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It's the wow, it's autumn, reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Oct 23, 4:22pm

Post #1 of 7 (622 views)
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It's the wow, it's autumn, reading thread! Can't Post

So we returned to North Texas after a couple of weeks away to discover that chilly autumn weather has arrived early. With water. Lots and lots of water. We've had two and a half FEET of rain in less than two months, and that's a minor amount compared to the unfortunate souls south of here, who are experiencing floods, destroyed bridges, creaking dams, and the like.

I tell you, they're organizing the longhorns, the armadillos, and the rattlesnakes two by two! (Sorry, it's not really a joking matter.)

As usual, I took a couple of throwaway books with me---that is, used books so tattered they pretty much fell apart in my hands, so I felt no qualms about throwing them away once I'd read them.

One was an anthology, Christmas Crimes, which is just what it sounds like, a group of mystery/crime stories that take place at Christmas. The authors ranged from Agatha Christie and Georges Simenon to ones I hadn't heard of, and the stories ranged from enjoyable ones to ones my internal critic insisted on picking apart.

The second throwaway was another in the Henry Tibbett series by Patricia Moyes, Falling Star. I'm still marveling at how books set in the UK in the 60s sound so much like books set in the UK in the 30s. This one is from the point of view of a rather foolish young man who's backing a movie financially. A fatal accident on the set leads to a complex but ultimately workable murder-mystery plot.

I also read two more novels and a novella. The latter was The Furthest Station, an e-only story by Ben Aaronovitch set in his Rivers of London series. Peter Grant and his London Underground colleague, Kumar, investigate ghost sightings on Underground trains. Very fine, as always.

I also picked up the third book in Charlaine Harris's Midnight, Texas, trilogy, Night Shift. The plot was a bit far-fetched---and yes, I know, the characters are vampires and witches and all, but still.... However, I've enjoyed the trilogy not only because it's fun guessing just where in Texas Midnight is supposedly located, but especially because the citizens of Midnight are, for the most part, friends and neighbors rather than the antagonists you most often see in novels with supernatural characters.

Finally, I read a book in Kerry Greenwood's Miss Fisher series, Death Before Wicket. I love Greenwood's contemporary Corinna Chapman series (and just heard this morning number seven has hit bookshelves in Australia!) but hadn't read any of the Fisher books, despite enjoying the TV series.


In this installment Phryne works to solves a theft in Sydney, which turns out to be connected to an occult underworld. I could tell the novel was written by the same author as the Chapman books, but I'm afraid super-confident book-Phryne didn't work for me all that well. Suffice it to say, I rolled my eyes two or three times at events in the story while I enjoyed other aspects of it.

Whew! I'm now reading a young adult novel recommended by my granddaughter, but will report on it next week.

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....


AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


Oct 23, 5:25pm

Post #2 of 7 (594 views)
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Here's that bridge. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not a dinky low water crossing, either. They call it the 2900 bridge.
Google Maps

Live TV broadcast of bridge collapse across the Llano river.

I also saw news footage of a boat with its boat house on top of it go over one of the dams.

This is downriver a bit from where my brother lives. Fortunately, they are on the high side of the Llano River and didn't have any flooding, but plenty of other folks did.
This river and others feed into the water supply of Austin, Texas. The pumps are so overwhelmed with the flooding that the City of Austin is under a boil water notice since yesterday.

It's feast or famine around here when it comes to rainfall. We have been in extreme drought for several years.



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!


Annael
Half-elven


Oct 23, 7:08pm

Post #3 of 7 (580 views)
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Finished "Good Omens" [In reply to] Can't Post

Can't believe it took me this long to get around to reading this book. Loved it. Eagerly awaiting the Netflix series.

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 Ö 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


Oct 23, 7:25pm

Post #4 of 7 (571 views)
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Goodness! [In reply to] Can't Post

One of my cousins has a vacation home in the area of the bridge collapse, but I haven't spoken to him about it. And one of our kids lives in Cedar Park, just far enough outside Austin not to be affected by the boil water edict.

Yes, I remember very recently when we drove through that area and even the cactus looked withered and dried up. Feast or famine indeed!

I hope you and your relatives won't be affected by the rain predicted this week.

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....


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Oct 23, 7:27pm

Post #5 of 7 (569 views)
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I know what you mean [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw the preview for the TV series, thought, hey that looks good, followed by, don't I have a copy of that?

Yes, I do have a copy of that, and it's now on my coffee table TBR stack. Why on earth I put a Pratchett/Gaiman collaboration on the shelf unread, I have no idea.

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....


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Oct 24, 7:46pm

Post #6 of 7 (548 views)
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Just plowed through the "Court of..." series by Sarah J. Maas [In reply to] Can't Post

She's my daughter's favorite author, and since I'm an author she thought I'd like the character development. Well I will say that most of the characters were pretty multi-dimensional, tragically flawed and such. There were a couple of villains that were pretty one-dimensional, in fact I kept expecting this one woman to break into an evil laugh. And one of the male characters was a little too perfect, he started out as the "bad boy" but we found out that was all an act. Meanwhile, the hero of the first book turned into a villain in the second book, for reasons that were actually relatable. I kind of felt sorry for him in the third book, but my daughter thinks he's a tool. Maybe that makes for good character development, having characters that are so complex that different readers will have different opinions about them. The story itself is okay, the first book (A Court of Thorns & Roses) is inspired by "Beauty & the Beast," but I don't think they have much in common. The third book had the big climactic war and the heroes won, in fact none of the "good guys" died (well okay, a monster and someone's dad, but they were very minor characters). There's a good question as to whether you can have a good story if there's no real loss like that. I suppose that's something that can be debated. Overall, it's not Tolkien but it's pretty good, however I'm probably fine with stopping at the end of the trilogy (A Court of Wings & Ruin) and not reading any future spinoffs. Time will tell.

I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies - this is me!

from The Greatest Showman




Kelly of Water's Edge
Rohan

Oct 27, 4:32pm

Post #7 of 7 (293 views)
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Stephen King's Revival - and starting Lovecraft's Cthulhu cycle! [In reply to] Can't Post

As usual, King gives a great sense of the people and landscape of Maine, but this one perhaps isn't for everyone. Without giving the ending away it's perhaps King's most nihilistic work, and I wouldn't recommend it for those struggling with terminal illness or their loved ones, as it's a big part of the story. This also might be the King work most inspired by Lovecraft.

Between that and the Cthulhu mythos slated to be the subject of one of the segments in this year's Treehouse of Horror special on the Simpsons, I felt this Halloween season was the time to finally immerse myself. From what I've read, I'm not technically new to the mythos as King's recurring villain Randall Flagg and his various incarnations (The Stand, The Dark Tower, Eyes of the Dragon) is actually Lovecraft's most evil creation, Nyarlathotep. This is the first time I'm actually reading through Lovecraft, and all I can say is that Nyarlathotep is one disturbing cookie.

Once I finish the Lovecraft short story anthology, I'm continuing with Robert Bloch's complete Cthulhu stories (which my research suggests is also essential ) and will finish with Charles Dexter Ward and the Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, both of which my research suggests are advanced and shouldn't be read until one has gotten through the short stories. Since I'm a newbie, I'd be happy for any vets to jump in with comments.

 
 

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