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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #2431
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    If it's the same I Am David as the movie, I wouldn't bother.
    Seeing that I am David as a book is a multi-award winning (including the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award) children's novel, I expect it was badly mangled in it's transformation to a Hollywood movie.
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  2. #2432
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    It's likely. I just found the plot itself kind of dumb.
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    "You can't erase icing."

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  3. #2433
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    It very often is in coming of age/finding yourself/growing through adversity/it's not the destination, it's the journey stories as plot is the least important part of what's told.
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  4. #2434
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    The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

    Also, The Code Book, by Simon Singh. Remarkably accessible.

  5. #2435
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    Finished reading The Hypnotist, enjoyed the read.

    Had been watching Downton Abbey, couldn't remember the exact explanation over the inheritence of the estate. Re-visited some textbooks, notes and handouts, from a course on British Society and Law, 17th c to mid 20th c., regarding inheritence, strict settlements and entailed estates.

    Been listening to a local jazz radio station, hearing many commercials about an upcoming run of "Ragtime, the musical". Decided to re-read E. L. Doctorow's novel, I last read it after seeing the movie in the early 80's.

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    Delivering Happiness - A path to profits, passion, and purpose! (Zappos)

  7. #2437
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    Vicious Circles: Mystery and Crime Stories by Members of the Algonquin Round Table. By the usual suspects.
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    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!"

  8. #2438
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    If it's the same I Am David as the movie, I wouldn't bother.
    That it is. I wouldn't say the book is horrible, but it isn't to my tastes. I would put it down, but I need to finish it for a class. I could watch the movie, but that would be bad for my Karma.

    When I worked in a bookstore I used to rage on people who called asking for the Cliff Notes to "Fahrenheit 451". Watching the movie is about the same a Cliff Notes, maybe not even that good.
    Solfe

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  9. #2439
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    When I worked in a bookstore I used to rage on people who called asking for the Cliff Notes to "Fahrenheit 451". Watching the movie is about the same a Cliff Notes, maybe not even that good.
    That all depends on whether one is reading the Cliff Notes (or York Notes, or whatever) instead of the book or as well as the book.

    Sometimes I get Notes because I was partway through the book and got sidetracked, and didn't want to restart at the beginning. Furthermore, Notes can offer insights that enhance your enjoyment of a book - they can even leave you wanting to read the book again with that fresh insight.

  10. #2440
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    We read the Notes for Great Expectations when I was a freshman in high school because my teacher madly, desperately hated the book and didn't ever want to read it again herself. However, the State of California wanted her to make us read it, so she compromised. I will say we learned the book well enough to mock the movie versions she showed us.
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    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!"

  11. #2441
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    An English teacher who doesn't like Dickens? What sacrilege! Anyhow, her hatred should be applied to Hemingway
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  12. #2442
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    It may have been; I couldn't tell you. The State of California didn't require Hemingway of high school freshmen. I can tell you that I hate both Hemingway and Dickens, but I don't know about Ms. Owen.
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    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!"

  13. #2443
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    I am reading Trooper: From Barnard Castle to Berlin by Arthur "Two Sheds" Beardsley.

    The author is my father. It's a self-published Amazon/Kindle book, the story of a (late) friend of the family who drove a tank during World War II.

    Oh, and my father really does have two sheds. Actually, one was recently demolished and the replacement one isn't being assembled until next month.

  14. #2444
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    It may have been; I couldn't tell you. The State of California didn't require Hemingway of high school freshmen. I can tell you that I hate both Hemingway and Dickens, but I don't know about Ms. Owen.
    There seems to be a de facto requirement for Hemingway (but not Dickens) in Connecticut, starting with Old Man and the Sea in 8th grade. As far as I can see nobody does Dickens, at least before junior year in high school (in most Connecticut high schools, one year of high school English is devoted to British literature). Since I never had to deal with Dickens in high school, I don't have any strong opinion on him (I keep starting, and dropping, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations). Thanks to my high school experience, I do have a strong, and quite negative opinion of Hemingway. Even with high school English teachers, I still like Shakespeare, but only to watch (they're plays: you don't read plays). Most of the other writers of "literature" (I've never got a good explanation of why some fiction is "literature" and some isn't; as far as I'm concerned, all fiction is escapist) just fill me with apathy.
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  15. #2445
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    I rather enjoyed The Pickwick Papers, so from what I've read so far, I like Dickens.
    I haven't read Hemingway so have no opinion of him, plus I am of the, apparently not commonly shared, opinion that Edgar Allan Poe was a humorist.
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  16. #2446
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    I am reading Trooper: From Barnard Castle to Berlin by Arthur "Two Sheds" Beardsley.

    The author is my father. It's a self-published Amazon/Kindle book, the story of a (late) friend of the family who drove a tank during World War II.

    Oh, and my father really does have two sheds. Actually, one was recently demolished and the replacement one isn't being assembled until next month.
    I was in Barnard Castle a couple of days ago looking at an Xray Scanner.
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  17. #2447
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    I rather enjoyed The Pickwick Papers, so from what I've read so far, I like Dickens.
    I haven't read Hemingway so have no opinion of him, plus I am of the, apparently not commonly shared, opinion that Edgar Allan Poe was a humorist.
    I thought the plot of Great Expectations was exceedingly silly, and I'm not enamoured enough with his language for that to potentially overcome it. I enjoy A Tale of Two Cities and reread it every few years, but I started A Christmas Carol in fourth grade and found the first page so tedious that I've never gotten any further. I remember having been very excited and feeling awfully grown-up that I was actually reading it, and then I was very confused that so many people thought it was such a great book. Hemingway strikes me as having been a combination of fascinated with himself and possessing extremely low self esteem, and I think the former is more prevalent in his writing. Since I am not fascinated with him, I'll pass. And Poe was a humorist at least as often as he wasn't. Look into some of his hoaxes!

    But I find the idea that fiction is "escapist" an odd one. Some fiction is awfully grim, darker than the life I'm actually living. Some of it is just a thinly veiled version of real events; some of it isn't even that but is full of invented dialogue and so cannot count as nonfiction.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  18. #2448
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  19. #2449
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    I rather enjoyed The Pickwick Papers, so from what I've read so far, I like Dickens.
    I read David Copperfield years ago and didn't like it much, but a few years ago I read Bleak House and enjoyed it.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  20. #2450
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    I don't know what the access is in other states, but there's an agreement that anyone in California can borrow ebooks from the Open Library:

    http://openlibrary.org/

    It's a bit of a kludge, but the way it works is that you can borrow DRMed PDF or ePub files using Adobe Digital Editions. Open Library has been scanning a lot of books, and the quality is hit or miss, but for some books they have great scans, and for other books, you can see water stains or other problems. I've been hunting up science fiction books I haven't read in thirty years. In some cases (like for Robert Heinlein) they have scans of many of his books, and in other cases they don't.

    Anyway, I've been having fun finding old stuff like some Lester del Rey juveniles. Some of the stories are better than others, but it's interesting going back to stories where advanced robots used vacuum tubes and the worlds of the solar system were very different from what we know today.

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  21. #2451
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    But I find the idea that fiction is "escapist" an odd one. Some fiction is awfully grim, darker than the life I'm actually living. Some of it is just a thinly veiled version of real events; some of it isn't even that but is full of invented dialogue and so cannot count as nonfiction.
    I think it depends on how one defines escapist.

    To me, escapism is simply partaking in something different, something interesting. And if fiction provides that, then it's escapist fiction.

    I don't really find my life to be banal, though. Poor are the people who're truly bored with life, and their only enjoyment comes from fiction--be it only the tabloids and gossip-trash in the checkout aisle.

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    Recently during finals read "Six Easy Pieces", by Richard Feynman. I am inspired, 6 chapters with basic physics. Back cover says "it was Feynman's outrageous method of teaching that earned him legendary sttatus among students...1961-63 delivered a series of lectures" this book based on the easiest of those.

  23. #2453
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    I'm re-reading All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot.
    Brett's the name. Peters Creek is the place.
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  24. #2454
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    Currently reading A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin about the Apollo program. Best non-fiction I've read in some time! I loved the chapter about Apollo 8. Riveting!

  25. #2455
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    The Big Sleep, from a collection of three Raymond Chandler novels. Strangely, the chronology in the introduction says the first "full-length" film was made in 1928. Anyway, the other two books in the collection are Farewell, My Lovely and The High Window, and a receipt I just found tucked into the dust jacket shows that the person who had it before me also checked out To Have and Have Not, and based on the due date, that's the book, not the movie.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  26. #2456
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    The Big Sleep, from a collection of three Raymond Chandler novels. Strangely, the chronology in the introduction says the first "full-length" film was made in 1928.
    Seeing that the novel was published in 1939 that is indeed strange.

    Unless "full-length" film in general was meant, in which case it's more that 20 years too late, seeing that The Story of the Kelly Gang is from 1906 and at 70 minute that's definitely "full-length".
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    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  27. #2457
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    Yeah, they mean in general. The timeline is three parts--this is what's happening in the life of Raymond Chandler, this is what's happening with literature in general, and this is what's happening in The World. The bit about film is in that last section, and it confused me. Because I've seen full-length movies from before that. Heck, Birth of a Nation runs over three hours!
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  28. #2458
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    I am reading Trooper: From Barnard Castle to Berlin by Arthur "Two Sheds" Beardsley.

    The author is my father. It's a self-published Amazon/Kindle book, the story of a (late) friend of the family who drove a tank during World War II.

    Oh, and my father really does have two sheds. Actually, one was recently demolished and the replacement one isn't being assembled until next month.
    Because Paul was concerned and scrupulously let us know that there might be a conflict with the promotion rule, the mod team would like to mention, for anyone interested, that a link to Paul Beardsley's father's book can be found here.

    I shall now return to my reading of the last chapter of The Raider (from the old "Privateers and Gentlemen" series by Jon Williams) while I wait for my recent book order to arrive. Next on the roster will be Reefs and Shoals, (book innumerable in a prolific book series) by Dewey Lambdin.
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    Apparently I got appointed to read "The Hunger Games." Tara was talking to her mom, who had just read it and was raving about it. Of course, she tells Tara, "Oh you just *have* to read it!"

    . . . to which Tara, of course, replied, "Oh, I don't really read. But Steve does!"

    . . . and then Tara went up to visit yesterday and came back with a book. For the love of god, tell me it doesn't suck as bad as I fear it's going to?

  30. #2460
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    The Big Sleep, from a collection of three Raymond Chandler novels. Strangely, the chronology in the introduction says the first "full-length" film was made in 1928. Anyway, the other two books in the collection are Farewell, My Lovely and The High Window, and a receipt I just found tucked into the dust jacket shows that the person who had it before me also checked out To Have and Have Not, and based on the due date, that's the book, not the movie.
    BBC Radio 4 did a series of very good and faithful serialisations of The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely and Lady in the Lake last year.
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