characters. I really feel he did his homework and and figured out their entire life story before beginning to write. I also really felt like I was "there," where ever there happened to be in the story because of the description and feeling he gave each place.

I have so many books to read but am tempted to try another of his novels next. I have until 4 today to decide as I will need to start another novel on the bus ride home. ;)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on April 19, 2013, 10:44:30 AM
1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
2.  the castle- franz kafka
3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho 
4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander-  my non practicing culturally jewish friend lent me this book.  a man obsessed with death finds an elderly holocaust survivor alive in his attic, pursuing life.  turns out she's a bitch.  it's hilarious

5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner.  finally.  not a pleasurable reading experience, though i enjoyed the story.  sentences go on forever, breaks are few and far between, and i have no idea where some characters are in certain situations.  but i'm sure that's most people's complaints on faulkner.  what's bill's hangup on incest? 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on April 20, 2013, 11:28:41 AM
10: “The Man from Primrose Lane” by James Renner

In the opening prologue of “The Man from Primrose Lane”, a police officer breaks down the door of an old recluse's house and discovers the owner tied to a chair.  The old man's fingers have been amputated, and a trail of blood from the chair to the kitchen leads the officer to find those severed fingers in a blender and mutilated beyond recognition.

For the rest of the novel, Renner throws a whole bunch of genres into a blender and the resulting work is largely intriguing.  It would be unfair to even say which genres will be explored by the book, but I will only say those who would normally be repulsed by opening scene described above will likely be pleased to learn “Primrose Lane” spends surprisingly little of its length as a conventional crime novel. 

That said, it seems I saw through the novel's set-up more quickly than I believe the author intended.  I don't believe I am especially intelligent but, from the pieces the book gives you early on, it seemed relatively easy to work out some (but far from all) of what will come, especially some of the moments Renner holds out as his big reveals.

Overall, I enjoyed “Primrose Lane” despite what I thought was an excessively convoluted and yet largely transparent plot.  With the exception of some formulaic passages involving detectives, Renner's writing was quite strong and I found myself being happily led by him down the primrose path.

Recommended?  Yes
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on April 22, 2013, 09:08:00 PM
11: “Insane City” by Dave Barry

I always thought Dave Barry was mildly funny in his newspaper columns, with the occasional zinger that would stick with me in the same way an unusually witty t-shirt or bumper sticker might.  So I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed his debut novel, “Big Trouble”, which took Carl Hiaasen's Florida locales, minor-league swindlers and hard-luck good-hearted losers and wrapped them up in something sloppier, though remarkably funnier, than Hiaasen's work.  I assumed Barry's writing chops would gradually develop over the course of additional novels, while maintaining the level of hilarity established in “Big Trouble”.

Then came the sophomore novel, “Tricky Business”, which was noticeably less humorous than its predecessor and was somehow even less developed.  At this point, it appeared Barry might be regressing, though that would be unfair to say so on the basis of one novel, and the expected “sophomore slump” one at that.

Now there's his third independently-scribed novel, “Insane City”, and the downward trajectory continued here after the drop between novels one and two makes this a work with a lot to be desired.  I can accept yet another ridiculously convoluted plot populated by paper-thin characters, but the most head-scratching aspect of this tome is just how dreadfully unfunny the whole affair is.  And I don't mean Barry has tried to write more high-minded fiction here--the problem is that the jokes are thrown out relentlessly, as if quantity can be an adequate substitute for quality. 

As for that plot, Barry apes “The Hangover” (an already exhausted concept), and tosses into the mix a stripper and her pimp, some refugees, pot-brownie-eating senior citizens, uptight rich folk and, well, an ape.  This material could be enjoyable in the right hands, but Barry lays out each set-up with such transparency that what should be moments of zany comedy deflate like a whoopie cushion. 

I seriously do not recommend spending time in “Insane City”.  I will even go ahead and share the only moment I laughed out loud reading this, and that concerned an elderly couple's RV, which Barry describes as having roughly the same gas mileage as the Washington Monument.

There, now you really don't have to read this book.  You're welcome.

Recommended?  No
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on April 29, 2013, 06:16:05 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan
5. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover
6. Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah
7. Botchan by Natsume Sōsek
8. Goldfish Tears by Curtis Ackie
9. The Unreal and Real Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Gun, Vol. 1: "Where on Earth"
10. Rumba on the River by Gary Stewart
11. Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis
12. Le Grand Meaulnes ("The Lost Estate") by Henri Alain-Fournier
13. The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs
14. Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
15. Big Day Coming by Jesse Jarnow

16. The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra

17. Clemente by David Maraniss

Two reference-type books I treated myself to for my birthday that will be occupying my time for a while:

(http://static.lulu.com/browse/product_thumbnail.php?productId=4141563&resolution=320)

(http://d28hgpri8am2if.cloudfront.net/book_images/cvr9780743227223_9780743227223.jpg)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on April 30, 2013, 03:10:53 PM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt

Pretty much decided that anytime I am having a really crappy day, I am going to go back and read a page from this book and my day should suddenly seem amazing. In truth though, as depressing as this story was, I appreciated the humor that was often presented but still found myself profoundly grateful for my life each time I put the book down.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 30, 2013, 03:48:44 PM
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block - And I'm back in the Lawrence Block reading business with Keller. Yay.

Yay!  Keller and Dot are great characters.  I'm currently re-reading Hit and Run before I read Hit Me... a lot went down in H&R and I wanted to refresh my memory. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on May 01, 2013, 01:22:24 PM
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block - And I'm back in the Lawrence Block reading business with Keller. Yay.

Yay!  Keller and Dot are great characters.  I'm currently re-reading Hit and Run before I read Hit Me... a lot went down in H&R and I wanted to refresh my memory.
"Hit and Run" is my next book when I finish "American Gods".
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on May 01, 2013, 11:41:42 PM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
4.  Shadow Woman--Linda Howard
5.  In the Pleasure Groove:  Love, Death and Duran Duran--John Taylor
6.  Something Like Normal--Trish Doller
7.  On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave--Candace Fleming
8.  Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond--Tom Cox
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde
10.  Boy21--Matthew Quick
11.  Underworld--Meg Cabot
12.  Private Berlin--James Patterson
13.  Midsummer Tights Dream--Louise Rennison
14.  White Bicycle--Beverley Brenna
15.  The World Must Know: The History Of The Holocaust As Told In The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--Michael Berenbaum
16.  Wonder Show--Hannah Barnaby
17.  Jepp, Who Defied the Stars--Katherine Marsh
18.  Zero--Tom Leveen
19.  Madness Underneath--Maureen Johnson
20.  In Darkness--Nick Lake
21.  Love and Other Pershable Items--Laura Buzo
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on May 04, 2013, 08:15:31 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza

I don't watch enough TV to have even heard about the short-lived reality show Teach!, featuring Tony Danza as a first-year teacher at a Philadelphia inner-city high school, but after reading this heartfelt, thought-provoking book I think I will seek it out.

Danza had actually gotten a teaching degree and was planning to become a teacher before boxing and Taxi took over and he became a TV/Broadway star. He pitches the idea of a reality show about inner-city schools to a friend in the business, and proving that Hollywood will take a chance on pretty much anything, he soon had a show. This book tells the story of his year of teaching in greater detail than what eventually appeared in the TV show, and the "behind the scenes" stuff that happened - mostly the tug of war he had with the shows producers, who wanted to script the show, and Danza's absolute insistence that it be natural and completely unscripted, and also the song&dance executed between the state and the schools over standardized testing. What an eye opener!

But most memorable are Danza's students, who come from all walks of life and backgrounds. They shine throughout this touching memoir. Great little book, this.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on May 06, 2013, 01:56:50 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
Re-reading these compilations to remind myself of when the cartoon used to be funny. Now, hardly ever.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on May 06, 2013, 08:11:17 PM
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
Re-reading these compilations to remind myself of when the cartoon used to be funny. Now, hardly ever.

Alas, that is so true.  I am especially confused by why they keep re-running old strips so frequently (at least on Sundays, which is the only time I get the printed newspaper).

12. “The Dinner” by Herman Koch

Let me start off this review by saying I will be recommending “The Dinner”.  Unfortunately, this is one of those books where, the less one knows going in, the more one will get out of it.

But, of course, what is the opinion of some yahoo like me worth, especially if I don't disclose anything about the plot.  So here goes: the most I will reveal is that this novel takes place almost entirely during a dinner at an exclusive haute cuisine restaurant, during which four characters will discuss how to handle a delicate matter that must be resolved with some urgency.  Flashbacks to scattered moments in the past punctuate the narrative, and provide selective glimpses of a larger picture that slowly unfolds.

What will stick with me long after finishing “The Dinner” is how exhilarating such a misanthropic tale could be.  I believe it is a testament to the author (and perhaps also the translator) that a book which might fairly be described as downright nihilistic could be so engrossing.  I can't recall the last time a book upset me this much or made me think so much for so long afterwards.

Recommended?  Yes
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on May 12, 2013, 09:23:04 AM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords
3. Dr. David Brunner and Sam Stall - The Cat Owner's Manual
4. Darlene Arden - The Complete Cat's Meow

I adopted a cat back in February and got both of these books as guides to help me figure out how to care for him. I read through each of them in February as much as one can read through a reference/guide book. Then I decided that two months later I should read through them again to pick up on different things once I'd established my routines and such. And so while I haven't read every word of these books, I have read over half of each of them...twice. Thus, I'm counting them.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on May 13, 2013, 08:42:32 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman - I want to go to the House on the Rock.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on May 16, 2013, 03:20:16 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on May 17, 2013, 09:03:07 AM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming

This book has opened my eyes to the greatness that was Benjamin Franklin. What a truly interesting and amazing man. America really owes a lot to the diplomatic prowess that Franklin possessed. I thoroughly enjoyed this book: it was interesting and easy-to read for non-fiction. I didn't want it to end in that I really enjoyed learning more about Franklin and was left wishing that I could travel back in time and grab a beer with the great man. America really needs a man as great as Franklin in today's Congress in order to keep this country from slipping into further decline. Too many special interests and we need a voice of reason, compromise and integrity.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on May 17, 2013, 09:19:41 AM
1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
2.  the castle- franz kafka
3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho 
4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner

6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller.  visceral and real, thought provoking.  unsanitary.  not quite sure why it's considered by some as the great american novel considering it was about paris.  sure he bashed the shit out of america.  in that respect, america was mentioned greatly.  what i loved most about the book was the main character (miller) and how he said very little instead he listened.  i ran about 40 pages towards the end in a place i didn't want to be (mechanic waiting room) so my attention wasn't fully there for his bit of introspection.  great fucking book
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on May 18, 2013, 05:38:05 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan
5. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover
6. Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah
7. Botchan by Natsume Sōsek
8. Goldfish Tears by Curtis Ackie
9. The Unreal and Real Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Gun, Vol. 1: "Where on Earth"
10. Rumba on the River by Gary Stewart
11. Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis
12. Le Grand Meaulnes ("The Lost Estate") by Henri Alain-Fournier
13. The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs
14. Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
15. Big Day Coming by Jesse Jarnow
16. The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra
17. Clemente by David Maraniss

18. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract by Bill James

19. Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier

A short one currently:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41IQtWBlhQL._SL500_.jpg)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on May 19, 2013, 09:07:58 AM
1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
2.  the castle- franz kafka
3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho 
4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller

7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum.  i love these books.  only 11 more in the series for me to go
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on May 19, 2013, 06:55:40 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll

Exhaustively researched book on the covert, inner workings of the American government's foreign policy, from the 1970s through the World Trade Center attacks. I can understand why the author received a Pulitzer for the book, as it spells out in nonpartisan language exactly what went right, and what has gone wrong, in our country's foreign policy - and there is a LOT of blame to go around in all corners of the political and ideological boxes.

Honestly, I can't even begin to review Ghost Wars because it would take much too long, but if you are interested in a non biased account (and I do mean in overwhelming detail) of America's role in the Middle East, chronicled in every conceivable angle, don't let this one slip past. Yes, it is long, and yes, the author expends way more energy than is possibly healthy to drive home certain points, but wow, it's a great feeling to come away from it actually understanding what is really going on.

A+
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on May 24, 2013, 11:30:45 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell - sort of "The Devil Meets Prada" but for the NYC restaurant world
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on May 30, 2013, 09:04:22 AM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson

Short book about the voyage of the Mayflower. The title sounds much more dramatic than the book is written though no doubt the journey over was anything but pleasant. While I honestly didn't ever really have a good idea about the journey of the people on Mayflower, I am pretty sure that this book put to rest any presupposed ideas I might have had. Besides the crew, there were two sets of people on the ship: the Saints (the English Protestant group from Holland) and the Strangers (English peoples who wanted a new life). The journey was pretty much doomed from the start and it is amazing so many people actually survived the voyage. There were supposed to be two ships going over but the second ship nearly sank (twice) just a couple days out from Portsmouth and so the people on that ship were put on Mayflower. The people spent the journey, taken in winter, in the hold of the ship. The journey was not a placid trip (storms galore). It was cold, wet and miserable. The ship didn't even land where they wanted to...but by the time they got to America, they sort of took what they could get in order to get off the boat. The one interesting point that I learned is that the "Saints" are NOT the so-called Pilgrims. Different group of people and not as strict. The Saints were hard workers, worked with the Indians and developed trade with them and didn't have anything to do with the witch trials later on. And finally, if all of my research proves to be true, it was interesting reading about one of my ancestors mentioned in the book (Susannah White).

I would recommend (especially since it is so short). It was a quick, easy and interesting read.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on June 01, 2013, 12:33:25 PM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
4.  Shadow Woman--Linda Howard
5.  In the Pleasure Groove:  Love, Death and Duran Duran--John Taylor
6.  Something Like Normal--Trish Doller
7.  On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave--Candace Fleming
8.  Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond--Tom Cox
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde
10.  Boy21--Matthew Quick
11.  Underworld--Meg Cabot
12.  Private Berlin--James Patterson
13.  Midsummer Tights Dream--Louise Rennison
14.  White Bicycle--Beverley Brenna
15.  The World Must Know: The History Of The Holocaust As Told In The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--Michael Berenbaum
16.  Wonder Show--Hannah Barnaby
17.  Jepp, Who Defied the Stars--Katherine Marsh
18.  Zero--Tom Leveen
19.  Madness Underneath--Maureen Johnson
20.  In Darkness--Nick Lake
21.  Love and Other Pershable Items--Laura Buzo
22.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe--Benjamin Saenz
23.  Alex Cross, Run--James Patterson
24.  Girlchild--Tupelo Hassman
25.  Seraphina--Rachel Hartman
26.  Saving Children from the Holocaust: The Kindertransport--Ann Byers
27.  Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran--Andy Taylor
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on June 01, 2013, 01:18:10 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan
5. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover
6. Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah
7. Botchan by Natsume Sōsek
8. Goldfish Tears by Curtis Ackie
9. The Unreal and Real Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Gun, Vol. 1: "Where on Earth"
10. Rumba on the River by Gary Stewart
11. Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis
12. Le Grand Meaulnes ("The Lost Estate") by Henri Alain-Fournier
13. The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs
14. Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
15. Big Day Coming by Jesse Jarnow
16. The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra
17. Clemente by David Maraniss
18. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract by Bill James
19. Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier

20. The Truth of Democracy by Jean-Luc Nancy

21. When Magoo Flew: The Rise and Fall of Animation Studio UPA by Adam Abraham

Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on June 02, 2013, 02:03:39 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo

This is a French cookery book that takes much of the mystery and difficulty out of French cuisine. And while I am unlikely to make most of the recipes in the book (many are meat-based), her desserts are to die for. I borrowed this book from the library, but would love to own a copy. Until then, the photocopied recipes will suffice.

16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley

Informative and very moving book about the six Marines in the iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during WWII. Written by the son of one if the six, the book follows each soldiers story from their enlistment through the death of each one. Bradley spent five years interviewing the friends, families and surviving soldiers who fought alongside the flag raisers, and debunks the myths associated with the most recognized photograph in the history of war. Highly recommended.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 02, 2013, 07:47:27 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
I have not read a book so quickly as I did this one in many many years. Start to finish, less than 24 hours. Hugely entertaining - if about a somewhat icky subject matter - and educational. Her research into 'matter' is intense but she tells the stories with such sardonic humour its impossible not to laugh at even the most inopportune moments. I have been told that Roach's other books are also great reads, and plan to consume them as soon as I can. Best book about shit since that Siouxsie autobiography.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on June 03, 2013, 08:16:26 AM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson

Perhaps it isn't fair to compare the book to the Masterpiece Mystery/BBC production but I am having a hard time reconciling the ending in the book vs tv. The book seems so unresolved and unfinished which is a bit of a disappointment after getting to know the characters. Other than the ending, I found myself utterly absorbed each time I picked back up reading which hasn't happened in quite a few books. I would start reading at my bus stop and would find myself wishing the commute were longer so I could keep reading. Really enjoyed Jackson Brody's character (which might or might not be influenced by Jason Issac's portrayal) and thought all of the characters were well flushed out and enjoyed their voices. Which is why the ending fell so flat with me. I feel like I need to grab a hard copy to see if I am missing some chapters in the Kindle version. Despite the rating I gave (which I am willing to revise should the next book give more closure), I am reading her next book, One Good Turn.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on June 03, 2013, 01:53:28 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block - a little too much going on with this one. But, I will keep going with the series.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on June 04, 2013, 08:09:45 AM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo

When retired LAPD homicide detective Steve Hodel learned that his father was the prime suspect in the 1947 infamous Black Dahlia murder, his three-year investigation culminated in the best seller Black Dahlia Avenger. That book opened the door to a wealth of information, clues and documents that give rise to the notion that the author's father, Dr. George Hill Hodel, was not only the Black Dahlia murderer, but also the sick mind behind the "Chicago Lipstick" murders, the murder and bisection of 6-year old Suzanne Dagnan, the handiwork of "The Jigsaw Killer" in Manila, and also the serial killer Zodiac, who terrorized and taunted 1960's California. A tall order of death and mayhem purportedly by the same individual.

The author relies heavily on handwriting analysis and some somewhat tenuous evidence for the Zodiac killer, but also brings in several interesting aspects that are quite compelling.

There's something a little bit 'off' though, about the way this book is presented. The author is unable to step back and really look at all the evidence (or lack thereof) objectively. He has made a good case for solving those long-ago murders, but sometimes it feels as though he is reaching for anything - regardless of how flimsy the proof - that would link his father with the killer.

I think what hurts the book most is that sometimes it feels as though Hodel is a lazy detective. He mentions that his jet-setting, world traveling father's passport was 3-inches thick with visas and stamps, and would provide clues to where he was during specific times when murders took place. Hodel then brushes off the notion of looking through the passport because he says it is in the possession of his father's last wife. If he was really interested in finding out whether or not his father was in The Philippines during the time of the Jigsaw Murder (he claims his father lived in Manila for many years and was married to a Philippino woman at the time) there are other ways to find out without having to rely solely on a passport. I guess it seems as though the author brushes aside anything that might not fit in with what he wants the evidence to suggest.

All in all, not a bad book, but it could have been much better with someone a little less intimate with the subject.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on June 10, 2013, 09:57:34 AM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords
3. Dr. David Brunner and Sam Stall - The Cat Owner's Manual
4. Darlene Arden - The Complete Cat's Meow
5. Heather Dunphy - The Secret Language of Cats


Another cat reference manual that was a gift so I felt obligated to read it. It was educational and had lots of pictures.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on June 10, 2013, 12:44:55 PM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords
3. Dr. David Brunner and Sam Stall - The Cat Owner's Manual
4. Darlene Arden - The Complete Cat's Meow
5. Heather Dunphy - The Secret Language of Cats


Another cat reference manual that was a gift so I felt obligated to read it. It was educational and had lots of pictures.

do uhm, you collect cats?  i currently have two and would this book or whatever it is explain why berny and squishface haven't even touched the scratch post i made them? 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on June 10, 2013, 01:04:32 PM
All three books do address that, so yes any cat book/manual would probably help. The overriding theme, though, is that all cats are very individual and it all comes down to "maybe your cat will like this, maybe he won't." Which doesn't help. But they do give suggestions on how to get your cats to behave the way you'd like.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 10, 2013, 03:09:51 PM
Until a cat writes a book, there will never be a definitive cat book
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on June 10, 2013, 04:31:37 PM
And I ask my cat every day, "How's that book you were going to write coming along?" and every day he just stares at me like I should even have the gall to ask such a question.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on June 11, 2013, 11:12:25 AM
tnx for answering my question dan.  for they might help us.  any particular reason you reading so many cat books?  are your cats assholes too? 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on June 11, 2013, 11:34:22 AM
Hah. No, I only have one and he's only sometimes a jerk. I'm reading them because I got a cat about 4 months ago and had never had one before and didn't know the first thing about caring for one. So I got two books just for reference and read them. The third was a gift. I didn't need it, but it was nice to hear a different perspective at least.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on June 11, 2013, 11:53:54 AM
thankfully they sleep 16 hours a day.  i used wikipedia before i got my cats.  it might have been after.  well, it started off as one cat, but you know what they say.. one cat, two cat, three cat, four.  i know i should probably just read the "how to" manuals, but what does it say about throwing them? 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on June 11, 2013, 01:32:36 PM
but what does it say about throwing them?

Don't. ;)

As to your scratching post, it really does depend on the cat. My one cat doesn't like the sisal rope rope kind but loves cardboard. The other one may have been a monkey in her former life as she will climb not only the free-standing post but also the one on the tree like it is, well, a tree.

I have learned quite a bit from watching the My Cat From Hell show with Jackson Gallaxy. I have only seen a few eps when it happens to be on and I am flipping channels but it is amazing how just reading the signs your cat is giving you can help solve most issues.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: va-vacious on June 11, 2013, 01:48:52 PM
One of mine has taken to trying to get as (elevationally) high as possible.  He sleeps on top of the dresser, has claimed the kitchen pass-though as his own. I think if I built him a shelf 6' off the floor he'd be thrilled.  It's annoying because he keeps knocking things off these spaces or going for the pictures on the wall. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on June 11, 2013, 02:09:54 PM
I have a shelf above my desk which I was excited about. Had some photos and nicknacks up there. Then we got Barley and he quickly discovered that he can get up there from the bookshelf. So yeah, nothing breakable goes up there now.  :-\
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 11, 2013, 08:10:02 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
Disappointing when compared to "Gulp". I guess poop has become more interesting to me than intercoursal stuff?
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on June 12, 2013, 09:53:27 AM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick

Award-winning journalist Barbara Demick followed the lives of six North Koreans over a span of 15 years - a period defined by the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and China, the death of 'dear leader' Kim Il Sung, and rise of his son, Kim Jong-Il. Her interviewees include a young couple falling in love, a woman who loves Dear Leader more than her family, the woman's daughter, an orphan boy, and a young female doctor. Their voices ring clear.

Through their harrowing stories, Demick offers an eye-opening look into what North Korea was like during the 'good ole days' when they were essentially propped up by economic trade with their communist brethren, and the catastrophic decline in living standards when North Korea found itself forging ahead alone.

First came the power cuts and water rationing. The country's industrious workers then saw their paychecks dry up. Food became scarce, sparking a famine that has killed over one fifth of the population. The situation quickly snowballed, turning a once-thriving country into a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

And as the country grows increasingly totalitarian, oppressive and isolated, the six begin to question the brutality under which they are living, and risk their lives to defect. Incredibly powerful stuff here.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on June 18, 2013, 07:47:51 PM
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick

Award-winning journalist Barbara Demick followed the lives of six North Koreans over a span of 15 years - a period defined by the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and China, the death of 'dear leader' Kim Il Sung, and rise of his son, Kim Jong-Il. Her interviewees include a young couple falling in love, a woman who loves Dear Leader more than her family, the woman's daughter, an orphan boy, and a young female doctor. Their voices ring clear.

Through their harrowing stories, Demick offers an eye-opening look into what North Korea was like during the 'good ole days' when they were essentially propped up by economic trade with their communist brethren, and the catastrophic decline in living standards when North Korea found itself forging ahead alone.

First came the power cuts and water rationing. The country's industrious workers then saw their paychecks dry up. Food became scarce, sparking a famine that has killed over one fifth of the population. The situation quickly snowballed, turning a once-thriving country into a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

And as the country grows increasingly totalitarian, oppressive and isolated, the six begin to question the brutality under which they are living, and risk their lives to defect. Incredibly powerful stuff here.

I didn't know about this, so thanks for the heads-up.  Like so many, I am almost obsessed with North Korea.  Don't know if you have read "The Orphan Master's Son", but it is a pretty incredible novel set there (but, alas, not the most expertly written work I have ever encountered).  Although it is a work of fiction based on pure speculation about conditions in the country, it is a haunting work that I still think of frequently even after having read more than 50 books since.

I have a huge backlog of reviews I am gradually chipping away at, so here goes one for a book I read back in April:

13. “The Atom Station” by Halldór Laxness

It has now been a few weeks since I returned from a life-changing vacation in Iceland.  In the months leading up to my first steps off the continent of North America, I desperately tried to find a way to better understand the culture of the land I was about to visit.

I had not yet listened to any traditional music from the island, and but I had already heard plenty of Björk and Sigus Ros.  Icelandic movies seem to rarely make it our shores, which ruled out another avenue to explore.   And my attempt to learn even the most rudimentary of Icelandic phrases left me frustrated, confused, and sounding like the mutant offspring of The Muppet Swedish Chef and Sloth from “The Goonies”.

That left literature.  Having read a lot of Scandinavian crime fiction, I initially took what I thought would be the easy route and read the popular thriller “Jar City”.  Alas, what should have been an effortless read left me frustrated by many aspects that could have been bad writing or even things truly lost in translation. 

So then I tried going to the other extreme, selecting a novel by Nobel-winning Icelandic author Halldór Laxness.  Most of his books are these lengthy tomes concerning eons of the island's history, so I chose what was supposed to be a light-hearted satire of relations with America in the 1950's.  Notice how I used the word “supposed” there.

On its surface, the plot concerns a young woman from the harsh rural north of the island who goes to work in the household of a wealthy American family temporarily stationed in Reykjavik.  The novel wastes no time throwing a myriad of unusual characters and situations into the mix, and my head was consistently spinning as I tried to make sense of this.  I occasionally (and very infrequently) formed vague notions about some of the aspects of this complex work, but I was largely left feeling like I was the only person in a room who wasn't privy to the information necessary to enjoy an endless stream of deeply inside jokes.  If ever I encountered a book that desperately needed footnotes, this would be the one.   That is, unless you can provide a rational explanation for a character named Two Hundred Thousand Pliers, and without first doing research on your own or happening to be a native Icelander.

I eventually finished “The Atom Station” before my vacation, though I felt no less confused by the novel once it was over.  Later, when we were on a long walk across a lava field (to a volcano into which we were about to descend), I happened to mention to our tour guide my attempt to read the novel and she was surprised and impressed.  The guide was thrilled to hear an American attempted to read a novel by their literary national treasure, and said “The Atom Station” is his most difficult work.  So I guess that lets me off the hook some.

And she was probably even more surprised that an American had read any Laxness, as the author was very outspoken in his contempt for my homeland.  Just the day before the volcano tour, I was in the major bookstore Eymundsson and happened to pass by a spoken word CD set that caught my eye.  I don't remember the full title, but part of it was “Anti-American Wins the Nobel Prize”.  I couldn't decide if it was clever or daft that the title was in English.

Recommended?  No, but I will try to read another book by the author at some point
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on June 20, 2013, 08:26:59 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster - a cute idea that ended up relying too heavily on "deus ex machina" in the end.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on June 24, 2013, 08:42:31 AM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weiss

A different and interesting view of camp life as seen through the eyes of an 11-year old girl. Helga, a Czech Jew, was fortunate that her family spent the majority of their camp life at Terezin, which was a "model" camp with relatively good conditions, due in part to the number of visits made there by International Red Cross agencies. Helga kept a diary and drawings of her time there, and when her family was finally transported to Auschwitz in 1944, the diary, artwork, photographs and other memorabilia were given to a well-connected uncle, who hid them in the camp walls and retrieved them after the war.
The first half of the book chronicles her diary entries - with way more footnotes than are needed, which serve to distract rather than enhance the reader experience - and the second half depicts everything that happened to her and her family in the last year of the war, written down after the war as she convalesced to regain strength. Insightful.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 30, 2013, 01:36:03 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
Hardly anyone who grew up outside of the UK will have heard of the BBC Radio comedy "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" (or it's predecessor "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again"), but it is a show that has been broadcast - in one form or another - for over 50 years. I have listened to it man and boy , so this authorised history - of the self-described 'antidote to panel games' - was a very welcome read indeed. As irreverent as the show but full of celebration nonetheless. I loved it, but its appeal to others will be, let's say, somewhat limited.
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: cyclone on June 30, 2013, 09:21:22 PM
1. How Music Works by David Byrne
2. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
3. Queer by William S. Burroughs
4. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970 by Richard Brautigan
5. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover
6. Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah
7. Botchan by Natsume Sōsek
8. Goldfish Tears by Curtis Ackie
9. The Unreal and Real Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Gun, Vol. 1: "Where on Earth"
10. Rumba on the River by Gary Stewart
11. Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis
12. Le Grand Meaulnes ("The Lost Estate") by Henri Alain-Fournier
13. The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs
14. Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
15. Big Day Coming by Jesse Jarnow
16. The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra
17. Clemente by David Maraniss
18. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract by Bill James
19. Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier
20. The Truth of Democracy by Jean-Luc Nancy
21. When Magoo Flew: The Rise and Fall of Animation Studio UPA by Adam Abraham

22. Imagination Illustrated: the Jim Henson Journal by Karen Falk

23. Speedboat by Renata Adler

Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on June 30, 2013, 09:27:28 PM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
4.  Shadow Woman--Linda Howard
5.  In the Pleasure Groove:  Love, Death and Duran Duran--John Taylor
6.  Something Like Normal--Trish Doller
7.  On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave--Candace Fleming
8.  Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond--Tom Cox
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde
10.  Boy21--Matthew Quick
11.  Underworld--Meg Cabot
12.  Private Berlin--James Patterson
13.  Midsummer Tights Dream--Louise Rennison
14.  White Bicycle--Beverley Brenna
15.  The World Must Know: The History Of The Holocaust As Told In The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--Michael Berenbaum
16.  Wonder Show--Hannah Barnaby
17.  Jepp, Who Defied the Stars--Katherine Marsh
18.  Zero--Tom Leveen
19.  Madness Underneath--Maureen Johnson
20.  In Darkness--Nick Lake
21.  Love and Other Pershable Items--Laura Buzo
22.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe--Benjamin Saenz
23.  Alex Cross, Run--James Patterson
24.  Girlchild--Tupelo Hassman
25.  Seraphina--Rachel Hartman
26.  Saving Children from the Holocaust: The Kindertransport--Ann Byers
27.  Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran--Andy Taylor
28.  The Diviners--Libba Bray
29.  Kristallnacht: the Nazi Terror that Began the Holocaust--James Deem
30.  Daddy's Gone a Hunting--Mary Higgins Clark
31.  I'm No Hero: Journeys of a Holocaust Survivor--Henry Friedman
32.  12th of Never--James Patterson
33.  Rescuing the Danish Jews: A Heroic Story from the Holocaust--Ann Byers
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on July 03, 2013, 11:16:47 AM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weiss
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel

I have read lots of books about the Holocaust, and lots of books specifically about Auschwitz-Birkenau, but this book - translated from the original French Souvenirs de l'au-delà (Memoirs from the Beyond) - is probably the most intense, most graphic and most haunting of them all.

The author, who was the wife of a prominent surgeon in Transylvania prior to the Nazi occupation, describes in great detail the elaborate web of deceit woven by the Nazi's to entrap her family. Her husband was "called up" for transport, and when she protested the man in charge told her that she was welcome to go also. They had no reason at that time to expect anything other than what they were told - that they would be taken to a facility where her husband's surgical skills were in demand. She convinced her parents to go with them, and took her children too, thus sealing their fate without even realizing it.

Lengyel doesn't hold back ANYthing. The filthy conditions and enforced starvation so well known about the camps take on an entirely new level of understanding when she describes the wretched conditions. She entered the camp in her best clothes. After the humiliation of stripping naked for the showers in front of leering, drunken German SS soldiers (and the full oral, vaginal and rectal exams that followed), she has to take whatever rags she is given to wear. Most stories and photos are of the striped pajama-type outfits the internees wore, but that wasn't actually what most internees got. Indeed, most got whatever had been in a previous transport's luggage. Hers was a backless taffeta ball gown with a plunging neckline. Another woman in the same transport received a wedding gown with a 20 foot train that she had to drag around (until some enterprising soul helped her cut it up for foot bandages).

The author chronicles her detailed, unflinching eyewitness account in such a way that the reader is right there with her, seeing and feeling what she saw and felt.

Ever gone to a festival and had to use the dreaded Porto Potties? Magnify that experience by having hundreds of thousands of concert goers having access to less than 200 potties. And instead of individual cubicles, it's one giant outhouse, with people all around you. And no toilet paper - EVER. One of her duties upon arrival was "cleaning" the latrines - lugging bucketfuls of human slop from one end of the camp to the other. All the while in the taffeta ball gown. And it only gets worse from there. Every chapter reveals new horrors, depravations, and chilling debasements.

If you want to truly understand the Holocaust experience, this is the only book you ever need to read.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on July 03, 2013, 12:05:13 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block - I had already read the baseball player short story in an anthology. I really liked the story about the fellow philatelist.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 03, 2013, 01:49:25 PM

11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block - a little too much going on with this one. But, I will keep going with the series.

Just saw this.  Yeah, that one was very dense, plot wise.  This one turns the series on it's ear.

Seems like every series book LB writes now is both neatly tied off and open to continuation at the same time.  I think it boxes him in a little too much... he has to make the endings too neat and it spoils the continuity a little.  I hope you get to read Hit List, I'll be interested to hear what you think of it and it's ending.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on July 04, 2013, 12:10:50 PM
14. “The Inventor and The Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures” by Edward Ball

I read little non-fiction before “Devil in the White City” turned my head around a few years back.  This massive bestseller was a true account that read like the best fiction, and somehow combined two disparate elements that only an expert storyteller could adequately mesh together.

Alas, Edward Ball tries to perform a similar feat in “The Inventory and The Tycoon”, but fails to pull it off.  The lives of early photography innovator Eadweard Muybridge and railroad tycoon Leland Stanford intersected at many points and yet their relationship as documented here often reads like two unrelated books mashed-up together under the flimsiest of premises.

Of the two threads here, the tale of Muybridge is vastly more interesting.  I was not aware he was acquitted of a murder he openly confessed to committing.  Somehow I remained oblivious to this fact despite having owned for some time a copy of Philip Glass's mini-opera “The Photographer”, which concerns this event. 

As described here, Muybridge was almost a stereotype of a mad genius: a highly temperamental misanthrope who only needed others when they might help fund his shockingly breakthrough work.  The book would have been greatly improved if it focused much more (if not entirely) on Muybridge, instead of trying to spend roughly half of its length trying to interweave the life of Stanford.  Even the cover art of the “The Inventor and The Tycoon” has enough similarities to that of “Devil in the White City” to show how desperately this work strains to ape the technique applied there. 

Too bad it falls far short of the mark.  And since there appear to already be many other books still in print about the Muybridge murder scandal, my response to, “is it...

Recommended? No
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on July 04, 2013, 01:01:00 PM
Going to jump ahead quite a bit here, while I keep chipping away at reviews of books long since finished...

30. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman

Goddamn Neil Gaiman.

How dare he go so long between books--those for adults, at least.  And, though it isn't anybody's business but his own, I was certain his marriage to the increasingly insufferable Amanda Palmer would result in overblown hackwork once he finally deigned to deliver a new novel to the world.

My heart sank with the first glimpse at the hardcover of the long-awaited “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”.  This volume is so slim that it would be more apt to dub it a “novella”.  The standard-issue contemporary thriller cover art further lowered my expectations.

But now I have devoured the book, and will all too happily eat my words for dessert.  Gaiman is top form here, which is no small praise given he is one of the world's greatest living storytellers.  “Ocean” is as disarmingly simple as the book is deceptively thin, and experiencing it is like watching a master  illusionist effortlessly perform a trick that you could not figure out, let alone duplicate, if your life depended on it.

I will not even bother with a summary here.  Go now and read with wonder.

Recommended? My highest recommendation
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on July 04, 2013, 01:21:00 PM
15. “33 1/3: American Recordings” by Tony Tost

This is another of those remarkably longer 33 1/3 entries that started appearing towards the end of the series being published by Continuum.  Now that another publisher has assumed the reigns, I wonder if  additional installments will revert to the condensed format that used to define the series.

I certainly hope so, if it will result in fewer long, rambling shambles such as this work about the first album from Johnny Cash's career-reviving partnership with Rick Rubin.  I'm sure there are many fascinating anecdotes about these recording sessions, but Tost chooses to forgo sharing those so that he can instead blather on ad nauseam in pseudo-breaknik-speak about Cash the myth vs. Cash the man and all things Americana.

The author is definitely not Kerouac and his stream-of-consciousness wanders off into many tributaries, none of which are particularly interesting.  In the end, this is a disappointing book that not only fails to shed any new light on the recording of this amazing album, but which instead spends a very long time boring us with the author's overblown musings.

Recommended? No
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on July 04, 2013, 05:51:52 PM
16. “Mae Murray: The Girl With the Bee-Stung Lips” by Michael G. Ankerich

Funny how the eras of silent movies and those with sound would appear from our time to have a cleanly abrupt and very severe divide.  In reality, the transition took more than a decade to unfold.  Still, the new technology created a chasm across which few stars of the former age were able to cross.  Even today, with a growing appreciation for silent movies that extends beyond the hard-core cinephiles, some gods and goddesses of cinema's first golden era are all but forgotten.  Such is the fate of Mae Murray.

Murray is the quintessential story of one of silent film's top draws, who completely miscalculates sound as being a passing fad.  Having been a proficient bridge-burner on her rise to the top, she fulfills the cliché of those same people cheering her fall to the bottom again.  Quite sadly, her fall from grace was one of the most severe of the many stars who made the same mistake, ending up delusional and destitute, and living on the streets. 

If there were any faults I had with the text, it is that some of it is little more than bare facts, especially when it covers the years of her gradual but steady decline.  In some ways, that may be a kindness.  The character of Nora Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard” was supposedly based roughly on Murray's fall from grace, which should give you some insight as to her character as detailed here.  And, in typical Murray fashion, she was rumored to have said after seeing that movie, “None of us bitches were ever that crazy” (a quote which, alas, is likely apocryphal, but is true to her spirit).

“The Girl With the Bee-Stung Lips” is fascinating not because there is enjoyment to be derived from reading about a lousy person whose fate is worse than can be described as comeuppance.  What amazed me is how somebody can be world-renown, and for a decade or two, and then so thoroughly forgotten so soon after their heyday, and how this came to happen.   Many of today's celebrities all the way from the top of the A-list down to the lowest depths should read and take notes.

Recommended? Yes
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: va-vacious on July 04, 2013, 09:23:55 PM
Bubba, I love your reviews! Thanks for taking the time to write up such thoughtful remarks.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 10, 2013, 07:38:06 AM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
13 • Pat Long - The History of the NME - High Times & Low Lives at the World's Most Famous Music Magazine
A potted history of the New Musical Express by an ex-staffer from the oughties. Not as in depth as it really should be and tending to favour anecdote over fact, it is nevertheless a fascinating insight into the influential paper featuring useful contributions from many writers who have since gone on to much bigger things. It is the best we're going to get I fear and sadly its telling that it has had to be published on a small imprint, the subject matter presumably not deemed worth of a major publisher's attention.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on July 13, 2013, 02:14:28 PM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords
3. Dr. David Brunner and Sam Stall - The Cat Owner's Manual
4. Darlene Arden - The Complete Cat's Meow
5. Heather Dunphy - The Secret Language of Cats
6. Max Brooks - World War Z

Great read. I really liked it and enjoyed how comprehensive his imagination is.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 22, 2013, 08:51:06 AM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
13 • Pat Long - The History of the NME - High Times & Low Lives at the World's Most Famous Music Magazine
14 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - Blueprint for Disaster
15 • Tommy Connor - Val Doonican tell the stories of O'Rafferty
A re-read of a book my parents bought me when I was just 9 years old. Nostalgia personified
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on July 22, 2013, 10:26:36 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King - good stuff here, even if it did all seem to wrap up too quickly/easily
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on July 27, 2013, 11:15:03 AM
1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
2.  the castle- franz kafka
3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho 
4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller
7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum

8.  anna karenina- leo tolstoy.  disappointed.  good book, just didn't go in the direction i would have liked.  **spoiler alert** for those that don't know the ending.  i was begging for anna to kill herself so she would stop that incessant whining.  and she did so in pretty remarkable fashion.  wasn't expecting that.  then i felt bad.  i could listen to tolstoy talk about farm life and mingling with the peasants all day though.  oblonsky was a riot.  war & peace i enjoyed far more. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on July 30, 2013, 08:37:47 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Maisie Dobbs" - Jacqueline Winspear - I'm going to think of this as Veronica Mars meets Downton Abbey. LOVED.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 31, 2013, 06:18:44 AM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
13 • Pat Long - The History of the NME - High Times & Low Lives at the World's Most Famous Music Magazine
14 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - Blueprint for Disaster
15 • Tommy Connor - Val Doonican tell the stories of O'Rafferty
16 • Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton - The true story of an extraordinary cat and his imperfect human
I adored the fuck out of this book. Witty and emotional without being mawkish it proved to be the perfect in-flight distraction. Loved it so much I have just ordered the sequels to read - very cheap used copies from Amazon.uk - and am eagerly waiting their delivery
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on July 31, 2013, 09:58:10 AM
Feel free to send me your copy when your done!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 31, 2013, 01:20:52 PM
Feel free to send me your copy when your done!
deal
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on August 01, 2013, 10:47:20 AM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords
3. Dr. David Brunner and Sam Stall - The Cat Owner's Manual
4. Darlene Arden - The Complete Cat's Meow
5. Heather Dunphy - The Secret Language of Cats
6. Max Brooks - World War Z
7. J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye

I read this in high school, but when someone mentioned it recently I realized I had ZERO memory of it. So I read it again to refresh. Basically, it was pretty dumb and I don't think I understood why it's such a big deal. But I'm also not a teenager, so perhaps that is one problem. Oh well - I don't really care. Moving on...
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on August 01, 2013, 02:37:28 PM
7. J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye

I read this in high school, but when someone mentioned it recently I realized I had ZERO memory of it. So I read it again to refresh.

Someone = Buzzfeed, right?
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on August 01, 2013, 05:34:15 PM
Hah. Sort of. Buzzfeed's hilarious article started the conversation, but then when we were talking about it I realized I couldn't actually be part of the conversation because I couldn't remember it.

Apparently, I'm predictable.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on August 07, 2013, 09:39:25 AM

1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
2.  the castle- franz kafka
3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho 
4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller
7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum
8.  anna karenina- leo tolstoy

9.  the teachings of don juan- carlos castaneda.  an anthropology student becomes the apprentice of a mexican indian shaman.  he is taught who to become a man of knowledge thru the use of peyote and other hallucinogenic plants. 

the first part is the journal, and that was fascinating.  the second part was analysis which was boring and i half heartedly read it, which was to be expected as he submitted the work for his thesis or something.  i've always wanted to try peyote and it was just because, well drugs are fun, i've developed a respect for it and only want to try it all the more.  i'm definitely wearing a diaper. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 07, 2013, 10:58:55 AM
Catcher in the Rye and Atlas Shrugged are kind of similar in that they appeal to the rebellious/acting out teenager mentality.  In CitR Holden is sort of an anti-hero who doesn't get much done maybe, but in his head at least he's certainly reacting to and fighting against the phony-ism of the world.

The difference between the two is that CitR is written from a teenager's point of view.  So even if you go back now and Holden's whole mindset seems whiningly emo rather than badass, you can still relate a little to feeling that way as a kid.  Or if nothing else, how well Salinger captures that mentality.   And no one else really wrote anything like that before.  Holden Caulfield was the world's first Goth.

When you go back and read Atlas Shrugged it seems very teenage silly as well.  Except as an adult knowing about Ayn Rand and Objectivism and the real world and you know, possessing logic skills... it just becomes comical.  It's NOT written from a teenage person's point of view.  It's written by adults, for adults, and it could not be more OTT serious and sincere.  You're like "Whoa, she's actually *serious* about this shit."  And whereas CitR still comes across as exceedingly well-written even if you no longer identify with it, AS could not be more awful.  The plotting, the predictability, the one-dimensional characters, the verbosity, the smash-you-over-the-head repetition of themes.  All of it is just so awful. Even the philosophy is horrible.  It's basically watered-down, horribly misinterpreted Adam Smith and Nietszche filled with gaping logic holes. 

I think The Moviegoer is the equivalent of CitR for adults 30 and up.  I really like it, but I imagine if I live to be 70 or something I'll look back at that book and think  "That's the kind of shit that used to bother me?"
 
I think real grown ups who are interested in real philosophy should read Smith and Nietzsche and put the Rand coloring book away.

The other one that's kind of like teenager-y like that is The Stranger.  Only I never outgrew that one.  I like it now as much as I did in HS.  Only I like it now for completely different reasons.  I used to like it because it was kinda bad-assy depressing.  Now I find it kind of inspirational and happy.







Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on August 07, 2013, 01:23:09 PM
man you are so hung up on atlas shrugged.  :-*  we should have a thread devoted to ayn rand.   
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on August 07, 2013, 06:42:02 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weis
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel

21. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust

This is the first book recommended by The Week magazine that I haven't been blown away by. It's an interesting book, but has a very narrow focus. While well-researched, it just didn't appeal to me on the level that I had hoped it would. I learned a lot about Victorian sensibilities on death, but meh, who cares?
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 08, 2013, 08:26:56 AM
I've been reading The Handmaid's Tale for like a month now.  I don't know what my deal is anymore but I cannot get in the habit of reading regularly.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on August 08, 2013, 08:30:37 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs - standard lone badass action thriller
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 08, 2013, 12:35:43 PM
man you are so hung up on atlas shrugged.  :-*  we should have a thread devoted to ayn rand.

Ayn Rand is a shit author, and Atlas Shrugged is a shit book from a pure literary perspective.  Objectivism is a shit philosophy from a philosophical perspective.  And Ayn Rand is a shitty person and hypocrite and most likely mentally deranged.  She just happened to rip-off some ideas from Adam Smith and Nietszche and dumbed them down (while also losing most of the superior, subtle thinking involved) into talking points for stupid people.

But the books serve as an introduction into those somewhat decent ideas and that's why Rand is influential.  And that's fine for people who don't take her seriously as a literary author or philosopher.  But a thread devoted to Ayn Rand usually ends up talking about "libertarianism" or something similar.  Which I *don't* really have any major beef against.

That said, Atlas Shrugged is really a case of an over-rated/awful book that is read by the most people, as opposed to being the most over-rated or awful book.  I think James Joyce pretty much sucks ass, but he's less annoying because I find it much easier to avoid high-brow literary circles where I have to hear about Joyce. 

Atlas Shrugged is like 50 Shades of Grey.  I don't like that stuff, but if I did there is far better.  Those just happen to be the books everyone reads so they end up in my face.  What are those Vampire books they keep making moves from?  Those are total shit, too.  Same deal.

Quote
I've been reading The Handmaid's Tale for like a month now.
Also shit.  It's Heinlein for guilty-feeling, fancy-pantsed NPR-listening liberals who are so offended by Heinlein for political reasons that they are blinded to the fact that Heinlein just sucks, period.  It's like starting Air America to counter Fox. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 08, 2013, 01:43:29 PM
I don't know anything about Heinlein but so far I'd have to agree that The Handmaid's Tale isn't very good.  Julie recommended it to me because I tend to like that dystopian society stuff.  And while I do like the story, for the most part, it doesn't have a lot of meat.  It certainly takes far too long to become interesting like maybe around the time that the wife tells the girl to find someone else to get her pregnant.

I don't read very much, mostly because I can't read very fast, at least not if I want to comprehend anything.  Julie reads like crazy so she has a higher tolerance for books that aren't very good.  With me they drag me down... I really should give up and start something else instead of sticking it out reading a few pages a day.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on August 08, 2013, 04:53:37 PM
First: ZK is hilarious. Some of the best insults I've read all week.

Second: I have not read Atlas Shrugged. I have, however, read The Fountainhead, and I read it when I was 18 years old in the month or so before I left for college. A friend's dad, who I respect very much and is VERY well read, told me that he always gives it as a graduation gift because that's the time when someone should read it. Out of respect for him, I read it. And at the time, I understood it...a little. After thinking back on it, I guess I understood it more and thought that yes, a person shouldn't give up their principles to the man. I was proud that I got that main point and felt like I knew something of the world for having read that book.

Now? I don't know. Maybe I still care - maybe I don't.

Third: I've read two Heinlein books (we're talking Robert Heinlein, right?) - Stranger in a Strange Land when I was in the age range of 23-24ish, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress when I was 31 years old. I loved both of them. Why does he just suck, period? Also...I know nothing of his politics and after that amazing and wonderful rant...I don't think I want to know.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 08, 2013, 07:58:44 PM
Heinlein's not that bad politically.  Starship Troopers is way over the top and rather sketchy, the rest of his stuff isn't.

But he's basically a lot like Rand, in fact he was a big Rand fan.  He's not a big believer in society or the intelligence of the average person so he distrusts government and authority.  At the same time, he's also kind of a believer in the ubermensch concept.

So it's sorta like we should do away with rules and other people telling other people what to do.  Because that ties the hands of the superbadasses who can make a difference.  On the other hand, it's perfectly okay for those super badasses to tell you what to do because 1)  You can't stop them anyway on account of they are super badasses, and 2) If it weren't for those super badasses we'd all be up shit's creek.

So if we just stopped with all the rules, by dint of social and biological evolution, the power will naturally flow into the hands of superbadasses and we should let that happen.

The difference between Heinlein and Rand is the Heinlein's I think is Heinlein's relative lack of ego.  Ayn Rand was 100% sure she was one of the superbadasses.  Heinlein is content to play by the rules and let it all play out.  He wants to be and hopes he is one of the superbadasses of course, but if he ends up getting out badassed he'll take orders.  Fair's fair.

Heinlein puts the work in as far as the writing goes.  I don't think he's particularly gifted as far as prose.  But he is fairly imaginative in the worlds that he creates.  He is primarily interested in telling a good story.  He sets up these worlds where you really do kind of have to be a superbadass to survive.  It's very macho sort of attitude, even if the characters are women.  But for Heinlein, I think mostly he's just kinda of macho dude so he writes what is interesting to him. 

I suppose in the end he's not much different than Clint Eastwood, just more ham-handed.  I think the gift of Eastwood (both as an actor and director) is his ability to highlight the good parts of macho (fortitude, courage) and to be able to find it in any situation.  Your classic Eastwood hero kicks a lot of ass, but they are badass even when they aren't.  Whereas Heinlein carefully sets up elaborate worlds that are stacked in the favor of badassery so it comes across as less cool.  Like of course the guy is going to kick ass because what else is he gonna do?  But then, that might be unfair because he's writing science fiction and creating those elaborate worlds/cultures is part of that.  I'm not a scifi fan so could be I'm biased.

But yeah, Eastwood and Heinlein would both be pretty happy living out West on a big ranch in the middle of nowhere where the men are men and survive on their strength, courage and wits and the rest of us fancy pants leave them to do their badass things.  So long as we don't get in their way, they're happy to leave us alone.  They're like literally paleoconservatives.  They don't want to go back to the 50's or even the 1800's.  They want to be cavemen.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 08, 2013, 08:00:16 PM
oh,I forgot. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society also sucks ass.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Butter on August 09, 2013, 08:19:46 AM
Read some Heinlein short stories in college.  Some of them were pretty good, where there is basically enough time to set up a concept and pay it off without getting into all the political stuff.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on August 09, 2013, 10:52:50 AM
man you are so hung up on atlas shrugged.  :-*  we should have a thread devoted to ayn rand.

Ayn Rand is a shit author, and Atlas Shrugged is a shit book from a pure literary perspective.  Objectivism is a shit philosophy from a philosophical perspective.  And Ayn Rand is a shitty person and hypocrite and most likely mentally deranged.  She just happened to rip-off some ideas from Adam Smith and Nietszche and dumbed them down (while also losing most of the superior, subtle thinking involved) into talking points for stupid people.

But the books serve as an introduction into those somewhat decent ideas and that's why Rand is influential.  And that's fine for people who don't take her seriously as a literary author or philosopher.  But a thread devoted to Ayn Rand usually ends up talking about "libertarianism" or something similar.  Which I *don't* really have any major beef against.

That said, Atlas Shrugged is really a case of an over-rated/awful book that is read by the most people, as opposed to being the most over-rated or awful book.  I think James Joyce pretty much sucks ass, but he's less annoying because I find it much easier to avoid high-brow literary circles where I have to hear about Joyce. 

Atlas Shrugged is like 50 Shades of Grey.  I don't like that stuff, but if I did there is far better.  Those just happen to be the books everyone reads so they end up in my face.  What are those Vampire books they keep making moves from?  Those are total shit, too.  Same deal

oh man that was awesome.  but i would disagree on some of your points.  first off, i've never read adam smith or nietszche.  there is lots of philosophy i would like to be acclimated with to form a broad intellectual spectrum.  i haven't read a philosophy book (and no, i wouldn't consider ayn rand's novels philosophical in the truest sense.  i read it more as a self help book) since my college days.  but what about her philosophy of rational self interest do you disagree with, outside of everything?   :D  that man's individual happiness is the only moral purpose in life, might seem callous and cruel and inhumane, but i believe that ayn rand feels that it is inhumane to not realize your potential, in whatever capacity that might mean.  but above all to be guided by the not so complicated laws of humanity, the respect for individual rights.  if everyone was concerned with the betterment of themselves, morally, there would be no one to help.  of course that is a utopia, but that's a utopia far better than marxism.  well, i dunno, i'm not materialistic and i enjoy communal activities.  i would love nothing more than to live off the land with my four closest friends and our women, brewing beer, tending to our garden, and swimming in our lake.   miles and miles from civilization.  it'd be like galt's gulch except i don't have to spend a dollar to use a shovel. 

libertarianism is bad ass
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 09, 2013, 10:59:02 AM
There is a name for people that believe they are awesome and everyone else can go fuck themselves.  They're called assholes.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on August 09, 2013, 11:25:08 AM
There is a name for people that believe they are awesome and everyone else can go fuck themselves.  They're called assholes.

why cannot everyone believe they are awesome?  yo
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 09, 2013, 11:47:42 AM
I'm fine with that, it's the fuck everybody else part that is the problem.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on August 09, 2013, 12:11:32 PM
I'm fine with that, it's the fuck everybody else part that is the problem.

what everybody else?  everyone's awesome.   ;D  look, ayn rand wasn't against helping somebody out.  she said that giving a man charity is acceptable if you truly believe they will better themselves because of it. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 09, 2013, 01:15:40 PM
You've misinterpreted Rand.  She did not say that giving someone charity is acceptable if they will "better themselves" because of it.  That's completely antithetical to objectivism.  People make themselves better people, you can't make them better.  If you try to help you actually make them worse through your mollycoddling or you are simply allowing the "looters" to exist. 

What she said was that you can give money to people if they "deserve it." The way that they earn that charity is by proving to be of value.  To you. 

Haven't you ever noticed how anytime someone seems to benefit from someone else's actions in Rand books, she and all the characters bends over backwards to point again and again how in now way shape or form would they ever doing anything to help someone else out of kindness? 

The poor guy who gets a job in the Reardon foundry, Reardon is like "Yeah man, this guy is freaking amazing at his job but no one would hire him.  So like the genius I am, I gave him a job paying him $.25 an hour.  Huge profit for me!"  And the guy who has the job will be like "Yeah, I took this job for $.25 an hour so I could learn stuff and get access to equipment.  I can't wait until I can quit here and build better steel than Reardon and take his monopoly."

What Rand is saying is that you really shouldn't care about people, so you there is no reason to feel bad if someone else happens to benefit from your selfish actions. 

The closest that might come to something resembling "charity" would be like it's okay to give money to cancer research.  Because someday you might get cancer yourself and you want medicine available.  And if it just so happens that your money goes to develop an experimental drug and that drug is administered to someone and saves their life... well don't fret.  You were being selfish the whole time so you're still okay.








Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 09, 2013, 02:51:07 PM
Yeah, that's pretty much my take on it.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on August 09, 2013, 02:55:59 PM
she said that in atlas shrugged, well john galt said it. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 09, 2013, 03:35:40 PM
Nope.  Like I said, every single character bends over backwards to deliver 30,000 word monologues about how what they are doing is NOT charity.

"But to help a man who has no virtues, to help him on the ground of his suffering as such, to accept his faults, his need as a claim - is to accept the mortgage of a zero on your values. A man who has no virtues is a hater of existence who acts on the premise of death; to help him is to sanction his evil and to support his career of destruction. Be it only a penny you will not miss or a kindly smile he has not earned, a tribute to a zero is treason to life and to all those who struggle to maintain it. It is of such pennies and smiles that the desolation of your world was made."

You can only give help to those who are share your virtuous objectivist values, of which the primary virtue is "selfishness."  So you're giving money to selfish people.  Who, because they are selfish, will not hesitate to screw you over if it helps them.  And since you are selfish and look out for your own interests, why would you allow that to happen?  It would not just be stupid, but immoral on your part.

And then you have to ask yourself-- how would an ubermensch-y totally badass person ever find themselves in a position of needing charity anyway?  Galt, Roarke, Reardon, etc.  these guys NEVER needed help and would laugh at you if you tried to offer it. 

That's why her novels are so wordy and shitty.  She has to waste 50,000 words to set up some elaborate and completely unrealistic  scenario where a total badass somehow gets into a bad position.  And even then she has to go another 50,000 to painstakingly explain the selfish motivation behind the action lest anyone mistake the act as helping someone simply for being poor or unfortunate.

There is virtually no real world situation in which such "charitable" act could happen.  Maybe if you ended up on a sinking ship and had to band together to survive or something.  But pretty much anything any normal person in a normal situation would construe as a charitable act is wrong. 

TBF, Rand is misconstrued to some extent when people interpret her to read that you're supposed to stick it to people and be mean.  That's incorrect.  You shouldn't think about them at all.  She is ultimately what most people would call amoral.  There are no duties to other people.

But she doesn't reject morality altogether.  Instead she boils it down into one simple rule.  The only moral duty is to yourself, to become as ubermensch-y as possible.  The impact that might have on other people-- good or bad-- is of no concern to you.

It's basically a rather poor rip-off of Neitzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil."
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on August 11, 2013, 03:15:25 PM
you forgot the first half of that quote

"As a basic step of self-esteem, learn to treat as the mark of a cannibal any man's demand for your help. To demand is to claim that your life is his property - and loathsome as such a claim might be, there's something still more loathsome: your agreement. Do you ask if it's ever proper to help another man? No - if he claims it as his right or as a moral duty you owe him. Yes - if such is your own desire based on your own selfish pleasure in the value of his person and his struggle. Suffering as such is not a value; only man's fight against suffering, is. If you choose to help a man who suffers, do it only on the ground of his virtues, of his fight to recover, of his rational record, or of the fact that he suffers unjustly; then your action is still a trade, and his virtue is the payment for your help. But to help a man who has no virtues, to help him on the ground of his suffering as such, to accept his faults, his need as a claim - is to accept the morgage of a zero on your values. A man who has no virtues is a hater of existence who acts on the premise of death; to help him is to sanction his evil and to support his career of destruction. Be it only a penny you will not miss or a kindly smile he has not earned, a tribute to a zero is treason to life and to all those who struggle to maintain it. It is of such pennies and smiles that the desolation of your world was made." 

anyways, i don't think we're going to change anyone's mind so


1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
2.  the castle- franz kafka
3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho 
4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller
7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum
8.  anna karenina- leo tolstoy
9.  the teachings of don juan- carlos castaneda

10.  too loud a solitude- bohumil hrabel.  this one was real short, 97 pages.  he's one of my favorite writers.  there is something so magical and effortless about his writing.  the words just bounce along and the run on sentences flow like a beautiful river. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 12, 2013, 02:56:57 PM
Here is a good article for you, daytime drinking.  It echoes the point that Kwyjibo and myself are making.  It's written by a libertarian.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/03/where-ayn-rand-went-wrong-opinions-columnists-shikha-dalmia.html

Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on August 13, 2013, 08:38:14 AM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson
13 One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie #2)-Kate Atkinson
14 The Fort-Bernard Cornwell
15 Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles #1)-Bernard Cornwell
16 Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles #2)-Bernard Cornwell
17 Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles #3)-Bernard Cornwell
18 The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles #4)-Bernard Cornwell
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: euro60 on August 13, 2013, 03:40:15 PM
I need to tally up the books I've read so far this year. But here is the most recent one, which I really, really liked. I got a free advance copy being an "Amazon Vine Voice", it'll be in stores in a month.

The gist of the book is the author's struggle with his call to become a priest vs. his temptations with women. Sounds silly but it makes for a great memoir. I started last Saturday morning and couldn't put it down, finishing late Saturday evening in a single take. My review is on Amazon.

(http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1369825679l/17707706.jpg)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on August 15, 2013, 06:11:23 PM
Here is a good article for you, daytime drinking.  It echoes the point that Kwyjibo and myself are making.  It's written by a libertarian.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/03/where-ayn-rand-went-wrong-opinions-columnists-shikha-dalmia.html

ayn rand didn't open up a world solely for the hank rearden's of the world, she opened up a world for the individual spirit.  the author of that article is a bit snarky.  she says that most grow out of the novel, possibly because it cannot happen in real life.  so they accept reality for what it is and always will be, a world where the poor are always marginalize and aid keeps them from prospering.  i'm not saying that aid is bad or unnecessary, but taxpayer's money cannot be used as a bandage.  the cycle of poverty is real and the only solution is personal responsibility.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on August 16, 2013, 11:17:25 AM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
13 • Pat Long - The History of the NME - High Times & Low Lives at the World's Most Famous Music Magazine
14 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - Blueprint for Disaster
15 • Tommy Connor - Val Doonican tell the stories of O'Rafferty
16 • Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton - The True Story of an Extraordinary Cat and his Imperfect Human
17 • Peter Gethers - For the Love of Norton - The Cat Who Taught His Human How to Live
18 • Peter Gethers - Forever Norton - The Perfect Cat, his Flawed Human and Life's Greatest Lesson
Sequels not quite as engaging as the first, but still engaging
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 16, 2013, 02:40:32 PM
  i'm not saying that aid is bad or unnecessary

You're not, but Ayn Rand IS.

Dalmia is a libertarian.  She is for small government and probably agrees with everything you just said. 

You can draw a distinction between libertarian and objectivism.   Dalmia mentions Locke and Smith.  Those two start with the assumption that people inherently care about the well-being of others.  It's not really a choice, it's kind of who we are.  So there is no conflict between altruism and self-interest.  We get pleasure from helping others, and others get pleasure from helping us and being helped.  So it all works out.

And that's why we don't need government.  Because left to their own devices, people will naturally figure out how to make themselves and those around them happy, and they will do this better and more efficiently than government can.

But Rand tries to reject the idea that we can or should care about other people.  She doesn't want you to help poor people, not because it doesn't help them prosper, but precisely because it DOES.  They are prospering at your expense.  Why would you let them do that?  She can't come up with a reason.

Normal people love their husbands.  And they come home and they tell them so, and then maybe they have sex and everyone enjoys not just the physical part but the intimacy, the sharing of pleasure and of pleasing others.  It seems very good, and happy, and natural.

But in Rand's world, Dagny has to send Galt "an engraved invitation to rape" just to have sex.  This way, Dagny doesn't feel like she subjugated herself to Galt.  She didn't give up her body, Galt TOOK it.  And Galt doesn't have to feel like maybe he actually wanted to have sex or cares about Dagny.  He's just exercising his power.  He doesn't love Dagny, he's just taking something he wanted. 

No one really lives like that, and no one really wants to live like that. 

That's what Dalmia is criticizing as unrealistic.  She calls it denying "other-interest" as opposed to "self-interest."  It's the line between self-interested and selfish.  Or as Kwyjibo says, it's the "fuck everyone else part."
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on August 21, 2013, 08:17:32 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs - standard lone badass action thriller
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz - maybe the last in the series, but I hope not. I love this family of PI misfits.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on August 21, 2013, 11:15:47 AM
  i'm not saying that aid is bad or unnecessary

You're not, but Ayn Rand IS.

Dalmia is a libertarian.  She is for small government and probably agrees with everything you just said. 

You can draw a distinction between libertarian and objectivism.   Dalmia mentions Locke and Smith.  Those two start with the assumption that people inherently care about the well-being of others.  It's not really a choice, it's kind of who we are.  So there is no conflict between altruism and self-interest.  We get pleasure from helping others, and others get pleasure from helping us and being helped.  So it all works out.

And that's why we don't need government.  Because left to their own devices, people will naturally figure out how to make themselves and those around them happy, and they will do this better and more efficiently than government can.

But Rand tries to reject the idea that we can or should care about other people.  She doesn't want you to help poor people, not because it doesn't help them prosper, but precisely because it DOES.  They are prospering at your expense.  Why would you let them do that?  She can't come up with a reason.

Normal people love their husbands.  And they come home and they tell them so, and then maybe they have sex and everyone enjoys not just the physical part but the intimacy, the sharing of pleasure and of pleasing others.  It seems very good, and happy, and natural.

But in Rand's world, Dagny has to send Galt "an engraved invitation to rape" just to have sex.  This way, Dagny doesn't feel like she subjugated herself to Galt.  She didn't give up her body, Galt TOOK it.  And Galt doesn't have to feel like maybe he actually wanted to have sex or cares about Dagny.  He's just exercising his power.  He doesn't love Dagny, he's just taking something he wanted. 

No one really lives like that, and no one really wants to live like that. 

That's what Dalmia is criticizing as unrealistic.  She calls it denying "other-interest" as opposed to "self-interest."  It's the line between self-interested and selfish.  Or as Kwyjibo says, it's the "fuck everyone else part."

well, i took something out of the book.  you can't expect people to help you out.  no matter your socio-economic class, you are capable of stardom.  just get off your fucking ass.  you cannot choose where you were born and whom bore you (not that i need to tell you that).  you've got bootstraps and you're entirely capable.  you could have been dealt a real shitty hand, but it's either the status quo or become extraordinary.  easier said then done?  of course.  success isn't for the timid.  i feel like i'm repeating myself, forgive me if i am and also forgive me for not quoting these selected texts.

you said something earlier about working for rearden making 25 cents an hour.  if people accepted to work for that wage, who's at fault?  you also said about rearden not needing help.  midas mulligan fronted him the money to start his steel operation.

so i don't feel being selfish is fucking over everybody else.  if everyone put themselves first and thought of others second, we'd achieve utopia. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 22, 2013, 01:55:31 AM
Living like Galt or Reardon where your entire life and sole means of pleasure revolves solely around making the best steel, or designing the best building ever is no one's idea of utopia.

And if Rand's ideas and the people who follow them were as unstoppable as she makes out, then why aren't we living in a $-gated world?  If Rand were alive today, she'd see a society that in her view has regressed rather than advanced.  How can the looters be winning?

See, the difference is that you just appreciate and approach Rand's books as fiction.  You take away the principles that work for you, and you treat some of the whackier, more extreme things as allegorical.  Which is a perfectly justifiable, rational way for you to approach it (even though Rand didn't intend for you to do that). 

But others treat those books more as philosophy (which is what she intended), and the problem is that her philosophy of "objectivism" is 1) junk, and 2) actually differs wildly from yours. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on August 29, 2013, 09:11:03 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley - I could read stories about Easy and Mouse forever.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on August 29, 2013, 12:45:34 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weis
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel
21. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust
22. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel

I'm not really big on historical fiction, but Wolf Hall received such high praise (and was the 2009 Man Booker Prize Winner) that I figured I'd give it a shot, and I'm glad I did. Mantel has really done her homework on the court of Henry VIII, but she zeroes her focus on the rise of Thomas Cromwell. Indeed, the entire book is seen from Cromwell's perspective.

She gets it right on many levels, but I found myself struggling with the dialogue, not because it wasn't easy to understand, but because it was nearly impossible to figure out who was speaking to whom. Some voices shone through easily, like that of Henry VIII's chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey, and that of Anne Boleyn. Others weren't very distinct, and I had to keep going back and rereading passages over and over to figure it out.

All in all though, I can see why the book has won so many accolades. Good book.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on August 29, 2013, 12:48:00 PM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson
13 One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie #2)-Kate Atkinson
14 The Fort-Bernard Cornwell
15 Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles #1)-Bernard Cornwell
16 Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles #2)-Bernard Cornwell
17 Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles #3)-Bernard Cornwell
18 The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles #4)-Bernard Cornwell
19 Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story-Freddie Owens
20 Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury

19: Orbie's Story
I downloaded this either free or for .99 on my Kindle. This purchase turned out to be one that I would have gladly paid more for as it was gripping and well told. As this is the author's first novel, I will gladly check out his next book.

20. Not sure how I have just recently gotten into reading Bradbury but I am glad that I have at least been introduced. Love love love him!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on September 02, 2013, 01:15:20 AM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
4.  Shadow Woman--Linda Howard
5.  In the Pleasure Groove:  Love, Death and Duran Duran--John Taylor
6.  Something Like Normal--Trish Doller
7.  On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave--Candace Fleming
8.  Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond--Tom Cox
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde
10.  Boy21--Matthew Quick
11.  Underworld--Meg Cabot
12.  Private Berlin--James Patterson
13.  Midsummer Tights Dream--Louise Rennison
14.  White Bicycle--Beverley Brenna
15.  The World Must Know: The History Of The Holocaust As Told In The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--Michael Berenbaum
16.  Wonder Show--Hannah Barnaby
17.  Jepp, Who Defied the Stars--Katherine Marsh
18.  Zero--Tom Leveen
19.  Madness Underneath--Maureen Johnson
20.  In Darkness--Nick Lake
21.  Love and Other Pershable Items--Laura Buzo
22.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe--Benjamin Saenz
23.  Alex Cross, Run--James Patterson
24.  Girlchild--Tupelo Hassman
25.  Seraphina--Rachel Hartman
26.  Saving Children from the Holocaust: The Kindertransport--Ann Byers
27.  Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran--Andy Taylor
28.  The Diviners--Libba Bray
29.  Kristallnacht: the Nazi Terror that Began the Holocaust--James Deem
30.  Daddy's Gone a Hunting--Mary Higgins Clark
31.  I'm No Hero: Journeys of a Holocaust Survivor--Henry Friedman
32.  12th of Never--James Patterson
33.  Rescuing the Danish Jews: A Heroic Story from the Holocaust--Ann Byers
34.  Miseducation of Cameron Post--Emily M. Danforth
35.  Second Honeymoon--James Patterson
36.  After the Snow--S.D. Crockett
37.  Dodger--Terry Pratchett
38.  Auschwitz: Voices from the Death Camp--James Deem
39.  That Summer--Sarah Dessen
40.  Claudia Silver to the Rescue--Kathy Ebel
41.  Devine Intervention--Martha Brockenbrough
42.  Damn Love--Jasmine Beach--Ferrara
43.  All the Summer Girls--Meg Donohue
44.  Reckless Heart--Amy Clipston
45.  Where I Belong--Gwendolyn Heasley
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on September 03, 2013, 08:28:59 AM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson
13 One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie #2)-Kate Atkinson
14 The Fort-Bernard Cornwell
15 Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles #1)-Bernard Cornwell
16 Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles #2)-Bernard Cornwell
17 Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles #3)-Bernard Cornwell
18 The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles #4)-Bernard Cornwell
19 Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story-Freddie Owens
20 Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury

21 Anansi Boys-Neil Gaiman
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on September 03, 2013, 12:51:57 PM
How was it, Jen?
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on September 03, 2013, 01:21:06 PM
How was it, Jen?

I have never read him before but have been wanting to so have nothing to compare it to but I loved it. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud a few times on the bus.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on September 03, 2013, 03:04:28 PM
Oh! I know his works usually go into fantasy or ghosts or something fictional like that. Does this book, too?
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on September 04, 2013, 09:52:22 AM
Quote from: daytime drinking
    1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
    2.  the castle- franz kafka
    3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho
    4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
    5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
    6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller
    7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum
    8.  anna karenina- leo tolstoy
    9.  the teachings of don juan- carlos castaneda
   10.  too loud a solitude- bohumil hrabel

11.  the canterbury tales- geoffrey chaucer.  i was led to believe that this book was hilarious.  i was misled.  the funny was few though i'm glad i read the book even if certain tales were boring and dragged on.  i most enjoyed the tales where there was interaction amongst the pilgrims and that bawdy monk.  now a clever book might be about that.  and why was there no conclusion?  who told the best tale?  i guess that was the point.  my favorite tale (which unfortunately was also the shortest), was told by the greedy priest.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on September 05, 2013, 09:15:34 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Butter on September 05, 2013, 09:57:49 AM
Oh! I know his works usually go into fantasy or ghosts or something fictional like that. Does this book, too?

It being one of the few books I have actually read since I got out of college... yes.  Yes it does.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on September 05, 2013, 12:00:29 PM
While we're on the Gaiman tip, I went to the library and picked up my reserved copy of "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" yesterday.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on September 06, 2013, 09:38:38 AM
    1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
    2.  the castle- franz kafka
    3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho
    4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
    5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
    6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller
    7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum
    8.  anna karenina- leo tolstoy
    9.  the teachings of don juan- carlos castaneda
   10.  too loud a solitude- bohumil hrabel
   11.  the canterbury tales- geoffrey chaucer

12.  rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead- tom stoppard.  wonderful!  this is the first play that i've read (well was faust?) and can't wait to see the big screen adaption.  i'm not well versed in shakespeare in fact i can't stand him but this was a delight even though i'm not exactly sure how rosencrantz and guildenstern (spoiler :)) died.  did i mention this was hilarious? 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on September 06, 2013, 09:35:41 PM
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is one of my all-time favorite films. If you liked reading the play, you will like the film. Yay!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on September 07, 2013, 06:00:40 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weis
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel
21. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust
22. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
23. Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris - David King

Whoa. Excellent book. I was totally unprepared for the range of emotions that I felt with each turn of the page. I kept having to remind myself that all this happened during the occupation of Paris, because otherwise it would have been hard to believe that so many people could go missing and their families would not go to the police or report them missing.

Marcel Petiot had been a soldier in WWI and was wounded and gassed at the second battle of Aisne. He was institutionalized in psychiatric homes for much of the war, although at one point he was sent back into the field, where he allegedly injured his own foot with a grenade.

After WWI, Petiot took advantage of an accelerated education program for veterans and became a medical doctor. By some accounts, he was an excellent doctor whose patients adored him. This can be partially explained by the fact that he freely wrote prescriptions for whatever patients wanted - and most wanted heroin and/or morphine - and partially because he helped provide fake documents to Frenchmen who had been drafted after the start of the WWII.

Once Paris had fallen, however, Dr. Petiot's clandestine activities kicked in to full swing. He claimed to be part of an underground resistance group, and offered to help people escape the country. Jewish families desperate to escape the Nazis paid Dr. Petiot large sums of money for the chance at freedom, as did plenty of resistance fighters and common criminals eager to "disappear" for awhile. Instead of the safe passage to South America that they had paid for, these people became victims of a ruthless serial killer.

Dr. Petiot told the victims that they had to be inoculated against disease before they left the country; they were inoculated with a drug that rendered them helpless. Petiot then chained them up inside a small room and gassed them to death. He installed a small peephole where he could watch them die. Afterwards, he dissected, bisected, peeled off their faces, disemboweled, castrated them and threw their bodies into a pit sprinkled with lime.

The crimes were discovered after he attempted to burn a couple of the bodies inside a small stove in his basement, and neighbors called the fire squad because they thought there was a house fire. Petiot managed to escape capture for several months, and when he was finally caught and put on trial, it was a circus.

I admit to being particularly appalled by the French legal system, which lets the accused speak out at any time during the court proceedings. Petiot took full advantage of that and whipped the crowds of spectators into a frenzy each day, which made the trial drag on and on. The trial, which takes up over half of the book, drove me nuts because of the multiple attempts at a mistrial, and the utter contempt and disdain Petiot and his attorneys had for the legal proceedings. Corruption was rampant, and it is a wonder that he stood trial at all!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on September 09, 2013, 09:54:11 AM
Oh! I know his works usually go into fantasy or ghosts or something fictional like that. Does this book, too?

Both actually. I have been reading so many serious books this year, I think I'll need to look up another of his books. :)

11.  the canterbury tales- geoffrey chaucer.  i was led to believe that this book was hilarious.  i was misled.  the funny was few though i'm glad i read the book even if certain tales were boring and dragged on.  i most enjoyed the tales where there was interaction amongst the pilgrims and that bawdy monk.  now a clever book might be about that.  and why was there no conclusion?  who told the best tale?  i guess that was the point.  my favorite tale (which unfortunately was also the shortest), was told by the greedy priest.

Did you read it with or without crib notes? I ask because I had to read this (twice) in English class, once in HS and once in college. I would say that they are very bawdy and pretty funny but you need to understand the context plus know what some of the words mean. Hard enough to get through with the old spellings of the words!

18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

Any good?




1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson
13 One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie #2)-Kate Atkinson
14 The Fort-Bernard Cornwell
15 Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles #1)-Bernard Cornwell
16 Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles #2)-Bernard Cornwell
17 Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles #3)-Bernard Cornwell
18 The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles #4)-Bernard Cornwell
19 Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story-Freddie Owens
20 Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury
21 Anansi Boys-Neil Gaiman
22 The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary-Simon Winchester

If you don't already know, I am an English major and a huge Anglophile (seriously, born in the wrong country!). I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book but it was a Kindle daily deal and it had great ratings plus I have always wanted to own a set of the OED and love the history of words. I would say that even if you don't really care about lexicography, you might enjoy this story. The main focus is on two characters: The professor, James Murray; and the Madman, William C. Minor (an American). I found the story about the making of the OED interesting but the story about Minor (and how he came to be a significant contributor of the OED) sad and tragic. He had a brilliant mind and had a lot of promise as a doctor but after service in the Civil War, his mind started to unravel. He went to London in hopes of recovery but only grew more paranoid and murdered an innocent man in a case of mistaken identity (really a phantom illusion). He went sent away to an asylum where surprisingly (at least I was surprised) at how well he was treated. Because he had money, and a pension from the US Army, he was able to have two adjoining rooms, order books, play his flute and paint. He joined the OED when Murray put a call out for volunteers to read selected books and send in words with examples from those books of the usage. Because Minor had a great library already (and was able to get more books), he was able to provide (over the course of 20 years or so that he was a part of the project) over 10,000 words and examples.

For a non-fiction book, this was written in an engaging style that kept the interest and reading flow up. I'll probably check out some of Winchester's other books in the future.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on September 09, 2013, 10:20:26 AM
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
Any good?
I thought it was just OK. I liked "The Casual Vacany" more, which suprises me since I thought this one would be right up my alley (I tend to mostly read detective novels). I did like the main character and I enjoyed his sidekick. However, the whole "death of a starlet" thing has been done DONE DOOOOOONE to death.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on September 10, 2013, 08:14:44 PM


11.  the canterbury tales- geoffrey chaucer.  i was led to believe that this book was hilarious.  i was misled.  the funny was few though i'm glad i read the book even if certain tales were boring and dragged on.  i most enjoyed the tales where there was interaction amongst the pilgrims and that bawdy monk.  now a clever book might be about that.  and why was there no conclusion?  who told the best tale?  i guess that was the point.  my favorite tale (which unfortunately was also the shortest), was told by the greedy priest.

Did you read it with or without crib notes? I ask because I had to read this (twice) in English class, once in HS and once in college. I would say that they are very bawdy and pretty funny but you need to understand the context plus know what some of the words mean. Hard enough to get through with the old spellings of the words!

i bought a copy at half price that had the olde english on the left pages and a translation on the other.  i tried to read a paragraph of the translation and then the original for the poetry.  that didn't last long

Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on September 11, 2013, 03:58:42 PM
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
Any good?
I thought it was just OK. I liked "The Casual Vacany" more, which suprises me since I thought this one would be right up my alley (I tend to mostly read detective novels). I did like the main character and I enjoyed his sidekick. However, the whole "death of a starlet" thing has been done DONE DOOOOOONE to death.

I honestly had no idea what the story was about and with that review, I probably won't add it to my "to read" list. I have way too many to get to as it is. ;)


i bought a copy at half price that had the olde english on the left pages and a translation on the other.  i tried to read a paragraph of the translation and then the original for the poetry.  that didn't last long

This sounds exactly like what I would have done: the whole thing. ;)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on September 13, 2013, 08:30:11 AM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson
13 One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie #2)-Kate Atkinson
14 The Fort-Bernard Cornwell
15 Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles #1)-Bernard Cornwell
16 Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles #2)-Bernard Cornwell
17 Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles #3)-Bernard Cornwell
18 The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles #4)-Bernard Cornwell
19 Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story-Freddie Owens
20 Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury
21 Anansi Boys-Neil Gaiman
22 The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary-Simon Winchester

23 Murder Bay: A Ben Carey Mystery-David R. Horwitz

Murder mystery with ghost story. Plus some history thrown in for good measure! The main character Ben Carey is a Korean war vet who works for D.C.'s Metro Police in the 1950s. He is promoted from a beat cop to Sergeant of a new department in charge of finding funds from the Dept of Justice in order to supply the department with new cars, radios, etc in order to make the department up-to-date and better able to solve and prevent crime. His "office" is located in an old Victorian house that the department acquired from the Feds years before. That house is destined to be torn down in the next year but it has quite a history to it, which becomes readily apparent to Carey (and others who work with him) as the house is haunted by its previous owners.

There are really two stories going on in this story. Present day (1952 or '53) and 1863, Civil War Washington, D.C. There is Ben Carey the Sergeant at MPD and Mordechai Finkel, a Civil War solider. The murder mystery takes place in the past and Carey becomes so drawn in, he decides to try to solve the cold case.

Sometimes when authors go back and forth in time, it can be confusing but there was no doubt that you always knew what was what and when, where, etc. I thought the premise was riveting, the story was well written and the flow was very quick paced. It became clear who did it before the main character figured it out but not in a way that left you thinking, man, that was so easy, how did you miss it?

The only downer with this story is that the author died. He seemed to be fairly young and with this very well written first novel (the first in the planned series), it is sad that he didn't have the opportunity to publish any more (not trying to be trivial). Very solid book and I gave it five stars because I found it completely gripping and absorbing. I liked the main character, came to care about his story as well as Finkel's, enjoyed reading about his discoveries of D.C. during the Civil War, his research which reminded me of doing genealogy and while some might have preferred it without the ghost story aspect, I liked it. Added to the atmosphere and who doesn't like a good ghost story? ;)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on September 16, 2013, 10:07:53 AM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
13 • Pat Long - The History of the NME - High Times & Low Lives at the World's Most Famous Music Magazine
14 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - Blueprint for Disaster
15 • Tommy Connor - Val Doonican tell the stories of O'Rafferty
16 • Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton - The True Story of an Extraordinary Cat and his Imperfect Human
17 • Peter Gethers - For the Love of Norton - The Cat Who Taught His Human How to Live
18 • Peter Gethers - Forever Norton - The Perfect Cat, his Flawed Human and Life's Greatest Lesson
19 • Simon Hoggart - The Christmas Letters - The Ultimate Collection of Round Robin Letters
If you or anyone in your family has ever sent out a round robin letter with your Christmas cards, this is not a book you need to read. Hoggart has compiled the best bits from RR's submitted to him (by his newspaper column readers) over the years and it makes for a hugely entertaining - if piss-taking - book. I particularly liked the one from a stupendously pompous woman who stated that her mother had died but the family still all went to Crete on their summer holiday as it represented some kind of 'tribute'. The comments about over-achieving kids are amusing, but not as funny as the parents who can't help demeaning their children by noting their failures and "awful boyfriends"
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on September 16, 2013, 08:23:00 PM
17. “What in God's Name” by Simon Rich
21. “The Last Girlfriend on Earth” by Simon Rich

At the time of this writing, Simon Rich is now in his fourth season of writing for Saturday Night Live.  His prestigious credentials include helming the Harvard Lampoon and being nominated for the Thurber Prize--for his first book.  Fortunately for us, despite this background, Rich is very, very funny.

“What in God's Name” was one of those serendipitous finds on the new release shelf.  I knew nothing of the author, let alone this particular volume, before spying the title on the thin spine. 

“God's Name” is a slight, and somewhat disheveled, novel, though one could also spin those attributes into “breezy” and “unpredictable”.  The plot is little more than a frame upon which Rich can stage a great many jokes, as two office drones in the corporate afterlife that is Heaven are tasked with making two completely incompatible people fall in love.  They have a month to complete their mission.  Failure will result in the destruction of Earth.  And the CEO, the Almighty, is so apathetic that He doesn't even care how the apocalypse will happen, musing that it could be fire or ice--who knows!

There were a great many laugh-out-loud moments packed into this deceptively slender volume.  Then the short story collection “The Last Girlfriend on Earth” proved Rich is not a one-hit wonder.

Most of the pieces in “Girlfriend” only span two to four pages and are simply sketches that hit you as fast and unexpected as a snowball to the back of the head.  And, sometimes, that snowball may have the bitter pain of a chunk of ice in it.

All of the stories here center (and one, literally, orbits) around love, unrequited more often than not.  I can't imagine what kind of mind is able to come up with a short story where a guy is at a party in the present day where his ex-girlfriend shows up with her current squeeze, Adolf Hitler.  Never mind Hitler is “like 125 years old” (in the words of the protagonist), and exterminated six million Jews, everybody at the party is repulsed this guy can't accept his ex has moved on.  I will never be able to convey here how funny that set-up is--just trust me.

My favorite work in the collection is the longest: the saga of a caveman who longs for Girl (no, really, that's her name), but who is outclassed by Girl's boyfriend, some jerk cave artist who belittles our hero, claiming he is too simple to truly understand the artist's more abstract works.  What transpires is very funny, a little shocking, and even somewhat moving.

I suppose Rich will eventually move onto longer and more complex works.  Myself, I think these short and powerful blasts of humor are the perfect medium for him.

Recommended?  Yes
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on September 17, 2013, 08:05:29 AM
Thanks for the reviews Bubba. These two books sound awesome. I will be checking them out.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on September 17, 2013, 08:45:18 PM
Thanks for the reviews Bubba. These two books sound awesome. I will be checking them out.

Hope you enjoy.  And I keep intending to add many volumes recommended by you and others here, but I always seem to have at least ten books queued up an any given time.  I was especially curious about "Death in the City of Light", but I'm wondering if I would be able to stomach it.  Sounds like exceptionally strong stuff.

18. “Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops” by James Robert Parish

Luggage restrictions on my flights to and from Iceland earlier this year forced me over a line I swore I would never cross.  Despite my long-held and very vocal repudiation of e-readers, this vacation forced me to acquire a Kindle. 

I say with some reluctance that I was perhaps too hasty to dismiss these devices out of hand without ever actually holding one in my own hands until this year.  So, while slightly humbled, at least I am pleased this purchase did not turn out to be a fiasco--even though I broke in this new purchase with a book titled “Fiasco”.

I think I may have exhausted the genre of books about cinema flops, because I had the nagging feeling throughout reading this that I had already read this before.  Though not poorly written per se, there is nothing stylistically to distinguish it from similar tomes.  The author clearly did a lot of research, but there are no new interviews, which leaves little more impression on the reader than an extensive Wikipedia entry.

If you haven't read a book of this type before, you could do worse.  All others would be better off reading something entirely different.

Recommended?  Very mildly.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on September 18, 2013, 09:30:39 PM
19. “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie

In Rob Zombie's directorial debut, “House of 1,000 Corpses” (yes, I should be embarrassed to admit I have seen it, and yet I'm not), there is a scene with a box of cereal in the foreground bearing the brand  “Agatha Crispies”.  I saw this in the theater (which should compound the embarrassment I do not feel) and my laughter resulted in stunned silence from the other attendees.  A few heads even turned slowly to glare at me, to let me know that, in no uncertain terms, they, in the intellectual pursuit of a deeper understanding of the human condition, wanted to know, “fuck you think is so funny?”.

So I'm the only person in the theater who got this joke and I hadn't even read any of Agatha Christie's work.  Here it is years later, and I only now get around to reading one of her mysteries.  And, for better or worse, I chose “The Murder of Roger Ackryod” as my initiation.   I'll go ahead and ruin the end of this review for you and say “worse”.

I chose this book because I already knew there was a groundbreaking aspect to it before reading word one.  Some time back, Mental Floss's 101 Masterpieces series simultaneously spoiled the surprise and piqued my interest with an entry about “Ackroyd”.  Heck, I probably wouldn't have read this mystery if it hadn't been for the revelation of an admittedly unique attribute.

Needless to say, there isn't much I can say about the book without giving away said surprise.  Problem is, there isn't much else I feel inclined to discuss about it, as this was also my first exposure to the classic parlor mystery.  I had always heard this type of traditional mystery was as stuffy and airless as the obligatory parlor in which the characters must gather at the conclusion when suspects are eliminated one at a time until the killer is revealed.  “Ackroyd”, alas, is the epitome of that genre, and I eventually found myself just biding my time until the end.

Perhaps I am too accustomed to modern crime fiction to appreciate works such as this, but it seems to me that a novel which is only concerned with the clever and unexpected solution to a mystery is little more than a puzzle book.   If there is one element that seems to be in common through all of my favorite books in this genre, it is a story populated with characters so intriguing that I don't really care about the resolution of the mystery itself.

“Ackroyd” has only the mystery, and not a very interesting one at that.  I feel pretty horrible bashing the work of such a legendary author, and I'm sure I will try another one of her books at some point in the future.  In the meantime, I think I'll just stay outside of the parlor and get some air.

Recommended?  No
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on September 18, 2013, 09:49:35 PM
19. “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie
I did a book report in 7th or 8th on this book! I did most of my Agatha Christie reading between 5th and 8th grade (after having finished off Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden in 3rd and 4th grades). The great thing about Christie is that it's perfectly safe for pre-teens to read. It was definitely a surprise ending for me, but not my favorite Christie. While you may have seen them as movies, when you try again I'd recommend Murder on the Orient Express (to experience Hercule Poirot) and And Then There Were None. Then again, I read them almost 30 years ago, but hopefully they hold up! I didn't enjoy the Miss Marple mysteries as much.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: va-vacious on September 18, 2013, 11:41:16 PM
Bubba, I do love your reviews, and have added to my reading list because of some of your recs.  :)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on September 19, 2013, 03:32:51 PM
sorry.

Living like Galt or Reardon where your entire life and sole means of pleasure revolves solely around making the best steel, or designing the best building ever is no one's idea of utopia.

that is the epitome of utopia.  if everyone was driven in a vocation of their choosing we'd have a pretty awesome world to live in.  the frank gehry's, marie curie's, albert einstein's, da vinci's and their ilk might want to have words with you as you've slapped them in the face.  which is a pretty powerful hand.  kudos.

but yeah, i couldn't do it.  i like having fun too much.  in fact i'm pretty opposed to technology.  i loathe to see what sports are like one hundred years from now.  okay, fifty.  forty.  baker's dozen.  that god damned human mind.  what i take from ayn rand are the morals.  you don't have to invent or build or finance or craft the most enduring sonata, you just have to live your life only accepting the best from yourself.  we found ourselves on earth.  go. 

Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on September 19, 2013, 05:32:56 PM
sorry.

Living like Galt or Reardon where your entire life and sole means of pleasure revolves solely around making the best steel, or designing the best building ever is no one's idea of utopia.

that is the epitome of utopia.  if everyone was driven in a vocation of their choosing we'd have a pretty awesome world to live in.


Never thought I would agree with any insight gleaned from Rand, but I'll concede you have a point there.  I am reminded of the MLK speech about how, even if you are only a street sweeper (greatly paraphrasing here), then you should be the best street sweeper there ever was.  I think excelling, and deriving great enjoyment, from one thing, regardless of its value to others, is possibly the truest form of actualization--the ultimate goal of each individual's existence.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on September 19, 2013, 08:57:44 PM
20. “Broken Harbor” by Tana French
32. “Faithful Place” by Tana French
46. “The Likeness” by Tana French
48. “In the Woods” by Tana French


In my review of Agatha Christie's “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”, I wondered if my disappointment with the novel was largely due to my exposure to contemporary thrillers, where characters and dialogue serve more of a function than simply serving the mystery at the core.  The first of these modern crime writers that comes to my mind is Henning Mankell, and his Wallander series in particular.  This year, my better half turned me on to Irish author Tana French, who, with an ouvre of only four novels, may have already assumed second place--should I choose to list my favorite writers in this genre. 

I read her novels out of order of publication, but that was no concern.  These mysteries have some overlapping characters (curiously, I could only identify three characters who span all four volumes, and these were very minor ones), but there aren't any connections between them that will spoil the ending of any previous book.

Of the four, “Broken Harbor” (her most recent) and “In the Woods” (her debut) are the closest to being traditional police procedurals.  “Faithful Place” is the least like that genre, but may be my favorite work of hers so far.  And “The Likeness” may always have a special place in my heart for being the book with one of the most daffy and daft plots I have ever encountered that I somehow still enjoyed thoroughly, regardless.

So what set Tana French's work above so many other mysteries and crime novels I have read?  Simple: I was so engrossed in each of these that I didn't care who was the culprit in the end.  For at least one of these, I delayed finishing it just because I didn't want it to end.  These novels are enjoyable simply for the sake of reading them, and not just for trying to outguess the author and see if your money was on the right suspect all along.

Recommended? Highly--all four of them.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on September 20, 2013, 09:46:05 AM

    1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
    2.  the castle- franz kafka
    3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho
    4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
    5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
    6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller
    7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum
    8.  anna karenina- leo tolstoy
    9.  the teachings of don juan- carlos castaneda
   10.  too loud a solitude- bohumil hrabel
   11.  the canterbury tales- geoffrey chaucer
   12.  rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead- tom stoppard

13.  the dangerous summer- ernest hemingway.  i never thought i'd get around to reading this.  it was one of my first purchases when i decided to give reading as a hobby a try.  this was back in aught six.  so, hemingway's last book.  life magazine commissioned him to write a short article about bull fighting in spain which would appear in print.  it turned into a book.  i'm not sure how i feel about bullfighting, i'm such a sissy, but the way hemingway explains it there is a harmony and understanding between bull and torero. bullfighting can apparently be breathtaking, like a poem, a river, an opera.  he followed around two of the very best for the season and became very good friends with them.  it's a shame hemingway had such a crush on the younger and better of the two.  i felt sad for the other dude, but he probably didn't care even if it was fucking hemingway.  lots of good observations from papa and the right touch of humor.  spain sounds awesome.  great read
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on September 23, 2013, 09:04:23 AM

Luggage restrictions on my flights to and from Iceland earlier this year forced me over a line I swore I would never cross.  Despite my long-held and very vocal repudiation of e-readers, this vacation forced me to acquire a Kindle. 

We went on vacation last year to Mexico and Mark bought one for me as he thought I might enjoy bringing more than one book with me on vacation (we were perched at the pool almost every day) and as the majority of my books are hardback, this worked out really well. He bought me a Paperwhite and I was dubious at first but have found myself very quickly adapted to it and am finding it difficult to go back to my stack of books that I have at home that need to be read. If I finish a book on the bus, I have others on the Kindle waiting. If those titles don't tickle my fancy, I just go and find another that does. You might check out bookbub.com as they send you emails based on your reading interest that are free, or nearly free, each day. I might buy a book a week but have actually come across a few books I probably wouldn't have looked at twice but turned out to be really good (the last one I read being one of those, Murder Bay). Anyway...

Thanks also for your recommendation of Tana French. Adding her books to my wishlist for future reading. I love a good mystery/police drama.

1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson
13 One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie #2)-Kate Atkinson
14 The Fort-Bernard Cornwell
15 Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles #1)-Bernard Cornwell
16 Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles #2)-Bernard Cornwell
17 Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles #3)-Bernard Cornwell
18 The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles #4)-Bernard Cornwell
19 Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story-Freddie Owens
20 Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury
21 Anansi Boys-Neil Gaiman
22 The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary-by Simon Winchester
23 Murder Bay: A Ben Carey Mystery-David R. Horwitz
24 The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery-Steve Sheinkin

I came to this story about Benedict Arnold because I had first started Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor by Willard Sterne Randall. While this book has a lot of potential and interesting facts, I couldn't get past the multiple typos and grammar issues per page. I am not the only one apparently when I checked Amazon reviews. The actual book itself is highly recommended (and used as a primary source for The Notorious BA) but apparently the publisher screwed up royally transcribing for the Kindle. This is my biggest complaint of the e-reader format. Poor transcribing and a ton of typos. Thankfully a lot of the books I buy, I buy at a reduced rate (I wait till they go on sale usually) but if I paid $12.99 for that garbage, I would be pretty irate. As it was, it was too hard to read and hard to follow the actual story so I went with another high rated version that admittedly just scratches the surface of Benedict Arnold's story and it written with the target audience of pre-teens.

A very fast-paced story and very interesting. The book itself wetted my appetite of wanting to learn more (and perhaps this comes from my brief introduction to the other book that had a lot more historical detail that I craved in The Notorious BA) and will probably give that other book a go and try to ignore the typos or hope the publisher updates it based on the number of complaints written on Amazon (one by myself as well). If you ever wondered anything about Benedict Arnold, this is a great intro. I honestly had no idea that he was a big hero of the American Revolution, well, of course until he blew it and switched sides.

Would recommend if you like history but without the dry droning on you might get while read a non-fiction biography.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on September 23, 2013, 03:46:54 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weis
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel
21. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust
22. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
23. Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris - David King
24. Wave - Sonali Deraniyagala

This is quite possibly the most beautiful and moving memoir about grief that I have ever read. The author survived the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, but lost her husband, two young sons and parents to the wave.
The morning of the tsunami, the whole family was on Christmas vacation at Yala national park. Deraniyagala saw the sea rising, but by the time the penny dropped, she had barely enough time to grab her children and run with her husband into a waiting jeep. They were driving away when the wave hit, overturning the Jeep and life as she knew it.
She writes unflinchingly about her survivor's guilt, and describes in great detail the suicidal tendencies that made her insanely irrational in the first months afterward.
Slowly, however, she finds the strength to carry on.
She visits and revisits the site of the hotel where she and her family were staying when the wave struck, until the day she finds her son's shirt "under a spiky bush, half-buried in sand. One of the sleeves was still rolled up."
It took over two years for her to find the strength to return to the family home in London, and once inside the house she is pulled between the present and the past, as everything is exactly as it was the day they left for the airport and their Christmas vacation.
But this isn't just a book about loss and grief, it is also one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking love stories ever written. The chapters devoted to her and her husband's courtship and first years of marriage are so filled with joie de vivre that the reader feels the pain of her loss nearly as sharply as she does.
A fine, fine book - one that will stick with you for a long time afterward. Highly recommended.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on September 23, 2013, 04:31:15 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
19. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on September 25, 2013, 03:46:15 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
19. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman
20. "The Potty Mouth at the Table" - Laurie Notaro - This will forever be the book that made c-lando read these words: Anne Frank's panties. Shudder.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 25, 2013, 04:19:11 PM
Anne Frank's panties. Shudder.

There's something missing here.  A modifier, perhaps.  Could go in front of panties.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on September 25, 2013, 04:52:36 PM
Anne Frank's panties. Shudder.

There's something missing here.  A modifier, perhaps.  Could go in front of panties.
Only Hitler would be so cruel.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 26, 2013, 08:12:46 AM
Anne Frank's moist panties. Shudder.

Fixed that for ZK.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on September 26, 2013, 08:15:18 AM
Anne Frank's panties. Shudder.

There's something missing here.  A modifier, perhaps.  Could go in front of panties.
Only Hitler would be so cruel.
...and Kwyjibo.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on September 26, 2013, 11:33:38 AM

1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson
13 One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie #2)-Kate Atkinson
14 The Fort-Bernard Cornwell
15 Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles #1)-Bernard Cornwell
16 Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles #2)-Bernard Cornwell
17 Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles #3)-Bernard Cornwell
18 The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles #4)-Bernard Cornwell
19 Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story-Freddie Owens
20 Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury
21 Anansi Boys-Neil Gaiman
22 The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary-by Simon Winchester
23 Murder Bay: A Ben Carey Mystery-David R. Horwitz
24 The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery-Steve Sheinkin
25 The Welsh Girl-Peter Ho Davies

Overall I enjoyed this story even if the ending wasn't 100% satisfying for me. The story is set in Wales during WWII. The three main characters: a German who is half-Jewish who flees to England with his mother when the Nazi party starts their terror on the Jews who later during the war becomes a British officer; a German officer who is captured on D-Day in France; and, a Welsh young woman.

I enjoyed her story (Edith) the most followed by the German (Karstan) officer's story. My complaint with the other German now British officer is his story was very brief. The book opens with him on a mission to interview Hess who has been sent to Wales to await the criminal war crimes trials that will surely come once the war is over. Then, he shows up again for a brief chapter towards the middle of the book and then finishes with him. Part of me thinks his story could have been eliminated completely as it didn't add or detract from the overall theme (just made you wonder why it was there). I also enjoyed reading about the time period and a bit of Welsh lore.

A quick and enjoyable (for the most part) read. Another cheap Bookbub recommendation.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on October 01, 2013, 10:20:45 PM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords
3. Dr. David Brunner and Sam Stall - The Cat Owner's Manual
4. Darlene Arden - The Complete Cat's Meow
5. Heather Dunphy - The Secret Language of Cats
6. Max Brooks - World War Z
7. J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye
8. George R.R. Martin - A Feast For Crows

I'm not sure I truly love where he's taking his story(s) as much as I did after the other books, but hey I'll give him a pass. Good (enough) stuff.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on October 02, 2013, 02:33:19 PM

Luggage restrictions on my flights to and from Iceland earlier this year forced me over a line I swore I would never cross.  Despite my long-held and very vocal repudiation of e-readers, this vacation forced me to acquire a Kindle. 

I say with some reluctance that I was perhaps too hasty to dismiss these devices out of hand without ever actually holding one in my own hands until this year.  So, while slightly humbled, at least I am pleased this purchase did not turn out to be a fiasco--even though I broke in this new purchase with a book titled “Fiasco”.



how on earth could you not fit a book or two or three into your luggage?  was there some policy forbidding it forcing you to watch some crappy in flight film instead?  i for one will never go this route.  there's nothing like going into a bookstore and coming home with a haul and then hugging them before you place them on your bookshelf saying, "your mine!"  but you support the library.  i suddenly feel bad.  but i'm over it now.  i need to possess these books.  i need the reminders as i peruse another book to read and the visuals engulf me.  i used to be this way about music, but i slowly listen less and i read more. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on October 03, 2013, 04:10:06 PM

how on earth could you not fit a book or two or three into your luggage?  was there some policy forbidding it forcing you to watch some crappy in flight film instead?  i for one will never go this route.  there's nothing like going into a bookstore and coming home with a haul and then hugging them before you place them on your bookshelf saying, "your mine!"  but you support the library.  i suddenly feel bad.  but i'm over it now.  i need to possess these books.  i need the reminders as i peruse another book to read and the visuals engulf me.  i used to be this way about music, but i slowly listen less and i read more.

Never say never my friend. A couple of books vs an almost limitless supply for a vacation. No one said once you go digital you also can't read physical books. I do it all the time. But for traveling, I have found the Kindle very handy (and trust me, I was very anti-digital until I had a Kindle bought for me).
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on October 04, 2013, 03:07:45 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
19. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman
20. "The Potty Mouth at the Table" - Laurie Notaro
21. "The Spectacular Now" - Tim Tharp
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on October 06, 2013, 07:22:15 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weis
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel
21. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust
22. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
23. Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris - David King
24. Wave - Sonali Deraniyagala
25. Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz - Thomas Harding

When retired journalist Thomas Harding attended his great-uncle's funeral in 2006, he learned that the mild-mannered German-Jewish banker, who had fled Nazi Germany and fought with the British Army during WWII, had a little-known past: At the end of the war, his geat-uncle Hanns Alexander tracked down and captured the Kommandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Hoss.

His interested piqued, Harding set out on a fact-finding mission to learn and chronicle Hanns' story. But the story would not be complete without also learning the story of the man Hanns captured, and in doing so, he presents a surprisingly unbiased, thoughtful portrait of both men.

Each chapter alternates between the lives of Rudolf and Hanns, from their childhood and formative years, to Rudolf joining the Nazi Party and Hanns' family fleeing Berlin for London at the start of the war, through their respective rising through the ranks of each man's service to his country, and finally their meet up after the war, with one man hunting the other.

It is a thoughtful, compelling, and dispassionate account of each man's story. Harding is careful not to paint Rudolf as a monster, nor his great-uncle Hanns as a hero. Each man's complexities are fully fleshed out here, and it's the reader who is richly rewarded.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on October 11, 2013, 02:59:57 PM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords
3. Dr. David Brunner and Sam Stall - The Cat Owner's Manual
4. Darlene Arden - The Complete Cat's Meow
5. Heather Dunphy - The Secret Language of Cats
6. Max Brooks - World War Z
7. J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye
8. George R.R. Martin - A Feast For Crows
9. Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton

Some pretty funny stuff, and written adorably. Norton made my cat look lame and boring, and I made sure I told him as much. He responded by walking over me while I slept and biting me while I was awake. I don't think he appreciated Norton as much as Mr. Gethers did. Norton - at approximately 6 pounds - also makes my cat look fat.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on October 11, 2013, 03:00:37 PM
Feel free to send me your copy when your done!
deal


Thanks again!!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on October 13, 2013, 05:04:26 PM
22. “Dodger” by Terry Pratchett

This is the second book I read on my Kindle, and it was a great way to pass the time during long layovers between my two flights on my way to Iceland.

Pratchett is already world-renown for his impeccable storytelling and prolificacy.  The vast majority of his books are in the Discworld series, of which there are 35 entries to date--and that is without the additional young-adult spin-offs, “world of” and quiz books.  There's even a four-volume “Science of Discworld” series, for cryin' out loud.

So it is pretty rare that Pratchett deigns to scribe a novel not set in that universe (curiously, most of the occasions when he does are when he teams up with other writers).  “Dodger” is the most recent of those rare deviations and, being set in the late 19th-century London of Dickens, it is a refreshing change of pace from Discworld while being close enough in spirit to satisfy fans of that series.

Pratchett is clearly paying tribute to Dickens with this novel, but his distinctive voice and perfectly honed storytelling keeps this from being derivative.  Dickens is even a character here (albeit, not one of the most prominent), and he observes from a fair distance the misadventures of the titular underworld ne'er-do-well-with-a-heart-of-gold who is thrown into a world of political intrigue, royal conspiracies and the subtle navigation of the British class system.  Might Dickens be so inspired by some of these shenanigans that he will incorporate these into his own work?   Hmmmm....

“Dodger” is first-rate Pratchett which, when you consider the man was knighted for his services to British literature, is very high praise.  Sure to appeal to Discworld fans, but even more suitable for those intimidated by the sheer girth of that series, here is a novel that is one of Pratchett's best works and an ideal introduction.

Recommended? Highly
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on October 13, 2013, 05:40:29 PM
23. “Happyslapped by a Jellyfish” by Karl Pilkington

I am going to assume that I am far from the only person who loved the original British series of “The Office”, only to find everything Ricky Gervais has done afterwards to be the epitome of the law of diminishing returns.  There were some moments in “Extras” that showed promise, but each series afterwards has seemed to only hammer additional nails into the coffin of his career, burying alive the considerable goodwill he had earned from his initial break-out role.  And the less said about his movie roles and awards ceremony hosting gigs the better, so...well, I guess that is all to be said.

So I was surprised that I gradually took a shine to “The Ricky Gervais Show”, an HBO series that put animation atop audio from a podcast series starring Gervais, “Office” co-writing Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington.  For the uninitiated, Pilkington is of little renown aside from being a long-time associate of Gervais and Merchant.  But the “Office” co-creators saw in Pilkington a rich vein of humor waiting to be tapped, as their friend has a decidedly skewed (if not occasionally outright disconcerting) view of a great many subjects.

At first, I was taken aback by what seemed like the cruel needling of Pilkington--the difference between laughing at and laughing with.  But I eventually found myself mesmerized by the very odd perspectives held by this man, some of which were very amusing, others were baffling and still others were a bit disturbing.

On the show, it was often the reactions of Gervais and Merchant that generated the most laughs.  Unfortunately, the curious insights and ramblings of their co-star do not have that context when put together in book form. 

And that is where “Happyslapped by a Jellyfish” dies as gracelessly as a jellyfish washed up on shore.  Pilkington does not have the skill to effectively tell his stories on the page, and every twisted observation reads more unnerving than amusing.

“The Ricky Gervais Show” wrapped about three seasons and Gervais has stated there is no intention to produce any additional episodes.  While I believe that is a wise decision, Pilkington needs to find a different outlet than print to express himself.  If there ever was proof that context is everything, “Happyslapped by a Jellyfish” is ample evidence the same material spoken aloud can take on an entirely different, and very unfortunate, spin when printed on the page.

Recommended? No
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on October 13, 2013, 11:01:35 PM
24. “Poppet” by Mo Hayder
38. “Hanging Hill” by Mo Hayder


Is there anything more frustrating than discovering a work you are extremely passionate about but which nobody else seems to care for?  How about loving a work that is produced by an artist whose subsequent efforts are a long series of diminishing returns?  I feel both of those frustrations when I think about British crime author Mo Hayder and her astonishing novel “The Devil of Nanking” (published outside of the U.S. as “Tokyo”).

Of particular dismay to me is her “Walking Man” series, of which “Poppet” is the fourth title.  One of the main problems with that series is the central character is Flea Marley, an underwater search and rescue specialist.  Remember the bit in an early Simpsons episode where Homer is obsessed with the TV show “Knightboat”, a “Knight Rider” parody with a super hi-tech boat?  Remember how Lisa wryly comments how convenient the action always takes place around a canal, stream or other body of water?  Well, guess where the plot always has to go when your main character specializes in underwater work.  It is pretty irritating to have the storyline continually divert to a body of water, especially when the development felt like it had to be shoehorned in.

So I approached “Poppet” with very low expectations.  One could even say I was resigned to read it.  And then I was very pleasantly surprised by much more I enjoyed this fourth installment than I did the previous three. 

That is not to say this is an amazing novel, but it is an engaging crime/mystery story.  Much of the improvement over previous installments can be attributed to the near (though not complete) absence of the aforementioned Marley.  Another marked improvement is Hayder finally lightens up some here.  For a book about a series of gruesome murders which appear to be connected to a very damaged boy in a mental hospital, the tone here is surprisingly kept “light”--at least as far as the subject matter will allow.  Usually, Hayder's point of view is bleak nearly to the verge of nihilism.  Also, her characters, including the protagonists, tend to be flawed to the point of dislikable.  “Poppet” actually gives us two likeable and believable main characters without it all feeling like a load of bull.

On the other hand, “Hanging Hill” is a standalone novel that finds Hayder in more familiar territory.  It is a darker work than “Poppet”, with more and stronger violence and a main character with some significant personality issues.  Still, there is a humanity here that was lacking in another of Hayder's standalone works, “Pig Island” (by far, my least favorite work of hers to date) and this, combined with an intriguing plot, makes this book a recommendation from me.  It doesn't hurt that it also has an ending that I still get creeped out over months later.

Recommended? Much to my surprise, “yes” to both
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on October 14, 2013, 12:21:40 AM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
4.  Shadow Woman--Linda Howard
5.  In the Pleasure Groove:  Love, Death and Duran Duran--John Taylor
6.  Something Like Normal--Trish Doller
7.  On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave--Candace Fleming
8.  Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond--Tom Cox
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde
10.  Boy21--Matthew Quick
11.  Underworld--Meg Cabot
12.  Private Berlin--James Patterson
13.  Midsummer Tights Dream--Louise Rennison
14.  White Bicycle--Beverley Brenna
15.  The World Must Know: The History Of The Holocaust As Told In The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--Michael Berenbaum
16.  Wonder Show--Hannah Barnaby
17.  Jepp, Who Defied the Stars--Katherine Marsh
18.  Zero--Tom Leveen
19.  Madness Underneath--Maureen Johnson
20.  In Darkness--Nick Lake
21.  Love and Other Pershable Items--Laura Buzo
22.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe--Benjamin Saenz
23.  Alex Cross, Run--James Patterson
24.  Girlchild--Tupelo Hassman
25.  Seraphina--Rachel Hartman
26.  Saving Children from the Holocaust: The Kindertransport--Ann Byers
27.  Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran--Andy Taylor
28.  The Diviners--Libba Bray
29.  Kristallnacht: the Nazi Terror that Began the Holocaust--James Deem
30.  Daddy's Gone a Hunting--Mary Higgins Clark
31.  I'm No Hero: Journeys of a Holocaust Survivor--Henry Friedman
32.  12th of Never--James Patterson
33.  Rescuing the Danish Jews: A Heroic Story from the Holocaust--Ann Byers
34.  Miseducation of Cameron Post--Emily M. Danforth
35.  Second Honeymoon--James Patterson
36.  After the Snow--S.D. Crockett
37.  Dodger--Terry Pratchett
38.  Auschwitz: Voices from the Death Camp--James Deem
39.  That Summer--Sarah Dessen
40.  Claudia Silver to the Rescue--Kathy Ebel
41.  Devine Intervention--Martha Brockenbrough
42.  Damn Love--Jasmine Beach--Ferrara
43.  All the Summer Girls--Meg Donohue
44.  Reckless Heart--Amy Clipston
45.  Where I Belong--Gwendolyn Heasley
46.  Two Boys Kissing--David Levithan
47.  Someone Like You--Sarah Dessen
48.  Dreamland--Sarah Dessen
49.  Mind Games--Kiersten White
50.  Mistress--James Patterson
51.  Keeping the Moon--Sarah Dessen
52.  Five Chimneys:  a woman's true story of Auschwitz--Olga Lengyel
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on October 15, 2013, 09:58:30 PM
25. “Wool” by Hugh Howey
27. “Shift” by Hugh Howey
45. “Dust” by Hugh Howey


One of the most interesting developments in the wake of the wide adoption of e-readers is how easily authors can find a large audience without having had anything in physical print before.  Such is the case with Hugh Howey, who found enormous success with his “Wool” series as an e-book.  It was so successful, in fact, that he wisely had kept the digital rights for himself as interest was already waning by the time the first book made it to print.

But while the potential for instant success is one of the most praise-worthy aspects of e-publishing, the ability for anybody to publish their own works without the input or advice of others can be a detriment.  There is a reason why, when using physical book printing, this same method of distributing one's work is called “vanity publishing”.

An unproven author is always a wildcard, but Howey definitely displays storytelling chops in this series about a post-apocalyptic world where all of the survivors of a disaster many generations ago now live in an enormous underground silo.  As if they live in a giant space-station, the huge population of this silo has to rely entirely on what they can produce in this very restrictive environment.  The confined space also intensifies any conflict, and those seen as most likely to become a threat are condemned to clean the camera lens that provides the silo's residents their only view of the devastated outside world.  When I say “condemned”, it is because the air outside is so toxic that it eats through a protective suit in a matter of minutes.

Just this initial premise, which is the springboard for a story that blossoms into something considerably larger in scope, follows a curious logic endemic of the series.  If you were being cast out into a hash environment, with only minutes to live, why would you clean the lens?  Why would you do anything to help the people who have given you a death sentence?  As for myself, I would flip the camera the bird and run for the hills.

And it is not just the characters' behavior that rarely seems to be inconsistent with that of carbon-based lifeforms: the dialogue frequently reads a tad less than true.  The writing is not bad, per se, but the gears were out of sync just enough to keep myself from becoming fully lost inside the work.

Fortunately, the storyline packed enough twists, turns and surprises to keep me steadily turning the pages (uh, perhaps clicking the pages?) through the first two installments.  Like every other book and movie in the wake of “Lost”, this series relies heavily on huge jumps in time and space to keep the reader interested.  This became a bit tedious by the third volume and it is here where Howey drops the ball.  Although it brings the series to an acceptable and definite conclusion, “Dust” is little more than a race to the finishing line.  An 11th hour attempt to introduce some bizarre conspiracy is wisely abandoned almost immediately.

If one is looking for light escapist fare, they could do a lot worse.  The “Wool” series is not the masterpiece many have made it out to be; however, it is a work which likely would never have found an audience had it not been for the advent of the e-reader. 

Recommended? Lightly
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on October 16, 2013, 01:13:44 PM

1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson
13 One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie #2)-Kate Atkinson
14 The Fort-Bernard Cornwell
15 Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles #1)-Bernard Cornwell
16 Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles #2)-Bernard Cornwell
17 Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles #3)-Bernard Cornwell
18 The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles #4)-Bernard Cornwell
19 Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story-Freddie Owens
20 Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury
21 Anansi Boys-Neil Gaiman
22 The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary-by Simon Winchester
23 Murder Bay: A Ben Carey Mystery-David R. Horwitz
24 The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery-Steve Sheinkin
25 The Welsh Girl-Peter Ho Davies

26 The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)-Bernard Cornwell
27 The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2)-Bernard Cornwell

Cornwell at his best writing another chronicles of war and history of England. This time it is how the Saxons fought the Danes during Alfred the Great's reign. The story's protagonist is Uhtred and at a young age loses everything (family and inheritance) and is taken to live as a slave with the Danes. He learns their ways and becomes a great warrior. I am leaving out some things because not sure what would be considered to be spoilers. ;) Regardless, he learns to identity as much with the Danes as with the Saxons. After once again losing the only family he has known, he leaves his homeland of Northumbria and seeks out Alfred, king of Wessex. He gives his oath to Alfred in exchange for a wife and the lead of the very small armada that Alfred has formed. Many battles against the Danes ensue and Uhtred seems to make as many enemies along the way as allies. The Last Kingdom is in reference to the last kingdom of England that had not fallen to the Danes: Wessex.

What I love about Cornwell is that he is able to throw you right into the time period he is talking about with ease. He also has a great ability to weave characters and plot lines together. Most of his books are page turners and for sure this series qualifies. As always with his books, they are all about war (or involve a lot of battles) and am constantly reminded that being a woman is about the last thing one would want to be in a region torn apart by war. What is different in this time period is that usually the men are killed as well as the children, the women raped and maybe taken captive or killed. In this book, they kill the men and elderly but the children and woman (after being raped no doubt) are sold into slavery (either to other Danes or across the ocean to other countries). I also learned that the only time a Dane should really be referred to as a Viking is when they are raiding. Viking is more of an action rather than a people. So, you might fight against a raiding Viking, but during peace, you would trade with a Dane.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on October 17, 2013, 06:12:37 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
13 • Pat Long - The History of the NME - High Times & Low Lives at the World's Most Famous Music Magazine
14 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - Blueprint for Disaster
15 • Tommy Connor - Val Doonican tell the stories of O'Rafferty
16 • Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton - The True Story of an Extraordinary Cat and his Imperfect Human
17 • Peter Gethers - For the Love of Norton - The Cat Who Taught His Human How to Live
18 • Peter Gethers - Forever Norton - The Perfect Cat, his Flawed Human and Life's Greatest Lesson
19 • Simon Hoggart - The Christmas Letters - The Ultimate Collection of Round Robin Letters
20 • Louise Wener - Goodnight Steve McQueen
Sleeper frontwoman in credible "High Fidelty"-esque novel shocker. Very entertaining read.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on October 20, 2013, 10:46:05 PM
    1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
    2.  the castle- franz kafka
    3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho
    4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
    5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
    6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller
    7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum
    8.  anna karenina- leo tolstoy
    9.  the teachings of don juan- carlos castaneda
   10.  too loud a solitude- bohumil hrabel
   11.  the canterbury tales- geoffrey chaucer
   12.  rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead- tom stoppard
   13.  the dangerous summer- ernest hemingway

14.  player piano- kurt vonnegut jr.  i was in love with this book until he gave a realistic ending, which in itself is kind of awesome.  for a dystopian novel not go to extremes is rare

15.  the great escape-  paul brickhill.  another book i never thought i'd get around to reading.  i picked it specifically for that reason when i was packing for turkey.  and what a remarkable read.  these men were the original mcgyvers.  if you don't know, (steve mcqueen?) it's an insider account of a massive escape of british (mostly) air force pow's in nazi germany.  it's heartbreaking, funny, fraternal, and inspiring.  they dug tunnels to freedom not only to escape, but to keep as many germans as was necessary to track them down.  five million germans went searching for them.  three found freedom.  50 were murdered.  the later of the book focuses on the tracking down of the killers of the 50.  hitler might have been evil, but he also brought out the evil in a lot of people.   

there was a very human element to the book as well.  the author, who had a very important role in the escape but is modest about it, could strip away the nazi sash and find good people.  he made you care about them even though they represented the evil.  and you really became familiar with the characters in the prison camps and i use the term characters descriptively.  your heart will shatter when you read of some of the 50. 

16.  siddhartha- hermann hesse.  this was a reread for me but i gave it to the missus to read on our trip.  i gave her the book to read for two reasons, well three or four.  one, it's a great book.  two, it's travel friendly (easy to read and light).  ok, maybe three reasons, i forget the forth.  third, it can help her understand me better.  i say the later to her pseudo jokingly as i doubt i'll ever achieve nirvana..... but am i seeking nirvana currently?  she understood what i was getting at, but laughed.  maybe in 30 years i'll laugh.  but not rub it in her face too much.   :)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on October 29, 2013, 03:54:57 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
19. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman
20. "The Potty Mouth at the Table" - Laurie Notaro
21. "The Spectacular Now" - Tim Tharp
22. "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" - Kate Atkinson
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on October 29, 2013, 06:52:01 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
13 • Pat Long - The History of the NME - High Times & Low Lives at the World's Most Famous Music Magazine
14 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - Blueprint for Disaster
15 • Tommy Connor - Val Doonican tell the stories of O'Rafferty
16 • Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton - The True Story of an Extraordinary Cat and his Imperfect Human
17 • Peter Gethers - For the Love of Norton - The Cat Who Taught His Human How to Live
18 • Peter Gethers - Forever Norton - The Perfect Cat, his Flawed Human and Life's Greatest Lesson
19 • Simon Hoggart - The Christmas Letters - The Ultimate Collection of Round Robin Letters
20 • Louise Wener - Goodnight Steve McQueen
21 • Danny Wallace - Charlotte Street
Rom-com movie adaptation awaits. Summer beach book if there was ever one
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on October 29, 2013, 09:49:38 PM
Danny Wallace as in Poe-taaaaaaay-toe Danny Wallace?

I trust you are bringing it back for me to read?
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on October 30, 2013, 09:21:23 AM
1 The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe
2 The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell
3 In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson
4 Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
5 Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell
6 The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest #1)-Bernard Cornwell
7 A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving
8 The Cider House Rules-John Irving
9 Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt
10 Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning (The Thomas Fleming Library)-Thomas Fleming
11 Mayflower:The Voyage from Hell (Kindle Single)-Kevin Jackson
12 Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)-Kate Atkinson
13 One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie #2)-Kate Atkinson
14 The Fort-Bernard Cornwell
15 Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles #1)-Bernard Cornwell
16 Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles #2)-Bernard Cornwell
17 Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles #3)-Bernard Cornwell
18 The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles #4)-Bernard Cornwell
19 Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story-Freddie Owens
20 Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury
21 Anansi Boys-Neil Gaiman
22 The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary-by Simon Winchester
23 Murder Bay: A Ben Carey Mystery-David R. Horwitz
24 The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery-Steve Sheinkin
25 The Welsh Girl-Peter Ho Davies
26 The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)-Bernard Cornwell
27 The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2)-Bernard Cornwell

28 Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3)-Bernard Cornwell
29 Sword Song: The Battle for London (The Saxon Stories, #4)-Bernard Cornwell
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on October 30, 2013, 05:07:18 PM
Danny Wallace as in Poe-taaaaaaay-toe Danny Wallace?

I trust you are bringing it back for me to read?

Oh bollocks, I saw this late and left it behind at Tina's place for her and her sister to read.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on October 30, 2013, 05:33:46 PM
DAMMIT!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on October 31, 2013, 08:32:33 PM
26. “The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir” by William Friedkin

Director William Friedkin has had a long and storied career, and his memoir is full of interesting anecdotes behind some of his most memorable films.

Wisely, the text is largely focused upon on the 70's, when Friedkin created such box office phenomenons  as “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection”, only to end the decade with career-crushing bombs like “Sorceror” and “Cruising”.  Preceding that section is a tad too lengthy passage concerning his childhood and life before professional filmmaking. 

Following the portion about the 70's is a concise overview of the 80's and 90's, touching very briefly upon each of his works in that long, dry spell of his career.  The one exception is “To Life and Die in L.A.”, which is given the focus it is due.

Lastly, the book concludes on a high note with the director returning to the good graces of critics, and modest financial success, with the movies “Bug” and “Killer Joe”.

Through it all, Friedkin keeps a fairly balanced tone.  I was especially surprised by how readily he assumes blame for some of his actions and decisions.  That said, like any other Hollywood memoir of any real insight, there are some juicy tales and studio politics.  One of the better memoirs I have read (though not the best), and recommended for movie buffs, especially those who are fans of Friedkin's work.

Recommended? Yes
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on November 01, 2013, 11:35:54 AM
    1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
    2.  the castle- franz kafka
    3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho
    4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
    5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
    6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller
    7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum
    8.  anna karenina- leo tolstoy
    9.  the teachings of don juan- carlos castaneda
   10.  too loud a solitude- bohumil hrabel
   11.  the canterbury tales- geoffrey chaucer
   12.  rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead- tom stoppard
   13.  the dangerous summer- ernest hemingway
   14.  player piano- kurt vonnegut jr
   15.  the great escape-  paul brickhill
   16.  siddhartha- hermann hesse.

17. yogi berra:  it ain't over till.....  i traded the great escape for this book at an internet cafe in goreme turkey.  of the scant english selections this was the only one that wasn't a romance novel or cheesy action.  i'm very glad i choose it.  i knew very little about yogi outside of he was born on my birthday.  someone in the book called yogi a national treasure.  another said he'd have to be invented if he didn't exist.  i agree.  he is quite possibly the most remarkable man.  he put up with a lot of shit and didn't sweat the small stuff.  people treated him like a caricature and it made me sad what he had to endure.  he was an everyman yet he was his own man.  everyone that met him fell in love.  we should all aspire to be yogi berras     
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on November 10, 2013, 10:15:36 PM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
4.  Shadow Woman--Linda Howard
5.  In the Pleasure Groove:  Love, Death and Duran Duran--John Taylor
6.  Something Like Normal--Trish Doller
7.  On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave--Candace Fleming
8.  Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond--Tom Cox
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde
10.  Boy21--Matthew Quick
11.  Underworld--Meg Cabot
12.  Private Berlin--James Patterson
13.  Midsummer Tights Dream--Louise Rennison
14.  White Bicycle--Beverley Brenna
15.  The World Must Know: The History Of The Holocaust As Told In The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--Michael Berenbaum
16.  Wonder Show--Hannah Barnaby
17.  Jepp, Who Defied the Stars--Katherine Marsh
18.  Zero--Tom Leveen
19.  Madness Underneath--Maureen Johnson
20.  In Darkness--Nick Lake
21.  Love and Other Pershable Items--Laura Buzo
22.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe--Benjamin Saenz
23.  Alex Cross, Run--James Patterson
24.  Girlchild--Tupelo Hassman
25.  Seraphina--Rachel Hartman
26.  Saving Children from the Holocaust: The Kindertransport--Ann Byers
27.  Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran--Andy Taylor
28.  The Diviners--Libba Bray
29.  Kristallnacht: the Nazi Terror that Began the Holocaust--James Deem
30.  Daddy's Gone a Hunting--Mary Higgins Clark
31.  I'm No Hero: Journeys of a Holocaust Survivor--Henry Friedman
32.  12th of Never--James Patterson
33.  Rescuing the Danish Jews: A Heroic Story from the Holocaust--Ann Byers
34.  Miseducation of Cameron Post--Emily M. Danforth
35.  Second Honeymoon--James Patterson
36.  After the Snow--S.D. Crockett
37.  Dodger--Terry Pratchett
38.  Auschwitz: Voices from the Death Camp--James Deem
39.  That Summer--Sarah Dessen
40.  Claudia Silver to the Rescue--Kathy Ebel
41.  Devine Intervention--Martha Brockenbrough
42.  Damn Love--Jasmine Beach--Ferrara
43.  All the Summer Girls--Meg Donohue
44.  Reckless Heart--Amy Clipston
45.  Where I Belong--Gwendolyn Heasley
46.  Two Boys Kissing--David Levithan
47.  Someone Like You--Sarah Dessen
48.  Dreamland--Sarah Dessen
49.  Mind Games--Kiersten White
50.  Mistress--James Patterson
51.  Keeping the Moon--Sarah Dessen
52.  Five Chimneys:  a woman's true story of Auschwitz--Olga Lengyel
53.  The Longest Ride--Nicholas Sparks
54.  The Song of the Quarkbeast--Jasper Fforde
55.  Other People's Houses--Lore Segal
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on November 12, 2013, 03:42:09 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
19. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman
20. "The Potty Mouth at the Table" - Laurie Notaro
21. "The Spectacular Now" - Tim Tharp
22. "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" - Kate Atkinson
23. "The Quiche of Death" - M.C. Beaton - my bestie suggested this series. I read the first book and decided that I'll pass on the rest. I love mysteries but this was not my cup of tea. Too much about decorating, not enough grit. Give me the dirty NYC streets of Lawrence Block's characters any day over a trip to the Costwolds with this grumpy old goose.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on November 16, 2013, 08:49:31 AM

    1.  you shall know our velocity!- dave eggers
    2.  the castle- franz kafka
    3.  the alchemist- paulo coelho
    4.  hope: a tragedy- shalom auslander
    5.  absalom, absalom!- william faulkner
    6.  tropic of cancer- henry miller
    7.  the scarecrow of oz- l frank baum
    8.  anna karenina- leo tolstoy
    9.  the teachings of don juan- carlos castaneda
   10.  too loud a solitude- bohumil hrabel
   11.  the canterbury tales- geoffrey chaucer
   12.  rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead- tom stoppard
   13.  the dangerous summer- ernest hemingway
   14.  player piano- kurt vonnegut jr
   15.  the great escape-  paul brickhill
   16.  siddhartha- hermann hesse.
   17. yogi berra:  it ain't over till.....   

18.  call of the wild and other stories- jack london.  well he certainly paints a pretty fucking grim picture.  christ
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on November 19, 2013, 12:13:12 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
19. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman
20. "The Potty Mouth at the Table" - Laurie Notaro
21. "The Spectacular Now" - Tim Tharp
22. "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" - Kate Atkinson
23. "The Quiche of Death" - M.C. Beaton
24. "The Girl You Left Behind" - Jojo Moyes
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on November 19, 2013, 09:16:18 PM
28. “Who's on Worst?: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History” by Filip Bondy

Though I am not a sports fan, the one I have the most tolerance for is baseball.  That is probably largely due to some nostalgia resulting from the occasional game I used to attend with my now long-deceased grandfather. 

I only attend a game every couple of years now and have zero interest in baseball trivia.  I do, however, have an interest in all things schadenfreude regardless of the genre, which is how I came to read this book about the most infamous baseball players of all time.

This volume covers more than just the worst players in terms of performance on the field, with much of it concerning tempers, vices and egos out of control. 

Seems to me like this would be right up my alley in a way, but the writing lacked the spark that made the material interesting to the slightest of baseball fans such as myself.  And there was way too much minutia about stats--the aspect of baseball fandom that automatically makes my eyes glaze over and roll up into my head.

Recommended? Only to the most devoted of baseball fans
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on November 19, 2013, 09:36:37 PM
29. “Knots and Crosses” by Ian Rankin
35. “A Good Hanging” by Ian Rankin
62. “Hide & Seek” by Ian Rankin


I have only recently begun wading into the large body of work that is Rankin's Inspector Rebus novels.  My initiation to the character was courtesy of a British TV series starring Ken Stott (who most recently  portrayed the dwarf Balin in the Hobbit trilogy).  For those who have only seen the TV show, Stott so thoroughly nails the role that I find it impossible to picture anybody else as Rebus as I read the novels.

And, so far, the novels have been quite enjoyable.  Like many of my favorite crime authors, they do not make the central mystery the sole focus, instead using it as the framework for interesting characters and interactions. 

I have been trying to read the series in roughly chronologically order and some of the material has been thought-provoking in regards to just how much has changed in the approximately 25 years since these first novels were published.  It seems almost unbelievable to me that an era that was so recently in the past would have been so hostile to female police officers.  And women police inspectors?  Pretty much unheard of at the time in Edinburgh.  Then there's the matter of cell phones: since they largely did not exist for the vast majority of the population, any phone call required a character to actually find a pay phone.  Strange how so much could change in so little time.  Somehow, the very technologically distant world of Jane Eyre doesn't feel as far away to me as the world of Rebus.

Recommended? So far, I have yet to read an Inspector Rebus mystery I would not recommend.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on November 29, 2013, 01:55:33 PM
31. “Under the Dome” by Stephen King
66. “11/22/63” by Stephen King


I read way too much Stephen King when I was a kid and, having tackled most of his oeuvre up to that point before I had even reached my teens, at too early an age. 

Having prematurely OD'd on his work, I have largely been disinterested from “Misery” onwards.  I did at least read “Cell”, and apparently enjoyed it much more than a vocal majority that ranges from disinterested to hostile.   This year, I somehow ended up reading two of King's more recent doorstops.  Really, can this guy write anything less than 800 pages nowadays?

First up was “Under the Dome”, which only piqued my interest after watching the first episode of the series, and I only watched that because of the involvement of Brian K. Vaughan.  Although I bailed after the debut episode of the series, I was curious as to how much it deviated from the text.

I only continued following the show through reviews on The Onion's AV Club site, but it appears the storylines in the two different media diverged pretty wildly.  And yet they are both somehow still economy-sized tubs of stupid.

I know this will not be a popular opinion but I just can't sugarcoat it: “Under the Dome” is a terrible book.  It has a bizarre yet not very intriguing premise, and is populated with characters that would largely be varying levels of repulsive if only any of them were more than paper-thin.  And the writing is curiously mean-spirited, as if the author also hates the people in this town and wants to see them suffer.  One example that sticks in my mind and in my craw is the farmer who dies gruesomely after running his tractor directly into the invisible barrier and King delivers an unnecessary punchline of “nothing runs like a Deere”. 

Given how little I thought of the novel, I was surprised King eventually provides a rather interesting and satisfying explanation for the mysterious dome.  Yet I do not think the end justifies the long, slow slog of a deplorable book that leads up to it.

So I was quite surprised when, on a recent trip to the library, I picked up “11/22/63” on a whim.  I was simply walking by the shelves and it caught my eye.  Funny how I just happened to be in the middle of the book on the 50th anniversary of the event which is the core of the story.  I must have been unconsciously aware of the impending anniversary, but it wasn't my intention.

I swear King wrote either “Under the Dome” or “11/22/63”, but not both.  The differences in style, tone, plotting, depth and characterization are radical enough to defy explanation, especially since the two were written in a relatively close span of time. 

When the book was originally released, I had no interest in a time travel story about an attempt to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy, regardless of the author.  I am so glad I changed my mind because “11/22/63” is so simply yet cleverly staged that it flows effortlessly despite spanning multiple threads of reality across four decades.  Not to mention the fairly large number of characters in multiple locations.  King is in such top form here that I can only recall works such as “Salems Lot” and “The Shining” as possible peers. 

And, best of all, this is first and foremost a character-driven novel.  These fictional people are fully realized and their moments of joy and pain consistently ring true.  It is here King shows the flipside of the apathy (if not outright hatred) that sinks “Dome”.

Recommended? “Under the Dome”: imagine Nikita Khrushchev pounding his fist on a podium at the U.N. and screaming, “Nyet, nyet, nyet!!!”.  As for “11/22/63”, it is highly recommended.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on November 30, 2013, 11:43:14 AM
Recommended? “Under the Dome”: imagine Nikita Khrushchev pounding his fist on a podium at the U.N. and screaming, “Nyet, nyet, nyet!!!”.
I <3 this so much!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on November 30, 2013, 12:14:32 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weis
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel
21. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust
22. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
23. Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris - David King
24. Wave - Sonali Deraniyagala
25. Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz - Thomas Harding
26. Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant of Auschwitz - Rudolf Hoess*

After reading Hanns and Rudolf, I decided to delve more deeply into Auschwitz Kommandant Hoess's life story, which was written by Hoess in a Polish prison while he awaited trial for crimes against humanity.

Hoess presents an interesting and believable insight into what it was like working for the death machine that was the National Socialist Party (Nazi Party), and it's not hard to understand how men like Hoess, a decorated WWI soldier who thought he was doing his patriotic duty by rejoining the army during Hitler's "rebuilding" years, could become indoctrinated before they really understood what was happening.

A few excerpts of what it was like to work under Nazi rule:
"It goes without saying that the Hitler order was a firm fact for all of us, and also that it was the duty of the SS to carry it out. However, secret doubts tormented all of us. Under no circumstances could I reveal my secret doubts to anyone. I had to convince myself to be like a rock when faced with the necessity of carrying out this horribly severe order, and I had to show this in every way, in order to force all those under me to hang on mentally and emotionally."

On presenting a brave face during the gassing of Jews at Auschwitz: "Everyone watched me. I had to appear cold and heartless during these events which tear the heart apart in anyone who had any kind of human feelings. I couldn't even turn away when deep human emotion rose within me. Coldly I had to stand and watch as the mothers went into the gas chambers with their laughing or crying children."

"...I have to confess openly that after such conversations with Eichmann these human emotions seemed almost like treason against the Fuhrer.”

About first inspector of the concentration camps SS Gen. Theodore Eicke: “The conclusion of every Eicke lecture was ‘There behind the barbed wire lurks the enemy and he watches everything you do. Don’t leave yourselves open in any way. Show these enemies of the state your teeth. Anyone who shows even the smallest sign of compassion for the enemies of the state must disappear from our ranks."

Still, Hoess's attempts to garner pity ring hollow. Try as he might to elicit sympathy, his record speaks for itself. He was one of the Freikorps, an unofficial organization of ex-army thugs who terrorized the Baltic states after the end of WWI; he was a very early Nazi party member, joining in 1922; spent five years in prison for the beating death of a known communist; and he had eagerly joined the SS in 1934 when offered a chance to flex his military training as an overseer at various prison camps, which is how he eventually rose through the ranks to become commandant at Auschwitz.

This was a man drawn to war and to violence. He relished being in charge, but far enough down the pecking order to be able to say that he was "just following orders." He took great pride in his rigid beliefs and relished finding fault with his peers and those under his command. In short, he was a typical Nazi worm.

*also spelled Höß, Hoeß, or Höss
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on December 02, 2013, 09:35:32 AM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords
3. Dr. David Brunner and Sam Stall - The Cat Owner's Manual
4. Darlene Arden - The Complete Cat's Meow
5. Heather Dunphy - The Secret Language of Cats
6. Max Brooks - World War Z
7. J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye
8. George R.R. Martin - A Feast For Crows
9. Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton
10. Bob Harris - The International Bank of Bob

I picked this up as a random find in a book store. The book sells itself approximately as: a guy who loans money on kiva.org in $25 increments to people in developing nations across the globe goes across the globe to meet the people receiving the money and what they are doing. He meets lots of ambitious and hard working people with brilliant ideas trying to get themselves better lives.

Or something like that.

What the book really is ... is a firsthand look at microfinance and those involved with it. This is not a complaint, it was just a little bit of a surprise. I picked it hoping to be inspired and while in the end I still am convinced that microfinance is a great thing and more people need to read this book, it was not as inspired as I hoped to be. I would like to anonymously help fund some people with lesser fortunes across the globe, but the people who were receiving the money eventually became pretty repetitive. This is not a bad thing - it just became less a part of the book than I'd hoped due to the lack of variation.

I do recommend the book, but I don't do it in a way that's "oh my god you totally need to read this." It's written decently and of course carries and strong and good message. I had trouble being encouraged to read more as it's not a "I wonder what's happening next" or a book I went out of my way to find time to read. But still - an educational and important book.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on December 07, 2013, 05:59:49 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weis
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel
21. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust
22. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
23. Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris - David King
24. Wave - Sonali Deraniyagala
25. Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz - Thomas Harding
26. Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant of Auschwitz - Rudolf Hoess*
27. Orange is the New Black - Piper Kerman

I loved the Netflix series, but I have to say that I love the book even more. It is honest, humorous and compassionate, and I cannot recommend it enough - it is much more "real" than the tv series.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on December 09, 2013, 10:35:34 AM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
13 • Pat Long - The History of the NME - High Times & Low Lives at the World's Most Famous Music Magazine
14 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - Blueprint for Disaster
15 • Tommy Connor - Val Doonican tell the stories of O'Rafferty
16 • Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton - The True Story of an Extraordinary Cat and his Imperfect Human
17 • Peter Gethers - For the Love of Norton - The Cat Who Taught His Human How to Live
18 • Peter Gethers - Forever Norton - The Perfect Cat, his Flawed Human and Life's Greatest Lesson
19 • Simon Hoggart - The Christmas Letters - The Ultimate Collection of Round Robin Letters
20 • Louise Wener - Goodnight Steve McQueen
21 • Danny Wallace - Charlotte Street
22 • Rod Stewart - Rod - The Autobiography
Arc of the book follows the arc of his career. First three-quarters is full of incident and colourful stories, then he becomes a coffee-table ghost of himself for the final chapters. Entertaining nevertheless, even if his constant commenting that he loved ALL the women he was ever married to does begin to wear thin after a while. Let's face it, Britt Ekland - for all her stunning beauty - WAS his Yoko, and nothing he did after the Faces was as good as what he did WITH the Faces ("Killing of Georgie" excepted)
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on December 10, 2013, 09:01:58 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
19. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman
20. "The Potty Mouth at the Table" - Laurie Notaro
21. "The Spectacular Now" - Tim Tharp
22. "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" - Kate Atkinson
23. "The Quiche of Death" - M.C. Beaton
24. "The Girl You Left Behind" - Jojo Moyes
25. "Salvation of a Saint" - Keigo Higashino - Japanese mystery translated into English. This was a head-scratcher of a mystery. I enjoyed it, even though I found the victim to be repugnant.

I met my goal of 25 books without ANY audio books. WOOHOO!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: mik on December 11, 2013, 03:31:39 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weis
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel
21. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust
22. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
23. Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris - David King
24. Wave - Sonali Deraniyagala
25. Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz - Thomas Harding
26. Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant of Auschwitz - Rudolf Hoess*
27. Orange is the New Black - Piper Kerman

I loved the Netflix series, but I have to say that I love the book even more. It is honest, humorous and compassionate, and I cannot recommend it enough - it is much more "real" than the tv series.
Glad you liked Orange is the New Black. It wasn't until I was almost finished with it that I realized how good it was. It got a little slow for me in the middle but finished well. I also recommend it!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on December 18, 2013, 03:42:39 PM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
19. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman
20. "The Potty Mouth at the Table" - Laurie Notaro
21. "The Spectacular Now" - Tim Tharp
22. "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" - Kate Atkinson
23. "The Quiche of Death" - M.C. Beaton
24. "The Girl You Left Behind" - Jojo Moyes
25. "Salvation of a Saint" - Keigo Higashino
26. "American on Purpose" - Craig Ferguson - I have picked away at this book for the last 3-4 years? Jeez. I finally read the whole thing once I put it in my car in order to return it to the patient person who let me borrow it. His description of his first minute alone with his son made me tear up in the middle of a Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: MissKitty on December 23, 2013, 03:19:07 PM
1. Friends Like These - Danny Wallace
2. A Lucky Child - Thomas Buergenthal
3. Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography - Danny Baker
4. Breathitt County - Stephen D. Bowling M.A.
5. Where Dead Voices Gather - Nick Tosches
6. Alive in the Killing Fields - Nawuth Keat
7. The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister
8. Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
9. Billy Bragg: Still Safe for Miners - Andrew Collins
10. Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt
11. The Liberator: One WWII Soldier's 500 Day Odyssey From The Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau - Alex Kershaw
12. Once Upon a Town - Bob Greene
13. I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had - Tony Danza
14. Ghost Wars - Steve Coll
15. The Little Paris Kitchen - Rachel Khoo
16. Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
17. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel - Steve Hodel and Ralph Pezzullo
18. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
19. Helga's Diary: a Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp - Helga Weis
20. Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel
21. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust
22. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
23. Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris - David King
24. Wave - Sonali Deraniyagala
25. Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz - Thomas Harding
26. Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant of Auschwitz - Rudolf Hoess*
27. Orange is the New Black - Piper Kerman
28. Under the Red Flag - Ha Jin

Under the Red Flag was one of the library's recommendations this month as part of their  Around the World series, which focuses on authors from other countries. The book is a collection of short stories, written by a man who fled Communist China just after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. His stories reflect the disconnect between old China and the new regime, where citizens can be sent "away" for the slightest of errors and miscalculations. It is a China where paranoia can turn husband against wife, neighbor against neighbor, the state against the individual, and history against humanity. While the book has won awards for short fiction, it is easy to imagine that Ha Jin draws his characters and stories from a deep well of personal experience.

Fascinating stuff, and a good quick read.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: daytime drinking on December 25, 2013, 10:15:44 AM
barring a miracle, i'm done for the year.  i have half of lord jim by joseph conrad yet to read.  it's taken me a while even though i'm really enjoying it.  shoot.  under 20 books this year
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on December 27, 2013, 01:07:57 AM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
4.  Shadow Woman--Linda Howard
5.  In the Pleasure Groove:  Love, Death and Duran Duran--John Taylor
6.  Something Like Normal--Trish Doller
7.  On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave--Candace Fleming
8.  Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond--Tom Cox
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde
10.  Boy21--Matthew Quick
11.  Underworld--Meg Cabot
12.  Private Berlin--James Patterson
13.  Midsummer Tights Dream--Louise Rennison
14.  White Bicycle--Beverley Brenna
15.  The World Must Know: The History Of The Holocaust As Told In The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--Michael Berenbaum
16.  Wonder Show--Hannah Barnaby
17.  Jepp, Who Defied the Stars--Katherine Marsh
18.  Zero--Tom Leveen
19.  Madness Underneath--Maureen Johnson
20.  In Darkness--Nick Lake
21.  Love and Other Pershable Items--Laura Buzo
22.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe--Benjamin Saenz
23.  Alex Cross, Run--James Patterson
24.  Girlchild--Tupelo Hassman
25.  Seraphina--Rachel Hartman
26.  Saving Children from the Holocaust: The Kindertransport--Ann Byers
27.  Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran--Andy Taylor
28.  The Diviners--Libba Bray
29.  Kristallnacht: the Nazi Terror that Began the Holocaust--James Deem
30.  Daddy's Gone a Hunting--Mary Higgins Clark
31.  I'm No Hero: Journeys of a Holocaust Survivor--Henry Friedman
32.  12th of Never--James Patterson
33.  Rescuing the Danish Jews: A Heroic Story from the Holocaust--Ann Byers
34.  Miseducation of Cameron Post--Emily M. Danforth
35.  Second Honeymoon--James Patterson
36.  After the Snow--S.D. Crockett
37.  Dodger--Terry Pratchett
38.  Auschwitz: Voices from the Death Camp--James Deem
39.  That Summer--Sarah Dessen
40.  Claudia Silver to the Rescue--Kathy Ebel
41.  Devine Intervention--Martha Brockenbrough
42.  Damn Love--Jasmine Beach--Ferrara
43.  All the Summer Girls--Meg Donohue
44.  Reckless Heart--Amy Clipston
45.  Where I Belong--Gwendolyn Heasley
46.  Two Boys Kissing--David Levithan
47.  Someone Like You--Sarah Dessen
48.  Dreamland--Sarah Dessen
49.  Mind Games--Kiersten White
50.  Mistress--James Patterson
51.  Keeping the Moon--Sarah Dessen
52.  Five Chimneys:  a woman's true story of Auschwitz--Olga Lengyel
53.  The Longest Ride--Nicholas Sparks
54.  The Song of the Quarkbeast--Jasper Fforde
55.  Other People's Houses--Lore Segal

56.  Gone--James Patterson
57.  Mad About the Boy--Helen Fielding
58.  This Lullaby--Sarah Dessen
59.  Sycamore Row--John Grisham
60.  All I Need--Susane Colasanti
61.  Manhunt:  the 12-day chase for Lincoln's killer--James L Swanson
62.  Cross My Heart--James Patterson
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 27, 2013, 01:19:23 AM
Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is ending up on everyone's Top Ten list and getting all the hype and I really secretly wanted to hate it because of that and it's also not the kind of theme/plot/subject that interests me in the slightest.  But I have to say it really is that awesome.  So yeah, try and read if if you can even if you can't get to it in 2013. 
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on December 30, 2013, 08:47:02 AM
1. "Killing Floor" - Lee Child
2. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" - Lemony Snicket
3. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck" - Banana Yoshimoto
4. "The Black Book" - Michael Connelly
5. "A Stab in the Dark" - Lawrence Block
6. "The Casual Vacancy" - J.K. Rowling
7. "Hit Man" - Lawrence Block
8. "American Gods" - Neil Gaiman
9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" - Maria Semple
10. "Turning Tables" - Rose and Heather MacDowell
11. "Hit and Run" - Lawrence Block
12. "If You Were Here" - Jen Lancaster
13. "Hit Parade" - Lawrence Block
14. "Joyland" - Stephen King
15. "Ghostman" - Roger Hobbs
16. "The Last Word: A Spellman Novel" - Lisa Lutz
17. "Little Green" - Walter Mosley
18. "The Cuckoo's Calling" - Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
19. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman
20. "The Potty Mouth at the Table" - Laurie Notaro
21. "The Spectacular Now" - Tim Tharp
22. "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" - Kate Atkinson
23. "The Quiche of Death" - M.C. Beaton
24. "The Girl You Left Behind" - Jojo Moyes
25. "Salvation of a Saint" - Keigo Higashino
26. "American on Purpose" - Craig Ferguson
27. "Calling Me Home" - Julie Kibler - debut novel set in a fictitious "sundown" community near Newport, KY. Vizz told me about this book and we started reading it. Not sure if it's considered chick-lit or not. But, I loved it. It was a serious page-turner and offered up a gut-punch of a surprise towards the end (like put my book down with tears in my eyes and get weird looks from The Greg about why I'm suddenly so VERY emotional).
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Dan on December 30, 2013, 09:17:17 AM
1. Austin Grossman - Soon I Will Be Invincible
2. George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords
3. Dr. David Brunner and Sam Stall - The Cat Owner's Manual
4. Darlene Arden - The Complete Cat's Meow
5. Heather Dunphy - The Secret Language of Cats
6. Max Brooks - World War Z
7. J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye
8. George R.R. Martin - A Feast For Crows
9. Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton
10. Bob Harris - The International Bank of Bob
11. Peter Gethers - For the Love of Norton

Book 2 of the Peter Gethers "Norton" trilogy. Considerably less interesting than the first one and I found myself just racing to finish it so I could move on. Oh well. I do like Gethers quite a bit, though, including his writing style and his humor. I will finish the trilogy but it might not be for a while.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: c-lando on December 30, 2013, 03:46:03 PM
Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is ending up on everyone's Top Ten list and getting all the hype and I really secretly wanted to hate it because of that and it's also not the kind of theme/plot/subject that interests me in the slightest.  But I have to say it really is that awesome.  So yeah, try and read if if you can even if you can't get to it in 2013.
Good to know. I am currently waiting in line for it at the library!
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Cockney Rebel on December 30, 2013, 05:18:16 PM
1 • Bodhi Oser - Fuck This Book
2 • Neville Judd - 57 - Initial Draft
3 • Lawrence Block - Step By Step - A Walking Memoir
4 • Jeremy Greenberg - I'm Sorry I Barfed on your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty)
5 • Sean Tyla - Jumpin' in the Fire: A Life in Rock'n'Roll
6 • Rowland Rivron - What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? - The Memoir of an Accidental Comedian
7 • Darby Conley - Fuzzy Logic - Get Fuzzy 2
8 • Mary Roach - Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
9 • Mary Roach - Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
10 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - The Dog is Not a Toy (House Rule #4)
11 • Jem Roberts - The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent
12 • Darby Conley - The Get Fuzzy Experience - Are You Bucksperienced?
13 • Pat Long - The History of the NME - High Times & Low Lives at the World's Most Famous Music Magazine
14 • Darby Conley - Get Fuzzy - Blueprint for Disaster
15 • Tommy Connor - Val Doonican tell the stories of O'Rafferty
16 • Peter Gethers - A Cat Called Norton - The True Story of an Extraordinary Cat and his Imperfect Human
17 • Peter Gethers - For the Love of Norton - The Cat Who Taught His Human How to Live
18 • Peter Gethers - Forever Norton - The Perfect Cat, his Flawed Human and Life's Greatest Lesson
19 • Simon Hoggart - The Christmas Letters - The Ultimate Collection of Round Robin Letters
20 • Louise Wener - Goodnight Steve McQueen
21 • Danny Wallace - Charlotte Street
22 • Rod Stewart - Rod - The Autobiography
23 • Stuart Maconie - Hope and Glory - A People's History of Modern Britain
UK broadcaster Maconie once again shows his literary chops with this fascinating - and colourfully-written - book in which he travels to areas of Britain where 'history was made'. Not your usual places either. Subjects include the place where Queen Victoria died, the town where Tony Blair lived in when he was swept to victory in 1997, the dock where Britain's first ethnic immigrants landed (starting the multiculturalism I miss here in America), and - most vividly - the Orgreave colliery, where - in 1984 - union picketers were met with a hail of batons by police under the strict draconian orders of Thatcher the Bitch. This proved to be a marvellous read and recommended to anyone with even the vaguest interest in Britain's more recent history, and easily as good as Maconie's earlier works.
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Bubba McBubba on January 01, 2014, 08:29:11 PM
Here is the full list of what I read in 2013:

1. “BFI Film Classics: Chinatown” by Michael Eaton
2. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë
3. “Jar City” by Arnaldur Indridason
4. “We Are What We Pretend to Be” by Kurt Vonnegut
5. “The Atrocity Exhibition” by J.G. Ballard
6. “Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell” by Phil Lapsley
7. “Angela's Ashes” by Frank McCourt
8. “Last Days of an Immortal” by Fabien Vehlmann and Gwen de Bonneval
9. “Sexual Perversity in Chicago and The Duck Variations” by David Mamet
10. “The Man from Primrose Lane” by James Renner
11. “Insane City” by Dave Barry
12. “The Dinner” by Herman Koch
13. “The Atom Station” by Halldor Laxness
14. “The Inventor and The Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures” by Edward Ball
15. “33 1/3: American Recordings” by Tony Tost
16. “Mae Murray: The Girl With the Bee-Stung Lips” by Michael G. Ankerich
17. “What in God's Name” by Simon Rich
18. “Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops” by James Robert Parish
19. “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie
20. “Broken Harbor” by Tana French
21. “The Last Girlfriend on Earth” by Simon Rich
22. “Dodger” by Terry Pratchett
23. “Happyslapped by a Jellyfish” by Karl Pilkington
24. “Poppet” by Mo Hayder
25. “Wool” by Hugh Howey
26. “The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir” by William Friedkin
27. “Shift” by Hugh Howey
28. “Who's on Worst?: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History” by Filip Bondy
29. “Knots and Crosses” by Ian Rankin
30. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman
31. “Under the Dome” by Stephen King
32. “Faithful Place” by Tana French
33. “Saga: Volume 2” by Brian K. Vaughan
34. “Read & Burn: A Book About Wire”
35. “A Good Hanging” by Ian Rankin
36. “Red Handed” by Matt Kindt
37. “Bad Monkey” by Carl Hiassen
38. “Hanging Hill” by Mo Hayder
39. “Interworld” by Neil Gaiman
40. “Pride of Baghdad” by Brian K. Vaughan
41. “The Remaining” by D. J. Molles
42. “The Remaining Book 2: Aftermath” by D. J. Molles
43. “The Remaining Book 3: Refugees” by D. J. Molles
44. “The Remaining Book 4: Fractured” by D. J. Molles
45. “Dust” by Hugh Howey
46. “The Likeness” by Tana French
47. “The Long War” by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
48. “In the Woods” by Tana French
49. “Black Monk Time” by Thomas Edward Shaw and Anita Klemke
50. “A Girl's Ride in Iceland” by Mrs. (Ethel) Alec-Tweedie
51. “NOS4A2” by Joe Hill
52. “Very Naughty Boys” by Robert Sellers
53. “Night Film: A Novel” by Marisha Pessl
54. “Locke & Key 1:” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
55. “Locke & Key 2:” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
56. “Locke & Key 3:” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
57. “Locke & Key 4:” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
58. “Locke & Key 5:” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
59. “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery” by Robert Kolker
60. “Heart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill
61. “Lamentations of the Father” by Ian Frazier
62. “Hide & Seek” by Ian Rankin
63. “Mind Mgmt: Volume 1” by Matt Kindt
64. “Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II” by Mitchell Zuckoff
65. “Eminent Hipsters” by Donald Fagen
66. “11/22/63” by Stephen King
67. “33 1/3: Flood” by S. Alexander Reed and Philip Sandifer
68. “Let it Bleed” by Ian Rankin
69. “Ant Farm” by Simon Rich
70. “Elliot Allagash” by Simon Rich
71. “Maphead” by Ken Jennings
72. “Haunted Castles“ by Ray Russell
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: trixi on January 01, 2014, 09:15:15 PM
1.  Son--Lois Lowry
2.  A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
3.  Beyond Courage:  the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust--Doreen Rappaport
4.  Shadow Woman--Linda Howard
5.  In the Pleasure Groove:  Love, Death and Duran Duran--John Taylor
6.  Something Like Normal--Trish Doller
7.  On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave--Candace Fleming
8.  Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond--Tom Cox
9.  The Last Dragonslayer--Jasper Fforde
10.  Boy21--Matthew Quick
11.  Underworld--Meg Cabot
12.  Private Berlin--James Patterson
13.  Midsummer Tights Dream--Louise Rennison
14.  White Bicycle--Beverley Brenna
15.  The World Must Know: The History Of The Holocaust As Told In The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--Michael Berenbaum
16.  Wonder Show--Hannah Barnaby
17.  Jepp, Who Defied the Stars--Katherine Marsh
18.  Zero--Tom Leveen
19.  Madness Underneath--Maureen Johnson
20.  In Darkness--Nick Lake
21.  Love and Other Pershable Items--Laura Buzo
22.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe--Benjamin Saenz
23.  Alex Cross, Run--James Patterson
24.  Girlchild--Tupelo Hassman
25.  Seraphina--Rachel Hartman
26.  Saving Children from the Holocaust: The Kindertransport--Ann Byers
27.  Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran--Andy Taylor
28.  The Diviners--Libba Bray
29.  Kristallnacht: the Nazi Terror that Began the Holocaust--James Deem
30.  Daddy's Gone a Hunting--Mary Higgins Clark
31.  I'm No Hero: Journeys of a Holocaust Survivor--Henry Friedman
32.  12th of Never--James Patterson
33.  Rescuing the Danish Jews: A Heroic Story from the Holocaust--Ann Byers
34.  Miseducation of Cameron Post--Emily M. Danforth
35.  Second Honeymoon--James Patterson
36.  After the Snow--S.D. Crockett
37.  Dodger--Terry Pratchett
38.  Auschwitz: Voices from the Death Camp--James Deem
39.  That Summer--Sarah Dessen
40.  Claudia Silver to the Rescue--Kathy Ebel
41.  Devine Intervention--Martha Brockenbrough
42.  Damn Love--Jasmine Beach--Ferrara
43.  All the Summer Girls--Meg Donohue
44.  Reckless Heart--Amy Clipston
45.  Where I Belong--Gwendolyn Heasley
46.  Two Boys Kissing--David Levithan
47.  Someone Like You--Sarah Dessen
48.  Dreamland--Sarah Dessen
49.  Mind Games--Kiersten White
50.  Mistress--James Patterson
51.  Keeping the Moon--Sarah Dessen
52.  Five Chimneys:  a woman's true story of Auschwitz--Olga Lengyel
53.  The Longest Ride--Nicholas Sparks
54.  The Song of the Quarkbeast--Jasper Fforde
55.  Other People's Houses--Lore Segal
56.  Gone--James Patterson
57.  Mad About the Boy--Helen Fielding
58.  This Lullaby--Sarah Dessen
59.  Sycamore Row--John Grisham
60.  All I Need--Susane Colasanti
61.  Manhunt:  the 12-day chase for Lincoln's killer--James L Swanson
62.  Cross My Heart--James Patterson
63.  The Himmler Brothers: a German family history--Katrin Himmler
64.  Unthinkable--Nancy Werlin
Title: Re: 2013 books in 2013
Post by: Jen on January 02, 2014, 09:55:26 AM
The final tally with ratings and date completed.

   1.   The House of Velvet and Glass-Katherine Howe 3 stars (1/9/13)
   2.   The Fifth Knight-E.M. Powell 3 stars (1/23/13)
   3.   In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin-Erik Larson 4 stars (1/24/13)
   4.   Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein 3 stars (2/3/13)
   5.   Agincourt-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (2/20/13)
   6.   The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest- #1)-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (3/4/13)
   7.   A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving 4 stars (4/1/13)
   8.   The Cider House Rules-John Irving 4 stars (4/18/13)
   9.   Angela's Ashes: A Memoir-Frank McCourt 4 stars (4/30/13)
   10.   Benjamin Franklin: The Man Who Dared the Lightning-Thomas J. Fleming 5 stars (5/16/13)
   11.   Mayflower: The Voyage From Hell-Kevin Jackson 4 stars (5/22/13)
   12.   Case Histories-Kate Atkinson 3 stars (5/31/13)
   13.   One Good Turn-Kate Atkinson 3 stars (6/8/13)
   14.   The Fort: A Novel of the Revolutionary War-Bernard Cornwell 5 stars (6/20/13)
   15.   Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles- #1)-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (7/1/13)
   16.   Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles- #2)-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (7/12/13)
   17.   Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles- #3)-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (7/24/13)
   18.   The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles- #4)-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (8/12/13)
   19.   Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story-Freddie Owens 5 stars (8/19/13)
   20.   Something Wicked This Way Comes-Ray Bradbury 5 stars (8/23/13)
   21.   Anansi Boys-Neil Gaiman 5 stars (8/31/13)
   22.   The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary-Simon Winchester-5-9/9/13
   23.   Murder Bay: A Ben Carey Mystery-David R. Horwitz 5 stars (9/12/13)
   24.   The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery-Steve Sheinkin 4 stars (9/18/13)
   25.   The Welsh Girl-Peter Ho Davies 4 stars (9/25/13)
   26.   The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories- #1)-Bernard Cornwell 5 stars (10/7/13)
   27.   The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories- #2)-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (10/15/13)
   28.   Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories- #3)-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (10/22/13)
   29.   Sword Song (The Saxon Stories- #4)-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (10/29/13)
   30.   The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories- #5)-Bernard Cornwell 3 stars (11/5/13)
   31.   Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories- #6)-Bernard Cornwell 4 stars (11/13/13)
   32.   Hannah's Dream-Diane Hammond 5 stars (11/18/13)
   33.   Seriously Mum What's an Alpaca - An Adventure in the Frying Pan of Spain-Alan Parks 4 stars (11/21/13)
   34.   Seriously Mum- Where's that Donkey?-Alan Parks 4 stars (11/25/13)
   35.   Georgiana Darcy's Diary: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Continued (Pride and Prejudice Chronicles- #1)-Anna Elliott 4 stars (12/9/13)
   36.   The Rocking Chair-Steven Manchester 4 stars (12/12/13)
   37.   Know Your Baker-John M. Keller 5 stars (12/20/13)
   38.   Shadowland-C.M. Gray 4 stars (12/31/13)