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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #3871
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    I started reading The Storm Before the Storm by Mike Duncan. It is really good, but I have a feeling I started it and put it down and started over again.
    Solfe

  2. #3872
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    I just finished Carthago, a fairly cliched French underwater SF thriller comic, but at least the art was nice and spotting the inspirations for each scene kind of became a fun game.

  3. #3873
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I just finished Carthago, a fairly cliched French underwater SF thriller comic, but at least the art was nice and spotting the inspirations for each scene kind of became a fun game.
    Carthago delenda erat?

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2018-May-30 at 03:32 PM.
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    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  4. #3874
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Carthago delenda erat?

    Grant Hutchison
    The story doesn’t really have anything to do with Rome or Carthage, the company at the center of the action is just named Carthago, but there’s no Roman themes or allusions in how they’re portrayed.

  5. #3875
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    The story doesn’t really have anything to do with Rome or Carthage, the company at the center of the action is just named Carthago, but there’s no Roman themes or allusions in how they’re portrayed.
    Ah, thanks. I guess I was slightly primed to expect a "destruction of Carthage" theme because Poul Anderson wrote an SF short story entitled "Delenda Est", which was about the destruction of Carthage (or, it being a time travel story, the non-destruction of Carthage).

    (His Time Patrol stories are excellent, by the way, if anyone's interested in some classic SF. "The Sorrow Of Odin The Goth" is one of the best SF short stories I've ever read.)

    Grant Hutchison
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    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  6. #3876
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    I've just finished The Medusa Chronicles, a 'sequel' to A Meeting with Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke. This 'sequel' was written by Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds, two of the leading exponents of 'hard' SF in the UK today. Baxter in particular has also written a few sequels to other authors' work, including The Time Ships, a sequel to H. G. Wells The Time Machine.

    Although these two authors (Baxter and Reynolds) cover much of the same sort of (space operatic) ground in their own fiction, they have very distinct voices, and I was interested to see if I could pick out who wrote what in this latest work. However they both seem to have tried to write in Clarke's particular style, which often included a little 'kicker' at the end of any given chapter. I liked the story, which includes some interesting ideas, but it was a bit of a pastiche in some ways.

  7. #3877
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    Picked up a book yesterday called A Historical Tour of Walt Disney World. It's basically putting a few bits of the park--the Crystal Palace, the Jungle Cruise, Main Street, USA--in their historical perspective for what in the real world shaped our images of certain things. I've noticed a typo or two and a few flaws of research, but it's mostly pretty good. A considerably worse problem is the chapter on the Carousel of Progress, which got the theme stuck in my head for hours. People complain about "It's a Small World," but "It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" is higher on my list of Worst Ever Sherman Brothers Songs.
    _____________________________________________
    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. #3878
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Picked up a book yesterday called A Historical Tour of Walt Disney World. It's basically putting a few bits of the park--the Crystal Palace, the Jungle Cruise, Main Street, USA--in their historical perspective for what in the real world shaped our images of certain things. I've noticed a typo or two and a few flaws of research, but it's mostly pretty good. A considerably worse problem is the chapter on the Carousel of Progress, which got the theme stuck in my head for hours. People complain about "It's a Small World," but "It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" is higher on my list of Worst Ever Sherman Brothers Songs.
    Wow, that sounds right up my alley! I’ll have to look it up.

  9. #3879
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    Rereading How the States Got Their Shapes, by Mark Stein. The one issue I have with it is that, because each state gets its own chapter, there is a lot of repetition of information.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  10. #3880
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    The Deadly Fuze. Ralph Baldwin. The proximity fuse of WW2 was a fantastic development considering they only had thermionic valves to work with. The author was a leading light in the team that brought it about. He describes the many problems in the story and the effects of its use in combat. What is revealing is the use of the device in artillary and howitser shells in the battle of the bulge. It accounted for much of the enemy soldiers in their foxholes. Not something that has been told in the many documentaries of the event. After the war, Baldwin wrote about the craters of the Moon and put the meteoric explanation forward.

  11. #3881
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Wow, that sounds right up my alley! I’ll have to look it up.
    Me too! I am gearing up for a trip there this winter.

    I've only been to Disney world 4 times in my life but I've sat through Carousel of Progress 11 times. One of my favorites. Right after Haunted Mansion and It's a Small World. Love the classics.
    Solfe

  12. #3882
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    Tim Zimmerman’s The Race: Extreme Sailing and Its Ultimate Event .

    A yacht called PlayStation leaving the dock to “Who Let The Dogs Out” is one of the most late-90s things imaginable.

  13. #3883
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I've only been to Disney world 4 times in my life but I've sat through Carousel of Progress 11 times. One of my favorites. Right after Haunted Mansion and It's a Small World. Love the classics.
    I've never been to Disney World; we're hoping to be able to afford a trip when the kids are old enough to appreciate it. (My promise to myself is never to bring a stroller to a Disney park.) But I've been to Disneyland well over twenty times, having grown up a couple hours' drive a way. It's what my family did instead of vacation--one day at Disneyland, every year. I also went with a couple of different music programs for their Magic Music Days, did Grad Night my senior year, and have gone on vacation twice since moving away. The last time, my aunt was astounded to learn that, yes, Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln is still there and that we'd sat through it a couple of times. I've never been on Carousel of Progress, because it was taken out at Disneyland before I was born!
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  14. #3884
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    I've just downloaded Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, for obvious reasons.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  15. #3885
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I've never been to Disney World; we're hoping to be able to afford a trip when the kids are old enough to appreciate it. (My promise to myself is never to bring a stroller to a Disney park.) But I've been to Disneyland well over twenty times, having grown up a couple hours' drive a way. It's what my family did instead of vacation--one day at Disneyland, every year. I also went with a couple of different music programs for their Magic Music Days, did Grad Night my senior year, and have gone on vacation twice since moving away. The last time, my aunt was astounded to learn that, yes, Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln is still there and that we'd sat through it a couple of times. I've never been on Carousel of Progress, because it was taken out at Disneyland before I was born!
    This may sound like a lousy idea, but go in the last two weeks of August. It is much cheaper, dining is sometimes free and the crowds are non-existent.

    Since this is a reading thread, I am still running through the Mike Duncan book. Wonderful so far.
    Solfe

  16. #3886
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    This may sound like a lousy idea, but go in the last two weeks of August. It is much cheaper, dining is sometimes free and the crowds are non-existent.
    Interesting. Certainly not a time I'd want to go to Disneyland, even though it's when my family usually did--too hot. I told my kid's principal that, when I took Simon to visit family, it would involve taking him out of school. He understood immediately.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  17. #3887
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    Philip Gillett's The British Working Class In Postwar Film. As much social history as a history of British cinema in the late '40s and early '50s. Interesting to have my grandmother's house and furniture explained in detail, as if it were some sort of anthropological curiosity. And interesting that my parents' young lives, in an early "prefab" housing estate on the edge of town (where I was brought up) fell completely off the film-making radar at that time. My grandmother's tenement with shared toilet, no bath and a wash-house out the back was the model for working-class life in British films, whereas many younger post-war couples were living in uninsulated cheap metal boxes (sweltering in summer, and quite literally freezing in winter) with "all mod. cons".

    Grant Hutchison
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    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  18. #3888
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Philip Gillett's The British Working Class In Postwar Film. As much social history as a history of British cinema in the late '40s and early '50s. Interesting to have my grandmother's house and furniture explained in detail, as if it were some sort of anthropological curiosity. And interesting that my parents' young lives, in an early "prefab" housing estate on the edge of town (where I was brought up) fell completely off the film-making radar at that time. My grandmother's tenement with shared toilet, no bath and a wash-house out the back was the model for working-class life in British films, whereas many younger post-war couples were living in uninsulated cheap metal boxes (sweltering in summer, and quite literally freezing in winter) with "all mod. cons".

    Grant Hutchison
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhen...

  19. #3889
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhen...
    Indeed. Or maybe "Close at hand is far away in images of elsepersons" - my grandmother's living room, with its scullery and box bed, is so close I can almost touch it, but it must seem very far away to someone who hasn't lived in a room like that.

    (BTW: I seem to have a false memory of the "elsewhere" graffito you reference. I was just about to tell you that I used to pass it on the train when I travelled back and forth between London and Margate in 1978, but it seems it was at Paddington Station. As far as I know, I've never even been to Paddington Station. Strange - I still have a mental image of it going past the carriage windows. I presume I saw some sort of documentary footage and have conflated it with all the other strange stuff that happened to me that summer.)

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  20. #3890
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Indeed. Or maybe "Close at hand is far away in images of elsepersons" - my grandmother's living room, with its scullery and box bed, is so close I can almost touch it, but it must seem very far away to someone who hasn't lived in a room like that.

    (BTW: I seem to have a false memory of the "elsewhere" graffito you reference. I was just about to tell you that I used to pass it on the train when I travelled back and forth between London and Margate in 1978, but it seems it was at Paddington Station. As far as I know, I've never even been to Paddington Station. Strange - I still have a mental image of it going past the carriage windows. I presume I saw some sort of documentary footage and have conflated it with all the other strange stuff that happened to me that summer.)

    Grant Hutchison
    I didn't know it from graffiti, I knew it from someone's signature on here and I always thought it was very insightful.

  21. #3891
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I didn't know it from graffiti, I knew it from someone's signature on here and I always thought it was very insightful.
    Ah. I generally run with sigs and avatars turned off.
    The line originated in a piece of graffiti on a wall beside the tracks in (I now know) Paddington Station, London, back in the '70s - the work of two guys called Dave and Geoff Hall, who had a habit of painting thought-provoking phrases on walls beside railway lines. (Everyone's got to have a hobby, right?) It was kind of famous at the time.
    There's a bit of a story about it here, and a photograph here.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  22. #3892
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    Hmmm, you know, on that note I haven't had a signature on here in years, I should come up with a new one...

  23. #3893
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    I've been re-re-re-reading Forester's Horatio Hornblower series, but upon finishing one yesterday I find the next is not available on Kindle.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #3894
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I've been re-re-re-reading Forester's Horatio Hornblower series, but upon finishing one yesterday I find the next is not available on Kindle.
    Which one? I see Books One through Eleven available as Kindle content.

  25. #3895
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    Ok, I have four books on the burner right now. H. Beam Piper's Space Viking. Never heard of it before last week, but when I read a review, I knew it was up my alley. Two books are by Harlan Ellison. One is called Strange Wine and the other will be unnamed. I'm ok with the title, but it is a bit awkward in a G rated environment. It is one of his books about TV, for which Ellison has a special name for. I am 99% sure it would go ok, but I'll leave it to your imagination just in case it isn't. The last is Lynn Abbey's Sanctuary novel.

    I have reached a point where I wonder where my parents were when I was a child? Yeah, I know. How do you monitor other people's reading habits? My parents had no chance. I was a subversive little monster. I have been reading Harlan Ellison's books since age 13 or 14. Now that I have a son who is almost 16 year old, I am sure I don't want to dirty up his brain with anything this guy wrote. I still love Ellison's work. I hope that once all of my kids reach 18 and becomes adults, they choose to read some of it. Heady, but disturbing and distressing stuff.

    Funny that I watch my kids from a distance and generally know what they are up to when my parents did not. My most masterful adulting skill is saying, "Please don't swear. Especially in front of your friends". I use a dead pan, but serious voice. No need to sound domineering or angry. I recall being like 8 and having a friend tell me, "Go ahead and swear. It's ok." I recall thinking that it wasn't and continue to believe that it really isn't "ok". Forgivable if it is funny, but not so funny if you swear in away that sounds like it is directed at someone. Nobody likes that.
    Solfe

  26. #3896
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    One more comment, I'm not made of money. I have this goofy app called "Google Opinion Reward" which had paid me about 25 bucks in four weeks, which explains the book spending spree I have been on. Google Play Books is really not as useful as Kindle books, but since I hacked my Kindle to display Google content, it is sort of useful. Ironic that I am using a Kindle to read books that shouldn't be able to be used on a Kindle.

    Somehow, I broke my Kindle in such away that when I factory defaulted it, it still allows use of Google apps despite my attempts to undo what I did to it. It is very easy to load Google apps to a Kindle, but also makes the device clunky and glitchy in a variety of ways. Factory defaulting it fixes many of the problems, but for whatever reason doesn't remove the Google Play apps. I guess "factory default" doesn't equal "complete wipe". I don't understand that at all.
    Solfe

  27. #3897
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I have reached a point where I wonder where my parents were when I was a child? Yeah, I know. How do you monitor other people's reading habits? My parents had no chance. I was a subversive little monster. I have been reading Harlan Ellison's books since age 13 or 14. Now that I have a son who is almost 16 year old, I am sure I don't want to dirty up his brain with anything this guy wrote. I still love Ellison's work. I hope that once all of my kids reach 18 and becomes adults, they choose to read some of it. Heady, but disturbing and distressing stuff.
    Most of the best writers I know said that their parents didn't prevent them from reading anything when they were kids. You'd be shocked by what author was fashionable among my friends when I was in fourth grade, and I promise you it wasn't Harlan Ellison.

    Funny that I watch my kids from a distance and generally know what they are up to when my parents did not. My most masterful adulting skill is saying, "Please don't swear. Especially in front of your friends". I use a dead pan, but serious voice. No need to sound domineering or angry. I recall being like 8 and having a friend tell me, "Go ahead and swear. It's ok." I recall thinking that it wasn't and continue to believe that it really isn't "ok". Forgivable if it is funny, but not so funny if you swear in away that sounds like it is directed at someone. Nobody likes that.
    Swearing honestly doesn't bother me. My four-year-old isn't allowed to because "those are grown-up words," mostly because he doesn't yet know where and when it's appropriate to swear, and I really don't want to get the angry calls from his classmates' parents. I'd rather he not sound angry at someone no matter what specific words he uses. I've honestly been hurt a lot more by things someone has said without swearing than by being sworn at.

    As for my reading, I am moving on from Destiny of the Republic: A tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President, by Candice Millard, to The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur, by Scott S. Greenberger. The former is about the assassination of James A. Garfield, including a bit of biography of both him and Guiteau. (It turns out the old "the metal detector was confused by the bedsprings" line is bogus; Bell wasn't allowed to look everywhere for the bullet, just where the doctor thought it was, and the doctor was wrong.) The latter is a biography of Garfield's successor, about whom I know very little. Of course, the book starts by pointing out that no one knows much about him these days.
    _____________________________________________
    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. #3898
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    I have just finished "A Nearly Infallible History of the Reformation" by Nick Page. It was a very good read being detailed, informative and often very funny. I am now on the hunt for a previous book of his "A Nearly Infallible History of Christianity".

    Despite the authors love of bad puns and comic asides I did come away with a much better understanding of the events of the reformation and the people that caused them. Even as a non-believer the events of this time are an important part of history that it is useful to know.

  29. #3899
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    Just finished Steve Fossett's memoir, Chasing The Wind. Well... he wasn't really the best writer and used some odd grammar and capitalization, and compared to his fellow balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in their book, he wasn't very descriptive about his flights. But he did do a lot of interesting things and it is good to read about them in his own words, and the underlying philosophy of pursuing what interests you is inspiring.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  30. #3900
    Re-reading the Elegant Universe by Brian Greene.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

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