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Books; and the Summer Reading Archive
Topic Started: Jun 25 2009, 11:48 AM (9,652 Views)
KMInfinity
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I just realized - I read that book in 1971 when I was 12. And Stranger in a Strange Land too. The summer before my 8th grade year.

I feel so old. :tongue:

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bilki
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That's funny. You read it the summer that I was born, so you're not that much older than me. I'm impressed that you were tackling such thought-provoking concepts as such a young age. :D

I love it when fiction can make me sit and take a long pause for thought and challenge the way I look at our Universe. My biggest complaint about The Expanse series of books (Book 1-3, anyways) was that the authors barely went below the surface of some interesting themes.
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KMInfinity
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bilki
Sep 11 2016, 09:18 PM
I'm impressed that you were tackling such thought-provoking concepts as such a young age. :D
I was weird. And very very shy. Today I'm sure I've had had a diagnosis. :firemad: So I started reading very early. I was reading full novels at 6 and 7 years old, the Narnia series, the Little House books.

I had an undiagnosed hearing loss (35% loss) until I was 5 and am blind in one eye, so I much much preferred to read rather than interact with people.

I still remember the very first "book" I read, at four; Posted Image
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Krystal
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My mother claimed she taught me to read it too I have no idea if that is true because my mother wasn't truthful about a lot of things. However I knew how to read it 5th grade level when I add in first grade and I never had kindergarten. I was five when I started first grade didn't turn 6 until January of that year. I've read all the time because it really was the only pastime that was available we didn't have computers and we didn't even have a TV when I was little. I read almost every Nancy Drew book at first and then I actually read the boys books I think the Hardy Boys and I read all the Syfy I could get a hold of your limited Library.
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KMInfinity
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Krystal that must have been common. If you could read, you skipped kindergarten and went to first grade. That's what I did too.

I fondly remember my 8th grade teacher getting books for me from the branch library because I wasn't allowed in the "adult" side.

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Krystal
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I guess, maybe it was a Pittsbugh thing at the time?
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bilki
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Quote:
 
I still remember the very first "book" I read, at four;
Wow! I probably didn't even know the alphabet until kindergarten. I still have a vague memory of some of the alphabet characters they used to teach us with (Mr T had Tall Teeth), so I probably wasn't reading until I was 6 or 7. And I'm sure it wasn't a novel, lol.

80 pages to go with LHOD. Quite fascinating on many levels. This will probably be another novel of which I miss the characters for a couple days after I finish, and it doesn't look like she revisits any of them in the other books from the Hainish series.
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tgir
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Heh. What I remember about my parents--make that my dad--my mother would never have bothered! is that my dad knew I knew my letters and so he figured I was ready to read. I have no idea how old I was. No kindergarten for me--it was an optional/extra program and we had moved to the school district too late for there to be a spot for me. Mom wanted another kid (and me, specifically) out of the house, so it was rough for her that I couldn't go.

Anyway, my father started me on Dick and Jane. All I really remember is that I could read Look quite fine but when it was look (lower case 'l') I had no idea. No one explained upper and lower case letters to me so I figured if it was a 'little l' it must sound different. Made sense to me but made my father extremely upset because he thought I was just being stubborn. Being a little kid, I didn't even know how to explain it to my father who was very angry. By fifth grade I had read everything remotely interesting in our school library, which was open in the summers as our town had no public library. The bookmobile came and I convinced the librarian to let me check out the Iliad and the Odyssey the summer between fifth and sixth grade.

One of my kids taught himself to read when he was 4 and I didn't even realize it until I started to read to him when I got his younger sibling down for a nap and he told me he could read the book. It was Bedtime for Francis and it turned out, yes, he could. He hadn't memorized the book (I had assumed he memorized other kids books) because it was brand new. In first grade, they had to bring something in to read to the class and he picked a children's book of sea creatures and was very concerned he would mispronounce the word bioluminescence. I told him he could only read one page to the class, not the whole book. This is the kid who had completed 2 years of calculus before he started high school, then dropped out of college to join the army, came back and finished his physics major and now works 3rd shift at an electronics factory because he didn't want to go to grad school.
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bilki
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I wonder if the desire to escape one's "reality" is a prime motivator in the early development of reading skills. If the early development is something most of us are capable of but some don't explore it because they haven't quite started looking for an escape route yet. Or, that part of the brain simply develops earlier in some than in others.

Finished The Left Hand of Darkness. Really enjoyed it, especially considering the back half of it was relatively light on plot. The thing I'm ruminating on most is the introduction in which Le Guin talks about how science fiction writers aren't meant to be foretellers of the future but rather good liars. HA!

What to read next....
Edited by bilki, Sep 13 2016, 10:51 PM.
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Krystal
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For sure it wasn't that my mother was so brilliant at child-raising but she figured if she taught me to read I would not pester her and she was right because when I stuck my nose in a book I was immersed in it. So I didn't bother her I just read. There were no sports activities at all available for girls at my school except I was a major it if you can count that :-). But there were absolutely no Sports and even the boys didn't have that much except the football team which was pathetic and a basketball team which was actually not too bad.

I have an acute ability to concentrate on a good book. Or when I'm studying even more when I was working on legal files. I will immerse myself to the point where I don't want any external stimuli no music no TV no nothing and if someone were to actually come up and touch me I would jump three feet in the air because I am totally focused on what I am reading. I guess that's why I was a good student but I'm like that even when I'm reading a book that I like even if it's Stephen King or something. I think being an escape or a mental Escape is part of it because really my childhood was extremely boring. My mother wasn't the type of person to play with a kid God forbid should even hug me that I remember. My dad worked all the time he showed his love in many ways but men of that era were not huggy. I don't know why I took such a liking to science fiction but I recall my parents did like science fiction movies and horror movies to the point where they took me to horror movies when I was very small but I don't recall having nightmares because of it. They also like westerns and I remember my dad watching Westerns on television although I never developed a taste for that. Of course in those days there were that many channels so whatever the parents wanted to watch the kid got to watch as well. That is something that I wish would come back because it seems like now the kids dictate what is on television unless the parents just buy them there an iPad when they can barely talk walk around in which case they get to watch what they want all the time and I don't think that is a terribly good idea
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bilki
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I've been trying to find another fantasy series to get myself hooked on, because that sounds like a fun thing to do. GoodReads has so many highly rated fantasy series but it's taken me three tries to find one of which I actually want to read the second book. Some of what I'm assuming is considered to be characterization and world building feels unnecessarily wordy to me.

I finally found a book of stories by HP Lovecraft at one of the local libraries, and this one has At the Mountains of Madness. I'm going to read that next.
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KMInfinity
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bilki
Oct 11 2016, 09:49 PM
I've been trying to find another fantasy series to get myself hooked on, because that sounds like a fun thing to do. GoodReads has so many highly rated fantasy series but it's taken me three tries to find one of which I actually want to read the second book.
So what's the series you finally moved on to book 2? Don't leave us hanging!!!!


Somewhere far backthread, around 2011 or 2010, I posted some series we read at the old TWoP in a bookclub so maybe you've seen these suggestions, Bilki - I highly HIGHLY rec these series:

Furies of Calderon - by Jim Butcher. Just awesome....many in the TWoP club agreed it's better than GoT, and the series as a whole ENDS, and ends well. (Granted after six books.)

The Harry Dresden series - Also by Butcher. Urban fantasy par excellence.

The Warrior's Apprentice (found in the compilation Young Miles and part of the Vor Saga) - by Lois McMaster Bujold It's SF but not real "hard" - more space opera, so more fantasy elements. Think better than Star War by a log shot. I've mentioned before there's spec that GRRM stole the character of Miles for Tyrion. Must read for GoT fans. This is the first book, and is excellent, but books 2 and 3, and some later in the series are even better. The series has Hugo and Nebula winners.

Nine Princes in Amber (currently found in the collection The Great Book of Amber) - by Roger Zelazny. I know I've recc'ed this before. Revolutionary concepts and storytelling, fast past slam band action all in 180 pages. The five book series is all of 800 pages. Another one that was debated as "better than GoT" by some. (Not for character development or plotting, but for sheer originality, weirdness, grand sword and sorcery FUN, and a combo of post-new wave meets old school style)

(Please don't tell me you tried one of these and passed. :bricks: )
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bilki
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You've probably forgotten but I did read The Furies of Calderon, and I still have it around here somewhere. I started Book 2 but got distracted with something else and then quit reading for quite awhile. I've thought about going back to it a couple times, as I remember it being a good mix of character and plot. Plus, people with special powers!

My first try was The Name of the Wind. Ugh. I really liked the idea of a reluctant fantasy hero but the author seemed like he was bored telling the hero's back story. I was bored, too. Next was The Lies of Locke Lamora, which I enjoyed but it was so long and jumped back and forth between each chapter and it just drove me a little crazy. The mediocre reviews for Book 2 were the main reason I was scared off, though I am intrigued by what might happen in Book 3. And finally, The Blade Itself. This was 500 pages of build up with barely a cohesive thread to pull the whole plot together. Honestly, I'm not even sure there was a plot but it seems like a lot of sh*t should go down in the next book.

Have you heard of The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapowski? That's one I have my eye on.

I'm in a Halloween mood now, so I went and got The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It was one of the few on the horror lists at GoodReads that sounded fun to me.
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KMInfinity
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Yes! Finish The Furies.

Seriously, if you haven't read the Amber series it's like classic pulp and exactly what you need if loooong tortuous dense novels are not grabbing you right now.

I too took a pass on Name of the Wind though a friend keeps pushing Rothfus.

I adore Jackson. Just posted an article about her on FB.
http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2016/10/ruth_franklin_s_biography_of_shirley_jackson_reviewed.html

I'll check out The Witcher series.
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bilki
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I too took a pass on Name of the Wind though a friend keeps pushing Rothfus.
It boggles my mind that he's so highly rated on GoodReads. The only thing I can figure is that people so love their fantasy novels that they project their excitement onto story no matter how bland it may appear to someone else.

Quote:
 
I adore Jackson. Just posted an article about her on FB.
I'm already enjoying Hill House and it's an added plus that the 1963 is on YouTube. I've seen praise for We Have Always Lived in a Castle, too.
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bilki
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Dawn by Octavia Butler. Wow!
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KMInfinity
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Butler is terrific. A real loss when she died so young.

And the Exogenesis trilogy is great. Kindred, Wild Seed - go crazy. :)

I think I'm pulling the trilogy off the shelf and putting it in the read-soon pile.

In case you haven't read about her:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/obit/2006/03/octavia_butler.html
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tgir
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Completely different vein but hubby got me the most recent additons to the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Full of gentle wisdom.

Also reading Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, I think a must read for anyone who wants to understand anything about this past election, although it has nothing to do with the election. I'm just...heartbroken about the divide between rural and urban and how each gets the other so wrong.

And then "I'm Supposed to Protect You From All of This" by Nadja Spiegelman, a memoir (I think I've written about it before. Still reading. Got caught up in a Project That Would Not Die and didn't get a chance to do any reading for pleasure. About women, mothers and daughters, and memory and different perspectives of the same events and times. Compelling, engrossing, wonderful.
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