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Library Bookshelf

Started by Marilyne, March 29, 2016, 03:20:53 pm

Previous topic - Next topic


I am a bit disappointed with Richard K. Morgan's third Altered Carbon book called Woken Furies. Aside from the main character being Transhuman and geting downloaded in to various cloned or synthetic bodies,the main opposition currently seem to be intelligent robots who are building new robot designs as well as self-replicating themselves. Some of the action is in cyber space/virtual reality. The team leaders use the term "scan up" which I assume is a virtual reality gaming term although I can't find a reference to it yet.

Meanwhile, I am still enjoying audio version of Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard. What a great story and well done. with a cast of, I think it said, sixty-five voice artists. The novel was published in 1982 but shows no sign of being dated like some science fiction.


December 03, 2019, 12:45:15 pm #2041 Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 12:53:40 pm by Marilyne
Callie - I remember that you also liked Elizabeth Berg's two novels - The Story of Arthur Truluv and Night of Miracles.  I knew she had written a third one, to complete the trilogy, so I put myself on the long waiting list at the library.  I had forgotten about it until I got an email, that it was there, waiting for me! It's called The Confession Club

Picked it up right away, and sat down to read it after the Thanksgiving company had all gone home.  As you remember, I really like E.Berg, and have read all of her books, plus I follow her on her Facebook page.  I love reading her ongoing messages on her FB, about her life.    So I hate to say it, but I was underwhelmed by  The Confession Club.  I almost stopped reading half way through, but went ahead and finished it, just to see if it ended as I knew it would.  Just too predictable, too full of quirky characters, and totally unrealistic.  I was disappointed, but maybe it was just me?  I'll be interested in your opinion? 

MarsGal - I've heard that L.Ron Hubbard's books are good, but I've never read one?  Too many things about his "religion", Scientology, that I cannot abide. It's now considered to be a "cult", which to me, is not a good thing.     If you're at all interested, read the book by TV star, Leah Remini, called  Scientology and the Aftermath.  It's a documentary that investigates the Church of Scientology.  She was an active member during most of her life, and knows everyone and everything about what goes on under the facade of a church.


Marilyne, "The Confession Club" just appeared in my Loan list.  Not sure when I'll have time to start it....maybe this weekend.
Although I liked the first two, I did think they were a bit "strange".


Thanks, but no thanks, Marilyne. When I worked in pre-press, their magazine was one of the ones we printed in several languages.


December 07, 2019, 07:19:31 am #2044 Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 07:21:40 am by MarsGal
Last night I finished Woken Furies, and already I forget what transpired in the Epilogue. Well, it was late, so it probably didn't sink in. I think it was a good ending anyway. There were some spots in the book where I was a bit confused as to whether the action was taking place in virtual reality and what was taking place in the real world.

Battlefield Earth remains a good story, if oh so long. Of course, the duel of wits between Johnny and Terl keeps going on and on and on. I am getting a bit impatient to finish the book, but am deliberately listening to fewer chapters, which are very short, at a time. I am still only about half way through.

Now I really must tackle the two library books I renewed. I am half way through Ken Liu's short stories only because I've already read some of them elsewhere. There is one more borrow to read, but that is my Amazon borrow, so I don't need to be in a hurry with it; I just can't borrow another until this one is returned if I go past Dec. 30.

I forgot to mention to Patricia that I have read about 25% of both of those listed in her book of lists. Several books I've started but didn't finish and, of course, some of them are either still sitting in my TBR pile or, I have not intention of reading. My taste in reading material doesn't seem to reflect much in these top 100 or books to read before you kick the bucket.


After some questions and consideration, we are attempting to reopen two forums. We welcome any and all participation.

Show Me A Photo Of  https://www.seniorsandfriends.org/index.php?msg=165464

And Trivia Quiz  https://www.seniorsandfriends.org/index.php?msg=165463


Tomorrow I will take my library books back and then stop at my local garage to get the car inspected.

Prisoner's of Darkness (Galaxy's Edge #6) is finished, so I am now reading Accepting the Lance by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. It is their 22nd book in the Laiden Universe. There are a lot of things going on in this book. They added new characters and brought back some of the older characters for the show down between the Department of Interior and Clan Koval. I don't know whether the fight between the two will be resolved in this book or will continue. Suffice it to say that new alliances are being forged or strengthened.


I've finished "The Confession Club".   Marilyne, glad you mentioned the confusion because I was...until I decided the author had used "confession" as the central theme and worked in as many types as she could come up with to have a satisfactory ending.

My reading these days is to relax before bedtime and I usually fall asleep before I've gotten very far.

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" has just appeared in my loans.  Not sure when I'll start it.

Happy Reading, Everyone.


Callie - I think you liked  True Confessions,  more than I did.  I just couldn't get past the overall abundance of quirky characters! ::) Not much in the way of reality there!  However, that won't deter me from reading more books by Elizabeth Berg!  She'll always be one of my favorite authors, and I'll read whatever she writes in the future - plus past novels that I may have missed.  I also enjoy reading her Facebook Page, which is interesting and funny. 

I just started a book by Elizabeth Gilbert, called  City of Girls.  It was recommended on Goodreads, as one of the best new books published in 2019. I've only read the first couple of chapters, but it has already drawn me into the story.  It starts with the main character in 2010, looking back and remembering her past - starting in 1940 when she was 19. Judging from what I've read so far, it will move through the decades, into the present time.  I'll comment more as I get into it.

Where'd You Go Bernadette, is one that I had on my wait list for a long time, and finally I got it, along with a bunch of other books.  It was a one week hold, so I never even opened it.  At the time, I chose to read  The Dutch House,  and that took up all my time and interest!  As you know I love it!


Marilyne, I got tired of the club meetings in "The Confession Club" but, once I figured out the different types of "confessions", I could skip over the trivia and keep up with the main threads. I wouldn't particularly recommend it to anyone and wouldn't care to read it again.

Book Club is discussing "Evvie Drake Starts Over" next week.  I've already read it but am "skimming" through it again to refresh my memory. So I haven't started" "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?"  Maybe this weekend.

I'm on the waiting list for "The Dutch House".  Wanna bet it arrives right in the middle of the Christmas activities?


I breezed through Accepting the Lance in no time. I wonder if we Laiden Universe fans will have to wait another two years before the next book comes out.

Now I am reading Song of Rolland by that famous author, Anonymous. This epic poem was first written around 1040 and was modified several times up to about 1115. It is about the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 where Charlemayne and his army were ambushed and was the only major defeat he ever had. This battle was one of the early battles during the Reconquista which lasted 781 years (711-1492).

In line with my interest ancient history, I also started A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, written by William J. Bernstein.


The Fourth season of The Expanse dropped into the Amazon Prime cue this morning. There are 10 episodes. I watched the first and could barely take my finger off the button to watch the second. I don't want to watch it all at once, but it is hard to resist.


MarsGal - Now I'm temped to give, The Expanse, a look on Amazon Prime.   I'll have to put it on my Amazon/Netflix list for a future viewing, as I'm already stacked up with shows on both channels that AJ and I want to see.  We watched the Martin Scorcese movie, The Irishman, over the last couple of nights.  I understand why it has been nominated for every possible Golden Globe award!  A wonderful movie, but way too long.  I think it's 3 and 1/2 hours, so we watched it spread out over two nights. wonderful acting by Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.  We haven't started the new season of  Mrs. Maisel    yet, on Amazon Prime, but will probably watch Episode #1, on Sunday night. (Hockey tonight).

Callie - I see that Where'd You Go Bernadette, has been made into a movie, starring Cate Blanchett.  Now I'm going to have to reorder the book, because I love "books made into movies", and always like to read the book first.  I'm about half way through City of Girls.  Started out great, but not sure about it now?  Seems preposterous, girls acting the way these girls do in 1940?  Not believable to me at all. Things must have changed when the 50's rolled around, because I never knew of such wild girls when I was that age . . .  but I suppose I was pretty sheltered?  :o 


I've finished "Where'd You Go.....". 

Kind of a strange story but it held my interest to the point that, when I realized I was nodding off and checked the clock, I was amazed to discover it was after 1:00 a.m.  :o
Finished it the next night and am still puzzling over how in the world the author came up with the plot and the location of where she went. 
Will be interested in seeing if the movie is filmed on location.....but will  :-X  so I won't spoil it for anyone who reads it.  ;D 


MarsGal, whose translation of Roland are you reading? I read it a year or two ago, translated by Dorothy L. Sayers (yes, the mystery writer).  Does yours have some of the original so you can see how very different the French is.  And Durendal is a good example of sword as character in the story, that I was babbling about inmates the Mabinogion discussion.


Pat, I am reading the translation by C. K. Moncreiff which I picked up on Project Gutenberg. There is a small amount cof mental gymnastics, and a dictionary is helpful at times when reading this 1919 translation. Otherwise it is quite interesting. I didn't know Dorothy L. Sayers did a translation. One thing that I need to research is was a brief line that indicated Roland(?) having come back from an expedition to an island (I assume, Britain), but it wasn't really clear. That expedition would have been prior to the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778. I thought of the references in the early history of Wales about the time that the Arthur legends were gaining ground. However, I see no mention of the Franks in any of the brief histories I checked on Charles Martin, Pepin, Charlemagne, and Roland himself being in Britain. Too bad I didn't bookmark the page to refer back to that line. Roland was prefect of the Breton Marches, the border territory around the Breton territory. And the Bretons had some history and language links with Wales. At any rate, it looks like the poem took on a life of its own like we see in the Arthur tales. BTW, Moncreiff's translation does not have any Old French.


MarsGal, I'll check my Sayers to see if she says anything about that expedition in her copious notes, but it'll be a few days because I'm expecting company.  Nag me if I forget.

Sayers also translated Dante's Divine Comedy; some people don't like her translation, but I do.  How she came to do it is funny.  At one point during WWII, she was stuck in the basement sheltering from a lengthy air raid, with nothing to read but a copy in the original Italian.  She didn't know Italian, but her Latin was enough for her to puzzle it out, and by the time the raid was over, she was hooked on that glorious poetry.


December 18, 2019, 06:57:09 am #2057 Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 06:58:49 am by MarsGal
I've added a murder mystery to my reading: Shadow Tag: The Ray Schiller Series by Marjorie Doering. It is starting out pretty good.

No, I couldn't resist doubling and tripling up on The Expanse. The fourth season did not disappoint. I wonder when the next book might be out. I suspect the authors will take their time to let the TV series catch up a little.


I'm so glad I stuck with City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert.  At one point toward the beginning, I was ready to give up on it, because it was hard for me to relate to the behavior of the main character.  However, the story continued to pull me in, and got better and better.  It became one of those novels, that you just can't put down.  I even got up one night and read for a couple of hours between midnight and 2:00 am.  It's an unusual story, which is what makes it so good.  Now, one of the best three books that I read in 2019. :thumbup:

MarsGal - There are so many shows I want to see on Netflix and Amazon, that I don't know what to watch next!  I've seen previews for The Expanse, and both AJ and I want to watch it . . . especially now that you've recommended it.  This would mean going back to Season #1, and starting from the beginning!  We will definitely do this, but not until after the New Year.     


I am just starting E..Gilberts Eat,Pray.Love.Think I will enjoy it. she has a followup I think. Been awhile since I read any of hers. Picked up 4 books at library,All in LP. now due back for a month so should be O.K for books until 2020.I can't believe how fast this Century is going. Seems like the l900s not so fast.


I think some of you have read the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series?  I just got the latest from the library and anxious to get started on it.


December 21, 2019, 07:35:47 am #2061 Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 07:40:15 am by MarsGal
Battlefield Earth is almost done. Yea! What a story. The Scots play a very prominent part in the story what with their tenacious, can do, do or die, attitude. Other nationalities and cultures are also part of the story, including cannibals from Africa, Central/South Americans, Russians, Chinese, and Tibetans, not to mention the representatives of various alien species from our universe and sixteen others.

I gave up on Shadow Tag because it turned out to be a corporate intrigue/murder which didn't interest me and reverted back to a SciFi called The Caledonian Gambit by Dan Moren. Huh! Yet another nod to the Scots and Irish through place and family names as well as lots of red hair and a penchant for riots and subversive (resistance) activities against the conquering empire. One of the main characters (a fighter pilot) is a little too wimpy and whiny for my tastes, but that is later explained, along with his fear of flying as PTSD. It is an interesting story. Moren specializes in SciFi-Espionage stories. This is his first.


I meant to post this yesterday, which was the Winter Solstice - Dec.21. I posted it last year, because I thought it was interesting, so here it is again:

Yesterday, December 21, was the, Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year. Last night was the longest night.  I thought this was a very interesting article - one that ties the Solstice to Christmas.

Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is a magical season . . . one that marks the journey from this year to the next, journeys of the spirit from one world to the next, and the magic of birth, death, and rebirth. The longest night of the year (December 21 in the Northern hemisphere), is reborn as the start of the solar year and accompanied by festivals of light to mark the rebirth of the Sun. In ancient Europe, this night of darkness grew from the myths of the Norse goddess Frigga who sat at her spinning wheel weaving the fates, and the celebration was called Yule, from the Norse word Jul, meaning wheel. The Christmas wreath, a symbol adapted from  Frigga's "Wheel of Fate", reminds us of the cycle of the seasons and the continuity of life.

That the timing of the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ occurs in the Yule season is no coincidence. Christmas was once a movable feast, celebrated many different times during the year. The decision to establish December 25 as the "official" date of Christ's birth was made by Pope Julius I in the fourth century AD, hoping to replace the pagan celebration with the Christian one, since this date coincided with the pagan celebrations of Winter Solstice with the Return of the Sun Gods occurring throughout the world.


With my memory I always welcome a reminder.😁  That is interesting!


I hope that all who contribute to this folder, had a wonderful Christmas.  We all have missing family members, and friends and loved ones who are not doing so well, but that's to be expected by the time we're seniors.  In spite of some sadness over this past year, there is always the hope of the future, when we see those adorable new babies, in the family, or the enthusiastic teen agers. At our age, we can sit back and marvel at the younger generation, as well as remembering what it was like when we were young and just starting out.

I gave books as Christmas presents to my grandchildren and great grands.  I'm not sure that they ever read an actual book, anymore, but I decided that would be a better gift from Grandma, rather than an Amazon gift card!  ::) Even if they don't read them, they will own a real book, and may decide to pick it up some day and give it a look! 

The Dutch House, was one of my three favorite novels this past year, so I gave a copy to my daughter-in-law, for a present.  We always enjoy the same books, do I should have known that she might give me the same book!  It's happened before, and it happened again! LOL No problem however, as we will pass them along to our daughters, instead of returning them.  It's a good story that can be enjoyed by all generations. 

Hope we hear from many of you today, as to your Christmas celebrations, family, et al.  Now looking forward to the New Year! 


Yesterday I started two light-reading books. The first is Louisiana Longshot, the first of the Miss Fortune mystery series, by Jana Deleon. The heroine is an undercover CIA agent who reminds me somewhat of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. Funny, always accidentally walking into trouble, totally out of her element in small town Louisiana.

The other is another freebie, SciFi which is just okay so far.  Honour of the Knights (1st Edition)is a Space Opera/Military story by Stephen J. Sweeney, that seems to pay no heed to time, where the main character travels from Earth to somewhere way across the galaxy in a day, and news seems to travel across the spaces just like here, nothing what-so-ever as to how this might be, and so far no science at all. The main character, however, is likable. Here is a guy who made a mistake and is offered a chance to redeem himself because his skills are sorely needed. Like the other it is a fast read so I will probably go ahead and finish it.


Good morning, Every Reader looking in this morning.  It's a cool, chilly day here in Auburn, Alabama.  I'm hoping the rain holds off so that I can get my morning walk out of the way shortly.  I'm reading a David Baldacci thriller which has some miserable jerks who I'm hoping will come to a bad end, but you never know with Baldacci!

I have some lighter books which I checked out of the library on Friday, so hope to get them finished by next Friday when the young friend who takes me to the library and to Kroger for my weekly shopping trip.  Yesterday he had time to take me to a restaurant at the local mall and we each chose the food from a huge buffet selection.

I hope Every Reader will have plenty to read this week especially if the weather keeps you indoors!



Morning everybody!

I finished reading Louisiana Longshot last night. I haven't had such a good laugh in a while, particularly the backyard Rottweiler scene and the undercover op outside the Swamp Bar.

Finally, I downloaded the second volume of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The scifi I am reading is likely to get dumped. It is just not very satisfying to me, seems a bit bland, but I will say that the author was very good about his grammar and punctuation unlike other Ebook authors who are pretty sloppy about doing a proper editing job. 


MarsGal - Louisiana Longshot, sounds like something I would like, so will add it to my library list.  I mostly like detailed historical  novels, or family saga's, but "Longshot", sounds nice and light for a change.  Anything that gives me a good laugh these days, I know I will enjoy!  I received a book for Christmas, that I'm thinking you might enjoy, called The Island of Sea Women, by Lisa See. I've only just read a few pages, but looks good. It's about Korean women, on an offshore island who work all their lives as sea divers.  in their village, the husbands stay home and take care of the babies and children, and the women go out every day and dive for various and sundry sea food (abalone, etc.). The story begins in the 1930's, and goes to present time, when the remaining women divers  are now in their 80's and 90's 

Quote: "This beautiful and thoughtful novel illuminates a unique and unforgettable culture - one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work,  and the men take care of the children.  It introduces readers to the fierce female divers of Jeju Island, and the dramatic history that shaped their lives." 


I've put both Louisiana Longshot and the island of Sea women on my to read list.  It will be a while as I've about four books now to read.  I've been immersed in the Maisie Dobbs series which has covered from World War 1 to World War II and the Cold War with Russia.  Unfortunately, I started with the 2019 book which was in the New Books section   Then I had to go back and start in the beginning.  Luckily, the library has all the books and I am on the last two books.  Already I'm looking forward to the next book and I sure hope the author is planning on publishing one in2020.