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Rate the Last Book You've Read

Discussion in 'The Game of Life' started by Blaze, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. Blaze

    Blaze Let it Burn

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    Black Thorn
    We have a thread for movies, now one for books! (Since I'm always looking for new stuff to read).

    The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters: 6/10
    This one is a ghost story (or so it seems?). About a doctor who befriends a family living in an old mansion. Strange things starts happening, slowly driving the family mad. Not as good as the rest of the books I've read from her. Superior to most of the stuff I read, but still one of my least favorite of hers. I didn't care for the characters as much as I should have, the ending is really good though. Or at least my interpretation of it (it's pretty open). I think the reason I didn't enjoy it more is that I didn't particularly like the narrator.

    The Enchanted, Rene Denfeld: 10/10
    About the lives of death row inmates and people surrounding them. Everyone should go read this one, right now. Pretty heavy book, but somehow one of the most beautiful read.

    A Clash of Kings, GRR Martin: 8/10
    Wow, took me forever to read this one. It's a great book, would have given it a higher score if it wasn't for the fact that it took me like 6 months to read (not a good thing, I usually finish a book in a week). Let's just say it's just not a relaxing Sunday afternoon read and I didn't have the concentration to read this after work.
     
  2. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    That can really bring a book down!
    I like the sound of The Enchanted. Putting that on my never ending to-read list :)


    The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison 3/5
    It was a good book. I really liked it even though it has some of the most frustrating characters ever (one is delusional and the other in denial), but it takes something special to keep a story going, and a reader interested, with rather unlikeable characters.
    However the ending kind of brought it down/ruined it. Such a disappointment.

    Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe 3/5
    Should be seen. It doesn't translate as well in literature, I mean it's still really good, but as I read both Goethe and Mann first I much prefer their Faust and Mephistopheles to Marlowe's. It's still a must-read though.

    The Sorrow's of Young Werther by Johann Wolgang von Goethe 4/5
    Oh how the sensitive suffer. I think Werther and Spike could have had some interesting conversations over some beer and deep fried onions actually!
    Personally I find his emotionality kind of tedious and entirely self-caused (as much as I enjoyed the book I felt a bit like channeling Cordy; "Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it."), but the writing is brilliant and the journey through Werther's increasingly obsessed and distraught mind is fascinating. Another must-read.
     
  3. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Blaze: lol but did it have as much sex as a Clash of Kings...I don't think so!
  4. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Life Itself By Roger Ebert

    The memoir of American's most famous film critic. It is a very engrossing book which you don't have to be a film buff to enjoy as he just had so many remarkable life stories and told them in such an engaging and poetic way. It was interesting to read some of the stories about some of the stars encounted, as well as excellent way of summing up films and how film criticism has changed since his early days. It is also a very moving read and Ebert discribes how he kept involved in writing about films right til the end despite losing his voice and becoming very ill.

    9/10
     
  5. VisionBoy

    VisionBoy Scooby

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    Not My Father's Son- by Alan Cumming (8/10)

    I really enjoyed this. A very sad, but also inspirational and honest story about living in an abusive home and what happens years later when you're away from it. I flew through it and it was very well written. The jumping between past and present had the potential to be a bit jarring, but it was done well enough that it wasn't at all.
    Very good read.
     
  6. Blaze

    Blaze Let it Burn

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    Black Thorn
    You won't regret it. Actually the Enchanted is the exact opposite, where I absolutely fell in love with the narrator (which by itself is a little troubling, since we know he's a prisoner). Very few books have touched me the way this book did, and I've read a lot of books!

    Putting this one on my list! I've heard good things about it, but for some reason never got around to reading it. Partly because I like reading the original material instead of translation, but I'm afraid there isn't much choice here for me.
     
    Fuffy Baith: I know how that book touched you. Lol. ; )
  7. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    Two bad books in a row, such a bummer... first "This House is Haunted" by John Boyne. There was a good story somewhere in there but this was like the very first draft of that. Had he spent another couple of years working on it, it might've been something. Now it's just a shallow mess. The title is great but there's sadly nothing spooky about it. I was looking forward to something eerie so that was a disappointment.

    Then for a bookclub I agreed to give the first Mortal Instruments book a try. Oh... dear that was just... not good. Supposedly witty it was peopled by unlikeable characters, "wit" (nope) and girl-on-girl hate. Didn't even bother finishing it and wouldn't recommend anyone to try it.

    Now I'm going back to "Le Morte Darthur" and trying out a "Rizzoli and Isles" novel, as I love that show :)
     
    Mr. Pole: Something Missing by Dicks... you should give that a try.. see what you think.
  8. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Sharon Penman 'When Christ and his Saints Slept'. 9/10

    The first Sharon Penman book I ever read and it's really brilliant. A sweeping historical tale that's sets out the protagonists of 12th century England's first bloody 'civil war' between Queen Matilda and the 'pretender' Stephen.
    It really manages to humanise all the participants so they come alive on the page- dry, dusty history becomes epic, bloody and romantic. The complexities and intricacies are there but it's not hard to follow all the plotting, battles and betrayals.
    Some of the actual historical events are astonishing:

    Example- Queen Matilda and her forces were trapped in an English castle, surrounded by King Stephen's superior forces in the depths of winter. Queen Matilda escaped capture by being lowered down the battlements on a rope and simply walking past the enemy encampments- there was a snowstorm and she was wearing a white woolen cloak so nobody noticed her.

    It's also pretty accurate with very little in the way of bias, Queen Matilda was portrayed in contemporary chronicles (by the church) as a bitter, power-hungry haridan but in actual fact her chief crime seems to be that she was an intelligent, 'wilful' woman who had the rightful claim to the throne of England and the desire to claim it.
    Stephen is depicted as more likeable- perhaps even a good king- but also as weak and easily swayed by others who wanted to rule through him.

    Anyway-I'm a big fan of well-written historical fiction and Miss Penman is one of the best.
     
  9. Faith Monroe

    Faith Monroe Five By Five

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    Black Thorn
    Girl Interrupted- loved it. I loved the insight onto her experiences. I found it to be very witty and emotional.
    (Susanna Kaysen) 9/10

    The Enemy series. I'm in love with the whole zombie apocalyptic part of these. The element that the children are the only humans left is also an idea that I love. (Charlie Higson)- 10/10

    I Was Here. Honestly this was a depressing book. I didn't know what I thought had happened to Meg. (Gayle Foreman) 8/10
     
  10. VisionBoy

    VisionBoy Scooby

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    Nowhere near finished yet, but I'm currently reading "Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line" and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Very easy to imagine on TV with all the wit of Rob Thomas. What I'd give to see the cast do it. Apparently there's an audio book version read by Kristen Bell, might see if I can track it down.
     
    Taake: Didn't know they made VM books!
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  11. Vigeous

    Vigeous I've been thinking about the world...

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    Portal Through Time - Alice Henderson: 4/5

    It's a Buffy novel. It's the third one I've read so far and is definitely the best one out of the three. Alice Henderson (compared to the other two I've read especially) got the essence and dialogue of the Scoobies down pretty good. It's not quite as if it were written by Joss or anyone from the tv series but it feels like real Scoobie dialogue. The story line is interesting as well. I could have definitely seen it being made into a few episodes for the tv series.
    It was a fun read and if you're looking for a decent Buffy novel I would 100% recommend this one. There's action, time travel, alternate realities; all good stuff.
    Just a note: this book is non-canonical so it does not tie into or influence the tv series. It is set around season 2 so you get some references from everything up to that point throughout the book.
     
  12. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    I should put that on my reading list!

    Just finished;

    The Fault in Our Stars - John Green 4/5
    I've of course heard about this and heard about the movie and got a general idea that it was about sick kids but that was about it. I figured I'd give it a glance whenever it came into my library. I can see why it's been so popularly checked out :) It was a great book, nicely and cleanly written, and while it's sad in a way it's also not really sad at all. I really loved the characters, they were fantastic and kind of felt like friends of my own by the end of it all. I'm considering buying this book so I can read it again at a later date.

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chobosky 5/5
    It was slow to get into, at first I thought the description on the cover - saying it was in the tradition of Catcher in the Rye - was wildly erroneous, but as I pretty much read most of this book straight through yesterday - because I just couldn't leave Charlie - I understood the point behind those words. It's a great story and I'll probably watch the movie sometime soon because I'm curious to see how it plays out as a film. If my brother liked reading then this would be a book I would've gotten for him

    Little Big Lies - Liane Moriarty 2/5
    Also read this one yesterday (yes I read fast :D) and while nothing earth shatteringly good it was a perfectly adequate story. Basically it's about three different women, who happen to meet and befriend each other on the day their kids are starting kindergarden, and the pins keep falling from there and it goes from schoolground drama to a murder.
    At first the little inserts of police interrogation snippets with different people, at the end or in the middle of chapters, were annoying but they soon came to serve their purpose of intrigue and had you really wondering who the heck was going to die at the end of it all!
    It's enough to scare you off of kindergarden/schoolground politics though, hehe. The Debbie downer is the ending. It's not horrible, I'm sure people like it fine, but personally I don't like apologetic murder-stories (i.e. sob-storying it for the murderer). Anyway, it's a good "take it to the beach" kind of a book, a vacation book, it will draw you in but it won't make you think.
     
  13. VisionBoy

    VisionBoy Scooby

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    They're pretty recent; just released last year.
    Two books so far: "The Thousand Dollar Tan Line" and "Mr. Kiss and Tell"

    I don't usually bother with novels based on TV shows, but unlike most, Rob Thomas declared these canon. He also said if ever there was another movie or series, the books would not be negated; which is nice to know. :)
     
    Taake: That is really nice! That means they must put some effort into having it fit with existing as well as future canon :)
  14. Blaze

    Blaze Let it Burn

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    Black Thorn
    Wait, is this related to the movie of the same name? I never knew it was a book, I need to get my hands on it if so!
     
  15. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I'm sorry.. but I have to quote Airheads.. "What, they made a book outta that?"
    regarding Moby Dick but the point still holds
     
    Blaze: lmao I was trying to write something that wouldn't sound like this.
  16. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    I actually wouldn't mind reading the book either. I find the film really overrated. Jolie winning an Oscar for it was a joke. She is a much more commanding actress now, but at the time was really weak, and the film is average at best. Still I bet there's a good story in there.
     
    Blaze: Gotta disagree on this one, this film is awesome!
  17. gite63

    gite63 Gone

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    Sineya
    Flush: A Biography by Virginia Woolf (9/10)

    I remembered this book after reading here a post about the Sonnets from the Portuguese; so I decided to re-read it.

    I like dogs and I'm always paying attention to dog-related books. Some years ago, by chance, I discovered Flush.

    After writing The Waves, Woolf decided to take some time off, and do some light reading, so she chose the love letters exchanged between poet/writer Robert Browning and poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In the letters, Virginia noticed that Elizabeth made several references to her Cocker Spaniel Flush, so she thought of writing a book telling the story of the couple considering Flush point of view.

    I love it, it's delicious and interesting. Elizabeth was a sick woman who used to live under the tight control of his father; her only companion in her dark room was Flush. She was already a quite respected poet when she met Browning (he admired her and started calling on), they fell in love, and eloped – to live in Italy, a new whole life, full of love and sun. By reading the book, I learned about these two great English poets (although I have to say that poetry is not my cup of tea) and that How Do I Love Thee? (from Sonnets from the Portuguese) is considered "the best love poem ever written by a woman."
     
  18. Misha

    Misha Townie

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    It's been a while since I've actually been able to read a book for fun. Especially since I tend to re-read favorites when I get anxious.

    The last book I finished was probably Some Assembly Required by Arin Andrews. It's about the author's life as he transitions from female to male. It's written well and really helped me understand more about the transgender community. I would probably give it an 8/10.

    I also read Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa pretty recently. It's about Sara Benincasa's struggle with mental health and life. It's really well written and hit me hard in some places. She does it with humour and honesty, which isn't found enough in books about mental health struggles. 7.5 or 8/10. She same to Toronto for a comedy show about a week ago (and a book read, which I missed) and it was very funny. She's a lovely woman.
     
  19. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    Thanks for this tip! I'll put that on my reading list.


    I just tried out "Lilith's Brood" (the whole trilogy in one book) by Octavia E Butler and while it wasn't bad, it was a new genre for me and one that I'm not interested in for a reason. It was fun to try but... eh.
     
  20. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    I'm sad... I decided to re-read "Crime and Punishment" but now it's over and I don't want it to be. Don't leave me yet, Rodya! Please! Stay awhile!
    Ah sigh, anyone else sometimes read books and then struggle to get into the mood to read a new one because you're still stuck in the mindset of the one you just finished?
     
    Blaze: Oh yes, I always get that feeling when I finish a good book!
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