Page 126 of 129 FirstFirst ... 2676116124125126127128 ... LastLast
Results 3,751 to 3,780 of 3852

Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #3751
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    3,071
    I've been doing a spotty but massive reread of Poul Anderson's work, the aftermath of replacing a near-complete set of paperbacks after a domestic flood (we have now identified 4 common household appliances which can fail in such a way as to lead to standing water in the basement). I have always been struck by his set-piece descriptions of scenes (stars like diamonds, the banked fires of Andromeda, heavens fading from purple to violet above argent rivers), but I continue to be impressed with ideas I would have naively associated with being common maybe 20 years after some of his stories were written. Still, there are times I just sort of wallow indolently in the language.

    And there is always Uncleftish Beholding. Alas, there is no way to link to to without the surroundings giving away what the reader otherwise delights in figuring out as the paragraphs go on.

  2. #3752
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    The Space Coast
    Posts
    4,128
    Voltaire's Candide, translated by John Butt. It's the version I read in college, that I found conveys the book's message the best, at least to me. It's a reprint of the 1950 Penguin Classic edition. Also, Story Trumps Structure by Steven James. It purports to help would-be writers, and may be a help to people like me who don't think in outlines and book formulae.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

  3. #3753
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    11,072
    In an effort not to read my textbook, I found Pushing Ice on my fire. I've been reading it all day long.
    Solfe

  4. #3754
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    3,071
    The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan. Despite what seems to be a "protest too much" claim about Asian history being ignored in the West, this work has the magisterial sweep of a historian who never stops reading sources. New to me - how much the duel between Persia and Rome shaped the first five centuries after Christ, and the role of the slave trade all the way to Scandinavia once the Rus traders reached Byzantium (and points east).

    And, over and over - no matter how much people complained about the opening crawl in The Phantom Menace, there are times when taxation of trade routes is a Great Big Huge Deal.

  5. #3755
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    55
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

  6. #3756
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    The Wild West
    Posts
    9,280
    Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

    Well, I enjoyed it! Contemporary - one character works at google. Not your normal bookstore!
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  7. #3757
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    29,815
    Old Mars, an anthology of short stories edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Time was, Mars was a fruitful setting for science fiction stories until the Mariner missions showed it to be a dead world. Martin and Dozois asked modern writers to forget about all that and write stories set on the "old Mars". Some people have called it a cheat, but I found it entertaining.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  8. #3758
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    30,141
    Reread Isaac Asimov's Words From the Myths. It strikes me that either we don't use nearly as many mythical allusions as they did in the '60s or else he exaggerated how often people would use them then.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  9. #3759
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    The Space Coast
    Posts
    4,128
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Reread Isaac Asimov's Words From the Myths. It strikes me that either we don't use nearly as many mythical allusions as they did in the '60s or else he exaggerated how often people would use them then.
    What are some examples? I may have read this book a while back, but I am not sure now.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

  10. #3760
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    The Space Coast
    Posts
    4,128
    I finished my copy of Candide. Reading the preface and some online materials makes me wonder why I haven't read more Voltaire. In some ways he seems like my kind of subversive. Have any of you read much of his work?

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

  11. #3761
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    30,141
    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    What are some examples? I may have read this book a while back, but I am not sure now.
    I, for one, have never called anyone a Nestor. Or called forgetfulness "Lethean." (My computer doesn't even know that word!) I did once hold onto the letters for "jovial" for a ridiculously long time in a game of Scrabble, and there are plenty of words in there that get used regularly, but the direct allusions, with the odd exception of "mentor," seem to have mostly gone by the wayside.

    And Voltaire is on my list of authors to get around to, but I haven't yet.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  12. #3762
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    15,770
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I, for one, have never called anyone a Nestor. Or called forgetfulness "Lethean." (My computer doesn't even know that word!) I did once hold onto the letters for "jovial" for a ridiculously long time in a game of Scrabble, and there are plenty of words in there that get used regularly, but the direct allusions, with the odd exception of "mentor," seem to have mostly gone by the wayside.

    And Voltaire is on my list of authors to get around to, but I haven't yet.
    On a vaguely similar note, do people still say "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" as a joke when meeting people? I remember as a kid reading in my pop-geography books that it was "still a common phrase", but never heard anyone say it, and when I tried it, the joke fell flat because nobody understood (admittedly I was saying it to my friends, who were also around 11.)
    Last edited by KaiYeves; 2017-Dec-14 at 09:47 PM.

  13. #3763
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    15,720
    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    Old Mars, an anthology of short stories edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Time was, Mars was a fruitful setting for science fiction stories until the Mariner missions showed it to be a dead world. Martin and Dozois asked modern writers to forget about all that and write stories set on the "old Mars". Some people have called it a cheat, but I found it entertaining.
    I took the companion volume Old Venus on holiday with me, but never got around to reading more than the introduction. So it's back on the pile.

    Grant Hutchison

  14. #3764
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    15,720
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    On a vaguely similar note, do people still say "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" as a joke when meeting people?
    Oddly, someone said it to me just last month - first time I'd heard it in a long time.
    He and I were approaching the summit of a rarely climbed and heavily forested hill from opposite sides, so that we pushed out of the forest into the summit clearing simultaneously. Of course, Stanley and Livingstone met in a village, not in the middle of a forest, but the phrase nevertheless seemed appropriate to the surprising and off-the-beaten-track aspect of our encounter. (I think it only ever works in that sort of situation - I can't recall anyone ever using it in the street or office, for instance.)

    I had a physician colleague whose name actually was Livingstone, and she once spent an entire safari holiday in Kenya using her husband's name (something she didn't usually do), simply because she couldn't bear the prospect of the inevitable "Dr Livingstone" jokes, which she got quite enough of at home without the extra temptation of an African context.

    Grant Hutchison

  15. #3765
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    8,862
    Now reading Elan Mastai's "All our wrong todays". Halfway through, written interestingly, no idea how it will develop further.
    All comments made in red are moderator comments. Please, read the rules of the forum here and read the additional rules for ATM, and for conspiracy theories. If you think a post is inappropriate, don't comment on it in thread but report it using the /!\ button in the lower left corner of each message. But most of all, have fun!

    Catch me on twitter: @tusenfem
    Catch Rosetta Plasma Consortium on twitter: @Rosetta_RPC

  16. #3766
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    1,027
    Quote Originally Posted by ngc3314 View Post
    The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan. Despite what seems to be a "protest too much" claim about Asian history being ignored in the West, this work has the magisterial sweep of a historian who never stops reading sources. New to me - how much the duel between Persia and Rome shaped the first five centuries after Christ, and the role of the slave trade all the way to Scandinavia once the Rus traders reached Byzantium (and points east).

    And, over and over - no matter how much people complained about the opening crawl in The Phantom Menace, there are times when taxation of trade routes is a Great Big Huge Deal.
    I started this but it didn't grab me and I moved on to something else. Is it worth going back to?

    Currently on "Best love to all" the collected letters and diaries of an infantry officer in the Great War, compiled and written by his grandson. Unlike most of this genre this is actually very well written and very informative.

  17. #3767
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,123
    Ken Follett's newest, A Column of Fire.

    Last week I finished Tad William's latest, The Witchwood Crown.

  18. #3768
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    30,141
    I'm on the hold list for A Column of Fire! How is it?
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  19. #3769
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,123
    I'm 100 pages in. I know that I'll enjoy it, but I won't enjoy it as much as I loved Pillars of the Earth.

  20. #3770
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    15,720
    I've belatedly finished the first volume of Isaac Asimov's autobiography, published in 1979.
    Asimov was always a litte too loud and too self-satisfied for British sensibilities, but I'm now struck by how gleefully he describes his adventures as what would now be called a "gropy sex-pest" in the early 1950s. The young women at his publishers' offices were apparently briefed that he was "harmless" and so "returned his kisses" rather than punching him. Judith Merril tolerated his patting her bottom several times before grabbing his crotch in a way that dissuaded him from ever doing it again.

    Grant Hutchison

  21. #3771
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    30,141
    Have just finished the new Sue Grafton, Y Is for Yesterday. And learned, to my sorrow, that she died two days ago. With one letter remaining and ending on a pretty grim and cynical note.
    _____________________________________________
    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. #3772
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    15,720
    Trouble in Paradise, about the child sexual abuse trials on Pitcairn Island in 2004. Terrible title - life on Pitcairn has always been too hard for it to be a "paradise", and calling accusations of institutionalized abuse of young girls by most of the adult males on an island "trouble" seems to rather understate the case. Anyway, Kathy Marks was one of the few journalists on the island for the trials, and in the long run she makes a pretty good job of describing how Pitcairn got to the horrible place it ended up. But to some extent it's also a book about Marks running headlong into the social consequences of voyeuristic journalism - for six weeks she posts her stories in the evening, and the next morning she has to mix with all islanders she's been writing about in tones that range from unflattering to condemnatory. She seems naively surprised that a society being torn apart by something endemic and horrible might be resentful of her role in disseminating the details to the world.

    Grant Hutchison

  23. #3773
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    15,770
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Have just finished the new Sue Grafton, Y Is for Yesterday. And learned, to my sorrow, that she died two days ago. With one letter remaining and ending on a pretty grim and cynical note.
    Wow, what a shame. :-(

    -

    I've just finished Donna Shirley's Managing Martians, about her role in organizing the Pathfinder mission. It's really weird to think that Pathfinder is as far away from us in time now as Viking was to the Pathfinder team. But when reading about how difficult the "bouncing airbags" system was to perfect and how perilous it appeared, it's pretty crazy to think that 15 years later so many people thought of airbags as a "safe, tested" means of landing because they had been used by Pathfinder, Spirit, and Opportunity, in contrast to Curiosity's Skycrane.

  24. #3774
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    15,720
    Justice, Legality, And The Rule Of Law: Lessons From The Pitcairn Prosecutions. It's a series of essays about the nature of law, at a more or less moral-philosophical level. It's a pleasant antidote to the black-and-white moral stance of Kathy Marks's book about the Pitcairn trials ("These men are evil! Punish them!"), and it shows how people who make and interpret laws must gently feel their way towards bringing "the law" into optimum registry with our (current) moral sense of justice.

    Grant Hutchison

  25. #3775
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    15,770
    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Justice, Legality, And The Rule Of Law: Lessons From The Pitcairn Prosecutions. It's a series of essays about the nature of law, at a more or less moral-philosophical level. It's a pleasant antidote to the black-and-white moral stance of Kathy Marks's book about the Pitcairn trials ("These men are evil! Punish them!"), and it shows how people who make and interpret laws must gently feel their way towards bringing "the law" into optimum registry with our (current) moral sense of justice.

    Grant Hutchison
    Are you reading them both simultaneously or did you finish Marks' book and start this one?

  26. #3776
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    15,720
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Are you reading them both simultaneously or did you finish Marks' book and start this one?
    Finished one before starting the second. In fact, I read three relevant books in chronological order, starting with Dea Birkett's Serpent in Paradise (Birkett's book says more about Birkett than it does about Pitcairn, unfortunately). And I've now finished the third.

    Grant Hutchison

  27. #3777
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    3,918
    Waking Up, by Sam Harris

    Reading just for curiosity's sake, I have zero interest in practicing meditation myself.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  28. #3778
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,123
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Have just finished the new Sue Grafton, Y Is for Yesterday. And learned, to my sorrow, that she died two days ago. With one letter remaining and ending on a pretty grim and cynical note.
    That is too bad. I wonder if "Z is for <whatever>" was completed before she passed? A while ago I read that she writes one of her novels in about two months.

  29. #3779
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    15,720
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    That is too bad. I wonder if "Z is for <whatever>" was completed before she passed? A while ago I read that she writes one of her novels in about two months.
    "Z for Zero". Her husband said she had been unable to work on it.

    Grant Hutchison

  30. #3780
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    14,077
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    On a vaguely similar note, do people still say "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" as a joke when meeting people? I remember as a kid reading in my pop-geography books that it was "still a common phrase", but never heard anyone say it, and when I tried it, the joke fell flat because nobody understood (admittedly I was saying it to my friends, who were also around 11.)
    I do, and I still call people Stirling Moss if they drive quickly and drummers are 'Cozy'
    Rules For Posting To This Board
    All Moderation in Purple

Similar Threads

  1. Re-reading
    By Trebuchet in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 75
    Last Post: 2014-Mar-14, 10:28 AM
  2. What are you not reading?
    By Paul Beardsley in forum Small Media at Large
    Replies: 182
    Last Post: 2013-Sep-30, 06:36 PM
  3. What keeps you reading?
    By Paul Beardsley in forum Small Media at Large
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 2009-Jun-17, 02:49 PM
  4. Reading Age
    By Sticks in forum Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 2008-May-09, 03:59 PM
  5. Reading computer screen is easy than reading books
    By suntrack2 in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 53
    Last Post: 2006-May-27, 12:14 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •