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It's the fall color reading thread!
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Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Oct 22 2013, 2:32pm

Post #1 of 38 (240 views)
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It's the fall color reading thread! Can't Post

At least we're starting to glimpse a hint of fall color here in Texas. It's quite a bit cooler now, which is delightful. Now if the ragweed, fungus, and other allergens would give up, we'd have perfection.

I've been reading bits and pieces of several books, including an old favorite, Riddles in the British Landscape by Richard Muir and The Illustrated History of the Countryside by Oliver Rackham.

The two books complement each other. Muir writes about prehistoric structures, the use of stone, hunting and farming practices through history, native wildlife, the origins of hill figures, and so forth. Unfortunately the book pre-dates the crop circle phenomenon, because I'd like to hear his opinion.

Rackham spends more time with nature---the varieties of plants, land use, and landscape archaeology. His book includes mapped walks in different areas of the UK which illustrate some of his essays.

What have you been reading?




Annael
Half-elven


Oct 22 2013, 4:09pm

Post #2 of 38 (159 views)
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Re-reading "The Name of the WInd" [In reply to] Can't Post

because early on in "The Wise Man's Fear" I realized that I'd never finished it! So I've gone back & am most of the way through. ANd then I may need to re-read "Fear" again. SUCH a pleasure to read excellent writing! Reminds me of Jim Butcher, only Rothfuss is "deeper" in some ways.

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


RosieLass
Valinor


Oct 22 2013, 4:28pm

Post #3 of 38 (168 views)
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Finished Shards of Honour, started The Mummy Case. [In reply to] Can't Post

Talk about a contrast, lol!

Anyway, I enjoyed Shards of Honour, and I will definitely pick up the next book. I was expecting more to happen in this book, as a matter of fact, and was a little surprised when it ended. I also wasn't sure of the significance of the last chapter, called "Aftermaths," until I realized that it wasn't actually the last chapter, but was a separate short story that got included in this volume.

I think I definitely need to get the Vorkosigan Companion, if nothing else, to help me keep the characters straight. There were a couple times in the last few chapters when a name would crop up and it sounded familiar but I wasn't sure who it was. And my main gripe about reading on the Kindle is that you can't really flip back and look up stuff.

Then, because I was at lunch but wasn't ready to go back to the office yet, I decided to start The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters. It's a reread, but it has been a few years. It was a bit of a shock to go from futuristic seriousness to over-the-top 19th century silliness. Laugh

I've decided, however, that Richard Armitage would make an awesome Radcliff Emerson, if they ever decided to make a film version of Amelia Peabody. (Except that I hope they don't. I've pretty much had my fill of on-screen butchery of books that I love.)

I'd also contemplated RA as Aral Vorkosigan, but it doesn't really work. Wrong look, for one thing. And wrong feel. RA seems to prefer dark and brooding (or, in the case of Emerson, just plain bad tempered), but Aral, for all of his intensity of character, comes across more good-natured and easy-going.

"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


Oct 22 2013, 4:34pm

Post #4 of 38 (150 views)
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Good writing is enjoyable, isn't it? [In reply to] Can't Post

There are times I've read something I wouldn't otherwise be interested in, because the writing was so entertaining. And something meaty is always good, too.




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Oct 22 2013, 4:40pm

Post #5 of 38 (164 views)
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What a contrast, yes! [In reply to] Can't Post

When Lois was originally writing Shards of Honor she overshot the ending and wound up cutting off material that years later became the first few chapters of Barrayar. So yes, there was originally more to it.

As you've deduced, "Aftermaths" was a short story that took place in the same setting. It never really stood up on its own, so was added to later editions of Shards.

As for an actor who could play Aral, think of Oliver Reed back in his Three Musketeers days (early 1970s). He also played a character in a 70s version of The Prince and the Pauper named (ahem) Miles.

Smile

I have to admit, there are times I've wished Amelia would just whap Emerson with that umbrella and tell him to dial it back a bit!




cats16
Tol Eressea


Oct 22 2013, 7:13pm

Post #6 of 38 (140 views)
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Blood Meridian [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read two other McCarthy novels, and I have no problem with the prose and writing style. In fact, I like it the more I read it.

Only about 70 pages in so far, so there's a long way to go. But I can already tell that this is wonderful storytelling.

It's interesting, in my mind, how 'the Kid' had quite the opposite relationship with his father than, say, the Boy and the Man in The Road. Even after reading one page of Blood Meridian, I knew that there would be a very different kind of protagonist than in The Road.


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Oct 22 2013, 8:02pm

Post #7 of 38 (144 views)
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Royal Escape by Georgette Heyer and The Greater Trumps by Charles Williams [In reply to] Can't Post

After Georgette Heyer came up in last week's thread, I decided to go back and read "Royal Escape". It's not one of her regency romances. In fact, it's not a romance at all, though there are moments when it could have gone that way except that she was being historically accurate. It's a historical novel about Charles II's escape from England after the Puritan revolution.

It's a very exciting story, and Heyer is meticulous about historical accuracy. Her Charles is quite appealing, and there are only glimpses of the sex addict, and she keeps him under control, which may be accurate for that time in his life. I'm not sure. Anyway, he reminds me a bit of Aragorn, with his self-deprecating humor about his looks. He's mostly disguised as a servant, and has fun going into the servant halls and chatting with the other servants. Once he runs into a man who served under him in battle. The man is bragging about knowing the king, and Charles goes up and asked him what the king looks like. The man says, "A bit like you, actually. But he's a full four fingers taller."

There's also a wonderful detail where a blacksmith notices that his horse only has three shoes, and each one came from a different county, which tips of the pursuers that something is up. Anyway, lots of real-life swashbuckling and the king-in-exile theme, for those who like such things, as I do.

"The Greater Trumps" is a kind of magic-realism fantasy by Charles Williams, who was one of the Inklings. It's about the "original" deck of Tarot cards, which have magical powers to call up the weather. A group of "gypsies" is trying to get them away from the dull "Warden of Lunacy" who inherited them from a friend and has no idea of their real power, but who intends to give them to a museum.

I read this many years ago as a teenager, but have forgotten most of what happened. I'm about halfway through now. It reminds me a bit of an old favorite, "The Dark is Rising". Apparently CS Lewis was influenced by Williams' style of book when he wrote "That Hideous Strength", and I can see the relationship.


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


Oct 22 2013, 8:45pm

Post #8 of 38 (131 views)
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Glad you're enjoying the book [In reply to] Can't Post

I've heard that McCarthy can be quite a difficult read, but his style is obviously working for you. And he seems to be quite versatile when it comes to characters.




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Oct 22 2013, 8:48pm

Post #9 of 38 (135 views)
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I like swashbucklers [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll have to look for "Royal Escape". I love the detail of the horseshoes. Long, long ago, a PBS costume drama dealt with the English Civil War, and at one point the escaping Charles was a character. A household servant realized that it was him from the lace draping his boots/stockings! When last seen, Charles has a very wry expression as he rips off the lace Smile

It's always fun to see the influence traded back and forth by the Inklings, isn't it?




Werde Spinner
Rohan


Oct 22 2013, 9:34pm

Post #10 of 38 (128 views)
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Um... I cracked and bought the first six volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist. [In reply to] Can't Post

So, yeah, that's what I read over and over during the weekend. Then today I saw a guy before class reading one of the same volumes. Small world. Other than that, though, I've been reading lots of textbooks. But you all probably don't want to know about alkene stereochemistry. Cool

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


Kalimac
Bree


Oct 22 2013, 9:39pm

Post #11 of 38 (136 views)
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Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake and a bit of Beowulf [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm afraid I don't have much to say about this one becuase I've just started the book (after a glowing recomendation from my dad). So far it's moving very slowly, and is introducing the characters. I don't really mind though, because the characters are so increadibly well realised. The amount of detail about the characters and also the world that it takes place in is sort of amazing, and I'm enjoying it so far. Titus Groan is the first book in a trillogy, so I've got a whole lot more reading to look forward to. Actually, the writing sort of reminds me of Terry Pratchet's, except with slightly fewer puns.
I'm also reading through Beowulf. It's taking me longer than it should because I always end up reading it outloud Blush, so I can't read it on the bus (my main place for reading). I swear I'm not crazy, it was traditionally an oral poem!


cats16
Tol Eressea


Oct 22 2013, 10:27pm

Post #12 of 38 (124 views)
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A difficult read, indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's easier having read two of his novels before Blood Meridian. Despite that, I would love to read it a second time to gain clarity that I know I need. *puts it at the bottom of a very long summer reading list*

Completely agree with you on the characters. I have a strange mixture of apathy and sympathy for them. It's hard to explain.


RosieLass
Valinor


Oct 22 2013, 11:49pm

Post #13 of 38 (123 views)
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Oh, I adore Oliver Reed! [In reply to] Can't Post

And I can see a number of Athos/Aral parallels. Starting with having difficult first wives.

I don't think I ever saw the Prince and the Pauper, though. Or if I did, I have no recollection of it.

"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)


RosieLass
Valinor


Oct 22 2013, 11:52pm

Post #14 of 38 (133 views)
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I've tried Mervyn Peake. [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't get very far. His writing is...peculiar.

And frankly, I got tired of waiting for the villain to start being villainous and not just an annoying punk.

That was some years ago, though. I should give it another try someday and see if I make any better headway.

"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)


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 23 2013, 4:41am

Post #15 of 38 (121 views)
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If you do... [In reply to] Can't Post

give it another go sometime, let me know if you like it any better on the second try, because I tried it and had a similar reaction to you. I just couldn't get into it and I never got fond of any of the characters.

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



Kalimac
Bree


Oct 23 2013, 9:46am

Post #16 of 38 (114 views)
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haha, oh no... [In reply to] Can't Post

If the people from TORn start saying they couldn't finish a book, then you know it's going to be tough.Laugh


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Oct 23 2013, 10:07am

Post #17 of 38 (108 views)
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I've been doing a lot of reading lately! [In reply to] Can't Post

I broke down and got another in the Vorkosigan series. I got the book about Ivan -- great as usual. My Kindle is charging in another room so I can't look up the title.

Right now, I am reading Call the Midwives books. I have three of them. I am not even sure how many there are. Ohio Hobbit asked if they were as graphic as the TV show -- actually more because some of the things she wrote about wouldn't go down well on American television. They are compelling. I wasn't happy about having to put the Kindle down to recharge it.

When I was in California, my sister wanted me to read a book about Princess Diana's family. Since I love history and genealogy, I agreed. I had to read it there because it was on her Kindle. It was interesting, but it would be nice to be able to do that much research on regular people. I'll bet there are just as interesting family histories out there that will never be known by living family descendants.




RosieLass
Valinor


Oct 23 2013, 3:39pm

Post #18 of 38 (107 views)
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Full disclosure: [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not one of those people who feels compelled to finish a book just because I started it.

So I do tend to bail out more easily than some.

Blush

"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


Oct 23 2013, 7:16pm

Post #19 of 38 (83 views)
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I have to admit... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I don't even know what alkene stereochemistry is! Glad you enjoyed your binge read over the weekend Smile




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Oct 23 2013, 7:18pm

Post #20 of 38 (83 views)
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I may have read Peake some years ago [In reply to] Can't Post

Or maybe I didn't. Obviously it didn't make too big an impression on me if I did, not at all like LotR! Beowulf, now, I well remember first reading that. Yes, it's intended to be spoken aloud, but I can see where you'd be hesitant to do that on the bus. Tongue




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Oct 23 2013, 7:20pm

Post #21 of 38 (81 views)
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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance? [In reply to] Can't Post

Fun book! It's her most recent.

Yes, celebrity genealogy is a bit over-rated---as you say, it's because records were kept on these families, not that they're all that special. Which came first, doing something impressive or being a celebrity?




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Oct 23 2013, 7:21pm

Post #22 of 38 (85 views)
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Me, neither [In reply to] Can't Post

I have no qualms at all about abandoning a book if it's not working for me.




Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 23 2013, 7:34pm

Post #23 of 38 (80 views)
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Check out Curious' 43 part Beowulf discussion from 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

Click on "Search posts", then:

"Search string" = "Beowulf"

"Fields to search" = "subject"

"Only show posts made by" = "Curious"

BTW, I absolutely loved the Gormenghastlies!!

******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair,
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today,
I wish he would just fly away.

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Oct 23 2013, 7:35pm)


Kalimac
Bree


Oct 23 2013, 9:22pm

Post #24 of 38 (75 views)
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Thank you, will do. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Oct 24 2013, 1:33am

Post #25 of 38 (61 views)
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Which Beowulf translation are you reading, Kalimac? [In reply to] Can't Post

I like Seamus Heaney's.

Or are you reading the original, in which case my hat is off to you?


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.

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