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January 17, 2010


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My son loves the Percy and the Olympians series. Ate it up, stayed up too late reading it at night. Great stuff!

My daughter as well. She's a serious swimmer, and is all Poseidon-identified now. (I read the first one, and am a little cranky that the author de-virginized Athena -- if he needed demigods affiliated with her for plot reasons, couldn't she have adopted half-brothers and sisters that Zeus had scattered around but wasn't interested in? But I'm a fussbudget.)

I read "Twilight" a couple weeks ago because I had been mocking it and was told that I shouldn't mock it without reading it. Now I have read it and am even better armed for mocking it, though I don't think mockery is important enough to make up for the hours of my life lost.

In fairness, it's written decently in certain technical ways; if it had been just a YA about a girl who moves to a new town, with some of the suspense from the end retained, I think it could have been OK. But all of the vampire romance stuff is terrible, and there's greater quantities as the book progresses. As Bella gets more involved with Edward, she goes from being capable-though-clumsy (which could be an endearing character) to being what the romance genre calls Too Stupid To Live.

I've discovered that there's also fiction written for adults, some of which is quite good.

Yes, but all adult fiction is about unhappy couples in New York, and honestly, I identify better with gargoyles come to life.

Not fiction, but have you already read "Young Men and Fire". I think I recommended it years ago on Some Earlier Blog.

And my son (and wife, and I) enjoyed the Percy Jackson, but we're all much more impressed with the Hunger Games stuff. First one was solid, second is much better.

Oh, and I just started reading The Children's Book by AS Byatt at a friend's recommendation. I really liked Possession, so I'm game for something else she wrote.

I'm gonna look for the Stoneheart books next...thanks!

Definitely the Stoneheart books. They're great.

I'll go request -Young Men and Fire_ right away.

My son is loving the Gregor the Overlander books, by the same author as Hunger Games. I haven't read those, and they're for a younger age bracket, but he's enthusiastic.

I might even still have a copy of Young Men and Fire that's been sitting unread on my shelf for probably 15 years. Don't know why I've never gotten around to reading it.

I just finished the first 5 books of "The Vampire Diaries" which is Twilight written 15 years ago.
I read it largely because I had a lot of driving to do, and I had them available as audiobooks. (OK. I didn't read them, I listened to them.)
I found them fascinating for two reasons.
1. They are well written. And not bad really. (This may be different from Twilight, I've only seen the first movie. My wife snuck off to see Full Moon by herself and came back annoyed that she was in a theatre full of girls and women who spent the whole movie squealing whenever one of the boys appeared.)

2. Meta-enjoyment of the books. They were an amazing insight into a world I've never seen before, pr0n for 13 year old girls. No, nobody ever goes beyond a kiss, but the vampire stuff? It's all "hard penetrating teeth" and "soft yielding flesh" and "brief initial pain followed by waves of pleasure". Really very blatant stuff, and amazing that you can get away with pretending it's about vampires at all.

I forgot to add: I'm finding that audio-books in the car are a great way to get a LOT of "reading" done. Even in normal commuting that's 5 hours a week extra reading.

Throw in some inter-city trips and you are doubling that easily.

And traffic jams are less annoying too, just gives me more time to concentrate on Honor Harrington and try to do the maths to see if her space battles are calculated correctly.

"Yes, but all adult fiction is about unhappy couples in New York"

that's so true!:-)

but could I recommend Jame Salter's Light Years which is, err, about an unhappy couple in..

Have you read Robin McKinley? She's one of my all-time favorite YA authors. "Beauty" (a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast) is probably my favorite. http://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Retelling-Story-Beast/dp/0060753102/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264088000&sr=8-1

I had heard nothing about the Percy series, and am excited about it, but I share LB's fussbudgetry. My daughter is going to have a serious problem with a "daughter of Athene." What part of "parthenos" don't you understand?

Neat -- I hadn't ever made a linguistic connection between Parthenon and parthenogenesis before.

LOVE Robin McKinley. Some people don't care for her because her books aren't always super plot-intensive; she's often very descriptive and internal. It works for me because if you get into the book, even small things that happen can be deeply affecting (I'm thinking especially of one bit in "Rose Cottage," her second writing of the Beauty & the Beast story), but some folks find it dull.

If you haven't read the Temeraire series, I highly recommend it. Napoleonic Wars + dragons = AWESOME.

Okay I read all the comments. Nice... but I'm sorry - I just can't see myself reading any of these books... I guess its a guy thing. I'll still read this blog, but I just can't get into this particular interest. But I suppose if I was doing research on the opposite gender, I should be taking notes here...


I AM a guy. And yes, I sort of read them as a research project.

I read the Maggie Stiefvater books, Lament and Ballad. Lament was much better, imo. She is a wonderful writer and I'm looking forward to other books from her.

Thanks for the heads up.

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