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It's the middle-of-September reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 17 2013, 2:47pm

Post #1 of 21 (205 views)
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It's the middle-of-September reading thread! Can't Post

Good morning, esteemed TORnsibs.

As I mentioned last week, even though I'd already read the fifth book in the Ladies No 1 Detective series, The Full Cupboard of Life, I went back and re-read it after I finally caught up with books 2-4. Now I understand why Mma Makutsi had the money to move into her own little house, and why it meant so much to her!

The small stories and investigations in this book fit nicely in to the broader tapestry of the series, and there are the usual humorous nail-on-the-head passages such as:

"Oh," said Mma Ramotswe. "There are many, many books. And all the time, more books are coming. It is difficult to read them all."

"It is impossible to read them all," said Mma Holonga. "Even those very clever people at the University of Botswana---clever people like Professor Tlou---have not read everything."

"It must be sad for them," observed Mma Ramotswe reflectively. "If your job is to read books and you can never get to the end of them. You think that you have read all the books and suddenly you see that there are some new ones that have arrived. Then what do you do? You have to start all over again."

I know the feeling Smile

My non-fiction book of the week was The Finger, by Angus Trumble, a scientific and artistic study of, well, the finger. I just love this sort of quirky book, one which, like so many others, I saved from the remainder table. It's written with great dash and style and sense of rhythm, with way too many delightful passages to quote here. I'll mention one:

"While the metacarpals [bones in the hand] are the anatomical basement story of the fingers, and the first of them is considerably more than that---in so many ways the Napoleon of the family, far shorter, more versatile, and inventively mobile than its siblings---it should not be forgotten that the bases of the remaining four metacarpals do more than merely sit meekly against the relevant carpals, looking chic."

Tongue

So what have you been reading?




(This post was edited by Lily Fairbairn on Sep 17 2013, 2:48pm)


Annael
Half-elven


Sep 17 2013, 3:20pm

Post #2 of 21 (118 views)
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Phillip Pullman's "The Tiger in the Well" [In reply to] Can't Post

apparently this is the third of his "Sally Lockhart" series, and now I have to go back and read the first two. And apparently this is a "YA" series, which I find very hard to believe as this is a very uncomfortable book. Apparently in her past Sally made a very bad enemy who has been watching and waiting for years to take revenge, and when he does, he destroys her entire life in one swoop. Not only that, but he's also doing his best to destroy the lives of Jews in every way he can. A truly evil villain. The kicker is that for most of the book Sally has no idea who is persecuting her or why. It's set in the Victorian era which means that all the men she tries to get help from dismiss her without listening. Until she meets the radical Daniel Goldberg, who's on the bad guy's trail. Sally spends most of the book in fairly desperate straits and on the run - often just a few steps ahead of her persecutor's minions - and my heart was pounding most of the time. It is VERY well written with lots of authenticity, which is why I want to read the others. Pullman is not easy on his readers, like another author I like, Toni Morrison, but the payoff is all the greater.

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


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 17 2013, 4:05pm

Post #3 of 21 (104 views)
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I've seen the first two books dramatized [In reply to] Can't Post

I know this says next to nothing about the source material---perhaps there were vast changes made from the original books---but "uncomfortable" is about the mildest word I'd use. Shocked It's good to hear that the originals are well-written, since the dramatizations were (on top of the horror and brutality) not.

I've noticed that YA books are a lot harder-edged these days.




Annael
Half-elven


Sep 18 2013, 3:06pm

Post #4 of 21 (80 views)
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I missed that! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've put them on my Netflix queue anyway - the cast is too enticing. Pullman's books are HUGE so I wonder how much of the writing problem is condensing them to two episodes (and how much was cut in the trip from Britain to the US).

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


AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


Sep 18 2013, 4:06pm

Post #5 of 21 (96 views)
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Well, thank heavens Annael reads for fun. [In reply to] Can't Post

Otherwise, I wouldn't know what to read! Laugh

I have been enjoying Georgette Heyer these last two weeks, recommended by Annael and a few others.
I went back and did a search for "Georgette Heyer" in Off Topic to create a wish list on Amazon of all the titles mentioned by Annael. Cool Quite a few came up!

So far, I have read Reluctant Widow, Talisman Ring, Quiet Gentleman, and just started Grand Sophy this morning. These are all fairly quick reads, and just what I needed the past couple of weeks as I've languished with allergies. Not sick enough to get to stay in bed all day, but well enough to flop on the couch for a while and read without too much guilt. Crazy

Thanks, Annael, once again, for recommending your "fun" reading! 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!


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 18 2013, 4:21pm

Post #6 of 21 (81 views)
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I need to try Heyer again [In reply to] Can't Post

I tried a couple of her books a while back. I enjoyed the contemporary mystery, and will happily admit that at the time it was written, a country-house mystery wasn't nearly as over-used and typical as it seems now. The historical romance I didn't care for at all, but Annael informed me I'd picked one of Heyer's weakest books, go figure.

It is good having pleasant, undemanding books to read when you're under the weather. (Is it the annual ragweed bloom? If so, you have my sympathies and an extra box of tissue. Unsure )




Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Sep 18 2013, 4:51pm

Post #7 of 21 (84 views)
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You read two of my favorite Heyers: [In reply to] Can't Post

Talisman Ring and Reluctant Widow. Cotillion is right up there with my favorites too. There are quite a number of stumbling blocks for modern readers in Heyer, such as Regency cant, romances with first cousins, etc., but I find it's all worthwhile if you're looking for some witty, ridiculous fun. Smile

"It was just a sword, beautiful in the way of a weapon, with the jewels in the hilt set in gold scrollwork, and the blade glimmering and eager, as if it would fight of itself. Weapons are named for this; some are eager fighters, some dogged, some unwilling; but all are alive."--The Hollow Hills



RosieLass
Valinor


Sep 18 2013, 4:59pm

Post #8 of 21 (90 views)
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The Masqueraders is my favorite Heyer. [In reply to] Can't Post

I also enjoyed her contemporary mystery series.

There are a handful of Georgette Heyer audiobooks, narrated by Richard Armitage, but I just can't bring myself to get them. Even the prospect of listening to that voice can't overcome my phobia of...abridged books. <shudder>

"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)


Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Sep 18 2013, 6:03pm

Post #9 of 21 (75 views)
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Some of y'all recommended [In reply to] Can't Post

Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan, so I read Book 1. That was a fun, light read, so I think I'll go to Book 2. I understand there are 10 books in the series; is the writing consistent?


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.


Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Sep 18 2013, 9:43pm

Post #10 of 21 (74 views)
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I finished "The Book Thief" [In reply to] Can't Post

This story about a girl growing up in Nazi Germany was pretty depressing, but had moments of beauty and humor, and a sweet ending. And it was narrated by a kindly Death, which was interesting.


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



Annael
Half-elven


Sep 18 2013, 9:52pm

Post #11 of 21 (69 views)
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All those are on my "favorites" list [In reply to] Can't Post

I can re-read Cotillion over and over and never tire of it.

Wish the BBC would start dramatizing Heyer. James McAvoy would make a terrific Freddie.

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


Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Sep 18 2013, 10:38pm

Post #12 of 21 (66 views)
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Freddy [In reply to] Can't Post

is my favorite Heyer hero--I love the subverted romance plot. And no matter how many times I read it, I never get tired of Freddy planting Jack a facer. Evil

I wouldn't mind a dramatization if it was done right. There's a really ghastly black-and-white version of Reluctant Widow out there, and it makes me understand why Georgette was never very excited about her works going to film!

"It was just a sword, beautiful in the way of a weapon, with the jewels in the hilt set in gold scrollwork, and the blade glimmering and eager, as if it would fight of itself. Weapons are named for this; some are eager fighters, some dogged, some unwilling; but all are alive."--The Hollow Hills



(This post was edited by Riven Delve on Sep 18 2013, 10:38pm)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 19 2013, 1:38pm

Post #13 of 21 (45 views)
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Re-reading Gene Wolfe's 'The Book of the New Sun' [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm on the first volume, The Shadow of the Torturer and have yet to locate my copy of Book 3, The Sword of the Lictor.

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


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 19 2013, 2:26pm

Post #14 of 21 (45 views)
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A "kindly" Death? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's an interesting take on the traditional imagery, but it makes sense. I hope you have something a bit less depressing planned for your next read.




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 19 2013, 2:27pm

Post #15 of 21 (36 views)
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Gene Wolfe! [In reply to] Can't Post

He's a great writer and a true gentleman in real life.




Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Sep 19 2013, 3:14pm

Post #16 of 21 (46 views)
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My next read is going *very* slowly. It may not be less depressing. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've spent the past couple of months working on leaning the Hebrew alphabet. I found some good lessons on youtube, and got a bit hooked. So now I'm very slowly working my way through chapter I of Genesis in Hebrew, with the English at the side. I'm up to verse 15 after several days. It's good text for learning, because the same words get repeated over and over (like "light" and "day" and "night" and "Heaven" and "God" and "good".) And somehow reading it extremely slowly in a new language really adds to the poetry. Here's what I loaded into my kindle: link.

I am expecting a physical book for my birthday, the Tanach (Old Testament) in Hebrew and English. (I know it's arrived, but I'm waiting to open it.)


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


Sep 19 2013, 3:25pm

Post #17 of 21 (30 views)
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Very ambitious! [In reply to] Can't Post

I spent several weeks in Israel many, many years ago, and learned how to read things like "Bus Stop"---practical stuff. I'm impressed that you'd tackle Genesis right off the bat, although, yes, the repeated words would help. I bet it's great brain exercise!




Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Sep 19 2013, 3:52pm

Post #18 of 21 (29 views)
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Impressive. Most impressive. [In reply to] Can't Post

I learned Koine Greek for the New Testament, but I never tried Hebrew. Greek was enough of a struggle for me.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.


Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Sep 19 2013, 4:03pm

Post #19 of 21 (26 views)
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I learned a smattering of Greek as a teen [In reply to] Can't Post

but never got very far with it. Probably about as far as I'm going to get with Hebrew.

Of course, Greek was easier because the alphabet was more familiar. When you're a math major, you learn the Greek alphabet before you're through.


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



Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Sep 19 2013, 4:39pm

Post #20 of 21 (24 views)
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Engineering major here [In reply to] Can't Post

so I was already passing familiar with the alphabet. The cases, on the other hand... ShockedCrazy


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.


Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Sep 19 2013, 4:59pm

Post #21 of 21 (24 views)
Shortcut
I had an ancient textbook [In reply to] Can't Post

that I picked up at a used book store. It was probably from the 1800s sometime. I read about the cases but never really "got" them. And the New Testament I was using was also ancient. It had Greek in one column and Latin in the other. I could kind of make out the Latin because I knew Spanish, and because the text was so familiar I could pick out a Greek word here and there, but that's as far as I got. Years later I found in interlinear Greek/English copy, but by then I was kind of out of steam.


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


 
 

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