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What Are You Reading? March 2012

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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annis
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Post by annis » Mon March 12th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Just finished Steven Saylor's Roman Blood, first in his Gordianus the Finder mystery series set in ancient Rome. This was a 20th anniversary edition- can't believe it's so long since I first read this, and I'm impressed by how well it stands up.

Debating now whether I now want to go for the next in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series (he first was trope-ridden, but very readable and i can see why the kids have embraced it, but one might be enough for me) or Daniel Woodrell's Tomato Red, a contemporary "country noir" novel. Woodrell's writing is just brilliant- i can't understand why he's not better known.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Tue March 13th, 2012, 1:41 pm

[quote=""annis""]Debating now whether I now want to go for the next in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series (he first was trope-ridden, but very readable and i can see why the kids have embraced it, but one might be enough for me) or Daniel Woodrell's Tomato Red, a contemporary "country noir" novel. Woodrell's writing is just brilliant- i can't understand why he's not better known.[/quote]

I read The Hunger Games trilogy last summer when my daughter (then 11) was reading them. She stopped after the 2nd book, because too much of it was just a rehash of the first, and I think also she was a little young to appreciate some of it. I read the trilogy and thought they worked as riveting page-turners but there were aspects of the world-building and character development that bugged me just a bit. We're looking forward to seeing the film when it comes to our neighborhood.

I'm currently reading Winifrid Holtby's South Riding.

Ash
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Post by Ash » Tue March 13th, 2012, 3:01 pm

Reading Among Others, a fantasy YA novel that was recommended to me. Has lots more than magic going on here, and I really like the main character.

annis
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Post by annis » Tue March 13th, 2012, 5:04 pm

Posted by Ludmilla
I read The Hunger Games trilogy last summer when my daughter (then 11) was reading them. She stopped after the 2nd book, because too much of it was just a rehash of the first, and I think also she was a little young to appreciate some of it. I read the trilogy and thought they worked as riveting page-turners but there were aspects of the world-building and character development that bugged me just a bit. We're looking forward to seeing the film when it comes to our neighborhood.
It struck me very much as being a more lethal version of Survivor - reality TV taken to the ultimate :) The Roman gladiatorial games started off as token funeral games and look where they ended up - food for thought? The movie is due out here soon and will definitely go to see it.

Currently reading more teen fiction- this one by Aussie author Margo Lanagan (though really, why her work gets relegated to YA shelves I don't know) Her stories are dark and poignant with fantasy elements and based on fairytales, but of the older, more primal sort. I adored Tender Morsels, which plays with the Snow White, Rose Red story. This one, Sea Hearts, is based on northern Scottish legends about selkies. Just stunning. I believe this book has the prosaic title The Brides of Rollrock island outside of Australasia- a pity - Sea Hearts is much more evocative.
Last edited by annis on Tue March 13th, 2012, 8:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue March 13th, 2012, 6:31 pm

[quote=""Ludmilla""]I read The Hunger Games trilogy... and thought they worked as riveting page-turners but there were aspects of the world-building and character development that bugged me just a bit. [/quote]

We discussed this in our book group. The problem with the world was that on the one hand, you had all these amazingly high-technology abilities, like being able to grow 'muttations' to suit the purpose and at will, and the invisible hovercraft---while on the other hand, you had people mining for coal and picking fruit a la the nineteenth century.

But it worked well enough to keep you turning the page. If you think about it, the Harry Potter world is much more problematical, especially where it intersects the 'real' world, and as for the logistics of the Twilight series-- !

annis
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Post by annis » Tue March 13th, 2012, 7:16 pm

Posted by MLE
We discussed this in our book group. The problem with the world was that on the one hand, you had all these amazingly high-technology abilities, like being able to grow 'muttations' to suit the purpose and at will, and the invisible hovercraft---while on the other hand, you had people mining for coal and picking fruit a la the nineteenth century.
Within the context of the series this works- the high tech stuff is only available to the controlling power (the Capitol). Making the subject domains operate in primitive 19th century conditions is a deliberate enforcement ploy designed to keep them subservient.
Last edited by annis on Wed March 14th, 2012, 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Tue March 13th, 2012, 11:41 pm

Second book in The Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
~Susan~
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emr
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Post by emr » Wed March 14th, 2012, 10:54 am

Finished An Old Magic and loved it. Very in the line of Susanna Kearsley's books.
Now reading Lethal by Sandra Brown.
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Wed March 14th, 2012, 12:43 pm

[quote=""emr""]Finished An Old Magic and loved it. Very in the line of Susanna Kearsley's books.
Now reading Lethal by Sandra Brown.[/quote]

Ohhh I'll have to check out An Old Magic then because I'm a huge SK fan!

*Edit* Not in the U.S. Will have to check my library-crossing fingers
Brenna

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emr
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Post by emr » Wed March 14th, 2012, 1:05 pm

[quote=""Brenna""]Ohhh I'll have to check out An Old Magic then because I'm a huge SK fan!

*Edit* Not in the U.S. Will have to check my library-crossing fingers[/quote]

Sadly it was a limited edition of 400 books and that's it. No reeditions :/
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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