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So, I don't think this is really what any of you were getting at, but people could definitely interpret it that way... and something rubs me the wrong way about the suggestion that complexity in literature is inherently superior to simplicity, or that adult books are inherently superior to children's books, or that literature with a narrow audience is inherently superior to popular work.

Currently reading [b]Possession[/b] by A.S. Byatt, on the recommendation of my roommate. No opinion on it so far, although I'm afraid all of the characters' scholarly activity keeps reminding me that I have my own papers to write. :animeswea

~Dagger~
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[FONT="Tahoma"]o_O Looks like a tiny bit of a debate got started in here... I think I will comment on just one potential sentiment being expressed though. [quote name='Dagger]So, I don't think this is really what any of you were getting at, but people could definitely interpret it that way... [B]and something rubs me the wrong way about the suggestion that complexity in literature is inherently superior to simplicity, or that adult books are inherently superior to children's books, or that literature with a narrow audience is inherently superior to popular work.[/B'] [/quote]I don't think anyone is saying that here. ^_~ I am familiar with what Beth is referring to for literature programs, where they use series like Harry Potter to encourage reading. I've participated in programs with elementary children and books from that series were added to the curriculum of recommended reading. They were chosen based on several factors, reading comprehension, appeal to the target age group, etc.

There was never any argument that different types were better than others. I think what we are seeing here is more of a difference in tastes instead of a mindset that one is better than the other. I'm not a big fan of the series but I don't dislike it either.

Anyway... what I am currently reading is the [B]Black Unicorn[/B] by Terry Brooks. It's okay so far, not one of his better books but I'm enjoying it enough that I'll probably finish it. [/FONT]
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[quote name='Dagger']... and something rubs me the wrong way about the suggestion that complexity in literature is inherently superior to simplicity, or that adult books are inherently superior to children's books, or that literature with a narrow audience is inherently superior to popular work.[/quote]
[FONT=Arial]Of course not. My first reading material was Dr. Seuss and primer literature, followed by A.A. Milne and the various authors of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, who penned the Bobbsey Twins. You have to start somewhere.

What I am getting at, rather, is that I am beyond that stage now. I want more from my reading, and J.K. Rowling's target audience no longer includes me.

Any of you guys ever read anything by G.K. Chesterton? If not, I highly recommend it—especially if you've tried stuff by Nietzsche. For the record, I prefer Chesterton. He makes more sense. :p[/FONT]
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[quote name='SunfallE'][COLOR="RoyalBlue"][FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"] Wait? what? No one said that others don?t appreciate the books, where did that assumption come from? Matt, Allamorph and I expressed dissatisfaction with the series in general; we never once said others don?t appreciate it. Nor are we incapable of seeing that others are different. You?re taking our input about the series a bit too personally if you ask me.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Ahem. If I may point out to you a few quotes:

[quote name='Matt']All of it is just so mundane, you can only wonder why it is such a success.[/quote]
[quote name='Matt']To adult readers, it is just really insulting.[/quote]
[quote name='Matt']Its a book for little kids, and that's all it ever will be. In ten years, twenty years, no one is going to care about those HP books.[/quote]

And Dagger was also correct with her statement:

[quote name='Matt']To find the stuff that is actually good stuff, you have to find things that no one has ever heard of.[/quote]

And as for the acclaimed target audience, Beth, I know you must be aware that Harry Potter & co. grow up in the books all the way to the year they turn 18. Guess what? The target audience gets older at the same rate. Sure, the first few books were very childish, because they were from the p-o-v of a 11 to 13 year old. After that, the series got progressively mature, and in the last book, there's hardly any trace of the magical candy cotton world of the first books.

And Harry Potter has enhanced other reading in Finland as well, especially for boys. And that is never a bad thing. For Matt's consolence I have to say that most of the kids (and adults) who've started reading Harry Potter have moved on to other books as well.
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I just find it odd that anyone can express such distaste in a series with characters like Fred and George Weasley in it.

Yeah, though. I understand how you feel about book 5, Sunfall. Rowling herself admitted she left too much filler in that one and would definitely condense it if she had the chance to rewrite it. Book 7, though... Best in the series.

As per Allamorph's recommendation, I'm about to place an order for one of the James Bond books at my library. I think I have one lying around in my room somewhere, too.
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[COLOR="RoyalBlue"][FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"][quote name='Sandy']And as for the acclaimed target audience, Beth, I know you must be aware that Harry Potter & co. grow up in the books all the way to the year they turn 18. Guess what? The target audience gets older at the same rate. Sure, the first few books were very childish, because they were from the p-o-v of a 11 to 13 year old. After that, the series got progressively mature, and in the last book, there's hardly any trace of the magical candy cotton world of the first books.

And Harry Potter has enhanced other reading in Finland as well, especially for boys. And that is never a bad thing. For Matt's consolence I have to say that most of the kids (and adults) who've started reading Harry Potter have moved on to other books as well.[/QUOTE]I'd like to point out that at this point, we are pretty much hijacking this thread with a debate that could be better put elsewhere. As Allamorph said I am no longer her target audience. I find your insistence to defend the books simply because I do not care for them almost insulting, as if to imply I am missing something when that's not the case.

People are going to like different things and all the defending of said things they don't care for won't change that fact. So lets stop this right here. I already got through explaining how it's considered a good series to get kids reading.

At this point, even if you disagree, there comes a time when you need to respect that not everyone likes the same thing. You had no purpose in here other than to defend the series when that's not what this thread is about at all. I'm going to say it, grow up and accept that not everyone is in love with the Harry Potter series. Matt had a harsh opinion of it and he's entitled to that opinion. Let it go.

Want to know one of the real reasons I tend to not like it? Besides what I already stated? I'm picky when it comes to magic based series and it's the actual world and how things run that I do not care for. Go and read some of Mercedes Lackey's Valdamar series and you'll see what I mean since that's the style of magical world that I enjoy the most.

Toss in what I perceive as a book targeted towards a younger audience and my love of Sci - Fi and you get a series that simply doesn't grab me. Please do me the favor of not being like every other fanatical Harry Potter fan and stop attempting to shove it's perceived greatness in my face. I find it boring... so what?

You make me sorry I even expressed my opinion because it comes accross as if I'm not allowed to even have it. :animesigh

[B]EDIT: [/B]Oh and before anyone responds to this... Sandy and I already agreed that we were taking each other too seriously a bit so... nothing to look at! :p[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[FONT=Arial]Easy there, [COLOR="DarkRed"]SunfallE[/COLOR]. No need to get heated over somethin' as trivial as this, 'aight? (^_^)

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Sandy[/COLOR], the popularity of a book/series is not indicative of quality one way or another. Having close to a billion fans doesn't mean it's good, but neither does it mean it's bad. It's just popular.

I have no problems with a discussion of the quality of material in a thread about what people are reading. But if it's going to degenerate into pointless whacking and snippy replies, then somebody be the bigger man and [I]just don't respond[/I].

Cool?

Cool.[/FONT]
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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Oh great googly moogly. Now I remember why I didn't respond to this thread right away.

Because I was too busy reading the [b]Journey To The West[/b] by Cheng'en Wu. And then I watched "Forbidden Kingdom" and realized that while this movie tries really REALLY hard, you won't actually understand it unless you have actually soldiered through Cheng'en's magnum opus.

And once you have, you will know that you are a man my son. Or something.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[size=1]I've just bought [i]A Long Way Down[/i] by Nick Hornby and have finished the first page or so. I bought the book because before I read [i]High Fidelity[/i], [i]About A Boy[/i] and [i]How To Be Good[/i], all of which rocked my socks. Therefore I figured that this might result in the same. Later I found out that on the back there's a super positive review by Johnny Depp.

No idea what it really is about yet. On the back it said something about a man wanting to commit suicide, but his plan was interrupted bij some others who all came up with the same plan. It's a Hornby, so it should be great.[/size]
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[COLOR="RoyalBlue"][FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"][quote name='Allamorph;812368][FONT=Arial]Easy there, [COLOR="DarkRed"]SunfallE[/COLOR]. No need to get heated over somethin' as trivial as this, 'aight? (^_^)[/FONT][/QUOTE]You missed a part Mr. Morphy. :p[quote name='SunfallE'][COLOR="RoyalBlue"][FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"][B]EDIT: [/B]Oh and before anyone responds to this... Sandy and I already agreed that we were taking each other too seriously a bit so... nothing to look at! :p[/FONT'][/COLOR][/quote]We already worked that out via pm silly. Goes back to reading[B] Homer's Daughter[/B].[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[SIZE="1"][COLOR="DarkSlateGray"]Last night I finished Lord Loss. in one fucking night I tell you! I love this story, right now I'm half way through the secopnd book of the ten part serious calledo [B]Demon Thief[/B] which takes place 30 years before lord Loss. I plan on finishing it tonight too.

And today I bought Twlighlight by Stephenie Mayer, I heard from a friend that's it's really good. Then when I get back to school on monday, I'm checking out [B]Slawter [/B]and Bec, parts 3 and 4 of the Demonata series. Slawter is the sequel to Lord Loss, and Bec takes place like 1600 years before the first three books. THan after those two, it's 2 more books, than I have to wait until they release the alst 3!

Something creepy, I'm writting a story now with the names Grady and Annabella. And I wrote about them before I read Lord Loss and Demon Theif, the creepy thing is they're both character names in these books too. I guess it mean reading the Demonata series was, destiny.[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[SIZE=1]Right now I'm reading [B]White Night [/B]by Jim Butcher, the 9th in the series of the Dresden Files, which, as you could probably work out by the fact that this is the 9th one, I am a huge fan of.

For those of you who don't know about the series (which was made into a totally unfaithful but really rather entertaining TV show), it's about Harry Dresden, a professional wizard working out of Chicago. He's basically a private detective but with magic thrown in, and there's a huge depth to the central characters and the world the books are based in itself.

There's some fantastic witty dialogue, such as one section where someone asks Harry if he's "always this annoying," to which Harry replies:

[B]"Sometimes I'm asleep."

[/B]Now, it's not often that something can make me laugh, but I was in stitches after reading that.

The books also have a big ol' dastardly plot running through them, and it seems to be building up to a ridiculous level by this book. I'm hoping that loose ends start getting tied up soon.

If you want a basic overview of the books, all you need to know is the proposed title of the first book in the series, which was: "Semiautomagic."
[/SIZE]
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"][FONT="Book Antiqua"]Okay, how I ended up reading my next so-called book I'll never know. XP Somehow I ended up in some weird conversation with my friends about what we read and comparing it to what the other one is reading to see who was being the geekiest. It's so [I]NOT[/I] my fault that I got curious about that book Crystia mentioned [B]People of the Lie[/B] by M. Scott Peck. So naturally I got tagged as reading the weirdest book.

How that morphed into [I]I read the Dictionary for fun[/I] is something that made no sense whatsoever... However, now I am. o_O [B]Webster's new world college dictionary[/B], third edition to be exact, I'm on the Historical Overview section at the moment. Plus I don't know how much I'll actually read in the end. Though I've just realized that the fourth edition is out so I probably need to get the current one.

Anyway... I suppose it will be interesting to see how far I get with this before I quit, I do at least plan on getting through part of the first letter of the alphabet, if only to see how many words I actually recognize. :p[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[quote name='DeLarge'][SIZE=1]Right now I'm reading [B]White Night [/B]by Jim Butcher, the 9th in the series of the Dresden Files, which, as you could probably work out by the fact that this is the 9th one, I am a huge fan of.[/SIZE][/QUOTE]

[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]But then Jim Butcher continued to be a glorious writer, not dying before the end of the series and came out with his next book, [b]Small Favors[/b] which was not only deliciously wicked and convoluted as one might expect, but unlike White Night, HAD BIG FAERIES!

Angry ones! With big sticks! ...and sometimes box cutters.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[FONT="Arial"]A while ago I got [B]Society of S[/B] by Susan Hubbard, and my current opinion is that of dislike. The characters were annoying and unbelievable, especially the narrator (one of those super intelligent, home-schooled, sheltered, child prodigy types). I love vampires, but not when they're done like this. What a shame.

After that I read [B]Fight Club[/B] by Chuck Palahniuk, which was very good. I'd already seen the movie so I knew what was coming. My friend is supposed to bring me [B]Lullaby[/B] tomorrow, but as it stands [B]Invisible Monsters[/B] is still my favorite Chuck P. book.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial]Well, my plans at grabbing another Butcher and Carey were foiled yesterday, and it appears that I'm going to have to watch [I]Blade Runner[/I] before I read the novels, so I salvaged what I could and snagged for the moment O.S. Card's [I][U]Shadow of the Hegemon[/U][/I], Goodkind's [I][U]Blood of the Fold[/U][/I], and Brooks' [U][I]Antrax[/I][/U] (second in the [I]Voyage of the Jerle Shanarra[/I] trilogy). This has prompted me to make two decisions.

One: having finished [I][U]Antrax[/U][/I] yesterday afternoon, I have decided to grab the final book, [I][U]Morgawr[/U][/I], and then abandon the Shanarra series completely. The first three books were good, as was [I][U]First King of Shanarra[/U][/I], but I am discovering that Brooks is taking too darn long to tell his stories, getting caught up instead in a mass of soap opera-esque internal drama and wildly vacillating character emotions, often with little reason. Also—and this is a personal call—I think he started relying too much on cliffhangers in the previous four-book set, and he's getting predictable.

I may try out his [I]Landover[/I] series, but unless anyone tells me otherwise, I'm not planning on high expectations. It's a shame, really, because I rather enjoyed the [I]Knight of the Word[/I] trilogy, and I kind of wanted to see how he was going to tie everything before and after the Great War together. I just don't think I can take much more of knowing where he's going half a book before he gets there.

Two: I need to know where to start in Mercedes Lackey's works. I also need more authors to look for. And if anyone can provide me the exact order of Anne McCaffrey's [I]Dragonriders of Pern[/I] series, I would greatly appreciate it, because I cannot seem to find a list anywhere.

[I]Wheel of Time[/I] I'll be looking into. The order there I expect to be pretty straightforward, so no worries.

[B]Edit:[/B] Also, a recommendation for anyone who's interested in something a tad off-kilter: [I][U]The Sight[/U][/I] by David Clement-Davies, featuring wolves as the main pro- and antagonists. (I haven't yet read his [I][U]Fire Bringer[/U][/I], but I might; [I][U]The Sight[/U][/I] was at least interesting—and more to the point, it was Different.)[/FONT]
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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]If you want time and the confusions of reincarnation I recommend Katharine Kerr and her series that begin with [b]"Daggerspell."[/b] She took a break from writing the now 10 plus book series when her heart looked like it was about to stop beating but fortunately she's back. And now we can all look forward to her next installment in a rather fascinating serries like a bunch of claping walruses.

Of course if you crave another series that paints dragons in a decidedly less sympathetic role, I suggest the [b]Dragon Weather Series[/b] by Lawrance Watt-Evans. It's only three books, appropriately morbid, and has footless prostitutes. Wohoo.

AND FURTHERMORE:

I require you all to read the thus far 3 book series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson staring Peter of Peter Pan fame. [b]"Peter and the Starcatchers."[/b]

Not only is the series wittly executed with drama, adventure, pirates, shadows, stars, and bilgerats... It's also engaging enough to hold the attention of both a 7 year old girl and a 22 year old college educated student.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[COLOR="RoyalBlue"][FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"][quote name='Allamorph'][FONT=Arial]I may try out his [I]Landover[/I] series, but unless anyone tells me otherwise, I'm not planning on high expectations.

Two: I need to know where to start in Mercedes Lackey's works. [/FONT][/QUOTE]I'd try it if only because it's like two different authors, seriously. It's so outright simple in comparison to his Shannara series. Or less wordy, but it can also be a bit too simplistic too.

Now as for Mercedes Lackey here's the order you'd want to follow with her books. She didn't help matters by not writing them in sequence.

[B]The Mage Wars:[/B] The Black Gryphon · The White Gryphon · The Silver Gryphon
[B]The Last Herald-Mage:[/B] Magic's Pawn · Magic's Promise · Magic's Price
[B]The Legend of Lavan Firestorm:[/B] Brightly Burning
[B]Vows and Honor:[/B] The Oathbound · Oathbreakers · Oathblood
[B]Heralds of Valdemar:[/B] Exile's Honor · Exile's Valor · Take a Thief · Arrows of the Queen · Arrow's Flight · Arrow's Fall
[B]Kerowyn's Tale:[/B] By the Sword
[B]The Mage Winds:[/B] Winds of Fate · Winds of Change · Winds of Fury
[B]The Mage Storms:[/B] Storm Warning · Storm Rising · Storm Breaking
[B]The Owl Mage:[/B] Owlflight · Owlsight · Owlknight

Good for you that all of those are out so when she wrote them is now irrelevant. :p[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[COLOR="Indigo"][quote name='Allamorph'][FONT=Arial]Also?and this is a personal call?I think he started relying too much on cliffhangers in the previous four-book set, and he's getting predictable.[/FONT][/QUOTE]Agreed actually, it was fine for the first set per se, but then it got old and it was like he used cliff hangers to cover up the fact that his writing style and manner was so identical that it was like reading the same book only slightly different setting and different names. But again... personal call.

Anyway I am now reading [B]Wizard's First Rule[/B], by Terry Goodkind. *pokes Allamorph* I picked it up yesterday and I'm about 200 pages in, more than enough for me to know that I'm going to like this series. The author has a very refreshing style of being detailed and developing his characters without giving too much sway in one area. [[SIZE="1"]Terry Brooks biggest weakness in my opinion, too much time given to descriptions without balancing it out with more character development[/SIZE]]

The end result is something that really stands out and comes alive as you read it. So it's definitely off to a promising start. I already really like the main primary protagonist Richard and another character that goes by the name Zedd. [/COLOR]
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[color=royalblue][size=1]

I just finished reading a worn copy of [b]American Gods[/b] by Neil Gaiman, setting him in concrete as one of my favorite authors ever, without a doubt. The book was by far one of the best reads I've ever had. The concept and story is just mind-blowing-ly interesting. The mix of serious drama, humor, and 'mythology' is really amazing. I loved every bit of it.
[/color][/size]
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[COLOR="Indigo"]I finished up [B]Wizard's First Rule[/B] and the initial 200 pages of good reading lasted through the entire book. It's an excellent read though it does get real at times so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who's on the squeamish side. Though some of that [I]getting real[/I] was rather fitting so I liked it for that too.

Now I'm reading the next book in the series: [B]Stone Of Tears[/B]. I'm not that far in but if it's anything like the first book, I'm thinking that Terry Goodkind will be supplying one of the core series for my summer reading this year.

I am also reading [B]The Cardinal of the Kremlin[/B] by Tom Clancy. This was suggested to me by someone and though it's not my style of book at all [[SIZE="1"]I prefer to watch this kind of material in a movie instead of reading it[/SIZE]] I am finding that I do enjoy reading it. However it took getting in nearly 150 pages for it to grab my interest. [/COLOR]
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[COLOR="Indigo"][quote name='Matt']Woah, what a coincidence! I read Wizard's First Rule back in fall, and I am now also reading Stone of Tears. We must be kindred spirits. :p

Just how far are you into the book? I am at the point where Khalan visits a ruin.[/QUOTE]Not very far at all since I just started it, literally. I only just got to chapter three after they dealt with that [spoiler]screeling[/spoiler] I haven't gotten to a point where anyone other than Zedd, Chase and Rachel are in the story. I'm sure I will though since I plan on reading more later tonight.

Oh and one of the best parts about Wizard's First Rule... was what that actually turned out to be. So very [I]fitting[/I]. [/COLOR]
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