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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    Those contests can be decieving, just make sure to read the fine print!
    Heh. I won two prizes last year. This year, I might win one of the trips!
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    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. #122
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    How do the competitions work? Do they depend on honesty?

  3. #123
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    There's a form you fill out with the book's name and author and a brief summary. If you can fake the summary, you can, presumably, fake the forms. They might compare it to your library record, but I don't know if they keep records. So, yes, it seems to depend on honesty.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  4. #124
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    Thanks for the reply, Gillian. I wouldn't have a hope - I'm a painfully slow reader.

    Currently reading The Book of Murder by Guillermo Martinez, which is very good. I recently read the author's impressive The Oxford Murders which had a strong mathematical theme.

    I'm a bit surprised at myself reading crime fiction as I had strong "views" on them. Generally, if the author glamorises the crime/criminal, or fails to prioritise sympathy for the victim, then I am unlikely to read anything else by the author.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    Traveler - John Twelve Hawks
    Just the the second in the series The Dark River.

  6. #126
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    I'm currently reading Galileo's Daughter, by Dava Sobel. I've also previously read her book, Longitude, which other here might find interesting as well.

    Nick

  7. #127
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    Just started Flowers for Algernon (the novel) by Daniel Keyes. Anyone else here read it?

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucson_Tim View Post
    Just started Flowers for Algernon (the novel) by Daniel Keyes. Anyone else here read it?
    I read it as an assigment in 8th (-ish) grade, but not since then.

    Nick

  9. #129
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    I read it for banned books, back in college.
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    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. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I read it for banned books, back in college.
    Why was it banned?

    Nick

  11. #131
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    From wiki:

    Censorship

    Flowers for Algernon is on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 at number 47.[29] The reasons for the challenges vary, but usually centre around those parts of the novel where Charlie struggles to understand and express his sexual desires.[30] Many of the challenges have proved unsuccessful, but the book has occasionally been banned from school libraries including some in Pennsylvania and Texas.[30][31]

    In January 1970, the school board of Cranbrook, British Columbia, as well as Calgary, Alberta, banned the Flowers for Algernon novel from the local grade-nine curriculum and the school library, after a parent complained that it was "filthy and immoral." The president of the BC Teachers' Federation criticized the action. Flowers for Algernon was part of the BC Department of Education list of approved books for grade nine and was recommended by the BC Secondary Association of Teachers of English. A month later, the board reconsidered and returned the book to the library; they did not, however, lift its ban from the curriculum.

  12. #132
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    And did you intentionally set out to read banned books while you were in high school, Gillianren?

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    And did you intentionally set out to read banned books while you were in high school, Gillianren?
    No. I did an independent contract about it when I was in college. I won't say I've read everything on that top 100 list--I skipped Private Parts and Madonna's Sex, among others--but I read an awful lot of them. And a lot from other lists. In all, I read about 125 books for that contract, including maybe half a dozen about censorship.
    _____________________________________________
    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. #134
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    It's been a good many years since we read Flowers for Algernon in junior high, but I don't remember anything too objectionable. Either we read an abridged version, or the passage went over our heads, or it was so unremarkable that we didn't think much about it.

    Nick
    Last edited by Nick Theodorakis; 2009-Jan-22 at 06:29 PM. Reason: added clarification

  15. #135
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I did an independent contract about it when I was in college. I won't say I've read everything on that top 100 list--I skipped Private Parts and Madonna's Sex, among others--but I read an awful lot of them. And a lot from other lists. In all, I read about 125 books for that contract, including maybe half a dozen about censorship.
    That sounds interesting, but what is an independent contract?

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
    It's been a good many years since we read Flowers for Algernon in junior high, but I don't remember anything too objectionable. Either we read an abridged version, or the passage went over our heads, or it was so unremarkable that we didn't think much about it.

    Nick
    Well, it challenges the status quo pretty effectively...and to many people that is more objectionable than anything

  17. #137
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    Keep in mind that Flowers for Algernon was first published as a novella (or novelette) before it was expanded into a novel. (I haven't read the novel.) The sex scene is not in the original story.

    Hope that helps...

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Keep in mind that Flowers for Algernon was first published as a novella (or novelette) before it was expanded into a novel. (I haven't read the novel.) The sex scene is not in the original story.

    Hope that helps...
    I wonder if we read the short version, then.

    Nivk

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    That sounds interesting, but what is an independent contract?
    At my alma mater, if you can get a professor to go along with it, you can arrange to spend your quarter studying pretty much anything you like. Often, you are required to check in with your professor on a regular basis--that quarter, it was Thursdays at one--but sometimes, you don't--the two remaining quarters I did contracts, the professor assumed I knew what I was doing since I'd done so well the first quarter. Since my alma mater's really big on "interdisciplinary study," that can, if you sign up for sixteen credits, be all you work on for an entire quarter. (Can, as in "pretty much always is.") Most people there only take one class a quarter, but that class gives you as much work as three classes at an ordinary college. I love Evergreen.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  20. #140
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    Thanks for the detailed explanation. I was curious about whether you had done the research by your initiative, or as an assignment. I have my answer now.

    Did you draw any interesting conclusions from your survey?

  21. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucson_Tim View Post
    Just started Flowers for Algernon (the novel) by Daniel Keyes. Anyone else here read it?
    yes--novel in college, short story in junior high. Novel is better, of course.

  22. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    Thanks for the detailed explanation. I was curious about whether you had done the research by your initiative, or as an assignment. I have my answer now.

    Did you draw any interesting conclusions from your survey?
    Aside from "people sure do ban books for stupid reasons"? How about the more popular a book is, the more likely it is to be banned, even if there's another book about the same basic concept. Narnia is banned more often than LOTR, presumably because younger kids read Narnia but seldom LOTR. (There are exceptions, of course.) Harry Potter is banned even more frequently, because Harry Potter is huge right now.

    Or how about you really ought to read a book before you try to have it banned. There was a parent who wanted The Scarlet Letter banned because of obscene language and (as I recall) graphic sex. Comments from those who have read the book?
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  23. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Or how about you really ought to read a book before you try to have it banned. There was a parent who wanted The Scarlet Letter banned because of obscene language and (as I recall) graphic sex. Comments from those who have read the book?

    *brushes off dusty memories*

    Nothing particularly struck me at the time, though we spent more on the minister's rather interesting "confession", which might catch some as offensive.

    Could also have to do with the theme of extramarital affairs, and the acceptance of it towards the end.

    Once you start waving "family values" around like a dead cat, you're going to hit someone at some point who wants to be offended by it.

  24. #144
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    Now reading the second of the seven or so books of the Alastair Reynold's trilogy, namely Chasm City.

  25. #145
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    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  26. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams.
    That's a good'un. The sequel is good too.

  27. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams.
    One of my all time favorites!

  28. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdvance View Post
    yes--novel in college, short story in junior high. Novel is better, of course.
    Haven't read the novel, only the short story. Definitely in my top few list.
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  29. #149
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    I just read With the Lightnings (Baen books free download), by David Drake. Fun story, junior officer in space navy has all kinds of adventures. Reading the sequel Lt. Leary Commanding now.
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  30. #150
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    I'm re-reading Roald Dahl's Going Solo.
    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 heroesí wings we fly!

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