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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #4351
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    I've really enjoyed it, though it did mean I had to explain Anish Kapoor to Graham last night.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  2. #4352
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    I'm not going to buy any more of Ann Cleeves Vera books. Seriously, I'm just not.

    Unless she publishes another one, because I've read them all now.

    Stuff that bugs me: DC Holly Clarke had a different surname in the last one, despite being clearly the same character. That's what editors are for; to prevent such annoying mistakes.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  3. #4353
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post

    ...

    Stuff that bugs me: DC Holly Clarke had a different surname in the last one, despite being clearly the same character. That's what editors are for; to prevent such annoying mistakes.
    Yes, but ...

    As you probably already know, Arthur Conan Doyle had a few continuity glitches (errors -- or perhaps not) in his writings, and surely the Sherlock Holmes scholarship that's gone on for nearly a century probably wouldn't have flourished without these nits to pick. E.g., was Watson's war wound in the arm or the leg? Did Mrs Watson call him by a different first name? What happened to the bull pup after the first adventure?

  4. #4354
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    Yup. Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series had a character who'd lost an arm. Or just a hand, depending on which book you were reading.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #4355
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Stuff that bugs me: DC Holly Clarke had a different surname in the last one, despite being clearly the same character. That's what editors are for; to prevent such annoying mistakes.
    Odd error. She'll need a retcon marriage in book ten.

    Publishers don't seem to do much proper editing these days. I'm currently reading Geoff Somers's memoir about the only long-axis crossing of Antarctica (using skis and dogs!), and the possessive of it is spelled its' throughout (yes, an apostrophe after the "s"!). How does that get into print?

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #4356
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    You can't even blame that on the annoying idea that machines will replace people in copy editing, because a computer should catch that.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  7. #4357
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Publishers don't seem to do much proper editing these days. I'm currently reading Geoff Somers's memoir about the only long-axis crossing of Antarctica (using skis and dogs!), and the possessive of it is spelled its' throughout (yes, an apostrophe after the "s"!). How does that get into print?

    Grant Hutchison
    This one is so widespread I sometimes half-wonder if we should just declare it overrun by the enemy and sound the retreat to some better-defended grammatical precipice.
    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!

  8. #4358
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    This one is so widespread I sometimes half-wonder if we should just declare it overrun by the enemy and sound the retreat to some better-defended grammatical precipice.
    I saw a billboard outside of Elkhown WI many years ago in which "it's" was spelled "I'TS".
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  9. #4359
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    This one is so widespread I sometimes half-wonder if we should just declare it overrun by the enemy and sound the retreat to some better-defended grammatical precipice.
    While the possessive I-T-apostrophe-S is tediously common, I-T-S-apostrophe is a new one on me.

    Grant Hutchison

  10. #4360
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    I've been reading the books of the Expanse series, in order. I'm in the middle of Cibola Burn and I think that book was written about the time the TV series began production because the writing style seems to be drifting a little towards screenplay rather than novel. Still, they are a fun read.

  11. #4361
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    Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys, by Michael Collins, 50th Anniversary edition (50th of the first moon landing, that is) of a book published originally in 1974. Collins has a way with words that makes his subject matter more readable. He also has a way of not holding back with his opinions, including of his fellow astronauts.

  12. #4362
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    not reading anything at the moment except the interwebz and game cards.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  13. #4363
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    "Alexa, what notifications?"
    "One new notification. A package should arrive today containing every living thing."
    I was expecting quite a large package, but it turned out to be a book by James Herriot.
    ------
    "Alexa, what notifications?"
    "One new notification. A package should arrive today containing the Princes in the Tower."
    At last, the age-old mystery will be solved, but it was just another book.

  14. #4364
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    I'm starting a new column (monthly) about obscure movies based on obscure books. It'll be rolling out Tuesday with The Moonspinners, so I'm rereading the book. I'd forgotten how much I like that book. It and the movie are only very loosely connected, but they're both good in different ways.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  15. #4365
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I'm starting a new column (monthly) about obscure movies based on obscure books. It'll be rolling out Tuesday with The Moonspinners, so I'm rereading the book. I'd forgotten how much I like that book. It and the movie are only very loosely connected, but they're both good in different ways.
    I watched that movie as a kid and absolutely loved it, it was right up my alley as a girl— treasure, mystery, and a setting in Greece— but I haven’t seen it since. I hope it would hold up.
    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!

  16. #4366
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    I've run out of Ann Cleeves mysteries so I'm rereading a historical novel series to which a new episode has been added. I already bought the new 4th in the series, but am starting over at the beginning anyhow.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  17. #4367
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    I've just downloaded the fourth Expanse book, Nemesis Games, as well as The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein, a study of RAH and his works. From Amazon:

    In this major critical study, Hugo Award-winner Farah Mendlesohn carries out a close reading of Heinlein’s work, including unpublished stories, essays, and speeches. It sets out not to interpret a single book, but to think through the arguments Heinlein made over a lifetime about the nature of science fiction, about American politics, and about himself.
    The darned thing is 457 pages. I didn't think anyone could write that much about the guy.

  18. #4368
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    Faugh. William H. Patterson's two-volume biography of RAH runs to 1290 closely printed pages, though admittedly padded out by relaying some of his more surreal health-related anecdotes without adequate fact-checking.

    Grant Hutchison

  19. #4369
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    I finally finished Stephen R. Donaldson's The Seventh Decimate. I found it surprising for a work of Donaldson. The hero and his motivations are super simple. Very far from a perfect person or hero, he makes all of the "What the heck, Hero?" decisions as per Donaldson's typical style, except these moments are not inexplicable nor repulsive. Nor are they drowned in obscure words or heavy sentence structures. They set up a lot of things that make the reader ask: "Wow, how are you going to deal with that?" It's a pleasant change for Donaldson. It's odd to see one of his characters whip back and forth over his beliefs and actually do something that makes sense even if they don't seem to benefit or support the hero and his causes.

    I picked up at a dollar store, in case you are looking for a cheap read.
    Last edited by Solfe; 2021-Mar-14 at 05:46 PM.
    Solfe

  20. #4370
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Faugh. William H. Patterson's two-volume biography of RAH runs to 1290 closely printed pages, though admittedly padded out by relaying some of his more surreal health-related anecdotes without adequate fact-checking.

    Grant Hutchison
    Yes, she mentions that in "Chapter 1 - Biography", especially the dubious conclusions Patterson reaches about Heinlein's health, among other topics. (Her assessment, not mine. I haven't read the bio).

    So far I find it a bit rambling, jumping from topic to topic in RAH's life but it's probably just stage-setting for deeper analysis in subsequent chapters; in fact she says so in several places in the Introduction and Chapter 1.

    At any gate, I'm learning a few things about RAH although with no major revelations.

  21. #4371
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    The other related matter that Patterson failed to investigate was why Heinlein's "rare blood drives" were unpopular with blood transfusion professionals. There's just an assumption that Heinlein was doing a Good Thing, which professionals in the field were too stupid to appreciate.

    Indeed, it's a recurring theme in the Patterson biography that only one side of any argument is given. Although Arthur C. Clarke probably wasn't still around during the preparation of the books, some of Heinlein's other personae non gratae certainly were--but I didn't see any evidence of an attempt to let Panshin, Bova or Pohl give their own reflections on their run-ins with the Great Man, for example.

    Grant HUtchison

  22. #4372
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    I have just finished "The Age of Decadence - Britain 1880 to 1914" by Simon Heffer. This is a period of English history of which I am pretty unfamiliar. It was good, if long at 824 pages before the footnotes, read.

    While Queen Victoria may have removed herself from much of public life she certainly didn't remove herself from political life - spending much of her time fulminating against her Prime Minister for a lot of that period in William Gladstone. She also railed against the spread of democracy and female suffrage - the irony of her power as a female compared to her view that other females should not have the vote apparently being lost on her.

    Also the common view, and probably mine, that the Edwardian period and the last few years until WW1 were a time of peace and calm is shown to be completely incorrect. Apart from the suffragette violence there were also huge amounts of industrial disputation and of course the question of Home Rule for Ireland. The later saw the near mutiny of senior officers in the British Army and the actions of the Unionist's, forerunners of the Conservative Party, that lead to the violence in Ireland that has continued for over a century.

    Other points covered were the mismanagement of the Boer War, the House of Lords acting outside its 'traditional' role in order to save what it considered to be tradition and thus laying the groundwork for its loss of power and the slow rise of the Labour Party concurrent with the fall of the Liberal Party into irrelevance.

  23. #4373
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Also the common view, and probably mine, that the Edwardian period and the last few years until WW1 were a time of peace and calm is shown to be completely incorrect.
    I was thinking something similar recently as I am slowly reading and blogging about a book on the 1998 Sydney-Hobart Race-- that the idea of the "calm and peaceful" pre-WWI years has a parallel in our lifetimes with the romanticization of the 1990s for being pre-9/11 and that some of the images that first come to mind for both periods (fancily-dressed people at Edwardian lakeside picnics, colorfully-dressed people doing crazy extreme sports), although very different, are both somewhat "summery", an imagined idyllic summer before chaos broke loose in August or September.
    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. #4374
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    I didn't know that the '90s were being romanticized. I can't even really conjure up a "typical" '90s image.
    I've never been sure why people want to classify time periods in that way--the demonization of the 1970s is a great puzzle to me, for instance.

    Grant Hutchison

  25. #4375
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    Probably depends on personal and regional issues and perceptions. I remember the early ‘70s for Viet Nam (which, if it lasted long enough could have meant I might have been required to go, but happily it ended much too soon for that), oil shortages and Watergate. Late ‘70s I remember for oil shortages, stagflation, being told oil was running out soon and we all would have to live with less, and Iran. There were things I liked too, but world events were depressing. It took to ‘84 or ‘85 for things to really seem to change. For the ‘90s, I was really enjoying work, the cold war came to an end (which felt fantastic and helped set the tone of the decade for me) and computer technology was going wild including the beginning of the WWW. I was just loving that and was having a great time, including looking forward every day going to work, at least until the late ‘90s when I developed CD and was in for a period of incredibly intense chronic pain unlike anything I had ever experienced until an effective treatment for my case came out (Remicade). So I have mixed feelings there, but I had a real sense of an amazing time with new hopes and astonishing new technology.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  26. #4376
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    See, I was a child during the 1970s, so my memories of it are very different. I suppose I should be grateful that I didn't have those adult issues to deal with.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  27. #4377
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I've never been sure why people want to classify time periods in that way--the demonization of the 1970s is a great puzzle to me, for
    Until recently, they were going through the “Hideous”, “Ridiculous”, and “Amusing” periods of the Cycle of Aesthetics, but as the 50 year mark has ticked over, earth tones do seem to be in again, so we’re just in time for the 70s to reach “Quaint”.
    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!

  28. #4378
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    See, I was a child during the 1970s, so my memories of it are very different. I suppose I should be grateful that I didn't have those adult issues to deal with.
    Well, I was finishing up grade school in the beginning of the decade and going to the university near the end. World events naturally had more impact on me in later years. For instance, Viet Nam wasn’t really that real to me in the early ‘70s, but I remember my mother at a dinner with guests saying if it lasted long enough for me to be drafted, she would want me to go to Canada. That made an impact, and I paid more attention to the subject. The oil embargo made an impact when having to go to the school in the cold and dark and with everything I saw and heard about it. (Edit: I should explain that one year daylight savings was extended, so we were going to school in the dark - looking it up, it was ‘74).

    But I was paying a lot more attention to world events and better understanding them in the later ‘70s.
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2021-Mar-16 at 03:02 PM.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  29. #4379
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    I was just young enough in the early 1970's to also miss out on the possibility of the draft and the Vietnam War. Plus I am a bit like Grant in not being aware of any 'romantisation' of the 1990's. I was too busy dealing with teenage children, the loss of my parents and taking on more responsibility at work to have much time to build those sorts of memories.

  30. #4380
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Until recently, they were going through the “Hideous”, “Ridiculous”, and “Amusing” periods of the Cycle of Aesthetics, but as the 50 year mark has ticked over, earth tones do seem to be in again, so we’re just in time for the 70s to reach “Quaint”.
    Well, I never really got Laver's "Law", because I never really got fashion, so that's certainly at the root of my bemusement about people delivering aesthetic judgements on past decades. Stuff from the 1970s just looks like "stuff from the 1970s" to me. There's nothing intrisically "bad" or "good" about a brown suit or a feature wall.

    Grant Hutchison

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