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I've been reading Xenocide after finishing Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. I'm about 100 pages in, and I think I'll give up and skip to the next book in the series.

 

Do you guys primarily read books you like, or do you read for research?

 

IF

Both. Fiction mostly if I like it, nonfiction mostly for research.

 

I read Orson Scott Card's Enchantment (set mostly in 9th-10th century Russia) and liked it—it's definitely much better researched than most fiction set in Russia. My son liked the first two Ender novels but, like you, lost interest in them after a while. I also read a book by Card on writing (characterization and point of view, I think), which I found more useful than most books of its kind.

 

If a novel hasn't convinced me to continue after 100 pages, I'm afraid I no longer have the patience to stick with it. Life's too short, and my pile of unread books too high. I even have piles of unread e-books!

 

Nice clue on The Sparrow, Thoth. :) The kicker, of course, is exactly how to interpret that biblical quotation. BTW, Orren, I suggest you don't listen to Russell's MP3 before you finish the book, as it does give away a telling detail or two.

 

Have abandoned the Soviet sports teams for my Russians and Tatars and am feeling much better. TGIF, everyone! :D

Best,

M

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But interestingly—and this relates not only to my own writing, but writing in Storyist—my research uncovered the gem that in Romantic and Regency era England (and probably elsewhere), it actually was possible to be a virgin prostitute.

For the sake of keeping it on topic, I'm requesting you send me a message or email with a link or title of your research as I'm pretty interested in researching that for my own work, if you care to share that is.

 

 

 

As for what I'm reading currently... I'm reading Bright Star by John Keats. It's a small collection of his love letters to Fanny and some of his poetry. I breezed through the letters and have gotten distracted (iPad) away from finishing the Poems. It's a wonderful little book. I'm also bouncing around some other poets, such as Mary Oliver, Robert Creeley, I have a Rilke book around here to start on and e.e. cummings, and I'm making my way through some of my favorite poetry collection books To Hell With Love, Kiss Off, & You Drive My Crazy all put together and commented on by Mary D. Esselman & Elizabeth Ash Vélez who have wonderful voices for the commentary.

 

As for stories... I recently read The Time Traveler's Wife, which was interesting and I have some classic literature on my list to read as well, which will probably be read on my iPad via free ebooks. Yay! I also want to read The Twilight series, just so I can say I actually have read it when I say it's drivel. I'm also interested to see why it's so popular.

 

All in all I need to read more. I've fallen away from in in recent times.

- Jools

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Oh... I also read Ender's Game, Xenocide, & Speaker for the Dead... I however really want to continue reading the series. Unfortunately the friend who's books I was reading lost the next one (not to mention lives in Ohio) so I will have to dig them up at a library or something.

 

Maybe we Storyists should have a book swap? That might be fun. We all pick a couple books we have that we no longer want and list them in a thread and then swap them for other books listed by other members. I dunno if anyone else would be interested in that, but I sure would be.

 

Anyone else on here a member of Goodreads.com?

 

- Jools

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For the sake of keeping it on topic, I'm requesting you send me a message or email with a link or title of your research as I'm pretty interested in researching that for my own work, if you care to share that is.

 

Certainly!

 

 

As for what I'm reading currently... I'm reading Bright Star by John Keats. It's a small collection of his love letters to Fanny and some of his poetry.

 

My emphasis in grad school was romantic/gothic literature, and Keats one of my favorites. Long before the Jane Campion movie "Bright Star," I had thought of writing a screenplay of the relationship and deaths in Italy of Keats and Shelley. :D

 

Take care,

Orren

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As for stories... I recently read The Time Traveler's Wife, ...

Read the book. Saw the movie. The book is way better. (No surprise there.)

 

I also want to read The Twilight series, just so I can say I actually have read it when I say it's drivel. I'm also interested to see why it's so popular.

Why is it so popular? Who can understand the fancies of teenage girls? Figure that out and you'll be rich.

- Thoth

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Why is it so popular? Who can understand the fancies of teenage girls? Figure that out and you'll be rich.

 

Not just teenage fancies. Cougar fantasies as well.

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Not just teenage fancies. Cougar fantasies as well.

Grrowl.

Which "team" are you on?

(True Blood is going to do the whole vampire versus werewolf thing too!)

-T

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Not just teenage fancies. Cougar fantasies as well.

 

Funny you mention that. The women I work with are cougar age, but all married with kids. They love the Twilight series too.

 

Orren

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Funny you mention that. The women I work with are cougar age, but all married with kids. They love the Twilight series too.

Have you asked them what the appeal is for them?

Teen romance?

- Thoth

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Have you asked them what the appeal is for them?

Teen romance?

- Thoth

 

Basically, that's more or less it. They are swept away by the romance aspect. Because it's about vampires and werewolves and filed in the YA section, they can read without the stigma of reading Harlequin Romances.

 

Orren

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Basically, that's more or less it. They are swept away by the romance aspect. Because it's about vampires and werewolves and filed in the YA section, they can read without the stigma of reading Harlequin Romances.

 

Orren

Oh, wait. This is too good. They feel bad about walking around with Harlequin Romances but not a set of books about teenage vampires that are, by all reports, more abominably written than any Harlequin Romance is allowed to be? Not to mention that the romance section of any bookstore is filled to the brim with books about vampires and werewolves (apparently they have been, for the last five years at least, the hot numbers in romance fiction).

 

Not that they appeal to me: as I've written elsewhere in the forums, I like to know that when I leave my husband in the house, I can safely return without a shopping cart full of raw meat. :) And the howling at midnight—sheesh. That's gotta get old fast.

 

Time to buy a Kindle or an iPad, so a lady can download her vices and read them in the privacy of her own home? ^_^

 

To return to topic, I just downloaded two more Elizabeth Peters titles from the Kindle store for $1.99 apiece. Unfortunately, Hachette seems to have decided that iBooks doesn't need/deserve its promo price this time around. :) So you can add The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog and The Last Camel Died at Noon (a magnificent send-up of the Rider Haggard novels) to the list above.

 

And I have the two Weekend Novelist books heading my way, as well as someone's take on writing historical fiction. I don't need the history part, but the advice on when to tone down the history probably won't do me any harm. :)

Best,

M

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...And I have the two Weekend Novelist books heading my way, as well as someone's take on writing historical fiction. I don't need the history part, but the advice on when to tone down the history probably won't do me any harm. :)

On your suggestion (I think it was you, M), I picked up The Weekend Novelist Re-writes the Novel. Browsing through it, it seems to have some interesting tips (and some odd ones) as well as some interesting re-writing practices that probably could be incorporated into Storyist. I'll need to read through the whole thing first.

 

I'm liking the Ender series (my laundry room book) more and more. In Xenocide, the author creates a planet ruled by a theocracy run by people with severe OCD. Indeed, the obsessions/compulsions are considered messages from the gods.

 

Time to buy a Kindle or an iPad, so a lady can download her vices and read them in the privacy of her own home? :)

I don't know if people still have this in the workplace (I'll have to ask Isaac), but there used to be a programmable function button on keyboards that was designated the Boss Button. Push it and whatever time-wasting thing you doing would be instantly replaced by some time-wasting thing your boss gave you to do (this was long before Spaces on the Mac). Perhaps someone could write an iPad app that, upon touching a corner, would instantly replace the trashy Romance novel you're reading with a more uplifting and less humiliating bit of literature (Jane Eyre?).

 

Pushing The Button

- Thoth

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Oh, wait. This is too good. They feel bad about walking around with Harlequin Romances but not a set of books about teenage vampires that are, by all reports, more abominably written than any Harlequin Romance is allowed to be? Not to mention that the romance section of any bookstore is filled to the brim with books about vampires and werewolves (apparently they have been, for the last five years at least, the hot numbers in romance fiction).

 

Not that they appeal to me: as I've written elsewhere in the forums, I like to know that when I leave my husband in the house, I can safely return without a shopping cart full of raw meat. :P And the howling at midnight—sheesh. That's gotta get old fast.

:lol: I'd take the raw meat over having to bring home blood! And the howling to having to wear neck guards in your sleep. :P

 

I'm liking the Ender series (my laundry room book) more and more. In Xenocide, the author creates a planet ruled by a theocracy run by people with severe OCD. Indeed, the obsessions/compulsions are considered messages from the gods.

Is Xenocide the one with the piggies? I really like that book, so often aliens are very humanoid, at least in my experience, so it was really cool to read something that seemed so very foreign. I thin, Card did a good job with that.

 

I started reading some of my Rilke book and I must say I'm really enjoying it. I've already starred and hearted a number of poems. I also downloaded The Picture of Dorian Gray after hearing a friend talk about it on Facebook. She says it's a daytime book because it's disturbing. I'm intrigued, so I think I'm going to start reading that. I have to pull it out of Stanza and toss it into iBooks though! It wasn't available free in the iBook store in English. Gutenberg only had it in french and Dutch there, but interestingly enough, they have it in English on their website, so I downloaded it there, so it went into Stanza since I was on my iPad.

 

Anyone here read Dorian Gray? I'd love to hear more opinions about it. No spoilers though!

-Jools

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:P I'd take the raw meat over having to bring home blood! And the howling to having to wear neck guards in your sleep. :lol:

Hmm. Would I rather sleep with a vampire or a werewolf? Are we talking about love or lust here?

 

Is Xenocide the one with the piggies? I really like that book, so often aliens are very humanoid, at least in my experience, so it was really cool to read something that seemed so very foreign. I thin, Card did a good job with that.

There are piggies (with what turns out to be their very weird life-cycle) in Speaker for the Dead (where they are introduced) and Xenocide (where the Council of the 100 Worlds want to use the Little Doctor to destroy Lusitania). Of course Jane is about as far from humanoid as any species can get. And let's not forget the Buggers with their hive mind. Makes Klingons look kind of boring.

 

Anyone here read Dorian Gray? I'd love to hear more opinions about it. No spoilers though!

The Picture of Dorian Gray was Oscar Wilde's only novel. I read the 1891 version in High School (no, not in 1891) as an assignment. I later learned that there was a shorter 1890 version that was considered better by some. But while the 1891 version was longer by several chapters it was also much tamer. (E.g., the sex scenes, especially the homoerotic ones, were either greatly reduced or eliminated. Oh those Victorians!) I remember a sort of moral at the end. (I know. No spoilers.) But I don't remember if I liked it or not. So...I guess it's going on my re-reading list.

 

Forever young,

- Thoth

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:P I'd take the raw meat over having to bring home blood! And the howling to having to wear neck guards in your sleep. :P

-Jools

Yes, exactly. I will freely admit that in my 20s I was less mature than I could have been and rather limited in my knowledge of what makes a romantic relationship work (thank goodness I ran into Sir P!), but even I would have put "Must not drink blood" and "Must be housebroken" at the top of my list for qualities required in a life partner. :lol:

 

The Weekend Novelist and historical fiction books have just arrived. More on those later.

 

Watched the movie of Bright Star last night. Rather disappointing, I thought. Keats, albeit not a vampire, :P seemed a tad neurasthenic to inspire such devotion.... I suppose poets have an advantage, but still.

Best,

M

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Watched the movie of Bright Star last night. Rather disappointing, I thought. Keats, albeit not a vampire, :P seemed a tad neurasthenic to inspire such devotion.... I suppose poets have an advantage, but still.

Best,

M

 

Really? I adored it! I just watched it a couple days ago. Of course, I've also recently read his actually letters and a basic account of their story from the book of the same title, so perhaps having read the letters and knowing a bit more of the story added to the movie? He does have quite the interesting personality in his letters though, that's for sure.

 

As for Dorian Gray... I wonder what version I'll be reading...Is there an unabridged version?

- Jools

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...

As for Dorian Gray... I wonder what version I'll be reading...Is there an unabridged version?

- Jools

I don't know but it's an idea worth researching.

I'll let you know if I can find an unabridged/uncensored version.

- Thoth

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I thought. Keats, albeit not a vampire, :lol: seemed a tad neurasthenic to inspire such devotion....

 

Many did truly love John Keats the man in life, but the portrayals of him usually portray him that way. It started with Shelly, who wrote Adonais for him, and postulated that it was the terribly bad reviews of his poetry that so weakened Keats that tuberculosis killed him. This sort of popularized the idea that he was a wilting flower. But the truth was that he was an extremely passionate and scrappy guy, getting into fights and far from the stereotypical wilting lilly poet. In his youth, is brother George often had to restrain him as he was the type of guy who would run into a fight without thinking.

 

Speaking of vampires and Keats, the main character of my novel is a German vampire, who is brought to the United States in 1818 by George and Georgiana Keats. Not quite historical fiction, but I did weave in some history, as that is when G&G Keats really came over here. :P

 

Orren

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Cool. Do tell us more--if it doesn't mean giving out any secrets, of course. Why vampires?

 

Sorry, Jules, I didn't mean to imply that Keats himself was not interesting--only that the film emphasized his ill health, rather. I'm sure if I had read his letters, I would be impressed.

 

Just watched Whale Rider, which I absolutely loved.

Back to the books tomorrow! :P

M

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Cool. Do tell us more--if it doesn't mean giving out any secrets, of course. Why vampires?

 

Not plural, singular. :lol: I did my graduate thesis on Poe and Coleridge: Gothic Dread Through Narration and used stories of theirs in which the narrative tension is heightened by creating an "unreliable narrator"—often someone who exhibits elements of vampirism who doesn't want to admit it.

 

I graduated in 1995 and this story had more or less been kicking around since then. I wanted to explore elements of Deviance; what makes someone deviant. What is a deviant? (and I don't mean sexually deviant). So I developed a story in which one character is a bad guy, and the other is a monster. Who is more "deviant," a character who's very nature is non-human and therefore has other needs, or one who is human, but sociopathic?

 

The first version of my novel, called The Deviant was finished in 1999. The second rewrite in 2005. And this final draft in 2009 and is being shopped now.

 

Here is the "back of book" teaser: Heinrich Straus, centuries-old German vampire, is on the run—from his past, from his crimes…from himself. He stops in Santo Paulo, a quiet, central California college town, hoping to blend in. Not long after his arrival, however, the local detectives uncover the serial murders of young women, and fix their sights on Heinrich. Is he guilty? If he isn’t, how does a vampire prove his innocence?

 

Anyway, I can go on a literary rant now like only a snobby wannabe academic can about how the modern (Anne Rice, Stephanie Meyer, etc) depictions of vampires have stripped all the literary and sociological symbolism and significance of the myths of vampirism away in order to write hip stories...but I'll spare you. :P Hopefully I just wrote a gripping and entertaining story that will leave people wanting more, and with luck, thinking about the deeper questions asked.

 

Just watched Whale Rider, which I absolutely loved.

 

Great movie! We have it on DVD, love it! And to bring it back to goth, the music is by Lisa Gerard, formerly singer/composer with the seminal gothic rock band Dead Can Dance.

 

Take care,

Orren

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Ohh, I understand now M. I think that if I knew more about Keats (since I'm just discovering him) that I would agree with you.

 

I really liked Whale Rider too! Very touching story.

 

 

Anyone seen Interview With a Vampire? I saw that after seeing a Twilight film and thought it was great, since the vampires were dark and creepy etc. etc. instead of sparkly and moody. :P Does anyone know if it is based off a book? I'd like to read it if it is.

 

- Jools

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Anyone seen Interview With a Vampire? I saw that after seeing a Twilight film and thought it was great, since the vampires were dark and creepy etc. etc. instead of sparkly and moody. :P Does anyone know if it is based off a book? I'd like to read it if it is.

Both Interview With a Vampire and Twilight are based on books.

 

Are you just funnin' with ol' Thoth?

- Thoth

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Yay. I figured it would be. I'll add it to my reading list!

 

Thanks!

- Jools

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BTW: The complete Ann Rice Vampire Chronicles (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the body Thief) are available in a single box set at a low low price of about $21. Ann Rice also writes B&D under the name A. N. Roquelaure. I found it annoyingly repetitious (everybody gets spanked every few pages) so I can't really recommend it. (Some years ago I saw a mother and her teen daughter sitting next to each other on a plane trip to Washington, reading The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, and had to smile.)

- Thoth

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Oo thanks.. Now if only I could find some free promotional ebook of it! That's how I read The Time Traveler's Wife. Perhaps I will have to use my library card. Of course if I borrow all the vampire books at once I might get some looks. Not sure I want to borrow the Twilight books from a public place though. :P not sure I want to read them at all, but I know a couple people who like them and say I should read them before insulting them. Imagine that. =P

 

An O- (I think) aged 23 years, but not in an oak barrel....

-Jools

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