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What fiction are you reading right now? How is it?

 
master gardener
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I just finished (and loved) Pulitzer-prize winner, Demon_Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a retelling of David Copperfield, but I greatly enjoyed it having never read the source (though it's on my list now).

I'm currently reading Moby-Dick and not really loving it, but I admit to enjoying discovering some lines that Kahn uttered in The Wrath of Khan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvaKszZCurE) are inspired by this book.

I'm also reading Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes and liking it quite a bit more than Moby Dick.
 
author & steward
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I'm a fan of historic fiction and my current favorite author is Bernard Cornwell. I was introduced to him from the TV series, The Last Kingdom, and have enjoyed the books (entitled The Saxon Series). I like that Cornwell does his research so I pick up all sorts of historical tidbits. Currently, I'm reading Excalibur, which is the third in his Warlord trilogy. Anyone who likes historical fiction will enjoy his books.
 
pollinator
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Just finished the Beartown trilogy. The author is Fredrik Backman, who is most famous for A Man Called Ove (just made into a Tom Hanks movie, A Man Called Otto). I'm mourning the wild, unique characters in this story, which is set in a small forest town in Sweden. It's a modern day fairytale about hockey. Definitely hits on some tough subjects though, including child neglect and rape.



 
gardener
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Beau M. Davidson wrote:I've not been able to pull the trigger on Earthsea.  I just don't feel the need for more dragons in my life, I guess.  But it's on so many peoples' lists.  Can someone convince me to give it a shot?  Tell me why you love it.



Well, for one thing, it predates almost all the other dragon books.

She creates another universe, only different from ours in that what we call paranormal is normal, embracing so much of what mainstream USA culture denies the existence of.  This is important to me personally, because I have a strong and active intuition, and like the world where intuition and insight are developed rather than suppressed.

I love the earthsea trilogy, can you tell?  And Ursula K Leguin is one of my favorite authors.  She started earthsea in the 70s, and wrote the first 3.  Years later she added more books to “the earthsea cycle” or something like that.  The original world was male centered, patriarchal, females the bit parts.  In her later books, she created some authentic women.

Beyond that, Leguin’s father was the man who took Ishi home with him when he appeared out of the wilds in the early 20th century.  Her mother was also remarkable, though right this minute I can’t remember how she distinguished herself.  These facts don’t figure in her fiction, but if, like me, you like following the development of ideas and belief systems, and you enjoy considering  authors’ work as a reflection of their lives and experiences then theres a lot available in the earthsea cycle, and all her other books.

Earthsea is for adolescent readers, but I read it aloud when mine were much younger.  I thought the values and realities of that alternate universe were helpful in teaching values and character development.  It’s full of adventure and the protagonist faces challenges.  Not much gratification gratification gratification.  Not much violence.  The character mostly wrestles with himself and his own humanity.  (But you can read the whole book and never notice that)
 
steward
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:

Beau M. Davidson wrote:I've not been able to pull the trigger on Earthsea.  I just don't feel the need for more dragons in my life, I guess.  But it's on so many peoples' lists.  Can someone convince me to give it a shot?  Tell me why you love it.



Well, for one thing, it predates almost all the other dragon books.

She creates another universe, only different from ours in that what we call paranormal is normal, embracing so much of what mainstream USA culture denies the existence of.  This is important to me personally, because I have a strong and active intuition, and like the world where intuition and insight are developed rather than suppressed.

I love the earthsea trilogy, can you tell?  And Ursula K Leguin is one of my favorite authors.  She started earthsea in the 70s, and wrote the first 3.  Years later she added more books to “the earthsea cycle” or something like that.  The original world was male centered, patriarchal, females the bit parts.  In her later books, she created some authentic women.

Beyond that, Leguin’s father was the man who took Ishi home with him when he appeared out of the wilds in the early 20th century.  Her mother was also remarkable, though right this minute I can’t remember how she distinguished herself.  These facts don’t figure in her fiction, but if, like me, you like following the development of ideas and belief systems, and you enjoy considering  authors’ work as a reflection of their lives and experiences then theres a lot available in the earthsea cycle, and all her other books.

Earthsea is for adolescent readers, but I read it aloud when mine were much younger.  I thought the values and realities of that alternate universe were helpful in teaching values and character development.  It’s full of adventure and the protagonist faces challenges.  Not much gratification gratification gratification.  Not much violence.  The character mostly wrestles with himself and his own humanity.  (But you can read the whole book and never notice that)



Good timing, Thekla!

I am 3/4 of the way through reading book 1 to my two children currently.  I am glad I finally came around. Ursula Le Guin is a wonderful writer, so far superior to much of what exists in the genre.

In other news, I am also currently on book four of Orson Scott Card's Seventh Son series.  Books 1 & 2 I thought were really solid, idea-wise.  Not the caliber of writing of Le Guin, but conceptually very engaging.  Books 3 & 4 have been a let-down, but I'm still trekking with it because it's just interesting enough for me to care, and just snoozy enough to usually put me to sleep after the first couple pages.

I went on another Steinbeck kick recently, reading some new ones and re-reading some old favorites.  

 
pollinator
Posts: 105
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A favorite series of mine (I think I've read it 4 times) is the Hyperion books by Dan Simmons.  It's an epic look into man's future with AI and hits all the science fiction buttons I love!
 
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Books by Octavia Randolph are great! Begin with the Circle of Ceridwen. The books take place in the 9th century in England with Viking attacks, King Alfred and more. The books are very well written and deeply researched.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Barbara kingsolver is one of my favorites.  Though Demon Copperhead I didn’t enjoy, and quit rather than finish.  It goes on the list with poisonwood bible of Kingsolver books i did not enjoy.

Flight Behavior is fabulous, and Prodigal Summer.  They have characters living in contexts of climatological change, and ecology.  This is one of Kingsolver’s things…..  She writes a book about people living their lives.  She’s good at making believable characters whom readers can understand and sympathize with.  Their lives just happen to be playing against a backdrop of a contemporary issue.  You end up hearing all about the issue.

Unsheltered and the Lacuna are also favorites of mine.

IMO😉 kingsolver is a genius-communicator.
 
Erica Colmenares
pollinator
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Barbara kingsolver is one of my favorites.  Though Demon Copperhead I didn’t enjoy, and quit rather than finish.  It goes on the list with poisonwood bible of Kingsolver books i did not enjoy.

Those are my least favorite Kingsolver books as well, although I considered trying Demon Copperhead again after hearing her discuss the book in an interview.

I'm listening to You Could Make This Place Beautiful, a memoir by Maggie Smith (the poet, not the actress). She reads it, and it's a beautiful, sad, real tale. Also listened to Sinead O'Connor's memoir Rememberings, which she also reads. Heartbreaking. And hilarious.
 
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Read and loved much of what's been shared, want to add the book I just finished which is easily in my top 5 ever ... How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn. Welsh writer and this was his first novel set there in the early 1900's ... it's poignant, excellently written and poetic and reads like historical fiction of the changes brought to rural towns from mining operations. His characters are so well nuanced. Picked it up at a book sale,  read the first paragraph and was hooked. Best dollar ever spent!
 
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My favorite fiction writer does horror. His name is Iain Wright. (He's English). His first book I read, "The Last Winter", was enough for me to become a fan. He is kinda new to the genre, but he is (at least to me), better than Steven King. You can find all his books on his website, and on Amazon. (FYI, if you sign up for his newsletter, you get some free ebooks sent to your email). Also, one thing I love about him, is despite his works climbing the charts, he never lets fame go to his head. He still reads (and replies!) To each and every email. Personally. He doesn't send some automated email via robot, nor does he have some secretary, etc, do it for him. He is still very down to earth. I highly suggest him. 😊
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I enjoy Ann Cleeves.  She writes “who done its” in contemporary Shetland Islands, and in the Northumberland region of England.

“Charles Todd”; also writes “who done its” in post WWI England.  In the Ian Rutledge series, the detective was in the war, and is shell-shocked.  

Todd also writes the Bess Crawford series, same era and setting, a young woman for a protagonist.  I don’t like those as well, but they’re well written.

I like the Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn Navajo tribal police who done its by Tony Hillerman. They take place primarily on the Navajo Reservation, and occur primarily outdoors, walking or driving across broad expanses as the characters pursue their clues and evidence.  The clouds move across the sky, the rain falls, there is the scent of sagebrush….. it’s a country i love, which adds to my enjoyment.

The other authors I have listed also include the natural beauty of their settings in the telling of their tales.
 
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Last Christmas an Andrew Mayne book came into the house. "Girl Beneath the Sea". Since then I have read a total of 15 of his books. Highly recommend. His new one is on my list for Santa. I still have a few older ones to find and read.
 
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The well known Western fiction author William W. Johnstone actually has a compilation of several novels of Science Fiction that I deemed very well written. The two that I have read are "End-of-the-World" story lines so close to what we might be getting into as a nation that it is scary!

Check him out on the web site "https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-e&q=william+w.+johnstone+ashes+series"
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Fannie Flagg hasn’t been mentioned.  She wrote “Fried Green Tomatoes “ and many other books.  A couple of my favorites are “Last Reunion of the all Girl Filling Station” and “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven”

And i just finished listening to “Lessons in Chemistry”, which was very very very very good.  
 
Christopher Weeks
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I'm re-reading Blackwater by Michael McDowell and reading for the first time David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Both are excellent!

(I tried reading A Tale of Two Cities in high school and bounced off it. I thought that meant I disliked Dickens but either I was wrong, I grew up, or the two books are very different. I think I'll go back and try it again.)
 
Beau M. Davidson
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I finished LeGuin's Tombs of Atuan a couple weeks ago, now bedsiding The Farthest Shore.

Reagin Tolkien's Adventures of Tom Bombadil to the kiddos at bedtime.  It is fun.
 
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