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Old July 30th, 2002, 02:41 PM   #106
Cod
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Have NONE of us read a thing since January????

Well, I am currently reading the last part of Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. This makes me sad. It's been a long time since I've read a book that I do NOT want to end.

This book is a story of a family in Nova Scotia. It's not your usual family, of course. I HOPE!

All of the characters are interesting, but there is one, Frances, that captured my heart AND my interest from the beginning. Could it be that the fascination lies in the fact that she has many traits that remind me of Janis Joplin (and you all know I'm a HUGE Janis fan ;-)?

This is a first novel for this Canadian actress/author and I cannot wait for another by her. She has such a talent for weaving together a story. She keeps the reader on their toes but doesn't lose them along the way.
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Old July 30th, 2002, 02:44 PM   #107
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Hi Cod!!

If you look over in the Reading Journal folder, you'll see that Addie and I have been reading.

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Old July 30th, 2002, 03:26 PM   #108
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Oh GOOD!

(guess I took a wrong turn)
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Old July 30th, 2002, 07:39 PM   #109
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I just finished Judy Blume's Wifey and Smart Women. I loved her book Summer Sisters also. I also read a wonderful book called Florabama Ladies Auxillary and Sewing Circle by Lois Battle. These were all outstanding books I have read this summer. I am now reading This Is My Daughter by Roxana Robinson and I like it very much so far. Enjoy!!!
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Old July 30th, 2002, 09:47 PM   #110
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Cool...I knew Terri would be reading.

I have been meaning to read Summer Sisters. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old July 31st, 2002, 09:04 AM   #111
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Boy, is Judy Blume versatile or what?! I need to read some more of her stuff.
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Old July 31st, 2002, 12:27 PM   #112
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Witty, smart and relevant
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Old September 21st, 2002, 11:29 AM   #113
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We seem to discuss over in The Reading Journal, but since that's meant as more of a list, I'll try in here and see if I get any response. <g>

I finished "The Lovely Bones" last night. I have a couple of questions. Did anyone else find this book extremely upsetting? Last night my 14 year old daugher went alone (with a friend but no adults) to the movies. Like an idiot I was reading the book while and became increasingly uneasy. Maybe panicked is a better word.<g>

I did think the writing style was very interesting, but the book also upset me terribly. Is this just a little too close to home for me right now?

One more thing. Once finished, did anyone else feel that the end of the book was less than satisfying? Was it a bit too contrived? Perhaps too much of a Hollywood ending? It was as though she decided it was time to end so she quickly tied up the ends.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 12:52 PM   #114
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Hi Addie.

When my book club chose to read "The Lovely Bones," I was reluctant because I did not want to read the tale of a raped and murdered girl. Here in California--as you know--we've had an ugly run of brutally murdered girls, so the facts and fear have been in my face all summer. So, yes, when I read the novel last weekend, I was disturbed. Because landscape is very affecting for me, I was especially haunted by the cornfield. Fields and vacant lots, for me, are sources of imagination for children, so for horrifying things to happen there is, well, horrifying.

But the unsettling nature of the novel's topic was finally not as unsettling as I feared because I was not especially impressed by the way the story plays out. I found inconsistencies, for example. I remembered one of these when I heard Alice Sebold read last Monday. She chose to read Chap. 9, in which Grandma Lynn comes to visit. At one point, Susie tells us that a compliment from Grandma Lynn is golden because she never gives them. This is not true. She is a prickly old boozer, but she is also a move in and love 'em woman.

And when, now and then, someone catches a glimpse of Susie's spirit, the glimpse is played as if WOW! --they can see Susie. But it happens too often to be meaningful. And I'm sorry, but I was just not floored when Susie and Ruth change places. I thought that whole thing contrived. Not that I might not have believed and been swept up in such a fantastic thing, but it was not written well enough to sweep me. By then, the writing seemed to me to have speeded up in an effort to bring this to an end.

When I feel a writer doing that, speeding up, I wonder if the editor said, look, you have 350 pages, that's it. LOL
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Old September 21st, 2002, 01:03 PM   #115
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LOL Lou.. that's the part that got me. I didn't care for the part that they changed places. It seemed almost out of place with the rest of the book. I agree it was like a rush to finish it. It certainly did hold my attention, and parts of it were very disturbing, but in the end, I just didn't feel like the story was completed. You both said it more eloquently, but I agree with it all.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 02:21 PM   #116
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Hi Lou! Hi Cinderellen!

Thanks for your comments, whew, it's not just me. ;-)

There are times when the hoopla so overwhelms a book or a movie that I find it hard to know if it's "just me" who is less than satisfied. Of course, I sometimes think if there weren't so much hoopla, I wouldn't expect so much and then wouldn't be disappointed. Round and round and round she goes... ;-)
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Old September 21st, 2002, 03:29 PM   #117
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I think I'll move that one to the bottom of my "to read" list.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 03:57 PM   #118
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LOL I am relieved to hear that you feel the same.

Hoopla over a book is actually a red light to me. I refer to touted books by women authors as those "against all odds" books, an about-to-be afternoon movie on Lifetime.

During her reading, Sebold expressed her surprise that a writer like her was enjoying this little success. She didn't speculate as to why this novel (her second) is making all the lists, but I wondered if it might be because the book's appearance has coincided with a year of abductions/rapes/murders, and American readers are interested.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 04:37 PM   #119
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That could very well be Lou. But then, how do you explain the success of "The Nanny Diaries"?

All kidding aside... As with a movie, is there an advertising budget for books? How do the comments/reviews written by newspapers and authors get on to a first edition. Are there mass mailings of advance proofs to other authors, reviewers, etc.? And what, if anything, is offered to get them to review a book?
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Old September 21st, 2002, 05:10 PM   #120
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Good questions. I like to read the blurbs written by other writers and look for connections that I might know about. For example, on the back cover of "The Lovely Bones" is a blurb by Michael Chabon. Chabon and Sebold are both graduates of the same university graduate writing program here in California. I know that sometimes a first-time writer goes looking for his/her own contributors to write those blurbs, and looks among professors or fellow students who have already published. Chabon, as a Pulitzer winner, is a prize right now.

The MFA (Masters in Fine Arts) in writing is a key to publication in America, a circle that includes the writers themselves promoting one another, plus editors, agents, and publishers. In some ways, this bothers me because I recognize a sort of MFA writing style that keeps perpetuating itself. In other ways, however, an MFA is likely to write fiction and poetry that comes from a strong training in the craft.

As for the reviews that appear in magazines and newspapers, the books are mailed to these editors outright, free, in hopes of reviews. I have a little story about what happens to those books at the newspaper that my son-in-law works for, but maybe I will save it for a private message.

You might have read recently that the very important reviewer, The New York Review of Books, recently reduced the number of books that they are able to review, and this is a sad thing indeed. Economics plays a big part, as in all things.
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