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Author Topic: Reading anything?  (Read 148926 times)
indianasmith
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« Reply #1155 on: July 27, 2012, 08:21:10 PM »

I just finished Candice Millard's THE DESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC, a history of the unlikely nomination, election, and assassination of James Garfield by certified nut job Charles Giteau.  Garfield sounds like a thoroughly decent fellow who had the potential to be a truly exceptional President, as well as already being a thoroughly decent, quality human being, and a loving husband and kind father.  The fact that a man as crazy as Giiteau was able to get as close to the President as he did as often as he did when everyone who knew him realized he was unbalanced is a testament to what an innocent, trusting place this country once was.  This is a fine piece of history, well-written and compelling, and the indictment of the sheer ignorance and incompetence of Garfield's doctors - who were more responsible for his death than the assassin's bullet was - is a reminder of how far medicine has come in the last 131 years.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #1156 on: July 27, 2012, 08:46:08 PM »

Streiber's The Grays is a surprisingly gripping piece of fiction that deals with a lot of the known UFO "mythology" out there.
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Newt
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« Reply #1157 on: July 28, 2012, 07:12:02 AM »

I have several on the go.  Right now the front-runner has been "A History of British Secret Service" by Richard Deacon.  It's a brief overview (477 pages) starting with Throgmorton and Walsingham and ending in the 1980's.  The part about the agent with no arms and no legs hunting tigers in India after the rest of his party had died was a high point (thus far)!  Buggedout

Also nibbling at Temple Grandin's "Animals in Translation", a book of Robert Silverberg stories and another on forensic detection through history ("Written in Blood" maybe?).
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"I absolutely adore movies. Even bad ones. I don't like pretentious ones, but a good bad movie, you must admit, is great." - Roddy Mc Dowell
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A.J. Bauer
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« Reply #1158 on: July 29, 2012, 07:49:12 AM »

I got the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft. I have a LOT of reading to do.
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #1159 on: July 29, 2012, 09:03:38 PM »

I have a hardback copy of this, sent to me by the author and inscribed by him, I've finally gotten around to reading it. 
Room Full Of Mirrors A Biography of JIMI HENDRIX by CHARLES R. CROSS
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« Reply #1160 on: July 30, 2012, 12:01:02 AM »

Recently finished Death Has a Name, by Jerry Hanel. Interesting book about a psychic named Brodie Wade who assists police departments. Wade spent several years in a mental institution as a boy, because he suffered from weird delusions and apparently harmed himself. In fact, Brodie is able to interact with The Truth. Not the subjective truth, but rather an intelligent supernatural force that resides in a world just a little bit out of phase with ours, and incorporates things such as ghosts and psychic imprints of past events. People are aware that Brodie is a very nervous person who exhibits strange behaviour and talks to things other people don't see. The Truth always has things it wants known, and if Brodie is in the right place when the right questions are being asked, some strange apparition appears that only he can see. It can't communicate clearly, so he has to figure out what it wants. The Truth is desperate to make its information known, and when it knows someone can see and hear, it becomes quite forceful, to the point of doing real physical harm. The cops think he's crazy, but he comes up with useful information, which scares most of them but also buys him some tolerance and earns him a living. So, into this situation, the book introduces a couple of grisly and bizarre murders and an unusual theft that kick off a whole series of events. Not bad for a bargain ebook.

I'm currently about halfway through the second Detective Rebus book by Ian Rankin, Hide and Seek. Starts with a dead junkie, some suspicious circumstances and possible connections to the occult and male prostitution. Unfortunately, despite all the weirdness and his own gut instincts, Rebus is thus far having a hard time defining an actual case that would make sense to anyone. Pretty good so far, and if it's anything like the previous book, the pace of the story will pick up in the second half, and questions will start getting answered, which will make it very hard to put down.
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Pilgermann
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« Reply #1161 on: July 30, 2012, 12:40:24 AM »

I got the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft. I have a LOT of reading to do.

Nice!  I picked up a complete collection a couple weeks ago myself.  Don't think I could manage to read it all straight through, but it's great to have everything at my fingertips when I'm in a Lovecraft mood.

Just started Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.  It's gonna be rough and gruesome but so far I dig it.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1162 on: August 06, 2012, 04:07:54 PM »

Ye-es!

Sam Brower's "Prophet's Prey : My Seven-year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints"

The subtitle is self-explanatory.

A p.i., process server, bounty hunter, bail bondsman, but not a writer, as one can see if one reads his book, but it is still good enough to be both readable and enjoyable. Basically, a man not to mess with, which they found out, much to their regret, when they started messing with him, as he had the knowledge and contacts to do what was needed to be done, and the patience to take all the time it needed.

As to why it took so long . . .

Money
The wealth of the church could be measured not in the millions of dollars, but in the hundreds of millions. Some of it earned legitimately . . .

Hard workers -- Successful businesses -- Tithing

Some of it not . . .
Business fraud -- Ignoring child labor laws -- Money laundering -- Tax fraud -- Welfare fraud

But that is just the tip of the illegal iceberg. While not all members were criminals, and no one member was guilty of all these. They were believed guilty of . . .

assault and battery -- attempted murder -- breaking and entering -- child abandoment -- child abuse -- child neglect -- conspiracy -- contempt of court -- extortion -- falsifying records -- harboring a fugitive -- incest -- kidnapping -- obstruction of justice -- racketeering -- rape -- sex trafficking -- sexual assault -- sexual misconduct -- smuggling -- soliciting prostitution -- unlawful sexual conduct -- violating the Mann Act.

The only thing they seemed not to be guilty of, was murder. And there is some idea they might have tried that, if they could have gotten away with it.

Ignorance, Ifluence, Indifference of . . .

the local, county, state, federal . . .

judicial system, law enforcement, legal system, politicians.

Misunderstanding by . . .

the press and public.

It had nothing to do with polygamy, but the abuse of children: sexually, physically, and emotionally.

And again money . . .

If it was spend the money and do what was right, and not spend the money, not spending the money trumped spending the money.

Nex time: 932 films. 101 years. 1 man's opinion.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1163 on: August 17, 2012, 04:06:19 PM »

Ye-es!

John Landis' (yes, that John Landis) "Monsters in the Movies."

There is alot right with it and little wrong, so we will start with what's right.

The Author
He knows his stuff.
He's a good writer, but if one has any of the scripts he has written, one already knows that.
He has a wide taste in movies, but what do you expect from someone who's first movie was called "Schlock."
Though he ids himself as an atheist Jew, he is not adverse to talking about the politics, the religion, the sexuality inherent in horror movies.
He knows the importance of music in horror movies.
Maybe because of his own kids, he is one of the few to talk about the importance of kids and teens to the horror movies. Both in the audience and on the screen. There are . . .

Space babies -- Teenage zombies -- Vampire children -- Teen werewolves (It's puberty I tell ya!)

The Book
It's all there or almost all there.
From "A.I." to "Zombies on Broadway"
From 1904's "Barbe-Bleue" to the movies of last year.
From atomic mutations to zombies.
From vampires to werewolves.
From scary children to scary older women.

There is alot of obscure titles
"Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane" (It's like "Snakes on a Plane," but with zombies.)
"Gay Zombie" (It's like "Harry Met Sally," but with zombies.)
The Japanese "Big Tit Zombie" (it's like . . . It's like nothing you've ever seen before.)

And the last chapter deals with the unseen . . .

animators -- artists -- designers -- directors -- painters

who brought you all these horror movies.

Trivia
It is full of trivia. Does the name Richard Wordsworth, who starred in "The Creeping Unkown," mean anything to you? It should. His great-great-grandfather was the poet laureate Williams Wordsworth.

Posters
There are some great pictures of old movie posters in the book.

The Interviews
He gets Christopher Lee to talk about what Lee hates to talk about. Dracula.
He has one of the last interviews that Ray Harryhausen has given.

But, the highlight of the book is . . .

The Pictorial Essays
As they allow one to scan several movies at once. Some of the essays are on . . .

Actors who have played Dracula
Vampire stakings (Have you ever staked a motorcycle?)
Actors who have played the Devil.
Dystopias (or, you wouldn't want to live there.)
Actresses who have played a wicked witch.
Killer Dolls.
Actors who have played Jekyll and Hyde. (I should say actresses, too, as a couple of them have been played by women.)
But, the best one is the "Monster Carry." That one has to be seen, but I can say in all 28 cases the monster is male and the carry is female.

I did say there were a few things wrong with it.

The author has a tendency to toot his own horn.
Both the interviewer and the interviewee allow the interview to wander.
There are a few mistakes. For example the book says "Son of Frankenstein" was Karloff's 2nd appearance as the Monster. It was his 3rd.
I wish the title had been something else. When it says monsters, I think horror monsters, but as the author points out there are also fantasy and sci fi monsters, but I still think in terms of horror monsters.
And he picks some odd titles. For example, he sees Steven Spielberg's "Duel," as a horror film. Though, to give the author his due, he is not the first one to do that.

Thus, if there is any book so far this year, that I recommend. It is this one. Expecially for anybody who posts to this board.

Now, if the events of 1983 had never happened.

Next time: 1919, or the year Chicago went up in fire and flame.


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Ed, Ego and Superego
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« Reply #1164 on: August 17, 2012, 04:39:55 PM »

"just my Type" by Simon Garfield.  A history of fonts and an introduction to font and typography design,

Just finsihed re-reading Sex Lives of Cannaibals by J. Maarten Troost
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #1165 on: August 17, 2012, 06:44:52 PM »

Just finished:

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum. Faaaaan-tastic book about the first 10 years of the channel (y'know, when it was actually cool) and explores its impact not only on television and the music industry, but pop culture in general. There are tons of great behind-the-scenes stories in here.

Now in the middle of:

Black Sabbath - Doom Let Loose by Martin Popoff - an album by album pictorial history of Black Sabbath, loaded with tons of geek trivia about the band, behind the scenes photos, and tons of fascinating pix of vintage concert advertisements, magazine covers, weird foreign 45s and EP covers, etc., etc.



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ER
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« Reply #1166 on: August 25, 2012, 09:25:34 PM »

I tried to read the first book of The Wheel of Time series, approaching it with excitement and high hopes because it sounds like a great collection of novels, but I could not get into it at all and finally shelved it. I'm bummed.
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indianasmith
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A good bad movie is like popcorn for the soul!


« Reply #1167 on: August 25, 2012, 09:34:36 PM »

I read the first five, and found out the series wasn't finished, and never came back to them.  I know that the series has a huge following, but I found them drawn out and boring (this from a guy who has read THE SILMARILLION about 20 times!!).

I just finished CATCHING FIRE, the second volume in THE HUNGER GAMES series.  I cannot recommend these books highly enough.  You will NOT be able to put them down!!!!

(The movie ain't bad either!!)
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Vik
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« Reply #1168 on: August 26, 2012, 01:50:35 PM »

Dreamcatcher by Stephen King. About halfway through, really, really good. Also reading 'Striking Thoughts' by Bruce Lee, which is very interesting.
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #1169 on: August 26, 2012, 07:11:28 PM »

It's So Easy and Other Lies by Duff McKagan of Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver fame.
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