2017 Reading Challenge

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:24 pm

Oldtimer said "I enjoyed this read, too, but there was one event which I cannot accept as plausible. That was when the MC's former girlfriend, who is about to marry someone else, turned up in the middle of the night just for a chat."

Really? Connecting with a former lover - - even to the point of having sex - - is probably a cliche. I have had a woman call me up and want to rehash why the relationship didn't work, shortly before she got married.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby Oldtimer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:18 am

[quote="DrG2"]Oldtimer said "I enjoyed this read, too, but there was one event which I cannot accept as plausible. That was when the MC's former girlfriend, who is about to marry someone else, turned up in the middle of the night just for a chat."

Really? Connecting with a former lover - - even to the point of having sex - - is probably a cliche. I have had a woman call me up and want to rehash why the relationship didn't work, shortly before she got married.[/quote]

Oh! I must have led a very sheltered life. :)

Or perhaps it only happens to men. :) :)
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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:14 pm

sometimes it's good to be sheltered.

37. Moriarty, by Anthony Horowitz. In the world of Sherlock Holmes, but without Holmes or Watson, except as mentioned by other characters. There is a twist near the end which made me want to toss the book. The twist explained why I disliked some of the plotting, but it was still very irritating.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:40 pm

38. The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner. A YA story, full of cliches. 3 POV: the son of a snake-handling preacher, in jail for child pornography on his computer; a humongous fan of a particular fantasy novel series; a quirky rich girl who is a fashion blogger who takes the two boys under her wing. If the character isn't in the rich girl's family, they are all sorts of ignorant southerner. all extreme evangelicals are exhibiting (or hiding) serious character flaws.

meh. too many cliches, too much bad dialogue. I read the first 1/3 of it, then went to the end to see how it resolved, then went back to find out how one of the characters died (pointless death: any one want to guess which character died?).

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby Oldtimer » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:32 pm

31. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (Five stars)

Funny, delightful and, at times, irritating - that's my opinion of Flavia de Luce. There were times when I thought of Artemis Fowl, but not often. Alan Bradley has created a unique little heroine here, and I thoroughly enjoyed following her antics.

But on a few occasions I was reminded that this story was not written by an English person. First, the policeman's car is referred to as a blue Vauxhall sedan. Then Mr. Bradley had Flavia use her braces to pick a lock. Had he chosen to use her hair clip (bobby pin to you) or hair slide, that would have been authentic (and stronger), but dental braces are an American 'thing' - they certainly weren't endured by English teenagers back in 1950. Another jolt came when Flavia looked up a teacher in a 1920 year book. No, no, no, no, no. Publishing year books is another American practice adopted by the English, but not until long after 1950.

Now I'm looking forward to reading "The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag".
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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby noob » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:49 pm

antifragile by taleb

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:31 pm

39. Nabokov's Favorite Color Was Mauve, by Ben Blatt. ****. Blatt explores some writing wisdom and curiosities, applying statistics to the questions. For example, the idea that adverbs are bad (they're bad if you use too many of them).

I strongly advise writers to read this, though at least half of it falls into the "curiosity" category.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby Oldtimer » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:05 am

32. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley. Five stars

I felt the author overdid the chemistry in this second of the series. Pigeon sh-t indeed! Perhaps I should send a copy of this book to the cleaner-uppers in London's Trafalgar Square. Ah, but then there might not be enough sunshine to activate the poop. The adult nature of the relationships also troubled me. Flavia is a mite young (at eleven) to be dealing with love affairs and infidelities, precocious as she is.

Overall, I enjoyed the read. I'll wait a few weeks, though, before I go to the library to find the next in the series. Meantime I'm getting my teeth into a scholarly work about London and the Colonies from 1650 to 1800. In spite of pages half-filled with source references, I am finding it a fascinating study.
Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby pls » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:29 am

Actually, "Weed" is the last in the series so far, not the second.
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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby Oldtimer » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:07 pm

[quote="pls"]Actually, "Weed" is the last in the series so far, not the second.[/quote]

I must have misread the list! If "String" is the latest book, then Flavia must be older and perhaps more able to deal with the situations I found too adult for her.

There was one other point in "String" which puzzled me. Why should Robin's mother dress up in his clothes and then go to the dovecote? Seems to me there would be less risk of her being spotted if the clothes were kept in the dovecote where she had her shrine. Ah, but then there would be no trail of footprints, and Flavia wouldn't have seen the woman in her child's clothing. A bit contrived for my liking. But, as I said, overall I enjoyed reading this book.
Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

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