Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
It's the end of February reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Feb 27, 4:01pm

Post #1 of 17 (1183 views)
Shortcut
It's the end of February reading thread! Can't Post

No, we haven't quite washed away here in North Texas, but it's been, um, interesting to go from severe drought to flooding in just a couple of weeks. Not that I should be surprised---it's Texas, after all.

On paper I'm reading Murder in E Minor by Robert Goldsborough, a continuation of Rex Stout's iconic series of Nero Wolfe mysteries. The plot centers around Wolfe's associate Archie Goodwin luring a retired Wolfe back into detective work by taking a case from a woman whose orchestra-conductor uncle is an old friend of Wolfe's.

I haven't read any of Stout's books, and am wondering if Wolfe and Goodwin are as unappealing in those as Goldsborough makes them in this. The book is supposed to be set in the 80s but its feel is much earlier, especially when it comes to the female characters. Add the above caveats to a plot that so far seems pedestrian and, well, I'm glad it's a relatively short read.

I'm listening to Star Island by Carl Hiaasen, yet another novel I'd never have picked up if not for the inexpensive audios from the Friends of the Library bookstore. It's a blisteringly cynical black comedy about a paparazzo and his prey, a starlet pop star. There's not one likeable character, but then, the story is so over-the-top and broadly played that sympathy for the characters becomes irrelevant.

Hiaasen writes in third person, with a variety of very strong voices that are beautifully portrayed by the narrator (whose name I don't have, sorry), which is enough to keep me going past all the appalling incidents, bad language, and Hiaasen's tic of referring to the characters by both first and last name, something I find irritating.

So what have you been reading?

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow....


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 27, 6:12pm

Post #2 of 17 (1107 views)
Shortcut
Drawn Out, by Tom Scott [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a biography by probably NZ's most well-known cartoonist. (He drew the cartoon from which grammaboodawg created her TORN avatar. Oh, and mine as well. :) ) He has an engaging writing style, drawing in elements from the past and the future (in relation to the time he's writing about) to illuminate the story he's telling in each chapter. He's another of those creative geniuses who withdrew into art as a child to help him manage a difficult home life. An engaging book to dip in and out of.

I'm on a hiatus from Drawn Out due to receiving The Obelisk Gate, the second book in NK Jemisin's The Broken Earth trilogy. The story picks up right after the end of The Fifth Season and is as hard to put down as the first book. I'm really enjoying it.

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


(This post was edited by Ataahua on Feb 28, 12:04am)


Meneldor
Valinor


Feb 27, 9:45pm

Post #3 of 17 (1091 views)
Shortcut
The Screwtape Letters [In reply to] Can't Post

by CS Lewis. It's been decades since the last time read this one, and I was amazed at how much it hit home. Reading it at a different point in your life gives you a whole new perspective and understanding of it. Definitely one of the great works of 20th century Christian literature.


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. -Psalm 107


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 27, 10:55pm

Post #4 of 17 (1084 views)
Shortcut
I started N. K. Jemisin's "Broken Earth" trilogy [In reply to] Can't Post

I finished book 1 a couple days ago, and started book 2 last night - "The Obelisk Gate".

I needed about 150 pages before I understood what was going on, and that's a common complaint I have with these world-building type of stories. The types of people in these stories are different, the geography is different, and the history is different. The names are so different that I have to frequently flip back to the beginning of the story to keep track, and in this series the first books jumps across time and space. I don't like having to work so hard to enjoy a story.

I contrast that to the ease with which I first visited Middle-earth. Tolkien made his world and his characters different yet similar. We were introduced to different types of people - different not just in skin color, but in stature, abilities and longevity. But I felt immediately at home, because Tolkien kept enough touch-points that the reader could understand the different societies and appreciate the unique characteristics of elves, dwarves, wizards and hobbits.

So the Broken Earth trilogy is about a world that regularly blows up from below (Father Earth) so that communities live in a constant state of readiness - ready to survive for years while the air is poisoned and crops can't grow - and fear - fear of Father Earth, and fear of the roggas. Roggas are a type of people who are more connected to Father Earth to the point that some of them can placate the earth's movement and save communities from destruction. The "stills" fear the roggas because of this ability, and over time have nearly enslaved all the roggas to keep them under control.

The story is very well-written, and now that I've paid my penance of understanding what is happening, I'm enjoying it. There a few anomalies that bug me, like the jump between first-person and third-person. But I have become less patient with these type of stories because as a reader I should not have to invest 150 pages before I'm captured in this version of Earth.


Attalus
Lorien


Feb 28, 6:02am

Post #5 of 17 (1054 views)
Shortcut
I Love Nero and Archie! [In reply to] Can't Post

I would humbly suggest that you read a few of Rex Stout's masterpieces before delivering judgement on the immortal pair. Maybe Fer-De-Lance? I discovered Nero and Archie in high school and had almost all of them till the divorce when my ex decided that the best way to hurt me was by taking all my favorite books. She was right, too/ Unsure

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mûmak. But we got him!


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 28, 7:03am

Post #6 of 17 (1049 views)
Shortcut
I agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

If Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin weren't engaging, he wasn't writing them right. I heartily second the recommendation to read some of the originals. Stout gave them such distinctive voices and characterizations. Smile

To be honest, I rarely like continuations of well-known series by other authors, even those "authorized" by the original authors themselves. I find they never manage the same feel to the characters and settings and I always end up feeling like something is missing.

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




Annael
Half-elven


Feb 28, 2:48pm

Post #7 of 17 (1020 views)
Shortcut
Keel Wick by Emily Carr [In reply to] Can't Post

Carr is one of Canada's best-known painters, and lately my family's been on a kick (instigated by my sister, who has loved Carr's work for years) to learn more about her. And it's a fascinating story. Carr traveled all over the British Columbia coast painting Native villages, particularly totem poles, well aware that the Native way of life was going under thanks to the diligent efforts of the government and Church. Carr's sympathies were all with the Natives, and she was granted access most whites never got. She traveled alone except for her Petit Griffon, who in one scene puts a pack of surly village dogs to flight. (Terriers!)

Turns out she was also a gifted writer. Robertson Davies predicted she would also be remembered as one of Canada's premier writers. Keel Wick was her Native-bestowed name (She Who Laughs) and is a collection of short stories about her travels to different villages and friendships with Natives. Some of the stories are heartbreaking; all are powerful and evocative.

You can see some of her work here:
https://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/...r_intotheforest.html

I'm also working through a collection of fantasy stories set in the Victorian era. Going to start The Obelisk Gate tonight (entmaiden, your comments are noted - I too found the switch between tenses annoying in the first book, but later I understood why she was using it).

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around … The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

(This post was edited by Annael on Feb 28, 2:52pm)


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Feb 28, 4:11pm

Post #8 of 17 (1018 views)
Shortcut
Thank you, and Silverlode, too [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll give the original Rex Stout novels the benefit of the doubt. I can only assume Goldsborough is tone-deaf to the appeal of the characters.

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow....


sevilodorf
Grey Havens


Mar 6, 2:30am

Post #9 of 17 (906 views)
Shortcut
Think of a Number by John Verdon [In reply to] Can't Post

Decent mystery with the clues laid out in a manner that reminds of The Sixth Sense where when you go back you see them but along the way it's not flagrant. There are six in the seasons so far.

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
Home of TheOneRing.net Best FanFic stories of 2005 and 2006 "The Last Grey Ship" and "Ashes, East Wind, Hope That Rises" by Erin Rua

(Found in Mathoms, LOTR Tales Untold)




Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Mar 6, 8:08pm

Post #10 of 17 (892 views)
Shortcut
It's the double March reading thread! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, March is upon us. I swear the Bradford pear trees here in North Texas went from bare branches to cascades of white flowers overnight.

I won't be here next week, so let's make this thread work until March 20, okay? Hard to believe we're that close to the equinox, whether vernal or autumnal in your part of the world, but here we are.

I'm now listening to another collection of Nora Ephron's magazine essays/articles, Wallflower at the Orgy The title comes from her comment in the original 1970 introduction that a reporter is like a wallflower at an orgy, noticing but not participating. In a second, more recent introduction, though, she remarks on how reporters themselves have become the story. I wonder what she'd say had she lived to see today's media?

I'm not very far into the book itself yet, but I suspect I'll be somewhat nonplussed at how essays written in the late 60s are very much historical, even mythical, artifacts now.

I just finished reading another Flavia de Luce mystery, Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, by Alan Bradley. I picked this up thinking it was the next book in the series after the last one I listened to, which ended on a cliffhanger. It turns out to be two books later in the series, and summarizes the intervening book to where I no longer want to find out what happens in it.

In this installment 12-year-old genius Flavia is sent to her mother's old school across the ocean from her home in England, in mysterious Toronto. There she's promptly involved in yet another murder mystery, as well as many secretive goings-on. I enjoyed the book well enough to read it in its entirety---it moves well, and Flavia has a distinctive voice---but I'll say the same thing about the plot of Chimney Sweepers that I have about the plots of several previous installments: Style and voice are all to the good, but a plot really needs to hang together, darn it!

So what have you been reading?

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow....


Attalus
Lorien


Mar 7, 1:30am

Post #11 of 17 (862 views)
Shortcut
George Washington: A Reappraisal... [In reply to] Can't Post

...by Richard Brookhiser. Also Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich and Indomitable (Chronicles of Promise Paen, #2) by W.C. Bauers. In rotation Pirate

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mûmak. But we got him!


Meneldor
Valinor


Mar 8, 4:22am

Post #12 of 17 (819 views)
Shortcut
My Zeppelins [In reply to] Can't Post

by Dr Hugo Eckener. I doubt anyone ever knew more about flying zeppelins than Eckener did. He was taken under the wing of Count Zeppelin himself to be his protégé before WW1. During his days piloting airships around the world in the 20's and 30's, he became more famous than the pope. His book is beautifully written and packed with fascinating stories of his flights. The only disappointment to me was that it was a little light on technical details of his ships. But at the end of the book there's an additional chapter by Eckener's son, also an experienced zeppelin crewman with a doctorate in engineering, and he adds all the nuts and bolts that I wanted.


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. -Psalm 107


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Mar 8, 5:27pm

Post #13 of 17 (775 views)
Shortcut
*snigger* I came running in [In reply to] Can't Post

to see what your music list looked like ;) ONE TRACK MIND, GRAMMA!



sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


Meneldor
Valinor


Mar 8, 5:33pm

Post #14 of 17 (771 views)
Shortcut
Oh, the humanity! :( [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
to see what your music list looked like ;) ONE TRACK MIND, GRAMMA!



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. -Psalm 107


Annael
Half-elven


Mar 17, 4:57pm

Post #15 of 17 (581 views)
Shortcut
The Big House by George Howe Colt [In reply to] Can't Post

the story of a summer house on Cape Cod that was built over a century ago and has remained in the same family of Boston Brahmins for generations.

I was blown away. My parents came from this culture, but they moved as far away as they could before I was born and told us that it was to get away from the stultifying way Bostonians did things. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and I've always considered myself a Westerner. Yes, my uncle on my dad's side had a place on the Cape, so did my oldest aunt on my mom's side, and we went to one or the other a few times, but it didn't occur to me that I was part of any particular tradition until I read this book. I recognized EVERYTHING: the attitudes,what was considered important and what was not, the activities ("endless games of Russian Bank" -
we play that all the time!), even the paths people's lives took. My parents may have moved 3000 miles away but they brought it all with them, and it's deeply inculcated in me . . . and in the next generation too. It's triggered some very interesting family conversations!

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around … The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


squire
Half-elven


Mar 17, 5:22pm

Post #16 of 17 (578 views)
Shortcut
Have you read 'The Late George Apley'? [In reply to] Can't Post

It captures that legendarily bright but enclosed Boston culture from an earlier time (1880s-1930s) that might include your parents' parents. My background includes that world too, though not at the topmost levels (no beach houses anywhere in sight). And very few of my generation still live in the Boston area.

I remember someone once characterizing every single piece of fiction in the old 'New Yorker' (pre-1980s) as "Closing Up The Summer House For The Season". But thanks for the recommendation - I think I will try to chase this one down and try it.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Annael
Half-elven


Mar 19, 4:34pm

Post #17 of 17 (554 views)
Shortcut
Thanks for the recommendation! [In reply to] Can't Post

My aunt - the one with the Cape Cod house, which was no "big house" but a group of three small buildings, the "main" one which contained the living room and her bedroom, the building with the kitchen and bathroom, and the "bunkhouse" which was no more than a row of small rooms, most with bunk beds - was considerably older than my mom and part of that generation. She escaped to New York where she was an editor for McCall's, worked for F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary agent, then opened a literary agency of her own. I regret very much not asking her more about her career while she was still compos mentis.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around … The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.