Skip to main content


Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

There are often times that I have read something in the paper that was so strange I knew a writer would never get away with putting it in a book.  The reader would just not accept it.  

If you are like I am then you have probably read a lot of strange fiction and you may doubt that there could be real things that are weirder.  

Poll

What are you hoping will come soon?

0%0 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
32%9 votes
3%1 votes
7%2 votes
21%6 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
7%2 votes
3%1 votes
7%2 votes

| 28 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Wed Apr 22, 2015 at 05:00 PM PDT

Bookflurries-Bookchat: Gripping Adventures

by cfk

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

My readers are varied in what they enjoy for books so I try to have a theme about all kinds of books so no one feels left out.  The theme and the poll are only to get discussion going and mostly everyone just talks about what they are reading right now.  Even if you are not reading a book at the moment, you are welcome to chat about favorite stories.

Those who know me well, know that I read a lot of scifi/fantasy and mysteries so those are the books I often mention.  But gripping adventures are often found in non-fiction books as well as fiction.  They are true adventures with real people as heroes.

I don’t always need adventure or excitement to enjoy a book, but tonight I would like to mention some series stories set in fantasy worlds that were especially gripping.

Poll

Which books provide you with gripping adventure?

11%3 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
11%3 votes
0%0 votes
19%5 votes
3%1 votes
15%4 votes
30%8 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 26 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

The meaning of the phrase in the title is one where you lean back with something that feels good to you and say, “That’s the ticket!”  It is an expression meaning “just right” or as I sometimes see it as “What I need right now!”

It is often used after a long hard day and probably refers to some kind of drink in hand.  Not necessarily alcoholic, but something that hits the spot.

Tonight, I am thinking of books, of course, or movies.

I admit to having varying moods about books and movies and what hits the spot on one day does not apply on another.  With the internet handy, a person can tune into music, movies or books as the whim strikes them.

Sometimes my whim is something silly, a guilty pleasure, and other times it is something to satisfy my curiosity where my fingers twitch to pick up a book that I have been looking forward to reading.  Once in a while it is a book that I have read before or a favorite movie.

This time, it was The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku.  I told myself that the book should wait until I had finished at least one more of my challenge books.  But my fingers hovered and…grabbed.  I just couldn’t wait.

I have read two of his books:

Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21rst Century

Physics of the Future

Also, last week at Bookflurries there were several books mentioned that I put on my wish list at Barnes & Noble and then I went ahead and ordered them because…wait for it…they just hit me where I lived and I couldn’t resist.  I said in effect, “That’s the Ticket!”

I also borrowed my son’s copy of The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander (all in one book) to re-read because my copy is buried somewhere on a shelf and I bought the set for my grandson for his birthday this summer.  I thought I had better review the story so I can talk with him about it.  I admit that a few weeks ago James Wells lit the fire under me to get going on this project by mentioning the series.

There are some books that I yearn to re-read and Chronicles was high on that list.  It has been too long since I entered this world.  Has it lived up to my expectations after so many years?  So far, it has!

Some of the books I read or skimmed recently were disappointing, but one book was just lovely.  Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool (YA) was an unexpected treat.  Two lonely boys have an adventure.  It is a wonderful story.  As I read it, I kept feeling that this was the perfect book for me at the right time.  That doesn’t happen as often as I would wish.

Poll

Which set of movies appeals to you?

7%3 votes
5%2 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
10%4 votes
5%2 votes
15%6 votes
5%2 votes
5%2 votes
15%6 votes
23%9 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

Our MT Spaces has published a Memoir, The Great Salt Lake Mime Saga and Amsterdam’s Festival of Fools: Memoir and Memorabilia.  See the Note below for details.

When I read a memoir, I also pause to think about my own life.  What was I doing in the same years?  How did my vision of life overlap with the author’s?  Good memories, hard memories, regrets, sympathy…all are part of my reading as the author shares his life.

In this book, I see memories of people who did the hard work of becoming entertainers, who reached out to the world and shared their vision and skills.  It takes courage and joy to produce a show.  The challenge of setting up in varied venues from the street to small stages, to high schools is a great one.  Finding enough money to live on while honing the material and getting known is very tough.  

This memoir is an intimate look from the inside that touches the heart the more you read about how the young artists began and worked together to create their shows.  The author saw it all from the beginning in Salt Lake City to the shows in Amsterdam.  He did lots of jobs to keep the show going strong such as doing art work, stage lighting, juggling, running off programs, and keeping the bus driver awake at night on bad roads.

I visited Amsterdam for a few days in 1972 so I know a little bit about the bustle of that city; the trams, the bicycles, the flower market and the buildings.  It is a lively city and the Mime Troupe made it livelier.

Thanks to MT Spaces’ gift of this book, I enjoyed a time travel trip back into the 70’s when dancers, mimes, clowns, and musicians were burgeoning with creative enterprise and daring the odds to show their stuff.  

Thank you, MT Spaces!!!

Poll

Which is your favorite?

27%9 votes
12%4 votes
3%1 votes
18%6 votes
3%1 votes
15%5 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
9%3 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes

| 33 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

Last year, my son-in-law made “cupcakes” that were really meatloaf with mashed potatoes on top.  He even colored the potatoes pink and green.  The 11 year old and the 7 year old were pretty put out, the 4 year old thought they were waaay cool, and the 2 year old cried his lungs out.  The next day to make up for it, he made real cupcakes.

April Fool 's cupcake of meatloaf and potatoes

I expect that some of my readers have some cool jokes they could share.  My brother and I were never that creative.  My dad was really angry about salt in the sugar container.  

I thought about teasing you with pretend titles such as:

Borne Away by Leaf to the Moon by Magellan da Vinci

Pulsing Leaf Blowers and Snarling Snow Blowers by Earnest Worker

Dragon Journeys Across Mars by Danielle Day Tripper

(Feel free to indulge yourselves in a similar style in the comments. I am sure you can do better).  

Instead, I have some real titles of new books that just came out, some that are coming soon, and one that is more than a bit into the future that for me comes very fast.  I hope you all will share new books or books coming out in paperback that you are interested in.  That is how my wish list grows.

Poll

Which book might you be likely to take a peek at and maybe read?

27%6 votes
0%0 votes
4%1 votes
4%1 votes
18%4 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
9%2 votes
0%0 votes
9%2 votes
9%2 votes
4%1 votes
13%3 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 22 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

Non-fiction and fiction books can be beautifully written and make our hearts sing as we read them.  They have beautiful language, interesting images, a depth of emotion and inspire the reader.  They make us sit up and take notice that something important is being said and in a wonderfully new way.  It is a joy to read them.  

I am always delighted to find wonderfully written non-fiction books. An Alchemy of Mind by Diane Ackerman is one of those.

Many times, though, history seems dry and that is a shame.  One or two paragraphs sometimes covers years and a few dry facts sometimes represents thousands of people’s lives.  

It is fiction that many times invites us into a character’s life who is living the history and helps us understand what it is like to be there.  The story, when well written and based on careful research, can teach us so much and be memorable.  Often those books are beautiful and inspiring even when sad.  They make our heart sing for the life that was lived and we fold the characters into our minds as if we had known them.  

I have read a biography of Louisa May Alcott about the hardships of her life, but reading Little Women is more stunning and memorable.  Is this fair?  You may argue with me in the comments below.

I also read about Jane Austen’s life and prefer her books.  I read Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams by Lyle Leverich and yet The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire seem more real.

The books that make our hearts sing lay bare the human heart to us and share a character’s thoughts and triumphs, their failures and redemption that we can empathize with.  

Poll

What do you like about spring?

0%0 votes
6%3 votes
4%2 votes
17%8 votes
2%1 votes
25%12 votes
0%0 votes
6%3 votes
4%2 votes
0%0 votes
10%5 votes
6%3 votes
0%0 votes
17%8 votes
0%0 votes

| 47 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

Because yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and because I have Irish ancestors, (James Moore married Betsy Kinkade), I will celebrate the music of the language and thoughts of Irish writers.

I have read Niall William’s As It Is in Heaven and The Fall of Light and I am enjoying reading History of the Rain.

History of the Rain  

Page 69

So there it is.  Man and Salmon.  And whatever knowledge is in the fish somehow transfers to him.  Whatever secrets of the world, what mysteries of chance and concurrence, of power and force and ultimate surrender, enter him, and Grandfather lets the salmon back into the river.  He lets it back and lies flat and exhausted, and he’s sort of crying for all that has failed in his life and for the failure of God to show up, and the rain pours down into his face, the Lighting Gaffer throws a switch and Mervin sweetens the score so even if you’re looking into your popcorn you know that up there on the screen your man’s in the throes of something like revelation.

Poll

Which is your favorite quotation or poem from the diary?

0%0 votes
14%4 votes
3%1 votes
11%3 votes
0%0 votes
7%2 votes
3%1 votes
7%2 votes
18%5 votes
22%6 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
7%2 votes
3%1 votes

| 27 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

In the story I have been writing for years at Write On!, the hero is the Chosen One whether he wants to be or not.  Sensible Shoes says he is not the hero, but he only thinks he is, but I believe Jasper is more humble than that.  I think he does the best he can to be heroic, but sometimes he depends on Hitch, his companion, to make decisions.  In fact, I think Jasper would gladly let Hitch be the hero.

Usually I want to like the hero even when he is flawed and makes mistakes.  I want him/her to succeed in saving those who are in trouble.  I want him to learn about himself and to gain confidence.  I want him to act even when he is afraid.  

I like it when the hero is vulnerable and reflects on his life, and I like it when he works hard to be better as a human being as well as a leader.  It is good when he recognizes he is not perfect.  I like it when he grows and changes.  I especially like it when he accepts the responsibility of leading and faces up to the challenge.  I also enjoy a comic hero who would rather let someone else do the work, but ends up doing it anyway.

I am fond of the hero who wears a mask and then returns to everyday life after solving a problem and gets no credit.    

Poll

Who is your favorite hero or heroine?

7%3 votes
5%2 votes
10%4 votes
2%1 votes
5%2 votes
2%1 votes
5%2 votes
0%0 votes
7%3 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
15%6 votes
13%5 votes
7%3 votes
13%5 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

Five of my eight grandbabies visited on Saturday afternoon and because the To-Be-Read pile is right next to the toy box and the computer and where the kitty resides, there was an accidental shaking up of the pile which is a good thing because books tend to disappear down to the bottom of the pile too far for too long.

Some people have their piles on neat shelves, I know.  Mine tremble in four stacks along with my challenge books for the year.  The pretty kitty likes to rub her chin on them and see if she can bump a few off the top of the pile.  

I am very happy with the books I have right now and many of them are books that my readers at Bookflurries have recommended.  Thank you!!

There are fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, romances, general fiction, YA, and non-fiction stories just waiting for me to open them.  Ten of the authors are completely new to me.  Sometimes it is easier to grab an author that I know and let a new one slide down the pile.  That is not good.  So a shaking up is a good thing with the books that have been ignored too long coming up to the surface.

Poll

Which book should I choose to read next from my TBR pile?

3%1 votes
38%10 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
11%3 votes
11%3 votes
0%0 votes
7%2 votes
15%4 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes

| 26 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

In books where action and plot are fast paced we find desperate characters in desperate situations.  The author is encouraged to up the stakes for the characters so that their bad day gets worse and then even worse, yet.  This makes me turn the pages fast to find out what happens next.  I like this kind of book though I prefer the dead do not pile up too high, especially the named characters that I care about.  As I have said before, when I spend many hours and a lot of energy living with the main characters, I really want them to survive their troubles however desperate.

Sometimes it is the villain who is desperate.  He or she may think they are the hero and are in the right and their actions are important and must succeed.  They believe their world view is the right one that must be forced on others no matter what it takes.  The end justifies the means in their minds.

Speaking of desperate times, Jinx’s Fire by Sage Blackwood is coming out on March 24th.  It is the third in a series of books for middle grades (8 - 12 years).  The author is our Daily Kos friend Sensible Shoes.  The series has been highly praised for a good reason.  It is fun and scary to read.  If we readers thought that Jinx and the Urwalders had troubles in the last two books, we now find that the situation has grown more desperate.  At least three kings want to possess the land and destroy the trees.  The safe paths are overgrown, fires are set, and the Bonemaster holds the lives of Jinx and his friends in his hand.  If he dies, they die, yet he must be defeated or the Urwald will die.

You can’t get much more desperate than that.  Jinx has to make desperate choices as he walks the paths of fire and ice.  He is already guilty of turning a person into a tree.  How much more guilt can he take and still do what has to be done?  As the clearings and villages of the Urwalders are overrun by soldiers, Jinx uses his fading powers to bring the people of the clearings to safety in Simon’s home.  Jinx tries not to think about how Simon would feel to find his kitchen overrun by people.  How can the people unite and defeat the armies and win their homes back?  It is difficult to understand the words in important books that might help Jinx fight back, and it is a trial to keep from being eaten by werewolves and trolls.  In the meantime, he thinks that Simon's life force is fading and time is running out to save him.

Then there is this thing about holding meetings and letting people vote.  That is brand new.  Let trolls be on a council?  Let witches vote?  One thing that had better be in the new constitution is that people do not leave their children in the woods to perish as Jinx was left by his stepfather.  

Once again, Jinx is juggling a lot of things all at once.  Luckily, he has friends who are loyal and will help and he can still read their emotions in the colors around their heads.  (Always my favorite part).

Jinx is desperate to learn many things.  What do listeners in the forest do?  How can he use his gift of fire?  How can he stop himself from being tempted to misuse the deathforce?  Do the means justify the ends?  Can he keep his arm from being chewed off?

It is a lot to expect that one young wizard who still cannot make some kinds of magic work can solve such desperate problems.

Many thanks to Harper Collins for the review book they sent me and to SS for writing this lively series.

Jinx
Jinx’s Magic
Jinx’s Fire
Poll

Which one is your favorite desperate character?

6%2 votes
18%6 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
24%8 votes
9%3 votes
6%2 votes
6%2 votes
3%1 votes
12%4 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes

| 33 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

One of the interesting things about the computer age is that we can access older stories that we have loved.  Many classics are on line.  I can find books on the net that I can’t find on my overloaded book shelves.

These books can be downloaded to e-readers.  There is audio, too.

The Gutenberg Project collection

http://www.gutenberg.org/...

I just loved these:

Some Experiences of an Irish R.M by Martin Ross and E. Oe. Somerville
http://www.gutenberg.org/...

Further Experiences of an Irish R.M.
http://www.gutenberg.org/...

This list of classics is just a sampling of the interesting books to be found.

The Western World's Greatest Books

http://gutenberg.net.au/...

Poll

What part of winter is making you tired? If you are not in a winter place please bear with us while we grump.

26%8 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
10%3 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
20%6 votes
3%1 votes
16%5 votes

| 30 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

my books 4-28-11 165

It is the time of year that we consider stories about lovers in books and film.  Jennifer Malin sent me three romances she wrote a while back, Lord St. Leger’s Find, The Artful Miss Irvine, and As You Wish.  (And autographed them, too!)  I enjoyed them very much.  She is our DKos member melpomene1.  I am going to re-read them shortly just for fun.

Emmet and others got me to read several stories by Georgette Heyer in which high-spirited young women stand up for themselves.  I enjoyed them, too.  My favorite was The Masqueraders.

I don’t read many romance books, but of course, many if not most books have a romance in them.  

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorites.

One of the most disappointing things in books is when the hero or heroine marries the wrong person…well, in my opinion it is the wrong person.  You may disagree.  

My examples:

Jo March saying no to Laurie in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women

Scarlett and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (I detest Rhett Butler and all he stands for). (I liked Will who also married the wrong woman, Suellen)

Adam Trask marrying Cathy/Kate Ames in East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Charlotte Lucas marrying Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Dorothea Brooke marrying the Rev. Edward Casaubon and Tertius Lydgate marrying Rosamond Vincy in Middlemarch by George Eliot.

Pierre marrying Princess Elena (Hélène) Kuragin in Tolstoy’s War and Peace.  In the end all is well, but in between…

Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter books.

Tatyana being dismissed by Eugene Onegin until it is too late and she marries someone else…by Pushkin.

In some books I am more sympathetic:

Cathy could not have married Heathcliff, imo.

There are some that are good matches with happy endings:

Rosalind and Orlando in As You Like It

Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.  I have always felt sorry that Colonel Fitzwilliam could not marry for love.  Why not have him marry Charlotte?

Mary Garth and Fred Vincy in Middlemarch.

Buttercup and Westley in the Princess Bride by William Goldman

I am impressed by mystery writers who allow a husband and wife to be detectives.

Lindsey Davis does such a good job with Falco and Helena Justina.

Sayers has Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey.  

Nick and Nora Charles are from The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

There are some famous real life lovers who are inspiring:

Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning

I like books about people who are good friends, too.  I have to admit that Jo and Laurie stayed good friends in the three books by Alcott.  That did help.

Who do you think married the wrong person?  Who are you glad for marrying the right person?  Who are some characters who stayed good friends?

Poll

Which is your favorite pair?

2%1 votes
8%4 votes
6%3 votes
13%6 votes
2%1 votes
21%10 votes
19%9 votes
6%3 votes
6%3 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
8%4 votes
2%1 votes

| 46 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.

RSS

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site