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It's the Baggins birthday reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 18, 4:49pm

Post #1 of 10 (670 views)
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It's the Baggins birthday reading thread! Can't Post

The 22nd of September is bearing (hobbiting?) down on us fast. So is the wedding of two young friends. Ever since they chose the date, almost a year ago, I've been assuring them that it's one of very good omen. Smile

I'm on disc 18 (of 20) of The Three Musketeers, and am heartily tired of Milady's villainy---just as Dumas intends for me to be, even putting those exact words into the mouths of the musketeers. She must be one of the nastiest bad guys in literature.

On paper, I'm just finishing up Song of the Lion, book three in Anne Hillerman's continuation of her father Tony's Chee and Leaphorn mysteries. As usual, I appreciate Anne using Bernadette Manuelito as a major viewpoint character. I'm also happy that in this installment Anne dwells much less on Bernie's family strife and has Bernie and Chee working together more often.

However, also as usual, Anne's very flat, newspaper-style, "just the facts, ma'am" style grates on me. Reading the last book, Rock With Wings, I thought she'd loosened up a bit, but not so much in this one. Plus there are non sequiturs that make me wonder if her cut-and-paste went a bit awry.

But then, Tony's tone could be flat, too, and he would occasionally throw in a "where did that come from" moment, so maybe she's picked up her father's bad habits as well as his good ones---an absorbing plot revolving around the affairs and customs of the Navajo and their neighbors.

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....


Mari D.
The Shire


Sep 19, 12:08pm

Post #2 of 10 (571 views)
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I am reading "Pompeii", [In reply to] Can't Post

a 400p novel telling an (invented, I believe) story of an aquaduct-water-system-engineer, who tries to find out why the aquaducts are failing right before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius ...
... every now and then, I find myself wondering how well the author manages to capture the mentality and feel of ancient Roman cities. There is a sense of foreignness in how he describes things, so maybe he's getting it right. Or it might just be how HE imagined it was like, not how it was really like. Can we ever really know what it was like to live in another time? I wish we could. It would probably be quite mind-opening.

By the way, I read the 3 Musketeers many years ago ... I remember I liked it ... but not much more :-)


(This post was edited by Mari D. on Sep 19, 12:19pm)


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 19, 2:50pm

Post #3 of 10 (560 views)
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Funniest thing about the Three Musketeers [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm happy to accept the rich prose, the convoluted sentences, the melodrama and all. What keeps jerking me out of the story is not just the author, but the characters, referring to the King of England at the time of the story (the 1620s), as Charles THE FIRST, when Charles the Second hadn't even been born yet.

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....


Ettelewen
Rohan

Sep 19, 3:21pm

Post #4 of 10 (550 views)
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Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" [In reply to] Can't Post

Set in the American Civil War period, the story of four sisters and their mother dealing with life while their father is away to the war. I'd thought I had read this years ago, but the story seems completely unfamiliar to me - a very refreshing read!

Interestingly, I found an article on the story at Smithsonian.com just yesterday, "Why 'Little Women' Endures 150 Years Later." What a coincidence that I am reading the novel at the same time.

Best of wishes to your two young friends being married on that most excellent day, the 22nd of September! It is indeed a date of good omen - my husband and I will be celebrating our 34th anniversary that day. Cool


Annael
Half-elven


Sep 19, 9:48pm

Post #5 of 10 (525 views)
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China Rich Girlfriend [In reply to] Can't Post

sequel to "Crazy Rich Asians." Not enjoying it as much,even though I'm having an easier time keeping track of who's who. The characters are so into money, and so bigoted against everyone who is not of their own set (and they don't like those who are, either). This is all probably deliberate; Kwan introduces the book with this quote from Dorothy Parker:



Quote
If you want to know what God thinks of money, look at the people he gives it to.


Kwan comes from this milieu, and clearly he's got some feelings about his own people that he's working out.

I've also been trying to read a book about vampires and shapeshifters called Wild Hunger, but I read about a page at a time and am already bored. Apparently it's the follow-on to an earlier series; I might try reading the first of that to see if it's better and the author is just trying to milk it too far. But maybe I'm just tired of the genre. The only series of the type that I liked at all was the True Blood stories, and even they lost me after a half-dozen books.

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


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 20, 2:47pm

Post #6 of 10 (460 views)
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Thank you! Happy anniversary! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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....


sherlock
Gondor


Sep 21, 5:55pm

Post #7 of 10 (438 views)
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I read that article [In reply to] Can't Post

I was about 16 when I read Little Women so I should probably read it again.


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Sep 25, 3:07pm

Post #8 of 10 (400 views)
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It's the last of September reading thread! [In reply to] Can't Post

And the year is almost 3/4 over. Whew!

I finally finished listening to The Three Musketeers, which has a satisfying ending. I like the way Dumas presents the Cardinal as more of a realpolitik guy than a villain. After all, he had his villain in the late but unlamented Milady.

I'm now listening to the last section of Michael Pollan's Cooked, read by the author. I'm enjoying his blend of history, foodways, and science---the big picture, in other words.

The book is in four parts. Fire, about grilling meat outdoors, Water, about cooking soups and stews, Air, about baking bread (with more than a few asides about the "white flour industrial complex"), and now Earth, about fermentation ranging from yogurt and sauerkraut to foods I've never heard of.

I'm not reading a paper book right now but am catching up with magazines, including British Heritage and Smithsonian. Despite their very slick professional presentation, BH has a tendency to print blatant grammatical errors, sigh, and this month's issue is no exception. Truly, copy-editing is a lost art.

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....


Mari D.
The Shire


Oct 2, 9:45pm

Post #9 of 10 (200 views)
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Something I might read too one day :) [In reply to] Can't Post

As I really really really like the animated TV series. The charming quality of the animations in the depiction of characters, plus how the series shows their humaness, morals and struggles I like a lot.


Mari D.
The Shire


Oct 2, 9:52pm

Post #10 of 10 (199 views)
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Reminded by you, I started [In reply to] Can't Post

reading it again recently, 've only finished the first chapter until now though ... wanted to read a novel to relax so though why not this one :) I like it so far, simple plot elements but nicely executed. Bold, meandering(right word?) style ... I have a German translation. The original would be French? But my French's not good enough anyway. =)

PS: Finished Pompeii. Quite good! Would make a great film. What a pity they abandoned that project. Maybe one day.


(This post was edited by Mari D. on Oct 2, 9:55pm)

 
 

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