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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #4111
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    Having finished The Great Stink, about the history of the London sewers, I'm re-reading Pratchett's Dodger because of the related subject matter. I saw somewhere that Sir Joseph Bazelgette, hero of the former, has a cameo in the latter.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #4112
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    "Funny Man - Mel Brooks" by Patrik McGilligan who has also written biographies of George Cukor and Alfred Hitchcock among others.

    As always you know that someone whose work you admire will have some"dirty laundry" in their past and this proved to be the case once again. It is not a muck-racking book but also doesn't shy away from the less savoury parts of his life - his very poor treatment of his first wife, his propensity to take full credit for work to which others had greatly contributed to and doubtful financial schemes that shortchanged others.

    Still his abilities as a writer and performer and director were fulsomely praised, when appropriate, and given fair treatment. As was his generosity to old friends and others in need. I enjoyed it.

  3. #4113
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    When I wrote about Mel Brooks for Celebrating the Living, I observed that there was much for a movie fan to like in him even if they did not, in fact, like his movies. The only Mel Brooks movie I like is The Producers, but I still think he's one of the most important people in the industry from my lifetime for the movies he's involved in that he did not himself make. And blessings on him for refusing a producer credit on The Elephant Man, which he refused on the grounds of people would have expected it to be a very specific sort of movie, which it is really, really not.

    I picked up a copy of the oral history of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart cheap the other day. I've read it before, but it's nice to own. I like how obvious it is that some of the people were in the same room when they were interviewed, too, like the Carrels. Colbert seems to have been in the room with them, too, at least for part of it.
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  4. #4114
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    I downloaded John Steinbeck's Log From the Sea of Cortez a few days ago, inspired by the fact that the boat used in the trip is under restoration in the local boatyard, and by happening upon an article about it in a magazine in a doctor's waiting room. Then I decided it might be a bit too much to be reading while also riding the exercise bike and listening to music so I'm reading one of my naval historical novels instead.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #4115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    When I wrote about Mel Brooks for Celebrating the Living, I observed that there was much for a movie fan to like in him even if they did not, in fact, like his movies.
    Mrs M mentioned seeing some footage of Mel Brooks reviewing takes of a film he was making. He kept saying things like "Hah, that was funny!" "They'll laugh at that!" and "The audience will love that!"

    She felt it was nice that he was thinking of the audience. He didn't say "Ehh ... the critics will like this."

  6. #4116
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    Mrs M mentioned seeing some footage of Mel Brooks reviewing takes of a film he was making. He kept saying things like "Hah, that was funny!" "They'll laugh at that!" and "The audience will love that!"

    She felt it was nice that he was thinking of the audience. He didn't say "Ehh ... the critics will like this."
    The book I read made it clear that he had an intense dislike of critics. He apparently referred to them as "crickets" and even a generally supportive review that had only some minor points that critic didn't like would raise his ire.

  7. #4117
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    The book I read made it clear that he had an intense dislike of critics. He apparently referred to them as "crickets" and even a generally supportive review that had only some minor points that critic didn't like would raise his ire.
    My ex boss once shared a trans Atlantic flight and said Mel kept everyone entertained with a monologue the whole time.
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  8. #4118
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    How To, by Randall Munroe. Even better than What If. I've never been a big fan of xkcd, but I do very much enjoy his long form dissertations.

    Grant Hutchison

  9. #4119
    Just about to finish reading Prelude to Foundation, probably move on the original trilogy. A series that started with a short story in the forties, that turned into at least a fourteen book series if you include the robot books, Rather be reading then deal a lot of humans.
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  10. #4120
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    I have a question that is someway un-technical... I hope I'm not boring for you...

    after 45 I've got ED , and I don't enjoy anymore reading fiction as well... the same happened also to my father, but not to my grandmothers... both granmas kept on reading romance novels or gossip magazines until death...



    did it happen to you as well?
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  11. #4121
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    What is ED? Sorry, I am not familiar with the term.

    I am a heavy reader, and expect I will continue as long as my eyes and brain keep working. I don’t have as many authors in my preferred “fun reading” fiction genres these days (hard science fiction, occasionally fantasy and light SF in a pinch), as it seems the type of stories I like aren’t as popular. But I still manage to find something to read.

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  12. #4122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    I have a question that is someway un-technical... I hope I'm not boring for you...

    after 45 I've got ED , and I don't enjoy anymore reading fiction as well... the same happened also to my father, but not to my grandmothers... both granmas kept on reading romance novels or gossip magazines until death...



    did it happen to you as well?
    erectile dysfunction TZK TZK... if you are not familiar with the term, you are very very lucky...

    for 2 years i've been saving money to get a PENILE IMPLANT (a sort of robot penis, with the extra bonus that erection will be no longer dependent on my own libido, but I'll be able to "stage" a powerful erection as SHE wish...)...


  13. #4123
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    There's an association between anhedonia and ED, though I think the causal relationship is pretty complicated.
    So losing pleasure from something previously found enjoyable might be associated with the ED, or the two might just be correlates of getting older.

    Grant Hutchison

  14. #4124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    erectile dysfunction TZK TZK... if you are not familiar with the term, you are very very lucky...

    for 2 years i've been saving money to get a PENILE IMPLANT (a sort of robot penis, with the extra bonus that erection will be no longer dependent on my own libido, but I'll be able to "stage" a powerful erection as SHE wish...)...
    Barabino

    This is borderline appropriate for a medical thread in OTB. It is completely inappropriate for "What are you reading?" If you want a discussion of your medical problems, it might be best to take it elsewhere. From rule 1:

    People will sometimes talk there about personal issues they are facing, but they should refrain from requesting or offering advice that is best dispensed by a medical, mental health, or legal professional.
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  15. #4125
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    I've been rereading Robert Sheckley's AAA Ace Interplanetary Decontamination Service short stories, which I'm sure will be recalled fondly by some folk here.
    You may be interested to know that all the relevant magazine issues are available on the Internet Archive. So you can read seven out of eight stories freely on-line.
    Here are links to those first seven stories:
    "Ghost V"
    "Milk Run"
    "The Laxian Key"
    "Squirrel Cage"
    "The Lifeboat Mutiny"
    "The Necessary Thing"
    "The Skag Castle"

    My personal favourite is "Squirrel Cage".

    Grant Hutchison

  16. #4126
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I've been rereading Robert Sheckley's AAA Ace Interplanetary Decontamination Service short stories, which I'm sure will be recalled fondly by some folk here.
    You may be interested to know that all the relevant magazine issues are available on the Internet Archive. So you can read seven out of eight stories freely on-line.
    Here are links to those first seven stories:
    "Ghost V"
    "Milk Run"
    "The Laxian Key"
    "Squirrel Cage"
    "The Lifeboat Mutiny"
    "The Necessary Thing"
    "The Skag Castle"

    My personal favourite is "Squirrel Cage".

    Grant Hutchison
    Thanks for the links - I will definitely revisit his writings.

  17. #4127
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    I just finished Patrick Smith's The Nippon Challenge: Japan's Pursuit of the America's Cup. As a fan of the Japanese team in the last America's Cup, which was the first team from that country in more than a decade, I was interested in reading about their very first participation in the event, in 1992. Interestingly, as the book was published before that competition, we don't actually get to read about Nippon Challenge competing in the America's Cup, just preparing! By the end of the author's time with them, the team were pretty resigned to the fact that they wouldn't win on their first try, but they actually ended up doing pretty well, getting to the semi-finals!
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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  18. #4128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I downloaded John Steinbeck's Log From the Sea of Cortez a few days ago, inspired by the fact that the boat used in the trip is under restoration in the local boatyard, and by happening upon an article about it in a magazine in a doctor's waiting room. Then I decided it might be a bit too much to be reading while also riding the exercise bike and listening to music so I'm reading one of my naval historical novels instead.
    I did go back and finish the book, except for the addendum about Ed Ricketts which I'll probably finish today. It caused me to do some exploration of Baja on Google Maps! I've also been watching a series of videos on the boat restoration.

    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    How To, by Randall Munroe. Even better than What If. I've never been a big fan of xkcd, but I do very much enjoy his long form dissertations.

    Grant Hutchison
    I need to order that! And maybe the book version of What If as well.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  19. #4129
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    Has anyone read H. M. Hoover's The Delikon? It's my favorite young adult sci-fi book. I had thought that it was popular, but judging by the lack of reviews and information on the web, it is not popular at all. Disappointing.

    It's the story of a group of aliens that try to reeducate humans into kinder, gentler beings. They fail and accidentally abandon one of their teachers as they evacuate the Earth to escape a revolt.
    Solfe

  20. #4130
    Last night picked up my copy of a boat of a million years. It is about immortals born on Earth and sent into space. I have to finish off the red mars and foundation series too.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  21. #4131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Has anyone read H. M. Hoover's The Delikon? It's my favorite young adult sci-fi book.
    I hadn't heard of it, or her. Mind you, I never had any great enthusiasm for young adult science fiction, even (or perhaps especially) when I was a young adult. A perverse desire to never read anything that someone thought I should be reading.

    Grant Hutchison

  22. #4132
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    What are you reading?

    I just finished American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley, a professor at Rice University. Brinkley chronicles JFK's fascination with space and how the president saw the race as a major defining difference between the US and Soviet Union. The book is about the presidential politics of the era and not as much about the people of NASA or technology.

    There were a few errors that I noticed related specifically to space. One paragraph says that weight is zero "at that altitude". And the book included a photo of Gordon Cooper strapped into Gemini 5 but the caption said it was Faith 7.

    I enjoyed the book although it seems clear that Brinkley is a JFK fan. But for his views on Wernher von Braun - not so much.

    ETA: corrected spelling of Wernher.
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2019-Oct-21 at 01:52 AM.

  23. #4133
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Wherner von Braun.
    Was that typo another mistake in the book? ;-)
    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!

  24. #4134
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I hadn't heard of it, or her. Mind you, I never had any great enthusiasm for young adult science fiction, even (or perhaps especially) when I was a young adult. A perverse desire to never read anything that someone thought I should be reading.

    Grant Hutchison
    I find this particular book amusing because the forward warns about the dangers of being placed in the category of "Young Adult Author". This was back in 1977, so it doesn't reflect the habits of young adult readers today.

    What I find interesting about the book is its so sterile. You only really know anything about the main characters thoughts and dreams. Everything else is "empty". I think it was intended to be that way and it really works for the book.

    It also makes me want to set a RPG scenario in that world. Everything is so... limited, it would be so easy.

    Anyway, back to other books. I am reading R. A. MacAvoy's Damiano series. Its about a young witch in Italy, in an unspecified century. After the fall of Rome, before the 12th century. Maybe?

    Anyway, the book romps all over the place as far as ideas go. The main character is a witch. His best friends are a horse, a dog and the Archangel Raphael. It gets pretty grim by the end of the first book, but recovers later.
    Solfe

  25. #4135
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    Having finished The Log From The Sea of Cortez, I've downloaded Cannery Row. Why not, it basically features the same characters? I'll probably start it on the exercise bike tomorrow.

    I need a new naval historical novel series to read. I've done Hornblower, Aubrey/Maturin, Kydd, Lewrie. Any suggestions?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  26. #4136
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    What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Was that typo another mistake in the book? ;-)
    Oh no that was wholly my own lazy editing.

    I’ll correct it here shortly.

  27. #4137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I need a new naval historical novel series to read. I've done Hornblower, Aubrey/Maturin, Kydd, Lewrie. Any suggestions?
    Alexander Kent's "Richard Bolitho" novels might be to your taste. Or Dudley Pope's "Ramage" series.

    Grant Hutchison

  28. #4138
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    Splintered Empires, the fourth and final book of Prit Buttar's series on the Eastern front in the Great War covering as far as the Russian Civil war. Excellent stuff.

  29. #4139
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Alexander Kent's "Richard Bolitho" novels might be to your taste. Or Dudley Pope's "Ramage" series.

    Grant Hutchison
    I've read the former. Have heard of the latter, perhaps I'll give them a try.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #4140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I've read the former. Have heard of the latter, perhaps I'll give them a try.
    I prefer Ramage to Bolitho. Bolitho was always on a treadmill of self-sacrifice that got a little wearing after a while; Ramage definitely had more fun.

    Grant Hutchison

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