Author Topic: HAF Book Club: April poll  (Read 585 times)

Sandra Craft

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HAF Book Club: April poll
« on: March 16, 2018, 03:56:37 AM »
[I have the feeling I've forgotten a recent suggestion -- please let me know if I have and I'll amend the poll]

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

Dark Intelligence, by Neal Asher
Thorvald Spear has been brought back from the dead. Killed a century earlier by Penny Royal, an unstable AI who turned rogue in the middle of a human versus alien war, the resurrected Spear has one thing on his mind: revenge.  Crime lord Isobel Satomi got more than she bargained for when she struck a deal with Penny Royal. Turning part-AI herself gave her frightening power, but the upgrade came with horrifying repercussions—and it’s turning Isobel into something far from human.  Spear hires Isobel to track down Penny Royal, but as she continues her metamorphosis, it’s clear that Isobel’s monstrous transformations will eventually become uncontrollable. Will Spear finish his hunt before becoming the hunted?

The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse
Set in the 23rd century, The Glass Bead Game is the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, the remote place his society has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. Since childhood, Knecht has been consumed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and scientific arts, such as mathematics, music, logic, and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game).

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
Isolated by a disfiguring injury since the age of seventeen, Sean Phillips crafts imaginary worlds for strangers to explore. As the creator of "Trace Italian"-a text-based role-playing game that's played through the mail-Sean guides subscribers through his intricately imagined terrain, turn by turn, as they search out sanctuary in a ravaged, savage future America. But when Lance and Carrie, two teenaged seekers of the Trace, take their play outside the game, disaster strikes, and Sean is called on to account for it. In the process, he is pulled back through time, toward the beginning and the climax: the moment of his own self-inflicted departure from the world in which most people live.

Underground Airlines, by Ben Winters
It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred.  Underground Airlines is a ground-breaking novel, a wickedly imaginative thriller, and a story of an America that is more like our own than we'd like to believe.

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon
For sixty years Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" safe haven created in the wake of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. The Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. But now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Dragonia

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 12:08:57 PM »
I'm going to try to not start a book before this poll finishes. I'm sure there are a few books that I could finish up somewhere....
I think every single one of these books looks good, and a few of them are on my reading list, so I'll be happy with any!
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato (?)

Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 02:27:24 PM »
Six things to vote for, but seven descriptions. Looks like "The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse" didn't make it to the voting.

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Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 10:17:10 PM »
Six things to vote for, but seven descriptions. Looks like "The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse" didn't make it to the voting.

Nuts.  I've added Glass Bead but didn't reset the poll since you all should be able to go in a change your votes if you want.  Still I feel there's something else I've forgotten.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2018, 02:30:13 PM »
Wolf in White Van it is for April.  Sorry for the bizarre, continuing lack of a tie, FB.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Dragonia

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2018, 04:00:45 PM »
Ugh, I'm about 40% done with this book, which I was very excited to read..... But I'm having a really hard time with it.
I think I don't like books where I don't know what's being talked about and have little bits revealed to me as time goes on. I guess that's why I don't love mysteries.  Just lay it all out there! Let me know what I'm dealing with!

I will finish, I just had to come here and complain a little bit.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato (?)

Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 10:13:34 PM »
I will finish, I just had to come here and complain a little bit.

No problem, those usually start the best discussions.

Which, if no one objects, I think we'll keep on the same post as the polls from now on.  For simplicity's sake.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Dragonia

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2018, 01:24:00 PM »
I like that plan, streamline things a bit!
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato (?)

Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2018, 07:35:50 PM »
I agree partly with the lack of information. I mean to some extent that is what it's always like reading a new book, but this one lets out only tidbits at a time and does a lot of time switching. I think that is what was intended though. I'm not minding it too much with this book.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Dragonia

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 12:21:06 AM »
Mm-kay. All done. In not going to give any spoilers.... Mostly because I don't feel like I know much more than halfway through the book. Maybe I don't look deeply enough. But I'm just left unsatisfied. Ill wait to complain further until I know most everyone's either finished or given up on the book.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato (?)

Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 04:11:14 PM »
I am unsatisfied with the ending, but I think the book was more about the journey than the destination. At least that's how I'm looking at it.

I could see how the time jumping fit the story into a more common narrative once I got to about three quarters through. Or maybe that's just my brain trying to find a pattern.

It was not a happy story and I didn't see much arch for the main character due to things that I think might be a spoiler. To me, it felt like there were a lot of random unrelated things, but they might have been intended to be pertinent to the story since it was short and they were included.

I think that once I got used to the writing style, I found it to be well written. Not to my taste but I think it was a good book.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2018, 01:46:10 AM »
Just got my copy today and have only read a few chapters, but so far I'm intrigued.
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"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2018, 07:01:00 AM »
I am unsatisfied with the ending, but I think the book was more about the journey than the destination. At least that's how I'm looking at it.

That's how it seemed to me as well.  I think I understood the ending in relation to what seemed to be the story's message: that sometimes there are no explanations, and people (esp. teenagers living mostly in a fantasy world inside their own heads) really don't always know why they do what they do.  Even when something is obviously blindingly stupid, it can seem inevitable when it's happening. 

I did think it was well-written, and an interesting look inside someone else's head, but definitely not a story for everyone.  I had a hard time understanding most of the game stuff, which was often like reading Greek to me.  I'll admit it, sometimes I just blipped past that.
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"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: April poll
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2018, 04:06:26 PM »
I cannot connect with that. There were things I did when I was a kid that were difficult to explain to other people so I would just say I didn't know, but I always had a reason for doing things. Even when I did stupid things. People are different, but I can't understand performing an action without a reason behind it.

The game reminded me of some text based dungeon games I used to play. Even some with limited graphics are about the same. You start in a room and based on the description you decide what to do and where to go with limited options. Except there were more options and it was easier to die those games than it seemed in Trace Italian.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.