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Author Topic: Reading anything?  (Read 136939 times)
alandhopewell
A NorthCoaster In Texas
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Hey....white women were in season.


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« Reply #1185 on: October 06, 2012, 12:21:43 PM »

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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 #1186 on: October 06, 2012, 03:31:22 PM »

Ye-es!
Miscellaneous.

Orson Scott Card's "Ender in Exile" (in graphic format)
The sequel to "Ender's Game" and one year after.
As a followup, a film version of "Ender's Game" is coming to theaters in November of next year.

Laurell K. Hamilton's "Circus of the Damned" (in graphic format)
The 1st 3 volumes.
v.1. The charmer -- v.2. The ingenue -- v.3. The scoundrel.

Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (in graphic format)
One of the times the film version is better than the book, and I have read the book. For a couple of reason.
1.) I have always found horror better presented visually than verbally. And . . .
2.) Whereas the book is presented in the present, the film is presented in the past, and the story just seems to work better in the past than the present.

Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" (in graphic format)
While there never seems to have been a film version of the story, there was a TV miniseries version of the story, which was on TV a number of years ago, and which I remember as being a fairly faithful adaptation of the book. At least, the first parts of the book.
What I think most interesting about the book is that the present is interpreted as being from 1946 to 1958, while the future is interpreted as being from 1999 to 2026. Some of which is already our past.

Next time: More miscellaneous
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ChaosTheory
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« Reply #1187 on: October 06, 2012, 04:07:58 PM »



Piccirilli is a very strange  man.



Also just picked up  vol. one of the Complete Bloom County.
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Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chance opts between two worlds
Fire walk with me
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1188 on: October 19, 2012, 04:47:04 PM »

Ye-es!
Miscellaneous mysteries.

Graham Moore's "Sherlockian"

Nothing particularly original, but what is unoriginal is pretty prime.

A present problem can only be solved by resolving a problem in the past.
Past: When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died, he left a multi-volume diary to posterity. Unfortunately, the diary is not complete, as there are several volumes missing. This tells what happened to one of those volumes.
Present: Who took it. When it was taken. Why it was taken. Where it was hidden. And what happened to it after it was rediscovered is quite logical.

Doyle as detective. Bram Stoker in a work of fiction. These always work, as does the writer's description of the pain of violence, and the emotional sense of betrayal one feels, when one is betrayed by someone one thinks one can trust. The writing also comes across as being remarkablely self-assured for a writer who has only written one previous novel.

What does not work is the villain the past, who comes across as being gay. (And we really, really must talk about gays in mysteries sometime in the future.) That is not why it does not work. It does not work, because we never really get to know the villain, so he never really comes across as being credible.

Next time: more miscellaneous mysteries, but first Ebert's lates, but far from greatest.
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spongekryst
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« Reply #1189 on: October 22, 2012, 12:24:08 AM »

Re-reading these, because they're short.


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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #1190 on: October 28, 2012, 09:19:28 AM »





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"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone."
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1191 on: October 28, 2012, 01:50:33 PM »

Ye-es!

Roger Ebert's "A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies that Suck."

Ebert's latest, but far from greatest.

A couple of things that are good. A couple more that are ugly (i.e. neither bad nor good), but mostly just bad. So, we'll start with the bad.

Total films = 211
Films seen = 12 or 6%
Films liked = 10 or 83%

A sequel to "Your Movie Sucks," which I have not read, but I did read the one previous to that "I Hated, Hated This Movie."

Total films = 247
Films seen = 51 or 21%
Films liked = 33 or 65%

I. His ability to differentate between what sucks and what does not suck is in decline.

On the other hand . . . On the other hand . . .

"Ebert's the Great Movies"

Total films = 100
Films seen = 40 or 40%
Films liked = 25 or 62.5%

II. Roger, the films that you dislike are not the ones that suck. The films that suck are the ones you like.

Except for his ex-partner, the late Gene Siskel, which is understandable, he does not think much of his fellow film critics.

III. They are idiots, at least some of them, and their opinions, at least some of them, are idiotic, too.

IV. And, oh yes. Fanboys are idiots, as well.

Some time ago, there was an exercise on the world wide web, maybe more than one, as to which film generas Ebert should go nowhere near. At least near enough to write a review. I don't know whether there was any concensus, but I wonder it it wasn't action films. He likes the action film "The Mummy: the Tomb of the Dragon Emperor." It is watchable. I have seen it, but it is not a good film, but more importantly there are no good action scenes in it. On the other hand, there are four films listed in his latest book, that have some of the best action scenes I have seen. All, of which, he, of course, dislikes.

V. He does not know action as well as he thinks he does.

As he rightly points out, there is nothing worst than a comedy that thinks it is funny, but is not. He should have taken that to heart.

VI. He is not as funny as he thinks he is.

He decries the lack of realism in a film, but when a film tries to be a bit more realistic, he decries the lack of unrealism in the film.

VII. He contradicts himself.

He thinks Abilene is the prettiest town he has ever seen. He must not get out much. I have been to Abilene. It is not the prettiest town in the U.S. It is not even the prettiest town in Texas.

VIII. He shows his ignorance, when he talks about something besides films.

Okay. What is ugly?

IX. He talks about himself constantly. Normally, that is bad, as ht detracts from your subject, but as I do it, too. I can't critize him too much.

X. His reviews are at most two pages. Good if you want a quck read. Bad, if you want some fine detail about a film.

And what is good?

XI. He is a braver man that I am. Some of his reviews are hard enough to read, but he not only had to write the review. He had to see the film.

XII. He is knowledgable about films.

Next time: More miscellaneous mysteries.
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ChaosTheory
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« Reply #1192 on: October 28, 2012, 05:18:02 PM »

Ye-es!


Except for his ex-partner, the late Gene Siskel, which is understandable, he does not think much of his fellow film critics.


Ironic, considering those two genuinely hated each other when Gene was alive, and his replacement co-critics were constantly kissing Roger's butt (at least in the episodes I saw).

I hadn't really thought about it, but you're right, Ebert's not a good judge of action.   Fair enough if that's just not your thing, and I realize most critics believe themselves to be "above" the genre in general, but when you watch as many movies as he does, you should be able to at least objectively tell the difference between action that's well-presented and what isn't.  (I mean, he didn't even like DIE HARD! Siskel at least liked DIE HARD!)
Ebert always struck me as taking a little too much, unwarranted pride in his own intellect.   But his reviews are often entertaining, I'll give him that.





As for my reading, I just started Cormac McCarthy's OUTER DARK.  Because I'm a masochist.
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Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chance opts between two worlds
Fire walk with me
lester1/2jr
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« Reply #1193 on: October 28, 2012, 05:45:34 PM »

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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1194 on: November 04, 2012, 02:36:28 PM »

Ye-es!

More miscellaneous mysteries.

Anne Perry's "Treason at Lissengrove"
The 27th in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series

While it stands alone and can be read before reading the others, this might not be a good start to the series. Not because the hero has just left the London police for the governmental agency that would morph into M.I.5/M.I.6 or protecting the U.K. from terrorists home and abroad, but because the motivations are rather murky and the villains' final plot is rather far fetched. And while it is readable, alot of it is internal monologues, which are more difficult to read.

C. J. Sansom's "Heartstone"
The 5th in the Matthew Shardlake Tudor mystery series

Positives . . .
Complex
Realistic
A good write

Negatives . . .
Confusing
Inconsistent characters
And I seldom have seen such angry characters in a novel, which hardly makes for the most pleasant read.
And the profanity in the book just grates on the ears.

Charles Todd's "A Bitter Truth"
The 3rd in the Bess Crawford mystery series

I have also read the 4th in the series, which we'll get to later, so we'll just talk about the authors now. Charles Todd is actually a pseudonym for a two person writing team, and to make it more unusual, it is a mother-son duo. Certainly, he/she/they have had someone close to them in the army, but one wonders if one of them or both were once a nurse. They have that part so nailed down. Of course, not from WWI, as everyone from then is dead, but from one of the later wars.

Ellen Crosby's "The Sauvignon Secret: a Wine Country Mystery"
The 6th in the series All Wines

There is at least one later one in the series, which I have not read. The series is easy enough to recognize. There is a different wine in each of the titles, and each mystery deals in some small part with winemaking.

Next time: Okay, everyone. We can all go home now. Everything on the subject has already been written.
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ER
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« Reply #1195 on: November 05, 2012, 11:58:46 PM »

A friend of mine threw Cloud Atlas down on the ground, spat at it, kicked it and called it terrible names. Not liking to see any book abused, I picked it up and put it on my "READ SOON" shelf.  Heard mixed things about it. We'll see...
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Seeking Tir a 'nOg since 1978.
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1196 on: November 15, 2012, 05:46:51 PM »

Ye-es!

Okay, everyone. We can all go home now. Everything on the subject has already been written.

Amanda Foreman's "A World on Fire : Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War.'

What apparently started out as a diplomatic history of the U.K. and U.S. during the War, apparently morphed into something more like a economic, literary, military, political, religious, and social history of the U.K. and the U.S. during the War.

And quite an achievement on the authoress' part, as this is only the 2nd book she has ever written.

Eminently readable, because of the illustrations, maps, and her eye for the humorous situation.

It also gives credence to the belief, "That the more things change. The more they stay the same."

If the press does not lie, then neither does it tell the complete truth.
Some politicans are still self-serving. Saying something in public and doing the total opposite in private.
Moderation is still held in low regard.
And compromise is still held as being an act of cowardice, instead of an act of courage.

Of course, some things do change.

It is no longer the amateur hour at the state department, as the U.S. now does have a professional diplomatic corp.
Civil service has weeded out some of the worst examples of the patronage system.
And Washington is now a plum assignment. Now only because of the position of the U.S. in the world, but because Washington, D.C. is a far more livable city than it was 150 years ago.

Probably the last word on the subject.

Next time: the most powerful book of the 19th century.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #1197 on: November 15, 2012, 06:18:59 PM »

"Cinema 1: The Movement-Image" by Gilles Deleuze

I have a feeling I am going to regret it.
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
ChaosTheory
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« Reply #1198 on: November 18, 2012, 02:41:06 PM »



*fangirl squeal*
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Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chance opts between two worlds
Fire walk with me
Vik
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« Reply #1199 on: November 19, 2012, 02:00:10 PM »

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