2018 Reading Challenge.

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This topic contains 45 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  margery65w 1 month ago.

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  • #346709

    debbieolch
    Participant

    Tell us how many you are aiming for in 2018!

    I aim for 52 again (I read 70-something last year), though I hope to beat that.

    1. The Apothecary’s Curse, by Barbara Bennett. I picked this up at a writers’ conference because it was (partially) set in Victorian London. The story is good, and it has a Victorian feel – – an apothecary’s potion has the unintended effect of causing immortality. Two guys become immortal, though they didn’t want to. One must live on after his wife’s death. It becomes a mystery as they search for the tome that might cure them while thriller aspects crop up when pharmaceutical companies want the information for themselves (The story jumps around from 1835 to the present).

  • #655316

    Anonymous

    I have not been successful in these challenges but I’ll try again. I just need books that I can jump into and be carried away.

    DrG2, the book you read sounds interesting, I think I’ll start there. Thanks for sharing a description.

    I’ll commit to 12, a book a month, with a goal of 25.

  • #655317

    debbieolch
    Participant

    I’ve been negligent.
    2. My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent. *****. A 14 y.o. girl is being raised by a single parent–an end-of-civilization-conspiracy-theorist-father–in a rotting shack in the woods of Mendocino Co., CA. Think of everything that can go wrong with that. It happens to her.

    An excellent novel by a debut novelist. He did such terrible things to his main character that I’d be inclined to punch him in the face if I saw him at a writers’ conference.

    3. The Talented Ribkins, by Ladee Hubbard. *****. Two 5-stars in a row, both from debut novelists. A 72-year-old man goes to the house of his brother’s widow to dig up some money he had left there 14 years ago. He finds an unknown niece and ends up taking her on a road trip back and forth across Florida to search for more of his buried caches of treasure (he owes money to a nefarious dude). Their family have odd super powers. For example, the man can draw maps ideally suited for some outcome, and can draw detailed plans of houses (including where the good stuff is) from simply viewing the outside of the house. His deceased brother could climb walls. His niece can catch anything thrown at her (though we find out later her talent is somewhat greater than that).

    Well written (though MUCH more spare than the previous book, which is full of looooong sentences), funny, and with heart.

    Note about race: The author of this book is African-American and I visualized the characters as black, although there is hardly any description of anything that would imply race (other than backstory of the superheroes defending civil rights folks decades ago). OTOH, I recently watched the TV series American Gods, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, and was surprised that the MC was black. I can’t recall Gaiman describing the character as black, and since his name is “Shadow,” it seems rather racist unless it was played as a joke, which, again, I can’t recall it being done.

    4. Beta read of a novel written by someone I know from another writers’ site.

    5. The Watchmen, written by Alan Moore. ****. A compilation of the twelve Watchmen episodes, re-edited and with additional material. I’ve seen the movie, but hadn’t read the graphic novel before this. The writing is good. The story is good. The additional material gives a little bit of insight into the production of graphic novels.

  • #655318

    debbieolch
    Participant

    6. Scat, by Carl Hiassen. ****. MG book. A boy goes on a field trip which is cut short by a fire in the swamp, his teacher is lost, and the “bad boy” in his class is missing. Oh, and he sees some nut in a panther suit. Like most or all of Hiassen’s novels, there is an environmental theme – – in this case endangered Florida panthers – – and some very quirky characters.

    7. Damn Fine Writing, by Chuck Wendig ****. Chuck tells us how to write. Most of it was pretty good. I wouldn’t advocate it as your first book on writing, or for young readers (Chuck’s vocabulary is a bit salty), and he repeatedly used a badly mixed metaphor, but it might help.

    8. Shadows Bright and Burning, by Jessica Cluess. ****. YA Fantasy. The story was pretty good–a girl has magical abilities which she thinks makes her a witch, except witches are banned, so she tries to hide them. Then a bad guy shows up and she has to use her abilities to save her friend, but a sorcerer says she is a sorcerer too, which is OK, except there haven’t been many (if any) female sorcerers, so it puts her in an odd situation with a half dozen male sorcerer students. It turns out later she’s not a sorcerer, either. The plotting and writing was so-so, but the main character was fairly interesting.

  • #655319

    cypher
    Participant

    I forget to set a reading target for 2018. I shouldn’t be so busy this year, so I’ll make it 50 books. So far, I have read:

    1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngosi Adichie
    2. Did you ever have a family by Bill Clegg
    3. Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

    I also started reading The Hidden Machinery by Margot Livesey, but gave up on it after 70 pages. Hearing Ms Livesey speak at our Library was far more interesting.

  • #655320

    debbieolch
    Participant

    9. Refrigerator Monologues, by Catherynne Valente. A group of connected stories with female main characters who have been “fridged” in male-dominated stories. Fridging includes things like a woman who dies for to sole purpose of motivating a male character to do something.

    10. Every Soul a Star, by Wendy Mass. Three thirteen-year old people (two girls and a boy) are dealing with changes and share the experience of a complete solar eclipse.

    11. A beta read for a writer on another writing site.

  • #655321

    debbieolch
    Participant

    12. A Plague of Giants, by Kevin Hearne. Giants from across an uncrossable sea have invaded. Hearne uses an ambitious storytelling structure – – a few scenes “in the moment,” but most are told by a bard with magical abilities (he can appear to be other characters, be heard over long distances, etc.).

    I quit reading after about 110 pages (of a 600 page book), because the structure didn’t allow me to connect with any of the many (6-10) characters whose stories are being told.

    It did remind me a tad of Lincoln in the Bardo, but with 1/10th of the writing ability.

  • #655322

    cypher
    Participant

    4. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson – Not my cup of tea but acclaimed by many. It was our Library Club read for March.

  • #655323

    debbieolch
    Participant

    13. The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco. Basically it’s a thriller set in an abbey in the thirteenth century. I thought it was very cleverly written and I enjoyed it, in spite of its glacial pace. Eco has an essay after the novel in which he discusses writing the book and writing historical fiction in general. I thought it was pretty good and could help fantasy writers too (or any novel that has a lot of world building in it).

  • #655324

    cypher
    Participant

    5. Ordinary Lives a Hundred years ago by Carol Adams
    The book was published in 1982 so some of the contents are not as old as I would have liked, but it is still a fascinating read and is very useful for my research into my ancestors’ lives.

  • #655325

    debbieolch
    Participant

    14. Beautiful Days by Joyce Carol Oates. ****1/2. the most-recent collection of short stories by a master writer of short stories. a few speculative fiction stories in here. Oates is one of my favorite writers, so I liked this a lot.

    15. Perfect Shadow, by Brent Weeks. **** A novella of backstory for one character in his first series of fantasy books, and a short story following another character (not sure if it fits within the trilogy or is after it–I’ve only read two of the three books so far). Weeks is one of the best current writers in fantasy.

    16. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. *****. A 14 year old boy living on a reservation decides to go to a white high school off the reservation. An excellent book which I advocate for middle school and (early) high school readers, and adults who like to read a well-written story.

  • #655326

    cypher
    Participant

    6. How to be a Victorian by Ruth Goddard.
    Ruth Goddard goes to extraordinary lengths to acquaint herself with routine daily Victorian life, which makes for a very interesting read.

    7. The Secret History of the South Sea Bubble by Malcolm Balen.
    Another fascinating read about one year in history (1720/21) when the English economy was ruined, each chapter being compared with events that took place during the not-so-far-distant dotcom bubble.

  • #655327

    cypher
    Participant

    8. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
    Interesting record of country life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. To my surprise, I recognized some of the games I used to play and the songs we sang at primary school. Now I know I’m getting old!

  • #655328

    debbieolch
    Participant

    Oldtimer wrote:
    > 6. How to be a Victorian by Ruth Goddard.
    > Ruth Goddard goes to extraordinary lengths to acquaint herself with routine
    > daily Victorian life, which makes for a very interesting read.
    >
    I thought that was the best of the 4-6 books I’ve read on Victorian life.

    17. Light of the World, by James Lee Burke. **** A thriller surrounding a group of Louisianans spending some time in Montana. A serial killer who had been thought dead is on the loose, terrorizing and killing for fun and prophet. He has an attachment to a young woman who interviewed him in jail. She in in MT with her father (a detective, the main character of the book), her father’s best friend (a P.I.), the best friend’s daughter (a recent film school grad and a former paid killer for organized crime), and her mother, and are staying at the home of a novelist. Lots of stuff happens, winding strands together until the unwind in violence.

    Burke is the king of badassery, and there’s a lot of that here. The resolution of all the subplots seemed a bit contrived, but it was a nice ride to follow.

    For Writers: Burke writes the scenes from the detective’s viewpoint in first person, but scenes from the other characters’ perspectives in third person, and the first person scenes are a minority of the book – – maybe a quarter of it.

  • #655329

    cypher
    Participant

    9. Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer
    An eyebrow-raising account of how the Clintons (who said they were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001) became fabulously wealthy during Hillary’s reign as secretary of state.
    It will be a long time before my eyebrows return to their proper position.

  • #655330

    jIPPity
    Participant

    DrG2 wrote:

    > For Writers: Burke writes the scenes from the detective’s viewpoint in first person,
    > but scenes from the other characters’ perspectives in third person, and the first
    > person scenes are a minority of the book – – maybe a quarter of it.

    Interesting. That’s exactly what Steven James does in his FBI thrillers.

    The earliest example I know of that mixes first and third POV narration is “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens. But maybe someone knows of a still earlier example?

    –Warren

  • #655331

    debbieolch
    Participant

    wdarcy wrote:
    > DrG2 wrote:
    >
    > > For Writers: Burke writes the scenes from the detective’s viewpoint in first
    > person,
    > > but scenes from the other characters’ perspectives in third person, and the
    > first
    > > person scenes are a minority of the book – – maybe a quarter of it.
    >
    > Interesting. That’s exactly what Steven James does in his FBI thrillers.
    >
    > The earliest example I know of that mixes first and third POV narration is
    > “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens. But maybe someone knows of a still
    > earlier example?
    >
    > –Warren

    It’s quite common where the great majority of the scenes follow the first person narrator; this was odd because there were so many other POV characters and the first person narrator represented a minority of the whole book. However, this is part of a long series of “Dave Robichoux” books and perhaps the early ones were dominated by the first person narrator.

    18. Oyster, by John Biguenet. ****. Two families of oystermen in Louisiana with lots of history between them. Greed, violence, and the ties that bind. I thought it was very good, though the characters didn’t speak as I’ve heard similar characters speak. The main character is an 18-year-old girl who has been forced into an engagement with a much older man. Set in 1957.

  • #655332

    debbieolch
    Participant

    19. You Should Be Writing, by Mur Lafferty. A “get up off your butt and start writing” kind of writing book. It wasn’t terrible (though it was very short–the page count is inflated by blank pages for writing exercises).

    20. Plague Year, by Jeff Carlson. nanobots infect all warm blooded animals living below 10,000 feet in elevation. The book follows one of the survivors living in the Sierra Nevadas and a scientist striving to find a cure, who is on the international space station. I quit after about 25% into the book. Wasn’t interesting enough (beyond the premise), and the characters were meh.

  • #655333

    cypher
    Participant

    10. Over to Candleford by Flora Thompson
    The middle book in the 3-part series. It covers the period from Laura’s juvenile years to her leaving home in Larks Rise to start her first job in the Post Office at Candleford.
    It is a good story with some wonderful descriptions of character and countryside. I was an avid reader when I was Laura’s age, but I got lost in the books and lived in a world of my own with no heed to what was going on around me.
    Not so Laura. The author gave her a very good memory – too good, in my view. I was constantly aware that an adult was writing this child’s story.

    11. Killing the Deep State – The Fight to save President Trump by Jerome R Corsi, PhD.
    To me, this came over as a recording of Hannity’s television show without the commercial breaks. However, it helped me to understand what happened and when it happened.
    Unfortunately it was written in a hurry and there were several words missed out or wrongly spelled. One glaring example: underserved instead of undeserved. That extra ‘r’ made the sentence completely the opposite of what Dr. Corsi intended.

  • #655334

    debbieolch
    Participant

    21. Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan. ****. a pulizer winner, this book is really a collection of linked short stories rather than a true novel. The main character in a chapter might have been a minor character in a previous chapter (or merely mentioned in an earlier chapter. The backbone of the story follows a group of teenagers from high school to age 60 or so. The stories are not strictly linear in chronology. The styles vary greatly from chapter to chapter. In one case, it has a second person narrator. In another chapter, the the story is told by a series of powerpoint slides created by a teenager to describe her family.

    It was very good and pretty innovative.

  • #655335

    cypher
    Participant

    12. Candleford Green by Flora Thompson.
    The last book in the trilogy, covering the time Laura spent as the assistant post mistress at Candleford Green until she left to find her way in the big wide world.
    Laura’s love of the countryside stayed with her throughout the stories and the author’s descriptions brought back memories of my walks in quiet, shady Yorkshire woods.
    However, the abundance of flowers and birds and good-hearted people conjured up a “nymphs-and-shepherds” pastoral bliss, and, by the time I finished reading, Laura’s life didn’t seem genuine any more.
    This book is, I believe, a true account, but (in my view) it was too much of a good thing.

  • #655336

    cypher
    Participant

    13. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
    A bestseller. “One of the year’s [2010] highlights. Intense and compelling.” “Moving, fanciful, and gorgeously strange.”
    Yup. Strange it was. In fact, I can’t recall reading a stranger book. I might have been able to suspend my disbelief if there had been just one person in this family who was blessed?/cursed? with an unusual gift, but TWO? Nah. Never.
    I’ve heard the expression … being part of the furniture … indicating someone who, although always present, is unnoticed, but to sink into a chair, to actually become the chair – no, I found that too hard to imagine, especially as the sibling’s foodie quirk was immensely hard to imagine, too.
    I hope our Library’s Book Club chooses a more logical book for next month.

  • #655337

    debbieolch
    Participant

    22. The Literate Thief, by Walter Rhein. I read this for a guy who wanted a review. Second book in a series which reads like Fantasy, though it is in a post-apocalyptic world where some technology (particularly drugs) take the place of magic. Strong undercurrent of breaking down a society where the powerful have much and the masses have nothing.

    23. The Patron Saint of Liars, by Ann Patchett. ****1/2. Her first novel. A pregnant woman leaves her husband and travels most of the way across the country to a home for unwed pregnant girls. She ends up keeping the child and marrying a man (bigamy) who worked at the home. First part is from her POV, second part is from POV of her second husband, third part is from POV of her daughter (she’s about 15 y.o.. at the end). I thought it was excellent, though the ending wasn’t very satisfying to me.

  • #655338

    debbieolch
    Participant

    24. Elmet, by Fiona Mozley. **** A teenage boy, his older sister, and their father live outside the law in northern England. The father is a bare-knuckle fighter, who also does odd jobs. They are squatting on land that the kids mother used to own, but was taken away by the guy that either owned or controlled most of the land in the county. The father has an opportunity to earn back the land by fighting one last fight. The bad guy’s son is killed in the vicinity of the fight and decades of bad blood is resolved in violence. I liked this very much, except there were patches where I kinda zoned out when nothing happened. It would have been better if it were 50 pages shorter.

    25. You were Never Really Here, by Jonathan Ames. Apparently this started as an ebook, became a movie, and then was published as a print book by a different publisher. The author is a writer and producer/showrunner of TV shows. It’s neo-noir, which I tend to like, but I didn’t like this. The plot was unbelievable, and the main character went out of his way to not kill the bad guys (who were mostly corrupt cops).

    BTW, the movie based on this book won best screenplay at Cannes in 2017, which either means it was modified greatly from the book, or the judges are idiots.

  • #655339

    debbieolch
    Participant

    26. The Glass Key, by Dashiell Hammett. ****. Classic Hammett. A tough male protagonist expressing classically male virtues. Women existing to complicate men’s lives. A mystery to solve, which is mostly irrelevant.

    27. The God-shaped Box, by Tiffanie DeBartolo. I guess it’s a romance, but it was full of the worst cliches and became unreadable before I got too far.

  • #655340

    debbieolch
    Participant

    28. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. ****1/2. A girl starts her freshman year in high school after being ostracized for calling the cops on a party that included many high school students. The writing is good and believable. The only things I didn’t like is that the first person narrator played around with revealing what happened at the party (she was drunk and raped) although it was obvious from the beginning (she finally made it clear what happened about 2/3 of the way into the novel), and the ending was a bit contrived.

    29. Animals Eat Each Other, by Elle Nash. This was crap. A young woman (seems shortly after high school) screws anyone who takes an interest, including her older (male) boss, her (female) friend, and a couple with a child (she doesn’t screw the infant child, at least). She wants to have a “relationship” with the couple as a couple and also with each individually. When that blows up, both members of the couple call her a slut and the MC presumably moves on, not really changing or learning anything.

  • #655341

    cypher
    Participant

    14. Visionary II by Members of the British Interplanetary Society.
    Some great stories by other members of the BIS who know what they are talking about in terms of astrophysics. My fantasy looked a bit odd by comparison. I enjoyed the read, except for the poor proof-reading that spoilt half-a-dozen or more stories. Everyone working on the book was a volunteer and received no compensation for work or stories. However, I think paying for a basic edit would have been worthwhile.

  • #655342

    cypher
    Participant

    15. The Capital and the Colonies : London and the Atlantic Economy 1660-1700 by Nuala Zahedieh.
    I thought this was going to be as dry as dust when I picked it up, but it held my interest all the way through.
    Who’d have thought that a sea-going ship in the 1660x had an average life of approximately eleven years? And the risks that merchants took to send their ships over the Atlantic to bring back rice, sugar and tobacco were extremely high, some cargoes not even earning half of the merchant’s investment. I will be reading this book again while researching for my next novel.

  • #655343

    Anonymous

    Recently finished Roy Jenkins’, Churchill. A highly fascinating man but a dry slog of 912 pages. There have to be better biographies on the man out there.

  • #655344

    Anonymous

    Recently finished Tim Washburn’s, The Day After Oblivion. Apocalyptic thriller. Very entertaining. The nit is that the extremes between good and evil is wide – not a lot of gray in there.

  • #655345

    debbieolch
    Participant

    30. 41 Stories by O. Henry. A few of these still work well. Very twisty. Some damn racist.

    31. The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show, by Ariel Gore. Story of a young woman who “performs” in a show as a stigmatic. Things happen.

    32. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance, by Ruth Emmie Lang. ****1/2. A boy is raised by wolves and develops some magical powers. Then he is found and develops relationships with people. Almost entirely told from the perspectives of the other characters. Nice debut magical realism.

  • #655346

    debbieolch
    Participant

    33. In the Midst of Winter, by Isabel Allende. **** A man hits a patch of ice and ends up slightly damaging the rear of a woman’s car. Although he can speak Spanish, he has trouble talking with the woman who can barely speak due to her stammering. Later, the woman shows up at his house. The man asks his boarder, a 60-something woman, to interpret for him since she’s a native Spanish speaker. The young woman’s problem: she took the car without asking her employer (she’s an undocumented alien), and there is a dead body in the trunk (she knows the woman, but she doesn’t know who killed her).
    The older couple decides to help the younger woman dispose of the body and car, which involves a road trip to upstate New York during a snowstorm.
    Really, it’s the story of a romance between the older man and woman.
    The backstories of the three characters are laid out in great detail (more backstory than main story).

    34. Ambrose Bierce’s Write it Right, by Jan Freeman. Freeman discusses each item in the writing style book Bierce wrote 100+ years ago. The use of language has changed much since Bierce’s day, and he had peculiar tastes even for his time.

  • #655347

    cypher
    Participant

    16. 180 Literary Journals for Aspiring Authors by Emily Harstone. ****
    Interesting reading. It came as a surprise that so many literary journals do pay for submissions; some quite well. I started making a list of ‘possibles’ but soon realized I was indulging in another time-waster. I’ll never get round to actually submitting anything.

    17. 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson. ****
    Two-thirds of the way through, I put down my Kindle and asked myself: “Do I really want to finish reading this?” The story line is so, so depressing, and the constant switches of POV irritated me, as I struggled to determine who I was reading about and what year I was in. After the main characters’ secrets were revealed, I was sort of satisfied with the ending. I wish I could write like Amanda Hodgkinson but have no desire to write a convoluted story like this one.

  • #655348

    debbieolch
    Participant

    35. Madness is Better Than Defeat, by Ned Bauman. The premise sounded great: In 1938, a film crew travels to the jungles of S. America to film on location at a Mayan temple, only to find another group is halfway through dismantling the temple to send back to England (iirc). The inside front jacket promised a madcap adventure, and there are humorous events scattered through the text. However, this didn’t work for me, and I quit reading after 120 pages or so. Things went very slow (they’d gotten to 1946, when a German officer tells them that the world war involved the German-American alliance). The narrator was a character who didn’t even go to S. America (at least not as far as I read) and was recounting it from stories he had been told (he’s a CIA agent with a cover job at a newspaper). This leads to a lot of distance and no real connection to the characters.

  • #655349

    debbieolch
    Participant

    Oldtimer wrote:
    > 16. 180 Literary Journals for Aspiring Authors by Emily Harstone. ****
    > Interesting reading. It came as a surprise that so many literary journals
    > do pay for submissions; some quite well. I started making a list of
    > ‘possibles’ but soon realized I was indulging in another time-waster. I’ll
    > never get round to actually submitting anything.

    There are more than 180. There are places to do searches, such as Duotrope (which costs money, but I think you can get a free trial), or Ralan (which I think concentrates on speculative fiction), and a few others.

    I encourage you to submit, if you have a short story ready to go!

  • #655350

    Anonymous

    Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind. A must read. Tremendous, informative and entertaining.

  • #655351

    cypher
    Participant

    DrG2 wrote:
    > Oldtimer wrote:>
    > There are more than 180. There are places to do searches, such as Duotrope (which
    > costs money, but I think you can get a free trial), or Ralan (which I think
    > concentrates on speculative fiction), and a few others.
    >
    > I encourage you to submit, if you have a short story ready to go!

    Ralan? I hadn’t heard of Ralan. I’ll have to look it up.
    Thank you for the encouragement. I am nearly ready to self-publish a collection of 17 of my short stories that have accumulated in my file over the last ten years. I’ll be putting it out on Smashwords first.

  • #655352

    Anonymous

    Oldtimer – I took my books off Smashwords. Never made enough $$$ for my liking. I do everything exclusively through Amazon now and my advertising over Facebook and Instagram. Despite whatever Evil Empire status some deem it, I’ve made more money in a month using those platforms than I did on the few years I used Smashwords.

  • #655353

    cypher
    Participant

    Brien Sz wrote:
    > Oldtimer – I took my books off Smashwords. Never made enough $$$ for my
    > liking. I do everything exclusively through Amazon now and my advertising
    > over Facebook and Instagram. Despite whatever Evil Empire status some deem
    > it, I’ve made more money in a month using those platforms than I did on the
    > few years I used Smashwords.

    Thank you, Brien. I get page views on Smashwords. Like you, no sales. But Amazon yields no better results. Guess my work (or maybe the covers) isn’t/aren’t sufficiently interesting to evoke sales. 🙁

  • #655354

    Anonymous

    The cover is important. It’s what grabs your attention. I am sure I have passed on books because the cover didn’t allow me to pick it up. Having said that, I have bought books with good covers that turned out to be average or less in content. But, I have also chosen wisely because the cover grabbed my attention, I picked it up, liked what was being offered and out came money from my wallet.

  • #655355

    cypher
    Participant

    18. The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro.
    I haven’t rated this book because I know absolutely nothing about abstract painting techniques or of the artists who practiced them. Of course I’ve heard of Picasso and Salvadore Dali, but I have never understood why they painted the way they did. I prefer Constable, Turner, Monet, Manet, even Kinkade, although his pictures are too “perfect”. I found myself unable to appreciate the fervor and compulsion that drove Alizee to madness, or how she believed that abstract art (or non-resentational art) could overcome diplomatic resistance. However, I did share her despair about her family being in France during the time of Hitler, and her determination to get visas for them. I foresaw that the stay in the sanatorium would be her means of achieving her purpose and I’m glad the story had a happy ending. That was predictable, too.

  • #655356

    margery65w
    Participant

    Oldtimer wrote:

    Of course I’ve
    > heard of Picasso and Salvadore Dali, but I have never understood why they
    > painted the way they did.

    Picasso did it for the money. He was quite skilled at traditional paintings but made money faster with his later style.
    Kinkade was also in it for the money. Found a niche and exploited it.
    Dali was also in it for the money. He signed a lot of blank sheets used to print his images for use after he died so they could be called his.

  • #655357

    cypher
    Participant

    noobienieuw wrote:
    > Oldtimer wrote:
    > > heard of Picasso and Salvadore Dali, but I have never understood why they
    > > painted the way they did.
    > >
    Picasso did it for the money. He was quite skilled at traditional paintings but
    > made money faster with his later style.
    > Kinkade was also in it for the money. Found a niche and exploited it.
    > Dali was also in it for the money. He signed a lot of blank sheets used to print
    > his images for use after he died so they could be called his.

    That’s interesting. Thank you, noobienieuw.

  • #655358

    debbieolch
    Participant

    36. Robidoux, by James Lee Burke. **** Another novel in the Dave Robidoux series. Crimes were done, and it takes two manly men like Dave Robidoux and Clete Purcel to solve them (though both are getting rather old, they can still manhandle a younger man). Burke sprinkles some excellent description throughout the novel, elevating it above the average thriller.

    37. Adjustment Day, by Chuck Pahlaniuk. People across the country vote for who should be killed. Groups swell from the grassroots to conduct the murders (mostly of politicians, professors, and other public entities). New tribes form, creating new countries devoted to a particularly group: Caucasia, Blacktopia, Gaysia, etc. That doesn’t work as well as hoped. The premise was interesting, and there are plenty of funny bits, but there wasn’t enough humor to sustain interest for me because there were many POV characters who are slow to get to know.

    38. A More Perfect Ten, by Gary Garrison. A book of advice for writing ten-minute plays.

  • #655359

    margery65w
    Participant

    Oldtimer wrote:
    > noobienieuw wrote:
    > That’s interesting. Thank you, noobienieuw.

    You are welcome. I had to research art fraud once upon a time.
    Amazing what you can find out about the real art world if you look.

    I suspect most artists, like musicians, writers, and most any creative person is really hoping to make a lot of money.
    But if not getting rich, most of us at least have some fun being creative. Others move on to other schemes to get rich.

  • #655360

    margery65w
    Participant

    DrG2 wrote:
    > 36. Robidoux, by James Lee Burke. **** Another novel in the Dave Robidoux
    ……..
    > 38. A More Perfect Ten, by Gary Garrison. A book of advice for writing > ten-minute plays.

    Are you interested in writing short plays ?

    Do those plays equate to filming a short story with dialog for actors to speak?
    Googling indicates it has to be under ten minutes and is only one act.

    How would they be different from doing a script for a short movie ?
    Except the obvious constraint of the location being on stage.

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