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text 2015-07-28 21:35
Jhereg - Steven Brust
The Pickwick Papers - Charles Dickens
1984 - George Orwell,Erich Fromm
Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Jennifer Rardin
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn - Alison Goodman
Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence
13 Bullets: A Vampire Tale - David Wellington
Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce
Blood Rights - Kristen Painter
Soulless - Gail Carriger,Gail Carriger


From Lillelara's bag of tricks:


1. Favorite books in all categories: 


Poison Study






Already Dead




2. Start to a Series: 



3. By an author who´s written over 5 books in total:





4. Classic Literature: 


The Pickwick Papers



5. Banned books:





6.Featuring an assassin: 


Once Bitten, Twice Shy




7. In a world with Dragons:


Eon: Dragoneye Reborn



8. Male Main Character:





9. Female Main Character: 


13 Bullets: A Vampire Tale




10. Retelling of another story: 



11. Book with a gorgeous cover: 




12. Debut book of any author: 





13. Fantasy in General:


The Eye of the World




14. Finale for a Series:





15. Graphic novel:




16. That you paid over $15 for (and was worth every penny):




17. Published after 2010:




18. Featuring a princess/prince or a king/queen: 




19. Thriller:




20. You read because it was a bestseller: 


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy



21. Involving drugs:





22. Memoir:





23. Favorite completed series as a whole:




24. Books with witches/warlords:




25. Historical Fiction: 


The Help





26. Ugly Cry Book: 


Annie's Song



27. Realistic Fiction:


Will Grayson WIll Grayson 



28. Dystopia:


Wastes of Space




29. Time Travel:


The Free Lunch



30. Elf or dwarf main character:




31. Favorite incomplete series by you or yet not finished by author: 





32. Literary Fiction: 




33. Non-Fiction:





34. Middle Grade Novel: 




35. Includes sword/knife fighting:





36. Something mysterious is afoot:






37. Diverse Reads (main character non-white/non-straight):





38. Wanderlust book:





39. Unreliable Narrator:





40. Character with mental illness:


Where'd You Go, Bernadette




41. SciFi in General:





42. Paranormal main character:




43. Horror:





44. Books with murder in them:



45. Set in time of war (real or fictional):





46. Set in the place you live:



47. Books with Servants in some manner: 





48. Book eventually adapted to a movie:





49. Book you´ve read more than once:





50. A good Zombie book:




51. A love story:




52. Set in space: 



53. Multiple POV: 




54. Erotic for people who don´t read erotic novels:




55. Written by an author who has died: 




56. Written by an author who is still living: 




57. Childhood favorite:




58. A long book (minimum 450 Pages): 




59. Young Adult Book in General:





60. Adult book in General:


#favorites #Booklikes #GR
Source: lillelara.booklikes.com/post/1209133/recommendations
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photo 2015-01-19 17:39

One shudders to think what the alternative title of The Pickwick Papers might have been...

Source: www.smbc-comics.com
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review 2014-10-04 00:00
The Pickwick Papers
The Pickwick Papers - Charles Dickens Thank God this is over! I had previously read six books by Dickens and I loved them all. I even gave 5*s to one or two. This one, however, was a painful read. I think part of the problem might have been my own current personal issues. Rather a lot of heavy stuff has been going on recently and I have been having problems focusing. So perhaps the vapid piffle just didn't work because I wasn't able to take it all in. To be fair, the book was a better read in the middle. I was sorely tempted to give up during the first 10-20%, but after that, I was interested enough to finish it up.

In reading this book, I was reminded of Harriet Vane's comment (in Strong Poison) that someone would like to marry Lord Peter Wimsey merely for the pleasure of hearing him talk piffle. Well, Dickens, who was 75 or so years before Wimsey, was a master at piffle. Normally, I like piffle. My very own spouse considers me to be a regular fountain of piffle. But, this book had a bit too much of it and a bit too little else. It basically had no point other than piffle. There's no real plot. Dickens just made up stuff for a year or two and eventually republished it wrapped all into a single volume as a novel. His first to be exact.

His later novels seem to have some point from the beginning and eventually, with lots of entertaining piffle along the way, get to their appointed ends. In this case, there was no point except for the piffle and Dickens eventually ran out. Something like that. He does show some signs of his future greatness. He has some rather interesting and quirky characters. He has shyster lawyers all over the place. He has blaggards and scoundrels, albeit in this novel they're not also physically marred in some way as per usual. I don't remember any orphans in this book, and not really any sickly innocents. But, I suppose for Dickens, it's a good beginning. Or something.

Perhaps the best way to view this book is akin to a modern sit com. There's a new episode each week that has some entertainment value in itself, but which is only marginally connected in any way with past or future episodes, other than that the characters remain the same and some of their past experiences are recounted in some way in the future. In essence, it's a Victorian-era version of the 1990s TV show, Friends.
As a side note, Amazon claims that the book contains 514 pages, the book itself says only 508, but the exact same edition on GoodReads has a more reasonable view of the page count, 914 pp. I checked that the ASIN numbers were the same on GoodReads and Amazon. Virtually all the dead-tree versions are closer to 1000 pages than to 500 pages. So why is Amazon so far off on it's alleged "real page numbers"? This isn't the first time I noticed that Amazon was page-count challenged. Why do I care?
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text 2014-05-03 23:28
April Roundup
Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot, #15) - Agatha Christie
The Difference Engine - William Gibson
The Doorbell Rang - Rex Stout,Stuart M. Kaminsky
The Pickwick Papers - Charles Dickens
The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act - Clay Risen
A Dangerous Inheritance - Alison Weir

Well, I only finished three books this month - Cards on the Table, The Difference Engine, and The Doorbell Rang.  However, I had one book I abandoned - A Dangerous Inheritance - and two of the books I have in progress are rather long - The Pickwick Papers and The Bill of the Century.


Best read of the month: Pickwick Papers, which is a reread. 


Best new read: The Bill of the Century.


Strangest: The Difference Engine.


Worst: A Dangerous Inheritance.  I wanted a historical novel about Lady Catherine Grey, and got Richard III taking up half the time, plus unwanted bonus ghosts.


Ah, well, could have been worse.

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review 2013-10-31 01:03
The Pickwick Papers - Charles Dickens
The Pickwick Papers - Charles Dickens

Like many of Dickens' novels, The Pickwick Papers is quite hard to summarise. I'll do my best, though:
Mr Pickwick is a member (in fact, the founding member) of the Pickwick Club, an organisation dedicated, apparently, to "the cause of science", although this is never really corroborated. Anyway, Pickwick and three of his friends form a sort of sub-club, the Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club, and go on various adventures throughout the country, meeting many different people and many different situations. As usual in Dickens, there seems to be no discernible storyline for the first half of the novel; but slowly, slowly, a shape and a reason emerges.
Talking of shape, the basic premise of the novel is that it is collated from various papers relating to the Pickwick Club and Corresponding Society by unknown "editors"; but this premise is contradicted and later mostly forgotten, as we become privy to private thoughts and conversations that the editors could never have known of. However, strangely, instead of ditching the form altogether, Dickens continues to include vignettes connected with the story only in that they were written on some mysterious piece of paper, or that some odd stranger related them. There is the story of Gabriel Grub, a prototype of A Christmas Carol ; "The Bagman's Story", which, I am convinced, inspired the ghostly post-office in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal ; and "The Convict's Return", which bears more than a passing resemblance to Tennyson's poem "Rizpah". Most of these stories are fairly harmless little interludes, but there's one that appears towards the end, interrupting the action and stopping the pace of the novel altogether.
Then there are the characters. The unscrupulous lawyers Dodson and Fogg form part of Dickens' crushing satire of the legal profession. The ill-fated Chancery prisoner in the Fleet debtors' prison provides the obligatory Pathetic Scene at End of Chapter. The dastardly Mr Jingle, the heavy-drinking medical students and the amiable Wardles all contribute to the picture of society that is built up in these pages. But it is the Wellers, Sam and Tony, who are the real joys of the piece. Surely Sam's loyalty to Mr Pickwick, his employer, inspired Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings : they share the same sort of unlearned wisdom. Sam Weller always knows what best to do, and how to treat the deceivers and social climbers of the world. Tony Weller, Sam's father, is a little more naive but still comes out with gems of wisdom like "It's a rum sort o' thing, Sammy, to go a hankerin' arter anybody's property, ven you're assistin' 'em in illness."
I think the most important thing about Pickwick , however, is how easy it is to read compared with Dickens' other novels. Often, when reading Dickens, I feel a kind of dread in picking it up and having to slog through it, but I never had such qualms with Pickwick . It's genuinely funny, too. So, although I didn't like the story as much as, e.g., Our Mutual Friend or Dombey and Son , I think I enjoyed the experience of reading it more. Go figure.

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