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2017 Reading Challenge : Writers' Block Party • Page 3 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

2017 Reading Challenge

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
cjr1977
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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby cjr1977 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:50 pm

Book 3 finished yesterday morning.
The Serpents Shadow by Rick Riordan for the completion of the series.
As a bonus it included a short story with one of the characters from this series and one of the characters from the Percy Jackson series.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby Oldtimer » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:25 am

4. Look Before you Jump by D. A. Bale Four Stars
It was a freebie. That's why this 80-year-old grandma chose to read "Look before you jump". I thought I was in for a trashy chicklit novel, but found for the most part that it was a lively story of a frisky woman who had a lot going for her. I particularly liked the way she became a sleuth and set about finding what really happened to her new friend. Reminiscences about the old boyfriend were funny and made this frequently water-drenched bar bunny a likeable person. I give it a thumbs-up and might even read it again when I need cheering up.
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 DrG2 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:27 pm

4. Fireman, by Joe Hill. ***1/2. A fungal epidemic is sweeping the world that blights people with gold-specked black marks before causing them (sometimes much later) to ignite and burn to death. The MC, a nurse, gets infected around the same time she gets pregnant. Her (abusive) husband leaves to avoid getting infected and later tries to kill her. She ends up hiding out with over 100 other infected people at a summer camp who have found a way to live with the fungus. Stuff happens, some of her friends die, book ends with a new hope.

There is much to like about the book. I thought the writing was overall very good, but I felt the premise and plotting were train wrecks. I'd have been fine with the premise if a metaphysical explanation was given, but Hill tries to provide a scientific explanation for it (and how to control it) that I think are ludicrous. The plotting is largely waiting around until something happens, then dealing with it. The last 100 or so pages become a road trip, but I expected the twist that was to come, right off the bat.

It's about 750 pages and needs to shed about a third of that, imo. It's not terrible, but it's my least favorite of the three Hill novels I've read.

5. Dare to Be A Great Writer. By Leonard Bishop. ****. there are 329 short essays on specific aspects of writing. Although I thought about 1/4 of them were crap - - dated or outright wrong - - I found this book to be thought-provoking and helpful. It was published in 1988, but Bishop's perspective seems a couple decades earlier than that. I found it on a free book shelf at a coffee shop, and I'm happy I took it home.
It is a Writer's Digest book.

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roda havet
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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby roda havet » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:22 am

1. The Darkening By Paul Antony Jones
[color=#00BF00]Dream to live, live to dream, and write to love, love to write![/color]

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby miketom » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:46 am

Not sure why this is here now, but.......
1) The Lightning Thief
2) The Sea of Monsters
3) The Titan's Curse
4) The Battle of the Labyrinth,
all by Rick Riodan. I'm reading his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. One book to go. The 1st 2 were made into movies; as always, the books are better than the movies.
Formerly known as J T Hall and Lyn Carceo
Creator of a hanson/dragon/dinosaur world

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby miketom » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:57 am

Formerly known as J T Hall and Lyn Carceo
Creator of a hanson/dragon/dinosaur world

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:07 pm

6. Moonglow, by Micahael Chabon. ****. I really like chabon's writing, but this wasn't up to the par of my favorites. It's basically the story of his maternal grandparents, one of which (sort of ) was a survivor of the holocaust and the other was an American soldier trying to capture Werner von Braun. They met after the war, and their love survived her bouts of insanity. The thing that screwed things up for me was that it's subtitled "a novel" yet it was presented as a memoir.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby Oldtimer » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:47 am

5. The Rule of Three: Part 3 by Wednesday Once. Four stars (not quite as gripping as Parts 1 and 2 imho)

I almost (note that 'almost') feel sorry for Tufrota. She falls apart after she learns that Lucy has died, rendering her killing of Harvey unnecessary so far as the Rule of Three is concerned. There is a glimmer of hope. If the two policemen who were locked in the dark room by Mr. Benedict die, it will make another threesome. They are definitely connected to Harvey as they are investigating his death. She had left them in there, not daring to use her spare key. However, there is no sign of them when she returns to work after a 3-day illness. Mr. Benedict must have let them go. Without the Rule of Three to validate her actions, it means she is a murderer.

She remembers her first killing, committed when she was only nine and before she had embraced the Rule of Three. She has the gold coin that had been the means of Albert's disposal in her pocket. The Headmistress returned it to her recently as a warning. That makes two unjustified murders.

It looks as if the Headmistress is out to get her. But apparently not, for it wasn't her old friend, Cody, who rescued her and provided wonderful medicine that helped her through the fever. It was the Headmistress. Now why would she do that? Seeking answers, Tufrota risks life and limb by breaking into the Orphanage - her old home - only to find the Headmistress sitting there in the darkness, watching her every move. Tufrota picks up a letter opener and goes to attack the Headmistress but that accursed woman drives the blade deep into her own chest.

What now? Will the Headmistress die? If she does, will her death bring the Rule of Three into play again and free Tufrota from the guilt of murder? We must wait for Part 4 to find out.
Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

cjr1977
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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby cjr1977 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:45 pm

For some reason I couldn't access the forum website while I was at my cousin's house so here are books 4-7

4: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling
This one and number 5 were screenplays. A very different sort of read and in this case pointless since I had already seen the movie and they were identical word for word.

5: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling and some other people
Still different since it was a screenplay but I enjoyed it. It seemed like there was a lot more meat to this one compared with Fantastic Beasts

6 & 7: Kingbreaker, Kingmaker series
This was a two book series, "The Innocent Mage" and "The Awakened Mage" by Karen Miller, although they may as well have been one book since the second book really picked up where the first left off and continued the same story line. It was a slow start but once the story got going I couldn't put it down.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby Oldtimer » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:54 pm

I don't know what is going on in my subconscious, but the books I have currently been reading link to each other in several ways. Archaeological digs have featured in two, as have raising someone else's child and sea journeys. The next book has similarities to two other books that I will review another time.

6. The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford. Five stars

This story, in which Agatha Christie is the main character, kept my interest throughout. It deals with a period in the novelist's life when she apparently lost her memory after the breakup of her marriage. Using her maiden last name, she leaves England behind her for a long holiday aboard the Orient Express. It takes her to many interesting places which are easily imagined from the deft descriptions Ms Ashford provides. Early on in the journey, "Mary" prevents a distraught young woman ("Nancy") from jumping off the train in an attempted suicide. Nancy's lover bears a striking resemblance to Agatha's ex-husband, a fact that only becomes relevant at the end of the story.
Agatha bonds with another traveler who shares her compartment. Katharine is captivating and effortlessly, it seems, draws men and women alike under her spell. However, under her alluring womanly perfection, lies a dreadful, painful secret.
I won't reveal the rest of the story for fear of spoiling it for you.
While I was reading, I made three predictions which proved to be correct. However, those few "I know what's going to happen" moments didn't detract from my enjoyment of this interesting semi-factual story.

7. Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks. Five stars (I would give it ten if I could) (Another semi-factual story)

I sat up until the early hours reading this novel, spellbound by its quality. Based on fact. It tells the story of a tiny English village that, in 1666, sacrificed two-thirds of its population in order to prevent the Black Death spreading into the Derbyshire countryside. Geraldine Brooks writes in language that is in keeping with the time of the story - colorful, full of natural idioms and archaic terms which are yet perfectly understandable. Within the framework of this beautiful language she weaves a tale of intense emotions, and fully captures the loss and despair that pervaded the saddened streets of Eyem for the fifteen months of the villagers' self-imposed exile.
The fight to believe in a God that could send such a scourge is a pivot on which the story hinges, in particular between the two main characters - Anna, the capable, dutiful servant, and Michael Mompellion, the charismatic rector. Anna's devotion to the rector after he loses his beloved wife shines like a thread of gold through the pages, but vanishes on the day she learns of his perverted cruelty. That cruelty is, of course, a figment of Geraldine Brooks' imagination, but I swear it felt true to life when I read about it, and I gasped "How could you?"
The story has a happy ending for Anna. I'm not sure whether Michael Mompellion ever found the inner peace that she did.
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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