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What have you been reading this week?
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a.s.
Valinor


Mar 14 2007, 10:39am

Post #1 of 27 (412 views)
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What have you been reading this week? Can't Post

I've just finished a fascinating book that was hard to put down: The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan. The subtitle: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl , shows the book's emphasis and strength: Egan concentrates on a few families from whom he obtained first hand experiences, including diaries and saved newspapers, etc. This is a story of an ecological disaster which still resonates (unfortunately) today in America told from the inside, from people who did not leave to flee to California (a la Grapes of Wrath) but stuck it out on the southern prairie which became a complete no man's land where no green living thing grew: not grass, tree, or flower of any kind to hold the earth down. The descriptions of years and years of dust storms survived in dugout sod houses and in towns across the Dust Bowl are rivetting. So is the rather fascinating story of Roosevelt's sometimes misguided but heroic and essentially life-and-land-saving New Deal policies in the region, an early effort at a large (huge, really) scale land repair and conservation act. Equally appalling is the story of the land rush in the Homestead Act that caused thousands of people to flock to a grassland of humongous proportion, rip up the grass in a misguided effort to grow wheat, and destroy the ecological balance of a place which had survived from beyond recorded history as a haven for bison and nomadic native peoples: gone in a generation or two. Turned into an arid wasteland that still remains totally damaged in parts today. Uninhabitable.

As you can see, I was deeply affected by this book, and highly recommend it.

Other than that, another slow reading week. I am making my way through a book of "Lord Peter Whimsey" stories, a collection of short stories featuring Dorothy Sayer's amatuer detective par excellence, which I am enjoying the heck out of.

What about you all? What have you been reading this week?

a.s.

"an seileachan"

Everybody's wondering what and where they all came from.
Everybody's worried 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done.
No one knows for certain, and so it's all the same to me:
I think I'll just let the mystery be.
~~~~Iris DeMent


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Mar 14 2007, 2:33pm

Post #2 of 27 (206 views)
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The Language of the Night by Ursula K. Le Guin [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been reading the Earthsea books; I enjoy them, but I'm not passionate about them. But I love love love this book of essays on writing science fiction and fantasy. I just happened to pick it up at a used book store for $1.50. It's apparently out of print, although there are some used copies available. She's the best essay writer since Himself. And there's a lot about Himself in her essays. Here are some quotes:

"The kind of thing you learn from reading about the problems of a hobbit who is trying to drop a maginc ring into an imaginary volcano has very little to do with your social status, or material success, or income. Indeed, if there is any relationship, it is a negative one. ... just give a lift to one of those poeple along the roads who own nothing but a backpack, a guitar, a fine hyeard of hair, a smile, and a thumb. time and again, you will find that these waifs have read The lord of the Rings--some of them can practiaclly recite it. But now take Aristotle Onassis, or J. Paul Getty: could you believe that those men ever had anything to do, at any age, under any circumstance, with a hobbit? But to carry my example a little further, and out of the realm of economics, did you ever notice how very gloomy Mr. Onassis and Mr. Getty and all those billionaires look in their photographs? They have this strange, pinched look, as if they were hungry. As if they were hungry for something, as if they had lost something and were trying to think where it could be, or perhaps what it could be, what it was they've lost. Could it be their childhood?"

"In the third passage [she has quoted three passages; the third is by Tolkien,from the Council of Elrond], the speakers are quieter, and use a less extraordinary English; or rather an English extraordianry for its simple timelessness. Such language is rare on Capitol Hill, but it has occurred there. It has sobriety, wit, and force. It is the language of men of character."

Commenting about hack writers: "You know ichor. It oozes out of severed tentacles, and beslimes tesselated pavements, and bespatteres bejewelled courtiers, and bores the bejesus out of everybody."

"Tolkien writes a plain, clear English. Its outstanding virtue is its flexibility, its variety. It ranges easily from the commonplace to the stately, and can slide into metrical poetry, as in the Tom Bombadil episode, without the carelss reader's even noticing. Tolkien's vocabulary is not striking; he has no ichor; everything is direct, concrete, and simple."

"Consider: Did Henry the Fifth of England really talk like Shakespeare's Henry? Did the real Achilles use hexameters? Would the real Beowulf please stand up and alliterate? We are not discussion history, but heroic fantasy."


"I was reading aloud to our nine-year-old. We have just arrived at the ruined gates of Isengard, and found Merry and Pippin sitting amongst the ruins having a snack and a smoke. The nine-year-old likes Merry, but doesn't like Pippin. I never could tell them apart to that extent....I envy those who, born later than I, read Tolkien as children--my own children amongh them. I coertainly have had no scruples about exposing them to it at a tender age, when their resistance is minimal. To have known, at age ten or thirteen, of the existence of Ents, and of Lothlorien--what luck!...It is no wonder that so many people are bored by, or detest, The Lord of the Rings. For one thing, there was the faddism of a few years ago--Go Go Gandalf--enough to turn anybody against it. Judged by any of the Seven Types of Ambiguity that haunt the groves of Academe, it is totally inadequate. For those who seek allegory, it must be maddening. (It must be an allegory! Of course Frodo it Christ!--or is Gollum Christ?) For those whose grasp on reality is so tenuous that they crave ever-increasing doeses of "realism" in their reading, it offern nothing--unless, perhaps, a shortcut to the loony bin. And there are many subltler reasons for disliking it; for instance the peculair rhythm of the book, its continual alternataion of distress and relief, threat and reassurance, tension and relaxation: the rocking-horse gait (which is precisely what makes the huge book readable to a child aof nine or ten-- may well not suit a jet-age adult. And there's Aragorn, who is a stuffed shirt; and Sam, who keeps on saying "sir" to Frodo until one begins to have mad visions of founding a Hobbit Socialist Party; thd there isn't any sex. And there is the Problem of Evil, which some people think Tolkien muffs completely. Their arguments are superficially very good. They are the same arguments which Tolekien completely exploded, thereby freeing Beowulf forever from the dead hands of pedants, in his brilliant 1934 article, "The Monsters and the Critics"--an article which anyone who sees Tolkien as a Sweet Old Dear, by the way, would do well to read. Those who fault Tolkien on the Problem of Evil are usually those who have an answer to the Problem of Evil--which he did not. What kind of answer, after all, is it to drop a mangic ring into an imaginary volcano? No ideologues, not even religious ones, are going to be happy with Tolkien, unless they manages it by misreading him. For like all great artists he escapes ideology by being too quick for its nets, too complex for its grand simplicities, too fantastic for its rationality, too real for its generalizations. They will no more keep Tolkien labeled and pickled in a bottle than they will Beowulf, or the Elder Edda, or the Odyssey. It does not seem right to grieve at the end of so fulfulled a life. Only, when we get to the end of the book, I know I will have to put on a stiff frown so that little Ted will not notice that I am in tears when I read the last lines: 'He went on, and there was a yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap. He drew a deep breath. "Well, I'm back," he said.'"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"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."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
and some other stuff I wrote...
leleni at hotmail dot com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


RosieLass
Valinor


Mar 14 2007, 2:37pm

Post #3 of 27 (137 views)
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I've been listening to the "Pride & Prejudice" audiobook. [In reply to] Can't Post

It has been several years since I've read it, so I'm noticing a lot of things I hadn't noticed before.

For instance, I was surprised to see how early Mr. Darcy started falling for Elizabeth. Also, I can't help wondering whether Charlotte starts having designs on Mr. Collins before Elizabeth turns him down. She certainly sacrifices herself to spend time talking to him, and I'm not sure that friendliness to Eliza and taking some of the burden off her friend can entirely explain her willingness to waste time on him. And as disgusted as I am at Mrs. Bennett's foolishness, I find myself really angry at Mr. Bennett for not trying harder control of his wife and younger daughters' idiotic behavior.

Since I recently saw the new movie version of the story, I'm also noticing a lot of things that the movie got wrong. For example, the book clearly states that Mr. Bennett long ago lost any affection for his wife and feels only disappointment and almost contempt for their relationship. I'm also not seeing a whole lot of evidence to support that Mr. Darcy is really just shy and isn't really proud and aloof. And Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a crashing snob, not a raving crackpot.

Childrenís Interpretations of the Bible

  • Lotís wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.

  • The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.

  • Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.


  • http://mallika.vox.com/


    Elberbeth
    Tol Eressea


    Mar 14 2007, 2:58pm

    Post #4 of 27 (131 views)
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    I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for that one./ [In reply to] Can't Post

     

    "There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."


    Elberbeth
    Tol Eressea


    Mar 14 2007, 3:04pm

    Post #5 of 27 (131 views)
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    Finished 'Tis; finished the latest Tami Hoag; half way through Sharpe's Enemy [In reply to] Can't Post

    It's been a while since I've had the time or energy to read this much in a week.

    'Tis by Frank McCourt, sequel to Angela's Ashes. I like his style. Not as moving as AA, but quite enjoyable.

    Prior Bad Acts, by Tami Hoag. I like some of her books, others not so much. This one falls in the middle. Evolving serial killer, and the macho cop out to get him, etc. etc. Quite readable.

    Sharpe's Enemy: This one's set in Spain, and Sharpe is a major by now. I am really liking these books, finding them hard to put down. Still on the lookout for more for very little money.

    "There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."


    Arwen's daughter
    Half-elven


    Mar 14 2007, 3:07pm

    Post #6 of 27 (175 views)
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    finished A Game of Thrones [In reply to] Can't Post

    Sorry, apparently this became a very long paragraph.

    I mentioned last week that I was afraid I was losing interest in the genre after reading 7 books from the Wheel of Time series and 2 from the Sword of Truth series and giving up on both. But I cannot wait to pick-up the second book in this series. Maybe it's the different type of fantasy being told. The previous two series I'd read had a basic plotline of "meet magic-boy and magic-girl and by the end of the series they will fall in love and destroy big-bad-guy." The characters were cut-outs, stereotypes, mere shadows of people. But George RR Martin's people are real. This is the first time in a long time that I've really been angry at the bad guys. And not just because they're more evil than your stereotypical bad guys (and they are), but partially because I just didn't see it coming, and couldn't prepare for it in the beginning. By the end of the book I had come to understand just how evil they are. And I'm so incredibly glad that George RR Martin seems to know how to write women. Again, I compare him to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, in which the three strongest women seen in generations are mindless twits. Three lovesick little girls who never have to face reality. These women are tough and varied. Each is tough in her own ways, and through her own experiences. You really get a sense of what has driven these characters, all of them, to be what they are today. And that sense of history, which both roots you in the present and gives warning about what might happen in the next installment, is really impressive. And the story being unfurled is not revealed in the first ten pages. I have no idea what might happen (and the last 100 pages really suprised me). Sure, Martin uses his share of prophetic dreams and stories to give us an idea, but I don't know what the end goal is, and that excites me. My only quibble with the book is the amount of time that passes between chapters. It's both annoying and a blessing, I know. He gives us the important parts and doesn't waste time with anything we don't need to know, but so often I just want to skip ahead to that character's next chapter and skip what I'm about to read. I hope Borders has the second book in stock tonight.



    My LiveJournal

    My Costuming Site


    Morwen
    Rohan


    Mar 14 2007, 3:10pm

    Post #7 of 27 (137 views)
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    Yes, indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post

    Amazon has six used copies--well, now they have five.


    Quote

    just give a lift to one of those poeple along the roads who own nothing but a backpack, a guitar, a fine hyeard of hair, a smile, and a thumb. time and again, you will find that these waifs have read The lord of the Rings--some of them can practiaclly recite it.



    LOL! That couldn't be me, could it?


    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    I wish you could have been there
    When she opened up the door
    And looked me in the face
    Like she never did before
    I felt about as welcome
    As a Wal-Mart Superstore--John Prine


    Alcarcalime
    Tol Eressea


    Mar 14 2007, 4:20pm

    Post #8 of 27 (150 views)
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    Peter Jackson - A Film-Maker's Journey... [In reply to] Can't Post

    I was very interesting. I think if New Line execs don't understand why Peter is acting the way he is, then they need to read this book. He is exactly in character! I enjoy reading about genius (perhaps because I know I don't have any).

    The book takes you from his parents through the making of King Kong. I was fascinated to find out that when Peter met Fran, she was Stephen Sinclair's partner, and when they met Philippa, she was Stephen Sinclair's partner.

    After reading the book, I bought my son Peter's first three movies. I have no interest in seeing them, but I know my son would enjoy them.


    Farawyn
    Rohan


    Mar 14 2007, 4:37pm

    Post #9 of 27 (127 views)
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    On deck: Don Quixote and Little Children [In reply to] Can't Post

    Haven't started either one, but I *have* been getting my paperwork done in a timely fashion.

    For once.

    "I have a perfect horror of words that are not backed up by deeds."
    - Theodore Roosevelt, Oyster Bay, NY, July 7, 1915
    **************
    Snark: The Other White Meat.
    **************
    Disclaimer: The author of this message does not guarantee correct grammar, spelling or English usage. No responsibility can be accepted for the use of this message as a guide to written English.






    Aunt Dora Baggins
    Half-elven


    Mar 14 2007, 4:41pm

    Post #10 of 27 (131 views)
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    There are seventeen copies on another page of Amazon: [In reply to] Can't Post

    This page

    I found that through bibliofind. For some reason it gives different results than an amazon search.

    I'm afraid it was my fault that number went down from 6 to 5. I ordered a copy for my sister, who is a fantasy writer and dreamworker.

    I see I didn't catch all the typos in my post Crazy *head* of hair, of course.


    In Reply To
    Amazon has six used copies--well, now they have five.


    Quote

    just give a lift to one of those poeple along the roads who own nothing but a backpack, a guitar, a fine hyeard of hair, a smile, and a thumb. time and again, you will find that these waifs have read The lord of the Rings--some of them can practiaclly recite it.



    LOL! That couldn't be me, could it?


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "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."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
    and some other stuff I wrote...
    leleni at hotmail dot com

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Curious
    Half-elven

    Mar 14 2007, 6:51pm

    Post #11 of 27 (122 views)
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    More of Proust and Swann's Way. [In reply to] Can't Post

    Swann is making an idiot of himself over a woman not worthy of him. The agony of this doomed relationship goes on for page after page, chapter after chapter. It's hard to say who Proust despises more, Swann or his kept woman. Or perhaps it is all the other people in the picture. No one comes out looking at all admirable, I'll say that. No one is exactly villainous, they are just petty, vindictive, and stupid -- willfully stupid in the case of Swann, who should know better, and congenitally stupid in the case of most of the people with whom he associates.

    The only thing that keeps my interest is the careful study of how a smart man can do stupid things. But I'm afraid it makes me uncomfortable, since I consider myself a smart man but have done quite a few stupid things in my life. And I have a feeling it is also semi-autobiographical, since Proust is obviously a smart man. In some ways it reminds me of the TV show Frasier, which I could never watch because Frasier was a smart man who did stupid things.

    So I think I'll force myself to go back and read it more carefully, because perhaps I need to see what Proust wants to show me. But I cannot call it a pleasure.


    SandWitch King
    Rohan


    Mar 14 2007, 8:31pm

    Post #12 of 27 (115 views)
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    Bambi vs. Godzilla - David Mamet [In reply to] Can't Post

    This is a book by a writer and director in Hollywood and it just KILLS Hollywood, especially studios, producers and executives at all levels.

    It is incredibly quoteable and funny and feels true. Fun read and educational.

    . . . One should, if possible, express a negative concept in a positive form: "not meaningful" rather than "meaningless." I agree and will, therefore, now refer to contemporary movie executives as running around "like chickens without their heads cut on." - David Mamet


    SandWitch King
    Rohan


    Mar 14 2007, 8:38pm

    Post #13 of 27 (124 views)
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    You just wait [In reply to] Can't Post

    I loved your comments. Not everybody enjoys these books but you seemed to have enjoyed this one the same way I enjoyed it. Like you, I often wanted to skip ahead to the next "Bran" "Tyrion" or whoever chapters.

    My favorite character in the series is female. My most hated villian in the series is also female.

    The great thing about the next books you are about to read is your perspective on these characters, even the evil ones, evolves. Be sure to read this exact post three books from now. I love them all but perhaps the next book, the one you are hoping to find at the store, is my favorite.

    I mentally modded up your post because you captured my own thoughts so well.





    In Reply To
    Sorry, apparently this became a very long paragraph.

    I mentioned last week that I was afraid I was losing interest in the genre after reading 7 books from the Wheel of Time series and 2 from the Sword of Truth series and giving up on both. But I cannot wait to pick-up the second book in this series. Maybe it's the different type of fantasy being told. The previous two series I'd read had a basic plotline of "meet magic-boy and magic-girl and by the end of the series they will fall in love and destroy big-bad-guy." The characters were cut-outs, stereotypes, mere shadows of people. But George RR Martin's people are real. This is the first time in a long time that I've really been angry at the bad guys. And not just because they're more evil than your stereotypical bad guys (and they are), but partially because I just didn't see it coming, and couldn't prepare for it in the beginning. By the end of the book I had come to understand just how evil they are. And I'm so incredibly glad that George RR Martin seems to know how to write women. Again, I compare him to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, in which the three strongest women seen in generations are mindless twits. Three lovesick little girls who never have to face reality. These women are tough and varied. Each is tough in her own ways, and through her own experiences. You really get a sense of what has driven these characters, all of them, to be what they are today. And that sense of history, which both roots you in the present and gives warning about what might happen in the next installment, is really impressive. And the story being unfurled is not revealed in the first ten pages. I have no idea what might happen (and the last 100 pages really suprised me). Sure, Martin uses his share of prophetic dreams and stories to give us an idea, but I don't know what the end goal is, and that excites me. My only quibble with the book is the amount of time that passes between chapters. It's both annoying and a blessing, I know. He gives us the important parts and doesn't waste time with anything we don't need to know, but so often I just want to skip ahead to that character's next chapter and skip what I'm about to read. I hope Borders has the second book in stock tonight.


    . . . One should, if possible, express a negative concept in a positive form: "not meaningful" rather than "meaningless." I agree and will, therefore, now refer to contemporary movie executives as running around "like chickens without their heads cut on." - David Mamet


    TintallŽ
    Gondor

    Mar 14 2007, 9:01pm

    Post #14 of 27 (134 views)
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    Martin does resemble Jordan in one way [In reply to] Can't Post

    *taps foot impatiently* The next book in the series isn't out yet.

    HBO is planning to turn Martin's fantasy world into a TV series. For me it will be nicer to see the armor, banners, etc. than read the lengthy descriptions of them.

    And sometimes I did read ahead to the chapters about my favorite characters. Another fan on these boards told me that's how she figured out who died in each book - no more chapters for them!

    I didn't even read the last book in the Wheel of Time series. When all the books are finished I may pick them up; until then I'm not going to invest so much time in a story that may never be finished. You know, there was such a long wait for the last installment that I joked to my son (who had introduced me to Wheel) that Robert Jordan would probably have a heart attack and die before he ever finished the series. Imagine my guilt when he actuallly had one. Unsure

    Hmmm, I wonder how Martin's health is. . .


    Ciars
    Rohan


    Mar 14 2007, 9:11pm

    Post #15 of 27 (111 views)
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    Spirit Gate : Kate Elliot [In reply to] Can't Post

    I really enjoyedthe crown of stars series and so far I'm getting reeled into her new novel, I'm about halfway through and I have to say I do prefer this novel already over the others -fill in more next week when I've finished!



    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.


    SandWitch King
    Rohan


    Mar 14 2007, 9:49pm

    Post #16 of 27 (120 views)
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    Good news! [In reply to] Can't Post

    Martin is hale and healthy.

    I saw Jordan at DragonCon and he seems to be doing okay too. Like you, I will just maybe read his final book, none others.

    Martin's next is due this year I believe, although that may stretch.

    The HBO series may add pressure to finish if it proves successful. He would hafta write the books to keep up with HBO's season. 8)

    . . . One should, if possible, express a negative concept in a positive form: "not meaningful" rather than "meaningless." I agree and will, therefore, now refer to contemporary movie executives as running around "like chickens without their heads cut on." - David Mamet


    Draupne
    Forum Admin / Moderator

    Mar 14 2007, 10:13pm

    Post #17 of 27 (113 views)
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    The comsol multiphysics user's guide [In reply to] Can't Post

    5000 pages of documentation with all the manuals, modules and who knows what. *grumble*

    When I finish, I have to Harry Dresden books waiting for me.


    CAhobbit
    Rohan


    Mar 14 2007, 11:32pm

    Post #18 of 27 (120 views)
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    Great thoughts! [In reply to] Can't Post

    Sandwitch King got me addicated to the series a few years ago (darn you Sandwitch King and your recommendations.Tongue)
    The twists and turns (not only plot but characters as well) in the series are amazing (and for me, unforseeable most of the time. I'm not a skip ahead to see if there's another chapter named after a character gal...though I've been tempted). Even though I've read through book 4 I still have no idea where or how the series will end (since everything gets more complicated book by book). Book 3 is my favorite so far of the entire series. Book 4 makes me fear greatly for one of my favorite characters though. Now if only book 5 would come out.

    Do not meddle in the affairs of hobbits for we can bite your kneecaps off!



    CAhobbit's flickr page

    CAhobbit's myspace


    Kimi
    Forum Admin / Moderator

    Mar 14 2007, 11:40pm

    Post #19 of 27 (103 views)
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    Saturnalia [In reply to] Can't Post

    The latest in the series of books by British author Lindsey Davis about a Roman investigator during the time of Emperor Vespasian.

    Theses are mainly an undemanding romp for the reader, and they give the impression that the author has fun writing them. I think she is careful with her historical settings, but she's quite shameless about giving her hero rather modern sensibilities. The contrast is deliberate, and part of the comedy.

    I do find I need to be in the right mood for these books. There's sometimes an archness to them that rubs me up the wrong way if I'm feeling less than mellow. But overall, a fun series, and one in which I always eagerly await the next offering.




    Promises to Keep: a novel set in 19th Century New Zealand.

    The Passing of Mistress Rose

    Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

    - A Room With a View


    Penthe
    Gondor


    Mar 15 2007, 12:42am

    Post #20 of 27 (112 views)
    Shortcut
    The Last Samurai (no, not that one) [In reply to] Can't Post

    This one is by Helen deWitt, and is set in modern day-ish London, where Sybilla lives with her precociously gifted son Ludo. Sibylla has run away from her disappointed family of motel builders in America, and comes to England to reinvent herself. She's amazingly good at learning languages, and likes to think she is utterly logical, but she is actually trapped in a miserable existence that she can't get herself out of. She doesn't do anything useful with her talents, even though she has run away from her family to avoid exactly this fate. She spends her time typing articles into a database for an online publisher, and teaching her amazing son. He wants to learn Japanese when he is five, so Sibylla tells him she'll teach him if he reads all the Odyssey (in ancient Greek), some work in Arabic and does however many bits of calculus. He works his way through all this, and this provides a backbone to the rest of the story. He wants to learn Japanese because Sybilla forces him to watch the Seven Samurai by Kurosawa in order to provide him with male role models, since she refuses to tell him who his father is and he doesn't go to school after a few disastrous days.

    Ludo's voice takes over half way through the story, as he tries to find his father and tries to understand Sybilla's sadness.

    The voices are wonderfully written, but I find it to be utterly a page turner as well. I've read it several times, but I always find something else hilarious, fascinating or just plain gobsmackingly amazing to enjoy in it. There really aren't any other books exactly like it as far as I can tell. The characters are such that they live inside your head forever afterwards, which is very rare in books for adults as far as I've experienced.

    I also read Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris. It's a supernatural crime thriller starring Mr Darcy and Elizabeth just after they are married, and in which Caroline Bingley goes completely mad. It got me home from Brisbane to Ipswich on the train, and was quite diverting.


    Penthe
    Gondor


    Mar 15 2007, 12:46am

    Post #21 of 27 (106 views)
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    Good heavens, I want that very much indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post

    Thanks for the extended quotes Aunt Dora. Shivery feelings of unusual intensity resulted.


    Aunt Dora Baggins
    Half-elven


    Mar 15 2007, 3:01am

    Post #22 of 27 (97 views)
    Shortcut
    *looks up* Oog, sorry about all the typos! I was typing like a bat out of hell./ [In reply to] Can't Post

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "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."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
    and some other stuff I wrote...
    leleni at hotmail dot com

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    N.E. Brigand
    Half-elven


    Mar 15 2007, 5:00am

    Post #23 of 27 (97 views)
    Shortcut
    Did you ever see the cartoon it's named for? / [In reply to] Can't Post

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Detail from earliest version of Thror's MapTolkien Illustrated! Jan. 29-May 20: Visit the Reading Room to discuss art by John Howe, Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith and others, including Tolkien himself.

    Mar. 12-18: Tolkien's Art for Children.


    SandWitch King
    Rohan


    Mar 15 2007, 5:13am

    Post #24 of 27 (91 views)
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    yes! {NT} [In reply to] Can't Post

     

    . . . One should, if possible, express a negative concept in a positive form: "not meaningful" rather than "meaningless." I agree and will, therefore, now refer to contemporary movie executives as running around "like chickens without their heads cut on." - David Mamet


    luinfalathiel
    Lorien


    Mar 15 2007, 1:13pm

    Post #25 of 27 (99 views)
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    Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik! [In reply to] Can't Post

    A great "travel literature" book about one woman's yearlong adventures in Africa, travelling from the south to the north. The author is Marie Javins. Good read!

    Chance favours the prepared mind.
    http://simulflow.vox.com

    the eye of luinfalathiel

    the eye of luinfalathiel

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