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May 26, 2016, 09:29:39 PM
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Author Topic: Reading anything?  (Read 206790 times)
Trevor
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« Reply #1725 on: April 12, 2016, 09:22:22 PM »

Reading my bank statements: yikes...
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #1726 on: April 15, 2016, 03:43:09 PM »

Right now:
Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith

On deck:
Living Like a Runaway by Lita Ford
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« Reply #1727 on: April 19, 2016, 02:37:28 PM »

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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1728 on: April 19, 2016, 05:07:46 PM »

Ye-es! I said I was going to do a half dozen non-mysteries, but . . .? as I seem to have gone on a historical fiction kick, I'll put those off to next time, and do Suzannah Dunn's "The Lady of Misrule." The lady being Lady Jane Grey, who was married at 16 in 1553, served 9 days as Queen of England, between the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I, and then was executed at 17 along with her teenage husband Lord Guildford Dudley in 1554.

Actually, little is known about her, and even less is known about him, and much that we thought we knew about them, now seems to be bogus.

Still what is known is fairly accurately described in this book.

That the dislike of him, and he is generally disliked, while his wife is mostly liked, which is strange, considering his age, makes little or no sense, as they were probably more alike than different.

Both were about the same age. Probably he was a year or two older than her. Though, the case can be made, that he was actually younger than his wife, or, as he is called in the book "a baby hubby."

Both were considered to be good looking, especially him, as he was considered one of the handsomest boys in England of that time. Maybe because he was the complete anti-thesis of his father and older brothers, who were all muscular dudes with dark hair and eyes and facial hair. While he was slim, blond, blue eyed, and clean shaven.

Both were set to marry others previously. She was set to marry Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset's son, and he was scheduled to marry Margaret Clifford, the Earl of Cumberland's son. Ironically, if they had married as originally planned, they both would have probably have lived a longer life.

It is especially interesting to know why the consent for him  to marry Margaret was denied by her father.

Both felt hurt by their spouse and left their spouse to return home to their parents.

He because she would not make him king, but only her consort, even if he had been promised that once married to his wife, he would then become king. That does not make him a mama's boy nor his mother's favorite, as some have suggested, as there is not proof of neither, but . . .?! It does raise questions about his intelligence.

She because he, in his inexperience, apparently hurt her, the first time he attempted to have sex with his wife. Which for some strange reason was sometime after their wedding. Of course, as the book states, if the experience was unpleasant for her. It was probably equally unpleasant for him.

Practice helps. Maybe because one or more of his older brothers, all of whom were married, took pity on him and took him aside and gave him the "sex talk," because she, apparently, came to enjoy their sexual coupling.

Both seemed to have gotten over their hurt, as they both returned to each other.

After they were both imprisoned in separate parts of the Tower of London, again as in the book, they often met while walking in the gardens of the Tower. Chaperoned, of course. As there was to be no more sexual coupling, because of the fear that she might become pregnant and produce a heir to the throne.

If her death was tragic and unnecessary, then his was equally so.

As both were not a threat to the monarchy.

Even though were both loyal to each other, he especially. For if he had walked away from his wife, had their marriage annulled, then he probably would have survived, but . . .?! since he stood by her, for reasons yet known, he was executed along with her.

And both were loyal to their Protestant religion, because neither seemingly converted to Catholicism or the religion of England at that time, unlike his father and her father-in-law who did convert to Catholicism, before he was executed.

An anomaly does exist. While not all men like him, Tennyson called him "that trivial boy" in one of his poems, men seem to like him better than most women, this writer being an exception. Mark Twain, who was a good judge of character, going so far to call him "that splendid stripling" in his "Prince and the Pauper."

Greater understanding? More empathy? Who can say?

Or, it might be as in the book, if we knew more about him and his real life, he'd come across as being a better person than his wife, who his favored by most writers, including most women writers.

And this book would make a good TV series or miniseries.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 05:12:55 PM by BoyScoutKevin » Logged
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1729 on: April 20, 2016, 03:17:51 PM »

An addendum to the above.

One wishes that there was something called time travel, because one wishes that one could go back in time to talk to people we know so little about, such as him. Who, I think we'd find, was very much the typical upper class teenage male of the 16th century. And not only of the 16th century, but . . .?! with aspects we could understand in the 21st century. Teenage males have not changed that much in the past 500 years.

There are other aspects that aroused my interest, which I suppose is a sign of a well written book.

Consort
He has the unique position of being the 1st consort to rule England. Not the last, there'd be others, but . . .?! The 1st. And a poor lot they were. Even when regarded as being a joint pair (Ferdinand and Isabella, William and Mary, etc.) the distaff half is regarded as being the better half, but . . .?! That raises the question, why would a man supplant himself into an inferior position, in a time, when the male was regarded as being far superior to the female? I don't know whether I'll do anything with that, but . . .?! There are a couple of more topics I'm going to do something with.

Germany
Not only am I reading historical fiction set in 16th century England, I am also reading historical fiction set in 16th century Germany, or, the Germany as it exists today. And while they were much alike at that time, there were some notable differences, which we'll post here.

Wedding
The non-royal wedding of the decade. Everyone who was anyone (all of the 1%ers of that time) was there., for . . .

4 great ruling families
3 couples
2 days of merriment (no expense spared)
1 wedding, but . . .?!

What do you get a teen or tween (average age 14) who has never been married ere? And what'd you get them today?

I'll have to check that out and post it here. Though, the oldest of the couples, as they were old enough to drive, if barely, would probably get their own matching set of wheels, probably a convertible, each costing somewhere in the low 6 figures. I know other couples of such a big wedding have received their own completely furnished apartment somewhere in the world. Though, none of the couples were old enough, then or now, to live on their own. I don't know what living arrangements were made for the youngest couple that was married, but . . .?! the other 2 couples went to live with the groom's parents.

And 5 more historical novels on the same subject. Who knew their story was so popular. And maybe a 6th, though, this one is a little different than the others, as it is a novel for children. Which we'll report on, as I make my way thru a long backlog of books to report on. Though . . .

Next time: a half dozen of the other (non-mysteries) + 1





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alandhopewell
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« Reply #1730 on: April 29, 2016, 02:37:18 PM »



     This is the last book in the series, and I'm not really enjoying it as much as I did the first four; actually, the fourth one wasn't as good, either.
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If it's true what they say, that GOD created us in His image, then why should we not love creating, and why should we not continue to do so, as carefully and ethically as we can, on whatever scale we're capable of?

     The choice is simple; refuse to create, and refuse to grow, or build, with care and love.
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1731 on: April 30, 2016, 04:00:20 PM »

Ye-es!
and a half dozen of the other (non-mystery) + 1

J. P. Ahonen and K. P. Alare
Sing No Evil
translated from the Finnish
graphic novel

Duggan, Medra, and Baldeon
Nova Corpse
3rd in the Nova series

While the writing in the series is wildly uneven, it has become one of my favorite series in the Marvel Universe.

George O'Connor
The Olympians

v.1. Zeus -- v.2. Athena -- v.3. Hera -- v.4. Hades -- v.5. Poseidon -- v.6. Aphrodite

Having read v.2. and v.6. As of 2014 with 7 more volumes to come--supposedly--featuring the other gods in the Greek mythos.

Each volumes includes a family tree -- a bibliography -- brief biographies of minor characters in the myths -- discussion questions. Thus, a good introduction to the ancient Greek gods and myths, even if the writer plays down the sex and violence inherent in some of the myths.

Brubaker and McNiven
Captain America
graphic novel

Cornell and Brooks
Dark Reign
in the Young Avengers series

Abrett and Canning
Guardians of the Galaxy
v.2. War of the Kings

Another favorite series in the Marvel Universe

Susan Casey
Voices in the Ocean :
a Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins
a Canadian ex-pat
an award winner
2 more non-fiction

They just want to be our friends and we . . .
run over them-both accidentally and deliberately -- shoot them -- poison them -- gaff them -- beat them -- stab them -- and garrote them.

And they fight back by . . .
tooth raking -- jaw clapping -- tail lashing -- head butting -- biting and high speed chasing.

If the writer stands back and just reports what she sees, then it is powerful stuff. Unfortunately, she seems to cater to a double standard. One for people whom she likes, and one for people whom she dislikes.

Next time: a historical novel, while they are still fresh in my mind, and then a compare and contrast.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1732 on: May 14, 2016, 12:51:27 PM »

Suzannah Dunn
The Lady of Misrule
9 more fiction

Which we'll take up the next time. Though, now that my interest in the 16th and earlier has seemingly revived, we'll talk about topics we are going to talk about over the year.

Why historical fiction may be good fiction, it is seldom good history.

The non-royal wedding of the decade, if the decade is the 1550's.

It never changes. Even after 450 years, except when it does change.

England vs. Germany 1550's style.

Richard III and John, Duke of Northumberland : separated at birth?

It never changes. Even after 450 years, except when it does change : the teen years.

The ghosts who walk . . . the Tower of London.

Sometimes seeing is believing.

The duties of a page, or, what you job entails, when you are a boy between 7 and 18.

They ain't fooling round or its bark is worst than its bite.

The battle of the broads.

Until then, besides the one named, here are some of the best books on the subject.

Susan Higginbotham
Her Highness the Traitor
One of the few Americans writing on the subject.

Margaret Mullally
A Crown in Darkness

A. C. H. Smith
Lady Jane
One of the few men writing on the subject and a novelization of the film, which we'll talk about later.

These are fiction for a couple of non-fiction books on the subject.

Leandra de Lisle
The Sisters Who Would be Queen

Eric Ives
Lady Jane Grey : a Tudor Mystery

Next time: Suzannah Dunn's The Lady of Misrule


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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1733 on: May 16, 2016, 01:53:12 PM »

Ye-es!

Or, as I previously posted . . .

Suzannah Dunn's
The Lady of Misrule

As to why it works so well, . . .?

1. The writer knows and understands children, and we are talking about children here. The lady here is no more than 16 or 17, her servant is the same age, and her husband is no more than a year or two older, if not less.

2. The writer is more factual than some writers writing the same story. Giving the husband a servant while he is imprisoned in the Tower of London. Actually, historically, it looks like he had 2 servants and his wife had twice as many: 3 ladies-in-waiting and a pageboy to do the heavy lifting and toting.

3. It is a more focused story. Only covering those days from the time of 1st imprisonment to the double execution.

4. Unlike some writers, she covers their deaths. Deaths that were . . .
--tragic
--inevitable
--banal

5. It still hurts at the end of the story, as it should.

6. The husband or the baby-hubby, as he is called in the story, gets a more sympathetic telling of his story, then some writers give him, which makes for a better story.

7. And he goes from being unlikable to likable, or as my university drama prof said: "A story is good, only if the character is different at the end of the story, then he was at the beginning of the story."

There is 1 thing in the story that does not work, and that is . . .

8. The characters' insistence that their chronological age will eventually give them a "get out of jail free" card, when it has been only 2 generations and thus awareness that Edward V and his younger brother, Richard Duke of York, who were even younger than the characters here, also went into the Tower, never to be see alive again.

Why then when children get a bye in sympathy, baby-hubby always gets such an unsympathetic characterization? Is it because . . .

1. Husband and wife are so diametrically opposed to each other, that to like one is to dislike the other. Except . . .?! The are actually more alike than unlike. Both positively and negatively.

a. If she was so strong in her faith, then so was he.
He actually may have been stronger. She was accompanied to her execution by a Catholic priest, while he asked for a Protestant minister to accompany him, and when that was turned down, he turned down being accompanied by the same priest who accompanied his wife to her execution.

b. If he had a snit and went home to his parents and had to be brought back, so did she.

c. If she was stoic at her death, then so was he.
Why it is thought not is that "He offered up prayers at his execution" was mistranslated as "He offered up tears at his execution." (A paraphrase.) Though how one can mistranslate "prayers" as "tears" is beyond me.

d. If he enjoyed sex with his wife, then so did she. But . . .?! every night?!
After their 1st dismal attempt to have sex, which sent her home to her parents, if we believe in what she said, she said she enjoyed spending every night in her husband's bed with her husband, and this is in a time, when couples not only slept in separate beds, but . . .?! in separate rooms.

e. If she was serious about being a good ruler, then so did he.

f. If he learned anything, while imprisoned, before his death, then so did she.
I think he learned to be a little less arrogant and a little more humble, and I know she learned that her actions had an effect on others beside herself.

g. If she didn't deserve to die, then neither did he.

2. Computer programmers have a name for it. They call it "GIGO!" or "Garbage In/Garbage out!" And what we are now learning about him from previously is probably mostly garbage.

3. Beauty or comely = stupidity.
Which is not only an unworthy stereotype, even if he was one of the best looking/handsomest youths of his generation, we now know it is probably not true, as we now know his brothers and sisters were well-educated, being multilingual, and he was probably the same.

4. Written by women for women about a woman.
No, as a man, while I know we men sometimes do not understand women, the opposite is true, as there are some women who do not understand men, especially those of yesteryear.

And I think the story would make a good TV miniseries.

Next time: a compare and contrast, or, there are only so many ideas in fiction.


 
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1734 on: May 21, 2016, 03:56:27 PM »

A compare and contrast, or there are only so many ideas in fiction, comparing and contrasting . . .

Colin Cotterill
Six and a half deadly sins
10th in the Dr. Siri Paiboun series

and

Richard Compton
Hell's gate
2nd in the Detective Mollel series

Both writers are white men.
Both are Brits.
Both are ex-pats.

Both heroes are sent on an undercover assignment.
Both uncover a surprise.

Both stories feature actual historical events.
Both feature American characters in major roles.
Both feature Chinese villains.
Both feature characters who you think you can't trust, but can, and characters who you think you can trust, but can't.
Both feature stories where tribalism trumps nationalism.
Both stories are part of a series.
Both feature stories that could be simpler, as they are not easy to understand.
Both stories feature a twist at the end.

Both take place in different times.
--The former in 1979.
--The latter sometime after that.
Both take place in different places.
--The former in Laos.
--The latter in Kenya.

Thus, a bakers' dozen of similarities and 2 differences.

Next time: England vs. Germany : 1550s style.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #1735 on: May 22, 2016, 10:11:35 PM »



Cracked this open while I'm waiting for a book I'm supposed to review to arrive in the mail. It's not a guidebook, it's a history of classic Hollywood studio B-features (and of the smaller studios like Monogram that released nothing but B-movies).
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"It's the chilling story of a huge-breasted topless witch who slices open teenagers' wrists and tells them it's 'therapy.' This may be the finest performance of Al Lewis since... well, since he was Grandpa Munster."-Joe Bob on FRIGHT HOUSE
indianasmith
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« Reply #1736 on: May 22, 2016, 10:33:49 PM »

Just finished a neat book called CONGRESSMAN LINCOLN.
It's a well-researched history about Abraham Lincoln's single term in the U.S. Congress and how he took the lessons he learned there and applied them to his Presidency.
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"Carpe diem!" - Seize the day!  "Carpe per diem!" - Seize the daily living allowance! "Carpe carp!" - Seize the fish!
"Carpe Ngo Diem!" - Seize the South Vietnamese Dictator!
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