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  1. #61

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    About 60% of the way through Margarita and the Master, one of the funniest and most interesting novels I've ever read. It's as if The Good Soldier Švejk and 100 Years of Solitude had a baby.

    It's most famous (insofar as it is at all) as the book that inspired Mick to write "Sympathy for the Devil."
    Last edited by Kepler; 04-02-2019 at 05:09 PM.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Educated by Tara Westover - couldn't put it down. Daughter of Mormon survivalists decides she wants to go to college after never attending school. There's more, but I don't want to spoil it, since it's a relatively new book. Interesting look at what ties families together, and what breaks them apart.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Goodbye Mr. Chips is on sale today in the Amazon Kindle Store for $1.99.

  4. #64
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Recent reads

    Fire and Ice (J.P. Beaumont #19) by J.A. Jance The first Jance book I have read this follows the cases of two of her characters JP Beaumont and Joanna Brady as they investigate they find that their cases intersect and can they find the killers and bring them to justice. Good read thought I thought the ending left a little to be desired.

    Past Tense (Jack Reacher #23) by Lee Child There are few things better than sitting down with a new Reacher book but this one felt lacking. As normal he is bumming around the US and decides to stop in a town Laconia, where his father was born. As usual he runs afoul of the local criminals and is targeted. But that storyline felt like it lacked a lot of plot. The part where he is seeking information on his father and what he finds out is pretty interesting.

    The Rule of Law (Dismas Hardy #18) by John LescroartInteresting in this book that Lescroart bring the characters from his stand alone book Fatal, Beth, Kate and Ron into the Dismas Hardy universe. Ron has been elected D.A. replacing Hardyís friend Wes Farrell and he decides to get some payback by arresting Hardyís secretary on less than convincing evidence. Beth helps Hardy and Glitsky investigate to try and prove Phyllisís innocence and possibly try to prove Ron and Kateís guilt. Not the best Hardy book but okay.

    Long Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine #1) by David Baldacci Interesting new heroine for Baldacci as Atlee Pine is a loner FBI agent who works near the Grand Canyon. She is also pining for her twin sister Mercy who was abducted and never seen again when they are young. Called down to a run of the mill missing persons/murdered mule case at the bottom of the Grand Canyon she finds herself thrust into a mystery reaching the top levels of the US government while battling to stay alive. Pretty good read.

    Out of the Dark (Orphan X #4) by Gregg Hurwitz Evan Smoak is out for revenge against his former master who is attempting to kill all the former orphans. Just 1 problem he is now the President of the United States the best protected person in the world. As he starts his planning the President calls out the original orphan Orphan A to try and stop Orphan X before he completes his mission. Good Read.

    Liar Liar (Detective Harriet Blue #3) by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Candice Fox The 3rd Blue book finds Harriet on the run trying to find the serial killer who framed her brother. Hunted by her former fellow officers on the police force she must hunt him down as he is trying to kill people who have affected her life. Good read

    Crown Jewel (Simon Riske #2) by Christopher Reich The second Riske novel from Reich finds Riske dispatched to Monaco to try and stop cheating at a casino. He runs afoul of the criminals and ends up rescuing an heiress and gets involved in her case as well. Pretty good read though there are parts of it, like the heiress driving a Volkswagen and having no security are a little unbelievable.

    Servant of the Shard (The Sellswords #1) by R.A. Salvatore This is another Drizzt book, itís supposed to be the 3rd in the Pathís of Darkness series, with no Drizzt. Luckily it is much better and includes much more action than Spine of the World. It focuses on Artemis Entreri and the Drow Mercenary Group Bregan Díarthe. Iíve always liked the Entreri character, my main complaint being the times heís been brought back from the dead, and Jarlaxe and his mercenaries are interested as well. This finds Jarlaxe under the spell of the Crystal Shard and several of his lieutenants seeking to overthrow him and steal it while Entreri tries to get out from under the thumb of the Drow before he is killed.

    Scorpion Strike (Jonathan Grave #10) by John Gilstrap A bit of a reversal on the Jonathan Graves series as in this book he is the one in danger that needs to be rescued. He and his girlfriend Gail are on vacation when the island resort is taken over. Escaping with some of the other tourists they try to find out what is going on as Boxer rallies a posse of their friends to come to the rescue. Good read.

    Corrupted (Rosato & DiNunzio #3) by Lisa Scottoline Corrupted is a Bennie Rosato book the rest of the firm only make token appearance. Bennie is trying to right a wrong from many years ago when a young man she was unable to help as a juvenile is charged with murder and asks for her help. The book goes back to tell about the original case before coming back to the present for the murder trial. Good read.

    Oath of Honor (Logan West #2) by Matthew Betley Good second effort from Betley which finds Logan West and Jon Quick on the move again for the FBI investigating a Russian team on US soil. Once they get their they finds themselves in a global conspiracy that has them traveling all of the world trying to stop it.

    Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War by Edwin G. Burrows A good book telling the story of Prisoners of War during the American Revolution. The author focuses manly on American prisoners held within the NYC area. He tells of the officers who were allowed to live in private homes as opposed to common soldiers and sailors who were either crowded in large buildings, churches and factories, that were appropriated for this purpose or prison ships. He tells of the squalid conditions and the high death toll. It covers the British indifference to the plight of the prisoners and the attempts by American officials to do prisoner exchanges. The last part of the book tells about how these men were mainly forgotten over the years despite the occasional attempt to memorialize their sacrifice and suffering. Some of the stats are a little exhausting and at the end when he is making the case for what percentage and the number of the people who were imprisoned or died heís basically just making an educated guess based on his figures.

    French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France by Tim Moore A book about a British writers attempt to try to ride the route of the Tour De France shortly before the start of the real tour. The story of his trials and tribulations and the various people and places he sees along the route are okay but gets repetitive pretty quickly.

    The Face of Death Smoky Barrett #2) by Cody McFadyen The second of the Smoky Barrett books finds her investigating a teenager who has been stalked by a man she calls the stranger since she was a young girl killing or crippling anyone close to her. When her latest foster family is killed she demands to talk to Smoky and her and her team try to unravel the mystery. Good read.

    Until Proven Guilty (J.P. Beaumont #1) by J.A. Jance I have red several of Janceís later novels but decided to go back and start at the beginning. This book introduces JP Beaumont Seattle homicide detective. Heís an interesting character a bit troubled and parts of the book are pretty good but the plot seems to lack a bit. Ok but not as good as the later ones in the series.

    Injustice For All (J.P. Beaumont #2) by J.A. Jance The second of the Beaumont series finds him involved in a murder while on vacation recovering from the events of book #1. Very similar plot line to the first where he finds himself romantically involved with people in the case. A little better plot lines than book 1 and ok read.
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  5. #65
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    So I am doing the Goodreads challenge for 2019 to encourage myself to read more (and spent less time watching tv). I thought that 24 books for the year would be a reasonable place to start, but I'm at 23 for the year already now that I've really refocused on reading. How many books do you read in a year? Where do you get your recommendations? I was listening to the "What Should I Read Next" podcast, but I would say I've only enjoyed about 1/3 of the books that I've gotten from them. I prefer historical fiction, sci/fi, fantasy. And I'm trying to intersperse non-fiction with fiction (mostly I've just read memoir).

  6. #66
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonewe View Post
    So I am doing the Goodreads challenge for 2019 to encourage myself to read more (and spent less time watching tv). I thought that 24 books for the year would be a reasonable place to start, but I'm at 23 for the year already now that I've really refocused on reading. How many books do you read in a year? Where do you get your recommendations? I was listening to the "What Should I Read Next" podcast, but I would say I've only enjoyed about 1/3 of the books that I've gotten from them. I prefer historical fiction, sci/fi, fantasy. And I'm trying to intersperse non-fiction with fiction (mostly I've just read memoir).
    I read about 2 a year, at best, although I am more a movie guy. To find books I like, more often than not, I'll just do a general search on a subject, cross-reference to Amazon rankings, and re-search elsewhere to get the penultimate book on said subject (I really don't read fiction at all, the last fiction I read was Don Winslow series about the cartels).

    Otherwise, in general conversations, usually at the local brewery, staff and customers will talk movies/books/TV shows, and some titles will pop up. There's a book on Putin that is supposed to be really good, a sort of biography, that I'd like to read, but I haven't researched it yet.
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  7. #67
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonewe View Post
    So I am doing the Goodreads challenge for 2019 to encourage myself to read more (and spent less time watching tv). I thought that 24 books for the year would be a reasonable place to start, but I'm at 23 for the year already now that I've really refocused on reading. How many books do you read in a year? Where do you get your recommendations? I was listening to the "What Should I Read Next" podcast, but I would say I've only enjoyed about 1/3 of the books that I've gotten from them. I prefer historical fiction, sci/fi, fantasy. And I'm trying to intersperse non-fiction with fiction (mostly I've just read memoir).
    I'm a Goodreads fan as well - I usually shoot for 36 books per year. I get a lot of recommendations from there, and any time I come across a book that I want to read, i add it to my "Want to Read" shelf. It's currently at over 400 books, so I should be set for a while. I add to it faster than I check things off. As far as other sources of books:
    1. Recommendations from authors I like. Neil Gaiman has been fruitful in this regard. Patrick Rothfuss as well. And if you haven't read either of them, I strongly recommend them in the fantasy realm. Even if Rothfuss is pulling a George R.R. Martin with his series...
    2. NPR. I'm a public radio nerd. They have some good recommendations. Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast is good fun, and occasionally has book recommendations.
    3. My local library usually has a good rotating selection of staff picks and "if you liked X, then try Y" displays. I've had good luck there.
    4. As far as non-fiction, if there's a particular topic I'm interested in, I just search for books in the area. If it's just a general desire to read non-fiction, I may search out a particular author. Mary Roach writes a lot of entertaining, generally science related, non-fiction books. Bill Bryson does pretty good travel books and historical non-fiction.

  8. #68
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonewe View Post
    So I am doing the Goodreads challenge for 2019 to encourage myself to read more (and spent less time watching tv). I thought that 24 books for the year would be a reasonable place to start, but I'm at 23 for the year already now that I've really refocused on reading. How many books do you read in a year? Where do you get your recommendations? I was listening to the "What Should I Read Next" podcast, but I would say I've only enjoyed about 1/3 of the books that I've gotten from them. I prefer historical fiction, sci/fi, fantasy. And I'm trying to intersperse non-fiction with fiction (mostly I've just read memoir).
    I read a book a week most of the time. Sometimes 2 or 3. Sometimes I reread if I am stressed and need to escape.
    I use the new fiction cases by the desk at the library. I also have a number of authors I read when ever they have a new book. Sometimes romantic drivel and others more intense.
    I love historical Fiction. But have really eclectic tastes. Suspense, Romance, historical fiction,, mystery.... Pretty much everything but biographies and math ( )
    If you like Dan Brown or Clive Cussler then James Rollins is great. He has a lot of detail and has written a series. You can read stand alone but better if in sequence. Steven Berry is also very good and seems to write a lot that dovetails with Rollins.
    I also liked Matthew O'Reilly, he is lighter than Rollins and a bit fantastical.
    Phillipa Gregory if you like English history. I like her earlier books better. She wrote a really cool couple Virgin Earth, and Earthly Joys-about John Tradescant who was the Royal Gardener and ended up over here in the colonies and other places.
    Judith Merkle Riley who writes in the times when alchemy was real and has characters who are not the usual focus of the book.
    J.D. Robb the 'in Death' series Futuristic mysteries
    For drivel I like Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle- same person- series that deals with paranormal across the different time frames.
    Then my allllll time favorite- The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Being a medical person and loving hx this hits the spot for both.
    Currently reading Jo Bannister (author) to catch up on a few I missed. Also like Deborah Crombie- both English detective type books.

    I could keep going....

  9. #69
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Also The Last Cato by Matilde Asensi- Read it twice. She also wrote one set in China

  10. #70
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Stasiland by Anna Funder.

    The author lived in late 90s Berlin working at a foreign TV station, and interviewed some people about their experiences with the former East German secret police, as well as a couple of former Stasi officers (one still breathing the red fire and adamantly spouting the SED party line ), and not to mention Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler himself (imagine Rush Limbaugh or Ben Shapiro as a tankie/Stalinist, and that's Schnitzler).

    It's a solid read and I tore through it in about 4 flight segments.
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  11. #71

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    The first 2 pages of Infinite Jest are OK. We'll see what the other 1200 are like over the next few years.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    I'm reading Bad Blood right now, the book on the Theranos fiasco.

    It's been around for a couple of years but I hadn't taken the time to read it until I saw the recent documentary. I'm really glad that I started it (I'm about 2/3 the way through). It provides background and context the movie didn't.

    One of the questions that was raised in our movie thread had to do with why more people didn't come forward and report the outright illegal activities that the company was engaged in. We discussed the fact that most of the employees were under strict non-disclosure agreements and that there had apparently been a lot of threats of lawsuits.

    The book adds quite a bit more information that shows the working conditions of some of these people. There were constant firings, and lawsuits threatened or actually implemented against former employees.

    But another fact not touched on by the movie is that quite a few people in critical positions were people from India hired by Sunny who were in the US on visas that entirely depended upon their continued employment with Theranos. If they lost their job they would not only lose their paycheck but also likely their ability to remain in the country. This bought Sunny additional secrecy and "loyalty" that might otherwise not been available to him
    That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open lists, to win or lose.

  13. #73
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedCornellian View Post
    I'm a Goodreads fan as well - I usually shoot for 36 books per year. I get a lot of recommendations from there, and any time I come across a book that I want to read, i add it to my "Want to Read" shelf. It's currently at over 400 books, so I should be set for a while. I add to it faster than I check things off. As far as other sources of books:
    1. Recommendations from authors I like. Neil Gaiman has been fruitful in this regard. Patrick Rothfuss as well. And if you haven't read either of them, I strongly recommend them in the fantasy realm. Even if Rothfuss is pulling a George R.R. Martin with his series...
    2. NPR. I'm a public radio nerd. They have some good recommendations. Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast is good fun, and occasionally has book recommendations.
    3. My local library usually has a good rotating selection of staff picks and "if you liked X, then try Y" displays. I've had good luck there.
    4. As far as non-fiction, if there's a particular topic I'm interested in, I just search for books in the area. If it's just a general desire to read non-fiction, I may search out a particular author. Mary Roach writes a lot of entertaining, generally science related, non-fiction books. Bill Bryson does pretty good travel books and historical non-fiction.
    I have about 375 on my TBR list on Goodreads, but I've found a few to be uninspriting from the podcast where I got recommendations, so I am trolling for other recommendations.
    I LOVE Neil Gaiman - I've seen him speak and read just about all of his fiction (though none of his comics). I don't know Patrick Rothfuss, so I will check him out. Do you get Gaiman's recommendations from somewhere specific (Twitter? Goodreads?). .
    I will check out Pop Culture Happy Hour since I'm kind of over the other podcasts I've been listening to and I have struck out with 4 audiobooks (not sure if it's the readers, the medium, or the material).
    I will check out those 2 non-fiction authors as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by leswp1 View Post
    I read a book a week most of the time. Sometimes 2 or 3. Sometimes I reread if I am stressed and need to escape.
    I use the new fiction cases by the desk at the library. I also have a number of authors I read when ever they have a new book. Sometimes romantic drivel and others more intense.
    I love historical Fiction. But have really eclectic tastes. Suspense, Romance, historical fiction,, mystery.... Pretty much everything but biographies and math ( )
    If you like Dan Brown or Clive Cussler then James Rollins is great. He has a lot of detail and has written a series. You can read stand alone but better if in sequence. Steven Berry is also very good and seems to write a lot that dovetails with Rollins.
    I also liked Matthew O'Reilly, he is lighter than Rollins and a bit fantastical.
    Phillipa Gregory if you like English history. I like her earlier books better. She wrote a really cool couple Virgin Earth, and Earthly Joys-about John Tradescant who was the Royal Gardener and ended up over here in the colonies and other places.
    Judith Merkle Riley who writes in the times when alchemy was real and has characters who are not the usual focus of the book.
    J.D. Robb the 'in Death' series Futuristic mysteries
    For drivel I like Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle- same person- series that deals with paranormal across the different time frames.
    Then my allllll time favorite- The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Being a medical person and loving hx this hits the spot for both.
    Currently reading Jo Bannister (author) to catch up on a few I missed. Also like Deborah Crombie- both English detective type books.

    I could keep going....
    I should keep up with the new fiction case in our library - that is where I'm getting most of the books I'm reading this year. The ones I've loved, I've then bought at our local independent bookstore, but it's too expensive to buy everything.
    I like the idea of Dan Brown's books, but don't like his writing. I don't know Clive Cussler (though I think Probert has read some of his stuff). I will check out O'Reilly as well.
    I read 3 Phillipa Gregory books and I'm kind of over her series on the Plantagenets. I will check out her other books.
    I just finished Deborah Harkness' books about a professor who researches alchemy - so maybe the Judith Merkle Riley books might appeal.
    Ugh -- Outlander. Just...no. I read the first book and about a third of the second before I threw up my hands and ended the torture. I do not understand the appeal. I love a steamy romance on occasion, but I think Claire is so self-centered and lame as a main character. I haven't watched the series, so maybe I'm missing out. I have my own dude in a kilt if I need that fantasy...

    Thanks, all for posting! I enjoy reading what you're reading...

  14. #74

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by SJHovey View Post
    But another fact not touched on by the movie is that quite a few people in critical positions were people from India hired by Sunny who were in the US on visas that entirely depended upon their continued employment with Theranos. If they lost their job they would not only lose their paycheck but also likely their ability to remain in the country. This bought Sunny additional secrecy and "loyalty" that might otherwise not been available to him
    That's a very interesting point.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonewe View Post
    I have about 375 on my TBR list on Goodreads, but I've found a few to be uninspriting from the podcast where I got recommendations, so I am trolling for other recommendations.
    I LOVE Neil Gaiman - I've seen him speak and read just about all of his fiction (though none of his comics). I don't know Patrick Rothfuss, so I will check him out. Do you get Gaiman's recommendations from somewhere specific (Twitter? Goodreads?). .
    I will check out Pop Culture Happy Hour since I'm kind of over the other podcasts I've been listening to and I have struck out with 4 audiobooks (not sure if it's the readers, the medium, or the material).
    I will check out those 2 non-fiction authors as well.




    I should keep up with the new fiction case in our library - that is where I'm getting most of the books I'm reading this year. The ones I've loved, I've then bought at our local independent bookstore, but it's too expensive to buy everything.
    I like the idea of Dan Brown's books, but don't like his writing. I don't know Clive Cussler (though I think Probert has read some of his stuff). I will check out O'Reilly as well.
    I read 3 Phillipa Gregory books and I'm kind of over her series on the Plantagenets. I will check out her other books.
    I just finished Deborah Harkness' books about a professor who researches alchemy - so maybe the Judith Merkle Riley books might appeal.
    Ugh -- Outlander. Just...no. I read the first book and about a third of the second before I threw up my hands and ended the torture. I do not understand the appeal. I love a steamy romance on occasion, but I think Claire is so self-centered and lame as a main character. I haven't watched the series, so maybe I'm missing out. I have my own dude in a kilt if I need that fantasy...

    Thanks, all for posting! I enjoy reading what you're reading...
    James Rollins is the best, followed by Berry for the intrigue and historical detail. I like how he has a section at the end that tells what is real and what he made up complete with where it was in the book. Cussler co-authors stuff. I do not like the series with Bell s the main character. I like the ones with NUMA. It isn't deep reading but def beach reading.

  16. #76
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonewe View Post
    I have about 375 on my TBR list on Goodreads, but I've found a few to be uninspriting from the podcast where I got recommendations, so I am trolling for other recommendations.
    I LOVE Neil Gaiman - I've seen him speak and read just about all of his fiction (though none of his comics). I don't know Patrick Rothfuss, so I will check him out. Do you get Gaiman's recommendations from somewhere specific (Twitter? Goodreads?). .
    Gaiman occasionally post recommendations or references on his twitter feed and goodreads. His non-fiction book "A View from the Cheap Seats," which is really just a collection of speeches and introductions he's written over the years, contains quite a few references to authors who he enjoys.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    If you liked Hornblower, Bolitho, or Aubrey-Maturin, and Harrington try Alexis Carew by J.A. Sutherland.

    We're up to book 6 and there are a couple of spinoffs.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonewe View Post
    So I am doing the Goodreads challenge for 2019 to encourage myself to read more (and spent less time watching tv). I thought that 24 books for the year would be a reasonable place to start, but I'm at 23 for the year already now that I've really refocused on reading. How many books do you read in a year? Where do you get your recommendations? I was listening to the "What Should I Read Next" podcast, but I would say I've only enjoyed about 1/3 of the books that I've gotten from them. I prefer historical fiction, sci/fi, fantasy. And I'm trying to intersperse non-fiction with fiction (mostly I've just read memoir).
    I read between 150-200 books a year. I get recommendations from friends and family (both my mom and my aunt read as much as I do), magazine and newspaper articles, social media, or just browsing at the library. Whenever I read about something that sounds interesting, I add it to my Want to Read list (at about 65 right now - really low for me). I don't really find the recommendations at Goodreads or Amazon that reliable or helpful, but I like the "new books by authors you've liked" emails from Goodreads, because I don't always keep up with that stuff. I keep Goodreads updated, but I know a lot of my friends do not (or they just don't read much). I don't write reviews at Goodreads, but I do rate everything.

    If I read something I feel strongly about, I usually post about it here, but I don't post about everything I read, because mostly it's just average stuff (3 stars-ish). If I feel REALLY strongly about it, I post about it on Facebook.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Finished Frankenstein. It's a better book every time I read it and I've never seen a movie treatment that did it justice.

    Starting now on Varney the Vampire, the Victorian Gothic written 50 years before Dracula. Early on the atmospherics are wonderfully over the top and the violence is quite graphic -- what if Jess Franco made a movie with John Waters? I'm really enjoying it.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    I've just started Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. Awesome book, I already like it better than LOTR

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