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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #1561
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    I know nothing of your home and contents.

    I did add smileys, just to point out I was having fun. And I'm not usually a fan of smileys.

  2. 2010-Sep-14, 04:51 AM

  3. #1562
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    I was being silly as well. I have pointed out to several people that a gaming system I wouldn't use isn't a better purchase than a box which does one thing.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  4. #1563
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    Ah, I see. That's why I always suggest people use emoticons, and use them regularly. I'm a big fan.

    Are you sure you aren't a hardcore gamer? I could swear I saw someone in Tiger Woods 2010 the other day who shared a great deal of your mannerisms.

  5. #1564
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    I am reading a book on 'Adobe Photoshop' . It is heavy and ponderous .
    Dan

  6. #1565
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    I am reading a book on 'Adobe Photoshop' . It is heavy and ponderous .
    Dan
    Photoshop or the book? ;-) <--winky
    CJSF
    "Soon the man who sweeps the room brings the secret telegram, 'COMMENCE OFFICIAL INTERPLANETARY EXPLORATION.' "
    -They Might Be Giants, "Destination Moon"

  7. #1566
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    It's my belief that Gillian is a hardcore gamer in denial, but I think she should be allowed to work things out without outside pressure.

    Oh, and

    Meanwhile, I am 125 pages into Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice. It's taking a long time because I'm a slow reader, I've still got another month of my Java course with the Open University, and we're decorating and maintaining the house. But I think it's a very good book so far.

  8. #1567
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I am very excited to discover that Netflix is streaming it instantly, especially since the box thingy which lets you stream to your TV is in the mail. I read it for my banned books contract in college and fell in love.
    Why was PotE banned?

  9. #1568
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    I'm reading Global nedkylning. Interesting, tho I often wish Charpentier Ljungqvist would go deeper into various subjects.

    (Also, is the copy-editor now completely extinct? Every popsci book I've read lately seems to have a bunch of little slips where the author presumably really does know better. Time for Publisher Park?)

  10. #1569
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasJ View Post
    Also, is the copy-editor now completely extinct?
    Seems to be. Some time around the turn of the millennium, publishers decided that electronic spell-checking could do the entire job of a sub-editor.
    For a short while I wrote a column for a newspaper, and ten years on I'm still suffering post-traumatic flash-backs to the week the excellent sub-editor who handled my stuff was fired, and replaced by (apparently) a teenager with a spell-checker and a reading age of eight.
    My father (who worked in newspapers in the days of hot metal) identified the transition the day it happened. "Son," he said. "I see your column's just been subbed to hell." And he was right.

    Grant Hutchison

  11. #1570
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    I had wondered about that, actually. Without getting into a "can Stephanie Meyer write" debate, I'll just note that her overuse of the word "incredulous" (and it's deriviatives) in the Twilight books would have earned an F from just about all of my English teachers. I thought to myself (and mentioned to my wife), "What kind of editor would let this slip through?"

    CJSF
    "Soon the man who sweeps the room brings the secret telegram, 'COMMENCE OFFICIAL INTERPLANETARY EXPLORATION.' "
    -They Might Be Giants, "Destination Moon"

  12. #1571
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    I am about to finish "you can win" by Shiv Khera!

  13. #1572
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    Back to the Anna Pigeon mysteries I've been reading, by Nevada Barr:

    Something occured to me that I'd like some of the posters here to comment on. One of the minor re-occuring characters in the last couple of the book's I have read is male. One thing I think about when reading is how the author handles writing from the perspective of the opposite gender. I wonder if there tends to be certain biases or stereotypes that those characters are imbued with that makes it obvious the author might not quite know what he or she is saying. For example, there are certain things about Frederick Stanton (the above mentioned character) that seem quite sterotyped from a female point of view (his mannerisms, motivations and rationales). Most authors I've read are male (embarrassing but true). Some times it's obvious, even to me, that he has no idea what he's talking/writing about when it comes to female characters. Other times, I wonder how a woman might see through it. On the other hand, it took my third reading of The Madness Season by C. S. Friedman before I realized the author was female. The main character is very male, and I identified with him a lot in ways, and saw my best friend in him in other ways.

    CJSF
    "Soon the man who sweeps the room brings the secret telegram, 'COMMENCE OFFICIAL INTERPLANETARY EXPLORATION.' "
    -They Might Be Giants, "Destination Moon"

  14. #1573
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
    Ah, I see. That's why I always suggest people use emoticons, and use them regularly. I'm a big fan.
    I let my scintillating personality allow people to understand--and I had a woman tell me in person not long ago that she couldn't tell if I were being sarcastic. After I said, "No, I'm serious."

    Are you sure you aren't a hardcore gamer? I could swear I saw someone in Tiger Woods 2010 the other day who shared a great deal of your mannerisms.
    Even if I were a gamer, that isn't a game I'd play!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    It's my belief that Gillian is a hardcore gamer in denial, but I think she should be allowed to work things out without outside pressure.
    My name is Gillian, and I'm looking forward to the release of Civ V?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    Why was PotE banned?
    Sex, violence, disrespect for Church and State (as I've observed before, at that time and place, you kind of had to pick one), and use of Anglo-Saxon words to describe bodily functions and activities. I'd have to look up details to know for sure when and where it was challenged and the outcome thereof, but I read it for the contract I put together on it. It was the longest book I read for it, too.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  15. #1574
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    Louise, Queen of Prussia: A Memorial by August Kluckhohn. Published in 1886 [German], translated into English later. Got it in the mail this past weekend and eager to start.

  16. #1575
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    As an exciting update, I'm still reading the book I started three weeks ago (or more?) Not that it's not a very interesting and pretty well written book. I'm just slow, and rarely have a chance to read. Plenty of time, but I can't read something like that with outside distraction, and it's hard to have a chance to sit in a quiet place and read.

  17. #1576
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    I recently finished The Rookie by Jim Morris and just downloaded Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella.
    Brett's the name. Peters Creek is the place.
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  18. #1577
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Sex, violence, disrespect for Church and State (as I've observed before, at that time and place, you kind of had to pick one), and use of Anglo-Saxon words to describe bodily functions and activities. I'd have to look up details to know for sure when and where it was challenged and the outcome thereof, but I read it for the contract I put together on it. It was the longest book I read for it, too.
    Amazing, given that it was published in the late 1980s. Per this link, it's one of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2001, along with To Kill A Mockingbird and Where's Waldo.

  19. #1578
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    The Terror, by Dan Simmons. Chilling, creepy, and racked with tension. Based on the factual Franklin Expedition, launched from England in the 1840's to find the fabled Northwest Passage. When two ships are locked in ice over a year, the crew members resort to eating lichen, their shoes, and possibly (ulp) each other. Meanwhile, there's something large and white snuffling around the hull, and it has acquired a taste for human flesh.

  20. #1579
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    Amazing, given that it was published in the late 1980s.
    I think Gillian was referring to the time portrayed in the book rather than the time it was published.
    __________________________________________________
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    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  21. #1580
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    Yes, she was. Honestly, given the time, I have a hard time respecting Church or State from the era it was written. But yeah, I read it because it was on that list.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  22. #1581
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    The Terror, by Dan Simmons.
    Ah, I liked that. I've always been interested in the Franklin expedition, and I enjoyed Simmons's Hyperion Cantos and the Ilium/Olympos pair, so it was a reflex purchase. The book seemed to change emphasis about half-way through. I'm not sure where you are at present, so I'll say no more.
    I also tried his more recent Drood (Wilkie Collins is the narrator, and Dickens the main character). It worked very well with the tension and threat thing initially (I kept annoying my wife by going "hoo hoo hoo" in admiration), but I felt it faded rather badly towards the end.

    Grant Hutchison

  23. #1582
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    Just started reading Stephen Hawking's latest book, "Grand Design".

  24. #1583
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    Finished Global nedkylning y'dy night. Next up is Fergus Nicoll's The Sword of the Prophet; The Mahdi of Sudan and the Death of General Gordon. Despite the name-dropping of Gordon in the subtitle, the emphasis is, according to the blurb, very much on Muhammad Ahmad, the (self-proclaimed) Mahdi.

    A bit of an impulse buy, rather off the beaten path as my usual historical reading goes.

  25. #1584
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    (Thanks for the Vance comments, some of his books are lined up for (re)reading pretty soon )

    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Just started reading Stephen Hawking's latest book, "Grand Design".
    I swear I read "Stephen King" there... Probably because I just finished his Dark Tower series. What a great world to immerse in.. I have to say that the 7th and last novel feels like it was hurried up to get to the finish, but I still enjoyed it. I remember reading the first novel about 20 years ago, and pining to get to the rest of them (which still had to be written, back then). That feeling was still there when I finished the first book again, and it was the same after every other: NEXT!!! It's a bit heavy on the mysticism and woo front, and a little light on realism, but it's a darned good story. IMHO anyway.
    ____________
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  26. #1585
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    I swear I read "Stephen King" there... Probably because I just finished his Dark Tower series. What a great world to immerse in.. I have to say that the 7th and last novel feels like it was hurried up to get to the finish, but I still enjoyed it. I remember reading the first novel about 20 years ago, and pining to get to the rest of them (which still had to be written, back then). That feeling was still there when I finished the first book again, and it was the same after every other: NEXT!!! It's a bit heavy on the mysticism and woo front, and a little light on realism, but it's a darned good story. IMHO anyway.
    I gather King references his own books in the series, including characters and so on. Does it matter if you haven't read much King and don't get the references?

    (I may have asked this before but I can't remember the answer.)

  27. #1586
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    I gather King references his own books in the series, including characters and so on. Does it matter if you haven't read much King and don't get the references?
    No, not really. I only read a few of the other books referenced in the the Dark Tower, and in those cases it gave just a little bit extra "depth" to the mystery. In the cases where I had not read the book, I never felt like I was missing out on key material. For instance, Salem's Lot is cross-referenced a lot(!), in fact characters from it play a key role in the Dark Tower, but I never read it. King provides enough information about the other story that the reference/characters makes sense. I do think it's a bit of a spoiler, though, at least for that particular book. All other references are less important for the story. So, no, I don't think you're missing much if you read the Gunslinger/Dark Tower novels before other King books.

    ETA: think of it as characters and stories from the Silmarillion and the Hobbit coming back in TLOTR, either as themselves or as part of songs or lore or as background. TLOTR is thoroughly enjoyable without knowing the story of Beren and Luthien etc., or of the bard that shot the dragon.
    ____________
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    "Your right to hold an opinion is not being contested. Your expectation that it be taken seriously is." -- Jason Thompson
    "This is really very simple, but unfortunately it's very complicated." -- publius

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  28. #1587
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    I think Gillian was referring to the time portrayed in the book rather than the time it was published.
    And what I meant was that it is amazing that the book was challenged during the nineties.

    Poking around more, I see that many books are challenged when parents see they are shelved in middle-school and high-school libraries. The parents object to the book being available to their young teenagers, not that the books are published at all. And as the parent of a teenager, I have some sympathy with that. I see that alongside PotE on the list of 100 most challenged books of the 1990s is Madonna's Sex. Um, I'm not sure if that book needs a place in my local high school library.

  29. #1588
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Ah, I liked that. I've always been interested in the Franklin expedition, and I enjoyed Simmons's Hyperion Cantos and the Ilium/Olympos pair, so it was a reflex purchase. The book seemed to change emphasis about half-way through. I'm not sure where you are at present, so I'll say no more.
    I also tried his more recent Drood (Wilkie Collins is the narrator, and Dickens the main character). It worked very well with the tension and threat thing initially (I kept annoying my wife by going "hoo hoo hoo" in admiration), but I felt it faded rather badly towards the end.

    Grant Hutchison
    Talk away; I'm on my second reading, so I know very well how it ends. I really enjoy it when authors take historical events from which we have no details--why not imagine something really creepy?

    This is the only Simmons book I've made it through. I've dipped into his SF without much interest, and Drood appeals to me not at all. Really? There's tension and threat in a book about Charles Dickens? Maybe if I liked Dicken's works better I'd see the appeal. For me, I don't read Dickens novels; I endure them.

  30. #1589
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    ETA: think of it as characters and stories from the Silmarillion and the Hobbit coming back in TLOTR, either as themselves or as part of songs or lore or as background. TLOTR is thoroughly enjoyable without knowing the story of Beren and Luthien etc., or of the bard that shot the dragon.
    True. You can read the Dark Tower cycle alone, or you can read every other King novel without touching the Dark Tower, and you'll never miss a thing. Salem's Lot would have to be the only exception--the final DT novel is a bit richer if you've read SL beforehand, but it's not strictly necessary. King has a habit of marching a character offstage, then thinking he'd like to get reacquainted again, and having the character do a cameo in DT. As for the other novels, the DT tie-in is sometimes very slim; some character might be going through an acid trip vision or somesuch and see a gunslinger in a field of roses. The vision is not explained, nor is it necessary to the plot, but that's all it takes for King's publisher to mark the book as a DT tie-in on the ad card.

    I liked Wolves of the Calla best of the seven books; it's the novel that's almost a neatly encapsulated action-adventure novel. I barely made it through Book Six--I couldn't keep all the multiple personalities of Susan straight. Book Seven was a terrific end--it was weird seeing Stephen King appear in his own novel, but I admit to shedding tears a couple of times toward the end.

  31. #1590
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    Talk away; I'm on my second reading, so I know very well how it ends. I really enjoy it when authors take historical events from which we have no details--why not imagine something really creepy?
    I thought there was a distinct transition once they left the ship: the threat was less sustained, and it seemed to turn into more of an exercise in Simmons ticking off the location of the corpses and the aberrant content of the boats. I initially enjoyed this (the hurried first autopsy with the replacement of the sternum and ribs upside down for burial was a nice knowning nod, for instance); but later he seemed to be making visibly hard going of steering his characters to their final chaotic resting places.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    Really? There's tension and threat in a book about Charles Dickens?
    It provides a supernatural background to the last five years of Dickens's life, starting with his survival of a train crash in 1865. Wilkie Collins makes a good unreliable narrator: in real life, he was given to paranoid delusions and believed himself to be haunted by a "Ghost Wilkie" doppelgänger; both are plot elements in the novel. There's also much diving around in graveyards, opium dens and sewers, in the fine overwrought tradition of Victorian melodrama. But, again, the strain of building this alternative thread into the known patterns of Dickens's last years started to show towards the end, I felt.

    Grant Hutchison

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