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It's the Lily-is-traveling reading thread

Tol Eressea

Aug 6 2013, 12:23pm

Post #1 of 18 (328 views)
It's the Lily-is-traveling reading thread Can't Post

This week I finished The Norse Myths as introduced and retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland. I'd read this book a few decades ago in college for a course, ran across it again, and decided to read it for fun - those silly Norse gods and their wacky adventures with giants! I admit that I've never really understood the love/hate relationship between the gods & giants in that mythology, but it is by far and away my favorite mythology. Plus it has the bonus of being the source of many of the names that Tolkien used, particularly in The Hobbit.

Along with names, there were a few parallels between the myths and Tolkiens writings. That's bound to happen by coincidence. But some are not merely coincidence, I think. Consider the Lay of Alvis, In this myth, a dwarf comes to try to take Thor's daughter in marriage. Thor keeps the dwarf busy all night by asking questions and riddles, until dawn comes and turns the dwarf to stone. (Sound familiar?) But what struck me most was the words used by the victor in each case:

Thor to Alvis:

The sun's rays arrest you, and they turn you into stone

Gandalf to the trolls:

Dawn take you all, and be stone to you!

Definitely seems related!

I've now moved on to Dis Enchanted by Robert Kroese. I'm pretty sure I picked this book up for free or $1 off the Pixel of Ink newsletter, but regardless it was on my Kindle and I'm thoroughly enjoying it! I'm just about 10% into the book, but it is just a funny fantasy story. It reminds me a little of Pratchett (including the footnotes) and really seems like a send-up of really bad fantasy writing (at least I THINK it is a send-up, and not just really bad fantasy writing on it's own... Wink ).

How about you, what have you been reading?


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


Aug 6 2013, 2:01pm

Post #2 of 18 (188 views)
a two-parter by Patricia Briggs [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read some of her Mercy Thompson fantasy novels (Mercy is a shapechanger and auto mechanic who solves mysteries) and enjoyed them. So when I ran across "Raven's Shadow" and "Raven's Strike" in a used-book sale, I picked them up. Took me a while to get into the first one - the opening chapters are a prologue of sorts, but I didn't realize that and felt it was awfully rushed. But once she gets into the heart of her story, she slows down & lets the story unfold. A very different take on magic and wizardry, and I like her characters who are distinct and interesting, even if they only show up briefly.

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

Tol Eressea

Aug 6 2013, 4:17pm

Post #3 of 18 (169 views)
I've only read one of hers before [In reply to] Can't Post

but enjoyed it. The title escapes me at the moment but it was one of the werewolf series.

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

Tol Eressea

Aug 6 2013, 4:23pm

Post #4 of 18 (167 views)
The Fort at River's Bend [In reply to] Can't Post

by Jack Whyte, which is the first one of his Sorcerer series. In it Merlyn has left Camulod after an attempt on Arthur's life (then aged 8) and established a sanctuary in an abandoned Roman fort (at River's Bend). There they stay until Arthur is 15, and ready to return to Camulod as a man. It's very well written, and enjoyable to read. I'll be looking for the next one, which is entitled Metamorphosis.

Also read another Jack Reacher novel, The Hard Way. These are always fun to read.

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

One Ringer
Tol Eressea

Aug 6 2013, 6:53pm

Post #5 of 18 (158 views)
The Dead Zone and Night Shift [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in the midst of two Stephen King books at the moment. I'm typically reading The Dead Zone, but every once in a while I'll take an evening to read a short story from Night Shift (creepy stuff there, and they usually take no more than an hour to read).

The Dead Zone is really good stuff, though. I just love the types of characters King creates and the relationships he threads. Having said that, he has a cruel way of smashing your hopes unexpectedly throughout the read, which is both oh so good and oh so painful. Tongue

The only issue I can really say (which isn't really an issue at all) is reading a synopsis of the book before reading. It's not that I read any spoilers, but it's like if you watched King Kong for the first time and knew that he's going to end up in New York towards the end. It doesn't exactly tarnish the experience, but it certainly eliminates a minor surprise.

I'm a little under a hundred pages out from the end, but it feels like I'm on the slow climb to the height of a drop on a roller coaster. Cool

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."

Superuser / Moderator

Aug 6 2013, 7:22pm

Post #6 of 18 (155 views)
The Girl Who Played With Fire. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm about half-way through. This author never, ever takes the story in the direction I expect!

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 beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


Aug 6 2013, 9:37pm

Post #7 of 18 (148 views)
Cuckoo's Calling [In reply to] Can't Post

Confess to reading it, especially since I like a good mystery. Passing grade--loved the illegimate son of a 70s rock star as the former military investigator turned PI.

And since it's come out as authored by JKRowling, I'm guessing a film or TV show isn't too far behind. (Must admit the fangirl part of my brain has already cast a certain dwarf in the lead role.)

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


Aug 6 2013, 10:09pm

Post #8 of 18 (148 views)
The History of the Hobbit, Vol. I: Mr. Baggins [In reply to] Can't Post

Basically the text of JRRT's early drafts along with explanatory notes by the author/editor John Rateliff.

Interesting stuff. I have to keep reminding myself, though, that Gandalf isn't the wizard. He's the chief dwarf. Crazy

"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)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Aug 6 2013, 10:29pm

Post #9 of 18 (139 views)
The RR has an HoH study going on right now! [In reply to] Can't Post

Led by bruinen - you might like to check it out! Smile

So what do you think of the name "Bladorthin"? Tongue


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Aug 6 2013, 10:52pm

Post #10 of 18 (144 views)
Yay! Please join us if you'd like [In reply to] Can't Post

Over in the Reading Room. We're not so far ahead of you--we just started chapter 2, the trolls. Any comments/observations welcome. Cool book, huh?

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


Aug 6 2013, 11:26pm

Post #11 of 18 (132 views)
It beats "Trotter." // [In reply to] Can't Post


"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)


Aug 6 2013, 11:26pm

Post #12 of 18 (145 views)
Oh, cool, I'll come check it out! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm actually just getting through the last pages of the trolls chapter.

"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)

Grey Havens

Aug 7 2013, 2:39am

Post #13 of 18 (185 views)
Prime collection of short stories there [In reply to] Can't Post

Trucks and Children of the Corn (ignore the horrid movies made of them)

The Mangler also for the whole awakening evil without meaning to theme

Hmmm ... I looked for the book and can't find it so my granddaughter must have borrowed it... I'll have to borrow it back.

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com


Aug 7 2013, 4:38am

Post #14 of 18 (129 views)
Looking for Alaska, by John Green [In reply to] Can't Post

I started with Green's The Fault in Our Stars, then read An Abundance of Katherines and followed with Looking for Alaska. I think it may be my favorite of the three.

Green develops his characters very thoroughly and I think that's why I am so enamored of his writing. The first thing that snared me, though, was the vocabulary in Stars. It is increasingly difficult to find fiction replete with words of more than 2 or 3 syllables and used to express subtle nuances that enrich the reading experience.

Next up: Every Patient Tells a Story by Lisa Sanders.

Tol Eressea

Aug 7 2013, 6:16am

Post #15 of 18 (134 views)
Reading All Creatures Great and Small again after about twenty years [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved the BBC series and the books on which the series is based when I was young, but I didn't know how well it would hold up. For those who aren't familiar with this series of books written by James Herriot (real name James Wight), the stories are a fictionalized account of the author's actual experiences as a young vet working in the Yorkshire Dales starting in the late 1930's. There are some scenes that don't work for me now that I'm an old curmudgeon Laugh, but for the most part, the stories still make me cry, smile, and even laugh out loud. I especially love the chapters related to Mrs. Pumphrey who spoils her little pekingese, Trickiwoo, with entirely too much - and entirely innapropriate - food. Because he is so fat and out of shape, he often comes down with "flop-bot" or goes "cracker dog". I think the lectures that Herriot gives Mrs. P about over feeding her dog have stayed with me even though I had forgotten them. I've always been careful with my dogs' diet, and the one time when I let one of my babies get a little heavy and my vet had to lecture me, I got her weight right back down. My vet was very impressed; he said that I was that 1 in 100 who actually listened and did something about it. I owe that to All Creatures Great and Small. Smile

Interseting coincidence...at least I thought it was Tongue: The real name of the man on whom the character Siegfried Farnon - Herriot's boss - was based was Donald Sinclair. The man who was the inspiration for the character Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers fame was also named Donald Sinclair. Okay, I know I'm easily amused, but I thought it was curious that two men with the same name - and not that common a name - who lived at roughly the same time, in the same country, should be the inspiration for two famously eccentric and mercurial TV characters. Laugh Yeah, I need to get out more. Tongue

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


Aug 7 2013, 3:51pm

Post #16 of 18 (120 views)
I need to read those again [In reply to] Can't Post

although it's been about thirty years for me. My husband & I loved the TV series, too. We particularly liked Siegfried & Trickiwoo!

AlassŽa Eruvande

Aug 7 2013, 5:57pm

Post #17 of 18 (115 views)
Love those books and tv series, too! [In reply to] Can't Post

My favorite Trickiwoo story is when Mr. Herriot prescribes more fresh air and exercise for the dog. So when he goes for a follow up visit to Mrs. Pumphrey's house, there is her butler dutifully walking the dog around the lawn. Except he is carrying the dog!

In my own real life vet tech experience, we had a lady with a rat terrier that was morbidly obese. She swore it was because the neighbor man was feeding the dog Oreo cookies and bourbon! Who knows...CrazyLaugh

I was always impressed with the level of vet-geek stuff in the series. They must've had a veterinary adviser to get all the old remedies right. And I sat in stunned disbelief with my mouth open the first time I saw the actor portraying Herriot actually perform a real palpation on a cow...with no OB sleeve! Well done, sir! Laugh

I am SMAUG! I kill when I wish! I am strong, strong, STRONG!
My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth like swords! My claws, spears!
The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane! And my breath, death!

(This post was edited by AlassŽa Eruvande on Aug 7 2013, 6:01pm)


Aug 9 2013, 7:40am

Post #18 of 18 (107 views)
Stephen King's 'On Writing' [In reply to] Can't Post

and 'Dead Beat', the seventh book in the Dresden Files.

I find 'On Writing' very useful. Although I don't agree with all of Stephen King's ways, but he makes some useful points on dialogue.

And The Dresden Files just get funnier.

"Eala Earendel engla beorhtast
ofer middangeard monnum sended."

"There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it." - Cicero


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