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  #581  
Old Jul 25th 2015, 11:48 AM
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Dominick Dominick is offline
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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Given where you live, I'd expect you should have access to some very good used (second-hand) bookstores?
Oh, yes, absolutely. Heaps. There's also this traveling book fair which pops up in big cities in Flanders and Holland every few months where you can get an amazing amount of both quantity and quality in books of every nature and a wide array of languages very cheaply. Most of my science section comes from there.
And I avoid it like the plague because when I do go there I invariably end up buying far more books than I could possibly carry to my car, let alone read them all in a timely fashion.
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  #582  
Old Jul 26th 2015, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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True, LOTR being a rare exception.


Sorry, Donks, but no, just no.


That seems weird. Why no Joyce?
Bah. You don't have to like Harry Potter, but the lady can construct a sentence.
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Not. Buying. New. Books.
/opens Amazon.co.uk

By the way, both the Nebula and Hugo awards are almost always very good indications of the quality of SF novels.
The book store near us is moving (to slightly further away, hmph) and I think they are trying to clear stock before the move. They had a few dollar book days so I went and got $124 of books for like 13 bucks.

http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-...ploy-20-people

It is THE SPOT. Very cool people.
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  #583  
Old Jul 27th 2015, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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Bah. You don't have to like Harry Potter, but the lady can construct a sentence.
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Originally Posted by Rowling
Raindrops the size of bullets thundered on the castle windows for days on end; the lake rose, the flower beds turned into muddy streams, and Hagrid's pumpkins swelled to the size of garden sheds. Oliver Wood's enthusiasm for regular training sessions, however, was not dampened, which was why Harry was to be found, late one stormy Saturday afternoon a few days before Halloween, returning to Gryffindor Tower, drenched to the skin and splattered with mud.
Random excerpt: Cliché, cliché, cliché

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Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
The book store near us is moving (to slightly further away, hmph) and I think they are trying to clear stock before the move. They had a few dollar book days so I went and got $124 of books for like 13 bucks.

http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-...ploy-20-people

It is THE SPOT. Very cool people.
Awesome. I'm jealous. We don't have such places anymore It's the very first thing the Flemish Nationalists attacked (as they do; Entartete Kunst and all that). Genuine culture is replaced by commercial corporate sponsored pseudo-culture.
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  #584  
Old Jul 27th 2015, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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Bah. You don't have to like Harry Potter, but the lady can construct a sentence.
I thought her prose was fairly easy reading and enjoyable. But I think she struggled to turn what began as a story for kids into a more mature, self-consistent fantasy world. By the end, the weight of all that disbelief I was suspending was feeling pretty burdensome.

I'm glad to have read the series through once, but I can't imagine ever doing it again.

Of course, she did indirectly give us Alan Rickman as Severus Snape in the movies. We owe her a debt for that.
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  #585  
Old Jul 27th 2015, 03:23 PM
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Finished To Kill a Mockingbird last night. Went ahead and picked up Go Set a Watchman at the library today.

It's one of those odd situations where the "sequel" was written before the original book. Apparently To Kill a Mockingbird was originally just a flashback (or series of flashbacks) in Watchman, but the publisher that they made a compelling story in and of themselves and had Lee write a book around them. I gather that the manuscript for Watchman was then lost for decades and is now being published without substantial changes. Should be interesting.
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  #586  
Old Jul 28th 2015, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
True, LOTR being a rare exception.
Indeed. Though it did take a few decades before the 'million selling' part came into play. For the first couple of decades after it was written, LOTR wasn't a bestseller.

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That seems weird. Why no Joyce?
I don't know.

I'm just passing along information of what's covered and what isn't. My niece is a recent English lit graduate and a total literature-junky. She read Proust in high school (Advanced English Lit course), but not Joyce.

I suspect that Joyce isn't popular with people who don't speak 3-5 languages. From what I've read about Joyce, he seems to be popular only with those who share his fetish for linguistic tap-dancing. Personally, I've never encountered anyone who praises Joyce who isn't European with multiple languages.

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Bah. You don't have to like Harry Potter, but the lady can construct a sentence.
I'll half agree. Her prose is certainly a better quality than most pop culture fiction, but that doesn't say much since the competition is just so lame. Stephen King's prose is so fucking brutal - every verb and noun used gets an adjective/adverb added every single time - the result it hideous. Robert Ludlum is better than King, but I think just about everyone is better than King. (Note that Stephen King is probably one of the most inventive and creative story tellers of all time, but his prose just plain sucks).

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
I thought her prose was fairly easy reading and enjoyable. But I think she struggled to turn what began as a story for kids into a more mature, self-consistent fantasy world. By the end, the weight of all that disbelief I was suspending was feeling pretty burdensome.

I'm glad to have read the series through once, but I can't imagine ever doing it again.
Yes, I'd agree with this. I've read Harry Potter books but I doubt I'd read them second time. Quite unlike LOTR which seems to support multiple readings over the years.

I think the whole presmise of Harry Potter suffers from the D&D magic problem. That is to say, if wizards exist who have high level powers, then they logically will be the elite and absolute rulers of all society. Any scenario that has them NOT in this role is unrealistic bullshit that requires a suspension of belief.

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Of course, she did indirectly give us Alan Rickman as Severus Snape in the movies. We owe her a debt for that.
Indeed, she deserves high praise for this.
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  #587  
Old Jul 28th 2015, 07:58 PM
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Well, I fucked up the headphone jack in my phone, so I won't be listening to much until that's fixed.

Last night I couldn't sleep so I started Podkayne of Mars, which will be my first Heinlein.
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  #588  
Old Jul 29th 2015, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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I don't know.

I'm just passing along information of what's covered and what isn't. My niece is a recent English lit graduate and a total literature-junky. She read Proust in high school (Advanced English Lit course), but not Joyce.

I suspect that Joyce isn't popular with people who don't speak 3-5 languages. From what I've read about Joyce, he seems to be popular only with those who share his fetish for linguistic tap-dancing. Personally, I've never encountered anyone who praises Joyce who isn't European with multiple languages.
Joyce is more than Finnegan's Wake. For Dubliners or Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man e.g. there's no need for knowledge beyond basic English. Ulysses is essentially just English too. It's the style which sets it apart, not so much the vocabulary.

As for FW, 3-5 languages won't help much. If I remember correctly he draws from 61 languages, not counting the myriad of made-up words. Speaking e.g. French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian doesn't help much when you encounter a word such as Bothallchoractorschumminaroundgansumuminarumdrumst rumtruminahumptadumpwaultopoofoolooderamaunstrurnu p (*)

(*)supposed to be one word but vB cuts it up.
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  #589  
Old Aug 6th 2015, 09:07 AM
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Finished Go Set a Watchman. I can see why they didn't publish this one the first time around.

It's not so much a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird as some sort of bizarre alternate reality to that book. It is set 20 years later, but as you read along you begin to figure out that key events and characters from To Kill a Mockingbird either happened differently or are totally absent from the past timeline of Watchman. Most notably, for anyone who did read the first book, Boo Radley doesn't exist in this timeline and Tom Robbinson's trial ended with the opposite verdict. It makes reading them back-to-back an extreme odd experience. Also, Watchman is written in some sort of semi-omniscient 3rd person that can't decide when to stick with the main character and when to break off and follow someone else, as opposed to Mockingbird's consistent first-person.

Anyway, it was interesting to read once and see what might have been, but I don't think I'll read it again. I will go back to To Kill a Mockingbird, though. More than anything this experienced has reminded me how good a book that one is.

Next up: A Darker Shade of Magic, which I know absolutely nothing about but it looked interesting on the library shelf.
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  #590  
Old Aug 7th 2015, 04:11 AM
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Watching the Hobbit movies (*) led to re-watching the LOTR movies which led to re-reading LOTR which led to re-reading the Silmarillion which led to re-reading The Unfinished Tales which led to re-reading Narn i Chîn Húrin. And now I'm staring at the 5,000 or so pages of the History of Middle Earth. Damn tempted and it's been at least ten years since I've read them. Might give it another go.

(*) Funnily I remember almost nothing about the 2nd and 3rd Hobbit movies already. To paraphrase an expression: action scenes go in through one eye and leave by the other leaving no impression in the brain.
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