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Old 10-04-2013, 12:34 PM   #17836
CRussel
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Meanwhile, still reading #19 in Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series: Bad Boy. The beginning of this is slow going, in large part because Alan Banks isn't part of it. Most of it centers around his daughter, and I find her a very annoying, whinging, self-indulgent and generally unpleasant character. Hopefully things will improve when the focus moves to Inspector Banks.
Well, I haven't learned to like the daughter any better, but the book has definitely improved now that we're past the 40% mark or so. In fact, I can hardly put it down, and I'll finish it this morning. So definitely recommended, but understand you'll need some patience to get past the first 30-40% if the having the active "protagonist" be highly unsympathetic is a problem. It certainly is for me, since I didn't much like the daughter, as you can tell from my description.

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OK, looking for some recommendations here. Specifically, opinions about Ryk Spoor's Grand Central Arena series. The November bundle from Baen includes the second book in that series along with two books I already have, a book I bought the eArc for (Trade Secrets), and two books I have no interest in. (I won't read Kratman, full stop, and a Christmas book? I don't think so!) So the decision is whether to buy the bundle for the two books, or buy the one I know I want, Trade Secret, and pass on the bundle.

Thoughts?
Well, clearly no particular thoughts on this one, so I'll pass on the bundle this month. It was barely going to be a bargain even if I really wanted both books.
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:32 PM   #17837
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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Look-Whos-Ba...I2AS8AOI1MWILM
I have it saved to my wish list.
Apache
Thanks. Didn't think to translate the title and search that way .
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:00 PM   #17838
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Thanks. Didn't think to translate the title and search that way .

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Old 10-04-2013, 05:16 PM   #17839
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The last of my summer reads:


In the Garden of Beasts[/I] by Erik Larsen described the life of the family of the American ambassador to Germany in the years leading up to WWII and I couldn't put it down. The story was packed with experiences and chronicled the fear and impotence of those who witnessed early Nazi atrocities. This broke the streak of disappointing reads and I'm looking forward to reading his earlier book, The Devil in the White City.
Thanks so much for the reminder on this - going on my TBR
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:08 PM   #17840
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In my ongoing project to read all of Henry James' oeuvre in chronological order, I am also including ancillary books [biographies, criticism, etc. about Henry James].

I stumbled across a gem: 'Henry James' by Rebecca West - a chronological survey of his entire output - written by a sensitive & intelligent reader. West can craft sentences that are priceless observations or cutting descriptions of James' prose, such as,

"Purity and innocence are excellent things,but a world in which they have to be guarded by such cramping contrivances of conduct is as ridiculous as a heaven where the saints all go about with their haloes protected by mackintosh covers."


What a mental image that sentence engenders! What style!

West also offers a novel way to approach, read, and understand 'The Golden Bowl' - James' most complex foray into sentences of interminable length and innumerable relative clauses. Since this novel was dictated, not hand written, by James, West suggests: Read the novel as an extended conversation James is having with his readers - replete with asides, reflections, random thoughts, change of subjects, etc. - as would be found in any conversation of extended length.

I highly recommend this small, but weighty, book to any James enthusiast. PD ebook version available.

An aside: IMHO, the closest readers of James' canon as literature have been women: Joyce Carol Oates, Cynthia Ozick, and Rebecca West. I'm not sure about West, but both Oates and Ozick can channel James in their own writing.

Last edited by poohbear_nc; 10-04-2013 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:34 PM   #17841
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Cool Richard Castle & Kerry Greenwood

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Doctor Sleep lived up to and far far beyond my expectations! I was frightened for the characters a lot!

Next I'll be visiting the world of Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook in Deadly Heat (Nikki Heat #5) by Richard Castle. I've been looking forward to this one a lot.
Deadly Heat was the best Nikki Heat novel yet with turns and twists, unexpected surprises, looming danger and untrustworthy players. All-in-all it was a GREAT read.

Next I'm going to be visiting the Australian roaring twenties with Death At Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher #4) by Kerry Greenwood.

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Old 10-04-2013, 10:53 PM   #17842
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:53 AM   #17843
caleb72
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Has anyone read any ribald classics? I haven't, but I've just started reading a book called Mandragora by an indie author, H. D. Greaves. It's based on a notorious play, The Mandrake by Niccolò Machiavelli - of which I know absolutely nothing.

However, my complete lack of exposure to this kind of perverse, 'naughty' comedy drew me to this work. I'm about 25% in and enjoying it. I wonder if crass comedies like "Are You Being Served?" were derived from this type of literature?
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:12 AM   #17844
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"Crass comedies"? Are You Being Served was a class act. And I am unanimous in that.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:01 AM   #17845
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Has anyone read any ribald classics? I haven't, but I've just started reading a book called Mandragora by an indie author, H. D. Greaves. It's based on a notorious play, The Mandrake by Niccolò Machiavelli - of which I know absolutely nothing.

However, my complete lack of exposure to this kind of perverse, 'naughty' comedy drew me to this work. I'm about 25% in and enjoying it. I wonder if crass comedies like "Are You Being Served?" were derived from this type of literature?
The Mandrake is funny as all heck, I read it while pursuing my italian degree. I'll have to give this indie author a try. Ultimately, though, these types of comedies derive from late Athenian comic theatre, with roman authors such as Plautus probably being the most influential in disseminating this type of work. Classical comedic theatre was generally quite naughty.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:13 PM   #17846
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The Mandrake is funny as all heck, I read it while pursuing my italian degree. I'll have to give this indie author a try. Ultimately, though, these types of comedies derive from late Athenian comic theatre, with roman authors such as Plautus probably being the most influential in disseminating this type of work. Classical comedic theatre was generally quite naughty.
Why doesn't it surprise me that you would have read the work in Italian. I always wanted to be multi-lingual, but I think the closest I'm going to get to it is knowing multiple computer programming languages.

Actually, I've always held that my interest in computer programming languages and spoken languages are actually related - but before I go off on my Maths = English = Latin = Computer Programming philosophy...
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:14 PM   #17847
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In 1936 Fortune magazine sent staff writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans to do an article on cotton sharecroppers. Agee wrote a long article (30,000 words) on three red dirt tenant farmers in Hale County, Alabama.

Fortune never published the article. I'm surprised that the editors ever assigned such a topic to James Agee, given some of the the sentiments he expressed in the article; here is a sample:
... a human being whose life is nurtured in an advantage which has accrued from the disadvantage of other human beings, and who prefers that this should remain as it is, is a human being by definition only, having much more in common with the bedbug, the tapeworm, the cancer,and the scavengers of the deepsea.
Not words that would have been comforting to the readership of Fortune.

Agee and Walker eventually published Let Us Now Praise Famous Men about the sharecroppers, but the original article was never published until as a short book this year, 58 years after Agee's early death.

I read the book yesterday. It is a wonderful, unsentimental description of the costs of feudalism on the serfs.

You can find it here
http://www.amazon.com/Cotton-Tenants...ies-James-Agee
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:20 PM   #17848
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Sorry for the non-functional link
This should be functional
http://www.amazon.com/Cotton-Tenants.../dp/B00ALB4X4M
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:25 PM   #17849
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I'm now reading "With Airship and Submarine" by Harry Collingwood. Similar to Jules Verne.

I'm actually in the early stages of reading all his stories and have enjoyed them all.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #17850
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Just finished The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson. It's a dark, beautifully written novel set in North Korea and won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It was so depressing that I was sorry I started it, but within 100 pages I found the story to be so gripping that I hated to put it down. I borrowed the digital edition from my local library.
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