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It's the occasional reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


May 17, 2:55pm

Post #1 of 4 (259 views)
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It's the occasional reading thread! Can't Post

"Tra la, it's May, the lusty Month of May, that lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray. Tra la, it's here, that shocking time of year, when tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear..."

The song from Camelot is great fun, but when it comes to applicability (especially to those of us who are having autumn, not spring), Your Mileage May Vary. Smile

I've finished listening to Mythos, retellings of the classic Greek myths written and read by Stephen Fry. It's beautifully and intelligently written and read, so much so I'm thinking of buying the other two books in the series, Heroes and Troy. These books are well worth listening to instead of reading on paper because of Fry's amazing voice and delivery.

I've also finished listening to a YA novel, Greenglass House, by Kate Milford. The young hero finds a role-playing game becoming all too real when a spate of eccentric guests arrives at his family's hotel during a Christmas snowstorm. The story was entertaining enough to keep me listening, and had some clever bits, but oh my, did it ever need a good editor to tighten, trim, redo the pacing and rethink aspects of the plot. Plus, while the role-playing material shows that it's a contemporary novel (it was published in 2014), it could have just as well been set in the 1910s or 20s---and in some places I swear that it was!

On paper I read The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power (I could add "health" as well.) The author is Deirdre Mask. This is the sort of quirky book I enjoy, taking a topic and developing all its connotations and angles. Spoiler alert: the author does not shy away from political and racial material.

I'm now listening to The Fellowship of the Ring, in the new reading by Andy Serkis. I've listened to the earlier Rob Inglis reading of the trilogy and enjoyed it, but there seems to be more life and color in Serkis's version. As in his version of The Hobbit, I keep feeling as though I'm in the presence of an ancient bard sitting beside the tribal fire repeating those epic tales that mean so much. The stories that matter!

I visualize the characters being played by the actors from the movies and in many ways no longer remember just how I saw Frodo, for example, Before Wood.

I'm just starting to listen to a non-fiction book, A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment, by Stephane Henaut and Jeni Mitchell. All I've heard so far is that the narrator has a British accent.

And on paper I'm just starting The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It starts with a map and a sort of playbill, and in the first chapter a first-person present-tense narrator (I'm okay with the former but the latter grates on me) seems to have developed amnesia after a wild party.

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....


Junesong
Lorien


May 19, 3:01pm

Post #2 of 4 (230 views)
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Found it! [In reply to] Can't Post

I totally agree with you. He brings so much gravitas to every word. After reading LOTR every year since grade 11 (more than twenty years now) it really feels like I'm hearing it for the first time again.

I never thought anything could make this story MORE epic - but wow - Serkis puts his whole heart in.

I just listened to Aragorn's conversation with Eowyn at Dunharrow where she asks to ride with him and he refuses and I was in tears. The guy's got a gift.

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


May 19, 6:34pm

Post #3 of 4 (218 views)
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Since... [In reply to] Can't Post

...Mr. Serkis and I don't even have the hobbits out of the Shire yet, I see I have lots of great listening ahead.

(I discovered LotR just about grade 11, too, but it's been a heck of a lot more than twenty years!)

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....


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 29, 3:47pm

Post #4 of 4 (158 views)
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TH & LotR on CD by Andy Serkis [In reply to] Can't Post

These are what I've been waiting for all these years. Rob Inglis does a fine job, but he's reading a book... Andy brings the stories to life only the way he could. I had wished for someone like Ian McKellen, Andy, or Jim Dale (who reads all of the Potter books wonderfully) to read these books on CD and do them justice. They are absolutely one of the best Tolkien-related investments I've ever made.

One good thing that came from the Covid Pandemic isolation is that Andy took up the microphone and recorded The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit as audiobooks. They truly are a gift of love. :) He says there are 132 characters just in LotR, though some only show up once.

Andy was on Stephen Colbert's The Late Show recently where he talks about his live reading of The Hobbit in May 2020's fundraiser during the Covid shutdown. They also talk about Andy recording LotR [and TH]. It's a great visit... and Stephen's face and reaction to Andy's description of recording the different characters is priceless! Colbert has always been a HUGE fan of Tolkien's work. Here's a link to Andy reading "Riddles in the Dark" to see how incredible he is :)

I hope these links work. If not, do a search [Andy Serkis Stephen Colbert Audiobooks] and it will pop right up.



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