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New User
aggie_freak
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-30-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

It seems that I am always that way. If someone tells me to read a book because I will "love it," I usually do not like it. The books I just swear are life changing, no one I recommend it to appreciates it as much as I did.

You will be glad to know, I am still working on Sense and Sensibility. Life has gotten a bit hectic, and as usual in my life, reading takes a back burner. I also started rereading The Lesbian Love companion because I really like the way it suggests to look at life and thought that I could use a reminder at this moment in life.
jennifer
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mwinasu
Posts: 149
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

This is my first time, so please be kind. My earthly book club will be discussing Atonement next month. I've started reading the book but I am having trouble getting into it because I just hated Enduring Love. It is simple predjudice really. Please tell me what you liked about it. A book with so many endorsements must have many redeeming qualities. I will go see the movie as you suggest, and I thank you for your help.
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ande
Posts: 442
Registered: ‎04-07-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Hi and welcome to the Book Explorers Club!

Don't worry at all about being new. I had never done this before either and on top of that I am the trail boss (or the thread boss). This is a kind, smart,friendly and at times humorous club. And the Explorers read all kinds of books. Hope you stay with us for a long time.

Ande
New User
Hackensacker
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-24-2008
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

I feel your pain. I hated Enduring Love also...I read it after Atonement. It started so well, then died in the space of two pages.

What did I like about Atonement? Where do I begin...
If you haven't seen the film, getting to chapter 10 (or thereabouts) is quite a slug. McEwan spends so much time describing the trees that you miss the forest. But once you get to "the deed" it gets moving.
If you HAVE seen the film, the first 10 chapters build on the visuals that you already have stored in your mind's eye and bring the story into fuller being. You can stop concentrating on figuring out what is really happening and soak up the language. It really is beautiful language. There were a few times that I had to stop and re-read sentences 3 or 4 times because they were so beautiful - and so absolutely right. I have never been a highlighter, and I didn't start, but I think I finally understood why people do.
Aside from the language, the pain of the story itself is, I think, what really makes me say that I love love love this book. The absolute pathos of it. My heart hurts just to think of it. It is a rare book that can touch me so deeply - and without real cause, as I have never fallen in love during war time, made a life-altering mistake that I have had to atone for for the rest of my life, or lost anyone I loved. But then, I am a woman, and we are prone to hysterics :smileyhappy:
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club



Hackensacker wrote:
But then, I am a woman, and we are prone to hysterics :smileyhappy:




I very gently disagree... woman are not by definition prone to hysterics.

IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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mwinasu
Posts: 149
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Thank you for making me feel so welcome. I'm going to see the film in the morning. I won't read any more of it until I get home. Also, I'm not very good with computers. I don't understand how everything fits together, but I am trying hard to learn. Please have patience . Yhank you again.
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mwinasu
Posts: 149
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Well. I went to see the movie and I am wondering if the plot device at the end of the story is what draws all the raves. I will try to finish the book this evening.
I have always dreamed of being able to ask questions about stories that didn't quite work for me. I like it when a book forces me to reconsider what I think is real. I like it when an author plants concepts in my mind that are so alien to my way of thinking that I have to take a break and figure out what is true. I don't have to agree with whatever truth is presented. Bearing that in mind, the best thing I read this winter was A Good and Happy Child. I really would like to hear what other people think of this book.
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Oldesq
Posts: 373
Registered: ‎10-07-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

My mother was a big reader and even tried a bit of writing. How lucky we were that she introduced us to the world of books and how sad that there are parents who don't do that for their children.



Your comment reminded me of a cautionary tale my great aunt once told me. Many years ago she was a kindergarten teacher. She said she could predict a child's potential for success in school on the very first day. When asked how, she said that she would observe the way a child took and held a book. Those children who had held books before knew immediately how to open and hold a book-how to orient the spine and look at the first page. Those children who had not had such an experience seemed confused. She used to say, "Can you imagine a child coming into school without ever having had a book read to them?" Now, I don't know if that could happen today- but I imagine it may still.
Inspired Correspondent
Maria_H
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Agreed...

IBIS wrote: I very gently disagree... woman are not by definition prone to hysterics.

...and very wholeheartedly agree!

Hackensacker wrote: It really is beautiful language. ...

Aside from the language, the pain of the story itself is, I think, what really makes me say that I love love love this book. The absolute pathos of it. My heart hurts just to think of it. It is a rare book that can touch me so deeply - and without real cause, as I have never fallen in love during war time, made a life-altering mistake that I have had to atone for for the rest of my life, or lost anyone I loved.


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Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Boy do some books need to be read at certain ages! I read king Lear in college and I might as well have not read it at all. Just re-read it (and viewed several versions) and it was a different and spectacular experience. I know Catcher in the Rye is beloved by teen-agers but I believe disliked by older readers. Also, Ayn Rand seems to be liked by people in their (self-centered) 20's. By 40 I think many people change their minds about her. I think the real classics only get better with age. Even Romeo and Juliet, while enjoyed by high schoolers, is not understood until later.
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Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

I have not read Atonement, just saw the movie. For what it's worth, this was my reaction. I did not like the movie. I did not understand it. While I was watching it I thought it was a pointless re-make of so many wonderful WWII movies. I felt distracted by details like the beautiful wallpaper, or Tosca being played on the victrola. There's an old-fashioned word! Victrola! Anyway, that night, as I lay in bed after waking, my mind wandered over past events. I recently lost my parents and many nights my mind travels back through the years. My childhood, my wedding, etc. I do a lot of remembering. And then, at 4 AM it dawned on me. What a great movie Atonement was! A child sees through a child's eyes. An adult can remember what the child saw, and can re-interpret events through adult understanding. But then, can we be sure of either perception? Memories alter reality. Children see things differently. Which is true? As a child, I remember studying things like wallpaper or slipcovers. The physical surroundings somehow make a strong impression. It's almost as though we see things more literally. Could the director have been reproducing that child's view of the world? I don't know for sure. But that was my take on it. Hope you let me know what you "see". ;-)
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Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Isn't it odd, our society's attitude toward books and reading? I remember reading an essay that Anna Quindlen wrote about how she always loved to read but that love was met with a certain amount of suspicion. On the one hand our society is supposed to respect learned people. On the other hand there's a kind of disdain for anyone who loves learning. Reading is a quiet, solitary activity. Americans are supposed to be active, social, athletic. I find myself sometimes diving into books with such abandon and glee that I almost feel guilty. Shouldn't I be doing something else? Is it wrong to sit quietly by myself and be so happy? Back and forth my mind goes. I think that's the advantage of social support like this site. Yes, we readers need a support group! ;-) You are not alone!
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mwinasu
Posts: 149
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

I think Hackensacker was right. The book was more palatable after I saw the movie. And I agree that the movie seemed visually stunning and flat at the same time. The book helped flesh out those gorgeous images. I still have'nt finished the book, and haven't figured out if I like it or not.
Inspired Contributor
Linda10
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎10-02-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club



Timbuktu1 wrote:
Isn't it odd, our society's attitude toward books and reading? I remember reading an essay that Anna Quindlen wrote about how she always loved to read but that love was met with a certain amount of suspicion. On the one hand our society is supposed to respect learned people. On the other hand there's a kind of disdain for anyone who loves learning. Reading is a quiet, solitary activity. Americans are supposed to be active, social, athletic. I find myself sometimes diving into books with such abandon and glee that I almost feel guilty. Shouldn't I be doing something else? Is it wrong to sit quietly by myself and be so happy? Back and forth my mind goes. I think that's the advantage of social support like this site. Yes, we readers need a support group! ;-) You are not alone!


Oh, Timbuktu1, thank you for putting into words exactly what I've felt, too, but was afraid to say out loud!  Yes, it would seem if you're not skiing or jogging or running here and there, why, you're boring!  I couldn't agree with you more.  Why is it that learning has become a bad thing?  It was a good thing when I was a little kid.
Also, do you find it helps with your own personal problems?  First of all, you can open a book and just forget about your own life for a while.  Secondly, most books involve some form of calamity or catastrophe.  So reading has a way of making you not feel so bad about what's going on in your own life.  Misery loves company?
Best of all -- oh, how many times have I felt guilty for spending hours reading, thinking, like you, "I really should be [cooking, cleaning, organizing, yard work, etc.].  But then I just keep on reading!  Yes, we do need a support group, don't we?  Thank you for making me feel normal!
 
 
New User
pagedove
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-27-2008
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Hi, all!. I'm new to the site, although I have used the site to order books in the past. I have read all the posts in this thread and find some of the comments interesting and certainly part of my experience with books. I too cannot remember a time that I did not love books and oddly enough have always lived within two blocks of the local library. As a child it was at the end of my street and there is no question in my mind that I read books that were beyond my age level, but I think I came through ok(?) Also, there are books that I have read over the years that upon re-reading or hearing in the form of an audiobook have become a whole new experience for me. An example comes to mind-"A Tale of Two Cities" Until I listened to that on audiobook I did not realize the complex plot and the intricate puzzle that Dickens created and brings to delightful climax. Somehow reading it in school and on my own never did what the audiobook did for me. That said, there is nothing that could ever replace the pleasure of cracking the unread book, riffling through the pages, and meeting the author within the world they put there for our reading pleasure. I plan now to see "Atonement" on the advice of the posters here, before I read the book and I found the revelation right on point in the post re: the midnight realization that the film was more than it first appeared and that the director had scored with the elements he used to translate the book for screen, i.e through a child's eyes and filtered perhaps by the adult point of view. Nice to meet all of you and hope to have some interesting conversations. P. S.- I'm reading Scott Turow's "Personal Injuries" right now, just started it, and probably will pick up Diane Gabaldon's "Outlander" next.
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Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Linda, glad I made you feel "normal" but I can't really take all of the credit! ;-) You might like to read "How Reading Changed My Life" by Anna Quindlan. She's the one who made ME feel "normal"! LOL
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Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Pagedove, it's a great comfort that you understood what I was saying about Atonement. I had this very strong "Eureka" in the middle of the night but I have not heard anyone else say anything like it. All of the film reviews seem to describe the movie as a war-time romance. Some mention the guilt Bryoni experiences over her mistake and how beautifully it is filmed. I was beginning to really doubt my understanding, thinking that perhaps I was reading too much into it. I hate that!
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mwinasu
Posts: 149
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Timbuktu1, do you remember the story about the blind wisemen and the elephant?  It takes a lot of different viewpoints to understand some things.  Be confident in what you think.  But go and read the book. 
New User
ALD13
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-09-2008
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Hi I am new to this but am really glad I found an area where I can get some book recommendations.  I love reading and cant seem to go to the bookstore without buying at least 4 or 5 books at a time.  I decided not to long ago to go outside my usual books and try to read a wider selection of books.  I think I have done pretty good so far but am looking for some good books to go for on my next round.  I am struggling through a book right now but am determined to finish it and then have one more before I can go buy more,  but already have my list ready.  So I really just wanted to say hi and not to ramble. 
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ande
Posts: 442
Registered: ‎04-07-2007
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Re: Welcome to the (New) Book Explorers Club

Welcome to Book Explorers. Ramble away if you want to. We're an easy-going book club with excellent taste!
 
Ande