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It's the "Concerning Hobbits" reading thread

Lily Fairbairn

Oct 20 2020, 4:16pm

Post #1 of 4 (161 views)
It's the "Concerning Hobbits" reading thread Can't Post

We have our clock radio set to the local classical radio station, so we wake up to nice music and perhaps a weather report, not the news. This morning we heard "Concerning Hobbits". Ah, to be in New Zealand's version of the Shire now that spring is in the air!

I finished listening to One Virgin Too Many, by Lindsey Davis. I always enjoy Falco's voice and the setting of ancient Rome, and this time around was no exception. The mystery involved a priestly family, a murder, and the disappearance of a little girl. Nothing in the denouement surprised me, but still, Davis set it all up nicely.

I'm now listening to The Stately Home Murder, by Catherine Aird. This is very short book (less than five hours) and is in many ways a typical country house murder. However, some of the characters are from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak (not that they're any more attractive than the aristocrats) and it's told (and read) with a great deal of wit. I got a kick from the story beginning with a guided tour of a stately home. Been there, done that, but have NOT found a body in a suit of armor!

I'm now back to the ebook of Terry Pratchett's Jingo, which I'm reading in the evenings. Great stuff, as always. Sam Vimes, Carrot, Angua, and the rest of the guards are in fine form, and Pratchett's asides on politics and prejudice are more timely than ever.

My daytime reading is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari. I'm reading in small increments because this is a dense volume in three ways: The book itself probably weighs five pounds, the font is small and closely packed, and the subject matter is provocative, even profound. It's hard to describe in only few words. Basically, our modern species of Homo Sapiens has survived while other human species did not. Now, dominating the planet, we use cultural constructs to mold us into social entities. Racial bias, gender bias, and so forth are not based in any way on biology. Harari may be British but he doesn't hesitate to use the history of the US, as well as many other countries historical and modern, to illustrate his points.

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....


Oct 21 2020, 6:55am

Post #2 of 4 (134 views)
Onward and upward with Proust! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've started Within a Budding Grove, Volume II of In Search of Lost Time. I'll admit, there's a bit of a defeated feeling that enters one's mind upon opening a 700 page book, having just conquered the first one at 600 pages!

Join us every weekend in the Hobbit movie forum for this week's CHOW (Chapter of the Week) discussion!

Guardian of the Galaxy / Moderator

Oct 21 2020, 8:55pm

Post #3 of 4 (114 views)
Battleground - 4.5/5 [In reply to] Can't Post

This is the second part of the Peace Talks/Battleground book release by Jim Butcher, in his Dresden Files series. If Peace Talks was the long set-up, Battleground is the long pay-off.

It is essentially a series of battles, culminating in the Battle of the Bean (at the site of the The Bean sculpture in Chicago). I got a bit weary of Butcher moving Harry from one fight to another ... but then at the halfway point a genuine shocker occurs, and all bets are off the table.

There are three big twists and a couple of minor ones, and it culminates in a reset for the Dresden Files universe (and Harry in particular). Butcher has brought us to a very interesting point in his long-running story and I'm really looking forward to seeing how this plays out in the rest of the series.

To be honest, when I put the book down, I was puffed. This book certainly puts the reader through the ringer.

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


Oct 26 2020, 10:44pm

Post #4 of 4 (71 views)
Ten Thousand Doors of January [In reply to] Can't Post

I was given this book some time ago, and for some reason couldn't get into it. Picked it up again this week and don't know what the problem is, because I LOVED it. The premise is that there are actual doors to other worlds and people occasionally "leak" from one to another (as do cats, because . . . cats), and they may set in motion changes to the new world. Set in the early 1900s, impeccably written . . . highly recommended.

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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