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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #1501
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    Also read "The Beast of Averoigne" (nicely atmospheric, tho I spotted the twist from about 1.6 km away),"The Empire of the Necromancers" (excellent), "The Disinterment of Venus" (pretty good), "The Devotee of Evil" (excellent!), and "The Enchantress of Sylaire" (quite good).

    And therewith I've finished the collection I've been reading (The Return of the Sorcerer, Prime Books). Definitely an author I want to read more of.

  2. #1502
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    Started reading Fidel Castro, a biography by Anne M. Sørensen. Not a work with any high academic pretensions, but one chapter in I think it's fairly good.

  3. #1503
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    I'm about 1/4 of the way into Ill Wind, the next Anna Pigeon mystery by Nevada Barr.

    CJSF
    "Flipping this one final switch I'm effectively ensuring that I will be
    Overcoming all resistance long after my remains have been
    Vaporized with extreme prejudice and shot into outer space.

    I'll be haunting you."

    -They Might Be Giants, "I'll Be Haunting You"


    lonelybirder.org

  4. #1504
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    In one of my fits of lectorial inconstancy, I put down the Castro book and have been re-reading parts of Stommel's Lost Islands and Ramsay's No Longer On the Map. There's perhaps no more useless study than that of the cartographical history of places that do not exist, but it's fascinating all the same.

  5. 2010-Aug-26, 07:12 PM

  6. #1505
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    I'm really enjoying reading about Marie Therese Charlotte de France, so have also purchased Marie Antoinette's Daughter by Alice Curtis Desmond (1967). I'm also waiting for the arrival of The Ruin of a Princess (1912 translation of various letters and documents), which actually deals more with Princess Elisabeth (Louis XVI's sister) -- which is the main reason for buying it.
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

  7. #1506
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasJ View Post
    In one of my fits of lectorial inconstancy, I put down the Castro book and have been re-reading parts of Stommel's Lost Islands and Ramsay's No Longer On the Map. There's perhaps no more useless study than that of the cartographical history of places that do not exist, but it's fascinating all the same.
    Ah, I can see my copy of Stommel from where I'm sitting. I hadn't heard of Ramsay, but I believe I'll order it soon.
    Have you seen Donald S. Johnson's Phantom Islands Of The Atlantic?

    Grant Hutchison

  8. #1507
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I'm really enjoying reading about Marie Therese Charlotte de France, so have also purchased Marie Antoinette's Daughter by Alice Curtis Desmond (1967). I'm also waiting for the arrival of The Ruin of a Princess (1912 translation of various letters and documents), which actually deals more with Princess Elisabeth (Louis XVI's sister) -- which is the main reason for buying it.
    Sometimes I wish I was interested in one historical epoch, rather than umpteen, so-that one could hope to become reasonably thoroughly knowledgeable about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Have you seen Donald S. Johnson's Phantom Islands Of The Atlantic?
    No. I fear I too shall soon be enriching a bookseller ...

  9. #1508
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasJ View Post
    Sometimes I wish I was interested in one historical epoch, rather than umpteen, so-that one could hope to become reasonably thoroughly knowledgeable about it.
    I live in the 18th Century. Well...my mind does. 80% of the time anyway.
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

  10. #1509
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I live in the 18th Century. Well...my mind does. 80% of the time anyway.
    Heh. My last trip through 18th century Europe was extremely confusing. Because my next trip has more information and better detail, I thoroughly expect it to be even more so. Though in fairness, it's hardly limited to that century. I hadn't realized just how often boundaries were redrawn and kingdoms were redefined, not to mention allegiances, governorships, and countless other ways areas were defined and redefined and conquered and lost and reconquered and merged and blah!

  11. #1510
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    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    I managed to find a copy in a used book store in Brampton while in England.
    Great fun.

    I also found Memoirs of an Unfit Mother which I haven't started on yet.
    __________________________________________________
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    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  12. #1511
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    Heh. My last trip through 18th century Europe was extremely confusing. Because my next trip has more information and better detail, I thoroughly expect it to be even more so. Though in fairness, it's hardly limited to that century. I hadn't realized just how often boundaries were redrawn and kingdoms were redefined, not to mention allegiances, governorships, and countless other ways areas were defined and redefined and conquered and lost and reconquered and merged and blah!
    It's rendered even more fun in the Tudor era, because it seems there were only about twelve names in all of England. And then people got new titles and so forth all the time. At the time a pamphlet against ruling queens was written, the queen of England was Mary Tudor, the queen of Scotland was Mary Stewart (this is before she married a Stuart), and the queen regent of Scotland was Marie de Guise.

    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    I managed to find a copy in a used book store in Brampton while in England.
    Great fun.
    Isn't it, though?
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  13. #1512
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    The Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires, and the Road to World War One, by Miranda Carter. Something of an impulse buy, I've only just started it, but so far it's highly enjoyable, and reads as smoothly as a novel. Must check out some of her other work when I finish...

  14. #1513
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    Along with Lizards of the American Southwest, which deals with my favorite animals, I started reading Under the Tuscan Sun. The latter is fascinating and not for the reason I anticipated. Being somewhat of a foodie, I thought I might be interested in the references to Italian cuisine. Although I do like that about the book, I find the author's stories about renovating an ancient house even more enthralling. I want to leap into the book and help out!

  15. #1514
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    Heh. My last trip through 18th century Europe was extremely confusing. Because my next trip has more information and better detail, I thoroughly expect it to be even more so. Though in fairness, it's hardly limited to that century. I hadn't realized just how often boundaries were redrawn and kingdoms were redefined, not to mention allegiances, governorships, and countless other ways areas were defined and redefined and conquered and lost and reconquered and merged and blah!
    Yeah. Italy of the time was a good example of that; and I didn't realize until recently that France was not a unified nation -- even as weights and measures went. The south of France was more "Roman" in its laws, etc. Eight years ago I became interested in the era, and my focus of reading then was Enlightenment philosophy and its main philosophers, science, inventions and exploration. Now I'm focusing on politics and personalities. I can definitely relate to what you've written, and the various titles are sometimes downright confusing too; particularly for women, who of course married and assumed a different title.

  16. #1515
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    (Why do we have such lousy smileys? looks more like childish mischievousness than sarcasm.)

    A related joy concerns all the places in central and eastern Europe that are known under several different names in different languages, like Rakvere/Rakovor/Wesenberg, Tallinn/Tallin/Reval, Bratislava/Pressburg/Pozsony (if you're really lucky you may also see Istropolis), Gdansk/Danzig, etc etc.

    For a random example, a book I read earlier this year had Pskov (modern Russian) in the (German) text, and Pleskau (obsolete German, from Old Russian Pleskov) on the map. No explanation anywhere - apparently the reader's expected to be familiar with this rather obscure piece of toponymical trivia. OK, it so happens I was, but I'm less than confident I'm typical in this, among the educated layman target audience. Also, one's left wondering if there were similar text/map differences I'm not familiar with.

  17. #1516
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    . . . and I didn't realize until recently that France was not a unified nation . . .
    That was one that very much surprised me; not that it wasn't always the unified France that we have today (duh), but just how recently it was. That and, even more so for Germany.

    . . . and one could say that says a lot for the "sorry state" of our educational system. Which may well be true. But I'd also like to point out that it may well have been taught better when I was in school, but I absolutely loathed history classes. Even throughout college. It hasn't been until very recently that it's like my brain suddenly woke up and said, "Hey! Wait a minute. History is interesting!"

  18. #1517
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    It hasn't been until very recently that it's like my brain suddenly woke up and said, "Hey! Wait a minute. History is interesting!"
    Yep. And there are lots of very good history authors out there. The people who lived so long ago come back to vibrant life. I've seen a photo of Marie Therese Charlotte's crypt and I'm like...how can she be dead 160 years? She's so alive and "there" in the books.

    Also how "typical" much of human behaviors and motives are, good or bad.

  19. #1518
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    Finished Ill Wind today. Not as good as the previous two Anna Pigeon mysteries, but still enjoyed it. I know they were written in the mid '90s (so far), but all her vehicles seem to have carburetors. Up next, is Firestorm, which takes place in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

    CJSF
    "Flipping this one final switch I'm effectively ensuring that I will be
    Overcoming all resistance long after my remains have been
    Vaporized with extreme prejudice and shot into outer space.

    I'll be haunting you."

    -They Might Be Giants, "I'll Be Haunting You"


    lonelybirder.org

  20. #1519
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    While looking for something else, I found my copy of Monstrous Regiment, which I've been meaning to read for ages. (Especially in light of the fact that there's a guy who dresses as John Knox at faire.) It's also the only Pratchett Graham can't deal with; it seems it's too close to reality for him.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  21. #1520
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    The Languages of Pao, by Jack Vance. I've been enjoying it quite a lot. I hope the ending doesn't disappoint me.

  22. #1521
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    I've just finished reading "Freakonomics" and "Super Freakonomics," which I received as Father's day gifts. The books were nothing like I expected. The books are not about traditional Economics but bounce around topics, pulling them together at the end of each chapter. The overall theme seems to be how people respond to incentives...sometimes in unexpected ways.

    I liked "Super Freakonomics" better than the first book. Maybe the topics were more relevant to me, or perhaps I just knew what to expect from the second book. I particularly liked the chapter titled, "Monkies are People, too". I won't spoil it except to say that when currency was introduced to Capuchin monkies, they behaved more like people than you might expect.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  23. #1522
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    I actually stopped reading Super Freakononomics, because the economics may be great, but the authors showed their ignorance in several other areas. It got annoying.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  24. #1523
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    Currently reading Assassin's Apprentice, by Robin Hobb, when I can find time. I'm a staggering 27 pages in, and enjoying it so farI just finished a quite good detective novel called The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas. Vargas, incidentally, are deadly plants found on the planet Skaro.

    Referring to another post, I own a copy of The Languages of Pao. I keep meaning to read it. If I decide to do an M.A. in Applied Linguistics (which is slightly likely) I will try to cite it somewhere.

  25. #1524
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    Finished the Castro book today (but no, it's not the reason I'm posting at this time of day). I might have liked if it gone deeper into some aspects, overall I'm pretty happy with it.

  26. #1525
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    Winter's Heart, by Robert Jordan (your boos and catcalls here: _______________________)

    Ghost Brigade, by John Scalzi.

  27. #1526
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I actually stopped reading Super Freakononomics, because the economics may be great, but the authors showed their ignorance in several other areas. It got annoying.
    You've piqued my interest. Would you care to elaborate?
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  28. #1527
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    You've piqued my interest. Would you care to elaborate?
    I'm trying to remember. I know the chapter about global warming had some terrible science to it. However, since I read it in January, the details are not particularly clear to me.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  29. #1528
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasJ View Post
    (Why do we have such lousy smileys? looks more like childish mischievousness than sarcasm.)

    A related joy concerns all the places in central and eastern Europe that are known under several different names in different languages, like Rakvere/Rakovor/Wesenberg, Tallinn/Tallin/Reval, Bratislava/Pressburg/Pozsony (if you're really lucky you may also see Istropolis), Gdansk/Danzig, etc etc.

    For a random example, a book I read earlier this year had Pskov (modern Russian) in the (German) text, and Pleskau (obsolete German, from Old Russian Pleskov) on the map. No explanation anywhere - apparently the reader's expected to be familiar with this rather obscure piece of toponymical trivia. OK, it so happens I was, but I'm less than confident I'm typical in this, among the educated layman target audience. Also, one's left wondering if there were similar text/map differences I'm not familiar with.
    I look at a map and am used to seeing Pskov as Pihkva (Estonian spelling). There is also Dorpat/Tartu, Ivangorod/Jaanilinn and Pechory/Petseri, as samples from that region.

  30. #1529
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I'm trying to remember. I know the chapter about global warming had some terrible science to it. However, since I read it in January, the details are not particularly clear to me.
    They seemed to run fast and loose with their conclusions, especially in that chapter. I'll just say that I got the impression that Economics isn't quite as rigorous as the "hard" sciences. I enjoyed the book, but wouldn't base policy decisions on it.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  31. #1530
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    They seemed to run fast and loose with their conclusions, especially in that chapter. I'll just say that I got the impression that Economics isn't quite as rigorous as the "hard" sciences. I enjoyed the book, but wouldn't base policy decisions on it.
    Well, I'll tell you, I wouldn't trust my own knowledge of economics worth anything. I was required to take a semester of it senior year, but it was taught by the single worst teacher in my entire high school. I don't even know what I was graded on; your guess is as good as mine. I was in Academic Decathlon, which has some basic economics required, but that was fifteen years ago. I just think that, if you're going to write about something, you owe it to your readers to do real research.
    _____________________________________________
    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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