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THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

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THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby Shrykespeare » June 19th, 2015, 11:32 pm

Hey guys!

I know I said I'd do this a while back, but now that my second book is in the hands of the beta-readers, now seems like as good a time as any to get this started.


We've done threads about movies, TV shows, music, albums, video games, but, surprisingly, nothing (that I know of) about the printed word. WTF!

Since publishing my first book, I have rediscovered my love of reading. I have read over 50 books since the start of the year, and I'm willing to bet all of them are by authors none of you have ever heard of.

And that's a shame. Some of them are amazing authors, who have fantastic stories to tell.

But before I blast you all with a tidal wave of recommendations, let's throw the floor open. Who here loves to read? What are some of your favorite authors or books? Do you have an all-time favorite book? Do you cross multiple genres or is there one that you tend to stick to?

Well, when I was a kid, I loved the works of Roald Dahl and J.R.R. Tolkien, of course. As a teenager, I became interested in sci-fi, thanks to things like Star Trek, Star Wars and Dr. Who. I bought and read hundreds of the novels and novelizations. And then, when I got married, I stopped reading entirely.

Now, of course, I'm part of the literary world, and I find myself drawn to Young Adult books, which is not surprising given that I write in this genre, but totally ironic that it's a genre I never read when I WAS a young adult. But I have also dabbled in virtually every other fictional genre there is.

Here, of the 50 books I've perused in the past six months, are my ten favorites.



Into Shadow by T.D. Shields. – In the year 2259, Earth has been devastated by global war, bombings, and the melting of the polar icecaps. The North American Alliance is led by distinguished military hero President Walker, and the First Lady, his teenage daughter Poppy. Outwardly classy and diplomatic, Poppy is surprisingly strong and resilient, and her survival skills are put to the test when a violent coup has her running for her life. She must flee to the ruins of the city formerly known as Denver, where she must use all her cunning and bravery to survive. A truly riveting story, and I cannot wait for the conclusion of the saga, Into Light, which should come out later this year.

Lyric the Unknown by Jim Maher – A wave of darkness envelops the world, swallowing all in its path. Ten-year-old Lyric Bell awakens 50 years later, still a child, to find the remnants of humanity eking out a meager existence on the rooftops of the skyscrapers she once marveled at. All she has from her former life is the violin she loathed with every fiber of her being. But now, in a society where music is forbidden, she finds joy and solace in the thing she once hated. Beautiful, poignant, utterly wonderful.

Sunlight Parted by Sean Redenbaugh – This paranormal tale centers on Seth, a young man who wakes up naked on a dark, supernatural beach, next to an abandoned, run-down beach house on the shores of an unmoving ocean. And then, suddenly, he is at the side of the woman he adores, a mysterious lady named Sovannah. But just as he is about to embrace true happiness, he is returned to the same beach house, again and again. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this story. It is immaculately written, gut-wrenching, and has changed the way I view life and death. A modern masterpiece.

The Monsters Anonymous Club: Don’t Play with Dead Things by J.L. Lipp – The fact that this book is meant for middle-grade kids didn’t dampen my love for it. A story about a group of stalwart preteens who band together to investigate and battle spectral forces that rear their heads in the town of Bayview, Michigan is funny, endearing, and scary in all the right places. If you have kids or teens, get this book for them. It is absolutely worth whatever paltry sum you might pay for it.

The Institute by Kayla Howarth – You’ve likely heard of the YA dystopian series that have sold millions of copies, like Divergent and The Hunger Games. Well, if there were any justice, this series would be right alongside them. In the future, where the population has been decimated and every country has closed its borders, people with supernatural abilities (known as “Defectives”) pop up every now and then. They must hide themselves or be sent to The Institute, where society can be kept safe from them. Teenage girl Allira Daniels wants nothing more than to keep her Defective brother Shilah out of their clutches, but soon embarks on a journey that will force her to become the heroine she never dreamt she could be. Absolutely tremendous storytelling, and I can’t wait for the final chapter of the trilogy.

Lady Sun by Marni MacRae – I’d never read a romance novel before, and that’s what I thought I was getting when I started Lady Sun. But what I got instead was a gripping story of survival and adventure as we follow the travails of Sophia, a rancher seeking refuge from the memory of a bitter divorce on the remote islands of the Maldives. Near her destination, she meets Lucas, a Montana cowboy seeking the same solitude after a breakup of his own. But when their transport to paradise is hijacked by modern-day pirates, the two must work together to survive Mother Nature in all its fury. A story of love, dependence, and survival that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Locksmith’s Closet by Paul Briggs – When I read the blurb – “A solitary boy named Lachlan Smith finds a portal to the future in the closet of his new house” – I expected this to be a rollicking, plot-driven adventure story. Boy, was I surprised when it turned out exactly the opposite. As Lock explores a parallel Earth where humanity has been wiped out, searching for clues that might somehow prevent the catastrophe, the story takes a completely unexpected turn by delving deep into the characters, never letting you forget that the kids are still kids, with everyday, real-life problems. A true gem.

Skin Cage by Nico Laeser – I heard glowing review after glowing review about this book from fellow members of a Facebook author’s group I joined recently, so I had to check it out for myself. Boy, were the rave reviews justified. At the beginning, we meet Daniel, a teenage boy left a quadriplegic by a parasite, dependent on machines to survive and unable to communicate. We see life through his eyes as his condition affects those around him, and just like that, we segue into the life of David, an ex-journalist with terminal cancer. I won’t explain the connection between the two, but it is such a well-written, unique take on life, death, and transition that I would think you’d rather read about it yourself. It’s THAT good.

Henchmen by Eric Lahti – Imagine a gang of bad guys whose ultimate mission is to blow up Congress. Could you root for them? Well, what if I told you they were led by a seven-foot-tall blonde demigod named Eve who is super strong and immune to bullets? Really, what more do you need? This crime caper is told with such flair and humor that you’ll forget how insane the concept is and just go along for the ride, laughing nearly every step of the way. Pick this up; you’ll thank me.

What Happened to David by P.M. DeVuono – Just finished this a few days ago. Probably closer in theme and tone to Joshua’s Island than any book out there, this endearing story follows two mid-teens who meet at an “alternative” school in a section of Los Angeles where gang violence and death runs rampant. David and Mary make a connection based on events of their past, a past that includes bullying, bad friends,1 and worse enemies. I’m a sucker for young love (obviously), but this book made me read from beginning to end without stopping, and I was reaching for a tissue at the end of it. Absolutely beautiful.
Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby Chienfantome » June 20th, 2015, 4:01 am

Good thing to start this thread !
I've been a steady book reader since my childhood. When I was a kid and a teen and a yound adult, I spent a lot of times in libraries looking for boks to read. I did read young adult books when I was a teen, but it's a genre I've left years ago. When I was a teen my reads were crime novels, Agatha Christie and others of the same genre. Reading classics was something I did for school but I had no interest in reading them in myfree time.
For the last 12 or 15 years, My book tastes have expanded. What I prefer to do is change genres from one read to another. I'll read a contemporary japanese drama from Japanese author Murakami one week (one of my favourite authors), and then dive into a classic I've never read, like recently "A Hundred Years of Solitude" from Garcia Marquez. And then I'll take a brand new sci-fi novel before reading a contemporary French novel that won prizes.
I read a bit like I like to watch films (although I read much less boks than I watch films), I like to dive into all kinds of universes and styles. Right now I'm reading a collection of humoristic japanese short stories, and next should be a classic from Alexandre Dumas which I recently bought.

Like you guessed though, I had never heard of the ten books you mentioned.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby Shrykespeare » June 21st, 2015, 12:54 am

Anyone else care to contribute? If it's just me and Chien, this thread is going to die a quick death...
Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby numbersix » June 21st, 2015, 6:18 am

I'll post about a few recent reads in a moment. Got a busy weekend this weekend but during the week.

Think this thread is a great idea!
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby JohnErle » June 22nd, 2015, 1:22 am

Yeah, the weekend's not a great time for me to tackle something like this either, but it'll get around to it at some point. In the meantime, anyone who wants to know what I'm currently reading or my favourite books from the past, I'm on Goodreads, which is like IMDb for books, only more social. I think this link will work:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5756944-john
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby numbersix » June 22nd, 2015, 5:14 am

In advance of a note on what I've recently read, here's my Goodreads list:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5743678
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby undeadmonkey » June 22nd, 2015, 8:46 pm

from the moment I could read I was an avid book reader, I would read anything and everything. I remember in 5th grade reading David Copperfield, not for school, but just as some light reading one weekend. I read 2-3 books a week up until my middle teen years.

Now I might read 1-2 books a year, with the odd burst of binge-reading, a few years back I read all three hunger games in one weekend.

I read any book in any genre but sInce i read so little i tend to stick to my favorite genre, fantasy/sci-fi. Favorite being Brandon Sanderson, he has quite a few different series, and you can read them as stand-alone series, but they all occur in the same universe. Check out Mistborn or The Way of Kings. highly recommend those two.

Right now i'm reading The Providence of Fire second book of three in The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series. it has some unique characters and situation, but nothing that original plot-wise, so far. I'm still hoping it'll go out with a bang.


The Institute sounds intriguing, i'll look into it after i finish this book.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby numbersix » June 23rd, 2015, 5:40 am

Out of curiosity, UDM, how come you don't read as much anymore?

Before my current job, which involves a lot of reading (so I don't get to read novels much anymore), I went through phases where I'd read nothing for a few months and then suddenly start reading again. I'm pretty slow though,and sometimes it would take weeks to get through a book. Usually when on holidays or during Xmas I'll try to read a book.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby Shrykespeare » June 23rd, 2015, 8:45 am

Saw you gave a book a 1-star rating on GR, Six. Never heard of the book or the author, but I'm curious as to why!
Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby numbersix » June 23rd, 2015, 9:07 am

Must be Tarry Flynn, by Patrick Kavanagh. Kavanagh is a celebrated 20th Century Irish poet. I hated his work. Full of the cliches of rural Ireland. And his novel was an utter bore, a drag to get through. I had to read it for highschool and it was agony. Fortunately that year we were allowed to do Catcher in the Rye.

The only other book I've given that rating to is Crichton's Congo. While not as cheesy as the film, it's still a waste of time.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby JohnErle » June 23rd, 2015, 1:49 pm

I do like to read, but I don't do it as much as I used to when I was a kid. For me to enjoy reading I have to have a significant chunk of time free from distractions or obligations, and that kind of leisure time is harder and harder to come by. I don't enjoy reading during my breaks at work, or in the park, and reading on the bus would only give me a headache, so lying in bed alone with the phone turned off and the blinds closed is the only time I can truly lose myself in a book. In that sense, my reading is like my movie watching: I crave 100% focus.

After getting a Kindle a few years ago I started reading more than I had been, and oddly enough I started buying a lot more books as well. I probably spend more time browsing in bookstores than I do actually reading, and I frequently have to remind myself that I have way too many books at home I haven't read yet, so I really don't need that latest find, lest I become a book hoarder.

According to Goodreads, my most frequently read authors are John LeCarre, Robert Harris, and Patricia Highsmith, but that's not counting all the Stephen King books I devoured as a kid. I read pretty much everything he wrote from Carrie straight through Misery, but I haven't read anything since then.

Right now I'm working my way through Strangers On Train, which is not as good as the Ripley books or the movie, but still interesting, and also Let's Pretend This Never Happened, a funny memoir by Jenny Lawson, which is the kind of book that's easier to digest in small chunks for busy people on the go.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby undeadmonkey » June 23rd, 2015, 2:52 pm

I'm the same, I hate being interrupted. which is why my time spent reading is much less than it used to be.

Weirdly, now when I read most is during the summer. Where I grew up we never went camping, but where I live now its almost a monthly thing (if not more) and I bring books to read when camping. Also, when i'm flying, but I don't fly that often.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby Chienfantome » June 23rd, 2015, 4:53 pm

When I was a teen I used to read at home and on vacation. When I started taking the subway to go high school, college, and work, I started reading in public transportation. Now that I work 10 minutes away by bus from where I live, I don't read as much as I used to. And now the time of the year I read the most is during my holidays. If I spend a couple of weeks in the South of France during summer, I'll read as many boks there as I read during the rest of the year, probably.

Speaking of King, anyone read his 11/22/63 book he published 3 or 4 years ago ? I bought it recently, it's gonna be one of my next reads.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby Shrykespeare » June 23rd, 2015, 5:54 pm

You'll love The Institute, UDM.
Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
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Re: THE REEL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB

Postby Leestu » June 24th, 2015, 1:49 am

I read a lot during summer and not much at all during winter, which we're in the middle of now, so currently I am in between books. The last two books I read were From a Buick 6 by Stephen King, and S. by Doug Dorst & JJ Abrams. S. was a unique and fascinating read even if ultimately I was left a little disappointed at the end. I mainly read horror and fantasy when I was young but now I don't restrict myself to any particular genre, I'll read nearly anything.
Most recently watched: The Handmaiden 8/10
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