What Are You Reading?

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by DracoMalfoy on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:05 pm

Just going to butt in. To Kill a Mockingbird was never a book I was really invested in. It was required reading for school three years back. Hated it then; I hate when I'm forced to read, which is weird. But I picked it back up that following summer. Still didn't care much for it. I admit it's a very fascinating concept; Kathryn worded it well. But it never got a grip on me. I give it credit for tackling a terrifyingly real issue in a unique way, but it never captured my interest.

But that's just me. I'm a kid and our generation is in constant need of fast paced entertainment or whatever. I much preferred Harry Potter back then, honestly.

I'm getting recommendations for Game of Thrones like it's going out of style. But, I feel the same, Syrena. Everyone assumes I'll love it, so I'm hesitant to read out of fear of hating it. It's on my list though so eventually I'll be brave and try it. Waiting for books is the worst though; if I became an invested fan, waiting too long will turn me off.

Currently, I'm reading the first in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Maybe it's because classes are keeping me busy, but I'm not too engaged in it. It has a promising premise. But I'm afraid it'll be executed poorly. It's too much like a typical YA novel so far. I want to see what the fuss is about, but if it continues to disappoint, I'll end up putting it down.

Everyone seems to disagree with my opinion though. Anyone agree/disagree? I hate feeling like I'm standing alone.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Lara on Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:13 am

I haven't read the Mortal Instruments series yet. I feel like I should since the movie is coming out, but that's a double-edged sword there. My sister, however, has been recommending the books for years. She was right with the Hunger Games trilogy...Maybe I should give these a shot too.

I, too, was forced to read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school. I usually have a 50/50 shot of liking the books they make me read. In this case, I ended up liking it...but I don't remember much about it. It wasn't my favorite thing to read, but it was still interesting. (On the note of liking books that I was forced to read...I really liked The Giver, and Anthem.

I'm still on my Iris Johansen kick! I'm not reading them in order (I don't own all of them), so I'm picking them randomly from the shelf. It's so weird. XD The last book I read turned out to be one of the first in the series. The book before that related a lot of things in it to the first one. And the one I'm reading now is set way in the future of that same series.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:46 am

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Syrena on Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:21 am

There was something called Battle of the Books when I was in elementary school (or, perhaps, middle school). I don't know if anyone has heard of it. However, the idea was to read a bunch of books off a list and then split into teams and answer random questions about the various different books. There were a bunch of competitions during the year and you got a t-shirt.

Anyway, I liked reading and my mother was desperate to get her anti-social daughter involved in a school club. My mother thought I would love Battle of the Books since I was a huge reader. I pretty much always had my nose stuck in a book. My mother forced me to join the club. Ironically, I despised Battle of the Books.

I'm sure my mother expected some hatred. She did force me to join the club. But that hatred should have eventually bled off. After all, I liked reading. I always hated this club, though. And it's a bit shocking, years later, because I honestly do like reading. I just don't like reading when I have to read. I make faces and whine and complain and throw temper tantrums like a three year old.

To get back on track—I've always been critical about the required reading in school. At least in high school. There was a high chance that I would have strong, negative feelings about the required reading. I especially had it out for anything written by Hemingway. Reading The Old Man and The Sea was pure torture! I didn't take kindly to The Sun Also Rises either.

I did enjoy The Giver as well as Angela's Ashes. And I was much more receptive to the required reading in college. I wanted to read most of the required reading, like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Canterbury Tales, even if I didn't enjoy the books. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a decent read. But The Canterbury Tales made me want to claw my eyes out. I struggled with that piece a lot!

A friend of mine read the Mortal Instrument series. Although, read probably isn't the right word. She inhaled the series with gusto! Up until I lost contact with her, she kept telling me I needed to settle down and read the series. I wasn't in the right place to read another YA series, and I still haven't gotten around to picking up the books. One day! I'm kind of curious to see what all the fuss is about.

On another note, Draco, I find that when I'm super busy I can't really sit down and enjoy a book. My interest flickers in and out—and then mostly out. In fact, I think that's my problem with The Art Forger. I've been so busy that I'm only reading bits and pieces right before I go to bed. Perhaps you should consider putting City of Bones to the side until you get some more free time? That way you can give the book a fair chance and truly decide if you don't like it!

Just a thought. ^.^

Lara, you keep talking about Iris Johansen, so I have to ask: what are Johansen's books about? I'm very curious, and I thought I would ask first before sniffing things out online! It's always nice to hear what other readers say/think first!

And I have to admit that I think I am still terribly intrigued by The Wheel of Time series.

I'm not always a fan of controversial material, but that hasn't really stopped me before. Plus, it's almost always a good sign when a fan has a lot to say about the series! I'll just have to make sure I attempt reading the first book when I have plenty of spare time and patience. I'm openly not a fan of spending page after page reading about clothing or some other small detail. I can be a sucker for fast-paced books with a lot of action. Then again, you never know! My tastes can be quite fickle.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Lara on Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:40 am

Syrena, I was a part of the Battle of the Books, too! =D (Except that I seem to have a much higher viewpoint of it.) I joined in middle school for a year or two before aging out, and then clamored enough that they made a high-school level one with "harder" reading material.

I loved it! Yeah, there were a couple of the books that I haaaated beyond measure. (One example: Williwaw! by Tom Bodett. I nearly refused to finish this book. I practically threw a temper tantrum... I don't even know why. Thinking back, the subject matter should have interested me.) But there were enough that I ended up really enjoying.

I think what I really enjoyed was the competition. I'm secretly an extraordinarily competitive person, so going up against other book lovers on book lore was something I found really fun. I also loved getting tons of free books, because even if I only ended up liking one or two of them... they were free!

Iris Johansen writes crime fiction! (Aka suspense thrillers.) (None of the following is a spoiler.) She's best known for her Eve Duncan series, which follows the life of a woman whose child was murdered. Eve, the main character, spends pretty much the entire series trying to find where her daughter's bones are buried (the killer never confessed their location), while at the same time involving herself in searching for other lost children by being a forensic sculptor. The books are still coming out. =D

I love Johansen's books. I got into her because I like Sue Henry's novels (Henry writes Alaskan murder mysteries, and is my favorite author). The issue with Henry's books is they're so difficult to find, so when I started running across Johansen every time I went looking for Henry, I began to pick them up. It was even better when they turned out to be really interesting! (My favorite is The Search.)

I picked up Catherine Coulter at the same time (I loved The Target). She also writes suspense thrillers. Unfortunately, I realized (after buying over a dozen of her books at used bookstores) that all of her storylines follow the same pattern. Different names, different places...but the same characters doing slightly different things, with the same result. It was upsetting.

Johansen doesn't do that. =) Even though she's written a ton of books, I'm always kept on the edge of my seat.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:20 am

Syrena, I wonder if you hated it because of some psychological need to rebel? I mean, if you think about it... You were pushed into that Battle of the Books thing. You have people pushing these recommendations onto you. Technically, K-12 is absolutely required by law to attend (unless you drop out during high school, but still), so any required reading is really just something pushy. However, you can choose whether or not you want to go to college, so it doesn't feel like anyone is pushing anything onto you?

For me, I don't have that kind of mindset. Required reading has enabled me to really branch out in the types of books I'll read. In elementary, they had these lists of books from which we could choose what we did/didn't want to read, but we were encouraged to read a certain amount of time each day for it. If we could accomplish it, we got prizes and such for how much we did. I basically always completed it.

Furthermore, in middle school and high school, I may not have always enjoyed the books we read, but I enjoyed a lot of them. I'm sure it helped that for the first two years of my high school days, the teachers were allowed to choose their own books for us to read in literature classes. It wasn't until my junior year that the school system became a bunch of a-holes and only gave teachers a list of books from which they could choose. I feel bad that the kids in English 9 were no longer allowed to read The Hobbit, for instance, the way I had the pleasure of doing. I probably never would have actively sought J.R.R. Tolkien's materials (despite the movies) if I hadn't read that book, and he's practically the father of fantasy.

I'm not huge on mystery books. I mean, I'll pick one up every so often, but they end up feeling all too similar to one another after a while, so I have to have a big gap between them... unless they're supernatural in some way like the Dresden Files.

I think I'm going to pick up the Sword of Truth series pretty soon. I've read the first book, but there are so many more than just that one!

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Gadreille on Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:00 pm

I was also pushed into Battle of the Books, and I also didn't care for it. It was fun for a little while, but reading under pressure just takes all the fun away. I mean, at one point I was reading The Fellowship of the Ring as a school project, and I was miserable. It didn't stop me from pumping through The Two Towers and The Return of the King directly afterward. *shrugs*

As for those worrying about starting George R.R. Martin's works...I too was wary, and I really wasn't sold after the first book. The characters have grown on me, but honestly I think the hype is the fact that Game of Thrones was a TV show that didn't completely BUTCHER the original concepts. In fact, season 1 stuck to it rather well! Season 2 wandered a bit, but wasn't TOO off. Game of Thrones is just a piece of media that successfully took the form of both book and television series, and that is why it hits a wider audience. (I noticed that George R.R. Martin has worked as a screenplay writer, perhaps this is why his books adapted to the small screen so well). The guy's writing is OK. Not terrible, not wonderful. It's nothing to cringe over, and nothing to rave on and on about.

If you have friends and family who loved the show, it can be fun to read and just enjoy the worldspace for what it is. I was reading along side my brother, and I did it so that I could talk to my family about the show (I refused to watch it without having read the books first).
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Lara on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:34 pm

It's really funny, but I had absolutely no idea Game of Thrones was a TV show when I bought the series. I didn't even know the series was crazy popular.... it just happens that a store I was in was selling the box set (books 1-4) for $20, and it sounded interesting. The idea of large paperback series always perks my interest to start. XD

I didn't even read the books for a while. Then out of nowhere, EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER was reading the series. And book 5 came out. And I was like "oh hey. Maybe I should actually take a look at those now, instead of later."

I really liked book 1. Books 2 and 3 were decent but not as good, and book 4 was...alright. My basic feelings towards the series is irritation at the moment, because I've been waiting almost a year for 5 to come out in paperback (the hardcover is too big. I wouldn't be able to take it anywhere) while trying my hardest to avoid spoilers... :p

I haven't tried the TV series yet. I'm not entirely sure I want to, though it makes me happy to hear that it follows the books fairly well.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Keileon on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:48 pm

After years of searching for physical copies, I finally caved and downloaded PDF versions of the Animorphs books Elfangor's Secret and Back to Before. Just finished reading the first; will tackle the second tomorrow.

BtB is the ONLY Animorphs book I have not read now. XD

Also, rereading Brave New World because it's such a good dystopian novel.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Lara on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:19 pm

I love Animorphs! =D

One day, I'm going to finish collecting the ones I don't already own, and then I shall sit back down and reread them.

I'm in between books at the moment, but my next one will probably be another Iris Johansen that I haven't read yet.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Gadreille on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:47 pm

I'm having a reading lull again. I want to finish The Lost City of Z, but I have no ability to concentrate on it. This is what happens when I read an unfinished series. I sit and mope for a few months before I finally get back into the swing of things.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Sunwolf007 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:43 pm

Just started an awesome book. Its called 'The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies'. It takes a look at my favorite period of time, the War of 1812, with a perspective I haven't read about yet. I am sure no one else here will read it but so far the first chapter and a half are awesome. I wouldn't read this if you don't know much about the war though. It gets into some in depth stuff for long term causes of the war. Still I am super excited about it so I figured I would post about it.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Lord Revan on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:49 pm

I am reading Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It is the newest Star Wars novel.

I just started so I do not have an opinion yet. However Michael Reaves is one of the authors in Star Wars I enjoy most. The other co-author Maya Bohnoff did a good job on the earlier book she co-authored with Reaves, so I have high hopes for this book.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Jag on Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:08 am

Actually been readin' a lot of non-fiction lately as opposed to fiction. Currently immersed in Alan Woods' Bolshevism: The Road To Revolution. Absolutely fascinating shit. Always been pretty interested in this period, and I find every author, book, article and website tends to have its own sort of tint on the events and characters of the rise of the Bolsheviks. I think I can safely recommend the book for those interested in Bolshevism or Russian history in general: it goes deep into the roots of the Bolsheviks, where they came from, what led them to their part in the revolution.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Keileon on Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:58 pm

Just finished The Handmaid's Tale and am starting on Bless Me, Ultima. Only problem is it's Chicano lit and I speak no Spanish. ^^;
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Re: What Are You Reading?

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