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Sunday Morning Book Thread - 06-25-2023 ["Perfessor" Squirrel]

062523-Library.jpg

Welcome to the prestigious, internationally acclaimed, stately, and illustrious Sunday Morning Book Thread! The place where all readers are welcome, regardless of whatever guilty pleasure we feel like reading (solid thriller story with good people killing bad people doing bad things). Here is where we can discuss, argue, bicker, quibble, consider, debate, confabulate, converse, and jaw about our latest fancy in reading material. As always, pants are required, especially if you are wearing these pants (wing sauce optional...)

So relax, find yourself a warm kitty (or warm puppy--I won't judge) to curl up in your lap, and dive into a new book. What are YOU reading this fine morning?

PIC NOTE

The Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library has a very unusual design. The exterior is very reminiscent of the Colosseum in Rome. I'm pretty sure it was used for establishing shots in the television show Fringe to inform the audience when the setting transitioned to the alternate universe's "Fringe Division" exterior. It's unique architecture does lead me to believe some very strange stuff could be going on in there...

QUICK NOTES

I thought I'd try something a bit different this week. There were several interesting questions or points brought up in the comments last week, so I wanted to elaborate my own thoughts on some of them. Each of these could probably be the subject of a Sunday Morning Book Thread in the future. So please keep posting your thoughts and ideas in the comments!

I really, really appreciate the nice things you say about my efforts to compile the Sunday Morning Book Thread. The truth, of course, is that I could not do this without the inspiration and support of the COBs who also spend a fair amount of their own time and effort to compile content for AoSHQ. Be sure to give kudos to them on their own threads from time to time! (Especially ace since this is his blog!)


I had a pleasant week of reading planned out. Read more of TJM's Colonial Nightmare which is a fun read [NOTE TO SELF: Order this book-PS]. Get more into books on sketching with various media. Look at my Brambly Hedge book to enjoy the wonderful illustrations. Some other bits and pieces.

Then the rabbit hole appeared.

It started with a YT video by Mapster, called "Tolkien's Incredible Map of Middle-Earth", on how the LOTR maps were created, both for the stories and physically. (The video is excellent.) That led to my copy of "The Atlas of Middle-Earth" by Karen Wynn Fonstad which I haven't read in ages and forgot how enjoyable it is. That made me think of the maps in "Treasure Island" I loved as a child so I re-read the book. That revived my interest in maps and charts and navigation in general. That means I got a good compass and some books on reading maps and basic navigation. That made me dig out the copies on primitive camping by Nessmuk and Horace Kephart. (I like how Nessmuk, around the turn of the 20th century, criticizes the current crop of campers who buy their camping trips instead of learning how to camp.) That led to my books of the journals of early explorers.

Rabbit holes are fun but dangerous.

Posted by: JTB at June 18, 2023 09:08 AM (7EjX1)

Comment: This video popped up in my own YouTube video feed so I gave it a watch based on JTB's recommendation. It was well worth my time, as the presenter goes into the history of how Tolkien conceived of and created his maps. He was not a cartographer, so his thinking was the map was created by the Hobbits after their journeys had ended and they strove to put together a visual representation of their journey. Christopher Tolkien was the true cartographer, painstakingly drawing the map multiple times to correct for mistakes and to clear up some of the clutter. I have a large copy of this map hanging on the wall of my library. It's a reminder to me that the journey is as important, if not more so, than the destination.

+++++


Perfesser, I want to suggest a regular question for the book thread:

"What *upcoming* (soon to be released) book are you looking forward to?"

I will elaborate in a follow-up comment as my pancakes might burn

Posted by: vmom stabby stabby stabby stabby stabamillion at June 18, 2023 09:20 AM (vHIgi)

Comment: Don't let me down, Horde! I know you can list a lot of upcoming books that are of interest to you! As for me, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Tad Williams' The Navigator's Children, the final book in the Last King of Osten Ard. Unlike certain other epic fantasy authors (*cough* George R.R. Martin *cough*), Williams knows how to finish off an epic fantasy series properly. He's not let me down yet. I'm also looking forward to the next volume in Jim Butcher's The Cinder Spires. The first volume ended on a suitably epic cliffhanger, and so I've been waiting for years until he could get around to working on this series again. Both of these are supposed to be released in November.

+++++


Not herniatic door stops"

Haven't read Estleman but have heard good things about him, but the door stop thing hits home.

William Goldman told of a conversation he once had with George Roy Hill re movies. Hill said "If you can't tell your story in an hour and forty minutes, you'd better be David Lean." There should maybe be a similar principle in operation for novels. Something like, "If you can't tell your story in 300 pages, you'd better be Dickens, James, or Tolstoy." I dimly recall that someone (can't remember who) once commented that a book over a thousand pages should probably be regarded as a criminal offense.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at June 18, 2023 09:46 AM (a/4+U)

Comment: I'll admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for "herniatic door stoppers." I'm not afraid to crack open a thousand-page book if I feel the story will keep me interested and engaged. However, over the past couple of years, I've been keeping track of my reading in detail. These days I tend towards the shorter end of the doorstopper spectrum as I seem to be more focused on reading quantity. That is, I've been trying to read well over a hundred books a year for the past couple of years. So far, so good, but doorstoppers tend to put a crimp in that plan for obvious reasons. I'll read the same amount of pages in a week, but finish fewer books. Full disclosure: I ordered Brandon Sanderson's Rhythm of War (1200+ pages) back in 2020 when it was first released. Still haven't opened it.

+++++


Spenser's climactic battle with Phil, the gunman, in Book One is not to be missed, though.'

That's an interesting topic, how action/violence is written and how the reader processes it. The first book I did is essentially a fantastic horror piece, and has a lot of violence (interwebz Chinese Hell, you'll see why!), and it was a challenge to write it as descriptive. Violence can read as lurid, restrained, matter-of-fact, and it affects how the reader feels about it.

Posted by: LenNeal at June 18, 2023 11:52 AM (43xH1)

Comment: This is a great topic for further discussion. Action scenes in a story can be difficult to write well. My favorite ones are where the action feels very "cinematic" as though I can watch it on a screen inside my mind, following the twists and turns as the heroes and villains battle back and forth. Clifford D. Simak is fantastic at writing western action scenes. You feel like you are a gunslinger in the old west as he shows you the action. Great stuff! The aforementioned Brandon Sanderson also does it quite well. I liken the climax of Stormlight Archive Book 1 -- The Way of Kings to a team up of Iron Man, King Leonidas from 300, and Maximus from Gladiator. Just incredible, emotional action in those last 100 pages. About one third of Robert Jordan's A Memory of Light is devoted to action sequences as it's the Final Battle for the fate of humanity. Think Avengers: Endgame but a thousand times bigger, better, and more badass. Who else does action right?

++++++++++

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++++++++++

BOOK SALES!

Hans G. Schantz has an announcement for y'all:


Bypass the cultural gatekeeping, support non-woke authors, and get yourself some great books from both established and emerging talent. The Big Based Book Sale runs through Tuesday June 27, 2023. The sale offers about 150 books for free or $0.99, including about sixty works new to the sale. The contributors include science fiction grandmasters, Dragon Award winners and nominees, established mainstream authors, and emerging indie talent.

"The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own," Tolkien noted. At a time when evil continues trying to corrupt and ruin what the good have created, support genuine creators, and get some great books from authors who don't hate you!

Thanks for supporting small press and indie authors.

Best Regards,

Hans

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(click for larger image)


I also took advantage of a local public library book sale this week and picked up the following items:


  • The Mammoth Book of Apocalyptic SF edited by Mike Ashley -- I've enjoyed the other anthologies he's edited and the stories in this anthology sound interesting, if depressing.

  • Prey by Michael Crichton -- I do enjoy a good science fiction horror novel involving intelligent (or semi-intelligent) nanotech gone wild.
  • The Reluctant King Book 1 - The Goblin Tower by L. Sprague de Camp -- This came in a bundle with the following two books and I thought the L. Sprague de Camp book I picked up recently was OK. So I'll give these a shot.

  • The Reluctant King Book 2 - The Clocks of Iraz by L. Sprague de Camp

  • The Reluctant King Book 3 - The Unbeheaded King by L. Sprague de Camp

  • Modern Classics of Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois -- An anthology of quality science fiction stories from authors such as Damon Knight, Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe, Ursula K. LeGuin, R.A. Lafferty, and more.

  • Tamerlane: The Earth Shaker by Harold Lamb -- Trimegistus recommended another Lamb book recently, Genghis Khan: The Emperor of All Men. I saw this book at the book sale ($7 since it's from 192 and wanted to give Harold Lamb a try.

  • Dark Dance by Tanith Lee -- A contemporary horror novel where a woman and her daughter become embroiled in ancient evil family secrets...all to preserve their bloodline.

  • Red as Blood, or Tales from the Sisters Grimm by Tanith Lee -- A collection of re-imagined fairy tales, told as only Tanith Lee can tell them...

  • They Thirst by Robert McCammon -- This was a signed copy. It's a vampire story set in L.A. Could be interesting as I like a good vampire tale, as long as they don't sparkle. You know which ones I mean.

  • Heechee Saga Book 1 - Gateway by Frederik Pohl -- I have the first two books in hardcover already, but this was part of a 4-book bundle for $5. Not a bad deal.

  • Heechee Saga Book 2 - Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl

  • Heechee Saga Book 3 - Heechee Rendezvous by Frederik Pohl

  • Heechee Saga Book 4 - The Annals of the Heechee by Frederik Pohl

  • The Wheel of Darkness by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child -- Preston & Child have been recommended a few times around here before, so I thought I'd check them out as they do sound like I'd enjoy their stories. OK. I read the first chapter of this one, then decided I had to go back to the book sale to scoop up the rest of the available Agent Pendergast novels...

  • Dance of Death by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

  • Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

  • Still Life with Crows by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

  • Fever Dream by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

  • Halting State by Charles Stross -- A crime investigation in the weird world of MMORPGs...

  • Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien -- These are a pair of short novellas he wrote late in his life. I already have this in paperback, but couldn't pass up the hardcover edition

  • The Dragonships Book 4 - Doom of the Dragon by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman -- I have the first two books of this series, but not Book 3, so I guess I'll need to order that one someday.

As book hauls go, that's not too shabby for just under $40! On a side note, the library staff gave me a couple of paper bags in which to carry my purchases. Naturally, my cats find those bags highly interesting...

Library book sales--Fun for the whole family!

++++++++++

MORON RECOMMENDATIONS


I picked up some used paperbacks last weekend and have been enjoying them a lot.

The first was Gengis Khan: Emperor of All Men, by Harold Lamb. Lamb was a novelist and pop-historian in the first half of the 20th century, but he did his research. (He worked for the OSS in WWII, though I don't know what he was up to.)

This book, obviously, is about the Great Khan himself, how he gained power, conquered everything he could reach, and finally died. It's frank about his limitations but praises his qualities. Not a hagiography, but Lamb obviously admires the Khan's courage, willpower, and wisdom.

It did leave me wondering . . . Great Man or Tides of History here? Did the Mongol conquest of most of Asia happen because Genghis was so personally awesome, or was there something hidden in Mongol birthrates and the rainfall patterns of the steppes that made the horde inevitable?
Posted by: Trimegistus at June 18, 2023 09:16 AM (QZxDR)

Comment: This sparked a very interesting discussion in last week's Sunday Morning Book Thread about whether or not events in history would have happened if certain "Great Men" were not around to kick them off. Note that "Great" in this context does not mean "good" as many so-called "Great Men" did horrific things, but left a lasting impact on world history as a result of their actions.

+++++


Happy Fathers Day, Morons! Don't laugh, but I've finally begun reading Moby Dick as I approach the 23rd anniversary of my 29th.birthday. My Dad had a unique career as a (non-hobby) farmer and high school teacher of English/World literature. I remember him once conversing with a friend who asked if he taught Moby Dick in class. He replied "oh no - young people don't deserve to read Moby Dick". That evidently left a mark on my mind.... but I now understand what he meant. Yesterday I had to pause and luxuriate in this phrase: ".....for there is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men." This maxim, like youth in general, would be wasted on the young.

Posted by: Matthew Kant Cipher at June 18, 2023 10:09 AM (QyWX+)

Comment: When I looked up Moby Dick on Amazon, I discovered that it has a Lexile level of 730L, which isn't terribly difficult. However, when I looked up Moby Dick on Lexile's own website, the level was all over the place, depending on the particular author who retold the story, ranging from 360L (as retold by Kathy Burke) to 1230 (the original author Herman Melville). I guess it's been dumbed down over the years...Or the readers have been dumbed down to accept a "retelling" of the story as the actual story itself. Naturally, a lot of important context and nuance is left out of these altered versions.

+++++


Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker describes the evolution of schizophrenia research from seeking psychological cures to determining biological and, perhaps, hereditary roots. The primary subjects of the book are the Galvins, a family with twelve children (10 boys, 2 girls) of which six of the sons were diagnosed with the disease. It's a pretty fascinating and depressing book. One of the passages that stood out most to me was his discussion of how early psychiatric efforts to cure the disease were in part an attempt to wrest control from the eugenicists, who just thought they should all be elimintated. Unfortunately, some of that led to the deinstitutionalization movement, the effects of which we see all around us today.

Posted by: Moonbeam at June 18, 2023 11:08 AM (rbKZ6)

Comment: That's pretty wild that half of the kids were diagnosed with schizophrenia, all of them boys. I know schizophrenia seems to manifest itself at much higher rates in boys than in girls, though it's certainly not confined to one gender. Look at Ellen (now Elliot) Page. We saw an article here not long ago where she mentioned she started hearing voices that convinced her to transition to a man. Schizophrenia is a very, very weird condition. Unfortunately, treatment is difficult and there is no lasting cure. It also has be frightening and disorienting to those who suffer from it, as their perception of reality is distorted, making them unable to distinguish the imaginary voices in their head from the real voices of people who care about them and want to help them.

+++++


Finally finished James A. Michener's Alaska. I've read 7 of his novels and enjoyed them all but Alaska was a challenge to finish. The tome is wordy, even for Michener, and when he spins a tale, it is detailed like no other. I skipped the first three sections on the geologic formation of Alaska, the mastadons and the first peoples across the Bering Strait and picked up the story in the days of the early explorers. The history of Alaska is fascinating and I have a new appreciation for the early settlers, both pioneer and indigenous. The land was plundered and largely ungovernable when the Russians were in charge but some civilized and religious progress was made. Once the vast wilderness was purchased by the U.S., plundering expanded and further progress was first squandered in favor of corruption by a small cabal of Seattle businessmen (and their D.C. lobbyists). A distant and disinterested government has been a constant problem and continues today. The indigenous peoples were ignored and shoved to the side, labeled as too ignorant to decide their own future. I now need the history on Alaska from 1988 to present to be fully informed.

Posted by: Legally Sufficient at June 18, 2023 10:21 AM (vfKOf)

Comment: Speaking of doorstoppers, James A. Michener is no stranger to these. Pretty much all of the books of his I've seen fit this category. I do remember reading a couple of his books when I was in high school many moons ago and liking them somewhat. Perhaps when I've run out of my current selection of doorstoppers TBR, I will return to James A. Michener and give him another chance...

More Moron-recommended reading material can be found HERE! (840 Moron-recommended books so far!)

+-----+-----+-----+-----+

WHAT I'VE BEEN READING THIS PAST WEEK:


  • The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson -- The conclusion of the second age of the Mistborn series. Strangely relevant in today's world. Foreign infiltrators in the city-state of Elendil are attempting to gin up a foreign war to justify their own use of devastating weapons within the city that will destroy it, thus allowing an evil god to take over the world! I think Pinky and the Brain might be involved in here somewhere...

  • Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien -- Two fairy tales with unconventional twists.

  • Halting State by Charles Stross -- Stross is huge fan of incomprehensible technobabble in his writing, I've noticed. Also, I'm not sure I like the "second person" writing technique he uses to bounce between the three main characters' viewpoints. Gets a little disorienting.

  • Still Life with Crows by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child -- Part of the Agent Pendergast mystery series.

That's about all I have for this week. Thank you for all of your kind words regarding the Sunday Morning Book Thread. This is a very special place. You are very special people (in all the best ways!). The kindness, generosity, and wisdom of the Moron Horde knows no bounds. Let's keep reading!

If you have any suggestions for improvement, reading recommendations, or discussion topics that you'd like to see on the Sunday Morning Book Thread, you can send them to perfessor dot squirrel at-sign gmail dot com. Your feedback is always appreciated! You can also take a virtual tour of OUR library at libib.com/u/perfessorsquirrel. Since I added sections for AoSHQ, I now consider it OUR library, rather than my own personal fiefdom...

PREVIOUS SUNDAY MORNING BOOK THREAD - 06-18-23 (NOTE: Do NOT comment on old threads!)

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Posted by: Open Blogger at 09:00 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of comments)

1 no reading this week

Posted by: rhennigantx at June 25, 2023 08:59 AM (BRHaw)

2 Nothing to speak of.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:01 AM (Angsy)

3 Tolle Lege
But only been reading PDF on Napoleonic warfare, do want to get back to Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series

Posted by: Skip at June 25, 2023 09:01 AM (xhxe8)

4 Lots of windows in the library, but why do I think there's not much enlightenment there?

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:02 AM (Angsy)

5 I thought I'd try something a bit different this week.

Not the whips again!

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:03 AM (Angsy)

6 Anything by Leon Uris is a good book.


Exodus was a most delightful read in my teen years.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at June 25, 2023 09:04 AM (1n+EO)

7 That "library" looks like an upscale mall. It will therefore soon be a pickleball court.

https://tinyurl.com/mrx5ka43

Posted by: Archimedes at June 25, 2023 09:04 AM (eOEVl)

8 Anyone else finishing TJM's Colonial Nightmare?

Posted by: Skip at June 25, 2023 09:06 AM (xhxe8)

9 hiya

Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 09:07 AM (T4tVD)

10 Action? Donald Hamilton, of course. Some of his scenes could be done cinematically, but they would require several viewings to see everything that goes on.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 09:07 AM (p/isN)

11 I don't think that the Pants Guy owns a weedwhacker. (if you catch my drift....)

Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 09:08 AM (T4tVD)

12 With power out for most of a week -- did the Tulsa windstorm get any national attention? -- one would think that the forced absence of TV and computer would have provided plenty of time to read after work and before nightfall.

Except for the time lost to hunting for ice, collecting the trash, and retrieving a runaway cat. And like that, reading time went poof.

So I've barely started "Pronto," but's it's shaping up to be another Elmore Leonard hum-dinger.

The story so far: A bookie who's been skimming and has plans to skip out is set up by the feds, who want his testimony against his boss. He kills a hit man and is arrested. Oddly, the shotgun the hit man pulled on him didn't get mentioned in the police report; so much for a self-defense argument. He's looking at Murder Two at the least.

Unexpectedly bailed out, he's easy pickings. How will he get out of this? First, he has to ditch the U.S. marshal who is babysitting him. A guy named Rayland Givens.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 09:08 AM (p/isN)

13 Hello, librosexuals!

Perf, I reread "Farmer Giles" a while back in a special edition with lots of Pauline Banes illustrations. What a delight! The duel of wits between Giles and the wily dragon were so fun.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at June 25, 2023 09:08 AM (CCf9N)

14 especially if you are wearing these pants

********

Does my ass make these pants look big?

Posted by: Pants model at June 25, 2023 09:09 AM (kXYt5)

15 my novel, jambiya, ballooned to 400 pages from about 50, with a lot of padding, maps, exposition in several languages
settings from aden to morocco to the south of spain,

Posted by: no 6 at June 25, 2023 09:09 AM (PXvVL)

16 Preston and Child are very good authors. Some of their Agent Pendergast books are parts of trilogies, but if you go to their website, they have a breakdown of which books are standalone and which should be read in order.

Posted by: Thomas Paine at June 25, 2023 09:09 AM (pmMZZ)

17 I've got less than 100 pages left on the first volume of Ford Madox Ford's biography. I had no idea it would be this interesting.

For all his Edwardian country gentleman airs, Ford was a fricken sex machine, flouting convention, getting sued by his wife for libel when he announced he had remarried without obtaining a divorce. He could have been prosecuted for bigamy, but since there was no proof of the remarriage (maybe because he destroyed it?), he eluded that trap.

So he's shacked up with his not-wife, and her health is declining, and she brings in a young girl to help with secretarial duties and...obviously his lustful gaze falls upon the young lass.

Hard to see how he had time to write 18 novels by the age of forty when he was chasing so much tail, but there we are.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:10 AM (llXky)

18 my novel, jambiya, ballooned to 400 pages from about 50, with a lot of padding, maps, exposition in several languages
settings from aden to morocco to the south of spain,

Posted by: no 6 at June 25, 2023 09:09 AM (PXvVL)
---
The original treatment of Man of Destiny ran 20 pages.

I then fleshed it out into four books, so yeah. That happens.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:11 AM (llXky)

19 "The Saffron Scourge. The Bloody Flux. The Breakbone Fever. The Blue Death"

-- it's a MAN's life in the Royal Navy!

"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned." -- Samuel Johnson

David Grann, who also wrote the excellent "The Lost City of Z", weaves historical narrative like a novel. "The Wager" is about a disastrous 1740 mission in which the HMS Wager set out to seize a Spanish galleon stuffed with treasure. It instead wrecked off the southwest coast of Patagonia, and after months of privation the marooned men managed to cobble together a rickety craft and sail back home, where they were hailed as heroes.

Until a second group of survivors made land in Chile and claimed the first group were a pack of filthy mutineers!

The description of scurvy is horrifying.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at June 25, 2023 09:11 AM (CCf9N)

20 Thanks Perf.
smashwords.com is another alternative publisher- sales site.

Posted by: 13times at June 25, 2023 09:12 AM (Gsry9)

21 As book hauls go, that's not too shabby for just under $40

==


not at all !

==

The first was Gengis Khan: Emperor of All Men, by Harold Lamb. Lamb was a novelist and pop-historian in the first half of the 20th century, but he did his research. (He worked for the OSS in WWII, though I don't know what he was up to.


good. it's hard to find a quality bio. after the first chapter, or earlier, most of them want to veer off into sleep inducing schoolbook .


Posted by: runner at June 25, 2023 09:13 AM (V13WU)

22 Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien -- Two fairy tales with unconventional twists.
---
There are some wonderful stories to be found amongst Tolkien's minor works. He was just such a gifted writer, and his whimsical Saxon England it quite enjoyable.

Part of me wishes he'd spent less time re-writing The Silmarillion and more on The Little Kingdom.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:13 AM (llXky)

23 my novel, jambiya, ballooned to 400 pages from about 50, with a lot of padding, maps, exposition in several languages
settings from aden to morocco to the south of spain,

Posted by: no 6 at June 25, 2023 09:09 AM (PXvVL)

Is that better, or worse than being at 30k words and feeling you're getting near the end of a "novel?"

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:15 AM (Angsy)

24 Preston and Child are very good authors. Some of their Agent Pendergast books are parts of trilogies, but if you go to their website, they have a breakdown of which books are standalone and which should be read in order.
Posted by: Thomas Paine at June 25, 2023 09:09 AM (pmMZZ)
----
Agent Pendergast is very unusual. I've only read about 40 pages of the book and there's something very "off" about him.

I suspect he's not entirely human.

Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at June 25, 2023 09:15 AM (BpYfr)

25 Spent more time reading this week.

Finished "The Grey Man - Changes" by JL Curtis (book 3 of 6).
Also finished "The Grey Man - Partners" (book 4)
Currently reading "The Grey Man - Twilight" (book 5).

Book 3 closes the arc on dealing with the cartels while it opens another unexpected door.

These continue to be very entertaining reads. If you like stories involving veterans, Marines, Sheriff's departments (and the ne'er to do wells they always seem to encounter) as well as unorthodox lawyers woven in with ranching and oil patch themes, you'll like these books.

Posted by: Grumpy and Recalcitrant at June 25, 2023 09:16 AM (nRMeC)

26 Dug out more of the books from the moved neighbor. A couple of westerns and what looks like a "sea story." Found the Diary of Samuel Pepys, might save that one for later.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:17 AM (Angsy)

27 About one third of Robert Jordan's A Memory of Light is devoted to action sequences as it's the Final Battle for the fate of humanity.

I could tell Jordan wrote that part, and not just because I deduced it from interviews. Sanderson was almost perfect in his imitation of Jordan's writing, but there was something (can't exactly remember what it was) that was a "tell."

Posted by: pookysgirl needs sleep at June 25, 2023 09:18 AM (dtlDP)

28 Is that better, or worse than being at 30k words and feeling you're getting near the end of a "novel?"

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:15 AM (Angsy)
---
My shortest book is Three Weeks with the Coasties, and that's 41,000 words.

Say what you want to say, and be done with it. Better to have the core of the tale at 30,000 words than no end in sight at 60,000.

If you're worried that it is too short, go back through and look at things like description and whether the characters could use a couple of additional scenes to show who they are.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:18 AM (llXky)

29 I read Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA by Tim Weiner. The title comes from President Eisenhower who said that the CIA's failures handed future generations "a legacy of ashes." In this critical history, Weiner chronicles the agency's few successes and its multitude of failures from the pre-OSS days of WW II to the Iraq war of the 2000's. Published in 2007, the book is a bit dated, but it seems since then the CIA has learned three things: How to spy more effectively on U. S. citizens, how to interfere in U. S. elections, and how to conduct psyops against us. The book is an interesting read.

Posted by: Zoltan at June 25, 2023 09:18 AM (qzhFY)

30 Good Sunday morning, horde!

This week, I continued reading some things I've already mentioned in previous book threads, so won't revisit them.

On audio, I listened to "Never Ask Me" by Jeff Abbott. I think I reserved this one specifically because one of the readers is Will Collyer, whose narration I really enjoyed in Joe R. Lansdale's "The Thicket." Which is another great book, by the way.

"Never Ask Me" is one of the most interesting whodunnits that I've experienced in a long time. Just about every character is involved in suspicious activity, and it strung me along to the very end. I was getting close to who was involved in the murder, but even then, I did not see the actual culprit coming. My biggest regret is that I listened to it, rather that read it myself.

I'd have savored it better if I read hard copy, I think.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at June 25, 2023 09:19 AM (OX9vb)

31 Booken morgen horden

Posted by: vmom stabby stabby stabby stabby stabamillion at June 25, 2023 09:19 AM (lPgXk)

32 Don't let me down, Horde! I know you can list a lot of upcoming books that are of interest to you!

I think any book I'd be interested in reading has already been written, Perfessor. Anyone else feel they're not interested in any new stuff?

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:19 AM (Angsy)

33 . As always, pants are required, especially if you are wearing these pants

A cavill: I believe the original OM formulation was *even* if you're wearing these pants.

Posted by: Bandersnatch at June 25, 2023 09:19 AM (GzDfN)

34 "As always, pants are required, especially if you are wearing these pants

A cavill: I believe the original OM formulation was *even* if you're wearing these pants."

Obligatory...I've heard it both ways.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at June 25, 2023 09:22 AM (1n+EO)

35 I'll admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for "herniatic door stoppers."

The only one I've read that qualifies for hds is Shogun. Tai-pan is close, but not as long.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:22 AM (Angsy)

36 Agent Pendergast is very unusual. I've only read about 40 pages of the book and there's something very "off" about him.

I suspect he's not entirely human.
Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel


Yes, as you get into the various books, you slowly get further glimpses into his history, replete with his ancestors' activities which impact his life. Think of him as a modern Sherlock Holmes who has a family tree full of wealth and the criminally insane.

Posted by: Thomas Paine at June 25, 2023 09:22 AM (pmMZZ)

37 "I'll admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for "herniatic door stoppers."

The only one I've read that qualifies for hds is Shogun. Tai-pan is close, but not as long."

I admit, I actually read and enjoyed Battlefield Earth.

I was also maybe 12 years old at the time.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at June 25, 2023 09:23 AM (1n+EO)

38 I saw somewhere this week a comment that only 1% of ancient literature had survived to the present day.

Modern day literature deserves the same fate.

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 09:24 AM (kXYt5)

39 Anything by Leon Uris is a good book.


Exodus was a most delightful read in my teen years.
Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at June 25, 2023 09:04 AM (1n+EO)

Mila 18 and Armageddon are also good books.

Posted by: mrp at June 25, 2023 09:24 AM (rj6Yv)

40 I'm a rookie but the content is so good!
Thanks PS!

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at June 25, 2023 09:26 AM (gdCjN)

41 I haven't read the latest in the Way of Kings series. I also am struggling to keep up with my normal podcasts. I think it's because I'm either doing intense games or knitting with something going that isn't hugely visual. Now that I think about it, knitting projects have kind of pushed reading books out of my free time.

Posted by: pookysgirl makes a lot of stuff for other people at June 25, 2023 09:28 AM (dtlDP)

42 "Moby Dick" blew me away. When I finished I thought, "Melville was about 100 years ahead of his time."

Posted by: Taro Tsujimoto at June 25, 2023 09:31 AM (5YmYl)

43 there is a gaggle on ancestry on both sides of the ledger in my tale, Russian English Saudi so that does fill up the space,

Posted by: no 6 at June 25, 2023 09:31 AM (PXvVL)

44 I started working just a few hours a week at used bookstore. Dangerous. The unexpected delight is the people. They love to tell you about their favorite books, favorite authors and are thrilled if you enjoy them, too. One woman came in to drop of a donation, but instead of just leaving the stack she laid each book down on the counter and provided a short summary and review for each one. Naturally there was one where she gave the review, paused with her hand on the book, then quickly tucked it under her arm and whispered, "I think I need to read this again!"

Posted by: the cat at June 25, 2023 09:31 AM (nTi7J)

45 Would love to hang around the thread, but Mrs Some Guy's family reunion is today so non-thread real life takes priority.

Have a good one, gang.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at June 25, 2023 09:32 AM (a/4+U)

46 I've recommended this before but will mention again. "The Twenty-Fourth of June" by Grace S. Richmond is a delightful story of a young man of means who is inspired by a young woman who has only contempt for his indolent lifestyle. He turns his life around to win her. Published in 1914, it's a wonderful escape from the superficiality of today. Family, romance, suspense.

Posted by: Miley, okravangelist at June 25, 2023 09:33 AM (Mzdiz)

47 Cinematic writing. When the Blight attacks the orbital ring, followed by the escape of Ravna, Blueshell and crew of Out of Band II during the Fall of Relay in “A Fire Upon the Deep,” is cinematic and a lot of fun to read

Posted by: 13times at June 25, 2023 09:33 AM (MZupG)

48 Read Moby Dick some years ago but liked it

Posted by: Skip at June 25, 2023 09:33 AM (xhxe8)

49 I saw somewhere this week a comment that only 1% of ancient literature had survived to the present day.

- Interesting.

Modern day literature deserves the same fate.
Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 09:24 AM (kXYt5)

-modern day... would you say in the last 30 years or less ?

Posted by: runner at June 25, 2023 09:33 AM (V13WU)

50 The Gwynyth Paltrow pants are as sexy as fuck!

She truly understands the art of the goop.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 09:34 AM (KVGVf)

51 >>I'll admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for "herniatic door stoppers."



*Neal Stepheson has entered the chat

Posted by: the cat at June 25, 2023 09:34 AM (nTi7J)

52 Looking forward to the next volume in the Rick Atkinson Revolut
ionary War series.

Posted by: Taro Tsujimoto at June 25, 2023 09:35 AM (5YmYl)

53 One satisfying book read was The Battle of Lake Erie by well known Horde commenter, bon vivant[I/], and sophisticated father The James Madison.

Well told tale. Straightforward, with appealing characters, and sound depictions of brutal naval combat in the age of iron men and sails. I would recommend this to everyone with a boy of 10 in their llves.

Posted by: NaCly Dog (u82oZ) at June 25, 2023 09:35 AM (u82oZ)

54 Yikes!

Posted by: NaCly Dog (u82oZ) at June 25, 2023 09:35 AM (u82oZ)

55 My other reading this week was China's Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) by Shih Bin.

It may seem odd to pick this up after publishing Walls of Men, but I was actually trying to run to ground a theory about 1938-stamped Mosin 1891/30s being in Spain, and to do that, I needed to rule out Chinese origin.

Given the circumstances, that's not possible to do with absolute certainty, but I think the preponderance of evidence points to the fact that it would have been very difficult for these rifles to have come from China. Spain is the most likely origin.

As a bonus, I reached out to the author for additional information, and he was courteous enough to reply. I love when that happens. Stanley G. Payne also was nice enough to answer my fan mail.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:35 AM (llXky)

56 The only coming books that I know of and will interest me are the continuation of the Girl Genius webcomic and TPB series by Phil and Kaja Foglio and the Reckless graphic novel series by Ed Brubaker. I've not read any Reckless, but Brubaker has earned my trust.

In regard to story lengths, the Foglios have set aside the main Girl Genius story for a standalone book focusing on a secondary character. Somewhere along the way they decided to turn this story into its own TPB, which means it needs to be a minimum number of pages. Each page is amusing, but as far as the story is concerned, it's way overpadded.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 09:35 AM (p/isN)

57 👀
*Bandersnatch !

Posted by: runner at June 25, 2023 09:36 AM (V13WU)

58 Serious (or at least as serious as I care to be) question: Where did the notion that a novel had to be a certain minimum word or page count arise from?

Was it a legacy publisher thing related to cost effectiveness of setting up a publishing run (too expensive for short books)? Or authors' inflated sense of importance and the notion that great literature needed great heft? Outdoing the other guy? Or something else?

I would think in a self-published environment that if properly presented and priced, a well-told albeit shorter story could be successful as a stand-alone.

I don't care for the notion of writing while keeping one eye on the word count. If you have a story to tell, tell it.

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 09:37 AM (kXYt5)

59 I saw somewhere this week a comment that only 1% of ancient literature had survived to the present day.

Modern day literature deserves the same fate.

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 09:24 AM (kXYt5)
---
You're being far too generous.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:37 AM (llXky)

60 44 ...she laid each book down on the counter and provided a short summary and review for each one. Naturally there was one where she gave the review, paused with her hand on the book, then quickly tucked it under her arm and whispered, "I think I need to read this again!"
Posted by: the cat at June 25, 2023 09:31 AM (nTi7J)

What fun! And, if nothing else, perhaps your wages will support your own habit.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at June 25, 2023 09:37 AM (OX9vb)

61 If you're worried that it is too short, go back through and look at things like description and whether the characters could use a couple of additional scenes to show who they are.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:18 AM (llXky)

My research seems to show that the word count for "novels" creeped up. I don't remember the classic novels being all that long. Now, the internet talking heads say 60 - 70k for a novel, up to 100k, although the top is more for saga types and fantasy that has world building.

The Perry Mason was only 200 pages, the Ellery Queen and the Hopalong books were around 300. The TBR stack are about 220 pages, so, I'm thinking large page counts aren't needed, if you can tell the story in fewer, but, that doesn't appear to be what the market wants.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:37 AM (Angsy)

62 I'll admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for "herniatic door stoppers."

*Neal Stepheson has entered the chat
Posted by: the cat at June 25, 2023 09:34 AM (nTi7J)
---
Yes, I have my fair share of Stephenson doorstoppers...

Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at June 25, 2023 09:38 AM (BpYfr)

63 I liked cryptonimicon and the baroque series, but read me and that time travel and witchcraft duo was too much, same for fall, where they bring back enoch from the first book

Posted by: no 6 at June 25, 2023 09:39 AM (PXvVL)

64 Library of Alexandria , "Historians have estimated that at one time the Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India, and many other nations. Over 100 scholars lived at the Museum full-time to perform research, write, lecture, or translate and copy documents. The library was so large it had another branch or "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis."

Posted by: runner at June 25, 2023 09:39 AM (V13WU)

65 would you say in the last 30 years or less ?
Posted by: runner

*******

Sure. Somewhere in that range. The sheer volume of dreck in the self-published era is staggering.

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 09:40 AM (kXYt5)

66 Modern day literature deserves the same fate.

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 09:24 AM (kXYt5)

You could be right, I'll think it over, Mulldoon....

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:41 AM (Angsy)

67 My research seems to show that the word count for "novels" creeped up. I don't remember the classic novels being all that long. Now, the internet talking heads say 60 - 70k for a novel, up to 100k, although the top is more for saga types and fantasy that has world building.

The Perry Mason was only 200 pages, the Ellery Queen and the Hopalong books were around 300. The TBR stack are about 220 pages, so, I'm thinking large page counts aren't needed, if you can tell the story in fewer, but, that doesn't appear to be what the market wants.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:37 AM (Angsy)
---
Novels used to be barely over 100 pages. Word processors have caused a lot of bloat and I would write what you want to write and call it a day. Maybe it's a "novella," but it's finished, and the worst complaint a short book will get is "Gosh, I wish I could read more."

So do a sequel.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:41 AM (llXky)

68 Good morning fellow Book Threadists. I hope everyone had a great week of reading.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 09:41 AM (7EjX1)

69 This week's these pants' entry inspire too many appropriate comments to list. So much snark, so little time.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 09:43 AM (7EjX1)

70 Who are you and what have you done with Muldoon?

Posted by: Way, Way Downriver at June 25, 2023 09:43 AM (4PZHB)

71 I just finished the sequel to Michael Z. Williamson's "A Long Time Until Now", which was about a group of soldiers and airmen in Afghanistan sent back in time to the Neolithic era. After a long slog in the Stone Age, they are thrust forward into the future by the scientists who meddled with time travel, observed and studied like fascinating primitives, and then whisked back to the present.

In this part, "That Was Now, This Is Then", the team has been reassembled to go back in time to retrieve another lost group of soldiers (and their equipment), and also return a poor displaced Neolithic teen who got sucked into modern times.

I've enjoyed these stories, which have threads of survival, culture clash, culture drift, and anthropology. The two different temporally displaced groups had very different experiences: one maintained discipline and stuck to modern mores; the other team (legitimately assuming they'd never return) had a couple members who got acclimated to the Stone Age a little too well.

One LOL was the team finding a cave painting with stick figure hunters retreating in terror from a...winged sky squid.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at June 25, 2023 09:43 AM (CCf9N)

72 Good morning all, and as always, thank you Perfessor for The Book Thread! Several weeks ago author Adrian Tchaikovsky and his Children of Time Trilogy was discussed in the comments. Someone (to whom I owe a big thank you) wrote that after finishing Book 3, Children of Memory, that they went back and re-read Book 2, Children of Ruin. Well I was just finishing *Memory* and decided that I would follow the good commenter*s advice and re-read Book 2. I will finish *Ruin* today and have really enjoyed the second reading. It is a whole lot easier keeping the many characters straight across the long timeline of the story. I plan to jump right into Book 3 for its second read, before beginning h
is *Builders* Trilogy. Adrian is catapulting up the roster of my favorite author list.

Posted by: SuperMayorSuperRonNirenberg at June 25, 2023 09:43 AM (JFJCJ)

73 Just finished the 9 volume Black Fleet series by Joshua Dalzelle. Space warfare between weak humans and genocidal aliens/genocidal communistic humans. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole series, and therefore have started Dalzelle's "Omega Force" series, which is 14 shorter books.

Omega Force is about a human former Spec Ops guy who stumbles into an intergalactic crime syndicate and has to somehow extract himself. Halfway through the first book and really like it so far.

Posted by: Sharkman at June 25, 2023 09:44 AM (irU3e)

74 Perhaps when I've run out of my current selection of doorstoppers TBR, I will return to James A. Michener and give him another chance...
-

Mrs. BD tells me that her late father hosted Michener here in Israel during Michener's 1963 visit, which I assume helped the author compile his 1965 work, The Source.

Why no one at the time took out their phone to snap a selfie with Michener is beyond me.

Posted by: Biden's Dog sniffs a whole lotta malarkey, at June 25, 2023 09:44 AM (+30WI)

75 a precursor was norman mailers harlots ghost which I read when I had an accident and was on crutches, at around 1100 pages with a too be continued, they could have chopped out a quarter, without much incident

moby dick was a cnmpendium of everything melville knew about whales gong back to the 5th century BC, everything he observed about 19th century culture,

Posted by: no 6 at June 25, 2023 09:44 AM (PXvVL)

76 Ancient to me is at least barely into ADand before

Posted by: Skip at June 25, 2023 09:45 AM (xhxe8)

77 The Dallas Morning News ran a feature 20 years ago on how books were continuing to get thicker. One of the causes it mentioned was editorial timidity -- Mr. Big Seller must not be cut.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 09:46 AM (p/isN)

78 J. Rudyard Kipling, on too-long books:

https://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poem/poems_threedecker.htm

I've had to remind scores of Ayn Rand critics that AS was a Russian novel, and a three-decker to boot.

Posted by: Way, Way Downriver at June 25, 2023 09:46 AM (4PZHB)

79 Walter Scott’s Waverley is 365ish pages. English gentry needed diversion from doing nothing all day long.

Cricket has entered the chat…

Posted by: 13times at June 25, 2023 09:47 AM (L2zfd)

80 Reading Air War College material, drier than the Atacama.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at June 25, 2023 09:47 AM (uUZin)

81 Was it a legacy publisher thing related to cost effectiveness of setting up a publishing run (too expensive for short books)?

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 09:37 AM (kXYt5)

That's what most of the internet publishing people say. I mean the ones who have worked in the biz at one of the Big 5 who have a channel on YT. They don't want something too short or too long, because of the cost and expected profit.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:47 AM (Angsy)

82 Last week I reviewed Quartered Safe Out Here by George Macdonald Fraser.
In that book he used official histories to augment his memory.

Village Idiot's Apprentice and I were part of the same 3-Carrier battlegroup north of Libya in 1986. We were in different escort ships.

So I Inter-Library Loaned A Military History of the Cold War, 1962–1991 (Volume 70) (Campaigns and Commanders Series) by Jonathan M. House.

This is an executive summary of the strategic setting of the Cold War. It is comprehensive and insightful, with a shallow but broad scope. Our dust-up with Libya gets half a page, and the next month's raid gets 3/4ths of a page. All the drama I remember so well is missing, and he got a minor event wrong.

But if you want an overview, with a strong focus on Vietnam, Angola, and Afghanistan, this is the book to read. He excelled at context and strategic choices.

Posted by: NaCly Dog (u82oZ) at June 25, 2023 09:48 AM (u82oZ)

83 the Fountainhead was relatively short (as much a tale about frank lloyd wright as anything)

Posted by: no 6 at June 25, 2023 09:52 AM (PXvVL)

84 The Dallas Morning News ran a feature 20 years ago on how books were continuing to get thicker. One of the causes it mentioned was editorial timidity -- Mr. Big Seller must not be cut.

==

lol. but not a new phenomenon. good old Alex Dumas (pater) was paid by the sentence I believe. This is probably why we see this :

“She is afraid so.”
“Wait a minute, then,” said Aramis.
“What for?” demanded Porthos.
“Go on, while I endeavor to recall circumstances.”
“And now I am convinced,” said D’Artagnan,...
“The Gascon is full of ideas,” said Porthos, with admiration.
“I like to hear him talk,” said Athos; “his dialect amuses me.”
“Gentlemen,” cried Aramis, “listen to this.”
“Listen to Aramis,” said his three friends..."

Posted by: runner at June 25, 2023 09:52 AM (V13WU)

85 The modern market is very different from what came before. All authors hope to have good sales, but they also very much wanted to make an impact, to say something meaningful. Later on, you do get mass market paperbacks and people start cranking out books using recurring characters and that's now I think the dominant model in fiction.

I'm not a fan, and so my writing is based on what interests me and because I tend to bounce around on various topics, there's no "theme" to my catalog. I keep thinking about sequels, but haven't found the motivation to write one. I get that it will likely sell - and boost the first book, but since I write primarily for enjoyment, that isn't enough to get me to do it.

Maybe when I'm fully retired, I'll have enough time to do that simply to fill the empty hours.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:53 AM (llXky)

86 In regard to story lengths, the Foglios have set aside the main Girl Genius story for a standalone book focusing on a secondary character.

I have almost, but not quite, given up on "Girl Genius." It started out as a ripping yarn but somewhere along the way lost its reason for being and now it's The Comic That Never Ends. I keep hoping they'll decide to finish it before Phil and/or I kick the bucket.

A couple of months back, someone here in the book thread recommended "Digger." I second that. It has great characters, an actual plot, and best of all, it ends when it should.

Posted by: Oddbob at June 25, 2023 09:54 AM (nfrXX)

87 So do a sequel.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:41 AM (llXky)

I'm consciously staying away from sequels, except for one character I've created in a set of short stories. I just don't think I'd like to do five or six books about the same person. I know at this point I probably don't have the skill to do it anyway.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:55 AM (Angsy)

88 Probably been mentioned already, the reason the action in Robert Jordan's Memory of Light is cinematic in a similar way to Brandon Sanderson is that the final copy was written by Sanderson after Jordan's death.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at June 25, 2023 09:58 AM (nC+QA)

89 Padding is a bugaboo with me because of my past career as a copy editor. The paper's news hole was frequently small, so I worked to condense stories as much as possible. Got a nasty note from the city editor once -- drastic cutting is to be done by the city desk.

A joke of the time went: "I had to write it long -- I didn't have time to make it short."

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 09:58 AM (p/isN)

90 I'm consciously staying away from sequels, except for one character I've created in a set of short stories. I just don't think I'd like to do five or six books about the same person. I know at this point I probably don't have the skill to do it anyway.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:55 AM (Angsy)
---
The cool thing about ebooks is that you can spit something out that is 30,000 words and price it accordingly.

I should add that Amazon recently raised prices for print books because while of course there is no inflation (a law was passed! It's fixed!), there is in fact inflation and their print costs are going up.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:58 AM (llXky)

91 Good morning fellow book enthusiasts.

That sale is great and I have discovered new and classic authors via that sale but I have a complaint. Trying to page down the book descriptions and it keeps jumping back to the top of the page. Frustrating.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 10:01 AM (t/2Uw)

92 lol. but not a new phenomenon. good old Alex Dumas (pater) was paid by the sentence I believe.

Posted by: runner at June 25, 2023 09:52 AM (V13WU)
---
R.E. Howard got paid extra if his short story was used for the cover of the magazine. This (it is surmised) is why a string of his Conan stories were little more than extended sequences of the hero carrying a woman in a negligee to safety.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:02 AM (llXky)

93 Not as much reading as usual for me this week. I spent more time with doing hobby stuff. However, the latest issue of Backwoodsman magazine arrived and that is always fun and varied reading. Then my copy of Ken Waters' Pet Loads showed up. It contains decades of his articles on ammo reloading including the powder/bullet data and tons of background on the cartridges. It's over a thousand pages and printed on good paper so it qualifies for major door stop duty.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 10:02 AM (7EjX1)

94 @86 --

Oddbob, I have the same concern. Phil is only two years younger than me. I'll keep reading and buying because I enjoy it, but I wonder how the story would have been different had the internet not existed.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 10:04 AM (p/isN)

95 I really liked The Lost Metal but sad that it was the finale. That is my favorite series of Sanderson's so far. The dialog is fantastic, crisp and funny and clever. His characters personalities are unique.
I'm definitely a Sanderson fan even when the books are over 900 pages.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 10:04 AM (t/2Uw)

96 Padding is a bugaboo with me because of my past career as a copy editor. The paper's news hole was frequently small, so I worked to condense stories as much as possible. Got a nasty note from the city editor once -- drastic cutting is to be done by the city desk.

A joke of the time went: "I had to write it long -- I didn't have time to make it short."

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 09:58 AM (p/isN)
---
My father was a copy editor for 35 years. When I was writing for the school paper in high school, he'd go over my stuff and talk about how it was too long. Same in college.

I guess I now do that instinctively.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:04 AM (llXky)

97 I've got less than 100 pages left on the first volume of Ford Madox Ford's biography. I had no idea it would be this interesting.

-
Years ago, I read a biography of composer Richard Wagner that was much the same. it wasn't just his exciting use of new melodic and harmonic ideas. He was always rabble rousing, woman chasing, lying, cheating, and stealing.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at June 25, 2023 10:04 AM (FVME7)

98 Lots of windows in the library, but why do I think there's not much enlightenment there?
Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:02 AM (Angsy)

It's Vancouver. I'm sure it is very, very woke.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at June 25, 2023 10:05 AM (JzQas)

99 This (it is surmised) is why a string of his Conan stories were little more than extended sequences of the hero carrying a woman in a negligee to safety.

Heh. Gets 'em every time.

Posted by: Frank Frazetta at June 25, 2023 10:05 AM (eOEVl)

100 Happy to hear the next book in Cinder Spires will finally be out this year. Hope it's been worth the wait.

Pre-ordered book 14 of the Bride's Story manga, mostly because I needed to get my Amazon order total up to $25 and that actually counted.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at June 25, 2023 10:06 AM (nC+QA)

101 Hero carrying a woman in a negligee to safety stories are tight!

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at June 25, 2023 10:07 AM (FVME7)

102 I finished The Ends of the Circle by Paul O. Williams, book 2 in the loose Pelbar Cycle. I read it originally in the 80s when it came out
The Pelbar cycle revolves around the redevelopment of society along the Heart (Mississippi) river after "the burning times" which left radioactive ruins of cities, depopulation and almost total loss of knowledge. The Matriarchal Pelbar live in stone keeps in the bluffs above the Heart, protected from the Shumani who follow the wild cattle, and the Sentani who migrate from the great lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. The series follows the incursion of the Tantal who attempted to conquer the Heart Valley, forcing the peoples there to work together.

In the second book, Stel is nearly killed in an ice-cutting accident and figuring his in-laws were trying to kill him, he leaves the Heart to look for the great ocean rumored in the West. His wife Ahroe, a member of the city guard, follows him to bring him back. They meet in the Southwest in a battle between two tribes over access to water.

Paul O Williams was a poetry professor and his prose is so incredibly READABLE. So many modern writers are harsh and hard to follow. His world building is wonderful.

Posted by: Kindltot at June 25, 2023 10:07 AM (xhaym)

103 @96 --

Padding starts during school. "Your paper must be at least 2,000 words."

My wife would not let me look over the kids' school essays.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 10:09 AM (p/isN)

104 This is an executive summary of the strategic setting of the Cold War. It is comprehensive and insightful, with a shallow but broad scope. Our dust-up with Libya gets half a page, and the next month's raid gets 3/4ths of a page. All the drama I remember so well is missing, and he got a minor event wrong.

Posted by: NaCly Dog (u82oZ) at June 25, 2023 09:48 AM (u82oZ)
---
You will also remember that Top Gun came out while those events were underway, so it was very much a "torn from the headlines" kind of film back in the day.

I have to say the needless polarization of stuff is one reason why I'm avoiding all news. People seem incapable of accepting that a country could have done the right thing 70 years ago but is now doing the wrong thing.

I really miss the days when we could have rational discussions about foreign policy.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:09 AM (llXky)

105 I plan to jump right into Book 3 for its second read, before beginning his *Builders* Trilogy. Adrian is catapulting up the roster of my favorite author list.

Posted by: SuperMayorSuperRonNirenberg




This is a wise decision. I finished the 3rd book of his Final Architecture trilogy recently and I can say I was truly sad to finish the series, I liked it so much.

I had that feeling of wishing I could wipe my memory so I could go back and start all over and enjoy the series again, fresh. I felt the same way when I finished the Children trilogy.

Posted by: Sharkman at June 25, 2023 10:11 AM (irU3e)

106 Padding starts during school. "Your paper must be at least 2,000 words."

My wife would not let me look over the kids' school essays.
Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 10:09 AM (p/isN)
---
I give my students a maximum (1,000 words), then tell them to write MORE than that, as it's a lot easier to cut stuff out than to pad it out.

Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at June 25, 2023 10:12 AM (BpYfr)

107 I really miss the days when we could have rational discussions about foreign policy.

Eh. I'm not sure that was ever really a thing.

Posted by: Archimedes at June 25, 2023 10:13 AM (eOEVl)

108 The Dallas Morning News ran a feature 20 years ago on how books were continuing to get thicker. One of the causes it mentioned was editorial timidity -- Mr. Big Seller must not be cut.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 09:46 AM (p/isN)

I've heard that. I'd think when most of your editors are young women, a big name might be too intimidating to a fresh out of college editor.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 10:13 AM (Angsy)

109 This (it is surmised) is why a string of his Conan stories were little more than extended sequences of the hero carrying a woman in a negligee to safety.

*********

FAILED PREQUELS - #1

The epic hero, Conan, a Sumerian.
As a youth was a bookish contrarian
As portrayed by Robert Howard
He was a horny little coward
In a prequel titled Bonin' the Librarian

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 10:13 AM (kXYt5)

110 Victor Hugo definitely needed an editor with an attitude. Les Miserables was at least twice as long as it needed to be.

Posted by: Archimedes at June 25, 2023 10:14 AM (eOEVl)

111 Years ago, I read a biography of composer Richard Wagner that was much the same. it wasn't just his exciting use of new melodic and harmonic ideas. He was always rabble rousing, woman chasing, lying, cheating, and stealing.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at June 25, 2023 10:04 AM (FVME7)
---
It's even funnier if you go find a picture of Ford. He's not much to look at, and put on weight while relatively young. But the ladies loved him, presumably because he could melt them with poems and was a very able conversationalist as well as being an excellent writer.

It's funny how so many of his protagonists fall in love with the "perfect girl," but then - surprise! his head is turn by this *other girl* and then maybe her sister.

Yes, it is surmised that he cheated on his wife with her sister. It is kind of funny how he constantly expressed puzzlement that his wife wouldn't grant the divorce when of course he'd been an absolute heel to her.

"Why won't you let me just go on and romance the world? Why must you take a percentage of my income forever?"

"Cause you're a lying, cheating jackass."

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:14 AM (llXky)

112 A book I look forward to reading:

The Fourth Turning is Here
by Neil Howe

Posted by: gourmand du jour at June 25, 2023 10:15 AM (MeG8a)

113 Village Idiot's Apprentice and I were part of the same 3-Carrier battlegroup north of Libya in 1986. We were in different escort ships. ...
Posted by: NaCly Dog (u82oZ) at June 25, 2023 09:48 AM (u82oZ)
===
!!!

I never heard that before.

Posted by: San Franpsycho at June 25, 2023 10:16 AM (RIvkX)

114 ...and they lived happily ever after.

Word count: 14,544

...and they lived really, really, really happily after.

Word count: 14,547

"Ahhh. Getting there!"

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 10:17 AM (kXYt5)

115
*the hero carrying a woman in a negligee to safety.*

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: Suburban mom at June 25, 2023 10:17 AM (DhOHl)

116 There is a before and after example...at least in popular literature.

"The Stand" by Stephen King was originally released as a long but manageable book.

Then many years later when his ego was huge and he thought he could do anything, he had it rereleased without the benefit of rational editing...

Yeah...bloated and boring...Just like Stephen King.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at June 25, 2023 10:17 AM (PHmov)

117 From the sidebar, RIP Frederic Forrest, one of the truly great character actors of his generation. While he will always be remembered as Chef from Apocalypse Now, my favorite of his roles was as Deborah Foreman*s (sigh.......) hippie father in Valley Girl. Foreman and the great Colleen Camp (playing Foreman*s also hippie mother) steal every frame of film they are in. Thank you for sharing your talents with us Mr. Forrest.

Posted by: SuperMayorSuperRonNirenberg at June 25, 2023 10:19 AM (JFJCJ)

118 Lord of the rings cured me of going anywhere near a 1000 page book. I mean yeah, the story is epic, and one hell of a world that Tolkien created, but the pace was sooo slow I was able to achieve torpor like a chipmunk, slow my heart rate to 4 BPM, and slow time to where I could see a snail snoopy dance.

Posted by: Berserker-Dragonheads Division at June 25, 2023 10:19 AM (VwHCD)

119 Eh. I'm not sure that was ever really a thing.

Posted by: Archimedes at June 25, 2023 10:13 AM (eOEVl)
---
It absolutely was. If you look back at the books, magazines and shows, it was a totally different world. Much more serious. Not perfect, but better.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (llXky)

120 I always keep a book or two in the car, things I can read in bits and pieces. The one I grabbed this time was a mistake as I don't want to put it down. It's "The Sea Wolves", latest Isaac Bell series started by Clive Cussler (PBUH) and now written by Jack Du Brul. This series is my favorite of the Cussler books and Du Brul is a long time favorite author. (I miss his Philip Mercer books.) The problem is Du Brul does such a good job of characterization, action, pacing, and capturing the setting I don't want to put the damn book down. I suspect its time as a car book is limited.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (7EjX1)

121 Long-time lurker; I love the book thread. I’ve just started reading “To Your Scattered Bodies Go”, the first book in the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer. I’ve wanted to read it for a long time. I enjoyed his novella “Riders of the Purple Wage” as a pre-29-year-old, even though it sought.to glorify the Great Society, just stylistically I guess, and it’s version of LA reminds me of the way the New Jerusalem is described in Revelation, though I don’t know if that was intentional.

Posted by: Norrin Radd at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (3W1gU)

122 I read an Italian cowboy comic book this week. (Razorfist would be proud!) "Tex: The magnificent Outlaw." Pretty decent. Really good black-and-white art, entertaining story with no elements to really anger me....the translation felt a little off in some places, though. Overall, pretty good, and it came in a nice hardcover sewn-bound book. I'd recommend it for any comic fans.

Not quite as good as Zagor: The Lost World, (not-quite-cowboys vs dinosaurs!) from the same publisher, but, still, its hard to compare with well-drawn dinosaurs.

Posted by: Castle Guy at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (Lhaco)

123 https://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poem/poems_threedecker.htm

Posted by: Way, Way Downriver at June 25, 2023 09:46 AM (4PZHB)

Sheesh! F off! (not you, WWD)

"Some of Kipling’s works contain words or express views relating to race, gender or other matters which today are generally considered unacceptable. We are alerting readers to their presence."

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (Angsy)

124 @114 --

And their lives following that happy event were full of joyous incidents each and every day.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (p/isN)

125 One of the causes it mentioned was editorial timidity -- Mr. Big Seller must not be cut.
Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 09:46 AM (p/isN)

That was definitely an issue with Robert Jordan. Especially after his wife became his editor. Binging the series on Audiobooks showed how much redundancy there was.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (nC+QA)

126 Besides the "Wolf of the Steppes" collections, I think I have a few digital Harold Lamb books about historical figures that I got cheap/free years ago, but never read. I should probably get on that, sometime...

Posted by: Castle Guy at June 25, 2023 10:21 AM (Lhaco)

127 That Heechee -Gateway book took me to a webpage where they showed the original cover art by Vincent Di Fate.

What a glorious painter.

http://www.vincentdifate.com

Posted by: pawn at June 25, 2023 10:24 AM (wsHtO)

128 Village Idiot's Apprentice and I were part of the same 3-Carrier battlegroup north of Libya in 1986. We were in different escort ships.
Posted by: NaCly Dog (u82oZ) at June 25, 2023 09:48 AM (u82oZ)

Horde convergence is fascinating. I remember that GGE served on the Forrestal shortly after Navy Cop Joe had. He said NCJ was just as (in)famous as he'd claimed.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at June 25, 2023 10:25 AM (nC+QA)

129 Padding is a bugaboo with me because of my past career as a copy editor. The paper's news hole was frequently small, so I worked to condense stories as much as possible. Got a nasty note from the city editor once -- drastic cutting is to be done by the city desk.

A joke of the time went: "I had to write it long -- I didn't have time to make it short."
Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 09:58 AM (p/isN)


Dad was a reporter for a number of papers, he mentioned once that "each word cut was like a child lost"

Posted by: Kindltot at June 25, 2023 10:25 AM (xhaym)

130 "Some of Kipling’s works contain words or express views relating to race, gender or other matters which today are generally considered unacceptable. We are alerting readers to their presence."

*********

Tr***er Warning!

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 10:26 AM (kXYt5)

131 Word count: 14,547

"Ahhh. Getting there!"

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 10:17 AM (kXYt5)
---
He paused to consider the happiness that they now might share, not just for a moment, but for tomorrow, and the next day, and for days to come. As the years lengthened, they would grow like twin trees, happiness every before them.

Yes, they would be happy, happy for ever after, happy to a point whose end they could not foresee. This was true happiness, the happiness that they would share. His heart seemed near to bursting as he contemplated the exact degree of happiness and its duration.

She smiled, and the curve of her lips and the light in her eyes mirrored his happiness, and he knew that she, too had the same thoughts, the same desires of a happiness that would last hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year, until the span of their lifetimes was at and end. And what would come next? Would their bless be eternal?

Would it be for ever after?

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:26 AM (llXky)

132 book burnings will be real and spectacular

Posted by: runner at June 25, 2023 10:27 AM (V13WU)

133 Also reading “The Discovery of Middle Earth” by Graham Robb. He has an interesting theory about the Celts. Or the various peoples we refer to as the Celts. He comes off as sensible versus the way Celt Cultists come off as wild-eyed, loopy and new agey.

Posted by: 13times at June 25, 2023 10:27 AM (sZZcM)

134 "...even though it sought.to glorify the Great Society..."

Posted by: Norrin Radd at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (3W1gU)

One of my frustrations with the current political and social maelstrom is that I see politics in everything, whereas a generation ago I could look past it in literature and other entertainment.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at June 25, 2023 10:27 AM (PHmov)

135 the pace was sooo slow I was able to achieve torpor like a chipmunk, slow my heart rate to 4 BPM, and slow time to where I could see a snail snoopy dance.
Posted by: Berserker-Dragonheads Division at June 25, 2023 10:19 AM (VwHCD)

*snort

I read LOTR during the summer between 8th and 9th grade, sitting on the porch swing. Good thing I had lots of time. Yeah, epic, good story, but once through was enough for me.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at June 25, 2023 10:27 AM (OX9vb)

136 I think if he were around today, Kipling would proudly wear the badge of "Triggering". In a way, that was what he was all about.

Posted by: pawn at June 25, 2023 10:28 AM (wsHtO)

137 Maybe when I'm fully retired, I'll have enough time to do that simply to fill the empty hours.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:53 AM (llXky)

Heh, they're never as empty as you think. Been "retired" for two years now, the days go by quicker than they did when I was working!

As I said above, I don't do recurring characters, except one. Maybe writers just keep turning them out because it's easier to do stories where the readers already know enough about the characters that they don't notice the writer cuts and pastes. How else can you tell so many stories about the same person and do them on a quick turn around?

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 10:28 AM (Angsy)

138 "Some of Kipling’s works contain words or express views relating to race, gender or other matters which today are generally considered unacceptable. We are alerting readers to their presence."

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (Angsy)
---
Some of Kipling's works contain words that modern, self-righteous illiterates may not understand. We humbly invite them to piss off.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:28 AM (llXky)

139 My experience, much like Conan, is it's hard to turn away the poontang when the fate of humanity is in balance and the womens seek you out for sake of our existence as a species.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 10:28 AM (KVGVf)

140 Hey, all! Back from the horror of Walmart to the delight of the Book Thread!

Action scenes? I agree with the suggestion of Donald Hamilton, both in his Matt Helm stories and in his stand-alone crime tales. I've never read any of his Westerns and would love to. (The movie The Big Country w/ Gregory Peck is based on a Hamilton.)

Ian Fleming, of course, did his action scenes with Bond to perfection. Early in his career Larry Niven did action well, especially in Ringworld and several of the short stories in Neutron Star. And Stephen King's early novels, especially Firestarter, are wonderful examples of how to write an action/suspense sequence.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 10:29 AM (omVj0)

141 Norrin Radd glad to see you from out behind the curtains

Posted by: Skip at June 25, 2023 10:29 AM (xhxe8)

142
I read LOTR during the summer between 8th and 9th grade, sitting on the porch swing. Good thing I had lots of time. Yeah, epic, good story, but once through was enough for me.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at June 25, 2023 10:27 AM (OX9vb)
---
I read it in a week, spring break of 7th grade. Skipped meals and sleep. Could not put it down.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:30 AM (llXky)

143 "Adrian [Tchaikovsky] is catapulting up the roster of my favorite author list."

‐------

Same here. And his books are so different from each other. "Children" is epic world building, "Shards of Earth" is rollicking, "Firefly"-style space opera, and "Elder Race" is a short, amusing, fantasy-meets-technology romp.

Posted by: Taro Tsujimoto at June 25, 2023 10:31 AM (5YmYl)

144 There are several videos on YT about drawing maps for a fantasy world, especially using the techniques the Tolkiens used for Middle-Earth. They showed up in conjunction with the one mentioned in the post about how they developed the maps used in the LOTR. Fun viewing and they tie in with the map and compass stuff I've been doing as well as the drawing hobby. I never gave much thought to making maps but now I'm considering how to draw a Tolkienesque map of a local battlefield. Could be fun.

The rabbit hole from last week continues to deepen and branch in unexpected ways.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 10:31 AM (7EjX1)

145 Would it be for ever after?
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd

*******

Touché

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 10:32 AM (kXYt5)

146 My experience, much like Conan, is it's hard to turn away the poontang when the fate of humanity is in balance and the womens seek you out for sake of our existence as a species.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 10:28 AM (KVGVf)
---
When her supple limbs cling to your mighty thews, nature must take its course.

"Crush me with your fierce love!" said every woman to me, ever.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:32 AM (llXky)

147 I'm reading Madeline MIller's The Song of Achilles. It's the tale of his companion Patroclus, who narrates how he meets Achilles and travels with him to the Trojan War. Yeah, Achilles and Patroclus have a gay relationship, and I figured this was on the way, but it's more on Patroclus' side, is not graphic, and happens only in passing amid the bigger events. You have Odysseus there, and Agamemnon and Menelaus, and Achilles' mother the sea-nymph Thetis -- who dislikes humans, especially Patroclus, and is rather scary. So far it's a good read.

I learned a new word from it: "yare," an archaic term meaning "ready" or "prepared," and when applied to a ship, "nimble; maneuverable." In future I shall refer to my car as "yare."

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 10:33 AM (omVj0)

148 The cool thing about ebooks is that you can spit something out that is 30,000 words and price it accordingly.

I should add that Amazon recently raised prices for print books because while of course there is no inflation (a law was passed! It's fixed!), there is in fact inflation and their print costs are going up.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 09:58 AM (llXky)

I'd probably have to look into that at some point, but I still want someone to buy what I've written an publish it - either book or magazine. So far, 0 for 2.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 10:33 AM (Angsy)

149 kipling came of age, in the era after the indian mutiny, the son of the publisher of the lead paper in lahore which would later become pakistan,

Posted by: no 6 at June 25, 2023 10:35 AM (PXvVL)

150 This past week I finally started my summer reading program: bike to the park, read a chapter on my kindle in the fresh air and sunshine (or fresh air and shade, if it's too warm), and bike home. On the docket this summer: "Walls of Men" by our very own A.H. Lloyd. One chapter in, and it seems pretty good so far. I particularly appreciate the regular inclusion of topic-specific maps, so I don't have to keep referring back the master-map in the front (particularly annoying in ebook format.)

Pretty soon I'll be complimenting the read by re-listening to my "History of China" lecture series from The Great Courses. Just as soon as I finish the "History of Japan" series I'm currently on.

Posted by: Castle Guy at June 25, 2023 10:35 AM (Lhaco)

151 ...I was able to achieve torpor like a chipmunk, slow my heart rate to 4 BPM, and slow time to where I could see a snail snoopy dance.

I really should be saving these in a file somewhere. I may never need to express that exact feeling but if I did, I would wish to do it like that.

Posted by: Oddbob at June 25, 2023 10:36 AM (nfrXX)

152 "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead."

Posted by: Mark Twain at June 25, 2023 10:37 AM (DhOHl)

153 64 Library of Alexandria , "Historians have estimated that at one time the Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India, and many other nations. Over 100 scholars lived at the Museum full-time to perform research, write, lecture, or translate and copy documents. The library was so large it had another branch or "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis."
Posted by: runner at June 25, 2023 09:39 AM (V13WU)

I heard somewhere that when a ship entered Alexandria, it was searched for documents. If they found a book that wasn't in the Great Library, the document was seized, copied, and then the copy was given back to the original owners while the library kept the original. That sounds too good to be true, but it does make for an amusing anecdote.

Posted by: Castle Guy at June 25, 2023 10:38 AM (Lhaco)

154 Okay people, here's your chance and it's free!
Christopher Nuttall's The Empire Corps is included in the book sale and it's free. This got me started on his Marines inSpace series which I really really liked.
So far I've bought three books on the sale for a grand total of $.99.
What are you waiting for.
Also cured the jumping to the top of the page by starting at the bottom.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 10:38 AM (t/2Uw)

155 Reading Air War College material, drier than the Atacama.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at June 25, 2023 09:47 AM (uUZin)




I read a Battle of the Bulge history...can't remember the title...written by the division(?) historian. It was like reading an accountant's report.

Posted by: BignJames at June 25, 2023 10:40 AM (AwYPR)

156 Good day horde. Last week I asked about "When the
Heavens Went on Sale" about the modern-day space race. Almost through it - lots of interesting nuggets and history. Recommended if you follow SpaceX, Rocket Lab, Planet Lab, etc.

Posted by: TRex at June 25, 2023 10:40 AM (IQ6Gq)

157 ebooks are cool, but I don't have a screen large enough to compensate for 29 year old eye strain.

Voice books seem like a good idea until you get one with a voice sounding like Barack Obama and you want reach out and strangle the narrator.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 10:40 AM (KVGVf)

158 Snail Snoopy Dance ran for like three weeks way off Broadway in '87 or '88. Meh.

Posted by: Just Sayin' at June 25, 2023 10:40 AM (DhOHl)

159 On the docket this summer: "Walls of Men" by our very own A.H. Lloyd. One chapter in, and it seems pretty good so far. I particularly appreciate the regular inclusion of topic-specific maps, so I don't have to keep referring back the master-map in the front (particularly annoying in ebook format.)

Posted by: Castle Guy at June 25, 2023 10:35 AM (Lhaco)
---
I hope you enjoy it! The maps were drawn by my daughter and after my "initial order," we had to go back and do additional ones because as I did the read-through with my wife, she wanted things clarified.

I'm really glad I paid her a flat fee for the whole book rather than based on number of maps. She learned an important lesson as well.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:41 AM (llXky)

160 Audio > voice.

Same > same

Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 10:41 AM (KVGVf)

161 #109 - Muldoon, you magnificent bastard!

Posted by: Taro Tsujimoto at June 25, 2023 10:42 AM (5YmYl)

162 I was once asked by a friend for an amusing antidote.

"Sure," I said. "If you have the hiccups, stand on your head and gargle two tablespoons of Orange Nehi soda while humming the Star Spangled Banner."

He said, "Anecdote!!!"

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 10:42 AM (kXYt5)

163 Also at the library this week, I picked up a copy of Xavier DeSoto's Mardi Gras Madness, his crime or mystery novel. XD is a member of my writing group, the one giving me trouble about some of my techniques -- ones I've picked up from published, long-established authors like Lawrence Block. I'm curious to see if XD knows what he's talking about. HIs publisher is Black Rose Writing. I've seen mixed commentary on the 'Net as to whether they are a legit publisher, a vanity press, or something in between. Anybody know them?

He himself admits that they charge the author for anything beyond the ordinary, marketing, editing, etc. If you want those things done on your ms., either you do it, or you have to pay them or someone else.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 10:43 AM (omVj0)

164 It's true that a bad narrator can ruin an audiobook.
Fortunately you can sample the book before you purchase it.

Posted by: gourmand du jour at June 25, 2023 10:44 AM (MeG8a)

165 My research seems to show that the word count for "novels" creeped up. I don't remember the classic novels being all that long. Now, the internet talking heads say 60 - 70k for a novel, up to 100k, although the top is more for saga types and fantasy that has world building.
The Perry Mason was only 200 pages, the Ellery Queen and the Hopalong books were around 300. The TBR stack are about 220 pages, so, I'm thinking large page counts aren't needed, if you can tell the story in fewer, but, that doesn't appear to be what the market wants.
Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 09:37 AM (Angsy)


Eh, it depends on what you're trying to do.

Personal example: For WtC, I wanted to write a modernized version of the classic picaresque novel and had a story and theme that could justify it.

The novel I'm working on now will be short because that's what the story calls for.

If I were writing a Perry Mason,Ellery Queen novel, where format, characters, and outcome are basically a foregone conclusion from book to book,
150-200 pages would get the job done nicely.

I'm not a fan of extending a story over several volumes, but a new story next book, same folks is fine.

Posted by: naturalfake at June 25, 2023 10:44 AM (fb7jX)

166 I'd probably have to look into that at some point, but I still want someone to buy what I've written an publish it - either book or magazine. So far, 0 for 2.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 10:33 AM (Angsy)
---
My strategy has been to just crank out books while I still have them in my head, and later on, maybe I can get a real publisher. Presumably having a body of work available is a plus, but I haven't even started that process.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:44 AM (llXky)

167 Pre-ordered book 14 of the Bride's Story manga, mostly because I needed to get my Amazon order total up to $25 and that actually counted.
Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at June 25, 2023 10:06 AM (nC+QA)

I ordered books 9, 10, and 11 off ebay. I'm burning through the series way too quickly....

Posted by: Castle Guy at June 25, 2023 10:45 AM (Lhaco)

168 Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 10:42 AM (kXYt5)

*narrows eyes*

Has looks right. Simple typo or some subtle message that I'm not getting?

Posted by: Oddbob at June 25, 2023 10:45 AM (nfrXX)

169 107 I really miss the days when we could have rational discussions about foreign policy.


Used to love how Limbaugh would pronounce the phrase "foreign policy" in his Henry Kissinger voice.

I miss Rush.

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at June 25, 2023 10:45 AM (DhOHl)

170 As to upcoming book releases, there are very few I follow. I used to look forward to any new book by, or started by, Clive Cussler but the only series I now follow is the Isaac Bell one because Jack Du Brul is such a good writer. The same with James Rollins' Sigma Force series. Perhaps my taste have changed or the books became too familiar or both. We do keep track of the latest Preston and Child Pendergast books.

Series I would still follow if the authors were alive are the Martha's Vineyard mysteries by Philip Craig and anything by Donald Hamilton (Matt Helm). I regret there won't be more but I'm glad les able writers haven't continued the series.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 10:46 AM (7EjX1)

171 BignJames read that a few years ago and kept going to Google maps to see exact grounds being told about. You can go to road blocks, bridges blown and routes taken.

Posted by: Skip at June 25, 2023 10:47 AM (xhxe8)

172 I'm reading Madeline MIller's The Song of Achilles.

Achilles, Achilles
you give me the willies.....

Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (T4tVD)

173 Used to love how Limbaugh would pronounce the phrase "foreign policy" in his Henry Kissinger voice.

I miss Rush.

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at June 25, 2023 10:45 AM (DhOHl)
---
His Tom Lantos impersonation is what sticks with me.

"MEEESTer Livingstone, I will remind you that Admiral Boorda, keelled himself for farr lesss."

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (llXky)

174
I was told by my betters us Reich-wingers could not and did not read.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (MoZTd)

175 Today is John the Baptist's birthday !

Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (T4tVD)

176 I have almost, but not quite, given up on "Girl Genius." It started out as a ripping yarn but somewhere along the way lost its reason for being and now it's The Comic That Never Ends. I keep hoping they'll decide to finish it before Phil and/or I kick the bucket.

Posted by: Oddbob at June 25, 2023 09:54 AM (nfrXX)

I never tried "Girl Genius," but that pattern if familiar. I've got two physical collections of "Beyond the Western Deep" (a Redwall-inspired web-comic) and it really feels like the story is spiraling out of control into some big Song-of-Ice-and-Fire style epic. And since (I think) it only updates one page a week, it makes we worry that the story will ever be wrapped up and concluded.... Oh well.

Posted by: Castle Guy at June 25, 2023 10:49 AM (Lhaco)

177 I read Moby Duck for the first ( and last) time about 10 years ago. I found it to be a torturous read.
It is not alone in that category, I also found Jules Vernes " 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to be just has bad. In that book Verne had the penchant to go and list off EVERY SINGLE SEA CREATURE the protagonist saw in the "adventure ".

I finished both books because I did not want to be defeated by them, but they will never be opened by me again.

Truly awful.

Posted by: Scuba_Dude at June 25, 2023 10:50 AM (fe7in)

178 >>> It's true that a bad narrator can ruin an audiobook.
Fortunately you can sample the book before you purchase it.

Posted by: gourmand du jour

>This is what AI should be tasked to do. I want to special order audiobooks with the voice of a saucy, sultry 30 year old female who smokes two packs of cigarettes a day and washes them down with bourbon. Neat.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 10:50 AM (KVGVf)

179 6 Anything by Leon Uris is a good book.
Exodus was a most delightful read in my teen years.
Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at June 25, 2023 09:04 AM

His book “Trinity” about the Irish is one of my favorite books.

Posted by: Moonbeam at June 25, 2023 10:51 AM (rbKZ6)

180 175 Today is John the Baptist's birthday !

I guess that means they're serving locusts and wild honey at the big celebration.

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at June 25, 2023 10:51 AM (DhOHl)

181 I was told by my betters us Reich-wingers could not and did not read.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (MoZTd)
---
I'm told that Ford's The Good Soldier remains in print because it features complex and strong female characters. For whatever reason, the femlit crowd have hailed it as an example of empowered women in Edwardian England.

I suppose that's the case. It really is a complex bit of writing, with probably the most unreliable narrator in the history of fiction. Just when you think you know the story, he goes back and says "oh, I left this out," and the whole things shifts again.

It is interesting to contrast it with Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. Waugh would certainly have known about Ford, but I don't think they ever met. I'm pretty sure his Sword of Honour trilogy owes at least some of its inspiration to the Parade's End trilogy.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:52 AM (llXky)

182 Today is John the Baptist's birthday !

Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (T4tVD)
---
A pivotal figure in the Syrian heresy that later became Islam.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:54 AM (llXky)

183
It's true that a bad narrator can ruin an audiobook.
Fortunately you can sample the book before you purchase it.

____________

If it says the narrator is Joe Buck or Hillary Clinton, run.

Alexander Scourby, on the other hand...

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 10:54 AM (MoZTd)

184 Voice books seem like a good idea until you get one with a voice sounding like Barack Obama and you want reach out and strangle the narrator.
Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 10:40 AM (KVGVf)

I have abandoned many audiobooks within two minutes because I can't stand the reader. If they are too dramatic (acting! yes! thank you!), too slow, too fast, too pompous-sounding, or just annoying for other reasons, I won't continue. If it seems like a good book otherwise, I'll reserve it at the library instead.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at June 25, 2023 10:54 AM (OX9vb)

185 175 Today is John the Baptist's birthday !

I guess that means they're serving locusts and wild honey at the big celebration.
Posted by: Quarter Twenty

This ain't the Food Thread !

Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 10:54 AM (T4tVD)

186 I guess that means they're serving locusts and wild honey at the big celebration.

Dinner on the grounds! Who's bringing the jello casserole?

Posted by: Oddbob at June 25, 2023 10:54 AM (nfrXX)

187
I guess that means they're serving locusts and wild honey at the big celebration.

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at June 25, 2023 10:51 AM (DhOHl)
---
I understand it's pool party.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:54 AM (llXky)

188 JTB --

I'm sure you know that Hamilton wrote one more Helm book, but his son refuses to publish it.

I think this is good; if the book was lousy, it would hurt Hamilton's reputation with us.

Like the "Mary Tyler Moore" show, go out while you're still on top.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 10:54 AM (p/isN)

189 Today is John the Baptist's birthday !
Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (T4tVD)


And it is surprising how fast they grow up. It seems like just yesterday he was doing Tiktock videos and hanging out at the mall.

Posted by: Kindltot at June 25, 2023 10:54 AM (xhaym)

190 "MEEESTer Livingstone, I will remind you that Admiral Boorda, keelled himself for farr lesss."
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (llXky)

"The Rev-errunnd Jack-sonnnnnn!"

Posted by: Pug Mahon, Keith's Son at June 25, 2023 10:55 AM (T/Lqj)

191 There is one author I follow for new releases: Malcolm Guite. His books of and about poetry, observing creation, and religion have become a regular joy in my reading. I look forward to each new book. He is working on an epic poem about King Arthur that I will preorder when available.

Guite is the closest I've found to a present day CS Lewis. I can't imagine a a higher praise.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 10:56 AM (7EjX1)

192 Tolkein refers to maps early on. "There are many maps in Elrond's House," Gandalf chides Frodo for not asking about such things before they set off. Evidently, the Elves were capable cartographers, and the Hobbits likely learned quite a bit from their earlier efforts.

Posted by: Brewingfrog at June 25, 2023 10:57 AM (ytNnw)

193 I read LOTR during the summer between 8th and 9th grade, sitting on the porch swing. Good thing I had lots of time. Yeah, epic, good story, but once through was enough for me.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at June 25, 2023 10:27 AM
---
I read it in a week, spring break of 7th grade. Skipped meals and sleep. Could not put it down.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:30 AM


I read LotR in my late twenties / early thirties (because of Led Zeppelin). It was a tedious trudge, and did not "capture" me. To this day, I still do not see what all the hub bub is about.

Knowing now about Tolkien's WWI experiences puts it in a more favorable light, but not enough to pick it back up and re-read it

Posted by: AltonJackson at June 25, 2023 10:58 AM (ENBF0)

194 Tolkein refers to maps early on. "There are many maps in Elrond's House," Gandalf chides Frodo for not asking about such things before they set off. Evidently, the Elves were capable cartographers, and the Hobbits likely learned quite a bit from their earlier efforts.

Posted by: Brewingfrog at June 25, 2023 10:57 AM (ytNnw)
---
Doesn't Bilbo have a map of the Shire in Bag End, to trace his favorite walking paths? Frodo looked at the white edges, wondering what was there...

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:58 AM (llXky)

195 "Some of Kipling’s works contain words or express views relating to race, gender or other matters which today are generally considered unacceptable. We are alerting readers to their presence."
Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 10:20 AM (Angsy)

"As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all."

-Kipling, "The Gods of the Copybook Headings"

Posted by: Wethal at June 25, 2023 11:00 AM (NufIr)

196 I'm sure you know that Hamilton wrote one more Helm book, but his son refuses to publish it.

I think this is good; if the book was lousy, it would hurt Hamilton's reputation with us.

Like the "Mary Tyler Moore" show, go out while you're still on top.
Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023


***
Has anyone ever written a biography of Hamilton, with or without some analysis of his work? I am pretty sure he was an expert on guns and photography, both of which he gave to Matt Helm. But I don't know about him or how he reacted to the way Hollywood screwed up the Helm books with those horrible semi-comedies with Dean Martin.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 11:00 AM (omVj0)

197
I'm told that Ford's The Good Soldier remains in print because it features complex and strong female characters. For whatever reason, the femlit crowd have hailed it as an example of empowered women in Edwardian England.

I'm not sure any female character qualifies as an icon of empowerment. Leonore Ashburnham is, true, pushed to her limits by her feckless husband, but she's a monster who destroys poor Nancy Rufford. And Florence Dowell is a slut, period.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:01 AM (MoZTd)

198 Another series we keep track of is Chet and Bernie by Spencer Quinn. Both the novels and Quinn's related short stories continue to be enjoyable.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 11:01 AM (7EjX1)

199 The one thing the LOTR movie made clear to me was the battle scenes. I just could not visualize them at all in the books.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 11:01 AM (t/2Uw)

200 Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (llXky)

Posted by: Pug Mahon, Keith's Son at June 25, 2023 10:55 AM (T/Lqj)

His Andrea Mitchell was spot on.

Posted by: BignJames at June 25, 2023 11:01 AM (AwYPR)

201 Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 10:43 AM (omVj0)

Read it, critique it, destroy him!

Posted by: Klingon Advice Line at June 25, 2023 11:02 AM (Angsy)

202 It's true that a bad narrator can ruin an audiobook.
Fortunately you can sample the book before you purchase it.

Posted by: gourmand du jour at June 25, 2023 10:44 AM (MeG8a)

Can't you just mute it?

Posted by: Blonde at June 25, 2023 11:04 AM (Angsy)

203 Random: Apparently many people in China have names that include uncommon characters. The Chinese government recognizes about 30,000 characters, but there over 100,000 characters exist. Many people just can't get their name recognized. No idea how many characters are common for computer keyboards/software. Makes me wonder about older Chinese books with characters unknown to modern readers.

Posted by: TRex at June 25, 2023 11:05 AM (IQ6Gq)

204 I read Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA by Tim Weiner. The title comes from President Eisenhower who said that the CIA's failures handed future generations "a legacy of ashes." In this critical history, Weiner chronicles the agency's few successes and its multitude of failures from the pre-OSS days of WW II to the Iraq war of the 2000's. Published in 2007, the book is a bit dated, but it seems since then the CIA has learned three things: How to spy more effectively on U. S. citizens, how to interfere in U. S. elections, and how to conduct psyops against us. The book is an interesting read.
Posted by: Zoltan at June 25, 2023 09:18 AM (qzhFY)

How much does it touch on the assassinations? Not just the big ones, but the routine, everyday ones. Because a history of the CIA that claims they are incompetent is missing the forest for the trees.

Their stated mission, to spy FOR the U.S. of A. was never what their actual mission was. They were adventurers at first, were infiltrated by commies from the start, and quickly morphed into an agency that existed for its own purpose, occasionally taking jobs from politicians, but only if those jobs suited their own interests.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:06 AM (QBaJw)

205 It's true that a bad narrator can ruin an audiobook.
Fortunately you can sample the book before you purchase it.

Posted by: gourmand du jour at June 25, 2023
*
Can't you just mute it?
Posted by: Blonde at June 25, 2023


***
Uh . . .

Never mind.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 11:06 AM (omVj0)

206 I'm glad Perfessor mentioned Farmer Giles of Ham and Smith of Wootton Major. Tolkien's non-Middle Earth books are a delight, often showing showing a (sometimes wicked) sense of humor missing from LOTR. Roverandom, his Tom Bombadil poems, Mr. Bliss, and, especially, the Father Christmas Letters should not be missed. If they include Tolkien's own drawings, so much the better.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 11:06 AM (7EjX1)

207 201 Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 10:43 AM (omVj0)

Read it, critique it, destroy him!
Posted by: Klingon Advice Line at June 25, 2023 11:02 AM (Angsy)

It's on kindle unlimited; I'll read it and critique it and help you destroy him, Wolf. Haha!

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at June 25, 2023 11:07 AM (OX9vb)

208 Morning Hordemates!

Posted by: Diogenes at June 25, 2023 11:07 AM (e4fEA)

209 Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 10:43 AM (omVj0)

Read it, critique it, destroy him!
Posted by: Klingon Advice Line at June 25, 2023 11:02 AM (Angsy)

It's on kindle unlimited; I'll read it and critique it and help you destroy him, Wolf. Haha!
Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at June 25, 2023


***
At this point I have no idea whether his stuff is good. What he's submitted to the group needs copy editing, and that would be par for the course, except that his bio says that he has *been a copy editor.* Technically I've never been a copy editor -- but when I bring something to the group, it's not first draft and has been eyeballed and spell-checked, and read out loud to catch stuff the computer doesn't.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 11:10 AM (omVj0)

210 @196 --

Well, he did keep on writing Helm long after the movie series ended. The sales must have been good enough to justify it.

His book "Travels With Kathleen" devotes time to his being aboard an oil tanker for several days as part of his research for a novel. I think he got two. books out of that: the standalone "The Mona Intercept" and the Helm book "The Revengers," which was twice as thick as any before it.

Posted by: Weak Geek at June 25, 2023 11:10 AM (p/isN)

211 It's true that a bad narrator can ruin an audiobook.
Fortunately you can sample the book before you purchase it.

Posted by: gourmand du jour at June 25, 2023 10:44 AM (MeG8a)

Can't you just mute it?
Posted by: Blonde at June 25, 2023 11:04 AM (Angsy)

Heh. My problem, not audio books, but novels in general is how many times I've been burned, getting invested in the characters, and then realizing the closer I get to the end, the more I'm certain the author didn't really know how to conclude it.

When that happens, it feels like I've wasted my time, and being a slow reader, that's precious to me. I take it personally, and it's generally stopped me from picking up any novels recently, and not taking any chance on most of them.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:12 AM (QBaJw)

212 Robinson Crusoe holds up pretty well.

And any censorship of Kipling would be criminal.

Posted by: polynikes at June 25, 2023 11:13 AM (FuraN)

213 Eh, it depends on what you're trying to do.

Posted by: naturalfake at June 25, 2023 10:44 AM (fb7jX)

Mostly, just see if I can "write." I've done one novella, one 55k novel, working on a novel, and completed a few short stories. I'm old enough that I know I wouldn't have a long catalogue, but why not give it a try? I've been a reader for as long as I can remember. The house always had books when I was a kid.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 11:14 AM (Angsy)

214 My local library uses the Libby app for audiobooks. No complaints.

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at June 25, 2023 11:15 AM (DhOHl)

215 Has looks right. Simple typo or some subtle message that I'm not getting?
Posted by: Oddbob

*********

That's okay. The James Madison didn't get it either.

Posted by: Mulldoon at June 25, 2023 11:15 AM (kXYt5)

216 My strategy has been to just crank out books while I still have them in my head, and later on, maybe I can get a real publisher. Presumably having a body of work available is a plus, but I haven't even started that process.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 10:44 AM (llXky)

Pretty much what I'm doing. Write and practice writing until someone wants to give me money for it. Could take years - or never happen. Keeps me out of trouble anyway....

Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 11:16 AM (Angsy)

217 A lot of you recommending Adrian Tchaikovsky. I am intrigued. What book is a good place to start?

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 11:17 AM (t/2Uw)

218 A book that I am anticipating comes out this week: "Misfortune Cookie," by Vivien Chien. This is the latest in the Noodle Shop Mysteries series, a series of cozies set in Cleveland which I'm greatly enjoying. The detective/Narrator is Lana Lee, manager of the Ho-Lee Noodle House (daughter of the owners). She keeps getting pulled into cases of mysterious deaths, as is the way with cozies. Most of them are set in an Asian shopping center and involve owners of the various businesses there, though there are some other venues such as a night market and a death in a private home where Lana is catering a dinner. The characters are great and I do recommend this series for a light read.

Posted by: Alice at June 25, 2023 11:17 AM (dNxze)

219 yes the oss had some commies notably marcuse in the labor section, the company had one fellow kronthal who was blackmailed in the bern station, allegedly there was a mole,
sasha, that angleton was hunting down (littell tries to have it both way in the tale) some of the assets like in the ukraine op were double agents,

Posted by: no 6 at June 25, 2023 11:18 AM (PXvVL)

220 The one thing the LOTR movie made clear to me was the battle scenes. I just could not visualize them at all in the books.
Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 11:01 AM (t/2Uw)

One thing that hadn't occurred to me, how much Pete Jax relied on the actors to make faces at each other, as if to convey the monumental tasks they faced.

Whereas Tolkien let the characters' actions show who they were, what motivated them, how they were impacted by things. I think that is a shortcoming of the medium, more than a criticism of Jackson's/actors' choices. Everybody's gotta emote. Maybe that makes it more realistic, I don't know, but I don't care for it.

As for the battle/action scenes, sure, it's nice to see them play out, but for reasons I can't really explain, I think they're overdone in the films.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:18 AM (QBaJw)

221 I'm not sure any female character qualifies as an icon of empowerment. Leonore Ashburnham is, true, pushed to her limits by her feckless husband, but she's a monster who destroys poor Nancy Rufford. And Florence Dowell is a slut, period.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:01 AM (MoZTd)
---
Leonora totally prefigured Hillary Clinton, managing her husband's infidelities while remaining head of the estate. And she certainly profits from a well-timed suicide.

Florence Dowell uses her husband's money, takes up his time, and sleeps around just like any properly empowered would should.

It's pretty obvious why feminists are into the book, don't you think?

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:18 AM (llXky)

222 I'm reading Madeline MIller's The Song of Achilles.

Achilles, Achilles
you give me the willies.....

Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 10:48 AM (T4tVD)

No, no! It's Achilles, Achilles you give me your willie.

Posted by: Patroclus at June 25, 2023 11:20 AM (Angsy)

223 When looking at books written back in the day, most journals and accounts written during the Antebellum South or Civil War would qualify, I look at the 1 star Amazon reviews. If there are 'warnings' that the book contains views or wording that upset the commenter and other dainty snow flakes, I figure it's worth my time. That's how I found the delights of William Gilmore Simms books. A vastly underappreciated writer of the mid-1800s.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 11:20 AM (7EjX1)

224 Pretty much what I'm doing. Write and practice writing until someone wants to give me money for it. Could take years - or never happen. Keeps me out of trouble anyway....
Posted by: OrangeEnt at June 25, 2023 11:16 AM (Angsy)

Recommend a number of Steven Pressfield's non fiction books writing and being a successful author and other professions.

Posted by: polynikes at June 25, 2023 11:20 AM (FuraN)

225
It's pretty obvious why feminists are into the book, don't you think?
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:18 AM (llXky)


In that case, may the Good Lord spare us from feminists.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:21 AM (MoZTd)

226 “Random: Apparently many people in China have names that include uncommon characters. The Chinese government recognizes about 30,000 characters…”

I recall reading that upper level Chinese peasants could read 300-600 characters. 1200+ for some merchants, 3000 and up for merchant-gentry and bureaucrats and 3000+ for scholars. Something like that…

Posted by: 13times at June 25, 2023 11:21 AM (m1Jtm)

227 Whereas Tolkien let the characters' actions show who they were, what motivated them, how they were impacted by things. I think that is a shortcoming of the medium, more than a criticism of Jackson's/actors' choices. Everybody's gotta emote. Maybe that makes it more realistic, I don't know, but I don't care for it.

As for the battle/action scenes, sure, it's nice to see them play out, but for reasons I can't really explain, I think they're overdone in the films.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:18 AM (QBaJw)
---
Jackson modified the battles to make them senseless. Tolkien's battles hewed closely to historical examples, which is why they resonated.

Jackson wanted exciting visuals and cheap sight-gags, which is why I can't stand watching his movies.

Legolas surfing down the trunk of an Oliphaunt he downed Luke Skywalker-style was just stupid.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:21 AM (llXky)

228 OT, Sarah Hoyt could use prayers for her little kitten Helena (no connection) who is at the vet and not doing well.

Posted by: Helena Handbasket at June 25, 2023 11:22 AM (llON8)

229 *Being Successful Author for Dummies

Posted by: runner at June 25, 2023 11:22 AM (V13WU)

230 My heel hurts.

Posted by: Achilles at June 25, 2023 11:22 AM (DhOHl)

231 The door stop hernia thing is very funny. For whatever reason it brought to mind one of the most bizarre and impenetrable books I have ever come across: Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.

A brilliant Elizabethan and incredibly erudite guy just crushed with what they called Melancholy wrote a book ostensibly about the experience.

But.... it's not. It's a tour de force of something. Etymologies and intellectual ideas in a seemingly jumbled manner.

I mean, it is one of the two wildest things I have ever kinda read. The other is Dumezil's Nostradamus.

I don't think that's coincidence. The books are clearly about something else and likely in code.

I mean, Nostradamus clearly wrote in some code.

And this was the beginning of The Crown's embrace of cryptography. And when John Dee was active.

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:27 AM (OoCxN)

232 >>>Legolas surfing down the trunk of an Oliphaunt he downed Luke Skywalker-style was just stupid.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd

>Wasn't Legolas rejected by some elf hottie for a dwarf? The dwarf must have been sporting a tuna can in his little dwarf trousers.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 11:28 AM (KVGVf)

233 In that case, may the Good Lord spare us from feminists.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:21 AM (MoZTd)
---
I have to admit I'm really surprised at how quickly and quietly they have accepted dudes in women's locker rooms just because they grow their hair out.

People screaming for decades about "war on women" are apparently fine with what is still technically sexual assault.

I guess it was really just social signalling all along.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:28 AM (llXky)

234 Jackson wanted exciting visuals and cheap sight-gags, which is why I can't stand watching his movies.

Legolas surfing down the trunk of an Oliphaunt he downed Luke Skywalker-style was just stupid.
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:21 AM (llXky)

Probably somewhere over half the ticket buyers for a movie are kids and/or imbeciles, so I can understand why he would need to make some of the action scenes cartoony.

Let's face it, the films would have flopped if they had strictly adhered to the books.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:29 AM (AUuUW)

235 Jackson modified the battles to make them senseless. Tolkien's battles hewed closely to historical examples, which is why they resonated.

Jackson wanted exciting visuals and cheap sight-gags, which is why I can't stand watching his movies.

Legolas surfing down the trunk of an Oliphaunt he downed Luke Skywalker-style was just stupid.
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd

You and I read books differently which is interesting to me. I am only interested in the outcome of the battle or rather how the battle moves the story. I'm really not interested in the battle itself. The intricacies of troop movements probably make sense to those of you who have participated or studied such things but don't always resonate with a reader like me.
I try to enjoy movies based on books as if I've never read the books. They very rarely match up to the books.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 11:30 AM (t/2Uw)

236 >Wasn't Legolas rejected by some elf hottie for a dwarf? The dwarf must have been sporting a tuna can in his little dwarf trousers.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 11:28 AM (KVGVf)
---
I have not watched any of The Hobbit movies, but I am told that they are actually D&D films that borrow some of the names from Tolkien's works.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:31 AM (llXky)

237 Anything by Leon Uris is a good book.
Exodus was a most delightful read in my teen years.
Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice

https://tinyurl.com/nnue5jv6

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at June 25, 2023 11:32 AM (FVME7)

238 Anyone interested in Archaic greek stories would really get a lot from Nagy's The Greek Hero in 24hrs.

It is mindblowing. The sense that this is the real deal is overwhelming.

It starts off very slow and basic and then by the end the dude is just writing brain crushing insight after insight.

For me, it just puts to shame all the supposed experts on myth. They look like hopeless amateurs basing everything on fragments of data.

It's a beautiful work.

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:32 AM (OoCxN)

239 People screaming for decades about "war on women" are apparently fine with what is still technically sexual assault.

I guess it was really just social signalling all along.
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:28 AM (llXky)

I love Ricky Gervais take:

Woman 1: He has a penis.

Woke: SHE has a penis, you bigot!

Woman 1: But what if he rapes me with it!

Woke: WHAT IF SHEEEEEE RAPES YOU WITH IT!!!!!

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:34 AM (Ax924)

240 I try to enjoy movies based on books as if I've never read the books. They very rarely match up to the books.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 11:30 AM (t/2Uw)
---
My objections to Jackson's films are twofold. Yes, they are bad adaptations and screw up both the source material and its message. Jackson has been very up front about the latter element. He himself does not think he could resist the Ring, therefore no one else could, either.

But I also dislike them on their own terms as movies. They are incoherent and uneven, and include elaborate set-piece special effects that cheapen the story. Dwarf jokes and Star Wars references are unnecessary to tell a good story. Jackson falls back on them because he lacks the talent to do anything else.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:34 AM (llXky)

241 A.H., do not watch the Hobbit movies. I want you to maintain what dewy innocence you have left. They are extruded shite.

It took "They Shall Not Grow Old" to make me get over my Jackson hate.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at June 25, 2023 11:35 AM (CCf9N)

242 "If you can't tell your story in 300 pages, you'd better be Dickens, James, or Tolstoy." I dimly recall that someone (can't remember who) once commented that a book over a thousand pages should probably be regarded as a criminal offense.
_____________

An American Tragedy is a perfect example. What a waste of two weeks. The question of whether that was a murder does still fascinate me, but it could have been presented in under 300 pages instead around 900.

Posted by: Biff Pocoroba at June 25, 2023 11:35 AM (w/BqX)

243 It took "They Shall Not Grow Old" to make me get over my Jackson hate.
Posted by: All Hail Eris

Reggie Jackson ?

Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 11:36 AM (T4tVD)

244 A.H., do not watch the Hobbit movies. I want you to maintain what dewy innocence you have left. They are extruded shite.

It took "They Shall Not Grow Old" to make me get over my Jackson hate.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at June 25, 2023 11:35 AM (CCf9N)
---
What, "Meet the Feebles" didn't impress you with his cinematic genius?

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:37 AM (llXky)

245 Reggie Jackson ?
Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 11:36 AM (T4tVD)

Action Jackson

Posted by: All Hail Eris at June 25, 2023 11:37 AM (CCf9N)

246 "Some of Kipling’s works contain words or express views relating to race, gender or other matters which today are generally considered unacceptable. We are alerting readers to their presence."
Posted by: OrangeEnt

I'm pretty sure this is racist but I really can't tell anymore. (The best part is the fat guy doing the splits.) (5 minutes)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=trnoxBOo-hI

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at June 25, 2023 11:38 AM (FVME7)

247 Is it true that many of the wordy classics are mainly that way because the author was paid by the word?

Posted by: polynikes at June 25, 2023 11:39 AM (FuraN)

248 "Dewey innocence."

Snort.

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at June 25, 2023 11:40 AM (DhOHl)

249 The coup, before it started it was though.
Both sides got dough from me and you,
we got it up the old wazzoo.
-to the tune Brazil

Posted by: Eromero at June 25, 2023 11:40 AM (Uv0D2)

250 Before I return to my book (more scurvy and violence, and *fingers crossed* maybe some cannibalism), I wanted to give a hearty ¡Huzzah! to Perfessor for another fine book thread.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at June 25, 2023 11:41 AM (CCf9N)

251 It took "They Shall Not Grow Old" to make me get over my Jackson hate.
Posted by: All Hail Eris

Don't grow old? Michael Jackson?

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at June 25, 2023 11:41 AM (FVME7)

252 Have to start prepping for range day but still would like recommendation for where to start with Adrian Tchaikovsky. Post here and I'll check back.
Thanks and have a great day everyone.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 11:41 AM (t/2Uw)

253 An American Tragedy is a perfect example. What a waste of two weeks. The question of whether that was a murder does still fascinate me, but it could have been presented in under 300 pages instead around 900.
Posted by: Biff Pocoroba at June 25, 2023


***
I've never been able to read Dreiser. I tried Sister Carrie and gave up. As Dorothy Parker said, "Theodore Dreiser/ Should ought to write nicer."

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 11:41 AM (omVj0)

254 Reggie Jackson ?
Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 11:36 AM (T4tVD)

Action Jackson
Posted by: All Hail Eris

lol !

Posted by: JT at June 25, 2023 11:41 AM (T4tVD)

255 "Some of Kipling’s works contain words or express views relating to race, gender or other matters which today are generally considered unacceptable. We are alerting readers to their presence."

*Huckleberry Finn has entered the chat.*

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at June 25, 2023 11:42 AM (DhOHl)

256 For me, it just puts to shame all the supposed experts on myth. They look like hopeless amateurs basing everything on fragments of data.

It's a beautiful work.

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:32 AM (OoCxN)
---
I highly recommend the Lord of Spirits podcast on Ancient Faith's website. One of the things it does is demonstrate how the Bible and pagan mythology are describing the same thing, simply from a different point of view. The reason why there are so many instances in the Old Testament of "God is the true god, none is greater, etc." is because it is a refutation of the fallen angels (i.e. demons) who accept worship as gods.

I will caution that the third season has been a profound disappointment and I've stopped listening. As often happens, the producers exhausted the original premise of the show, and it has since devolved into an Orthodox infomercial with a good dollop of anti-Catholic invective.

But the first couple of years are worth listening to.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:42 AM (llXky)

257 The scenes with Brad Dourif as Wormtongue are perfect. So there’s that. hah

Posted by: 13times at June 25, 2023 11:42 AM (m1Jtm)

258 would like recommendation for where to start with Adrian Tchaikovsky. Post here and I'll check back.
Thanks and have a great day everyone.
Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 11:41 AM (t/2Uw)

I also have not read Tchaikovsky, but I got Shards of Earth from the library, and will be reading that this week. Lots of the 'rons have recommended this one.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at June 25, 2023 11:43 AM (OX9vb)

259 *Huckleberry Finn has entered the chat.*

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at June 25, 2023 11:42 AM (DhOHl)
---
LOL, I was talking with a liberal who was acting all self-righteous about conservatives trying to ban books from libraries and I just shrugged. "What else is new? Remember when they wanted to ban Huckleberry Finn and Gone with the Wind?"

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:43 AM (llXky)

260 Little Dagny the Siberian kitten is sitting up next to me, as if she wished she could read the marks on the computer screen.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 11:43 AM (omVj0)

261 Is it true that many of the wordy classics are mainly that way because the author was paid by the word?

Posted by: polynikes at June 25, 2023 11:39 AM (FuraN)

Did someone have to count 'em?

Posted by: BignJames at June 25, 2023 11:44 AM (AwYPR)

262 The scenes with Brad Dourif as Wormtongue are perfect. So there’s that. hah

Posted by: 13times at June 25, 2023 11:42 AM (m1Jtm)
---
Someone said upthread that the cast really saves it. I think that's correct. The casting choices for Game of Thrones arguably kept the show going even as the story degenerated.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:44 AM (llXky)

263 Sharon,

I was in the same boat regarding Adrian Tchaikovsky. I saw a lot of recommendations. So I just picked up Shards of Earth and was glad I did. I enjoyed it and I hope to find another enjoyable one by him.

But the Woke is there. If you are looking to be offended you will be.

Posted by: pawn at June 25, 2023 11:44 AM (wsHtO)

264 247 Is it true that many of the wordy classics are mainly that way because the author was paid by the word?
Posted by: polynikes at June 25, 2023 11:39 AM (FuraN)

A lot. Which brings to mind how under-appreciated refereeing is to style of gameplay.

I *clench jaw* everytime some says "the NBA/NFL game has evolved".

Yeah, no. Call the game like the 70's, get a game like the 70's. Call it like the 80's get a game like the 80's. Call it like the early 2000's get a game like the early 2000's.

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:45 AM (OoCxN)

265 I've never been able to read Dreiser. I tried Sister Carrie and gave up. As Dorothy Parker said, "Theodore Dreiser/ Should ought to write nicer."
Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius
______________

I kind of liked Sister Carrie. That is, as an example of pure nihilism.

Posted by: Biff Pocoroba at June 25, 2023 11:45 AM (w/BqX)

266 Thank you, Horde, I have scribbled your recommendations all over the back of my cable bill. Thanks Perfessor for making my Sunday mornings so enjoyable.

Prayers for Helena the kitty.

Posted by: Debby Doberman Schultz at June 25, 2023 11:46 AM (a4EWo)

267 I listen while I drive. They're autiobooks.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at June 25, 2023 11:46 AM (FVME7)

268 "lot of you recommending Adrian Tchaikovsky. I am intrigued. What book is a good place to start"

------------

I'd say look at my comment #143 and pick what kind you like.

Summary:

"Elder Race" - short, fun, clever concept.

"Shards of Earth" - long, fun.

"Children of Time" - long, epic, cerebral, utterly fascinating.

Posted by: Taro Tsujimoto at June 25, 2023 11:46 AM (5YmYl)

269
Is it true that many of the wordy classics are mainly that way because the author was paid by the word?

Posted by: polynikes at June 25, 2023 11:39 AM (FuraN)


A lot of them were written for serials, a new chapter appearing every issue. The author (and editor) wanted to keep stringing the audience along. The Count of Monte Cristo could be half its length and not lose anything, but there's still something about reading all the lengthy dialogue and digressive subplots.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:48 AM (MoZTd)

270 I kind of liked Sister Carrie. That is, as an example of pure nihilism.
Posted by: Biff Pocoroba at June 25, 2023


***
I'd almost certainly like the story, and probably would devour the story in An American Tragedy -- if it weren't for the heavy prose style. Imagine if someone like Herman Wouk had written either of those. His Youngblood Hawke and Caine Mutiny are long, but each reads itself to you.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at June 25, 2023 11:48 AM (omVj0)

271 But the first couple of years are worth listening to.
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:42 AM (llXky)

Yes. Those guys are good. But Nagy is "orthogonal" to that.

As good as they are, they're still not really able to talk about the Archaic Greek mindset. They are right about the drgenerate forms Christianity encountered. But the Archaic stuff when alive was quite different.

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:50 AM (OoCxN)

272
Yeah, no. Call the game like the 70's, get a game like the 70's. Call it like the 80's get a game like the 80's. Call it like the early 2000's get a game like the early 2000's.
Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:45 AM (OoCxN)


Baseball nerds scream about the umpiring nowadays, but I think it's about as good as it's ever been. The issue arises because of the multitude of tools that have been brought to analyze the game. Apply those same tools to a game of 50 years ago and you'd be shocked at how bad the umpiring was.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:50 AM (MoZTd)

273 It took "They Shall Not Grow Old" to make me get over my Jackson hate.
Posted by: All Hail Eris

Don't grow old? Michael Jackson?
Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at June 25, 2023 11:41 AM (FVME7)

Move on up a little higher, fella.

Posted by: Mahalia Jax at June 25, 2023 11:50 AM (NyUnZ)

274 Something that drives me crazy with audio books:
A male narrator that reads dialog from a female feels the need to change the sound of their voice from tenor to soprano, in order to distinguish the character.

Posted by: gourmand du jour, friend to cats, lover of dogs at June 25, 2023 11:51 AM (MeG8a)

275 A lot of them were written for serials, a new chapter appearing every issue. The author (and editor) wanted to keep stringing the audience along. The Count of Monte Cristo could be half its length and not lose anything, but there's still something about reading all the lengthy dialogue and digressive subplots.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:48 AM (MoZTd)
---
Once upon a time, finding and keeping writing talent was a serious business. I think the consolidation of publishing and media in general has convinced the management that quality or audience interest are no longer necessary - they can just pump out propaganda and the market will have no choice but to buy what they are selling.

Evidence shows otherwise. At a last resort, people can buy used books, and there is a ton of great literature already out there that I've not even touched on. I get people wanted to read new fiction (hey, I'm writing some of it!) but I personally am enjoying "the classics."

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:51 AM (llXky)

276 I'd almost certainly like the story, and probably would devour the story in An American Tragedy -- if it weren't for the heavy prose style. Imagine if someone like Herman Wouk had written either of those. His Youngblood Hawke and Caine Mutiny are long, but each reads itself to you.
Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius
________________

The movie, A Place in the Sun, does just as good, if not a better job of presenting the murder question. Plus it has a young Elizabeth Taylor in a bathing suit.

Posted by: Biff Pocoroba at June 25, 2023 11:51 AM (w/BqX)

277 Baseball nerds scream about the umpiring nowadays, but I think it's about as good as it's ever been. The issue arises because of the multitude of tools that have been brought to analyze the game. Apply those same tools to a game of 50 years ago and you'd be shocked at how bad the umpiring was.
Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh

Yeah. I am talking NBA/NFL not MLB. MLB just had total conceptual failure of front offices and management. It seems to be being corrected by brute force.

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:52 AM (OoCxN)

278 "I was in the same boat regarding Adrian Tchaikovsky. I saw a lot of recommendations. So I just picked up Shards of Earth and was glad I did. I enjoyed it and I hope to find another enjoyable one by him.

But the Woke is there. If you are looking to be offended you will be."

-------

Oh, yeah. You have to be able to accept that he writes strong wymyn and weak men. I just roll my eyes and let it slide.

Posted by: Taro Tsujimoto at June 25, 2023 11:52 AM (5YmYl)

279 So at what point do you give up on a book?
I'm in the middle of one now and it's just boring and there is only one last thing keeping me interested. Otherwise...pppfffttt.

Posted by: Diogenes at June 25, 2023 11:52 AM (e4fEA)

280 Baseball nerds scream about the umpiring nowadays, but I think it's about as good as it's ever been. The issue arises because of the multitude of tools that have been brought to analyze the game. Apply those same tools to a game of 50 years ago and you'd be shocked at how bad the umpiring was.
Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:50 AM (MoZTd)

Of all the multitude of problems modern MLB has, I don't think bad (human) umpiring is one of them.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:53 AM (NyUnZ)

281 "Some of Kipling’s works contain words or express views relating to race, gender or other matters which today are generally considered unacceptable. We are alerting readers to their presence."

*Huckleberry Finn has entered the chat.*



Here's my trigger warning:
You need to grow the f*** up, you simpering ponce.

Posted by: Archimedes at June 25, 2023 11:54 AM (eOEVl)

282
Of all the multitude of problems modern MLB has, I don't think bad (human) umpiring is one of them.
Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:53 AM (NyUnZ)


Shooting all the analytics guys would be a good start.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:55 AM (MoZTd)

283 Of all the multitude of problems modern MLB has, I don't think bad (human) umpiring is one of them.
Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:53 AM (NyUnZ)

As far as gameplay? I disagree. It isn't "bad" more it is human's simply can't do what umps are asked to do at the req level. Those umps are as good as it can ever get rn. It just isn'r good enough.

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:55 AM (OoCxN)

284 As good as they are, they're still not really able to talk about the Archaic Greek mindset. They are right about the drgenerate forms Christianity encountered. But the Archaic stuff when alive was quite different.

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:50 AM (OoCxN)
---
I think that's part of their problem. They have hinted at deep dives into Norse and Greek mythology, but only skim the surface. I'd much rather see them explore the Greek worldview from a sympathetic standpoint than give me another lecture about how Catholics Do It Wrong.

I do think it would be funny if the Orthodox Church re-enters into communion with Rome. A new session was held earlier this month where both parties reiterated their desire to achieve it.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:55 AM (llXky)

285 So at what point do you give up on a book?
I'm in the middle of one now and it's just boring and there is only one last thing keeping me interested. Otherwise...pppfffttt.
Posted by: Diogenes at June 25, 2023 11:52 AM (e4fEA)

I've started and stopped a few after just a couple chapters.

I don't want to waste my time.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:55 AM (NyUnZ)

286 I had no problem with the fight scenes in the LOTR movies. They portrayed what they were supposed to: a desperate battle against nearly overwhelming evil forces. The few brief lighthearted moments, like the trunk surfing Legolas, would make youngsters cheer and laugh and bring a momentary smile to adults. But they didn't interrupt the action enough to distract me.

The Hobbit movies, on the other hand, were a 75 percent disappointment for the silly aspects Jackson and company foisted, unneeded, on the story.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (7EjX1)

287
A new session was held earlier this month where both parties reiterated their desire to achieve it.
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:55 AM (llXky)


One of our curates has a beard. That's a start.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (MoZTd)

288 So at what point do you give up on a book?
I'm in the middle of one now and it's just boring and there is only one last thing keeping me interested. Otherwise...pppfffttt.
Posted by: Diogenes
___________

It's like Elaine and the free after eating 25 bad ones.

Posted by: Biff Pocoroba at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (w/BqX)

289 So at what point do you give up on a book?
I'm in the middle of one now and it's just boring and there is only one last thing keeping me interested. Otherwise...pppfffttt.

Posted by: Diogenes at June 25, 2023 11:52 AM (e4fEA)
---
Depends. Some I've quit at the start because I can't get into them. Ulysses comes to mind.

Others I will simply skim through to the end if I've put enough work on it. Life is too short to waste it on books you don't enjoy.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (llXky)

290 Always wondered about the difference between the hearing voices aspect of schizophrenia and our own internal discussion which can at times be chaotic, contradictory, unwanted at times, and at other times colored by or invaded by the really awful fucking things that the worst people in our lives said to us and in some cases came to believe about ourselves.

Posted by: Difference in kind? Degree? Internal versus external? at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (AJ2DX)

291 Of all the multitude of problems modern MLB has, I don't think bad (human) umpiring is one of them.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:53 AM (NyUnZ)

Bud Selig killed mlb for me.

Posted by: BignJames at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (AwYPR)

292 274 Something that drives me crazy with audio books:
A male narrator that reads dialog from a female feels the need to change the sound of their voice from tenor to soprano, in order to distinguish the character.
Posted by: gourmand du jour, friend to cats, lover of dogs at June 25, 2023 11:51 AM
Max McLean reads the Bible. It's good for the soul.

Posted by: Eromero at June 25, 2023 11:58 AM (Uv0D2)

293 A few weeks ago someone here recommended The Things We Make by Bill Hammock. I consumed it via audiobook and enjoyed it.
He does, however, smartly salute two woke flags: feminism and "climate change." Prolly had to do that in order to get published.

Regardless it was a thought provoking examination of the difference between science and engineering.

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at June 25, 2023 11:58 AM (DhOHl)

294 As far as gameplay? I disagree. It isn't "bad" more it is human's simply can't do what umps are asked to do at the req level. Those umps are as good as it can ever get rn. It just isn'r good enough.
Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:55 AM (OoCxN)

The balls are juiced, the players are juiced, the game is boring, with everyone either striking out or walking or hitting home runs.

The teams are Woke, the league is run by corporate fascists, the players are cowards, and nobody has any interest in trying to preserve what made the game great.

Umpires aren't the problem.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:59 AM (NyUnZ)

295
I think that's part of their problem. They have hinted at deep dives into Norse and Greek mythology, but only skim the surface. I'd much rather see them explore the Greek worldview from a sympathetic standpoint than give me another lecture about how Catholics Do It Wrong.

I do think it would be funny if the Orthodox Church re-enters into communion with Rome. A new session was held earlier this month where both parties reiterated their desire to achieve it.
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:55 AM (llXky)

God I hope so.

There is so much crucial stuff being ignored. Dumezil, Nagy, Guenon, Eliade.

It is hard for Christians to give up intellectual superiority/dominance rn.

Christianity is True and the archaic "pagans" were brilliant!

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 11:59 AM (OoCxN)

296 The Hobbit movies, on the other hand, were a 75 percent disappointment for the silly aspects Jackson and company foisted, unneeded, on the story.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (7EjX1)
---
You could argue that Jackson was "padding" things in order to get three movies out of a fairly short book.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:59 AM (llXky)

297 WE HAZ A NOOD

Posted by: Skip at June 25, 2023 12:01 PM (xhxe8)

298 I can read what I consider a bad book if the author knows how to write. Some authors have a style and ability to write where it's effortless to read even if the story sucks. You are basically reading to the end because you were always waiting for it to get better.

Posted by: polynikes at June 25, 2023 12:01 PM (FuraN)

299 Shooting all the analytics guys would be a good start.

Posted by: Hadrian the Seventh at June 25, 2023 11:55 AM (MoZTd)

Hey...let's invent a new stat...batting avg w/a full moon!

Posted by: BignJames at June 25, 2023 12:01 PM (AwYPR)

300 Always wondered about the difference between the hearing voices aspect of schizophrenia and our own internal discussion which can at times be chaotic, contradictory, unwanted at times, and at other times colored by or invaded by the really awful fucking things that the worst people in our lives said to us and in some cases came to believe about ourselves.
Posted by: Difference in kind? Degree? Internal versus external? at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (AJ2DX)

Highly recommended book:

Hearing Voices: The Histories, Causes and Meanings of Auditory Verbal Hallucinations by Simon McCarthy-Jones

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 12:03 PM (NyUnZ)

301 Of all the multitude of problems modern MLB has, I don't think bad (human) umpiring is one of them.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 11:53 AM (NyUnZ)

Bud Selig killed mlb for me.
Posted by: BignJames at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (AwYPR)

Yup, and it's gone steeply downhill from there.

Posted by: BurtTC at June 25, 2023 12:04 PM (NyUnZ)

302 Always wondered about the difference between the hearing voices aspect of schizophrenia and our own internal discussion which can at times be chaotic, contradictory, unwanted at times, and at other times colored by or invaded by the really awful fucking things that the worst people in our lives said to us and in some cases came to believe about ourselves.

Posted by: Difference in kind? Degree? Internal versus external? at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (AJ2DX)
---
I think it's a question of to what degree there is internal dissonance and how distracting it becomes.

In large part because I am an only child, I frequently will think things through out loud, including debating courses of action, how I feel about so-and-so.

But some people hear voices that are distracting if not downright oppressive. That's a problem.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 12:05 PM (llXky)

303 I can read what I consider a bad book if the author knows how to write. Some authors have a style and ability to write where it's effortless to read even if the story sucks. You are basically reading to the end because you were always waiting for it to get better.

Posted by: polynikes at June 25, 2023 12:01 PM (FuraN)
---
Writing style is a deal-breaker for me. I can't read Stephen King because I hate this style. I don't care how good his stories are, I'm done. That's why I often quit a book early on, because the style pisses me off.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 12:06 PM (llXky)

304 Oh well, it's that time. Thanks again, Perfesser!

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 12:07 PM (llXky)

305 Yes. Thanks, Perfesser!

I got my fix in thanks to you!

Again a well done poasting!

Posted by: Thesokorus at June 25, 2023 12:09 PM (5OPdY)

306 Tolkien purists chap my gooch.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at June 25, 2023 12:12 PM (KVGVf)

307 “lot of you recommending Adrian Tchaikovsky. I am intrigued. What book is a good place to start"

The Children trilogy shows a more seasoned and capable author. Probably smart to start with his earlier works and watch his ability at storytelling improve.

The Woke elements are very mild.

Posted by: 13times at June 25, 2023 12:16 PM (BfOCR)

308 296 The Hobbit movies, on the other hand, were a 75 percent disappointment for the silly aspects Jackson and company foisted, unneeded, on the story.

Posted by: JTB at June 25, 2023 11:57 AM (7EjX1)
---
You could argue that Jackson was "padding" things in order to get three movies out of a fairly short book.
Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at June 25, 2023 11:59 AM (llXky)
----

It should have been two movies -- there and back again. It's in the title!

Posted by: All Hail Eris at June 25, 2023 12:31 PM (CCf9N)

309 Most anticipated book for me is a new one from Marko Kloos in his "Frontlines" series coming out in November (just re-read the entire series in happy anticipation). Although from the title it sounds like this one won't be continuing the main storyline but probably just set in the same universe. My thanks to whoever first mentioned him here, as it turned me on to a really good author. Currently two-thirds through Standing The First Watch (The Last Brigade Book 1) by William Alan Webb and it's keeping my interest. Thank G-d, no woke! I'm so done with Woke and Pride it's not funny; really have reached the total saturation point.

Posted by: tankascribe at June 25, 2023 12:38 PM (/i5sE)

310 Thanks everyone. Plenty of copies at the library.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at June 25, 2023 12:53 PM (t/2Uw)

311 *continues reading The Wager*

Yup, cannibalism.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at June 25, 2023 01:06 PM (CCf9N)

312 Gonna read the thread now

Posted by: vmom stabby stabby stabby stabby stabamillion at June 25, 2023 01:08 PM (vHIgi)

313 I was last in that library in 2003.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at June 25, 2023 01:09 PM (x8vh4)

314 " jumping to the top of the page "

Sorry about that Sharon... not sure why that is, and I haven't been able to reproduce it.

Glad you were able to find a work-around and enjoy the sale, anyway!

Posted by: Hans G. Schantz at June 25, 2023 01:19 PM (ltEiZ)

315 303: Stephen King so much of the time refuses to close the sale and move the f*** on. He lacks artistic restraint. I have less patience for that as time goes on.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at June 25, 2023 01:25 PM (x8vh4)

316 Christopher Taylor, what was the mystery series you mentioned a couple of weeks ago? Where the narrator is assistant to the sleuth and they attend church on Sunday if they're in London? Amazon isn't showing me my previous queries (they were too expensive at $15 apiece) and I wanted to see if the library has them online.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at June 25, 2023 05:33 PM (nC+QA)

317 33 . As always, pants are required, especially if you are wearing these pants

A cavill: I believe the original OM formulation was *even* if you're wearing these pants.
Posted by: Bandersnatch at June 25, 2023 09:19 AM (GzDfN

Lim (count(weedwhacker)) -> 0

Posted by: Fox 2! at June 25, 2023 06:24 PM (4GxJn)

318 I just had a fun deep dive looking up info on the Vancouver library! The interior is so similar to the Salt Lake City library I assumed that's what it was. Both were designed by the Safdie Architects, but Vancouver's definitely has that Roman colosseum look you described. I'm not going to say they were lazy with the SLC design, but they definitely reused their old design for it. But it's still pretty.

If similar to the SLC one, the left side is the main library, the right is cafes and shops. There was a branch of one of the great SLC comics stores in one of those shop spaces. When the homeless problem in SLC was growing, the owner had to close down the library branch of his store. He said the shopgirls would get accosted and harassed when they left work at night, and he wouldn't put his employees in that kind of an unsafe condition. Really sad. Not sure if the problem was fixed.

I'm reading the Lost Metal! I love the political stuff. I'm at a place near the end where the larger cosmere is bleeding into the Wax/Wayne world, and they are info dumping a lot of characters and magic systems I don't know about yet. So I put it down, but I'll return to it and finish it soon.

Posted by: LizLem at June 25, 2023 08:34 PM (+mkOR)

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