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Old 07-25-2014, 04:55 PM   #886
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I'm also reading the first (in pub order) of the Recluse series, The Magic of Recluse, by L.E. Modisett. Read by Kirby Heyborne. This will be a slow read, since I'm restricting myself to reading while I swim.
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Finished off Like a Mighty Army, and thought it somewhat better than the last couple in the series. Still working on the Modisett, but for the car and around the house, I'm now reading the first of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels by Dorothy L. Sayers, Whose Body, read superbly by Nadia May. What a delight this book is. This is hardly the first time I've read it, and I know what happens, but that's really the least important part of the book. I'm going to spend the summer re-reading all the Sayers books, I think.
Still reading the Recluse book while I swim, and reading Sword Singer, #2 in the Tiger&Del series from Jennifer Roberson, and read by Stephen Bel Davies. This isn't a compelling series, it really would be better as a book for jogging, but for now it's my in-car read while I'm commuting. It'll do, but it's not compelling.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:01 PM   #887
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I'm listening to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer on my iPad. This is yet another of the Blackstone apps for iPhone that started its life as a Blackstone audiobook. The 1934 translation into modern English by J.U. Nicolson is excellent, and greatly helps to avoid confusion by translating such phrases as "False coward, wreak* thy wife" into something a bit more understandable (and appropriate).



* avenge
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:42 PM   #888
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I just finished listening to: Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivals That Ignited the Space Age by Matthew Brzezinski. I picked it up when it was one of Audible's Daily Specials a few weeks ago.

A very interesting non-fiction book covering the period from the end of WWII when the Americans and Russians were racing to acquire Nazi scientists and hardware through the launch of the first two Russian Sputniks and ends with the launch of the first American satellite. I have read several books that focused on the 1960s manned era but never one that focused on this earlier period. Although the title implies it is primarily about the Russian efforts, the book actually gives about equal time to the Russians and the Americans. It not only delves into the science and engineering aspects, but also addresses how politics impacted things and how these things in turn impacted politics.

I enjoyed this book a lot and feel like I learned some new details I never knew. If you are interested in this early period of the space program, I would highly recommend it.

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Old 07-27-2014, 04:14 AM   #889
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Just finished The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (J.U. Nicolson translation). "The Miller's Tale" alone was worth the price of admission, if only for the lesson taught that people should be careful of kissing in the dark. Plus it has a great flatulence joke, and I've always considered flatulence, like music, to be a universal language.

"The Merchant's Tale" was another winner that told the story of blind January whose wife was makin' whoopie with a lover right in his presence when the god Pluto, infuriated at her actions, chose that moment to give him back his sight. But Pluto's wife, Proserpina, upset at the double standard that unfairly singled out women for criticism for what was a nearly universal failing in men, gave January's wife the gift of gab so that she was able to convince January that he didn't see what he thought he saw.

The final one was "The Parson's Tale," which wasn't a tale at all, but at over 3 hours and 19 minutes, was hands-down the longest sermon I've ever heard. All through the book, up until the end, bawdy story telling was inter-spaced with Christian piety. Chaucer seems to have hit on something that Hollywood discovered back in the silent era: The right mix of sex and religion can result in a combination that's pure box-office gold (think of the nude dancers leading the parade through the streets of Rome in the 1925 movie Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ). This was a very enjoyable and imaginative book, and one I'm sure I'll be returning to in the future.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:37 AM   #890
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I just finished So Much Pretty, by Cara Hoffman. This was an impulse buy; it's on sale at Downpour ($5) so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm not sure exactly what to make of it--it had a lot going on, like the author wanted to make certain points in the context of the story (ostensibly about a young girl's murder in a rural community), even if they had to be shoehorned in. It's choppy because the story is told from various points of view and the timeline isn't linear, and it takes a while to realize where the author is actually going. Unlike some other audiobooks with multiple POVs and multiple narrators, this one had a single narrator, Aimee Bruneau, whom I'd never heard before. She did a pretty good job with mostly subtle variations in character voices, rather than going over the top.

It held my interest, but it's unsettling and dark in an unpleasant way.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:16 AM   #891
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The temptation to binge read the Aubrey/Maturin books must be huge. I know I did that with the first four or five when I discovered them. But then had to wait for the rest to be written. A kind of enforced spacing.
I've decided I'll allow myself one more in August. Summer's short and time to indulge. But then I have to slow down.

I'm listening to a quick and delightful work, The Constant Wife by Somerset Maugham as performed by Kate Burton and others at the LA Theater Workshop. It's borderline, but I figure I can count it as a book; if I read the play I would.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:59 AM   #892
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Certainly count it. I would.

I envy you your first time through the A/M books. I'm getting close to being ready for another read. Which would make the 5th or 6th time through. And I've read them in both Audible and e/pBook formats.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:20 AM   #893
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I finished Drums of Autumn (Gabaldon, Outlander #4) this morning; I started it back in May but only listen to it on the way home from work. Next I'm going to listen to Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (also by Diana Gabaldon). I like to put a break between books in a series so that they don't run together in my memory.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:57 AM   #894
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This morning I started to begin Aubrey Stewart's translation of Of the Shortness of Life by Seneca while I was doing some yard work, but the volume at which the Librivox audiobook was recorded was so low that, even with the volume of both my earbuds and iPod cranked to max, I couldn't hear it over the noise of my reciprocating saw. A pity, as from what I could make out, the reader, Jonathan Hockey, did an excellent job. Of well. I'll listen to it on my PC later. I have some M-Audio speakers connected to my PC whose volume goes all the way to 11.

So what I did listen to this morning was a couple of short stories in the very entertaining so far Short Story Collection 057 at which I'd recently been picking while walking Norton: "Our Lady's Child" by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm and "The Golden Poppy" by Jack London. The Brothers Grimm story surprised me, as I didn't expect the Virgin Mary to appear as one of the central characters in a fairy tale. The Jack London tale, while entertaining, appeared to be a thinly disguised political defense of property rights.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:23 PM   #895
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I envy you your first time through the A/M books. I'm getting close to being ready for another read. Which would make the 5th or 6th time through. And I've read them in both Audible and e/pBook formats.
I know, I'm lucky! I was aware of the books and don't know why I apparently decided they were not for me, until early this year when a friend forced me to promise to give them a try, after her gentle suggestions had had no result.

So I read Master and Commander and it was sheer delight. And then, when I decided I wanted to try audiobooks, I saw Post Captain, read by Simon Vance, on Overdrive. It was more delightful still. I've thought books two through four were even better than the first, but whether it's because O'Brian hit his stride or Vance brings something extra, I don't know.

While I now own all the ebooks, my first run-through is going to be with Simon. Speaking of whom, I know you give the edge to Patrick Tull. I picked up his Master and Commander on a BOGO at Audible, so I'll try him eventually, but he'll have to be very good indeed to displace Simon Vance in my affections!
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:31 PM   #896
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If you started with Simon Vance, the chances are you'll continue to prefer him. Having started with Patrick Tull, I have a preference for him. But I've listened to the Simon Vance versions, and they're really quite good, so I don't see a strong reason to change. That being said, there is at least one other reader out there, and I was not impressed.
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:30 PM   #897
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I've started into the second Lost Regiment book, though I'm feeling disaffected with my TBR at moment.
Well, clearly Lost Regiment #2 didn't hold my interest as well as #1, because it took me over a month to finish it

To some extent reading/listening in general was on the back burner in favor of other activities, but there was also a lot more war and a lot less building in this one, and it was the civilization building that really sold the first one for me.

I'm two nights into The Magic Engineer (Recluce #3), which I'm finding more engaging. I grabbed Red Mars for my Kindle, too, and I do have the audiobook, so it might get in the mix. I've listened to it before but not read it, so this time I want to stick mostly to text for a closer read and then maybe move on to the sequels.
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:48 PM   #898
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Today I heard "Circumvented" by Rina Ramsey while cutting the grass ahead of today's rains. It comes from the same collection of short stories I mentioned yesterday. Wasn't my favorite of the bunch so far, but It wasn't bad.

These are the stories, in order, from the Librovox Short Story Collection 057:
• "Gooseberries" by Anton Chekhov
• "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
• "A Hunger Artist" by Franz Kafka
• "Hop Frog" by Edgar Allan Poe
• "Laughing Bill Hyde" by Rex Beach (Parts 1 & 2)
• "A Ramble in Aphasia" by O. Henry
• "Krambambuli" by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
• "Our Lady's Child" by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm
• "The Golden Poppy" by Jack London
• "Circumvented" by Rina Ramsey
• "The Cossack" by Anton Chekhov
• "The Trial For Murder" by Charles Dickens
• "The Oval Portrait" by Edgar Allan Poe
• "Leave it to Jeeves" by P. G. Wodehouse
• "A Horseman in the Sky" by Ambrose Bierce
• "Michael, A Pastoral Poem" by William Wordsworth
• "Memoirs of a Madman" by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
• "The Ambitious Guest" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
• "A Carnival Jangle" by Alice Dunbar Nelson
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:11 PM   #899
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Well, clearly Lost Regiment #2 didn't hold my interest as well as #1, because it took me over a month to finish it

To some extent reading/listening in general was on the back burner in favor of other activities, but there was also a lot more war and a lot less building in this one, and it was the civilization building that really sold the first one for me.

I'm two nights into The Magic Engineer (Recluce #3), which I'm finding more engaging. I grabbed Red Mars for my Kindle, too, and I do have the audiobook, so it might get in the mix. I've listened to it before but not read it, so this time I want to stick mostly to text for a closer read and then maybe move on to the sequels.
I found the Lost Regiment series to be on of those series that I enjoyed reading a whole lot more than I enjoyed listening to. I wish that I could find it in ebook. I will say that the series tailed off dramatically by the 5th or 6th book. That could be because there was a 5 year gap between the 4th and 5th book. I don't think I every read the last couple of books.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:51 PM   #900
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I know, I'm lucky! I was aware of the books and don't know why I apparently decided they were not for me, until early this year when a friend forced me to promise to give them a try, after her gentle suggestions had had no result.

So I read Master and Commander and it was sheer delight. And then, when I decided I wanted to try audiobooks, I saw Post Captain, read by Simon Vance, on Overdrive. It was more delightful still. I've thought books two through four were even better than the first, but whether it's because O'Brian hit his stride or Vance brings something extra, I don't know.

While I now own all the ebooks, my first run-through is going to be with Simon. Speaking of whom, I know you give the edge to Patrick Tull. I picked up his Master and Commander on a BOGO at Audible, so I'll try him eventually, but he'll have to be very good indeed to displace Simon Vance in my affections!
You really should give the Patrick Tull versions a try. I think he is a better storyteller, and I do find Stephen's accent just wrong with Simon Vance.
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