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It's the Baggins birthday reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 24 2013, 2:47pm

Post #1 of 16 (185 views)
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It's the Baggins birthday reading thread! Can't Post

Or was everyone out dancing the springle-ring and setting off dragon-shaped fireworks instead of reading?

I read a mystery novel that I really didn't care for, but since it was written by a friend I'm not going to mention it here. Unsure

I also read a non-fiction travel book,The Sinner's Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe, by Tony Perrottet.

Perrottet writes beautifully and wittily, with several mentions of Tolkien, such as, "We pored over a map. Anstruther was located on the East Neuk of Fife, by the Firth of Forth, which sounded like somewhere Bilbo Baggins might hang out." There are ample passages of straightforward travel writing that are highly informative and entertaining.

However, the motivation for Perrottet's journey through Europe was seeking out Hellfire clubs, bordellos, the homes of historical reprobates like Casanova and the Marquis de Sade, unabashed Roman art.... Well, you get the idea. Blush That he took his wife and two small children with him adds an interesting perspective to his journey. He admits that his ten-year-old, "...had probably seen more sexual imagery than I had by age thirty-five---and that's just from watching The Simpsons." Laugh

While I enjoyed the book, and found the illustrations, well, er---did I mention informative?---I'll discreetly stop here.

What have you been reading?




DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 24 2013, 3:37pm

Post #2 of 16 (143 views)
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Never judge a book by it's cover? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's exactly what I did when I walked in the book shop the other day. However interesting a blurb may be, if the cover doesn't look good, I won't buy it. But one caught my eye: Green Rider, by Kristen Britain.

Has anyone read it before? (I hadn't heard of it before, but the cover sold it to me).

I've only read the first couple of chapters, but it's rather good so far. Though aimed at younger readers, it is very well written, and full of intrigue. The characters are well-rounded (and I feel sympathetic towards Karigan), and the story is laid out well. I like the mixture of magic and fantasy (the ship in the bottle!), and there are a couple of nods towards Tolkien. It's a shame it isn't longer! I've copied the blurb, for anyone interested.:


Quote
On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G’ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount’s neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lay dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a “life and death” message for King Zachary. He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission “for love of country.” As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, “Beware the shadow man…”


I was tempted to read the next Temeraire book, but I'm glad I picked this up.



Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 24 2013, 4:57pm

Post #3 of 16 (129 views)
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No, never judge a book by its cover [In reply to] Can't Post

Very few authors have any power over the imagery on their covers, so that imagery may not reflect anything about the book. However, it sounds as though Ms. Britain did get a good cover, which led you into buying a book you've enjoyed.

I haven't heard of Green Rider either, and yes, just from the blurb I pick up a bit of Tolkien (but then, I find Tolkien everywhere!). I think a lot of good work is being done for younger readers these days.




DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 24 2013, 5:42pm

Post #4 of 16 (124 views)
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Which is a shame .... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Very few authors have any power over the imagery on their covers, so that imagery may not reflect anything about the book.


Because, more often than not, authors that do get to have a say in their cover are much more appealing than the generic ones. They certainly have an advantage. I know I shouldn't. Blush but I think it's also a natural way of narrowing down a book to read on a book shelf. Plain covers are over-looked, while something that stands out, will be much more appealing (regardless of the blurb). My other method is closing my eyes, waving my hand about and picking a book at random. That comes across a bit weirder when then shop is busy. Cool

The last book in the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series is coming out shortly. Now that I am looking forward to.



RosieLass
Valinor


Sep 24 2013, 7:24pm

Post #5 of 16 (118 views)
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Aunt Jane's Nieces and The Last Dragonslayer. [In reply to] Can't Post

Aunt Jane's Nieces is the first in a series of juvenile novels written by L. Frank Baum under the pen name Edith Van Dyne.

In the first book, Aunt Jane is dying, so she invites her estranged nieces to visit so that she can vet them and determine which is the most worthy to inherit her fortune.

My main problem with the book was that none of the characters was particularly attractive or likeable. Certainly not selfish Aunt Jane. And even the ones we're supposed to like - Patsy and Uncle John, for example - had their flaws. I was disappointed by Uncle John's heavy-handed benevolence in the concluding chapters, and even more by Patsy's meek acceptance of it.

But I didn't hate the book enough to be turned off by the series, so I will probably read more.

I've just started The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde. I adore his Thursday Next series, but I've never been able to get into any of his other books, so we'll see how this goes. This is the first in the Chronicles of Kazam series, in which Jennifer Strange, age 16, is the acting manager of Kazam, an agency for wizards, magicians, and other assorted practicioners of the mystical arts. Magic, as a form of employment, has rather run to seed, with the growth of technology.

The last remaining dragon is in danger of being slain, and that would mean all manner of bad things, including land grabs, destruction of the wilderness, and...you know...the loss of the last remaining dragon. Plus, Big Magic!

"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)


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 24 2013, 7:49pm

Post #6 of 16 (112 views)
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I bet Aunt Dora has read these... [In reply to] Can't Post

...since she's a fan of Baum. I've been quite surprised at how much more he wrote than the Oz books.

I've never read any of Fforde's books, but the premise of The Last Dragonslayer sounds quite intriguing, reminding me a bit of Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories, where humankind chose magic over technology.

The dragon in Dragonslayer is no Smaug, I take it?




Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Sep 24 2013, 10:17pm

Post #7 of 16 (122 views)
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Aunt Jane's nieces get more likeable as the series continues. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read several of them now, and have found them fun. The one where they go to Italy and run afoul of the Mafia is a hoot.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"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
Half-elven


Sep 24 2013, 10:20pm

Post #8 of 16 (102 views)
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You are right :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

I only discovered them this past year, though, looking for Baum in the Gutenberg Project, I think it was.

I laughed when I read about the contract he signed with the publisher, to write some books "in the style of Louisa May Alcott but not as good". That's exactly what he did. :-D I'm an Alcott fan too, so it's been fun.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"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
Half-elven


Sep 24 2013, 10:22pm

Post #9 of 16 (106 views)
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Still moving veeery slowly through Genesis in Hebrew. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm up to the place where God creates Man.

I went to give blood last week, and found this just the thing to take my mind off the needle. Having to concentrate that hard was perfect.


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


Sep 25 2013, 2:04am

Post #10 of 16 (94 views)
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Yep, it was on her recommendation that I picked this one up. [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't actually met the dragon yet, but my guess is that they'll do everything they can to prevent his slaying, and not just for the sake of preventing the chaos that his vacating of the premises would cause.

"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)


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 25 2013, 2:30pm

Post #11 of 16 (95 views)
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Good for you, giving blood. [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't do it. It's not the needle, it's that I get too weak afterwards. And even if I could do it, I'm afraid that puzzling out Genesis in Hebrew would just add to my fuzziness Crazy




Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Sep 25 2013, 7:20pm

Post #12 of 16 (79 views)
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Well, you're a wee slip of a thing :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

So giving blood would affect you more. I'm really prone to the power of suggestion. I've fainted a couple of times, when I let my mind get the better of me. But this time was fine. In spite of the woman who let out a piercing scream when they put the needle in her arm, as I was waiting :-D


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"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 26 2013, 2:20pm

Post #13 of 16 (63 views)
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The power of suggestion is, well, powerful! [In reply to] Can't Post

What annoys us about giving blood is that my husband used to give blood all the time. Then came the scare about mad-cow disease and they started asking if you'd spent much time in the UK. He has. He's not allowed to give blood any more! What a waste. sigh.




RosieLass
Valinor


Sep 26 2013, 4:35pm

Post #14 of 16 (60 views)
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I used to donate platelets regularly. [In reply to] Can't Post

But the last few times I've tried, my platelet count wasn't high enough to qualify. I'm not sure whether my count has dropped or they've changed their donating criteria.

I also wasn't able to donate whole blood the last time I tried a couple weeks ago, because this time my hemoglobin (I think?) count was too low. It's always something these days...

"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)

(This post was edited by RosieLass on Sep 26 2013, 4:38pm)


Eowyn of Penns Woods
Valinor


Sep 26 2013, 6:49pm

Post #15 of 16 (54 views)
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Thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

From someone who needed such donations not that long ago. =)

**********************************

NABOUF
Not a TORns*b!
Certified Curmudgeon
Knitting Knerd
NARF: NWtS Chapter Member since June 17,2011


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Sep 26 2013, 7:11pm

Post #16 of 16 (49 views)
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You're very welcome :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm too lazy and protective of my time to volunteer in the community, but donating blood is a way I can volunteer while lying down and reading a book. Perfect! And I get treats; this time they were giving "a pint for a pint", so I got a pint of ice cream out of 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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


 
 

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