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Old 10-09-2012, 09:03 AM   #14341
HomeInMyShoes
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Finished up Diane Duane's Deep Wizardry which was a great story and just finished Charles Stross's Halting State. A very entertaining read.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:30 AM   #14342
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It's like How to train your dragon, then? Even better.
I will have to take your word for that, but thanks for pointing me towards those books. Even if they aren't like the movie, I should at least try one.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #14343
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I'm reading Rick Riordan's newest book, The Mark of Athena. Great fun, as usual. I'm also reading a book on the history of the english language called "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue". Very interesting.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:05 PM   #14344
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I'm popping in after a beautifully quiet afternoon on the patio during which I was able to enjoy a classic cozy mystery, The Window at the White Cat by Mary Roberts Rinehart (also available in MobileRead's Patricia Clark Memorial Library).

I enjoy reading about the differences in how things are handled from that era to this one. The whole surface politeness would be alien to many today, although I believe the political corruption and all-boys' club aspect hasn't changed over time.

It was worth putting off my laundry and cleaning to read this, but now I have to catch up with what I put off.
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I really loved that book, as I did the author's Topper. I may do a rare re-read one day, or maybe just delve into something else by Thorne Smith.
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Finished up Diane Duane's Deep Wizardry which was a great story and just finished Charles Stross's Halting State. A very entertaining read.
Thanks to you all! I've just added The Window at the White Cat, Topper and Deep Wizardry to my TBR.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:20 PM   #14345
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in this great future
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Finished The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (4/5) and then read in quick succession Arms and the Man, a play by George Bernard Shaw, (2/5) and Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (3/5), the last two both being less than a hundred pages each.

Now I'm on A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll, which is also pretty short, and I'm really enjoying it! It's a book of mathematical logic problems, but imagine you're doing logic problems with a witty comedian writing the questions and answers.

I've been reading other Carroll works, including other puzzle works, and I'd say this is his best I've read of this type. I didn't find the word-problem puzzles of his nearly as interesting, even though I'd probably generally prefer word problems to mathematics problems. He seems to be at his funniest and most comfortable here, and the problems are short and straightforward and don't get lost in the haze of being so old. I'd say if you like maths and puzzles and Carroll, this is really a little hidden gem of his.

The really funny parts come in the answers, which take up half the book, because apparently these problems were first published either weekly or monthly in a newspaper and so people could send in answers, which he would "grade" and then publish with the correct answers and a list of "winners" that answered correctly in I suppose the next edition of the newspaper. I find myself looking more forward to reading the answers than the questions! The title of the book is even taken from an answer someone sent in on the first puzzle, sent in by "Simple Susan" and "Money-Spinner" together, where they write a poem answering the question and it ends with "the tale is tangled now no more".

First of all, it's interesting when you see unexpected traces of modern human behaviour in things from the past, and the answerers' pseudonyms are so similar to our internet posting screen user names with their randomness and anonymity. People write in to him named "Bo-Peep", "Bog-Oak", "The Old Maid", "Vendredi", "Omega", "Waiting for the Train", "Bradshaw of the Future", "Rags and Tatters", "Crophi and Mophi", "Money-Spinner", "Spear Maiden", "Nairam", "Vis Inertiae", "Yak", "Dinah Mite", "A Nihilist", "Scrutator" and so on and so forth. LOL, those could just as easily be a group of posters' screennames posting in a forum here! And Carroll will often use those names as if they're their real names in the way he addresses them and also make jokes on them.

But the funniest parts come from the way he explains the answers of the people who sent in incorrect solutions. He doesn't exactly make fun of them, but his attitude is always of such light humour that I end up giggling through all the wrong answers. For instance, on a question about the fewest numbers of guests possibly at a party, where they're all family members such as "my brother's father's uncle's wife" and so on, one person named "Sea-Breeze" who Carroll says is the " very faintest breath that ever bore the name!" sent in an answer saying that it was simple, that the fewest number could just be achieved by many incestuous intermarriages, to which Carroll acts shocked and says, "'Wind of the Western Seas', you have had a very narrow escape!".

Or another one where "Bee" and "Ayr" sent in answers: "Bee's arithmetic is faulty...<gives Bee's answer and its faults>...But Ayr's state is still more perilous still: she draws illogical conclusions with a frightful calmness" which set me giggling for reading all of Ayr's frighteningly calm illogical conclusions.

Another answer from "Crophi and Mophi" on a problem about a town square with 20 houses on each side: "...Crophi and Mophi make the bold and unfounded assumption that there were really 21 houses on each side...'We may assume,' they add, 'that the doors for Nos. 21, 42, 63, 84, are invisible from the centre of the square'! What is there, I wonder, that Crophi and Mophi would not assume?"

And the funniest, to me, of all so far, which set me laughing on and off thinking about it for a good half hour at least, comes in a later answer where someone named "Scrutator" has sent in a critique on a former puzzle that was already answered: "A remonstrance has reached me from Scrutator on the subject of Knot 1, which he declares was 'no problem at all'. 'Two questions', he says, 'are put. To solve one there is no data: the other answers itself.' As to the first point, Scrutator is mistaken; there are...data sufficient to answer the question. As to the other, it is interesting to know that the question 'answers itself', and I am sure it does the question great credit: still I fear I cannot enter it on the list of winners, as this competition is only open to human beings."
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:34 PM   #14346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansplace View Post
Thanks to you all! I've just added The Window at the White Cat, Topper and Deep Wizardry to my TBR.
I strongly recommend reading So You Want to be a Wizard before Deep Wizardry.

Both are available from Diane Duane's website if you're outside the USA. She ocassionally has discounted sales, so it might be worth signing up to her newsletter and waiting.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:15 PM   #14347
alansplace
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Cool So You Want to be a Wizard

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I strongly recommend reading So You Want to be a Wizard before Deep Wizardry.

Both are available from Diane Duane's website if you're outside the USA. She ocassionally has discounted sales, so it might be worth signing up to her newsletter and waiting.
Will do, thanks! Does she DRM the books * from her website?

* [never mind, I found out on the site that they aren't DRMed]

Last edited by alansplace; 10-10-2012 at 01:33 PM. Reason: add stuff
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:16 PM   #14348
tecweston
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Just Finished:

- In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill - a decent short story about a brother and sister that get lost in a field of grass. This also includes previews of King's The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep, and Joe Hill's new novel N0S4A2, so definitely worth the $4.

Currently Reading:

- The Passage by Justin Cronin (second time) (33%)
- The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Web Weaver by Sam Siciliano (30%)
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:45 PM   #14349
WT Sharpe
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I just finished Mobileread Book Club's chilling October selection, Carmilla by J. Sheridan LeFanu. What wonderful selections to get us ready for Halloween! Both this one and the October runner-up, Grave Robbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary) by Jeff Strand, are quite entertaining.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:24 PM   #14350
Joshua.P
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Currently reading an abridged version of Les Miserables. A good book, but I feel a lot more could be cut.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:56 AM   #14351
alansplace
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Cool Jim Butcher and Diane Duane

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Now onward to read The Dresden Files #8, Proven Guilty!
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Thanks to you all! I've just added The Window at the White Cat, Topper and Deep Wizardry to my TBR.
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I strongly recommend reading So You Want to be a Wizard before Deep Wizardry.

Both are available from Diane Duane's website if you're outside the USA. She ocassionally has discounted sales, so it might be worth signing up to her newsletter and waiting.
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Will do, thanks! Does she DRM the books * from her website?

* [never mind, I found out on the site that they aren't DRMed]
Ok! I finished re-reading Proven Guilty earlier today. It was really really a great experience! (brought tears to my eyes multiple times!)

Now, I'm going to give Diane Duane a try with the first in her Young Wizards series, So You Want to Be a Wizard, New Millennium Edition. Part of the reason I want to try it is I'm thinking of it for my Grandson (12 years old) for Christmas! He's already read all of Harry Potter so it seems like it might be a good fit for him.

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Old 10-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #14352
Quake1028
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Finished up:

Squeeze Play: Noir Masters Triple Threat
Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (Oct 2012)

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #14353
pilotbob
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Ok! I finished re-reading Proven Guilty earlier today. It was really really a great experience! (brought tears to my eyes multiple times!)

Now, I'm going to give Diane Duane a try with the first in her Young Wizards series, So You Want to Be a Wizard, New Millennium Edition. Part of the reason I want to try it is I'm thinking of it for my Grandson (12 years old) for Christmas! He's already read all of Harry Potter so it seems like it might be a good fit for him.

I head alot of kids that like Harry Potter also like Fabelhaven. Although I haven't read any of them.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:56 AM   #14354
alansplace
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Cool Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

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I head alot of kids that like Harry Potter also like Fabelhaven. Although I haven't read any of them.
Noted, I'll check it out.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:46 PM   #14355
Dazrin
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I finally decided to reread Anne of Green Gables (from the library here, thanks vivaldirules!), it has been at least 20 years since I have read any of them, so I wanted to read at least this one again.
I really enjoyed that, it brought back some good memories and now that I have 2 girls of my own I had a much different perspective.

Now, on to Carmilla to make sure I finish it in time to discuss.
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