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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
It's the searching-for-a-substitute reading thread

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jul 30 2013, 2:10pm

Post #1 of 20 (280 views)
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It's the searching-for-a-substitute reading thread Can't Post

Yes, TORnsibs one and all, I'm out of here tomorrow and won't be able to post the reading thread for the next two Tuesdays. I'd really appreciate someone volunteering to do that. You don't have to hang around to discuss, if you don't have the time or energy.

*looks around expectantly*

In the meantime, I'm still on my books-about-Viking-history reading kick, and have just finished Iceland: Land of the Sagas, text by David Roberts and photos by Jon Krakauer. This book examines the most popular of the Icelandic sagas and their place in history and the landscape with lots of striking photos of said landscape, which is as dramatic as the stories.

I'm also working my way happily through the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. As I've said before, I read the first one a long time ago and then, for whatever reason, skipped to later ones in the series, so I'm now catching up. This one was Morality for Beautiful Girls, book number three, and was, as usual, charming and pleasant, if with an even more slender plot than some of the others. Mma Ramotswe moves the agency office to her fiancé's garage (never mind that her fiancé is having some problems), a pompous government official asks her to ferret out a possible criminal in his own family, and Mma Makutsi helps decide the winner of a beauty pageant.

What have you been reading?

And, by the way, have I mentioned I need someone to fill in for me for the next two Tuesdays? Smile




NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Jul 30 2013, 2:24pm

Post #2 of 20 (172 views)
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I can do the 6th, but not the 13th [In reply to] Can't Post

Will be out of town myself on the 13th but am willing to do the 6th. I hope you enjoy your trip!

As for my reading, you and I are in a very similar zone this week. I ran across one of my old college books The Norse Myths as introduced and retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland. I'd been meaning to re-read that book for quite some time, but it had particularly been on my mind after reading Odd and the Frost Giants (by Neil Gaiman). So I'm knee deep in Odin, Thor & Loki these days.

It's also delightful to see all of Tolkien's names showing up - seems like he influenced everything, even pre-1000 AD mythology! I knew that many of the Dwarven names were taken from this mythology, but one connection I never knew (well, I must have known it at one point because this was a college textbook so of COURSE I memorized all of it... Angelic ) was that Thror was one of Odin's names.

Bon Voyage, Lily

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


Jul 30 2013, 5:16pm

Post #3 of 20 (141 views)
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Thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

You may have to beat the bushes for a replacement on the 6th, for the 13th, then, although I've got another 24 hours or so to herd the cats before I turn them all over to you. It's that time of year---people are out and about and going places and doing things.

Yes, it's not only been enjoyable catching up on all the Norse myths and sagas, but also watching all the familiar names go by. You just found a Thror---I just found a Thrain! Of course, Tolkien totally influenced all these stories! Smile

Bon voyage to you, too. Have a great holiday!




bruinen
Bree


Jul 30 2013, 5:23pm

Post #4 of 20 (159 views)
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Pat Murphy and 13th? [In reply to] Can't Post

I can do the 13th, unless someone else out there really wants to. (I would be happy to defer!)

I'm re-reading There and Back Again by Pat Murphy, c2000. It's a very fun takeoff (pun intended) of The Hobbit as space opera blended with CS Lewis' The Hunting of the Snark. Bilbo = Bailey the Norbit, who lives in an asteroid. Gandalf = Gitana, a mysterious adventurer who knew Bailey's grandmother, and the crew who show up unexpectedly are 13 female clones of varying ages (ie the dwarves) who are there to claim a lost message pod that Bailey has recovered. It's quite fun--and you have to read it as a BOOK since it's not been turned into an ebook. Yet. See the Goodreads entry here: www.goodreads.com/book/show/77409. There_and_Back_Again

Anyone else a Pat Murphy (Max Merriwell) fan?

My Avatar: the desk Tolkien used when he wrote The Hobbit...now on display at Wheaton College.


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jul 30 2013, 6:58pm

Post #5 of 20 (140 views)
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Thank you! We now have a quorum! [In reply to] Can't Post

The next thing you know, we'll be setting off for Erebor.... Whoops. That's another story Smile

If someone else really, really wants to start the reading thread on the 13th, please contact bruinen and work it out pixel-to-pixel.

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Murphy/Maxwell, or with the book you mention, but my goodness, what a delightful takeoff it must be! Thank you for enlightening me.

And now I shall head north with a clear conscience.




Elberbeth
Tol Eressea


Jul 30 2013, 10:14pm

Post #6 of 20 (124 views)
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Finished Crucible of Gold [In reply to] Can't Post

and it was one of the more exciting Temeraire novels, set largely in South America. I'm also happy to report that this is not the last one, as I had feared, but there will be two more, the next one set in Japan, according to the blurb at the end of the book. This crew really gets around!

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


Magpie
Immortal


Jul 31 2013, 2:25am

Post #7 of 20 (132 views)
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Changes... (Dresden Files) [In reply to] Can't Post

wow.

just wow.

I mean, he kind of hit it the head with me with one of the subthemes of this story, "Showing Up." There's a certain *thing* that can bring me to tears very quickly and my understanding of it was very primal and not something I could articulate well. But as I found myself close to tears for the second time, I *got* it. It's showing up. It just tears at my gut and makes my heart soar and my eyes tear.

And then he just hit points and levels I didn't think existed. I mean, his novels are all run at full tilt and the world always lies in mortal danger at least once and just when you think things are bad they get badder. But this just jumped all previously set marks.

My son, who read it before I only said (when I asked what he thought), "Is this the end?" and I said I didn't think so. I had to look first thing and it isn't. I'm kind of relieved. But really, if it had to end (and all Good Things must), this wouldn't have been a bad one.

I can see Tolkien's influence working on Butcher but in a very contemporary way. He admired the man and didn't seek to emulate him. Instead, he used him as a spring board to finding his own story and style of storytelling. But I can see the influence.

And, I think I see a bit of Joss Whedon in the guy. Not that I'm saying Whedon influenced Butcher. I don't know that there's any connection at all between the two. But I see similarities in the way they look at life and women and storytelling and they aren't afraid to go dark. But never dark in a nihilistic way. Even when they go dark, there is some thread of connection or light or hope.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jul 31 2013, 2:41am

Post #8 of 20 (158 views)
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That theme [In reply to] Can't Post

becomes painful for the main character in the next book. Changes and Ghost Story are the turning point for Dresden, and I love where Butcher is taking him - it's a very mature approach to a maturing character.

But Changes - talk about putting your protagonist through hell. :(

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

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s 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 beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


RosieLass
Valinor


Jul 31 2013, 3:03pm

Post #9 of 20 (112 views)
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FInally finished Sean Astin's book. [In reply to] Can't Post

He does sound a little full of himself sometimes, but he has more right to it than a lot of Hollywood "stars."

Also, his admiration for Peter Jackson really comes through.

"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)


Old Toby
Gondor


Jul 31 2013, 3:19pm

Post #10 of 20 (96 views)
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Yeah, I was screaming [In reply to] Can't Post

between pain and fury and anguish. I swear, that Jim Butcher can tear your heart out with his writing. One of the things I love most about his stories is that he can really get me swept up in his world, then take me completely by surprise. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's....well...like Changes. Lucky for all us readers, you just can't keep a good wizard down! Tongue

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


Old Toby
Gondor


Jul 31 2013, 3:26pm

Post #11 of 20 (95 views)
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Agreed! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've loved how Butcher's stories have evolved, how his characters change over time, and we get to experience the whole thing through Butcher himself as he evolves as a writer!

I know he's contracted for a lot more books, and I just hope that he finishes the series before I die! (I'm not being facetious. I figure if he puts out one book a year, by the time he's done, I'll have one foot in the grave. Truly. sigh. But maybe that's not a bad way to go...with Harry!)

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Jul 31 2013, 3:28pm

Post #12 of 20 (87 views)
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I doubt being dead near Harry is any picnic... // [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


Old Toby
Gondor


Jul 31 2013, 3:29pm

Post #13 of 20 (93 views)
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yeah, but at least it wouldn't be boring!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


Annael
Half-elven


Jul 31 2013, 4:48pm

Post #14 of 20 (87 views)
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yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

in my field we talk a lot about people who are "eternal boys" or "eternal girls" - who never take the last few steps into adulthood where they put on the mantle of responsibility. Butcher shows us how it's done - and how hard it is to be an actual mature adult.

Of course the mantle Harry takes on is so much bigger. Most of us don't have to save the world!

Tolkien did a similar thing. LOTR is full of people who step up, despite not knowing the way or knowing all too well what the consequences could be.

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

Jul 31 2013, 5:33pm

Post #15 of 20 (87 views)
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Solid point // [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


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Jul 31 2013, 7:48pm

Post #16 of 20 (83 views)
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"The Counterpane Fairy" by Katherine Pyle, and "Simply Learn Hebrew" by Gary Thaler [In reply to] Can't Post

"The Counterpane Fairy" is a lovely old book from the 1890s. I loved the premise. A little boy is sick in bed with a long-term illness. He has wonderful parents who sit with him and entertain him, but sometimes they have to leave him in bed by himself and he gets bored, having read all his books. A little fairy shows up on his counterpane (quilt) and offers to show him a story. He chooses a yellow square from the quilt, and it becomes a scene with a yellow sunset sky and a field of yellow flowers. He is a strong young hero and has an adventure in that world. The next time he chooses a different square and has another adventure. The stories were all fun, but what I really loved were the rich landscapes associated with each color. You can get the e-book free here.

The writing style and illustrations reminded me of Howard Pyle, a favorite author of mine (I wonder if Tolkien read him as a child, because Pyle's "Garden Behind the Moon" reminded me a lot of "Roverandom".) So I looked her up, and it turns out she was Howard Pyle's sister. She was an illustrator as well as an author, just like he was.

Then somehow I stumbled across this kindle book about learning to read Hebrew. I've always wanted to be able to at least know the alphabet (or "aleph-bet"), and had picked up a few of the easier letters as a teen long ago, but so many of them just looked like rectangles to me. This book is a pretty good way to learn. He introduces a new letter, an then gives you several syllables to try to read (they're not real words; he saves that until you know all the letters). Each day you learn a new letter and then reinforce what you've already learned. It took me about a week to get the letters, since I already knew some of them.

Then I bought a couple of kindle "flashcard" books:. My goal is not to really read Hebrew, but at least to be able to look at a block of text and be able to sound it out instead of seeing a mass of rectangles. The flashcards are a great follow-up to the other book. One page is a word in Hebrew, and the next page shows an English transliteration and translation.

The transliteration is especially helpful for what I want to do. But I've had some joyful moments when I realized that it was a word I already knew, from my decades of international folk dancing. I very carefully spell out E-R-E-V, and then realize it's "Erev! Evening! I know that word from the dance Erev Ba!" or M-A-Y-I-M. "Mayim! That's water! I know that dance too!" Or S-U-L-A-M "Sulam! Ladder! Like in Sulam Yaakov!"

I'm still really shaky with the letters. I feel like a kindergartner, mixing up my B and my K, or my M and my S. But the flashcards are helping.

Learning something new is such a joy :-)


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



(This post was edited by Aunt Dora Baggins on Jul 31 2013, 7:49pm)


Magpie
Immortal


Aug 1 2013, 12:00am

Post #17 of 20 (81 views)
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I'm betting you've danced Ha'shual [In reply to] Can't Post

That was one of my favorites when I'd take the kids to Family Folkdance.

(The Fox)


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


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Aug 1 2013, 4:37am

Post #18 of 20 (61 views)
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That was one of the very first dances I ever learned. [In reply to] Can't Post

One day in high school in PE class there was nothing much going on, so a friend taught it to me. I think that was about 1973. We still do it from time to time.


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



Misto
Lorien

Aug 1 2013, 9:34pm

Post #19 of 20 (47 views)
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This time for real: [In reply to] Can't Post

Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot"

I plan to be done with it before the month is out - let's see if that's going to work. For now I find all these Russian names terribly confusing.Crazy


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Aug 2 2013, 1:02am

Post #20 of 20 (30 views)
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Current reading: 'The Temptation of Elminster' by Ed Greenwood [In reply to] Can't Post

Once I've finished this book, I will be devoting most of the rest of my free time this month to reviewing the game mechanics for The One Ring: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild for the game session I signed up to GM at Queen City Conquest.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

 
 

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