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It's the granddaughter's birthday reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 4, 3:43pm

Post #1 of 11 (276 views)
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It's the granddaughter's birthday reading thread! Can't Post

My oldest granddaughter turned fourteen on Saturday. Whew! And I was fortunate enough to see her slightly younger cousin, my middle granddaughter, last week. When did these cute-as-a-button babies turn into beautiful, intelligent young women?

I sure hope the world will be in better shape for them when they're adults.

On my ereader, I finished Fire From Heaven, the first in Mary Renault's Alexander the Great trilogy. Even though all the names, relationships, and intrigues confused me a bit, still I found the book to be a brilliant historical novel. I've opened the first page of the next book, The Persian Boy, but I'm going to wait to read it until I've finished the four books coming in from the library today or tomorrow.

I'm still listening to the Great Courses audio, Food: A Cultural Culinary History, and am up to the 17th century. The lecturer is now talking about the indigenous foodways of the Americas, Africa, and Australia and how exploration and trade led to foods spreading all over the world and shaping modern cuisines.

I also listened to a few minutes in the first story in Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Mr. Quin, in which the title character solves various mysteries. So far it's a rather spooky country house story.

So what have you been reading as you stay safe?

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....


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 5, 4:54am

Post #2 of 11 (243 views)
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Reading about the huge explosion in Lebanon. [In reply to] Can't Post

At last count, more than 70 were dead and 3,700 injured in Beirut (the latter represents about 1% of the city's population) after a fire in a warehouse apparently used (by a Brazilian company, according to one reoprt) to store mining munitions at the city's port led to an explosion that not only destroyed the entire port but was so powerful it blew out windows as far as five miles away. The sound of the explosion reportedly was heard in Cyprus, which is 145 miles across the Mediteranean. The videos are shocking and reminiscent of the exposion at a fertilizer plant seven years ago in the town of West in your state of Texas (although that event had "only" 15 fatalities and 160 injuries).

Earlier today, the United States government described the explosion as an attack, but later retracted that claim and now concurs with most other international observers that this was in fact an accident. Given that the first thing that Beirut plus explosion will suggest to Americans was the attack on a Marine barracks in 1983, I suppose that determination is at least is some relief regarding an undeniably horrifying event.


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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CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 5, 2:21pm

Post #3 of 11 (228 views)
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The Colombian Exchange [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The lecturer is now talking about the indigenous foodways of the Americas, Africa, and Australia and how exploration and trade led to foods spreading all over the world and shaping modern cuisines.

That sounds like a good listen. I wish I could spend an entire course just on how food swaps between the continents happened, mainly because I don't think people ever changed their diets very readily. Even in my own lifetime, I've seen family members who never changed much, and if my grandmother were still alive today, for example, she wouldn't go near sushi, just because it's "foreign." When I came back from Peace Corps and did a few talks on Mali and had samples of West African cuisine, people circled my rice and sauce plates with the suspicion usually reserved for snarling, foaming-mouthed dogs.

Yet somehow, potatoes and tomatoes spread around the world. Even if they didn't catch on in only a year, they did become staples rather than exotic fringe food, like sliced kiwi fruit in the US used more as a garnish.



Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 5, 3:04pm

Post #4 of 11 (225 views)
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Is the granddaughter a fan of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' or 'The Legend of Korra'? [In reply to] Can't Post

I just received this in the mail yesterday:



#FidelityToTolkien


Annael
Immortal


Aug 6, 3:24am

Post #5 of 11 (211 views)
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I suppose "incompetence" is not as horrifying as an outright attack [In reply to] Can't Post

but still: how awful.

Shades of Halifax, NS.

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



N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 6, 5:20am

Post #6 of 11 (205 views)
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I was only vaguely aware of the 1917 Halifax explosion. [In reply to] Can't Post

Until yesterday, when many people made the same comparison to that horrific accident that caused 2,000 deaths.

Although for a different sense of perspective, here in the U.S., ten times as many people died just today from Covid-19 as died yesterday from the explosion in Beirut. Lately we've been experiencing the equivalent number of deaths of the Halifax explosion every two days. And if we expand that to the global situation, the number goes up five-fold (there were 5,134 Covid deaths worldwide on Aug. 5).

As for the incompetence in Lebanon, it might be criminal negligence; I read on Al-Jazeera about pending arrests for the officials who apparently knew about this problem and did nothing for six years (but I wonder if they are being scapegoated).


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.


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 6, 2:32pm

Post #7 of 11 (167 views)
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I don't know [In reply to] Can't Post

But I'll ask. Thank you!

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....


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 6, 2:41pm

Post #8 of 11 (165 views)
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Lebanon is such a failed state, I'm not sure the normal rules apply about accountability. Very sad.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Aug 6, 2:46pm

Post #9 of 11 (163 views)
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Very true [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember when pizza was considered exotic ethnic food.

My mother was a native Texan. When I was growing up in Missouri and Ohio, her "party piece" dinner was tacos. She had to improvise the ingredients, though---the salsa, for example, was a can of tomato sauce cooked with bits of dried red pepper sent by relatives back in Texas. My best friend came to dinner one night, saw the taco fixings spread out on the table, and asked politely, "Excuse me, what is that?"

Now, many years later, tacos and pizza are very ordinary foods to most of us. And my family eats things I'd never heard of as a child---tofu, feta, curry, falafel, mochi.... I suspect the rate of adaptation has sped up with transportation and communication speeding up as well.

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....


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Aug 7, 9:12pm

Post #10 of 11 (130 views)
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Peace Talks (The Dresden Files) - 3.5/5 [In reply to] Can't Post

This was never going to be a strong stand-alone book as Butcher has had to break this novel into two and publish each part separately, as the story was so long. As such, Peace Talks acts to set up the events coming in Battleground (released in a couple of months) - and those events will be huge. The novel Changes, well, changed everything for Harry Dresden, lifting the book series to a new level. I can see Battleground doing something similar.

But as for Peace Talks, the first half is disjointed and didn't grab me. The second half improved, and by the last several chapters the world of Harry Dresden was back into the swing of things.

A very cool element is that we get to see Harry as a fulltime father. A caring, patient, sometimes scary father, admittedly.

We also get a roll-call of almost every key or interesting character that Harry's come across so far. How that pays off in the next book will be interesting to see.

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


Aug 8, 5:44pm

Post #11 of 11 (113 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember reading a month ago or so that the COVID19 deaths in the USA were the equivalent of a Twin Towers collapse every day, OR 50 plane crashes a week. But I think the numbers have gone up since then.

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


 
 

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