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It's another end-of-the-month reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jun 30, 3:22pm

Post #1 of 13 (203 views)
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It's another end-of-the-month reading thread! Can't Post

Wasn't it just a couple of days ago I was exclaiming over the end of May? Shocked

I've discovered I can download audiobooks from our library, woo hoo! I just finished a superb BBC dramatization of Dorothy L. Sayers's The Nine Tailors, one of her best-known Peter Wimsey mysteries. On the one hand, a dramatization does leave out a lot of good prose, but on the other hand, a dramatization includes sound effects such as the sound of the bells that play such an important part in the story.

On my e-reader I read The Princess Powers Up: Watching the Sleeping Beauties Become Warrior Goddesses, by a certain Jody Gentian Bower Wink. The book is both founded securely in psychology and myth and is a wonderfully fast and entertaining read. As the grandmother of three girls who are speeding into their teenage years, I particularly enjoyed Bowers's thoughtful analysis of the evolution of Disney's various princesses and her similar overview of the Marvel universe.

I'm now reading a paper book of Murder on the House by Juliet Blackwell. This is the third in her series about Mel Turner, a contractor who renovates old houses in San Francisco, who sees ghosts, and who finds herself involved in murder cases. I have to confess my expectations were low, but the story has turned out to be nicely done, with amusing moments and scary ones as well. How well the mystery part of it works out I can't say yet, but I'm willing to go along for the ride.

Stay safe everyone---and tell us what you've 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


Jul 1, 5:45pm

Post #2 of 13 (165 views)
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I can't believe it's July! [In reply to] Can't Post

Especially since it's still cool & rainy here . . . but traditionally, summer doesn't start in the PNW until July 5. And they're predicting a hot one, so no complaining about the grey day out there from me.

(thanks for the nod Lily)

I re-read "Godstalk" by P.C. Hodgell. This book was recommended on TORN years ago . . . possibly by Reverend? . . . although it was out of print at the time. I managed to locate a hardbound first edition, loved it, and was sad that Hodgell hadn't continued the story. But she had, and in recent years has published eight more books in the series. It's all building to what promises to be a doozy of a climax. Not like any other fantasy series I can think of: the heroine, who starts out amnesiac and only slowly starts to put things together, is possibly/probably going to turn into the human avatar of the Destroyer aspect of her three-faced god (rather like the Hindu trio of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, & Shiva the Destroyer). If all three avatars can manifest at once, they can finally destroy the Big Bad that's been threatening all of creation for millennia. But first Jame has to figure out who she is; survive the complicated politics and spiritual powers of the city of Tai-tastigon; cross the deadly mountains between Tai-tastigon and the Riverland, home to her exiled people, and find her long-lost twin; defy her own culture's insistence that women of her class stay tightly bound by rules, clothing, and fortresses and serve only as broodmares; get into, survive, and pass the tests of the military college; and along the way, encounter, understand, and become allied with the local powers of the world her people have fled to, including animals and the mysterious Builders. In the last book out she has to return to Tai-tastigon to clean up some lingering problems in that strange & wonderful city, so before reading it again I felt the need to re-acquaint myself with all the characters and plots of the first book. Glad I did because on this third reading I picked up a lot of clues to where Hodgell has always been going. If you are a fan of GoT or "Dune" this series will appeal.

On the non-fiction side I'm ordering "How to be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi, as it's been highly recommended by many.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/...id=1590637780&sr=8-1



Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jul 1, 9:38pm

Post #3 of 13 (157 views)
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And old SF favourite - Earth, by David Brin [In reply to] Can't Post

Brin wrote it in 1990 and he covers many issues that we're grappling with now, from ecological disasters and de-extinction efforts to social tribalism. He also forsaw not only the pervasiveness of the Internet but the dangers of online echo-chambers and the need to seek out information beyond sources that we'd usually gravitate towards - and he posits a new (potentially disasterous and ultimately creationist) scientific field.

The structure of the story is as fascinating as the story itself, with vignettes spliced with news stories, excerpts from scientific papers and the creation of the solar system. The novel also takes readers around the world, featuring Nairobi, Easter Island, New Zealand, Spain, southern Africa, UK, US and more.

The story's inspiring and absorbing and ultimately mind-bending. If you're looking for a meaty SF to sink your teeth into, you could do a lot worse than Earth.

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


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 2, 2:10pm

Post #4 of 13 (141 views)
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That's good to know [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember that book being published to great reviews, but I fully admit to my prejudice that the title was so wholly unimaginative (might as well call it "Book"), that I couldn't believe the contents would parade any sort of imagination. You made it sound intriguing. *sigh. so many books, so little time*


Annael
Immortal


Jul 2, 4:23pm

Post #5 of 13 (137 views)
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Brin is amazing [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved his 'Uplift War' series. So imaginative. (And led to us calling those huge house spiders we get in this part of the world Tandu Raiders. "There's a Tandu Raider in the bathtub!")

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/...id=1590637780&sr=8-1



Ettelewen
Rohan

Jul 2, 8:34pm

Post #6 of 13 (125 views)
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Agreed! [In reply to] Can't Post

The Uplift War was a very enjoyable read. I haven't read "Earth" in years, but I've just put it on my "to do" list.


Ettelewen
Rohan

Jul 2, 8:42pm

Post #7 of 13 (126 views)
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Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart [In reply to] Can't Post

This was written in 1949, and while some of the story is a bit dated I find it very readable. A post-apocalyptic tale of one man's reaction to a world where most of mankind has been killed off by an unknown disease.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 2, 8:47pm

Post #8 of 13 (121 views)
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Another series on the "to do." *sigh. so many...* But better than too few. Thx. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 2, 8:48pm

Post #9 of 13 (120 views)
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Well, that sounds like an escape from today's news. (jk!) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 2, 9:37pm

Post #10 of 13 (117 views)
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"Earth Abides" appears to be in a class with "Alas, Babylon" [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for bringing this up--I was reading about the former on Wikipedia, and it conjured up memories of "Alas, Bablyon," which I read probably 25 years ago, so I can't claim much memory of it except broad brush strokes: there's a nuclear apocalypse, and the story centers on a small community in the US cut off by radiated areas from the rest of the country and struggling to survive and rebuild. Published in 1959, it's apparently one of the first post-nuclear stories (there have been a zillion), and it set the tone and stage scenery for a lot of those that followed soon after it, similar to the way "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" influenced many westerns.

Anyway, "Earth Abides" and "Alas, Bablyon" appear to be grandparents of modern apocalypse stories (medical and nuclear), and Stephen King said the former helped inspire The Stand. Lest we fret overmuch, apocalypse stories go back thousands of years. My own interest in them is more about resilience than the catastrophe itself.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jul 2, 9:48pm

Post #11 of 13 (113 views)
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*makes notes* [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't heard of the Uplift War series - I'll definitely check it out. Thanks! Smile

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


Ettelewen
Rohan

Jul 2, 10:49pm

Post #12 of 13 (107 views)
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Exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that's why a story written in 1949 feels relevant still - it's not the disaster itself, it's the way the players react to it and learn to survive (or don't) in spite of it that appeals. Human nature doesn't change that much.


sevilodorf
Grey Havens


Jul 3, 12:52am

Post #13 of 13 (103 views)
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Alas Babylon by Pat Frank [In reply to] Can't Post

Before the scientific focus on how a nuclear war would affect climate. One of my earliest science fiction reads and I got it via Scholastic Books during junior high in the late 60ís. I have it still on my shelf.

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)



 
 

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