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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #3841
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Whenever I see a Three Investigators book at a used bookstore, I buy it because I read most of the series in Elementary through High School, as did my Dad back in the 60s, so it's nostalgic for both of us. As such, I am currently reading The Mystery of Death Trap Mine, because I found it at Strand a few weeks ago. Unlike some other children's mysteries, I still find the writing holds up at conveying a sense of place-- in this case, a fictional, nearly-dead, mining town in the US Southwest.

    (By the time I graduated High School, I had read all of the books in the series that our High School library had in its [incomplete] collection, up to #38 of the whole 43-book original series. Now that I've gotten into reading them again, maybe I can do a big re-read project when I go home for the summer if the High School still has the books-- and read the final ones I never got to read, too!)
    I've gotten a bit of a kick at reading that you're reading these (awkward but accurate sentence?), because I read them all in Middle/Jr. High/High School. But it's sooo long ago now, I'd probably benefit from reading them again! I did a book report on The Mystery of the Fiery Eye, and got marked down because the teacher didn't like my cover art, and I was roundly mocked by classmates (nothing new there), so I kept the rest of them to myself after that. But I loved those books!

    CJSF
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  2. #3842
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    That's why I've switched to Kindle. When we were moving a couple of years ago I did a massive purge and got rid of several hundred books. It hurt a bit, but not as badly as I expected. That doesn't mean there aren't a couple of hundred still here, of course.
    4,660 physical books on the premises, it says here. (And people ask why we live in such a big house.)

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #3843
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    That's why I've switched to Kindle. When we were moving a couple of years ago I did a massive purge and got rid of several hundred books. It hurt a bit, but not as badly as I expected. That doesn't mean there aren't a couple of hundred still here, of course.

    When I opened the back of the car, the guy at the Goodwill donation station said "Oh! We LOVE books!"

    One thing I may need to do on this one is download it to an actual computer so I can view the illustrations better than on the phone.
    On the other hand, there's a book that's available right now on Kindle for less than half the price it's going to cost when it gets released in dead tree--but there's no way I'd buy the Kindle edition, because it's an art book. The new book of Pratchett illustrations by Paul Kidby, in fact. That's the sort of thing where a Kindle would just be too small to get a proper look.
    _____________________________________________
    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.'"

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  4. #3844
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    4,660 physical books on the premises, it says here. (And people ask why we live in such a big house.)

    Grant Hutchison
    Mmm, I would like to wander through your bookshelves. I am too lazy to do a proper count but would guesstimate at a little over a 1,000 for me.

    A catalogue & full count would actually be a good idea.

  5. #3845
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Mmm, I would like to wander through your bookshelves. I am too lazy to do a proper count but would guesstimate at a little over a 1,000 for me.

    A catalogue & full count would actually be a good idea.
    The books are shelved in two rooms, thematically, but there's a lot in the attic. So the catalogue is something of a necessity, so I can go to the right shelf or the right box to find a volume I need.
    If you're going to get into cataloguing, I'd certainly recommend the software from Collectorz.com. As I enter my dotage, I'm thinking I'll maybe start to get some use from the phone app, which syncs with my master database. With the sheer volume and time span involved, there's an increasing danger I might buy the same book again, particularly if it's a reissue with a different cover, so the ability to check by author and title while standing in the book shop is appealing. But that means I might need to carry my phone around with me more often, which I find a depressing prospect. So not yet a while.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #3846
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    I've gotten a bit of a kick at reading that you're reading these (awkward but accurate sentence?), because I read them all in Middle/Jr. High/High School. But it's sooo long ago now, I'd probably benefit from reading them again! I did a book report on The Mystery of the Fiery Eye, and got marked down because the teacher didn't like my cover art, and I was roundly mocked by classmates (nothing new there), so I kept the rest of them to myself after that. But I loved those books!

    CJSF
    I finished Death Trap Mine yesterday! The ending is still tense and exciting, and Allie Jamison gets her moment to shine.

  7. #3847
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The books are shelved in two rooms, thematically, but there's a lot in the attic. So the catalogue is something of a necessity, so I can go to the right shelf or the right box to find a volume I need.
    If you're going to get into cataloguing, I'd certainly recommend the software from Collectorz.com. As I enter my dotage, I'm thinking I'll maybe start to get some use from the phone app, which syncs with my master database. With the sheer volume and time span involved, there's an increasing danger I might buy the same book again, particularly if it's a reissue with a different cover, so the ability to check by author and title while standing in the book shop is appealing. But that means I might need to carry my phone around with me more often, which I find a depressing prospect. So not yet a while.

    Grant Hutchison
    Thanks for the information. I also certainly don't intend to carry my phone around any more than is absolutely necessary. Much of my "library" is 1940's or earlier so reissue problems are not likely.

  8. #3848
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Thanks for the information. I also certainly don't intend to carry my phone around any more than is absolutely necessary. Much of my "library" is 1940's or earlier so reissue problems are not likely.
    Ah, electronic cataloguing gets harder for that sort of collection, because of the absence of ISBNs. You need to do what the Victorians did, and hire a struggling young scientist to live in and catalogue by hand.

    Grant Hutchison

  9. #3849
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Ah, electronic cataloguing gets harder for that sort of collection, because of the absence of ISBNs. You need to do what the Victorians did, and hire a struggling young scientist to live in and catalogue by hand.

    Grant Hutchison
    True - but that sounds like the premise for a short story by someone like H. G Wells about the discovery of some "lost dangerous knowledge" like the weight loss recipe in "The Truth About Pyecraft"

  10. #3850
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    True - but that sounds like the premise for a short story by someone like H. G Wells about the discovery of some "lost dangerous knowledge" like the weight loss recipe in "The Truth About Pyecraft"
    You should be safe enough, unless some of your volumes are chained to the shelves, stirring and muttering uneasily at dead of night.

    Grant Hutchison

  11. #3851
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    I've got all of mine (in theory, though I'm behind on it) in a database on my computer that I designed myself.
    _____________________________________________
    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. #3852
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I've got all of mine (in theory, though I'm behind on it) in a database on my computer that I designed myself.
    Showoff

  13. #3853
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    Just ordered and got on my Kindle: the order of time by Carlo Rovelli. Anybody read it yet?

  14. #3854
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    I have just been down to the local library and picked up my inter-library loan of a copy of "Finding Longitude" - as discussed a page or so back in this thread.

  15. #3855
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Just ordered and got on my Kindle: the order of time by Carlo Rovelli. Anybody read it yet?
    Yes i got a hard copy, just published, and it is delightful, a wonderful read and conceptually challenging. But the challenge is continually met by the clarity of the writing. Only a confident expert could write so simply about the mysteries of time and carry one along. Highly recommended.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  16. #3856
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    Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero. A group of crime-solving kids (with heavy references to the plot elements of Scooby-Doo) are now grown up, but haunted by something ghastly in their last "case". They reunite to find out what really happened. I'm not far in, but the H.P. Lovecraft references are coming thick and fast.
    It's pretty good fun, but Cantero is labouring it a bit, and there are a few "You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means" moments.

    Grant Hutchison

  17. #3857
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I have just been down to the local library and picked up my inter-library loan of a copy of "Finding Longitude" - as discussed a page or so back in this thread.
    Well, I have now had my first read of "Finding Longitude" and I have to say that Grant's recommendation of it was well founded. It tells its stories in an interesting way and the illustrations are excellent. It definitely shines a more balanced light on the John Harrison affair and his dealings with the Board of Longitude and did make me realise that the Dava Sobel book glossed over the legitimate concerns of the Board.

    It also makes a good stab at letting me understand the astronomical method of determining longitude. However, with my brilliant mathematical ability I would have any vessel that was unlucky enough to have me in command firmly attached to the nearest reef in a blink of an eye.

  18. #3858
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Well, I have now had my first read of "Finding Longitude" and I have to say that Grant's recommendation of it was well founded.
    Well, that's good. I always feel slightly anxious when people actually pay attention to my book recommendations.

    Grant Hutchison

  19. #3859
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    Aside from all of my readings for finals, Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac.

  20. #3860
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Well, that's good. I always feel slightly anxious when people actually pay attention to my book recommendations.

    Grant Hutchison
    I think I'll reread it on the computer instead of the phone so I can actually see the illustrations. But maybe re-read the Sobel one first, for comparison.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  21. #3861
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I think I'll reread it on the computer instead of the phone so I can actually see the illustrations. But maybe re-read the Sobel one first, for comparison.
    Just watch how Sobel's loaded use of language sinks the knife into Maskelyne at every opportunity, and paints Harrison as a blameless victim. It's positively breathtaking in its blatancy.
    [/high horse]

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2018-May-03 at 04:31 PM. Reason: spelling

  22. #3862
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Aside from all of my readings for finals, Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac.
    Wow, what a coincidence, I have a dozen or so pages left to read. Should have read it 30 years ago. What strikes me is that so many of the issues he raises in the later essays are still with us, only deeper now.

    ETA: There are so many quotable statements in that collection, and I'd hoped to remember many of them, but the only one that I can recall at the moment is where he says that he loves trees, but he's in love with pine. So am I.
    Last edited by Torsten; 2018-May-03 at 05:32 PM.

  23. #3863
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Just watch how Sobel's loaded use of language sinks the knife into Maskelyne at every opportunity, and paints Harrison as a blameless victim. It's positively breathtaking in its blatancy.
    [/high horse]

    Grant Hutchison
    I wonder why she would choose this path - was it just that a book will sell better if it has a "hero fighting against the establishment" or simply a misreading of historic sources?

  24. #3864
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Wow, what a coincidence, I have a dozen or so pages left to read. Should have read it 30 years ago. What strikes me is that so many of the issues he raises in the later essays are still with us, only deeper now.

    ETA: There are so many quotable statements in that collection, and I'd hoped to remember many of them, but the only one that I can recall at the moment is where he says that he loves trees, but he's in love with pine. So am I.
    I've finished the actual almanac chapters and I'm working through the essays now. I liked the praise of pines as well, and I found the chapter about cutting through a tree's rings and discussing what had happened in each decade they represented very powerful. Certainly, a very prescient book, and it occurs to me that while I (attempt) to be conscious of environmental issues, I don't spend nearly as much time as I could actually getting to know and appreciate nature in my area.

  25. #3865
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I wonder why she would choose this path - was it just that a book will sell better if it has a "hero fighting against the establishment" or simply a misreading of historic sources?
    I don't know. Her bibliography is quite extensive, and would certainly have given her a more balanced view than she presents. But, to follow the style of Sobel's writing, "Some might think that one may add a book to a bibliography without ever having read it." Her recurring groundless insinuations against Maskelyne, couched in that sort of faux-neutral style, make me think she was either massively emotionally invested in this conflict, or that she was deliberately writing a hero/villain narrative. She almost seems to admit to the latter early in the book, when she writes, "A story that hails a hero must also hiss at a villain."
    Here's a little statistic I figured out which rather undermines Sobel's version of events. During the decades in which he was developing his chronometers, Harrison received a series of awards from the Board of Longitude to encourage him to continue his work. If you add up the sums, and compare the total to the sort of income people had in the eighteenth century, those awards alone put Harrison in the top few percent of earners in England at the time. Is that the action of a body intent on suppressing Harrison's work?

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2018-May-04 at 01:31 PM.

  26. #3866
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I don't know. Her bibliography is quite extensive, and would certainly have given her a more balanced view than she presents. But, to follow the style of Sobel's writing, "Some might think that one may add a book to a bibliography without ever having read it." Her recurring groundless insinuations against Maskelyne, couched in that sort of faux-neutral style, make me think she was either massively emotionally invested in this conflict, or that she was deliberately writing a hero/villain narrative. She almost seems to admit to the latter early in the book, when she writes, "A story that hails a hero must also hiss at a villain."
    Here's a little statistic I figured out which rather undermines Sobel's version of events. During the decades in which he was developing his chronometers, Harrison received a series of awards from the Board of Longitude to encourage him to continue his work. If you add up the sums, and compare the total to the sort of income people had in the eighteenth century, those awards alone put Harrison in the top few percent of earners in England at the time. Is that the action of a body intent on suppressing Harrison's work?

    Grant Hutchison
    Yes, the authors of "Finding Latitude" made the point that "Nevertheless, Harrison died a wealthy man ---", they estimate that he received at least 20,000 for his work.

    Trying to put that in "today's money" (actually 2017) gives a value of about 2,500,00 https://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/ukcompare/. Another site gives an estimate of about 3,000,000. Whatever the true figure is, it is obvious that he was well rewarded - and rightly so.

  27. #3867
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Yes, the authors of "Finding Latitude" made the point that "Nevertheless, Harrison died a wealthy man ---", they estimate that he received at least 20,000 for his work.

    Trying to put that in "today's money" (actually 2017) gives a value of about 2,500,00 https://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/ukcompare/. Another site gives an estimate of about 3,000,000. Whatever the true figure is, it is obvious that he was well rewarded - and rightly so.
    Indeed. At the end of her book, Sobel portrays Harrison as being browbeaten into handing over his timekeepers and explaining their workings before he is grudgingly awarded half the Longitude Prize.
    But the terms under which the prize was awarded stipulated that a "practicable and useful" solution to the longitude problem had to be offered. There was simply no way in which Harrison could reasonably expect to keep his timekeepers to himself, or to keep their workings a trade secret. And there is no way in which a small number of successful sea-trials of two time-keepers (which had been very expensive and time-consuming to build) could be considered a general solution to the problem, deserving the whole prize. But in exchange for appropriate disclosure, and on top of the funds already received, Harrison was being offered the modern equivalent of a million pounds of public money. Poor man.

    Grant Hutchison

  28. #3868
    Reading the Pluto Files again, got to get back into reading but tough on the eyes and brain, get tired really fast but the larger type helps.
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  29. #3869
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    Moving Pictures.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

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