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Re: Do you avoid 'YA'? What does it mean? No, I don't avoid books that might be interesting because someone else decided I'm not their target audience. It just means I might interpret the material differently from the target demographic. Some people write to that demographic, some don't worry about it. Either is fine.

There are lots of reasons to read a book in the first place too. I have friends who teach who have read all of the Twilight books, not so much for enjoyment, but because they noticed their students reading them and decided to see what the fuss was about. It can't be uncommon for books in a house to get read by everyone in that house regardless of age, especially if there are younger people there (if only for the parents to keep up on what media their kids are consuming).

Point in fact, there are books which I read a kid that actually became more interesting when I got older and reread them (Baum's Oz books spring to mind). There are also books where I went "I read that? And liked it?! I was such an idiot!" That's okay too.

It might be more interesting to ask which parts of YA are speaking to a broader audience than getting the vapors over "the wrong people" are reading it.

July 09, 2014, 10:39:00 PM
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Nice Dragons Finish Last Nice Dragons Finish Last  by Rachel Aaron

Has anyone read it yet?

I loved her Eli Monpress series  so I'm  really looking forward to her take on urban fantasy still need to read her sci-fi Paradox  :) as well

Here's an interview by Fantasy Book Critic if anyone's interested

http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/interview-with-rachel-aaron-interviewed.html

July 23, 2014, 07:42:03 PM
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The Wee Free Men - Week 1 Chapters 1 -3 Debating whether to read this all in one go,or just read the allocated chapters every week. The issue with reading it in one go is that I would probably finish in a day, and my thoughts would be in one big dollop rather than split into 4 digestible parts.

Anyhow.  I am glad we chose the Wee Free Men, as when Pratchett wrote for the Young Adult audience he was at most tightly plotted.  Some of his adult books famously go on quite lengthy diversions!  Also the Wee Free Men is a great introduction to two of the most interesting themes of Pratchett's writings : Headology, and Pratchett as the feminist. 

Headology is Pratchett's own version of psychology, used foremostly by the Witches, but Commander Vimes of the City Watch, and Susan Sto Helit are also practitioners.  Headology rests on the principle that what people believe is real.   Therefore vampires can be defeated by garlic and holy symbols, a million to one chance will always work, and a Jenny Green-Teeth can only be defeated by an iron frying pan (not a branch.)   

A witch in the Discworld is not someone who uses magic (as Miss Tick explains magic is the very last resort, though we do see her scrying) but someone who uses headology.  Miss Tick wear a straw hat with flowers on, but which can turn into a pointed hat when she needs to impress that she is a witch,(with a talking familiar by her side.)   Though already I wonder if Miss Tick has fallen victim to headology, she claims she can't do 'magic' as she is on chalk, and chalk doesn't grow witches, but yet the chalk has produced Granny and Tiffany Aching as witches. Can she only not do magic on chalk, because she has always been led to believe she can't do magic on chalk?  And yes, perceptions are vital in this novel.  Mrs Snapperly is not a witch, merely an old woman who lives alone with no teeth, yet her house is burned down, and she is left to die out in the cold. Granny Aching is clearly a witch, yet she was revered and love by all in the community.   

I also think of 'headology' as operating by pure, sheer bloody minded common sense.  There is a monster in the river with eyes as big as saucers?  Well find some bait (even if it is your annoying little brother), and whack it around the head with something bigger than a saucer.  Granny Aching never does magic per se, yet she knows the remedy for every sheep ailment, and has built up an almost telepathic understanding with her sheep dogs, and knows exactly where a young lamb might have ended up on a stormy night by knowing the land like the palm of her hand.  Which is of course one of the ways that Pratchett playfully twists the traditions of the genre.  In most fantasy novels our characters collect magical items, and level up in order to defeat the evil threats to the magical kingdom,yet in the Discworld (a flat world on the back of 4 elephants on the back of a giant turtle), logic, common sense, and psychologically manipulating people will win the day.

And yes, Pratchett as a feminist.  This is a male writer who wrote fantastic female characters.  Hands up who can name a single male character so far in the book?  (The brother who wants 'toilet' and the Dad with the bad jokes?)  yet we have already met a really well drawn and intelligent 9 year old girl, and two very different witches in Miss Tick and Granny Aching.  And not a love triangle in sight. The females in his books had agency, and were living breathing and believable characters.  I tip my fedora to your, Sir Terry. 

March 30, 2015, 09:57:53 AM
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Re: The Wee Free Men - Week 1 Chapters 1 -3 Good post, erm...Nighteyes.  ???

Regarding 'headology' and it 'operating by pure, sheer bloody minded common sense' - that certainly seems to be Pratchett's favourite mode of thinking throughout the entire series, at least when it comes down to the protagonists winning out in the end. I remember in one of the earlier books (possibly Equal Rites) he is talking about the differences between wizards and witches and - headology probably not having its 'name' at this point - says something along the lines of 'Wizards use their hearts while Witches use their heads'. I'm pretty sure Granny is the one who says it. Definitely something that comes up time and time again and really a great theme to use as the backbone for his YA sequence and Tiffany.

Anyway, more specifically onto the book: Tiffany Aching is great isn't she? Such an immediately strong and believable protagonist, having just the right tone of voice to support being the main point-of-view as well as being still a little girl. She has that inquisitive forthright nature you see in plenty of kids plus she's a witch to boot, so you just know she'll be a fascinating character to follow.

There's really not much to separate this from one of his adult books. Tiffany's young and as Nighteyes/Gariath/thehound/Dom has said his adult books tend to ramble off all the time and these have a firmer plot. Apart from that this is Discworld as usual - rich, hilarious and intensely clever.

As I'm on audiobook I'm not 100% sure where Ch.3 ends. Have we met the Feegles properly by this point?

I'll assume we've met Miss Tick properly anyway. The following scene summed her up for me and had me laughing out loud:

“Miss Tick sniffed. 'You could say this advice is priceless,' she said. 'Are you listening?'
'Yes,' said Tiffany.
'Good. Now ... if you trust in yourself ...'
'Yes?'
'... and believe in your dreams ...'
'Yes?'
'... and follow your star ...' Miss Tick went on.
'Yes?'
'... you'll still get beaten by people who spent THEIR time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Goodbye.”


I'll always, always have a soft spot for books featuring the Witches, but even just a few chapters in I can see why The Wee Free Men was so lauded and is such a fantastic entry point for kids (and really, anyone) to get into the Discworld.

I hope others are enjoying it this much!

March 30, 2015, 10:50:27 AM
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Re: Member birthday calendar
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARRY !!!

Hope you have a fantastic day  :D
And great to see you again, Jeni.  :)

April 05, 2015, 07:11:15 PM
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Re: Member birthday calendar
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARRY !!!

Hope you have a fantastic day  :D
And great to see you again, Jeni.  :)

Happy Birthday Arry and where have you been Jeni? welcome back  :)

April 05, 2015, 07:19:48 PM
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Re: Misc. thread
@Idlewilder, @Eclipse, @Jeni - where are you? How far did I leave you behind? ;)
Let me assure you that Assail is totally worth your time. In some ways Esslemont surpasses Erikson in Blood and Bone and Assail. Try them out. :)

I only got as far as the end of the first part of Dust of Dreams before my head imploded and I literally couldn't concentrate long enough to read more than a page at a time .... thought I was getting back to normal a few months ago but then had a bit of a relapse... I have actually read nearly 3 books over the last month so I'm getting back to normal, but I might leave it another month or so before I head back to Malazan to finish the series.

I'm just happy you okay  :)

April 06, 2015, 03:27:50 PM
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Re: Misc. thread Indeed! All the best and take your time. :)
April 06, 2015, 03:46:22 PM
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Re: Member birthday calendar Thanks for all the birthday Name Day wishes!!!

Thought I would virtually share my cake with all of you:
Spoiler for Hiden:

And @Jeni Great to see you post  ;D

April 06, 2015, 05:23:38 PM
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Re: Misc. thread
@Idlewilder, @Eclipse, @Jeni - where are you? How far did I leave you behind? ;)
Let me assure you that Assail is totally worth your time. In some ways Esslemont surpasses Erikson in Blood and Bone and Assail. Try them out. :)

I only got as far as the end of the first part of Dust of Dreams before my head imploded and I literally couldn't concentrate long enough to read more than a page at a time .... thought I was getting back to normal a few months ago but then had a bit of a relapse... I have actually read nearly 3 books over the last month so I'm getting back to normal, but I might leave it another month or so before I head back to Malazan to finish the series.

Hey Jeni! Great to see you back - I'm glad you're starting to feel better.  :)

April 06, 2015, 06:22:52 PM
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