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No fooling! It's the beginning of April reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Apr 2 2013, 1:10pm

Post #1 of 20 (192 views)
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No fooling! It's the beginning of April reading thread! Can't Post

I've just finished Poisoned Pens: Literary Invective from Amis to Zola, Edited by Gary Dexter.

This is a book of short excerpts from authors critiquing (often pretty nastily) other authors, ranging from Aristophanes on Socrates to Harold Bloom on J.K. Rowling. Dexter breaks the sections up into "Contempt for the Classics", "Rancour for the Romantics", and so forth.

One bit that made me laugh out loud was Mark Twain writing about James Fenimore Cooper's The Deerslayer (and, by extension, The Last of the Mohicans), in 1895. The last part of Twain's essay "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences" reads:
"Cooper's gift in the way of invention was not a rich endowment; but such as it was, he liked to work it, he was pleased with the effects, and indeed he did some quite sweet things with it. In his little box of stage properties he kept six or eight cunning devices, tricks, artifices for his savages and woodsmen to deceive and circumvent each other with, and he was ever so happy as when he was working these innocent things and seeing them go.

"A favorite one was to make a moccasined person tread in the tracks of the moccasined enemy, and thus hide his own trail; Cooper wore out barrels and barrels of moccasins working that trick.

"Another stage-property that he pulled out of his box fairly frequently was his broken twig. He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects, and worked it the hardest. It is a restful chapter in any book of his when somebody doesn't step on a dry twig and alarm all the reds and white for two hundred yards around. Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he is sure to step on a dry twig.

"There may be a hundred handier things to step on, but that wouldn't satisfy Cooper. Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can't do it, go and borrow one. In fact, the Leather Stocking Series ought to have been called the Broken Twig Series."

You can tell that's Mark Twain, can't you?

And now I must leave y'all to talk among yourselves---I have an early dentist's appointment, hopefully NOT for an adventure! Unsure




Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 2 2013, 1:51pm

Post #2 of 20 (119 views)
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a girl will search [In reply to] Can't Post

 
a girl will search and find this book, and thanks the fair faibairn for the mention.

lovely twain also eschewed jane austen, for reasons unknown to this girl.

however, if a girl finds this book to delve too much into the unknown, a girl will have to put down the book and pick up knitting needles.

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Annael
Half-elven


Apr 2 2013, 2:56pm

Post #3 of 20 (99 views)
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"The Children's Book" by A.S. Byatt [In reply to] Can't Post

So far, every bit as amazing and seductive as "Possession." Set around the turn of the century and peopled with artistic, free-thinking types who are of course quite eccentric. A young working-class lad with a gift for pottery is found and taken up by the group. She spends as much time with the children as with the adults. One of the women is an author who also maintains perpetually-growing stories for each of her many children, and we get to read those too, just like we got to read all the poems by the two poets in "Possession." Beautifully done; I'm enjoying it immensely.

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


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Apr 2 2013, 5:16pm

Post #4 of 20 (94 views)
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From Pratchett to Carriger [In reply to] Can't Post

Finished A Hatful of Sky by Terry Pratchett - great Pratchett as always. Could have used a bit more Wee Free Men, but what book can't? I look forward to picking up more Tiffany Aching books in the near future.

For now, I've moved on to my e-Boxed Set of the Parasol Protectorate books. I've never read any of them, but they've got a number of fans here so I picked up the boxed set for my Kindle - complete with e-corrugated e-cardboard, I suppose. Steam-punk London isn't exactly my favorite place, but my short dip into the first book is so-far-so-good.

And - I just noticed your final post in last-week's thread - nice tree! :)

Hope the dentist wasn't too adventurous -

Notta

Happiness: money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important and so are friends, while envy is toxic -- and so is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner as summarized by Lily Fairbairn. And a bit of the Hobbit reading thrown in never hurts. - NottaSackville


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Apr 2 2013, 7:24pm

Post #5 of 20 (84 views)
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I never figured out... [In reply to] Can't Post

...Twain's aversion to Austen, either. Maybe he just didn't get that drama happens in drawing rooms as well as on riverboats.




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Apr 2 2013, 7:25pm

Post #6 of 20 (77 views)
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Ooohhh.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I love Possession. It's right up there with The Name of the Rose on my list of difficult-but-rewarding books. I'll have to check this one out, too.




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Apr 2 2013, 7:27pm

Post #7 of 20 (82 views)
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E-corrugated e-cardboard? [In reply to] Can't Post

Well yes, if it's a boxed set. I have to confess that I'm not a huge fan of Carriger's books, but then, I've only read one. The set-up of her world is intriguing and nicely done, though.

Why thank you! I've enjoyed the tree. I didn't enjoy my visit to the dentist, but it was a lot better than going down to the local blacksmith and having him pull the tooth. Pirate




NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Apr 2 2013, 7:59pm

Post #8 of 20 (74 views)
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A blacksmith "dentist"? shudders // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Happiness: money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important and so are friends, while envy is toxic -- and so is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner as summarized by Lily Fairbairn. And a bit of the Hobbit reading thrown in never hurts. - NottaSackville


One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Apr 2 2013, 10:09pm

Post #9 of 20 (78 views)
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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm still working along with the Tolkien biography, but this finally arrived at my door after making an amazon order a couple weeks back now (it had to cross country apparently). I'm already well over halfway (didn't realize how short it is), and will likely finish it later on tonight (barring any interruptions), but so far it's a regular stroll down memory lane. I first read it back in Grade 4, and I remember taking it with me (as luck would have it) across the country on account of my dad's birthday. Reading about Turkish delights and dinner with beavers is striking right at home, despite the fact that I only read the book once and haven't granted it much thought since then. Really good stuff, plus there's something about Lewis' writing that feels quite modern to me despite its traditional roots.

Poisoned Pens sounds pretty interesting, by the way. That sounds like something keep handy on the nightstand. Smile

Stigmata Script, a bastion for aspiring writers - http://stigmatascript.com/

"You do not let your eyes see nor your ears hear, and that which is outside your daily life is not of account to you. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Apr 3 2013, 2:20pm

Post #10 of 20 (61 views)
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I have to wonder... [In reply to] Can't Post

...if the old tale about blacksmiths pulling teeth is right up there with "And I had to walk to school uphill both ways". But then, what else did people do back before dentists? A blacksmith would have the proper equipment for grasping and pulling and....

I think I'll just drop the subject Shocked




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Apr 3 2013, 2:23pm

Post #11 of 20 (56 views)
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Ah, a classic! [In reply to] Can't Post

That said, I'm not sure I've ever read any of the Narnia books, or whether I've just heard so much about them I feel as though I've read them. Are you planning to go on with the others in the series?

Poisoned Pens would make a great nightstand book, yes. The pieces are short, and some of them are so dry they'll knock you right out. Tongue




One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Apr 3 2013, 3:00pm

Post #12 of 20 (54 views)
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I'm thinking about it, [In reply to] Can't Post

My only intention at the start was to read LWW, but if they're all as short as this I might consider it. As of right now, though, I'm content with just reading this (I do have other books on my shelf to think about).

Stigmata Script, a bastion for aspiring writers - http://stigmatascript.com/

"You do not let your eyes see nor your ears hear, and that which is outside your daily life is not of account to you. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Apr 3 2013, 4:06pm

Post #13 of 20 (43 views)
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Other books on your shelf? [In reply to] Can't Post

How did this happen, I ask wryly, considering the large stack of books on my own coffee table Smile




Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Apr 3 2013, 9:34pm

Post #14 of 20 (48 views)
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Paradox in Oz [In reply to] Can't Post

This is another one by Edward Einhorn, illustrated by Eric Shanower. In this one, Ozma meets a Parrot-Ox (see what he did there?) and travels back in time, thus creating a time-travel paradox by changing the past. The fun thing about this book for die-hard Oz fans is that it explains many of the inconsistencies in the original Oz series: Is Ozma blonde or brunette? Is the Munchkin country in the east or the west? Is the Wizard a good guy or a somewhat morally-challenged guy or a downright villain? All of these could be true depending on which alternative future you're in.

My favorite thing in the whole book, (and other fans commented on this at amazon) was an illustration of several possible Ozes in the "ozziverse". In it we find Judy Garland in one spot, and Michael Jackson in another, and the Ozma from the old silent movies, and Laurel and Hardy from the 1925 version, and the Hannah-Barbera cartoon version of Dorothy, and several others, including--dear to my heart--an illustration of Dorothy from the very first Oz book I ever owned, the 1950 picture book illustrated by Anton Loeb <3

The author and illustrator are clearly both Oz geeks.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Apr 4 2013, 8:25am

Post #15 of 20 (30 views)
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Ack! I didn't stop reading this post soon enough. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Apr 4 2013, 1:31pm

Post #16 of 20 (26 views)
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How very clever! [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the way geeks can transform and recombine different elements of a universe. Or even interleave different universes. A Parrot-Ox!




Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Apr 4 2013, 1:35pm

Post #17 of 20 (27 views)
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Here's what a Parrot-Ox looks like [In reply to] Can't Post

Cover illustration


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Ciars
Rohan


Apr 5 2013, 3:31pm

Post #18 of 20 (21 views)
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Snow bound reading! [In reply to] Can't Post

We had what is now being called a "Spring Blizzard" last week resulting in power loss, school closures, impassable roads and huge snow drifts which freed up time for me to delve into the two books that have been sitting begging me to read!
First: Robin Hobbs Blood of dragons - a real page turner, don't want to give away too much but a few characters really get their just desserts, becoming dragon food and we finally see the plot come together, the characters are true to themselves and the elderling legacy comes to life through silver.
Second - The Daylight war Peter Brett - the latest in the Demon cycle series, I have a few chapters left but again new life seems to have reinvigorated the series, Arlen has become more human even though he has more demonic powers than before and Leesa has become a force to be reckoned with.


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Apr 5 2013, 9:25pm

Post #19 of 20 (15 views)
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Nothing like good books... [In reply to] Can't Post

...to get you through a spring blizzard. Were you reading by candlelight, or was your power out only briefly? After a while you were probably hoping for one of those dragons to come and breathe on the snowdrifts!




Ciars
Rohan


Apr 6 2013, 2:47pm

Post #20 of 20 (26 views)
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Flickering [In reply to] Can't Post

The power went for about an hour but then for the next few days flickered on and off without warning,luckily I have battery powered candles so it was ok, a few dragons would have been handy as the roads were really bad!

 
 

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