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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
When you're not painting your stairs, what are you reading?

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 21 2012, 2:14pm

Post #1 of 24 (354 views)
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When you're not painting your stairs, what are you reading? Can't Post

What a perfect thread to lie beneath this one, DLB! I could come up with some involved simile about climbing the stairs of your favorite books to reach the one you're reading now, but let's just get to the point: What are you reading?

(For myself, I've been out of town and haven't yet finished the book on the English guy among the Navajos, but I have proof-read a friend's novella, and there is the usual stack of magazines---I mean, you subscribe to these things so they'll arrive in your mailbox, and they they arrive in your mailbox....)

Smile

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Aug 21 2012, 3:10pm

Post #2 of 24 (155 views)
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Cryptonomicon and the next Pern book [In reply to] Can't Post

I finished Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson and ended up sorely disappointed. I've talked before about how I enjoy goal-oriented books (there's a goal, progress towards the goal, and a resolution) more than books where the journey itself is the ultimate story. Well, Stephenson takes us on this wonderful (and very long) journey, leaving me turning pages anticipating how everything is going to be resolved in some amazing conclusion, and then....poof, the book just ends with a whimper. It didn't help that the book ended at 88% through on my Kindle - there's another 12% of "stuff" (author interviews, etc.) after the story. I was thinking I had a good hundred pages left to go of cool plot resolution and wham it just ended. Wait! What?! I found it a very frustrating way to end a book that had kept me enthralled for weeks. Some searching around on the net reveals that I'm not alone in this feeling, and this is a bit of a Stephenson trademark in other books as well. Ahh well, for those less bothered by completely open plot threads, the book is a fascinating read.

I've moved on and just started Dragonquest, the second book in the Dragon Riders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey.

Perhaps you could write to Smithsonian and ask them to go every other month, or publish less interesting topics?

Notta

How will you get to the Lonely Mountain?

Help TORn log enough miles to get us to Smaug's home by Dec. 2013: Walk to Rivendell - Thursdays on Main (image courtesy of Arwen's daughter)


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 21 2012, 3:28pm

Post #3 of 24 (130 views)
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How disappointing! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm reminded of when a good friend of mine discovered FotR, waaay back before it was generally known. She didn't realize it was the first of three books---and it didn't say so on the cover, which has led her to comment, "Marketing was obviously in its infancy then" Wink When she got to the end she was nonplussed, and thought, "Well, it's just one of those weird British books...."

Imagine her delight when she fell over a copy of TT in a drugstore rack one day!

All that said, I, too, would be bothered by open plot threads. I'm sure the Pern book will come through for you, though.

Yes, the Smithsonian people are way too good at their jobs. Tongue

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Aug 21 2012, 5:31pm

Post #4 of 24 (145 views)
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I finished "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", started "Farewell Summer" [In reply to] Can't Post

ZAMM grew on me as I read, and by the end I was totally hooked. It's an autobiographical story. A man and his eleven-year-old son go on a road trip from the midwest to the west coast. The man had a nervous breakdown and had shock treatment, and only remembers a few flashes of his former life, but there are pages and pages of philosophical writings that he wrote, and is able to go back and read now. He thinks of the person who wrote those pages as a separate entity that he calls "Phaedrus". As time goes by, he feels haunted by Phaedrus, and struggles against what comes to feel like at attempt at possession.

The philosophy bored me at first, but though I didn't ever buy into it, it came to be interesting in a kind of anthropological way. He also talks some about math, which I enjoyed. The story about the academic wars made me glad I went into math: you don't get departments fighting over whether algebra or geometry is right.

And the ending was absolutely gripping. I really enjoyed this, enough that when I finished my kindle edition, I bought a hard copy.

"Farewell Summer" surprised the heck out of me. It's Ray Bradbury's sequel to "Dandelion Wine", written fifty years later. I saw it on the shelf and was stunned because I didn't know it existed. "Dandelion Wine" is my favorite of his books, so finding a sequel was a real treat. I'm only a quarter of the way in or so, but it's a fairly short book. It's the story of the boy Doug and his friends declaring war on the old men of the school board who want to make summer vacation shorter. And of course in the end it's all about death, and about life in the face of death. Lovely, lovely writing, as one would expect.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



RosieLass
Valinor


Aug 21 2012, 6:24pm

Post #5 of 24 (153 views)
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Started Salamandastron by Brian Jacques. [In reply to] Can't Post

Another of the Redwall series.

I'm not very far (only ten pages in) but it's starting to sound very familiar already...another ruthless, murderous despot whose followers are too cowed to do anything but blindly obey his every command. You'd think at some point, one of these clowns would push someone too far and wake up with a dagger in his gizzard.

But maybe that's just me.

I've also started "Three Men in a Boat" (again) on my Kindle, and I have less than 45 minutes left on my audiobook (21 hours total) of Trollope's "Doctor Thorne." The doctor is about to spill the beans and make it possible for everyone to live happily ever after.

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


acheron
Gondor


Aug 21 2012, 8:25pm

Post #6 of 24 (117 views)
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yeah, it does kind of do that [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe I should have warned you last week. Wink

If you enjoyed Cryptonomicon, you could give the Baroque Cycle a try. Three (long) books, set in the 1700s or so, mostly involving ancestors of Cryptonomicon characters. Some similar themes to Cryptonomicon, mainly in the realm of money and economics, but also a lot of history of science and math. And swordfighting and pirates.

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars, and so on -- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons. -- Douglas Adams


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Aug 21 2012, 8:35pm

Post #7 of 24 (131 views)
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Swordfighting and pirates?! I'm all in! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, that's OK about not warning, by the time last week rolled around, I was all in anyway. I'd have been just as disappointed at that point.

I don't think I'll pick up a Stephenson book anytime soon. I really enjoyed his writing, but the ending left me too disappointed - probably more so since I enjoyed the writing so much. Maybe someday, as I understand there is more info in the Baroque Cycle about a mysterious character at the uh, "root" of many odd occurrences in Cryptonomicon.

Oh - and by the way, this is an incredibly belated THANKS for your response to a a post of mine many months ago. I asked about Roman naming systems and you responded with a very long, very informative post. I'm sorry I got so busy that I didn't respond, but I did read it and very much enjoyed it - thanks!

Notta

How will you get to the Lonely Mountain?

Help TORn log enough miles to get us to Smaug's home by Dec. 2013: Walk to Rivendell - Thursdays on Main (image courtesy of Arwen's daughter)


Annael
Half-elven


Aug 21 2012, 11:03pm

Post #8 of 24 (128 views)
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Working through Charlaine Harris's "Shakespeare" murder mysteries [In reply to] Can't Post

I love her sassy heroines. This one, Lily Bard, is darker - she's a survivor of a horrendous rape, which has colored her world - but she's still got that Harris flair.

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Aug 21 2012, 11:13pm

Post #9 of 24 (126 views)
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Still on "Unfinished Tales"...and a manga series. [In reply to] Can't Post

Trust me, you couldn't judge me any harder than I am judging myself.

I will pretty much read ANYTHING. Unsure I like to think I have some degree of taste in my favorites though.


Elberbeth
Tol Eressea


Aug 21 2012, 11:21pm

Post #10 of 24 (108 views)
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I wasn't aware of these [In reply to] Can't Post

but I looked them up and there seem to be a lot of them -- would I be right that the first one is Shakespeare's Landlord, from 1996? And are they a series or stand-alones?

"There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."


acheron
Gondor


Aug 22 2012, 3:13am

Post #11 of 24 (119 views)
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Understood [In reply to] Can't Post

I will leave it as a recommendation for "someday" then. I think it ends rather better than Cryptonomicon, but he does have three books to work with.

Originally Stephenson started writing Cryptonomicon with plots in 3 time periods: WWII, modern day 1999, and near future (2030s or something). Eventually he cut out the near future part and thought about turning it into a sequel, but then I guess he got distracted with the 1700s period instead, and I don't know if he has any plans to ever revisit it.

Glad you liked that Roman names post. I wrote it all at once without really proofreading, so there is a fairly major mistake in there: I said that Brutus' name was "Marcus Brutus" with no cognomen, but "Brutus" is of course his cognomen; his full name was "Marcus Junius Brutus". I believe I was mixing him up with Caesar's friend Marcus Antonius (more well known to the English world in the translated form "Mark Antony", thanks to Shakespeare), who indeed did not have a cognomen.

So there we go; finally got a chance to correct that. Cool

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars, and so on -- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons. -- Douglas Adams


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 22 2012, 2:03pm

Post #12 of 24 (109 views)
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I'm not aware of Farewell Summer, either [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll have to look it up. Yes, anything from Bradbury is beautifully written.

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 22 2012, 2:07pm

Post #13 of 24 (86 views)
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I saw a cartoon of one of the Redwall books [In reply to] Can't Post

This was many years ago, and I'm sure it wasn't any more representative of the books than Rankin-Bass is of The Hobbit. It sounds as though the series (or perhaps the author) is getting a bit tired, but really, trying to work again and again within certain parameters can wear out your options.

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 22 2012, 2:09pm

Post #14 of 24 (85 views)
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Harris has great style, doesn't she? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sad to say, that one aspect of the Lily Bard series is autobiographical Unsure I'm not a fan of her vampire novels, but I'm delighted they've been so successful for her, and are drawing attention to her earlier books.

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 22 2012, 2:10pm

Post #15 of 24 (92 views)
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No need to apologize for having broad horizons! [In reply to] Can't Post

And since you're a Tolkien fan, you obviously have superior taste Tongue

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Annael
Half-elven


Aug 22 2012, 4:28pm

Post #16 of 24 (80 views)
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Yes, "Landlord" is first [In reply to] Can't Post

and it's a short series of five books that do need to be read in order:
Shakespeare's Landlord
Shakespeare's Champion
Shakespeare's Christmas
Shakespeare's Trollop
Shakespeare's Counselor

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Magpie
Immortal


Aug 22 2012, 6:42pm

Post #17 of 24 (98 views)
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There was a cartoon series based on Redwall, Mattimeo and Martin the Warrior. [In reply to] Can't Post

that ran for three seasons on PBS. We never watched it in our household but it must have come on just before or after something we watched.

According to wikipedia, it was well received by fans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/.../Redwall_(TV_series)


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Aug 22 2012, 7:20pm

Post #18 of 24 (87 views)
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New 'Doctor Who' Hardcover [In reply to] Can't Post

Just started on the new Doctor Who novel Shada by Gareth Roberts, based on the unproduced teleplay by the late Douglas Adams.

"Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house." - Aragorn


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 22 2012, 7:48pm

Post #19 of 24 (62 views)
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Thanks for the link [In reply to] Can't Post

I must have seen only the first couple of episodes. With my children having grown up and left home, but not having produced children of their own yet, I'm sure I thought it was cute but wasn't motivated to keep on watchng.

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 22 2012, 7:49pm

Post #20 of 24 (120 views)
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Ah, yes! Shada! [In reply to] Can't Post

Since I had followed Magpie's link to Wikipedia, I looked this up, too---and yes, just as I thought, it's the uncompleted Tom Baker/Lalla Ward episode that we see a few moments of in The Five Doctors. I didn't know that there was an audio version with Paul McGann, though.

The story has an impressive enough pedigree. I hope the book turns out to be a good one!

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Eventides
Tol Eressea

Aug 24 2012, 6:07pm

Post #21 of 24 (59 views)
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Hey now, don't apologize! [In reply to] Can't Post

I myself have become a complete and total manga and anime fan after having gotten into the stuff in late 2010, and I'm proud to say so! :)

Hope you enjoy both the Unfinished Tales and the manga!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Eventides' Website: ListenUpReviews.com - Rockin' Choices In Entertainment!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"I stepped out of my body to let God slide in; although I'm still dressed in flesh that I spiritually died in. Alive in Christ a new creation started breathin', Life exists and through this came completion. ... I'm not that person anymore (more!)! That's what blood was shed for! No longer a failure, livin' life more abundantly, therefore you'll never see me livin' less than victory."
John Reuben.

"Desperation, needing You; every last breath I scream for You. Shatter me into a million pieces, make me new. ... Break me, mold me, make me what You want me to be; I am Yours, for You to use, so take and replace me with You."
Family Force 5.

"Under a light in Bethlehem, I was sifting through the sand; the saline burned my eyes, I was looking for Your hand. I gave up on myself, and left my pride disarmed; I cried out 'I'm alone!' and found myself in Your arms. 'Rest in Me, oh, My love; I have loved you before the world began. Rest in Me, oh, My love; you'll never wander too far to reach My hand.'"
Showbread.


Laitholiel_the_SeaElf
Lorien


Aug 25 2012, 5:38am

Post #22 of 24 (61 views)
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I really need someone to convince me to keep reading the "Sword of Truth" series. [In reply to] Can't Post

Because I have to say, right now I am 52 pages in and I have been cringing most of the way. I get the feeling that I might have enjoyed this if it was one of my first forays into fantasy and I was in middle school. Alas, I've just come down from having read two amazing fantasy novels so far this year: "The Way of Kings" and "The Kingkiller Chronicles."

My initial complaints: it feels juvenile, the characters are one-dimensional, it's melodramatic ("hello, nice to meet you, we're bestest friends now, right?" -- ok, so I might be paraphrasing) and I'm having a hard time buying anything that is happening (Michael groping Kahlan seconds after meeting her). Even the language feels stiff and unnatural. Also: he's repetitive and indulges in WAY too much description -- the dialogue doesn't get to speak for itself, it has to be shored up with lots of descriptors.

I guess my question is simple: does it get better? Is it worth plowing ahead? I mean, I read Twilight and managed to get some enjoyment out of it (despite Bella's constant state of breathlessness). Will my patience be rewarded if I stick with this?




But you are what you love,
And not what loves you back.
And I'm in love with illusions
So saw me in half.
I'm in love with tricks
So pull another rabbit out your hat.




Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Aug 25 2012, 8:11pm

Post #23 of 24 (42 views)
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IMO the first book is the best of the series, [In reply to] Can't Post

so if you're not enjoying it now, move on to something else - especially as the series gets to be very hard work after book four.

Have you looked at Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series? (It starts with Kushiel's Dart.) This is pure fantasy with a very strong sexual theme (don't say you weren't warned). Phedre and the man she ends up with are my favourite pairing in all the fantasy books I've read.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


kiwifan
Rohan

Aug 26 2012, 12:14pm

Post #24 of 24 (87 views)
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Life is too short to waste on books you don't enjoy [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, so you're probably several decades younger than I am and have more years ahead of you but still, there are so many good books out there that I wouldn't go on reading something that makes you cringe all the time (unless you're into litarary masochism Evil).

A year or so ago, I was given a trilogy of novels by Pamela Aidan about Mr. Darcy (from 'Pride and Prejudice) and after ploughing through those, I was really mad at myself for wasting so much time on a set of extremely badly-written books. It took me almost longer to erase all the pencil annotations I'd made in the margins than to read them, and I traded them in again immediately (I often donate books I don't want to keep to the public library but these were so awful that I wouldn't inflict them on any unsuspecting library patron). I only read them because, like you, I was hoping they would improve, and because 'Pride and Prejudice' is one of my all-time favourite novels. But this 'Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman' trilogy is nothing but very bad fanfiction containing so many mistakes (sometimes several on one page, and on an average one per page) that it's really annoying for anyone familiar with the Regency period of English history.

I hope you'll find something more rewarding to read very soon!

'Goodness gracious, you really are a messie!' 'Oh no, I'm not, these are all just mathoms...'

 
 

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