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It's the middle-of-January reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jan 14, 3:53pm

Post #1 of 12 (249 views)
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It's the middle-of-January reading thread! Can't Post

After about three flakes of snow here last weekend, we're now headed back into warmer than usual weather. We're starting to see the odd green plant poke tentatively up out of the ground, and hear the odd bird twittering away, and want to tell them, "Go back! It's still January!"

I finished reading Terry Pratchett's Witches Abroad and, no surprise there, thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot works itself out with lots of clever twists and incidents. There's no one like Pratchett for wit and profound truths on the same page.

(My husband and I stumbled over a dramatization of Pratchett's Going Postal, with Charles Dance as Vetinari, David Suchet as the villain, and Claire Foy as the heroine. Neither of us has read this one so we have no criticisms of the adaptation, just sat back and enjoyed it. PTerry himself made a cameo right at the end, something we noticed with wobbly smiles. So many horrible people in the world and we lose the good ones!)

(I've always pictured Alan Rickman as Vetinari, but Dance captured the character well.)

I finished listening to Louise Penny's Kingdom of the Blind. This installment (fourteenth, I believe) in the Inspector Gamache series read well and came to a satisfying conclusion. Like any author, there are things I like in Penny's books (a straightforward 3rd-person, past-tense narrative, the French-Canadian setting, the characters) and things I dislike (she head-hops, she can be repetitive, the plots can be a bit overdone).

But I enjoyed the book, which wrapped up a couple of issues lingering from the last one as well as having a clever plot of its own---and setting up an issue for the next installment. I was out ahead of the main characters, though, and was not at all surprised at the identity of the killer.

I have that next installment, A Better Man, on my MP3 but am going to listen to several other things before I get to it. I'm starting with Alexander McCall Smith's The House of Unexpected Sisters, a fairly recent installment in his Precious Ramotswe/Botswana series, because I have a relatively stressful week coming up and want comfort reading.

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....


Annael
Immortal


Jan 14, 5:34pm

Post #2 of 12 (206 views)
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Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos [In reply to] Can't Post

long, involved novel set in Seattle, with lots and lots of local references (including several about how absurd Seattle streets are because they have to get people around hills and various bodies of water). I enjoyed it very much. My only cavil was that almost all her characters are thoroughly nice people who seem to be on their best behavior all the time (with the exception of one central character, whom everyone else takes care of without complaint), and everything works out beautifully for everyone in the end. A fantasy that doesn't quite work, given that one of the themes is the Holocaust and another is the greed of certain people who make money out of other people's pain.

There was another Discworld adaptation in which Jeremy Irons played Vetinari, "The Colour of Magic." I thought he was perfectly cast. PTerry had a small role in that one too, as he did in "Hogfather" (my favorite of all the live-action adaptations to date). Sadly they missed the chance to have Rhys Ifans play Rincewind in TCoM and instead cast someone I'd never heard of, apparently well-known in England, who was short & round instead of long & lanky and who overacted every scene. But Irons was great.

Someone made a poster of Seattle's more ridiculous intersections:
http://www.seattlemag.com/...rsections%20crop.jpg

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
my blog: https://jodybower.com/myths-archetypes-in-film/


(This post was edited by Annael on Jan 14, 5:40pm)


ElanorTX
Grey Havens


Jan 14, 7:06pm

Post #3 of 12 (195 views)
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Looks like alien syllabary [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't there a mnemonic along the lines of Jesus Christ Built Seattle Under Protest ? (to keep a set of major streets in order)

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."



Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 14, 7:08pm

Post #4 of 12 (192 views)
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If there was room, [In reply to] Can't Post

which I'm guessing there isn't, roundabouts would work well at those intersections. Does Seattle have any? I don't remember seeing one during my visits.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís 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.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Annael
Immortal


Jan 15, 1:25am

Post #5 of 12 (171 views)
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close [In reply to] Can't Post

Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest:

from south to north the downtown streets are Jefferson, James, Cherry, Columbia, Madison, Marion, Spring, Seneca, University, Union, Pike & Pine.

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
my blog: https://jodybower.com/myths-archetypes-in-film/


Annael
Immortal


Jan 15, 1:39am

Post #6 of 12 (165 views)
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no room [In reply to] Can't Post

and also, rarely flat. Streets are coming in from uphill & downhill. Take the example of the third one down on the left on the poster. It's on the side of our highest hill. The north-south street is going steeply downhill while most of the intersecting streets are slanting up or down. And houses are crammed in tightly between them all.

We do have roundabouts in more outlying areas. Most people are totally confused by them.

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
my blog: https://jodybower.com/myths-archetypes-in-film/


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 15, 3:14am

Post #7 of 12 (171 views)
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"I am a herald and ambassador, and may not be assailed!" [In reply to] Can't Post

That's from "The Black Gate Opens" in The Lord of the Rings, the chapter from which I picked my screen name here, a little more than 16 years ago.

The speaker is the Mouth of Sauron, addressing Mordor's enemies led by Aragorn and Gandalf, but he probably had to watch his back, too. I think we know enough about how Mordor functioned to say that Sauron had spies who would kept track of the movements of his officials, including ambassadors like the Mouth of Sauron. (If Mordor existed today, those spies would no doubt have access to his phone and computer.) Sauron's agents likely also developed plots to assassinate such officers, if he asked them to do so. Doubtless they'd want to be compensated in some way. But I guess you can do anything in Mordor with money.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 15, 4:17am

Post #8 of 12 (155 views)
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About confusing roundabouts, [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm fine with them as long as they have only one or two lanes - any more and I have serious concerns about how they actually work.

When I lived in Auckland there were two roundabouts that I tried to avoid as much as possible (Panmure and Royal Oak, for those playing along). When I worked for a newspaper there and had the police round, I was speaking with the community constable in Panmure about that evil four-lane roundabout and he mentioned he never had a problem with it. I gently pointed out that of course he didn't, given that people would give him a wide berth in his *police car*.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís 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.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


sherlock
Gondor


Jan 15, 11:23am

Post #9 of 12 (141 views)
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Iím reading [In reply to] Can't Post

A couple of rereads. Iím reading Little Women and Fellowship of the Ring again. I read Little Women when I was about 16. I havenít seen the latest movie yet but will at some point.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 17, 7:51pm

Post #10 of 12 (101 views)
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While someone was climbing volcanoes, no less. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I don't think Tolkien ever uses the word "volcano" in The Lord of the Rings, does he?


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
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squire
Half-elven


Jan 17, 8:08pm

Post #11 of 12 (100 views)
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No [In reply to] Can't Post

He uses 'volcano' once in The Hobbit, simply as a descriptive word; and in his 'Guide to Names in LotR', he calls Mount Doom aka Orodruin a volcano.

In The Lord of the Rings, Mount Doom is always called the Mountain of Fire, the Fiery Mountain, or the Fire-mountain.



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.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Fri, 9:14pm

Post #12 of 12 (21 views)
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"Will no one rid me of this turbulent ambassador?" [In reply to] Can't Post

How would Sauron get the job done, do you think? Indirectly, as Henry II called for the assassination of Thomas Becket?

(My subject line quotes the statement traditionally attributed to Henry --except he is alleged to have said "priest" rather than "ambassador"-- but I see that historians believe Henry's actual words were, "What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?" Tolkien uses the word "drones" at some point to describe Sauron's slaves, doesn't he? Although given the date, wouldn't Henry have said this in French?)

Or would it have been something more direct, like simply telling an orc to "Get rid of him!" and "Take him out!"? Although that perhaps sounds too modern.

What's the order that Palpantine issues to all the stormtroopers in the sixth (or third) Star Wars movie?


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.

 
 

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