Author Topic: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion  (Read 301 times)

Sandra Craft

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HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« on: July 16, 2018, 11:05:21 PM »
[It looks like we're starting to run low on fiction -- anybody have some suggestions?]

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).

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

Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 12:36:01 AM »
Is it time for a Summer break for the book club?  Maybe we could pick it up again in October?
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

xSilverPhinx

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2018, 01:26:26 AM »
Davin and Dragonia seem to be taking a break from HAF...besides them who else generally participates? Father Bruno? He also hasn't posted in quite a while.  :-\
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Tank

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2018, 06:35:11 AM »
Arturo has buggered off as well. This sort of thing happens. Forums go through cycles.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Bad Penny II

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2018, 11:56:30 AM »
Arturo has buggered off as well. This sort of thing happens. Forums go through cycles.

That's right, don't panic.
We are currently experiencing a low in our cycle.
The cabin staff will bring all passengers a complimentary whiskey & lemon.
No no, of course we're not cycling down  :sadshake:

Certainty disturbs me


Tank

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2018, 01:04:58 PM »
Arturo has buggered off as well. This sort of thing happens. Forums go through cycles.

That's right, don't panic.
We are currently experiencing a low in our cycle.
The cabin staff will bring all passengers a complimentary whiskey & lemon.
No no, of course we're not cycling down  :sadshake:

It could be helpful if we livened up the Facebook HAF page and then directed people here.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Bad Penny II

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 01:27:14 PM »
Quote from: Tank link=topic=15894.msg377972#msg377972
It could be helpful if we livened up the Facebook HAF page and then directed people here.

It's quiet.
We need to liven up the place.
How can we do that?
'be helpful if we livened up Facebook HAF
How can we do that?
Certainty disturbs me


Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2018, 04:24:35 PM »
So, which one are we reading?

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Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2018, 10:45:14 AM »
So, which one are we reading?

Your choice --you're tie-breaker.
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

Bad Penny II

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 02:43:01 PM »
I'd re read the glass bead game.
It's old and thus free.
Certainty disturbs me


Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2018, 02:46:49 PM »
Looks like Bad Penny II can be the tie breaker. The Glass Bead Game sounds good.

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: August poll and discussion
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2018, 06:06:36 PM »
Sounds good to me -- the Glass Bead Game it is.
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

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2018, 08:08:04 AM »
Davin, have you read The Glass Bead Game?  I just can't get into it.
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

Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2018, 08:47:11 PM »
I read it. Finished it yesterday. It was a rough read though.

I don't like that kind of writing at all. The broken promises started in the first part, "The Glass Bead Game: A General Introduction to its History for the Layman" where it only mentions the Glass Bead Game by name a few times. The Rules and... well anything beyond the idea that the game is a mix of philosophy, artistic expression, strategy, and even somehow music had to be gleaned from bits and pieces scattered throughout the 29 page chapter. And that was about all the useful information I got out of it.

Everything is told and nothing is shown, which did not go well for me because it took so long to say very little. Entire page-long paragraphs could have been reduced down a single sentence if they're just going to tell us.

For the story. The characters had no arcs, they were supermen in their own ways. Even when they did falter and there was even a slight chance at development, the author takes it away immediately by explaining how the character was right and justified but so too were the others. Again, not by showing it in character interactions or describing what happens, just by telling the reader that the characters were justified but so too were the others. But of course taking several paragraphs to express it.

There were like four main characters overall. I couldn't grasp any kind of connection between them other than two of them had the same name.

So a tell and never show kind of writing, no drama for the actors, repeating things several times over, and insanely long descriptions that could have easily been shortened were all counter to my tastes. This was not a book for me.

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

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Re: HAF Book Club: August poll and discussion
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2018, 09:09:12 PM »
So a tell and never show kind of writing, no drama for the actors, repeating things several times over, and insanely long descriptions that could have easily been shortened were all counter to my tastes. This was not a book for me.

So basically "meh".  I'm not even going to try pushing on then.  Maybe we'll have better luck next month.
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