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Big Monk

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Up next is a re-read of To Kill a Mockingbird, followed by a first time through Go Set A Watchman.

Sometime around the 2004 timeframe I went through and decided to read several of the "classics" which I had never been assigned in school; To Kill A Mockingbird was one of those. Now that there is a "sequel" I want to read it, but it's been long enough that I need to revisit the original first.
You may like it, but the "sequel" was never meant to be released and likely coerced out of Harper Lee by unscrupulous individuals. I personally did not.
 

Big Monk

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My lineup is as follows:

1.) Dennis Etchison - California Gothic
2.) William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
3.) Cormac McCarthy - The Orchard Keeper
4.) Peter Straub - Ghost Story
5.) August Turak - Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks
 

betarhoalphadelta

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You may like it, but the "sequel" was never meant to be released and likely coerced out of Harper Lee by unscrupulous individuals. I personally did not.
I haven't researched it deeply, but I've heard it was controversial both due to subject matter and also due to the circumstances of its publishing.

But my wife bought it and it's sitting on the bookshelf, so I figure I might as well give it a shot. At least I'll learn what the controversy is all about.
 

Big Monk

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I haven't researched it deeply, but I've heard it was controversial both due to subject matter and also due to the circumstances of its publishing.

But my wife bought it and it's sitting on the bookshelf, so I figure I might as well give it a shot. At least I'll learn what the controversy is all about.
It's supposedly a rough draft of "To Kill A Mockingbird", evidenced by passages that were used in both novels. You may enjoy it and I definitely don't want to sway you or give the wrong impression.
 
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Zipping my way through John Steinbeck's East of Eden. Holy cow, Steinbeck can write. What a masterclass in character development. Though, this book is partly non-fiction, as one of the families involved are real characters from his mother's side of the family, early settlers in the Salinas Valley, just east of Monterey Bay in Calif.

I've read several of his classics, but I might stick with him and read through some of the books I missed.

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riceral

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Zipping my way through John Steinbeck's East of Eden. Holy cow, Steinbeck can write. What a masterclass in character development. Though, this book is partly non-fiction, as one of the families involved are real characters from his mother's side of the family, early settlers in the Salinas Valley, just east of Monterey Bay in Calif.

I've read several of his classics, but I might stick with him and read through some of the books I missed.

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one off my all time favorite books
 

betarhoalphadelta

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It's supposedly a rough draft of "To Kill A Mockingbird", evidenced by passages that were used in both novels. You may enjoy it and I definitely don't want to sway you or give the wrong impression.
So I've reread To Kill a Mockingbird, and have read Go Set A Watchman.

SPOILERS BELOW FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T READ THEM

I completely understand why people have such a hard time with the latter. And it took me a little bit of time to grasp why reading it pissed me off so badly.

After the end of the book, they expounded on the history. Apparently Go Set A Watchman wasn't really a rough draft of Mockingbird, nor was it really a sequel. It was a completely different book, written first, and never made it to being published. One of the publishers apparently asked Harper Lee to continue with the ideas, because there was a lot of merit there, and Harper Lee did so. In doing so, the characters grew in ways that made them incompatible with Watchman.

So although Watchman takes place with the same characters and takes place later chronologically, the characters had changed so much by the time that Mockingbird was written that they weren't really necessarily the same people.

Reading Watchman you feel betrayed that characters that you believed in were turned into something that you could never see them being after reading Mockingbird. It feels like your heroes are being turned into villains, and you ask yourself "Why would Harper Lee do that?!"

But in reality, that's reversed. The characters who were villains in Watchman were reformed BY writing Mockingbird. But then Watchman was published as-is, and was never made to reconcile with what those characters turned into.

So it's a sequel that was completely inconsistent with its predecessor, and thus people got angry.

Aside from that, I don't think it was nearly as well-written as Mockingbird. The dialogue was much too glib, everything seemed a little too contrived.

But at least now I know what all the controversy was about.
 

bleme

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I've been going through my local libraries Overdrive/e-book collection. I look mostly for Fantasy/Sci-Fi, sorted by popularity. Downloaded one last week: Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts. I thought it was promising because the author's name seemed familiar. It didn't take me long to figure out this was not the kind of fantasy novel I was looking for...
 

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I have given most of my paper story books away, my bookshelf now has a mixture of reference books for brewing, fly tying, backpacking, motorcycle repair, and I.T. related books of all sorts.

My story books are all in digital format. That library is more than 600 strong. Some of my favorites being:

The Safehold series by David Weber
The Honor Harrington series by David Weber
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Dune by Frank Herbert
IRobot by Asimov
HHGTG by Douglas Adams
The Dark Elf trilogy by Salvatore
The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margeret Weis and Tracy Hickman
The Hobbit and TLOTR series by Tolkien
The Frankenstein series by Dean Koontz
The Harry Potter books by J K Rowling *If you do the audio books you MUST get the ones with Stephen Fry as the narrator!
Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
The Lost Regiment Series by William Forstchen *He said he would expand the series, but has so far not done so. The last book does not provide closure at all, just a warning if you are one who needs closure.

I know there are MANY excellent ones that I am forgetting, but those rose to the top of my mind.
That is a pretty good list off the top of your mind! I agree with most of those. I would add Peter F. Hamilton's books: especially The Great North Road, Pandora's Planet, and Judas Unchained. And Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye and The Prince series.
What is the best new scifi you have read in the last couple of years? These days I struggle to find new books that I like the way I like the old ones.
 
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That is a pretty good list off the top of your mind! I agree with most of those. I would add Peter F. Hamilton's books: especially The Great North Road, Pandora's Planet, and Judas Unchained. And Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye and The Prince series.
What is the best new scifi you have read in the last couple of years? These days I struggle to find new books that I like the way I like the old ones.
Did you read the Silo Series (e.g., Wool)? I thought that was stellar. Also, I highly recommend Dark Matter and Recursion, both from Blake Crouch.

For a bit of sci fi horror, try The Girl With All the Gifts. I loved that one.


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Right now I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing. It happens not too far from my neighborhood. I just finished his novel All the Pretty Horses. He's one of the great underrated American authors IMHO.
He's brilliant, with a daunting vocabulary and incredibly intense characters. Have you read Blood Meridian?
 

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I try to read The Once and Future King every other summer. I love it. It's also about time to revisit the C.S. space trilogy. Perelandra is perhaps my favorite piece of Christian fiction. The space trilogy as a whole is a great setting for Lewis to flesh out the ideas dealt with in his non fiction works. Any Christians or Lewis fans who have never read it should really do themselves a favor.
 

estricklin

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Well for sure then read The Road. Post-apocalypse, not the fun kind :)
I wouldn't know whether to recommend he read The Road first or No Country For Old Men. I've yet to find one of his I don't like yet. He's so versatile too, when you consider how different books like Suttree and The Road are.


I've been sucked into Master and Commander as of late, all the other reading has been programming and much too boring to mention here.
 

bleme

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I just finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern . It was a little more serious than I wanted at the time, and a bit of a slow burn, but still very good.
 

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I'm reading the Dresden files series by Jim Butcher again. After a long hiatus there's two new ones this year (one recently dropped).
 

bleme

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Just finished book #12 of the Mercy Thompson series. They aren't the type of book to change the way you see the world - just a fun, fast-paced, entertaining read.

Most of the series takes place around Finley, WA and I really like the way the author uses real landmarks and history throughout the book. If you ignore the werewolves, vampires, fae and witches, it's almost like it could be a true story! LOL!

I'm also working on the Witcher Saga. My SIL said that she really wanted to like the Netflix series but felt overwhelmed all the references that they never explain, just dropping you in the middle. I figured I'd solve that by reading the books first. Well, the books do pretty much the same thing! They are constantly referring to towns and countries and don't even have the courtesy to provide a map!

On top of that, I don't think the book was originally written in English. There is a weird cadence to the words that took me several chapters to get used to. It felt like it was getting good about halfway through Blood of Elves, but I enjoyed the 2nd book (The Last Wish) a lot more.
 

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I liked I, Claudius. If you like historical novels set in the Roman era, Colleen McCullough's books are the best I have ever read in that genre. I think she wrote six or seven books, with the first one set about the time Caesar was born, and the last about the time Anthony and Cleopatra were beaten. The first book was The First Man in Rome.
 
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I liked I, Claudius. If you like historical novels set in the Roman era, Colleen McCullough's books are the best I have ever read in that genre. I think she wrote six or seven books, with the first one set about the time Caesar was born, and the last about the time Anthony and Cleopatra were beaten. The first book was The First Man in Rome.
I don't know if I've ever read one. I listen to a history podcast (Hardcore History) and was intrigued by the roman era.
 

riceral

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I don't know if I've ever read one. I listen to a history podcast (Hardcore History) and was intrigued by the roman era.
Dan is great. Makes history more appealing and interesting than any other history I have heard before. I just wish the podcasts were more frequent. "History on Fire" is very good also.

Right now, I'm rereading "On the Road."
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Dan is great. Makes history more appealing and interesting than any other history I have heard before. I just wish the podcasts were more frequent. "History on Fire" is very good also.

Right now, I'm rereading "On the Road."
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I listened to every single HH podcast, actually. I think Dan's done with them. I think my favorite was Wrath of the Khans. I also listened to his Common Sense podcast, political commentary.

I really really admire Dan - er, I admire his podcast personality, anyway. You think you get to know a person by listening to them a lot, dunno if that's true. But I'd sure like to have a beer with him someday and find out if his radio personality matches reality.

I used to have a copy of On the Road around here. I think I delved into it a bit, but I'm sure I did not get too far. Can't remember why. Frankly, without getting too much into politics, the counterculture movement is not appealing these days.
 

Vbbrake84

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Zipping my way through John Steinbeck's East of Eden. Holy cow, Steinbeck can write. What a masterclass in character development. Though, this book is partly non-fiction, as one of the families involved are real characters from his mother's side of the family, early settlers in the Salinas Valley, just east of Monterey Bay in Calif.


I've read several of his classics, but I might stick with him and read through some of the books I missed.

View attachment 685483
I know this is old but winter of our discontent is absolutely terrific and not in the typical Steinbeck cannon (I don’t think)
 
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