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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Heaven   » Shelf Life: What We're Reading in 2018 (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Shelf Life: What We're Reading in 2018
Honest Ron Bacardi
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# 38

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I'm making my way through Anthony Powell's "A Dance to the Music of Time" novels. All twelve of them! I'm currently one third of the way through and need to order no.s 5 & 6. - fortunately easily available on eBay. I have to say it took me until well into the second one before I fully cottoned on to the sly sense of humour that pervades them, but now I get it, they are an enjoyable read.

Meanwhile reading "Alt-America" by David Neiwert, on the rise of the radical right.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

Posts: 4855 | From: the corridors of Pah! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jacobsen

seeker
# 14998

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Agree. She had a complicated personality! Many of the relevant papers were to be held until a certain date, fifty or a hundred years after the death of the principals. I hope some scholar somewhere is keeping an eye on that clock.

Brabazan says in his introduction that Sayers' son Anthony Fleming agreed to publishing early, so no need to wait for the 50 years, which in any case is over.

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But God, holding a candle, looks for all who wander, all who search. - Shifra Alon
Beauty fades, dumb is forever-Judge Judy
The man who made time, made plenty.

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LutheranChik
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# 9826

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I just finished The Kindness of Strangers , by journalist Mike McIntyre, who had a kind of premature midlife crisis in his 30’s and decided to hitchhike across the US with only a backpack and no money at all. If it sounds like one of those heartwarming inspirational books about the inherent goodness of people....well, not so much; yes, he is helped along his way by many kind strangers — but they tend to be complex, flawed people, and the “ bad” ones seem to underestimate their goodness while the “ good” ones overestimate theirs. Anyway, I was going to read a couple of chapters per day and wound up reading most of it in one sitting. If you’re trying to understand the mindset of Americans who voted for Agent Orange, you will get some significant insights from this book, even though it was written in the 1990’s. And McIntyre, a non- religious person with no church background, paints the Christians he encounters in a rather equivocal way — mostly friendly, generous and trusting to a fault, but often frustratingly simpleminded, aggressive in their proselytizing, and in one case breathtakingly racist.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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Trudy Scrumptious

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# 5647

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
I just finished The Kindness of Strangers , by journalist Mike McIntyre, who had a kind of premature midlife crisis in his 30’s and decided to hitchhike across the US with only a backpack and no money at all. If it sounds like one of those heartwarming inspirational books about the inherent goodness of people....well, not so much; yes, he is helped along his way by many kind strangers — but they tend to be complex, flawed people, and the “ bad” ones seem to underestimate their goodness while the “ good” ones overestimate theirs. Anyway, I was going to read a couple of chapters per day and wound up reading most of it in one sitting. If you’re trying to understand the mindset of Americans who voted for Agent Orange, you will get some significant insights from this book, even though it was written in the 1990’s. And McIntyre, a non- religious person with no church background, paints the Christians he encounters in a rather equivocal way — mostly friendly, generous and trusting to a fault, but often frustratingly simpleminded, aggressive in their proselytizing, and in one case breathtakingly racist.

Ooh, this sounds so much like my kind of book. Adding it to The List.

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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LutheranChik
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# 9826

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Good! This was one of those totally random book picks that turned out to be better reading than some of the titles in my “ must read” list.

I’ve gotten hooked on “ The Alienist” series on TV here and may have to re- read the books by historian Caleb Carr. They’re set In New York City during the time Teddy Roosevelt was its reformist Police Commissioner, and involve a team of criminalists he’s brought together to use modern tools like criminal profiling and forensics to solve particularly gruesome crimes. Among the group are psychiatrist Laszlo Kreizler; the Isaacson brothers, proto-forensic scientists; reporter and newspaper illustrator John Moore, also the narrator; and secretary Sarah Howard, first female employee of the NYPD. The book and the television series both bring turn- of- the- century New York to life, and there are also several swirling subplots that make for a good read. Huge book, though.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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Trudy said, of The Miniaturist
quote:
It sounded like exactly the type of book I would love, but I couldn't lose myself in it like I hoped I would.

I felt the same way, and now I've read another book which fits that description too.

The Other Mrs Walker was Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year last year and I was looking forward to it. It sounded exactly the sort of story I would love - an old lady dies alone and her neighbours know her only as "Mrs Walker." Her identity has to be discovered before a death certificate can be issued.

It's undoubtedly well written, the plot is original and interesting and yet...

There are several items (a brooch, an apostle spoon etc) which reappear throughout the book and I felt that they were being used as a Literary Device. They felt not so much a way of advancing the plot, but a request to note that the author is Writing Literature.

It's a first novel. I hope the author relaxes into her writing.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Just finished The Lost Carving by David Esterly. It's always interesting to read about people who make things, and limewood carvers are rarer than knitters or novelists. It's confusingly organized, however, and I think a simpler structure would have served the work better.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Nicolemr
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# 28

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I just picked up His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik. An interesting alternate history where every nation has tamed dragons for defense. Takes place during the Napoleonic wars, about a naval captain who inadvertently becomes the companion of a dragonette, and therefore must leave the navy and join the aerial forces.

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Oh, you will like it. It's a thrilling work. There are I think nine volumes (? or is it seven?) in the series but there is a gradual diminution in quality. I think she wrote herself out.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Trudy Scrumptious

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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
I just picked up His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik. An interesting alternate history where every nation has tamed dragons for defense. Takes place during the Napoleonic wars, about a naval captain who inadvertently becomes the companion of a dragonette, and therefore must leave the navy and join the aerial forces.

My husband LOVES this series. I read the first book and thought the concept was brilliant, but neither story nor characters were engaging enough to keep me going. The characters seemed shallow with not enough development and all conflicts too easily resolved. Oddly for a book about war and dragons, the stakes didn't seem high enough to keep me engaged.

And, having recently finished a re-read of Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings cycle, my favourite fantasy novels of all time, I found it hard to accept a world in which intelligent talking dragons were willing to be subservient to humans and fight and die in human wars. The central conflict that turns much of the action in Hobb's series is that once dragons are re-introduced to the world, humans have to deal with another intelligent species that believes it has just as much right to rule the world as humans do, with the added size and firepower to back it up. This seemed much more realistic to me (for fantasy-world values of "realistic"). Throughout Novik's book I kept wondering why the dragons would put up with this. What's in it for them?

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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Caissa
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# 16710

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I have finished 19 books so far this year. My tossups for favourite are Peter Robinson's Sleeping in the Ground and Kate Ellis' A High Mortality of Doves.
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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Trudy, if you like dragons, go and have a look at Jo Walton's Tooth And Claw. It's a superb take on dragons and unlike any dragon novel you've ever seen.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
I just picked up His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik.

I read the first book and thought the concept was brilliant, but neither story nor characters were engaging enough to keep me going.
I felt similarly. I enjoyed her Uprooted by the same author, not part of the series, set in a fantasy medieval world.

quote:
And, having recently finished a re-read of Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings cycle, my favourite fantasy novels of all time
I've just finished the last of the cycle. I'm sad to see the series go - there was a definite air of putting in all the characters from all the previous books - but the ratio of incident to plot has been increasing over Hobb's most recent series. I think she's not wrong to wrap it up.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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LutheranChik
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Taking a break from depressing political commentaries with Samin Nosrat’s excellent “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.” It isn’t a cookbook as much as a manual on how to cook and how to set up a kitchen. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks — I’ve already learned how to use salt more effectively in cooking.

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Simul iustus et peccator
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Paul.
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# 37

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I just finished Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation in anticipation of the movie coming out.

Have decided that whilst it's not for me I can see that if you like that kind of thing it's very well done. I don't think I'll be continuing the series but I'll probably watch the movie. (Which I understand differs from the book significantly)

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Nicolemr
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# 28

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I told my daughter that I was reading His Majesty's Dragon, and she told me that it is rumored that it started out originally as Master and Commander fanfiction . Interesting and explains a bit if true.

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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