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Old 02-03-2020, 01:57 AM   #16
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The problem with "anything goes" is that I am awash with possibilities, and my DMD (Decision Making Disorder) has me floundering. What I finally settled on is...

I nominate Nation by Terry Pratchett

Description from Goodreads
Quote:
Alone on a desert island — everything and everyone he knows and loves has been washed away in a storm — Mau is the last surviving member of his nation. He’s completely alone — or so he thinks until he finds the ghost girl. She has no toes, wears strange lacy trousers like the grandfather bird, and gives him a stick that can make fire.

Daphne, sole survivor of the wreck of the Sweet Judy, almost immediately regrets trying to shoot the native boy. Thank goodness the powder was wet and the gun only produced a spark. She’s certain her father, distant cousin of the Royal family, will come and rescue her but it seems, for now, that all she has for company is the boy and the foul-mouthed ship’s parrot, until other survivors arrive to take refuge on the island. Together, Mau and Daphne discover some remarkable things (including how to milk a pig, and why spitting in beer is a good thing), and start to forge a new nation.

Encompassing themes of death and nationhood, Terry Pratchett’s new novel is, as can be expected, extremely funny, witty and wise. Mau’s ancestors have something to teach us all. Mau just wishes they would shut up about it and let him get on with saving everyone’s lives!
367 hardcover pages

Example prices from Kobo: USD $9.99, CAD $11.89, GBP £4.99, AUD $11.99

Written for younger readers but by no means childish, this is a more serious offering from Terry Pratchett. It certainly has moments of his trademark humour but his serious side is more obviously exposed. It is one of the books that, for me, highlights a similarity between Dickens and Pratchett: what might be described as: "your morals are showing". I know some don't like overtly moralistic tales, but I think that Dickens and Pratchett get away with it ... but then I'm prejudiced.

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Old 02-03-2020, 07:51 AM   #17
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I second: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. I had not heard of this before and it sounds intriguing.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:54 AM   #18
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I had a hard time focusing this month, with nothing to narrow it down. I chased several rabbits that didn't work out (price or length), particularly Ireland or women for March, and settled on a book that is related to neither but is someplace that's different from our usual and a genre (travel) we usually don't pursue.

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple. I haven't read this, but I loved his To the Holy Mountain about Mount Athos.

From Goodreads:

Quote:
Sparkling with irrepressible wit, City of Djinns peels back the layers of Delhi's centuries-old history, revealing an extraordinary array of characters along the way-from eunuchs to descendants of great Moguls. With refreshingly open-minded curiosity, William Dalrymple explores the seven "dead" cities of Delhi as well as the eighth city-today's Delhi. Underlying his quest is the legend of the djinns, fire-formed spirits that are said to assure the city's Phoenix-like regeneration no matter how many times it is destroyed. Entertaining, fascinating, and informative, City of Djinns is an irresistible blend of research and adventure.
US$4.99; AU$9.99; CA$11.99; UK£6.49
352 pp.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:36 PM   #19
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Well, at £2.99 that isn't so bad. But $33.99? That's insane.
I know. I don't believe I've ever seen a price that high for a non-textbook. And this is a book that's over 65 years old and has been available digitally for some 10 years--it was one of the first e-books I ever bought.


P.S. The Dollmaker isn't yet listed in the nominations.

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Old 02-03-2020, 01:34 PM   #20
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P.S. The Dollmaker isn't yet listed in the nominations.
Oops! My apologies. Fixed now.
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Old 02-03-2020, 02:44 PM   #21
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I was flooded by too many choices as well. However, I finally decided to propose an old classic, The Maltese Falcon, by Dashielle Hammett. It just sounds like fun.

The story itself needs no introduction, so just a bit of background but from Wikipedia:

Sam Spade is a private detective in San Francisco, in partnership with Miles Archer. The beautiful "Miss Wonderley" hires them to follow Floyd Thursby, who has run off with her sister. Archer takes the first stint but is found shot dead that night. Thursby is also killed later and Spade is a suspect. The next morning, Spade coolly tells his office secretary, Effie Perine, to have the office door repainted to read simply "Samuel Spade".

"Miss Wonderley" is soon revealed to be an acquisitive adventuress named Brigid O'Shaughnessy, involved in the search for a black statuette of unknown but substantial value.


The Maltese Falcon is a 1930 detective novel by American writer Dashiell Hammett, originally serialized in the magazine Black Mask beginning with the September 1929 issue. The story is told entirely in external third-person narrative; there is no description whatever of any character's internal thoughts or feelings, only what they say and do, and how they look. The novel has been adapted several times for the cinema.

The main character, Sam Spade (who also appeared later in some lesser-known short stories), was a departure from Hammett's nameless detective, The Continental Op. Spade combined several features of previous detectives, notably his cold detachment, keen eye for detail, unflinching, sometimes ruthless, determination to achieve his own form of justice, and a complete lack of sentimentality.

Although Hammett himself worked for a time as a private detective for the Pinkerton Detective Agency in San Francisco (and used his given name, Samuel, for the story's protagonist), Hammett asserted that "Spade has no original. He is a dream man in the sense that he is what most of the private detectives I worked with would like to have been, and, in their cockier moments, thought they approached."



Overdrive: as best I can tell, it appears to be available though not at my library.
Kindle $2.99 US; $0.99 CA
Kobo $0.99 CA; $9.99 US; $12.99 AUD

Sorry - it seems to be quite a bit more expensive in via Kobo.

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Old 02-03-2020, 03:08 PM   #22
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The Maltese Falcon is Public Domain in Canada (at least until they pass the new NAFTA), and is available from FadedPage, the Canadian PD download site. Of course, you should only use that if you're in Canada, or in another Life+50 country.
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
The Maltese Falcon is Public Domain in Canada (at least until they pass the new NAFTA), and is available from FadedPage, the Canadian PD download site. Of course, you should only use that if you're in Canada, or in another Life+50 country.
Great! I thought it must be, but when I searched, I got a date in the 30’s - thanks for checking and posting the link.
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:00 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Victoria View Post
I was flooded by too many choices as well. However, I finally decided to propose an old classic, The Maltese Falcon, by Dashielle Hammett. It just sounds like fun.

<SNIP>

Kindle $2.99 US; $0.99 CA
Kobo $0.99 CA; $9.99 US; $12.99 AUD

Sorry - it seems to be quite a bit more expensive in via Kobo.
It looks to me (and IANAL) as if the copyright on this was renewed and that the plethora of cheap editions at Amazon are bootleg versions. Hence the Kobo price for the Vintage edition is the legit price in the US.

If you don't mind, I'll just go ahead and list this as PD in Canada and let it go at that; people have to do their own research anyway.
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
It looks to me (and IANAL) as if the copyright on this was renewed and that the plethora of cheap editions at Amazon are bootleg versions. Hence the Kobo price for the Vintage edition is the legit price in the US.

If you don't mind, I'll just go ahead and list this as PD in Canada and let it go at that; people have to do their own research anyway.
That sounds perfect - thanks!

(First time I’ve come across the expression ‘IANAL’ - fun )

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Old 02-03-2020, 07:08 PM   #26
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I'm in a bit of a dilemma this month, as I have a busy time coming up (family stuff, a short holiday, life in general) and I also have problems finding a number of the books at my library.

However, at this stage I am able to second City of Djinns, which the library can provide, and The Maltese Falcon which I own.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:13 PM   #27
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I nominate Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian (2008, 386 pp.). I've read around ten of Bohjalian's novels, and haven't been disappointed yet.

Quote:
In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.

Among the group is eighteen-year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a twenty-year-old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family’s farm as forced labor. And there is a twenty-six-year-old Wehrmacht corporal, who the pair know as Manfred–who is, in reality, Uri Singer, a Jew from Germany who managed to escape a train bound for Auschwitz.

As they work their way west, they encounter a countryside ravaged by war. Their flight will test both Anna’s and Callum’s love, as well as their friendship with Manfred–assuming any of them even survive.

Perhaps not since The English Patient has a novel so deftly captured both the power and poignancy of romance and the terror and tragedy of war. Skillfully portraying the flesh and blood of history, Chris Bohjalian has crafted a rich tapestry that puts a face on one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies–while creating, perhaps, a masterpiece that will haunt readers for generations.
Quote:
"The perfect novel for a book club. . .this book sucked me right in. It’s vivid and heart-wrenching."
—John Searles, The Today Show

"Reading Bohjalian's descriptions of terror and tragedy on the road has just as much impact as seeing newsreels from the end of World War II....While creating suspense, Bohjalian agilely balances the moral ambiguities of war....Right and wrong shift depending on the situation. Ignorance is tolerated and murder is justified. But Bohjalian does posit that one absolute exists: No one wins at war."
—Dennis Moore, USA Today

"Harrowing. . .ingenious. . .compelling. . .Judging who's right or wrong is difficult in Skeletons at the Feast, and one senses that's just the way Bohjalian wants it. . .A tightly woven, moving story for anyone who thinks there's nothing left to learn, or feel, about the Second World War. That Bohjalian can extract greater truths about faith, hope and compassion from something as mundane as a diary is testament not only to his skill as a writer but also to the enduring ability of well-written war fiction to stir our deepest emotions."
—Paula L. Woods, The Los Angeles Times

"Harrowing. . .Bohjalian spins a suspenseful tale in which the plot triumphs over any single sorrow. . .[His] sense of character and place, his skillful plotting and his clear grasp of this confusing period of history make for a deeply satisfying novel, one that asks readers to consider, and reconsider, how they would rise to the challenge of terrible deprivation and agonizing moral choices."
-- Margot Livesey, The Washington Post Book World
Available in all relevant countries and through Overdrive (e-book and audiobook).

Amazon U.S., $12.99
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:27 PM   #28
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A number of these have been on my wish-lists for quite some time, so I'm going to flip a virtual coin and ...

I third The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:49 AM   #29
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I'm going to second The Dollmaker and As You Wish.
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Old 02-04-2020, 04:43 PM   #30
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It’s hard to spend my last vote this time! They’re all so different from one another. I wish I could borrow ahead from myself.

After combing through reviews, I need to add to my tbr, and will second Nation.
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