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What are you reading in general?
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peter
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's something about books from that period that really works for me Cord Hurn.

I love Wilkie Collins (esp The Woman in White), Stoker's Dracula, any Conan Doyle, Dickens, Verne....... the list goes on.

The way these guys use the English language just does it for me.

I saw a copy of Vanity Fair in a second hand bookstore earlier - and it's piquing my interest. It's an itch I need to scratch at some point (and Pride and Prejudice).

Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2022 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

The Encyclopaedia Logic: Part Ⅰ of the 'Encyclopaedia of Philosophical Sciences' with the Zusätze by G.W.F. Hegel





… along with …

Picturing Hegel: An Illustrated Guide to Hegel's 'Encyclopaedia Logic' by Julie E. Maybee



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2022 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
There's something about books from that period that really works for me Cord Hurn.

I love Wilkie Collins (esp The Woman in White), Stoker's Dracula, any Conan Doyle, Dickens, Verne....... the list goes on.

The way these guys use the English language just does it for me.

I saw a copy of Vanity Fair in a second hand bookstore earlier - and it's piquing my interest. It's an itch I need to scratch at some point (and Pride and Prejudice).

Smile



Peter, some of the books from 19th-Century English writers appeal to me, also.

I finished Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities early this week and was moved by the heroism of one unlikely character whose sacrifice probably saves the lives of seven other people, and thrilled by the narrow escape of those other seven characters near the story's end.

You mentioned Conan Doyle, and I have enjoyed his short story collections The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, as well as the Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.

I've not read Jules Verne, but have read a couple of sci-fi novels from H. G. Wells, The Invisible Man and The First Men in the Moon--books which I liked okay, but did not love.

I don't have the Jane Austen book Pride and Prejudice, but have recently purchased a copy of her book Emma, and it's on my reading list for this year. I'm warming in appreciation for (some of) the writers of this Era, I think.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2022 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that entertained me about A Tale of Two Cities was the unexpected humor from Charles Dickens that would occasionally appear (well, besides his droll jokes about the guillotine being a barber that "shaves too close", that is). Examples of this unexpected humor are passages about "Anna Dominoes" and "otherwise evil-adverbiously". I'll explain with a little context:

In Book 2, Chapter 2 of A Tale of Two Cities was wrote:
The scene was Mr. Cruncher's private lodging in Hanging-sword-alley, Whitefriars: the time, half-past seven of the clock on a windy March morning, Anno Domini seventeen hundred and eighty. (Mr. Cruncher himself always spoke of the year of our Lord Anna Dominoes: apparently under the impression that the Christian Era dated from the invention of a popular game, by a lady who had bestowed her name upon it.)


In Book 2, Chapter 2 of A Tale of Two Cities was wrote:
Silence in the court: Charles Darnay had yesterday pleaded Not Guilty to an indictment denouncing him (with infinite jingle and jangle) for that he was a false traitor to our serene illustrious, excellent, and so forth [referring to King George III of England]; that was to say, by coming and going, between the dominions of our said, serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, and those of the said French Lewis [Louis XVI], and wickedly, falsely, traitorously, and otherwise evil-adverbiously, revealing to the said French Lewis what forces our said serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, had in preparation to send to Canada and North America.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2022 2:55 am    Post subject: What are you reading in general? Reply with quote

Now reading Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. I enjoyed the moment when protagonist Janie Crawford is first inspired as an adolescent to embrace romance in her life:

On page 11 of Their Eyes Were Watching God was wrote:
She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom: the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid.

After a while she got up from where she was and went over the little garden field entire. She was seeking confirmation of the voice and vision, and everywhere she found and acknowledged answers. A personal answer for all other creations except herself. She felt an answer seeking her, but where? When? How? She found herself at the kitchen door and stumbled inside. In the air of the room were flies tumbling and singing, marrying and giving in marriage. When she reached the narrow hallway she was reminded that her grandmother was home with a headache. She was lying across the bed asleep so Janie tipped on out of the front door. Oh to be a pear tree--any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world! She was sixteen. She had glossy leaves and bursting buds and she wanted the struggle with life but it seemed to elude her. Where were the singing bees for her? Nothing of the place nor in her grandma's house answered her. She searched as much of the world as she could from the top of the front steps and then went on down to the front gate and leaned over to gaze up and down the road. Looking, waiting, breathing short with impatience. Waiting for the world to be made.


I like how the way that this is written takes an ordinary situation and makes it seem deeply infused with adventure and magic.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. An interesting and relatively easy read.

I did not like that she would introduce supporting characters by name only, without the slightest bit of description otherwise. That sort of thing annoys me when I'm trying to imagine what the newly introduced characters look and sound like.

Still, I liked reading of the saga of Janie Crawford and the three marriages she experienced.

Some passages have the curious effect of stirring up both admiration and puzzlement in me, such as the following:

On page 90 of Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston wrote:
Most humans didn't love one another anyhow, and this mislove was so strong that even common blood couldn't overcome it all the time. She had found a jewel down inside herself and she had wanted to walk where people could see her and gleam it around. But she had been set in the market-place to sell. Been set for still-bait. When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks made them hunt for one another, but the mud is deaf and dumb. Like all the other tumbling mud-balls, Janie had tried to show her shine.


All I know is, the passage had something to do with Janie's second husband (Jody Sparks the storekeeper and mayor) not wanting her to fraternize with the townspeople, claiming it was beneath her dignity as his wife.

Anyway, a mostly enjoyable read.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, people! Thanks for keeping up this fine thread & its tradition!

Cord Hurn wrote:
Some passages have the curious effect of stirring up both admiration and puzzlement in me, such as the following...


Same for me! Thanks for sharing those excerpts!

Right now, I'm rereading "Ender's Shadow." so much good stuff I've forgotten.
Really forgot how things go down when Bean is a little street kid.
Loved the line about how "Fools look up for power." (but actually if you want power, be a leader to someone "smaller" than you. They are the ones who'll give you power.)

Also, reading a story about a robot with really good AI that is built to be a companion to a human teenager.
Low-key Dystopian vibes in a super-normal-feeling world.
Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro

Also, Scholomance, Book 2.
Yer typical AU-there-is-magic-in-the-world-and-when-you're-a-teen, MONSTERS-want-to-DEVOUR-you-for-your-mana.
It's really fun following around a main character who has to ALWAYS be on the alert for a life-or-death-situation at a moments' notice. (both for monsters, and also fellow students who've gone bad.)
There's a lot in Scholomance that's really delightful.
Also, you guys get to hear that said main character is called "El," and that's because her hippie mother named her "Galadriel," much to her chagrin. Of course, I think that the nickname is mischievous of the author.

[Edit: fixed Cord Hurn's name in quote.]
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2022 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see you, Linna! Those books sound interesting, especially that Scholomance.
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2022 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently reading A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn, yay! Good to hear words of greeting from you. :>

Cord Hurn wrote:
Nice to see you, Linna! Those books sound interesting, especially that Scholomance.


Yes! It's really engaging. Smile


Starting on Sunday, I was gulping down Celeste Ng's "Everything I never told you," and now I'm done. That was her first book. I think she's better known for a later book, "Little Fires Everywhere," and that one REALLY made the rounds of the book clubs and such. [/social-phenomena]

Anyway, I bet I read it that fast (finished it almost by accident) the first time too, and that's why I could barely remember a thing from it. It's surprisingly hard to put down, even though EVERYTHING that's going on is SO uncomfortable.

She does a clever bit of setup: it's a narrative that surrounds a dutiful teenage daughter who works like crazy for to fulfill her parents' dreams, constantly forfeiting (or not even considering) what she herself wants. Okay, so that's the "type" of the daughter, and you're expecting that it's "because Asian parents." BUT here's the catch. She's half-Chinese, and it's the NON-Asian parent who's providing all the academic pressure. (The dad, who's the one who's Chinese, desperately wants her to fit in! This is set in the 1960's and '70's in a small College town, and when he was growing up decades before that, he was extra-super isolated and lonely and friendless at school.) Because her mom had wanted to become a doctor, but gave up on that dream when she fell in love / got pregnant / got married. So the responsibility to fulfill the parents' dreams was passed to the children, as it often is. (Except just one child in specific--the eldest daughter, in this case.) Except it's much more complicated, and has a lot of "teeth" to it.
And it fits. It works.
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linna Heartbooger wrote:


Right now, I'm rereading "Ender's Shadow." so much good stuff I've forgotten.
Really forgot how things go down when Bean is a little street kid.
Loved the line about how "Fools look up for power." (but actually if you want power, be a leader to someone "smaller" than you. They are the ones who'll give you power.)


I like the "Shadow" books, just as much as I like the Ender ones in fact.

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2022 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad that the Celeste Ng story fits abd works, Linna!
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2022 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now reading Sherman Alexie's short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've finished reading the Sherman Alexie short story collection, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, about life on the Spokane Indian reservation. Some good stuff, some things even poetic and uplifting, but also lots of alcoholism and depression pictured.

One of the short stories that has stuck with me, entitled "The Approximate Size of My Favorite Tumor", concerns the way a character called James Many Horses handles the news of his terminal lung cancer by joking a lot, which upsets his wife Norma enough (though she never minded about him joking about her being unable to have children) that she leaves him while he's still hospitalized.
Here's the conclusion of that Alexie short story:

Quote:
The hospital released me because they decided I would be much more comfortable at home. And there I was, at home, writing letters to my loved ones on special reservation stationery that read: FROM THE DEATH BED OF JAMES MANY HORSES III.

But in reality, I sat at my kitchen table to write, and DEATH TABLE just doesn't have the necessary music. I'm also the only James Many Horses, but there is a certain dignity to any kind of artificial tradition.

Anyway, I sat there at the death table, writing letters from my death bed, when there was a knock on the door.

"Come in," I yelled, knowing the door was locked, and smiling when it rattled against the frame.

"It's locked," a familiar voice said, and it was a female voice I recognized..

"Norma?" I asked as I unlocked and opened the door.

She was beautiful. She had either gained or lost twenty pounds, one braid hung down a little longer than the other and she had ironed her shirt until the creases were sharp.

"Honey," she said. "I'm home!"

I was silent. That was a rare event.

"Honey," she said. "I've been gone so long and I missed you so much. But now I'm back. Where I belong."

I had to smile.

"Where are the kids?" she asked.

"They're asleep," I said, recovered just in time to continue the joke.
"Poor little guys tried to stay awake, you know? They wanted to be up when yo got home. But, one by one, they dropped off, fell asleep, and I had to carry them off into their little beds."

"Well." Norma said. "I'll just go in and kiss them quietly. Tell them how much I love them. Fix the sheets and blankets so they'll be warm all night."

She smiled.

"Jimmy," she said. "You look like shit."

"Yeah, I know."

"I'm sorry I left."

"Where've you been?" I asked, though I really didn't want to know.

"In Arlee. Lived with a Flathead cousin of mine."

"Cousin as in cousin? Or cousin as in I-was-fucking-him-but-don't-want-to-tell-you-because-you're-dying?"

She smiled even though she didn't want to.

"Well," she said. "I guess you'd call him more of that second kind of cousin."

Believe me: nothing ever hurt more. Not even my tumors which are the approximate size of baseballs.

"Why'd you come back?" I asked her.

She looked at me, tried to suppress a giggle, then broke out into full-fledged laughter. I joined her.

"Well," I asked her again after a while. "Why'd you come back?"

She turned stoic, gave me that beautiful Tonto face, and said, "Because he was so fucking serious about everything."

We laughed a little more and then I asked her one more time, "Really, why'd you come back?"

"Because someone needs to help you die the right way," she said. "And we both know that dying ain't something you ever done before."

I had to agree with that.

"And maybe," she said, "because making fry bread and helping people die are the last two things Indians are good at."

"Well," I said. "At least you're good at one of them."

And we laughed.


This passage represents the book well, with the mixture of laughter and pain, dreams and despair. I kind of liked it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now reading White Ivy: A Novel, by Susie Yang.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently reading The Grapes Of Wrath - surprisingly late in life.
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