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Has anyone here mabye read Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" ? Its a great book about England in the medievel times (or close by). I think it does have some historycal background.
George R.R. Martins series "Songs of Ice and Fire" are good books as well. Real pageturner, and its one of those books where the main heroes dont last very long, and they get replaced all the time, so you never can be sure who's realy the "good guy".
Now I'm reading again Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. I love that story about the London underground and the non-entities who live there below the subway tubes.
Currently reading Frank Herbert's Children of Dune.
I'm giving Anne Mcaffrey a try-out via a compilation of short stories. (This way, I figure if I like her writing, I can check out her longer stuff.... if not, i've only invested a little time in a few short stories...)

BTW, just finished reading "The Hiding Place" by Corrie ten Boom for the second time. I think I was too young or too anxious to 'get through' it the first time; it made a much deeper impact on me this time. (Perhaps I've become a person with deeper thoughts since then). (If you're not familiar with it, it's auto-biographical; Corrie ten Boom was a dutch christian lady who, in her fifties when she thought life was quite over with, suddenly found herself, nearly by accident, the ringleader of a Dutch underground during WWII, hiding Jews from the Nazis, and taking in those who were the most problematic (i.e. those who "looked" the most Jewish) into her own home....)
Today my foot surgeon loaned me New Spring: the Novel and The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. So I guess I will finally start reading 'The Wheel of Time' series tonight at bedtime. Actually, I read a few pages while waiting for a homebound taxi this afternoon and met Lan Mandragoran. Elf Winking Smilie
Well, lets see, I just finished the Terry Brooks series "Running with a Demon". The Xanth book "Swell Foop", and now I am reading Laurell K. Hamilton's " Incubus Dreams" and Elizabeth Spear George's "The Bronze Bow" because my son is reading it in school, and I read everything that he does.

I still have not started the "Wheel of Time" series, because I have heard both good and bad about it. We have the first 8 or 9 novels at the house. Matthew has read them and got fed up with the books. So, I guess I could start them, but I think my next book is going to be is the "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy".
Ah, the Hitchiker "trilogy"! I was quite pleased to discover the humor in those books when first I read them
Having finished The Great Hunt (WoT 2), I'm taking time out from 'The Wheel of Time' series to read a collection of twenty military history stories by seventeen authors, entitled Great Raids in History from Drake to Desert One and edited by Samuel A Southworth.
I'm reading through Eragon by Christopher Paolini. Nice imagination of the guy. Thogh the book moves a bit slow but still its nice for whiling away time.
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova.
I've just started reading the wonderful wizard of oz, l. frank baum... ok, I've not read more than the introduction by now... never mind.
bought the book - one with the original illustrations by w.w. denslow - months ago, now I've got time to read it, finally.
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Well I have just finished Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory. It was one of the best books that I have ever read and I would reccomend it to everyone who can read. Now I am reading Monster by Frank Peretti. So far it is a very good book.
to the lighthouse by virginia woolf. got the book for christmas, and I started reading last night, so I've only read about 20 pages by now. but I do quite like the style, it's interesting. though those long sentences are quite exhausting. they require a lot of concentration, it's not an easy read on the train.
I'm reading a couple of Marathi books and an English book right now, along with the latest issue of Reader's Digest that arrived a couple of days ago.

The first of the Marathi books is a biography of Lenin. The literal translation of its title would be "When Volga (spelling anyone?) turns red". The second book is titled "Arya Chanakya" and is about Chanakya, the fellow who defeated Alexander in India and is considered to be the greatest ever politicial ever by those who know of him.

The English book is this 7 books in 1 compilation of Sherlock Holmes titled "The Original Short Stories of Sherlock Holmes". I read Holmes when I was 8-9 something, in Marathi. I've read all the books except Valley Of Fear and His Last Bow. Ironically, this compilation misses out on those very books! Now I'm reading Holmes again in the original English form. Never a dull moment! I simply love that fellow!
Tonight I will start the ninteenth book of the Knights Templar Mystery series by Michael Jecks entitled The Butcher of St. Peter's. I haven't a clue what this one is about except someone is murdered in Exeter in the year 1323 on the brink of civil war and the Keeper of the King's Peace along with Bailiff Puttock must put it right, the murder, not the cause of war: politics isn't their bag.
From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz

I think its his best novel...
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We have to read it for Lit class, but I really enjoy reading it. It's a pity Harper Lee didn't write more books, in my opinion.
Tonight I will start rereading Volume VI of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, which is entitled Fables & Reflections.
Som i et speil - Like in a mirror by Gunnar Staalesen
The main caracter is a detective named Varg Veum who works with different cases in Bergen..He has several cases to solve and begin his work in a jazz-club...
He has several cases to solve and begin his work in a jazz-club...
Ah, a Norwegian Peter Gunn. Did they call the jazz-club "Mother's" and did Henry Mancini do a 1958 instrumental called "Walking to Mother's" in honor of it?
I'm just not finding time to read anything now days Sad Smilie

I've got several nice factual books that I am slowly ploughing my way through, a few pages at a time, but I don't seem to have had the time to pick up a novel for ages now.
Well, for something completely different, I thought I'd read this book by an English professor, called The Two Towers, the book, not the professor. Anyway, I've heard it is quite good, maybe even a 'page turner'. Has anyone else fallen under its sway?
Sorry, never heard of it. Couldn't even find it on the Web.
I've heard about a Two Towers book by an English professor, a certain J.R.R. Tolkien.

Could that be the one?
hmmm could be. though didnt some man write it 2001 or someting, i think his name is Peter Johnson or Jackson i think!? Read Smilie

Anyway at the mo im reading a book Read Smilie !!!!
I am rereading Lord of the Rings at the moment, I have just got to Crickhollow, so I have a long way to go! After that I might go to the library and see if I can find a copy of "The Mists of Avalon".
I'm reading "Morgoth's Ring" which is not giving me much pleasure yet on the other hand gives me more insight in the Silmarillion
I have decided to reread my humongous copy of 'The Great Northern Railway - A Pictorial Study' by Charles & Dorothy Wood, 1979. This is the story of the railroad that started in the 1860s, and crossed the northern most portion of the United States from the Twin Cities in Minnesota to it's western terminus on Puget Sound, passing over and through both the Rocky Mountains and the Cascade Mountains. This book covers the period before the mergers with Northern Pacific, the Burlington Lines, and even later with the Santa Fe.

The Great Northern is the railroad of the orange and green 'Empire Builder', which I got to walk through as a first grader on its inaugural tour at Spokane WA); and it was also the home of Rocky the Great Northern Goat. The railroad's main line ran through my home town and about a mile south of my father's wheat ranch. So I also got to see the last run of the double headed massive steam engines when they were replaced by the diesels in the 1950s.
Tonight, wanting something lighter to read, I will re-read Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men.
The Summer King by OR Melling. Way to go for the faeries of Ireland!!
Way to go for the faeries of Ireland!!

Not yet : St Patrick's Day is only next month.
Started reading Dragon Reborn, book three of the WoT series, last night after finishing Wee Free Men, but I may interupt it to reread A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett, so as to finish Tiffeny's training into the Sisterhood of Witches.
I recently finished reading Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett. Pratchett is by far my favorite writer. It's good to see that I'm not the only one who likes him, Grondy!
Seems everyone's pushing Pratchett on me today; guess I should see what the fuss is about. I'm between books at the moment, having reread UT day before last for the first time since I got it fifteen years ago. I really had forgotten just what a wealth of info is in there; it came up half a dozen times afterwards in conversation with the person who suggested I do the reread. And, of course, I had to do a WoT reread, but that was when Knife of Dreams came out. It was a true exercise in self discipline, as I fell behind and still had all of Crossroads of Twilight to do the day I got the book, and raced through a book I don't really like with the new one sitting there taunting me. At the moment, due to reference needs, UT, the Trilogy, The Great Hunt, A Crown of Swords and The Path of Daggers are stacked on top of one another on my bed, and I think this is as it should be (well, maybe not TPoD; worst... book... in the series.) I can't help wondering if Rivendell1977 got through TEotW in one day like she did with Rowling. ;-p I CAN do that with a WoT book, provided I don't do anything else that day. I'm coming to appreciate rereads on a deeper level, not just for familiarity and reliving past pleasure; not only did I find stuff I lost in UT, but on this last pass through ACoS (my third) I discovered the book I thought par for the series is actually quite good. The subject of "funniest scene" came up yesterday and I couldn't decide which one I liked best, but of two things I'm sure: they both involve the same ta'veren, and they're both in ACoS.

For those uncertain of the hype, I'll say Jordan is pretty much the only author I read seriously besides Tolkien, and the only other one I'll buy in hardback. Books 8-10 were kind of slow, and, IMHO, should have been, along with the last one, two books instead of four; Jordan has a LOT of ground to cover in what he insists will be the final book (bittersweet.) On the other hand, the first three were very good, The Dragon Reborn probably the best of those three. And then you get to The Shadow Rising, and the next three, maybe even four, books are positively flawless, as far as I'm concerned. Bear in mind this is from someone who almost won't read fantasy any more because no one's as good as Tolkien, but everyone tries to rip him off. There's a definite Tolkien influence in Jordan (if anything, Jordan makes Tokien seem terse and sketchy on details) but Jordan does an excellent job of writing his own series (so good, I'm told, that Terry Goodkind decided he would write the SAME series) and if Tolkien is there, well, just about every myth or legend you can name is there; John Glenn and Elisabeth I are even referenced. It is, after all, the WHEEL of Time. So yeah, it's definitely worth your time, and if most don't care for books 8-10, a lot of that has to do with the fact the first seven were sooooo good there was bound to be a let down at some point. The new one is much better than the last three, if still not as good as the first half of the series; I give it a 7, with 10 being The Fires of Heaven, 2 The Path of Daggers, and 1 "I can't believe a tree died for this book." Sorry, Vir, but TPoD is something I endured more than anything; it gets better afterwords though.

Oh, and I also read Robert Asprins Something M.Y.T.H. Inc. and Phule's Paradise for the first time last week. Entertaining, amusing, but not high art. For that I go to the Professor or Jordan. ;-)

Almost forgot amid my fatigue and verbose gushing: Grondy, if you like miltary strategy, I definitely recommend that series written The Citadel alumn and Vietnam Vet Jordan, as well as Robert Adams Horseclans series (again, not high art, but well written and compelling; Adams was doing immortals long before Highlander, even if his COULD drown.) I've yet to find anyone else who handle Medieval military combat with the accuracy and realism of these two. You certainly won't see rank upon rank of pike wielding orcs pivot 180 degrees to face the suddenly appearing Rohirrim on their flank (look, Mr. Jackson, when cavalry flank infantry, they don't turn, because they don't have time to march off a turning movemnent: they DIE, fast and bloody; as Adams once put it, there are two kinds of people in cavalry combat, the mounted, and the dead.) Anyway...
(so good, I'm told, that Terry Goodkind decided he would write the SAME series)

I have read six books of the Sword of Truth series, and they are really completely different than anything from WOT, safe for the fact that Goodkind too can't seem to put an end to his series.
Well, you know better than I, but one of our fellow Tolkien "fanatics" has a Theory that would beg to differ:

(Please note this is in the "Humorous Theories" category, which includes "Rand=Luke Skywalker.")

Naetheless, it does end with "If this is true, this may be the identity of the Creator’s competitor who was sealed within the Wheel. Remains only to discover if Shai’tan is Old Tongue for Good’kind.

"Let the truth be known. " It no longer has 100% of the vote in its favor though (just 82%)
I just started re-reading The Horse and His Boy, by CS Lewis. Still a really lovely read.

Grondy: What did you think about the DaVinci Code?
Allyssa: Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code was a fun read and a good story, though it had so many factual holes that 'maybe in another universe' it could be true. Sharan Newman has a book The Real History Behind the Da Vinci Code that was interesting to read about what really happened in 'this universe'.
I'm reading The Lone Drow by R A Salvatore. I admit it's not as good as Tolkien, even though it may be Tolkien-inspired. But he's American, so let's be a bit softer on him.
winesburg, ohio by sherwood anderson. great book... it's a collection of short stories about the inhabitants of this imaginary town, winesburg.
then I'm also reading the catcher in the rye at the moment, as an english class reader. yay holden!
I just started (that is, im up to page 187) the fourth book of The songs of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, "A Feast for Crows"!!!!! And of course i love it, its brilliant. I cant let it out of my hands!
Rigth now Im reading a saga by a swedish writer named Margit Sandemo
The Saga is called ISFOLKET ( people of the ICE ? Im sure Amarie have a better translation for it Smile Smilie ), maybe some of the scandinavians have heard of it ?
It begins in the year 1500 and follows the people up to 1960.It also contains whiches /demons and are told to be a fairytale fo adults..
( Ive read it every year for 16 years now feel like its my "familiy "Im reading about )
The Saga is called ISFOLKET ( people of the ICE ? Im sure Amarie have a better translation for it ), maybe some of the scandinavians have heard of it ?

'People of the Ice' will do perfectly, Mellon. Smile Smilie Still haven't read that book though, is it any good?

Personally I've been reading lot's of Coelho lately. So far I've read: 'The Alchemist', 'Veronica decides to die', 'At the river Piedra I sat down and cried', and yesterday I finished '11 minutes'. He's a truly wonderful writer, he fills you with hope and so far I haven't gotten tired of his specific way of writing.
Other than that I'm mostly reading course literature. Booooring.
Is it any good
? Oh yes !! Thats why I read it every year !!!
I am currently reading "A Prayer for Owen Meany" for a Literature class... This author has/had an odd concept of the workings ofa little boy's mind... HAS ANYONE ELSE READ THIS BOOK? I AM HAVING A HARD TIME GETTING OWEN'S VOICE IN MY HEAD. -The author writes Owen's talk in this manner through the whole book (at least, so far as I have read.) It is a pretty good book, though I have a hard time beleiving that an eleven year old's mind really works like that. Any guys got an answer to that??
I hadn't heard of that book Laurel.

I finished The Fires of Heaven the fifth book in Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' series at 5 AM and will probably next continue Sam and Frodo's journey to Mordor, beginning with Book 4 of the LotR as found in the middle of TTT.
Ah; that will make life easier for us all, Grondy. So, the return of Gandalf as solace for the loss of "Choices," eh? And the even greater question: is TFoH better than TSR? "The world wonders."

And now to take some time out to render my thoughts of AGoT, which I finally read last week. I can say it was entertainingly written up until the part where the Last Battle doesn't occur in it. Of course, writing is one thing; I couldn't get into to it because everyone in that book, with the exception of about five people (that's counting Lancasters and Yorks) are either insane, stupid or both. Oh, look, the king against whom everyone, including his own wife, is plotting wants to go hunting. Hmm, I WONDER what's going to happen...? Gee, when you trade your honor for your life you lose both; there's a shock. Thanks, but no thanks.

I took it back to Half Price Books and traded it in on a Guardians of the Flame book I hadn't read and some cash, and feel well served by that. Not Exactly the Free Musketeers was the good, if not great, entertaining fiction I expect from Joel Rosenberg. And he was killing main characters long before Martin (the @$#@%@&!) ;-p
I have read and still have a few of the Guardians of the Flame books, at least twelve swords worth, but I can't remember whether they came two to the book or three (unless the swords came from another series). I see there are three of the books visible in one of my bookshelves. They are hand-me-downs from my mother who also liked our favorite genre of liturature.
Are you sure you're not thinking of Fred Saberhagens Books of Swords and Books of Lost Swords? The first three were good, and it was interesting to see the return of the wizard Wood in the sequels. I actually picked up the single volume Empire of the East and reread it last year, and found it wasn't as good as I'd remembered from a decade and more ago. But there might be too much dreaded romance for some of our more cerebral members Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie Rosenbergs series is the one with the gamers whose DM sends them to his fantasy world so they can bring him through the same Gate Between Worlds they use to get Home. I frequently wonder how much of Walter Slovotsky there is in our friend Mat Cauthon.

And how cool to have a mom who's in to fantasy? I can only envy you that.
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