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Sunday Morning Book Thread - 02-25-2024 ["Perfessor" Squirrel]


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(Click image for larger version)

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 (Admit it--we've all been there!). 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, unless you are wearing these pants...(warm and fuzzy kittens not included!)

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

This is another one of those pics I swiped from Adobe. At first glance it looks innocuous enough--just a bunch of woodland critters gathered around a blazing fire to read books together. Then you look a bit closer and see that they are *burning* books. Definitely a sinister undertone... In a moment their eyes will start to glow red as they begin preparations to summon their Dark Lord...

READING A BOOK A WEEK (or MONTH)



Reading a book a week may not be within everyone's capability, of course. It takes a lot of time and discipline to work up to reading that much in a week. Now, reading at least one book a month should definitely be possible for most people if they choose to devote that time to reading. You may not get quite the same benefits as reading a book a week, but you'll definitely see steady improvement in your reading habits over time. I note in the video above that a lot of the examples of "celebrity" readers included quite a few lefties...

Reading at least one book a week has helped me, I think. I don't watch much television at all any more. Even movies are a bit of a stretch as I find it hard to sit still for that long and I want to fall asleep. With a book, I can read a chapter here or there and I can set it down whenever my brain gets tired. I find myself far more interested in the stories happening between the pages of a book than I do in the stories broadcast on various television shows or movies. I look around at all of the entertainment at my fingertips and my hands almost immediately reach for a book over a DVD of a television show.

I also get an immense satisfaction from completing series that I have not read before, such as Riverland or the soon-to-be-completed Malazan Books of the Fallen. I love going to my spreadsheet of reading and crossing them off my TBR pile. Read more. You'll soon find yourself reading better...

++++++++++


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HOW TO WRITE A BOOK - Critical Drinker Style

You may or may not know this, but everyone's favorite alcoholic Scottish movie critic and commentator--The Critical Drinker--is also an author of modest accomplishment, having written about a dozen or so novels under his real name, Will Jordan. Naturally, he's been questioned about his process, and because he likes to cater to his fans, he's answered this question as only he can:



Of all of the advice he gives, the two points that stand out to me are the following:


  1. Time Management

  2. Self-Discipline

Together, these help you develop the work ethic needed to successfully write a book from start to finish. If you cannot master these two principles, it's unlikely you will ever become the writer you would like to be. That does mean you may have to sacrifice other things in your life in favor of writing. This is especially true if you have family or social obligations. At a minimum, you will need to devote AT LEAST 10 hours a week to writing and probably many more if you can squeeze them in, depending on the complexity of the project. Once your book takes off and sells a million copies, then you can think about luxury time and how you can turn your writing into a full-time career. Until then, you may as well consider writing as an unpaid part-time job with its own deadlines and responsibilities that need to be met. Almost like writing a blog post once a week...

BOOKS BY MORONS

TheJamesMadison has taken time from his busy schedule researching and writing awesome Movie Thread posts to write another story for y'all's enjoyment:


corstae.jpg
In a time of dragons and conflict, one smalle, remote country, Corstae, is pulled into a larger war that it has no means to fight. It's king, James, must go headlong into a battle that he knows he knows he cannot win, involving his queen and young prince.

In this history-changing endeavor, Ioyalties will be tested, strength measured, sorcery reborn, and dragons let loose to rain savag fire down from the skies.

This follow up to David Vining's Crystal Embers is an epic journey and detailed account of war both sudden and terrifying.

Corstae by David Vining

MORON RECOMMENDATIONS

Even though we had an interesting and engaging conversation about typing last week, there were also several excellent recommendations:


I missed last week so I've got a bumper crop of recommendations and comments. First off, a nonfiction work: Skunk Works by Ben R. Rich and Leo Janos. Rich was an engineer at Lockheed under the legendary Kelly Johnson (I think there's a law or something that you have to call him that), and then took over as head of the Skunk Works after Johnson retired.

As one might expect, Rich focuses heavily on projects he was involved with -- the U-2, the SR-71, and the Stealth fighter. Lots of "now it can be told" about the secret stuff. The authors pad out Rich's reminiscences with short pieces by others involved, especially pilots who flew the planes.

Great stuff if you're a plane buff. The SR-71 section is really amazing: CIA gave Johnson a ridiculous set of requirements, he turned that into a design full of unobtanium, and the engineers made it real.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 18, 2024 09:15 AM (78a2H)

Comment: I'm not a plane buff, but I've always had an appreciation for the SR-71. I just think it's a gorgeous piece of aeronautical engineering. It *looks* like it flies at Mach 3 while it's just sitting on the tarmac. The engineers who made that bird clearly put their hearts and souls into it to make it the fastest thing in the skies with no competition.

+++++


Finished Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Somehow, I escaped high school and college literature classes without being assigned this classic tale, for which I am grateful because I believe the story was more appreciated now than it would have been earlier.

A morality tale set in Yorkshire, England at the turn of the 19th century; it follows three generations of two neighboring families of the landed gentry. Love, hate, envy, scorn, faith, violence, revenge, and education are all featured in a story I found (surprisingly) gripping. Much easier to read than Jane Eyre although it does feature the never-ending sentence strung together with commas and semicolons that was popular at the time. Still, not difficult to read and comprehend. Recommended.

Posted by: Legally Sufficient at February 18, 2024 09:38 AM (KglbO)

Comment: I admit that I've never read this book, though it is highly rated among the "classics." I understand that there is quite a bit of gothicness going on in this book, which helps establish the mood and overall dark tone of the story. That's one of the reasons why I enjoyed Jane Austen's Mansfield Park more than I expected to. Lots of gothic elements to enhance the storytelling.

+++++


I'm reading the second book in Cixin Liu's 3 Body trilogy, The Dark Forest. It was a little difficult to get into because the Chinese names make it hard to remember which character is attached to the name. It is also difficult to do a synopsis of the book if you haven't read the first one because his writing totally out of the box.

So trying not to give any spoilers: How do you think humanity would react if we knew that an alien fleet was on the way but wouldn't arrive for 400 years. That their technology was vastly superior. That they had a way to spy on everything we were doing and interfering with our technology to keep us from making great leaps. They have a single flaw however. They can't read our minds and in their culture everyone can read everyone else's mind so they cannot lie. They do not understand subterfuge. They do not understand strategic planning that uses false premises to fool the enemy.

How will humanity exploit this?

This is an amazing book and I'm only a couple of hundred pages in.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 18, 2024 10:26 AM (t/2Uw)

Comment: I've heard a lot of good things about Cixin Liu's trilogy, though I've also heard it can be a challenge because it's written from a Chinese/Asian mindset. Also, as Sharon points out, the names can be difficult to keep straight, especially if there are a lot of them. John Christopher's Tripods series has some similarities in that aliens are well on their way here, but their advance fleet has already conquered most of the Earth. The follow-up fleet will do the final terraforming of the planet to the aliens' liking. I honestly don't know how humanity would actually react to genuine aliens among us. Probably with a lot of fearmongering and violence, which seems to be our "hat" when it comes to alien invasions...

More Moron-recommended reading material can be found HERE! (1000+ Moron-recommended books!)

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

WHAT I'VE BEEN READING THIS PAST WEEK:

After reviewing some of OregonMuse's old Book Threads, I thought I'd try something a bit different. Instead of just listing WHAT I'm reading, I'll include commentary as well. Unless otherwise specified, you can interpret this as an implied recommendation, though as always your mileage may vary.


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Malazan Book of the Fallen 9 - Dust of Dreams by Steven Erickson

Whew! It's been a long, grueling journey, but we are finally at the conclusion of the Malazan saga. According to Erickson, the conclusion had to be divided into two parts--Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God--because there was no way to fit it all into one volume (**Tad Williams and Zombie Robert Jordan nod sympathetically**). The Malazan Army prepares to march against an unknown foe from ancient times. Meanwhile, their allies are securing the southern portion of the continent so that the Malazans have a clear path to their destination and their destiny...Will they save the world or doom it?

PREVIOUS SUNDAY MORNING BOOK THREAD - 02-18-24 (NOTE: Do NOT comment on old threads!)


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Disclaimer: No Morons were harmed in the making of this Sunday Morning Book Thread. Unpleasant employers have increased their hiring of food tasters and bodyguards.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 09:00 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of comments)

1 1st.

Posted by: Reforger at February 25, 2024 08:59 AM (An5Q+)

2 Just read the back of cereal boxes, does that count as reading?

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 08:59 AM (Angsy)

3 Morning, gang.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 09:00 AM (q3u5l)

4 Sorry

I did not read the week.

Posted by: rhennigantx at February 25, 2024 09:00 AM (ENQN6)

5 In a moment their eyes will start to glow red as they begin preparations to summon their Dark Lord...

Joe B?

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 09:00 AM (Angsy)

6 hiya

Posted by: JT at February 25, 2024 09:00 AM (T4tVD)

7 Good morning fellow Book Threadists. I hope everyone had a great week of reading even if it didn't include anything by Tolkien. (Obligatory mention.)

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:01 AM (zudum)

8 I note in the video above that a lot of the examples of "celebrity" readers included quite a few lefties...

Books with only one page? Seems to be the standard.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 09:02 AM (Angsy)

9 Good morning again bookworms and thanks Perfesser

Posted by: San Franpsycho at February 25, 2024 09:02 AM (RIvkX)

10 Tolle Lege

Posted by: Skip at February 25, 2024 09:03 AM (e64Ur)

11 I don't think the Pants Guy is a guy.

Posted by: JT at February 25, 2024 09:03 AM (T4tVD)

12 Those pants are fine. I would wear them to the gym in lieu of stretch leggings, because, why not?

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at February 25, 2024 09:06 AM (OX9vb)

13 Good morning, BookFans! Darned if the girl in "Anatomy of a Bookworm" doesn't look a lot like the long-ago Mrs. Wolfus No. 1! She it was who taught me to bring along a book when I leave the house, for "boredom insurance."

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 09:07 AM (omVj0)

14 Comment: I'm not a plane buff, but I've always had an appreciation for the SR-71. I just think it's a gorgeous piece of aeronautical engineering. It *looks* like it flies at Mach 3 while it's just sitting on the tarmac. The engineers who made that bird clearly put their hearts and souls into it to make it the fastest thing in the skies with no competition.

One wonders if the DEI-saturated companies that built such things long ago could still do anything as creative and innovative today.
(Narrator: No)

Posted by: Archimedes at February 25, 2024 09:08 AM (CsUN+)

15 Not sure why, but I decided to revisit some Irwin Shaw and read The Young Lions this week. Some of his short fiction next and then probably Voices of a Summer Day this week.

Damn, that guy was good.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 09:08 AM (q3u5l)

16 After I visited the Georgia Aquarium, I do believe extraterrestrial life has come to this planet -- but they live underwater.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 09:09 AM (p/isN)

17 "I look around at all of the entertainment at my fingertips and my hands almost immediately reach for a book over a DVD of a television show."

Oh yeah! Nothing I care about on TV except the syndication of "Have Gun Will Travel" which is the best written and acted show in TV history. Current movies leave me completely uninterested. But I have a decade's worth of books on the shelves I haven't read yet and endless amounts of re-reads. If it wasn't for listening to music and some YT videos, mostly history and how to do it videos, reading would be my only entertainment not hobby related.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:09 AM (zudum)

18 I'm taking a swing through comics, starting with a trade collection of the earliest Black Widow stories, when she was simply Madame Natasha, Soviet spy trying to steal Tony Stark's weapons designs. Her first costume, a blue fishnet number, came later. The dialogue is so overwritten that I'm trying to substitute my own lingo. Which only reinforces this fact: Making comics is hard work!

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 09:09 AM (p/isN)

19 I'm all in on fearmongering and violence in an alien invasion.

Posted by: pawn at February 25, 2024 09:10 AM (QB+5g)

20 Good morning all. I have a question. Anyone read the Reacher books? I just started watching the TV show. Are the books any good? Thanks.

Posted by: RetSgtRN at February 25, 2024 09:10 AM (eTkTC)

21 Thanks to those who mentioned The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer a few weeks ago. For decades I have been meaning to read this book, but the high purchase price and a library denying my purchase request kept me from doing so. I finally broke down and paid $20 for a 176-page paperback.


This was a fascinating read, and although published in 1951, it is still relevant today. Hoffer shows who is susceptible to becoming a fanatic and what drives their minds. He also explains the dynamics of mass movements.

Posted by: Zoltan at February 25, 2024 09:10 AM (sb+96)

22 Good morning, fellow bibliophiliacs!

Maybe those woodland creatures are summoning the shade of Disney to return as Walt the White, to wreak havoc on the usurpers.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 09:10 AM (3e3hy)

23 Good morning again bookworms and thanks Perfesser
Posted by: San Franpsycho at February 25, 2024 09:02 AM (RIvkX)

Seconded !

Posted by: JT at February 25, 2024 09:10 AM (T4tVD)

24 This week I read Killer's Payoff and Killer's Wedge, both in Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series. These are short books, and always interesting cases. Nice to read between other books, especially if I didn't really like what I was reading.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at February 25, 2024 09:10 AM (OX9vb)

25 Found two old paperbacks in the basement recently, that i passed down to my kids. Year of the Raccoon by Lee Kingman, and of course The Outsiders by Hinton. Great for the 10-14 year old set.

Posted by: Jonah at February 25, 2024 09:11 AM (BGQYY)

26 I'm about halfway through a fairly recent Western by Elmer Kelton, Many a River. In the Texas of the 1850s, two brothers are orphaned and separated; the five-year-old is captured by Comanches, the eight-year-old hides and is rescued by local settlers. Their lives take different directions as we follow them. Currently it's about 1862 and the Civil War is on. Fascinating stuff.

I finished Kelton's Stand Proud, an earlier novel which is also well done and keeps some surprises back for concluding chapters.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 09:11 AM (omVj0)

27 At the risk of coming across as a book snob, a book a week should be quite doable for some kinds of books, but not others. Moby Dick, or The City of God (St. Augustine) takes a lot longer than the average best-seller.

Both still have value in improving focus and attention span, but drier and/or more complex material takes longer. Thus, a unit of time measurement for book completion frequency is flawed. No, I have nothing else to put in its place, so time it is.

Perhaps we could assign degree of difficulty values to books like they do in diving and gymnastics.

Posted by: Archimedes at February 25, 2024 09:11 AM (CsUN+)

28 Last post we talked about nuts. This one we have squirrels...I'm detecting a pattern....

Posted by: I am the Shadout Mapes, the Housekeeper at February 25, 2024 09:12 AM (PiwSw)

29 What I remember laughing about in the Dark Forest, Venezuela does communism right after Chavez's reign. It becomes paradise which the imperial US can not tolerate, so it invades and is defeated.

It's not so funny now. Venezuelans murderering people throughout the US, but our media will not report any of it. Active suppression in Georgia, not sure why anyone trusts local or national news.

Posted by: InspiredHistoryMike at February 25, 2024 09:12 AM (3uc2w)

30 I was reading shaws sequel to richman beggerman thief which they adapted into the sequel i didnt much get into the series back then harve bennett who helmed khan brought it too life part is set in europe part back in the states

Posted by: Miguel cervantes at February 25, 2024 09:12 AM (PXvVL)

31 Yesterday's library visit exhibited the split personality I have as a reader. TWo Westerns (Elmer Kelton and Elmore Leonard), and then three literary things: E.M. Forster's short stories (including his proto-SF classic "The Machine Stops"), Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and Booth Tarkington's Alice Adams. I'm not familiar with the work of any of the three, so this should be interesting.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 09:14 AM (omVj0)

32 Also read The Corrections, by Franzen, for the first time. Must have been published in early 2000's. Did not agree with all the content, but man was it detailed and deep. Nails midwestern life to a tee

Posted by: Jonah at February 25, 2024 09:14 AM (BGQYY)

33 Currently reading a sample of 'The Rise of the West' by William MacNeill on my tablet. Interesting so far.

Posted by: dantesed at February 25, 2024 09:15 AM (88xKn)

34 27 At the risk of coming across as a book snob, a book a week should be quite doable for some kinds of books, but not others. Moby Dick, or The City of God (St. Augustine) takes a lot longer than the average best-seller.

Perhaps we could assign degree of difficulty values to books like they do in diving and gymnastics.
Posted by: Archimedes at February 25, 2024 09:11 AM (CsUN+)

So true! This is why I often have two or more books going at a time. The high-minded one that takes concentration and reflection, and the easy, fun read.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at February 25, 2024 09:16 AM (OX9vb)

35 This week I read Killer's Payoff and Killer's Wedge, both in Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series. These are short books, and always interesting cases. Nice to read between other books, especially if I didn't really like what I was reading.
Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at February 25, 2024


***
Those two are fairly early in the series, I seem to recall.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 09:17 AM (omVj0)

36 Writing a book? Yeah, it's harder than it looks, but also easier than it looks.

For the longest time, I figured I'd write non-fiction, because that's what I liked. I didn't think I could write fiction. Can't explain it, but it comes easier than I thought - the ideas, anyway. Couldn't understand the idea of "writer's block." I think it's more of not being able to put down what you want to say, than not knowing what to say. Also, I'd be willing to bet that you don't like what you've written, and that stops you. Take a day or two to think about it, and you can start again.

Even though writers work alone, you'll still need someone to help you get it finished - such as taking a writing course, finding a group to belong to, having a mentor. Just be prepared for the time line from picking up pen and putting it to paper (what?!) to someone pulling your book from the bookstore shelf and taking it to the register (what?! again) is longer than you think.

You just have to keep working at it, if it's something you really want to do.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 09:19 AM (Angsy)

37 When we talk about the need to preserve western civilization, that includes the freedoms we enjoy. In Inventing Freedom, author Daniel Hannan traces the history of many of our freedoms to England, and the English speaking world that was colonized and created by them. The Anglo-Saxons created the idea and the very term common law. Even after the Norman conquest, the people of England required their kings to follow the law of the land. While most of Europe gave the state the right to determine inheritance, England accepted the will of the deceased, which led to the trusts and foundations that underpin civic society and respect the ownership of property. In 1381 the Peasants Revolt demanded King Richard allow all people the right to buy, sell, hunt and fish as they pleased. These represent just the early stages of the broad range of rights that a people are entitled to, and are not a gift from government. Hannan traces the history of freedom from these early stages to its fullest flowering in America in a clear and trenchant manner, and certainly debunks any idea that rights and freedoms come from government. Hannan has a strong command of facts, and displays them masterfully as usual

Posted by: Thomas Paine at February 25, 2024 09:19 AM (9X5dH)

38 I had to read Wuthering Heights in high school. Perhaps it was my age, being male, or just my mood during that assignment, but I hated it. I kept hoping that all the characters would die of consumption quickly instead of just some of them. (The girls in the class thought it was so romantic.)

My opinion 50-plus years later might be different but I put it with other 'classics' I thought were not worthy of the title.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:19 AM (zudum)

39 Thanks again for the Book Thread, Perfessor!

Always a treat! After reading Wuthering Heights, I am now interested in reading other authors of the same period. Not sure why, but I find early 19th century England interesting. Glad I didn't live it, but it does make for interesting story settings.

Posted by: Legally Sufficient at February 25, 2024 09:19 AM (KglbO)

40 So Taylor Anderson wrote a very good alternate history series called "Destroyermen" about a WW2 destroyer and crew transported to an alternate Earth. Read the whole series and liked it a lot.

Didn't realize he has a second series called "Artillerymen" about Mexcian-American War era US soldiers transported to the same world. In the middle of the second book right now and enjoying it a lot. Reminds me somewhat of William R Forstchen's "Lost Regiment" series.

-SLV

Posted by: Shy Lurking Voter at February 25, 2024 09:20 AM (e/Osv)

41 After reading the Zion Covenant series by Bodie Thoene, I knew I had to read her Zion Chronicles series. I read book one in the series, The Gates of Zion. The year is 1947 and the UN votes to partition the British Mandate and the Jewish state of Israel is established. The book tells the story of smuggling people and weapons into the area to survive and operations of the Zionist paramilitary organization, the Haganah. The year 1947 was also the year the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and this is woven into the story. I enjoy books that have a good story and one learns a little history along the way.

Posted by: Zoltan at February 25, 2024 09:21 AM (sb+96)

42 Currently sipping coffee and reading "Thirteen Ways To Kill Lulabelle Rock" by Maud Woolf. The real Lulabelle, a movie star living in Bubble City, has decanted a thirteenth clone of herself to eliminate the other dozen. These "Portraits" are created to relieve stars of the burden of endless parties and photo shoots and meet-and-greets. One replicant is exhausted from the social whirl and begs deliverance. It's no crime to dispose of one's own clones.

It's written in a very dry, gallows humor style, and has the feel of a Black Mirror episode.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 09:21 AM (3e3hy)

43 @ Archimedes
I couldn’t agree more. Currently I am reading About Face, by Col. David Hackworth. It’s over 800 pages long. I’m two weeks into it and only halfway. The man lived more by the time he was 26 than most could live in 3 lifetimes. Granted, it was mostly combat in Korea, but still. It is quite the nugget on leadership and I dig his I don’t give a crap attitude.

Posted by: B. Hammer at February 25, 2024 09:22 AM (Kl7F3)

44 Finished Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Company
Next , but didn't start as wife grabbed it is Animal Farm. It's a old copy of mine from teenager years and haven't read it since then.

Posted by: Skip at February 25, 2024 09:22 AM (fwDg9)

45 I've been reading essays by Wendell Berry on agrianism, mostly written late 1990s and early 2000s. There are some aspects that I find especially intriguing. They certainly get me thinking.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:22 AM (zudum)

46 40. Yes. Great stuff. There is another modern writer, who did alternate scenario's for Workd War 2 events. Called 1941 or 1942, where the Japanese invade Hawaii

Posted by: Jonah at February 25, 2024 09:23 AM (BGQYY)

47 Robert conroy

Posted by: Miguel cervantes at February 25, 2024 09:24 AM (PXvVL)

48 44. I believed PBS showed the minseries of Sharpe with Sean Bean

Posted by: Jonah at February 25, 2024 09:24 AM (BGQYY)

49 47. Yes!! Thank You

Posted by: Jonah at February 25, 2024 09:24 AM (BGQYY)

50 The only sinister undertone I'm sensing is a pimp grooming a bushel basket of woodland critters for mayhem.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at February 25, 2024 09:25 AM (EEgXH)

51 Currently reading Louis L'Amour 12 book series

Posted by: vic at February 25, 2024 09:25 AM (A5THL)

52 Good Morning Hordsters!™

I don't have Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok or any other SM app on my phone, which isn't permanently attached to my hand either, so I don't have the problem the video discusses. I do have trouble watching movies. Most movies today have such huge plot holes that I just can't immerse myself into them. I don't really know if it's the modern movies making process(or lack thereof) or if it's just me unable to engage my sense of disbelief.

I didn't finish any books this week but I am a few chapters into House of Flame and Shadow; book 3 of Sarah J. Maas' Crescent City series. Since this book is 800+ pages long, I'm calling it a win.

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 09:26 AM (QBwMV)

53 Wuthering Heights was a high school assignment for me too, and I was glad when that part of the class was over. Never went back to it later and doubt it will get a revisit. But then, that assignment came at a time when all I wanted to do was find more Heinlein, Bradbury, and Fredric Brown. Classics? Meh.

Mrs Some Guy won't look at Mark Twain -- symbol hunting in "The Mysterious Stranger" for a high school class ruined Twain for her.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 09:27 AM (q3u5l)

54 How do you think humanity would react if we knew that an alien fleet was on the way but wouldn't arrive for 400 years.

*********

I would definitely launder the dust covers on the sofa throw pillows and prepare some light snacks...

Posted by: Muldoon at February 25, 2024 09:27 AM (991eG)

55 David Copperfield was always my favorite ole English High Brow lit. Maybe Sandidton by Austen also

Posted by: Jonah at February 25, 2024 09:28 AM (BGQYY)

56 Milton Caniff said that when he was creating his strip "Terry and the Pirates," the newspaper tycoon that was going to publish it (Capt. Patterson?) recommended that he read two books. One was about pirates, and the other was "Wuthering Heights."

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 09:28 AM (p/isN)

57 Thanks for the recommendation, T-Paine. I'm going to check out that book. Property rights are one of the cornerstone of a free society, as we are finding out.

In the meantime, here's Hannan discussing his book on C-SPAN:

http://tinyurl.com/23vkzvtp

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 09:28 AM (3e3hy)

58 Morning all. Thank you for the book thread.
Have about 5 books on the currently reading stack.
Mostly concentrating on work based stuff right now.
Metalcasters Bible and several old foundry trade related books I have.
What I don't know about foundry work could fill an encyclopedia.
What I do know could fill a small pamphlet.
Somebody has to know this shit though and I'm the only one gunning for the Shop Floor Supervisor (double my current pay) position so it needs to be me I guess.
Recreational reading is split between Walls of Men and A Distant Mirror. Not much progress on either at this point.

Posted by: Reforger at February 25, 2024 09:29 AM (RoJeu)

59 . . . Couldn't understand the idea of "writer's block." I think it's more of not being able to put down what you want to say, than not knowing what to say. Also, I'd be willing to bet that you don't like what you've written, and that stops you. Take a day or two to think about it, and you can start again. . . .

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024


+1000, along with the other points you make. What I've discovered, when you hit the point of "not being able to put down what you want to say," is to step back and consider that you are trying to be too complicated. Say it simply, and you may find the words come much more easily.

Once I had a scene planned where I had something like ten characters all together at a social event. I needed them all, as two were the brother-sister detective team and several of the others were suspects in the murder case. It seemed like climbing a mountain until I broke it down in my mind into little two- or three-person "mini-scenes," one leading into another. Then it worked.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 09:29 AM (omVj0)

60 What if were the snack ala v or lightstrram

Posted by: Miguel cervantes at February 25, 2024 09:29 AM (PXvVL)

61 The only two Reacher books I read where the ones from the Amazon seasons. (actually, audio book loans).
Enjoyed them both shortly after watching each season. The shows did a reasonable job based on the books, with mostly extra material to fill out the ~8 hour story.
I think I'll try to read the book for season 3 before the show airs. If I can find the time I'll work to read vs listen.

Posted by: InspiredHistoryMike at February 25, 2024 09:30 AM (3uc2w)

62 I kind of like "these pants". Looks like they might be comfy for a day of gardening or just sitting around reading books.

Posted by: Tuna at February 25, 2024 09:30 AM (oaGWv)

63 54. Lawn Chair on the roof with Coors light? Of course Dems would try to find who the Aliens are 400 years in the future, so they could put them on the Voting rolls

Posted by: Jonah at February 25, 2024 09:30 AM (BGQYY)

64 The second reacher changec the focus from an arab terrorist to a stock mercenary like patrick playrd in ncis about 15 years ago

Posted by: Miguel cervantes at February 25, 2024 09:32 AM (PXvVL)

65 16 After I visited the Georgia Aquarium, I do believe extraterrestrial life has come to this planet -- but they live underwater.

After watching The Aquarium, my wife wants to visit the aquarium but my previous adventures of driving through Atlanta, three times(six if you count each way) prohibits me from indulging her.

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 09:32 AM (QBwMV)

66 I read the first couple of Reachers and also One Shot (the basis for the movie with Cruise). Not bad; I hear, though, that the series has gone downhill recently.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 09:33 AM (q3u5l)

67 I would definitely launder the dust covers on the sofa throw pillows and prepare some light snacks...

Protocol requires that you make espresso.

Posted by: Archimedes at February 25, 2024 09:33 AM (CsUN+)

68 ...and respect the ownership of property. In 1381 the Peasants Revolt demanded King Richard allow all people the right to buy, sell, hunt and fish as they pleased. These represent just the early stages of the broad range of rights that a people are entitled to, and are not a gift from government.
_____________

Another good book along these lines is Property and Freedom by Richard Pipes. Condensed - the English people owned the sources of revenue, and government therefore had to respect their wishes if it expected to be voted taxes. He contrasts this with Russia, where the Tsar owned everything.

Posted by: Biff Pocoroba at February 25, 2024 09:35 AM (Dm8we)

69 How do you think humanity would react if we knew that an alien fleet was on the way but wouldn't arrive for 400 years.

I think that's about the point where I'd get serious about trying to make my own bourbon...

-SLV

Posted by: Shy Lurking Voter at February 25, 2024 09:35 AM (e/Osv)

70 I think the Reacher book series OK, but it suffers from a significant problem in that the books don't have a particular order to them, as far as I know. So Reacher has to be re-introduced to the audience in each book.

On the one hand, you can pick up any of the books and start anywhere, but it leads to a stagnant main character with little or no character development as the series continues.

Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at February 25, 2024 09:35 AM (BpYfr)

71 I like doze pantz. You could actually smuggle a brace of kitties in them.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 09:36 AM (3e3hy)

72 I read "McNamara's Folly" this week. It's about Project 100,000, the Vietnam-era plan to draft low-IQ men and men who were otherwise ineligible for military service. About 350K men were inducted under the plan; many of them were sent to Vietnam with predictable results. Lt. Calley of My Lai Massacre fame was a person who, under normal circumstances, would never have received a commission, and his defense counsel used that to get his sentence greatly reduced.

I've also started on "Five Years After," the fourth book in the "One Second After" series.

Posted by: PabloD at February 25, 2024 09:36 AM (FpN5G)

73 @Reforger If I had a big piece of property, one building would definitely be dedicated to a foundry. Even though, like you, my knowledge of it could fill a single page. Sometimes you simply need to pour some hot metal.

Posted by: B. Hammer at February 25, 2024 09:36 AM (Kl7F3)

74 65. well Said. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago blows the mind also

Posted by: Jonah at February 25, 2024 09:36 AM (BGQYY)

75 I've never read any of Critical Drinker's books, but that Ryan Drake series looks like something that would grab my interest right now.

Library does not carry them, but Hoopla has them. Maybe I'll do audio on these.

Posted by: Dash my lace wigs! at February 25, 2024 09:37 AM (OX9vb)

76 Light snacks? Espresso? Sounds good to us, but if the aliens' tastes differ, might we be inadvertently triggering an earth-shattering kaboom in response?

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 09:37 AM (q3u5l)

77 After watching The Aquarium, my wife wants to visit the aquarium but my previous adventures of driving through Atlanta, three times(six if you count each way) prohibits me from indulging her.
Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024


***
We have The Aquaarium of the Americas here on the riverfront, so it's not a far drive. But going up into the area where the ferry docks is a horrible driving experience.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 09:37 AM (omVj0)

78 I'm continuing with volume one of Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogy. It keeps getting better than I remembered from the previous reading. The man really could bring the era and people to life. This is going to take a while but I'm in no hurry.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:38 AM (zudum)

79 Book related:

One of the interesting things about the new video game Nightingale is all the Shakespearean to Edwardian literature references. The player's mentor is Puck, Nellie Bly is teamed up with Allen Quartermaine as head of an Explorer's Guild. That sort of stuff.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at February 25, 2024 09:38 AM (nC+QA)

80 Sometimes I do an alternation where I read 10 pages then watch a podcast or show for 10 minutes. That way I’m doing more reading than viewing, since the reading’s more important. Football was a good alternator - read two sentences between plays, more if there’s an injury, penalty or timeout, and during stupid commercials of course.

Posted by: Norrin Radd, sojourner of the spaceways at February 25, 2024 09:38 AM (hsWtj)

81 Good morning all. I have a question. Anyone read the Reacher books? I just started watching the TV show. Are the books any good? Thanks.
Posted by: RetSgtRN at February 25, 2024 09:10 AM (eTkTC)


The Reacher books are fun popcorn books. And very widely read.

I read several and enjoyed them, but parachuted out of the series due to the similarity of book after book. But, don't mess with a successful formula that works!

Also the later books seem to go a bit "woke" but the earlier stuff is fine.

Reacher is basically Batman except he doesn't wear a mask and gets to bang beautiful women on his way to killing the bad guy.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 25, 2024 09:40 AM (nFnyb)

82 @65 --

We didn't drive, and this was before the planned-demic. One of my sons and I flew into the city, took MARTA downtown, where our hotel was, and we walked to the tourist attractions. Everything was within walking distance, and the city has a separate rail system around downtown.

Everything I've heard about Atlanta traffic, combined with my mediocre driving ability, has convinced me that I should never get behind a wheel there.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 09:41 AM (p/isN)

83 Wait! Wait! I haven't finished reading the comments on last week's book thread yet!

Seriously, I read a book this past week. The whole book, cover to cover. In the past couple of years, I've started a few books, but never got far into them. So, this is a breakthrough. Helped that I finally got a chair that was comfortable, in a place with good light. Also helped that it wasn't a weighty doorstop of a tome, and was a subject I found interesting. Who knows? I might even read another book one of these days.

Trailer Park Parable, by Tyler Zed, he of the Zeducation YouTube channel, his youth and family.

I could certainly relate to this: When you're a kid, whatever is served up in front of your face is "normal." Only later do you realize not all families are like yours. Zed tells of his life in a casual recitation, unfolding different stages in non-linear telling. It's honest, full of joy and woe, and, in the end (spoilers) positive.

* Sighs - stares at huge, dusty to-be-read stack *

Posted by: mindful webworker - slow reader at February 25, 2024 09:41 AM (gPw3F)

84 This week I'm reading _Rivers of London_ by Ben Aaronovich. It's about the secret Metropolitan Police squad investigating supernatural mysteries in modern London. Emphasis on _modern_ London -- the book is very multi-culti, but I think that's deliberate as one of the themes is the clash between modern cosmopolitan London and traditional England. I understand there's a Netflix or Amazon series based on it, but I haven't watched. Recommended.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 09:42 AM (78a2H)

85 +1000, along with the other points you make. What I've discovered, when you hit the point of "not being able to put down what you want to say," is to step back and consider that you are trying to be too complicated. Say it simply, and you may find the words come much more easily.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 09:29 AM (omVj0)

I'm stopped right now on a scene that just seems not to be working, so I've hit the enter key a couple of times and have tried different approaches. Still thinking how to write it a week later....

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 09:43 AM (Angsy)

86 I keep coming across references to CS Lewis and his Narnia books. I'm taking this as sign that I FINALLY get around to reading all of them. I have a hardcover edition of all the books in one volume, with the Pauline Baynes illustrations, that I should get off the shelf.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:43 AM (zudum)

87 I believe it's the Georgia aquarium that lets you sign up to go snorkeling in the tank with the whale shark. Dr. Mrs. T. did that a few years ago. Whale sharks eat the same tiny stuff that whales eat, so it's roughly as dangerous as being in a field with cows. As long as the big stupid beast doesn't bump into you, you're fine.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 09:44 AM (78a2H)

88 Thanks for the responses. Not much reading this week as I’m recovering from Rotator Cuff surgery. My left arm is in a device called a gunslinger brace. First two days were the worst. What little reading I am doing is on the Kindle.
Before the surgery, my wife and I visited the museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. It’s located in Pooler, Georgia which is just outside Savannah. It was amazing. We were there four hours and didn’t get to see half the museum. Looking forward to a return visit. Donald Miller, the author of Masters of the Air, did most of his research in their library which I found out is not open the general public. I will try to finish the book when I’m feeling a little better.
Finally, the courage those guys displayed took some big brass balls.

Posted by: RetSgtRN at February 25, 2024 09:44 AM (eTkTC)

89 78 I'm continuing with volume one of Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogy. It keeps getting better than I remembered from the previous reading. The man really could bring the era and people to life. This is going to take a while but I'm in no hurry.

Loved Foote's narration of Ken Burns' Civil War.

-SLV

Posted by: Shy Lurking Voter at February 25, 2024 09:45 AM (e/Osv)

90 JTB: Ignore the numbers on the covers and read the Narnia books in publication order. Trust me on this.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 09:45 AM (78a2H)

91 I keep coming across references to CS Lewis and his Narnia books. I'm taking this as sign that I FINALLY get around to reading all of them. I have a hardcover edition of all the books in one volume, with the Pauline Baynes illustrations, that I should get off the shelf.
Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:43 AM (zudum)
----
Yes. Yes you should!

Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at February 25, 2024 09:45 AM (BpYfr)

92 In a time of dragons and conflict, one smalle, remote country...

Typo, affectation, or obscure usage that I'm not familiar with?

Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 09:45 AM (sNc8Y)

93 Hot Coffee!!!...reading The Aeronaut's Windlass...Cinder Spires series...a lot of lip & spunk in this one!!! that's my "go to" sauce... Hell Bender!!!

Posted by: qmark at February 25, 2024 09:46 AM (+t9Oi)

94 "Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture" by Alan Hess is a good read for fans of Mid-Century Modern.

Googie architecture was an explosion of exuberant pop schlock embracing sunny California car culture, optimism for the future, and cultural self-confidence. There's a place for humor in architecture, especially in an irreverent culture such as our own, and I love the "onomatopoeia" of a hot dog stand in the shape of a hot dog, or an Atomic Age coffee shop, or a bright kitschy Bowl-o-Rama (or anything "o-Rama", really). Hess points out that style precursor Streamline Modern's symmetry fit in well with tight urban city plots, but L.A.'s was more dynamic, horizontal, and asymmetrical, designed to catch the eye of anyone driving past. It was perfect for a city built in the automobile age.

It was both Modern and popular, unlike the featureless glass tombstones of Corbusier. "Ironically, the early Modernists had founded their revolution on creating shockingly unadorned functional structures and materials. Yet expressing the shockingly popular taste of mass-market commerce was a little too radical even for them."

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 09:46 AM (3e3hy)

95 On the one hand, you can pick up any of the books and start anywhere, but it leads to a stagnant main character with little or no character development as the series continues.
Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at February 25, 2024 09:35 AM (BpYfr)

Doesn't that make it a "poor" book, as pontificated by various writer's YT vids? No character development is weak writing. Or, so they say.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 09:47 AM (Angsy)

96 I've been going through some of my art books regarding techniques and different media for still lifes. I loved creating and shooting still life scenes when I did photography as a serious hobby. Now I want to learn to draw and paint them.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:47 AM (zudum)

97 >>>How do you think humanity would react if we knew that an alien fleet was on the way but wouldn't arrive for 400 years.

>My first response would be to ensure that a likeness of the Wii fit girl had been augmented to remotely safe-harbor all visiting vessels.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at February 25, 2024 09:47 AM (EEgXH)

98 One factor in "writer's block" I noticed recently is when you don't know your story well enough. Do a detailed outline in advance to work out all the plot mechanics, then write and stick to the outline.

I keep diverging from my outline and then getting stuck. Do what I say, not what I do.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 09:47 AM (78a2H)

99
...Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie...

Muriel Spark is a great writer. She seems to be fading from the cultural scene though and may soon just be a memory. Though she has several books well worth reading.

"The Girls of Slender Means" is an excellent short read.

And is one of Anthony Burgess' 99 Great Novels of the 20th Century.

Highest recommendation.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 25, 2024 09:48 AM (nFnyb)

100 100

Posted by: rhennigantx at February 25, 2024 09:48 AM (ENQN6)

101 91 I keep coming across references to CS Lewis and his Narnia books. I'm taking this as sign that I FINALLY get around to reading all of them. I have a hardcover edition of all the books in one volume, with the Pauline Baynes illustrations, that I should get off the shelf.
Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:43 AM (zudum)
----
Yes. Yes you should!
Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at February 25, 2024 09:45 AM (BpYfr)
----

Seconded! It's an even more meaningful read as an adult.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 09:49 AM (3e3hy)

102 20 Good morning all. I have a question. Anyone read the Reacher books? I just started watching the TV show. Are the books any good? Thanks.
Posted by: RetSgtRN

The books are nothing like the series. They(the early ones before Lee started to co-write with his brother)are much better.

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 09:49 AM (QBwMV)

103 keep coming across references to CS Lewis and his Narnia books. I'm taking this as sign that I FINALLY get around to reading all of them. I have a hardcover edition of all the books in one volume, with the Pauline Baynes illustrations, that I should get off the shelf.
Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024


***
I still have not dipped into the large-format paperback annotated version of his The Screwtape Letters that I bought a year ago. My plan was to keep it in my briefcase and draw it out if I had time to kill. But I have a lot of stuff in that case, and the book, I was afraid, would get bent and torn.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 09:49 AM (omVj0)

104 The two rules of being in a herd of cows:

1) Watch your step.

2) Watch the cows' steps.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 09:49 AM (p/isN)

105 I keep coming across references to CS Lewis and his Narnia books. I'm taking this as sign that I FINALLY get around to reading all of them. I have a hardcover edition of all the books in one volume, with the Pauline Baynes illustrations, that I should get off the shelf.
Posted by: JTB


They are very well written, and really make you see the action in your mind. Everyone starts with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I think The Magician's Nephew is my favorite.

Posted by: Thomas Paine at February 25, 2024 09:50 AM (9X5dH)

106 Googie Redux sounds pretty interesting. Check out Tom Wolfe's _From Bauhaus to Our House_ for a look at the same era and the conflict between the bloodless Modernists and the popular styles.

That's a conflict which the Modernists claim to have won . . . but at the price of basically killing architecture as a profession. Nowadays the vast majority of buildings don't have architects at all.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 09:51 AM (78a2H)

107 This guy has spunk

Homeless man Steven Irwin builds cabin in Seattle public park after digging up site with excavator in find treasure

https://bityl.co/ON4r
Posted by: G'rump928(c) at February 25, 2024 09:30 AM (aD39U)


I hate spunk.

Posted by: G'rump928(c) repeats himself at February 25, 2024 09:51 AM (aD39U)

108 Doesn't that make it a "poor" book, as pontificated by various writer's YT vids? No character development is weak writing. Or, so they say.
Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 09:47 AM (Angsy)
---
As others have pointed out the Reacher books are decent "popcorn" books. Once you've read a couple, you know what you are getting, but you are able to turn off your brain a bit and just enjoy the ride.

Jack Reacher is a "paragon" character in that he's already at his peak when we meet him, so it's difficult to give him further character development in terms of skills, abilities, resources, emotional depth, etc.

Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at February 25, 2024 09:51 AM (BpYfr)

109 73 @Reforger If I had a big piece of property, one building would definitely be dedicated to a foundry. Even though, like you, my knowledge of it could fill a single page. Sometimes you simply need to pour some hot metal.
Posted by: B. Hammer at February 25, 2024 09:36 AM (Kl7F3)

I'm working on a small one in my yard.
I have everything I need except for a crucible.
I have about 20 years worth of beer cans on the side of my shop ready to be melted down.

I go pour metal every now and then. You can't stop the heat cool cycle on a permanent mold set up so for breaks someone has to step in and pour. Some asshole told the manager I would like to try it and now I cover breaks sometimes when they are short on people.
I enjoy it but to do it 10 hours a day would kill me.
I'm hoping to be running the place (as if I don't now) in 3 or 4 years.
Thus trying to gain all this book knowlege is crucial.
Biggest problem is I'm missing books in the series' I'm working through. One on coatings and mold releases I really need to find.

Posted by: Reforger at February 25, 2024 09:51 AM (0MuVc)

110 A pretty in depth book on just Project Oxcart is Paul Crickmore's Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird from the Osprey Air Combat series.

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 09:52 AM (l2Own)

111 Yes the backstory comes in later books

Posted by: Miguel cervantes at February 25, 2024 09:53 AM (PXvVL)

112
We have The Aquaarium of the Americas here on the riverfront, so it's not a far drive. But going up into the area where the ferry docks is a horrible driving experience.
Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere

Driving from central Kentucky to New Orleans would still be preferred to a trip through Atlanta.

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 09:53 AM (QBwMV)

113 When the have him back in the 90s and other times and places

Posted by: Miguel cervantes at February 25, 2024 09:54 AM (PXvVL)

114 IIRC, the SR-71 had titanium panels that leaked fuel on the tarmac and it wasn't until they got up to speed and friction heating closed up the gaps. Then it had to be immediately refueled midair because so much fuel had leaked. And the fuel was circulated into the leading edges to cool things. Speed was limited to running just under the flash point of the fuel

Like the fuselage, those pilots had balls of titanium.

Posted by: stu-mick-o-sucks at February 25, 2024 09:55 AM (h/5b/)

115 Driving from central Kentucky to New Orleans would still be preferred to a trip through Atlanta.

"Speak for yourself" - Gen. Sherman, US Army.

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 09:55 AM (l2Own)

116 112 Driving from central Kentucky to New Orleans would still be preferred to a trip through Atlanta.

Advise not doing that during Love Bug season. I probably spent $20 at a do it yourself car wash spraying love bugs out of the radiator and off the front of the car after visiting in laws in Biloxi.

-SLV

Posted by: Shy Lurking Voter at February 25, 2024 09:56 AM (e/Osv)

117 They are very well written, and really make you see the action in your mind. Everyone starts with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I think The Magician's Nephew is my favorite.
Posted by: Thomas Paine at February 25, 2024 09:50 AM (9X5dH)

I'm still amazed that Hollywood made a movie on the first one . A very good movie compared to today's dreck.

Posted by: dantesed at February 25, 2024 09:56 AM (88xKn)

118 Doesn't that make it a "poor" book, as pontificated by various writer's YT vids? No character development is weak writing. Or, so they say.
Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 09:47 AM (Angsy)
---
As others have pointed out the Reacher books are decent "popcorn" books. Once you've read a couple, you know what you are getting, but you are able to turn off your brain a bit and just enjoy the ride. . . .

Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at February 25, 2024


***
I'm inclined to think that for a straight-ahead thriller or adventure story, where what *happens* is the crucial thing, character development is secondary. Alistair Maclean was not a "character" sort of writer (at least not after his first novel, HMS Ulysses). The adventure was all. Nobody complained and more than a few of his books became movies. (Of course that was more than forty years ago.)

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 09:56 AM (omVj0)

119 I love the "onomatopoeia" of a hot dog stand in the shape of a hot dog, or an Atomic Age coffee shop, or a bright kitschy Bowl-o-Rama (or anything "o-Rama", really).

Posted by: All Hail Eris


I enjoy the oyster bar restaurants that take the form of a fishing boat.

Posted by: Thomas Paine at February 25, 2024 09:57 AM (9X5dH)

120 90 ... "Ignore the numbers on the covers and read the Narnia books in publication order. Trust me on this."

Good morning, Trimegistus,

Thanks for the tip. I was wondering about the order to read. I wasn't kidding about the references. Must have been at least half a dozen in the last week or so. And from people I respect like Malcolm Guite. Not to mention several years of praise on the Book Thread.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:58 AM (zudum)

121 I read some of the early Reacher novels and they are good airport books. They got repetitive after a while, but if that's your jam, repetition is an okay thing.

C.J.Box's Joe Pickett series actually has character and situational development and it's a better read IMO.

I refuse to watch the series, which sounds like it skinsuited the characters.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 09:59 AM (3e3hy)

122 Marvel Comics made the SR-71 famous as the transport for the X-Men.

The aeronautics and space museum in Hutchison, Kan., has one hanging at a downward angle in the entry lobby. An adult can reach up and touch its nose.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 10:00 AM (p/isN)

123 I need to re-read Lewis's "Space Trilogy." As I recall I enjoyed it some years ago, but maybe it's time for a re-appreciation trip to the Silent Planet.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 10:01 AM (omVj0)

124 IIRC, the SR-71 had titanium panels that leaked fuel on the tarmac and it wasn't until they got up to speed and friction heating closed up the gaps. Then it had to be immediately refueled midair because so much fuel had leaked. And the fuel was circulated into the leading edges to cool things. Speed was limited to running just under the flash point of the fuel

Like the fuselage, those pilots had balls of titanium.
Posted by: stu-mick-o-sucks


I recall that when the SR-71 fleet was retired, they were declassified. One plane was donated to the Smithsonian and flew from California to DC. Since it was declassified, they were able to report the flight. The obsolete plane set a speed record across the country that still stands.

Posted by: Thomas Paine at February 25, 2024 10:01 AM (9X5dH)

125 95 On the one hand, you can pick up any of the books and start anywhere, but it leads to a stagnant main character with little or no character development as the series continues.
Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at February 25, 2024 09:35 AM (BpYfr)

Doesn't that make it a "poor" book, as pontificated by various writer's YT vids? No character development is weak writing. Or, so they say.
Posted by: OrangeEnt

Character development is essential in a coming of age or a YA book but I don't think it applies to a character that is middle aged and exactly where he wants to be in life as Jack Reacher is in the books.
Does Sherlock Holmes have any Character Development?

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 10:02 AM (QBwMV)

126
Now, that I've thought about it, I should probably describe the type of writer Muriel Spark is, so you have an idea of what you're getting when you read her.

She's a bit like a female Evelyn Waugh. Her writing is very unsentimental and tends toward the comic. Though she is not as funny as Waugh.

Like Waugh, she's a Catholic convert and has a distinct moral outlook on life, but she's never going to "tell you the message" so to speak, because she trusts your intelligence as a reader.

Though I suppose she would be considered a "literary writer" these days, some off her books have been made into movies because her great characterizations and the often surprising actions of her characters make for a great story.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 25, 2024 10:04 AM (nFnyb)

127 Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 09:58 AM (zudum)

I completely agree with Trimegistus that it's vital to read them in publication order the first time through.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at February 25, 2024 10:04 AM (nC+QA)

128 103 ... "annotated version of his The Screwtape Letters "

Wolfus,
I have that in hardcover. Cost a buck at a library sale. I've read the regular version but not the annotated. I will read it at some point if only to see if the annotations help.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 10:04 AM (zudum)

129 I actually read a novel this past week: "Just Stab Me Now" by Jill Bearup. It's about a fanfic-writer turned amateur-novelist who has decided she wants to write a fantasy-themed trashy romance-novel. Alas, things do not go as smoothly as she had hoped. Real life keeps interfering with her writing schedule, she has trouble maneuvering her characters into place for the standard trashy-romance tropes, and the story keeps veering away from her original outline.

The gimmick of the book is that the author will regularly pop into her novel and talk to the characters directly. Like a movie director coaching her actors before filming the actual scene. But the characters are self-aware in these moments, and are free to ignore the author's coaching, make their own decisions, and sometimes sass the author for her incomplete world-building and such. ("Does Captain Collins have a first name?" "Ummm...") The book alternates between actual scenes of the novel, scenes of the author's real life, and the coaching-the-character scenes.

(continued)

Posted by: Castle Guy at February 25, 2024 10:05 AM (Lhaco)

130
Recreational reading is split between Walls of Men and A Distant Mirror. Not much progress on either at this point.

Posted by: Reforger
---------
It's been decades since I read 'A Distant Mirror', but one passage has stayed in my memory for all of those years. Tuchman was writing of the degradation within the church and clergy and quoted Henry of Hereford: "Look at the dangerous situation of those in their charge, and tremble!"

For a sampler, here are excerpts, well worth a minute to read
http://tinyurl.com/58wkm872

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at February 25, 2024 10:05 AM (XeU6L)

131 Read several things this last week, one of which was 'Into The Stars' by James Rosone. From the cover art, it looked pretty much like a beach-reading work, and it was. While the planning of the book's action was all right, the presentation and setting of the scenes always, always began with the rank and full name of the character present. Every time. Other characters were introduced with their rank and full name, every time. This became tedious, and then annoying. I kept thinking, "There are more clever ways to identify the people in the scene, now that introductions have taken place. Use them! Why does he keep doing this?" Sigh.
I imagine my reaction is due to the fact that I had just finished re-reading Josephine Tey's 'Singing Sands' and her clever and witty prose was so refined.
Began a dense work by Eamon Duffy: 'The Stripping of the Altars' covering the changes in trad religion 1400-1580. Tumultous years, to be sure. He begins with the decline of ritual and ceremony, and how this (in his opinion) hurt the sense of community in England. Interesting...

Posted by: Brewingfrog at February 25, 2024 10:06 AM (Jixh8)

132 One of the great SR-71 anecdotes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AyHH9G9et0

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 10:06 AM (78a2H)

133 Does Sherlock Holmes have any Character Development?
Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024


***
Not really. He comes to appreciate Dr. Watson more as the adventures reel by. And there is something different about him in the short story "His Last Bow" as he defeats a German agent just prior to WWI, or maybe it's merely his speech suggesting that the war to come will leave a "cleaner, fresher England" in the sunshine when the "storm has cleared."

REx Stout's Wolfe and Archie do not change much (or even age) over forty years. Archie comes to speak more educated English -- he once would say, "He don't know about that." And Wolfe's speeches get shorter. But their attitudes toward life and work don't change.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 10:06 AM (omVj0)

134 Character development is essential in a coming of age or a YA book but I don't think it applies to a character that is middle aged and exactly where he wants to be in life as Jack Reacher is in the books.
Does Sherlock Holmes have any Character Development?
Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 10:02 AM (QBwMV)
---
Depends on the series, I suppose. In a Jack Reacher book it's probably not that important. I just don't always like having to be re-introduced to the same character in each book.

In the Agent Pendergast series, the main character doesn't have a whole lot of character development, but the supporting cast of recurring characters definitely go through development over time.

Posted by: "Perfessor" Squirrel at February 25, 2024 10:07 AM (BpYfr)

135 I've read the Reacher books and liked most of them until he started writing with his brother Andrew. Thise change the Reacher character entirely. The best ones are the ones where he uses his military background to solve a mystery/crime. I actually think Galbraith does a better job with her Cormoran Strike character. He is a big guy with fighting skills, although held back by his injury. He uses the skills he developed in the military to find the bad guy. The books are not popcorn books like Reacher.
That being said, I've read both series.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 10:07 AM (t/2Uw)

136 Googie architecture was an explosion of exuberant pop schlock embracing sunny California car culture, optimism for the future, and cultural self-confidence.

Hess points out that style precursor Streamline Modern's symmetry fit in well with tight urban city plots, but L.A.'s was more dynamic, horizontal, and asymmetrical, designed to catch the eye of anyone driving past. It was perfect for a city built in the automobile age.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 09:46 AM (3e3hy)

I was around for the last gasp of that kind of architecture. It is a happy type, one that confident cultures can engage in. Brutalism seems to be back in style these days. Hate it.

Glad to see the author said "Streamline Moderne" instead of calling it Art Deco. Those are two different types, and most people think they're the same. Close, but not quite.

Niagara Mohawk Bldg, Syracuse NY:
http://tinyurl.com/mtm3453b

Streamline Moderne:
http://tinyurl.com/yc838jcw

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 10:08 AM (Angsy)

137 Willowed the Indian rocket:
Boosters
No. boosters 4 L40 Hs
Propellant mass 42,700 kg (94,100 lb) each
Propellant N2O4 / UDMH

First[6][5] stage
Propellant mass 138,200 kg (304,700 lb)
Propellant HTPB (solid) = Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (+ ammonium perchlorate + Aluminum powder)

Second GS2 (GL40)[6][7] stage
Propellant mass 42,500 kg (93,700 lb)
Propellant N2O4 / UDMH

Third[7] stage (GSLV Mk II) – CUS15
Propellant mass 15,000 kg (33,000 lb)
Propellant LOX / LH2

http://tinyurl.com/3kt6aejy

Posted by: Ciampino - I love the smell of curry in the morning at February 25, 2024 10:08 AM (qfLjt)

138 (continued commentary on "Just Stab Me Now" by Jill Bearup)

The story is a bit meta, but still enjoyable. I finished the whole novel in a single day after last week's book thread. (It was cold and dreary outside, so what else was I to do?) But I do have one complaint: the set-up for the trashy-romance-novel is not very well established. Or if it was established, it was done so when we (the readers) were still getting used to the gimmick of the story, and thus weren't paying proper attention. I could not have explained the main character's predicament (why was 'her hot enemy' supposed to be considered an enemy, for example) until about a third of the way through the story.

But, still, I'd give it an overall recommendation.

Posted by: Castle Guy at February 25, 2024 10:09 AM (Lhaco)

139 Re: developing characters: On the other hand, Ellery Queen does change over forty-five years. His early persona is the highly intellectual, young Holmes-like bookworm. Gradually he comes to speak more like a human, and to realize the human equation is important to him. He makes mistakes, "solves" a case only to realize he was wrong, and in a couple of adventures, someone dies because of his logical error, devastating him for a time.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 10:10 AM (omVj0)

140 One factor in "writer's block" I noticed recently is when you don't know your story well enough. Do a detailed outline in advance to work out all the plot mechanics, then write and stick to the outline.

I keep diverging from my outline and then getting stuck. Do what I say, not what I do.
Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 09:47 AM (78a2H)

We "pantsers" don't work that way!!!!!

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 10:10 AM (Angsy)

141 C.J.Box's Joe Pickett series actually has character and situational development and it's a better read IMO.

I refuse to watch the series, which sounds like it skinsuited the characters.
Posted by: All Hail Eris

"The shortest road to disappointment is found by taking the fork of watching a movie based on a beloved book"
~p0indexterous~

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 10:10 AM (QBwMV)

142 123 ... "I need to re-read Lewis's "Space Trilogy." As I recall I enjoyed it some years ago, but maybe it's time for a re-appreciation trip to the Silent Planet."

Wolfus,

I find the space trilogy better each time I read it. Although the third volume is increasingly and painfully pertinent to the present. But there is some serious pathos and humor in it.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 10:10 AM (zudum)

143 Like the fuselage, those pilots had balls of titanium.
Posted by: stu-mick-o-sucks at February 25, 2024 09:55 AM (h/5b/)

The main structural "ring" on the SR71 is a Titanium casting of a whole new paradigm.
They still haven't fully released how they actually did it.
I've done some big shit out of Aluminum and can't fathom even doing such a thing out of an easy metal to pour.
I can't really even fathom Titanium pouring.

Posted by: Reforger at February 25, 2024 10:12 AM (Rpmuv)

144 Eris, wouldn't a bibliophiliac be someone afraid to go into a library?
Wait, my IPad is giving me all kinds of options for that word.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 10:13 AM (t/2Uw)

145 One factor in "writer's block" I noticed recently is when you don't know your story well enough. Do a detailed outline in advance to work out all the plot mechanics, then write and stick to the outline.

I keep diverging from my outline and then getting stuck. Do what I say, not what I do.
Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024


***
Whenever I've done that and stuck too closely to the outline, I've gotten bored with the story. I want to surprise myself from time to time. I knew the outcome of one of my hard-boiled fantasy stories would involve a face-off between a wizard and his former pupil. It was not until I was approaching the setup for the sequence that I realized what I really wanted and needed to do with it.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 10:13 AM (omVj0)

146 Character development is essential in a coming of age or a YA book but I don't think it applies to a character that is middle aged and exactly where he wants to be in life as Jack Reacher is in the books.
Does Sherlock Holmes have any Character Development?
Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 10:02 AM (QBwMV)

I'd say, sort of. Consider "the woman."

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 10:17 AM (Angsy)

147 18 I'm taking a swing through comics, starting with a trade collection of the earliest Black Widow stories, when she was simply Madame Natasha, Soviet spy trying to steal Tony Stark's weapons designs. Her first costume, a blue fishnet number, came later. The dialogue is so overwritten that I'm trying to substitute my own lingo. Which only reinforces this fact: Making comics is hard work!
Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 09:09 AM (p/isN)

Aw, man, 60's comic book dialogue can be a chore. Good luck...

Speaking of comics, I was idly flipping through my Solomon Kane omnibus while watching tv, and came to his solo color series. In the adaptation of "Red Shadows," there's a splash page of Kane in the African jungle, and....My God that's a great image. Awesome linework, of course, but the coloring was mid-80's cell-shading style, and it was just as striking as the linework. Comic book coloring doesn't really need to be any better than that era.

Posted by: Castle Guy at February 25, 2024 10:17 AM (Lhaco)

148 Wondering if anyone has seen Christopher R. Taylor around the blog recently.

Posted by: Sharkman at February 25, 2024 10:17 AM (nbYK7)

149 @131 --

Erle Stanley Gardner sometimes would have Perry or Della use a character's first name and middle initial -- or first initial and middle name -- on second reference. Even when they're talking about Paul Drake. It's so stilted. I edit the dialogue in my mind.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 10:18 AM (p/isN)

150 Another thing about the Reacher books and why they are so popular. The story starts on page one. You are immediately immersed in the story. He is sitting in a restaurant peaceably drinking a cup of coffee, black, and cops come in and arrest him. For what, you ask. Read on and find out.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 10:20 AM (t/2Uw)

151 Out of strictly commercial considerations, wouldn't character development be one of the last things you'd want for the main player in an ongoing series? If he changes too much as a result of the events in the story, he's maybe not the same guy over the next book or two and bye-bye audience? You can work with things like passage of time -- older now, a bit slower, a bit more meditative, perhaps, but still essentially the same character. Spenser was always Spenser. Reacher will always be Reacher. Captain Kirk went right back to being Captain Kirk after Edith Keeler's death. No major character development allowed?

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 10:20 AM (q3u5l)

152 Wondering if anyone has seen Christopher R. Taylor around the blog recently.
Posted by: Sharkman at February 25, 2024 10:17 AM (nbYK7)


IIRC. Didn't he make some noises about stepping away for a while due to negativity on the blog?

Something like that.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 25, 2024 10:20 AM (nFnyb)

153 Started and finished Michael Perry's "The Jesus Cow" . I was wrong that it would turn out to be Lake Wobegpm Jr. The ending didn't ring exactly true to me, although the untimely end of the Jesus Cow did.
I'm also reading Pacific Crucible by Ian Toll. I like the hidden little tidbits like finding out that Yamamoto thought the Japanese army was run by "half-wits and lunatics"

Posted by: who knew at February 25, 2024 10:21 AM (4I7VG)

154 I have read all the Reacher books and as mentioned by Sharon at #135, they are pretty good to excellent until his brother lent a hand. At this stage Reacher becomes two dimensional and predictable.
The very first book, 'The Killing Floor' is gripping, well written and also informative. The other book that stands out is "Worth Dying For". Excellent plot, suspense, sadness, humor and satisfaction for the reader.
As mentioned by Sharon, the ones involving his army days or related to his army days are also pretty good. Reading them in order is preferable as often there is a bit of continuation involved.

Posted by: Ciampino - I love the smell of samosas in the morning at February 25, 2024 10:21 AM (qfLjt)

155 Character development in novel series can be subtle. The basic Matt Helm character doesn't change much over the course of the books. But Hamilton worked in more background and circumstances Helm had to respond to and that expanded the character.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 10:21 AM (zudum)

156 Sharkman your right, Christopher Taylor is MIA

Posted by: Skip at February 25, 2024 10:23 AM (fwDg9)

157 148 ... "Wondering if anyone has seen Christopher R. Taylor around the blog recently."

Not sure but I think he pulled back on commenting for a while just to take a break from all the politics and turmoil.

Posted by: JTB at February 25, 2024 10:25 AM (zudum)

158 Wow, massively overslept (which demonstrates how much the grandkids wear me out). Not much time before Mass, but a couple of remarks.

For writing, it's not the time, it's the output. I write words, not hours. A good session has to produce 1,000 words to be worthwhile. About 2,000 is ideal and anything over that is outstanding. I generally go for around 50,000 words per book, so that's how I grind it out.

Non-fiction is a little different, because it can go much faster or much slower, depending on the topic (I raced through Spain, plodded through China).

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at February 25, 2024 10:25 AM (llXky)

159 OT, but very funny: "American Ice Football" is a thing in Germany.

http://tinyurl.com/2ypt52f6

Posted by: Meade Lux Lewis, Domestic Terrorist at February 25, 2024 10:26 AM (woPEM)

160 Eris, wouldn't a bibliophiliac be someone afraid to go into a library?
---

Sharon, I think that would be a bibliophobe.

I imagine a -philiac as a shaky, sweaty stan who loves caressing her Smaug pile of books.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 10:26 AM (3e3hy)

161 I have been trying to fihish Michael Z Williamson's That Was Now, This Is Then, with the US Army unit that was taken back to the Paleolithic being recruited by the future civilization to go back and rescue another lost US Army unit, also in the Paleolithic.
I am not loving it like the first book, and I don't really know why. I can't tell if I am missing something, or if something is missing.

Posted by: Kindltot at February 25, 2024 10:26 AM (D7oie)

162 Out of strictly commercial considerations, wouldn't character development be one of the last things you'd want for the main player in an ongoing series?

This is why I usually bail-out of a series 3-5 books in.

I'm more interested in stories where the main character and others around him develop or change. I think it makes for a better read with more surprises, and less of the feeling that you know exactly where the book is going and how it will end.

But, as Eris sorta said above, Reacher et al are good airport books, where you have to waste time waiting and might as well be entertained by something simple.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 25, 2024 10:26 AM (nFnyb)

163 Characters like Batman, Holmes, Bond, Reacher, etc. are "Iconic Characters." They don't change. Any character development is in their backstory.

UNFORTUNATELY, every screenwriter clings desperately to the concept of the "character arc." Hence the endless recapitulation of origin stories in superhero flicks, because a superhero origin is the only time those iconic characters change.

The secret, of course, is to hand off the character arc to SOMEONE ELSE, and show how they are changed as a result of their encounters with Batman, Reacher, Bond, etc. (For Bond and Reacher, that change is often from being alive to being dead.)

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 10:26 AM (78a2H)

164 Re: SR-71 leaking fuel pre-flight...
They couldn't come up with a fuel cell or bladder that could withstand the extreme temperatures of mach 3+ flight so they simply used voids in the airframe to hold the fuel. JP-7 has a viscosity similar to molasses so only a little fuel leaked from the plane during preflight to takeoff.

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 10:28 AM (QBwMV)

165 Ciampino, I have a terrible memory for titles but two Reachre books stand out. Maybe you remember which ones they are. One ,Reacher is on a bus in NYC and looks at someone on the bus and thinks something sinister is about to go down.
The other is Reacher has just left London and traveling down a small country road when he gets involved in a situation.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 10:28 AM (t/2Uw)

166 @155 --

Such as Helm telling how he got thrown out of college. The series was well into its midpoint before we readers got that story.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 10:28 AM (p/isN)

167 Not sure why, but I decided to revisit some Irwin Shaw and read The Young Lions this week.

-
I read that many moons ago and liked it. I've seen individual chapters of that book in collections of short stories. One I remember was entitled A Perfect Morning or some such in which Diestl lays a clever ambush for some American soldiers. Fun fact: in the far inferior movie, John Banner (Sgt. Schultz) plays an evil Nazi mayor.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 10:29 AM (FVME7)

168 Still reading St. Augustine's Confessions, almost finished, but he gets very heavy at times, so one can't rush through it.

I don't have quotas to read, I have stuff I want to read, and part of the joy of my current life is being able to bounce around. Within my line of sight is St. Augustine, Smalls Arms of the World (9th and 12 editions), and two issues of First Things. Also The Spiritual Combat and China's Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. Most of these one does not read cover to cover, but browses happily.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at February 25, 2024 10:29 AM (llXky)

169 I can't really even fathom Titanium pouring.
Posted by: Reforger at February 25, 2024 10:12 AM (Rpmuv)


IIRC some of the castings were actually multiple sub-castings electron beam welded together into a single mass. Though that might be only true of some parts.

Posted by: Kindltot at February 25, 2024 10:30 AM (D7oie)

170 144 Eris, wouldn't a bibliophiliac be someone afraid to go into a library?
Wait, my IPad is giving me all kinds of options for that word.
Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024


***
Sharon, the "phil-" part derives from the Greek for "love." "Phob-" is the word part for "fear." "Philadelphia" = "Brotherly Love" (ha!), not "Brotherly Fear."

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 10:30 AM (omVj0)

171 I have read Skunk Works, and I got my copy after seeing a 60 Minutes interview with Ben Rich in 1995, shortly before he died. A hell of a book. It has made the CSAF Reading List multiple times.

I love planes and none has captured my attention like the SR-71. Designed on a door.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 25, 2024 10:31 AM (8sMut)

172 imagine a -philiac as a shaky, sweaty stan who loves caressing her Smaug pile of books.
Posted by: All Hail Eris

😂

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 10:31 AM (t/2Uw)

173 The secret, of course, is to hand off the character arc to SOMEONE ELSE, and show how they are changed as a result of their encounters with Batman, Reacher, Bond, etc. (For Bond and Reacher, that change is often from being alive to being dead.)

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 10:26 AM (78a2H)
---
And now they're building movies around the villains, because they have more freedom of action. Frankly, even as a kid was never that into them, and as an adult I think fixating on them shows a great want of maturity.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at February 25, 2024 10:31 AM (llXky)

174 SR-71 last flight speed record...told him to floor it the whole way and burn up all the fuel...cause it was done when it got there...

Posted by: qmark at February 25, 2024 10:33 AM (+t9Oi)

175 Glad to see the author said "Streamline Moderne" instead of calling it Art Deco. Those are two different types, and most people think they're the same. Close, but not quite.

Posted by: OrangeEnt


I absolutely would have identified that second one as Art Deco. Is there a single, accessible book that explains all this?

Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 10:34 AM (sNc8Y)

176 every screenwriter clings desperately to the concept of the "character arc." Hence the endless recapitulation of origin stories in superhero flicks, because a superhero origin is the only time those iconic characters change.

Posted by: Trimegistus


I think that is part of it, but another element is the foreshadowing or projection. The reader knows where the story is going, but the journey becomes interesting.

For example, reading The Magician's Nephew after the Lion, the reader knows what the characters become, but they now will see how that happened

Posted by: Thomas Paine at February 25, 2024 10:34 AM (unS4A)

177 you can go to the aquarium in Chattanooga

Posted by: sharon at February 25, 2024 10:34 AM (WKNzA)

178 I think this hints at how the "rings" in the SR-71 were manufactured.

Lockheed awarded the Wyman Gordon Company a $1 million contract to fund a research programme into methods of forming complex structural pieces such as gear legs and engine nacelle rings. The result was a unique hot forging process which utilises a 50,000 ton press to force the titanium to the desired shape.

pg 92-93. Crickmore.

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 10:34 AM (l2Own)

179 Recreational reading is split between Walls of Men and A Distant Mirror. Not much progress on either at this point.

Posted by: Reforger
---
The Middle Ages in China are something of a slog, which is why I don't get too deep into them. The big takeaway is the dynastic cycle and the way warlike people become passive in a couple of generations.

A Distant Mirror is good in parts, but after a while Tuchman has to show how much more enlightened and smarter she is than those patriarchal dopes.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at February 25, 2024 10:35 AM (llXky)

180 And that's my time. Gotta go! Thanks, Perfesser!

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at February 25, 2024 10:35 AM (llXky)

181 >>>JP-7 has a viscosity similar to molasses so only a little fuel leaked from the plane during preflight to takeoff.
Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 10:28 AM (QBwMV)
++++
How did thy keep the fuel from freezing and becoming a solid?

Posted by: Rufus T. Firefly at February 25, 2024 10:35 AM (+Mjp8)

182 The secret, of course, is to hand off the character arc to SOMEONE ELSE, and show how they are changed as a result of their encounters with Batman, Reacher, Bond, etc. (For Bond and Reacher, that change is often from being alive to being dead.)
Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024


***
Yes. For all the hatred Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me receives, IF really did well at showing a young woman whose life is threatened and whom Bond, a stranger to her when he appears, fights to save. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. TV series tackled this head-on by having an Innocent, a non-spy character who becomes entangled with Solo and Illya's latest adventure. Not always a beautiful girl, either; Kurt Russell was one Innocent, and pudgy character actor Jack Weston played another.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 10:36 AM (omVj0)

183 Sharon, the "phil-" part derives from the Greek for "love." "Phob-" is the word part for "fear." "Philadelphia" = "Brotherly Love" (ha!), not "Brotherly Fear."
Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024


***
Oddly, though, "hemophiliac" literally means "blood lover," not the meaning medicine has given it. "Blood lover" could apply to Dracula or any traditional vampire.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 10:38 AM (omVj0)

184 The big flaw in the film from The Young Lions was the handling of the German soldier Christian Diestl, played by Brando in the movie. The movie's Diestl was far more sympathetic, more disillusioned in every scene. The book's Diestl wasn't sympathetic at all. Far from it.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 10:39 AM (q3u5l)

185 It's not so funny now. Venezuelans murderering people throughout the US, but our media will not report any of it. Active suppression in Georgia, not sure why anyone trusts local or national news.
Posted by: InspiredHistoryMike at February 25, 2024 09:12 AM (3uc2w)

The #1 thing I learned from watching old broadcasts of Aktuelle Kamera, the East German television news: it’s not what they say, it’s what they leave out.

There is absolutely no difference between them and our media, besides language.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 25, 2024 10:40 AM (8sMut)

186 you can go to the aquarium in Chattanooga

Of the ones I've been to, that is my second favorite after Monterey Bay.

Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 10:40 AM (sNc8Y)

187 And now they're building movies around the villains,


==


so true; even space nazis...

Posted by: runner at February 25, 2024 10:41 AM (V13WU)

188 I guess they've been "improving" great books for forever.

I learned Prokofiev wrote his ballet for "Romeo and Juliet" with a happy ending, but the players rebelled.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 10:42 AM (3e3hy)

189 Re: Character Development...

I believe that the greatest books with Character Development are the Wheel of Time books. Writing the character developments of Rand, Matt, Perrin, Avihendha, Nynaeve, Egwene and Elayne all of whom started out around 14 years of age and coming from ome times vastly different backgrounds, has to be one of the greatest writing accomplishments of modern writing.

And Amazon should be banished to the deepest pits of hell for what they did to them!

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 10:43 AM (QBwMV)

190 How did thy keep the fuel from freezing and becoming a solid?
Posted by: Rufus T. Firefly


The plane itself becomes so hot that it heats the fuel and lowers the viscosity. The skin was as hot as the space shuttle, so pilots had to sit in the cockpit after landing while the plane cooled

Posted by: Thomas Paine at February 25, 2024 10:44 AM (VqWjn)

191 @182 --

Matt Helm also got entangled with outsiders because the world has more than two people. If all he did was to go kill someone, that's too brief for a story.

The one time I recall that happening, it took about two paragraphs in the last chapter. The majority of that book was devoted to finding the enemy agent who knew where the target was hiding.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 10:46 AM (p/isN)

192 Thank you Perfessor for another great Book Thread.

Haven't made a lot of progress in my fun read, Nicholas Kotar's The Heart of the World, which is said to be based on Russian fairy tales. It's the third in the Raven Son series. I'm not sure if it's because I've not been in the right frame of mind for fiction but I haven't felt the usual compulsion to find out what happens next. Then again, there hasn't been enough free time for reading.

I did make time for Alice von Hildebrand's The Privilege of Being a Woman. I'm not sure how I feel about it so far. I'll have to finish it and give my brain some time to digest it, I think.

Posted by: KatieFloyd at February 25, 2024 10:46 AM (76To8)

193 Book related:

One of the interesting things about the new video game Nightingale is all the Shakespearean to Edwardian literature references. The player's mentor is Puck, Nellie Bly is teamed up with Allen Quartermaine as head of an Explorer's Guild. That sort of stuff.
Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette

I saw a YouTube about a couple who quit their jobs, moved in with parents, and, five years later, had their videogame, Eastshade, published and made millions from it. Intriqued, I bought Eastshade. It is a beautiful walking simulator /exploration game in which you are ship wrecked on the island of Eastshade, an island populated by anthropomorphic animals you
interact with while completing simple missions. Eastshade reminds me of Tolkien's Shire except the worst thing that might happen that somebody may be rude to you.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 10:47 AM (FVME7)

194 There is absolutely no difference between them and our media, besides language.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 25, 2024 10:40 AM (8sMut)

Sometimes it is what they say....Alabama IVF ruling = Roe v Wade overturn.

Posted by: BignJames at February 25, 2024 10:49 AM (AwYPR)

195 I absolutely would have identified that second one as Art Deco. Is there a single, accessible book that explains all this?
Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 10:34 AM (sNc8Y)

Streamline came from Deco, I think. I don't know of any books, I'm just interested in the looks. I found a vid explaining.

http://tinyurl.com/bdf99bnv

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 10:49 AM (Angsy)

196 This discussion of the SR-71 and its fuel is fascinating. I salute the engineers.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 10:49 AM (p/isN)

197 I learned Prokofiev wrote his ballet for "Romeo and Juliet" with a happy ending, but the players rebelled.
Posted by: All Hail Eris

Well, they're Russian after all.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 10:51 AM (FVME7)

198 I found a vid explaining.

Thank you.

Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 10:51 AM (sNc8Y)

199 The JP-7 was a weird concoction created by Shell that would remain liquid from near freezing to the operating temperatures of the SR-71. With the addition of fluorocarbon the fuel became the lubricant for the engine pump servos. To ignite the JP-7 required the injection of TEB into the combustion chambers and afterburners of the J-58s as there were no ignition plugs that could generate a high enough temperature. The fuel was also used as a heat sink to protect parts of the SR-71.

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 10:52 AM (l2Own)

200 Book burning Nazi squirrels?! What madness is this?

Posted by: RedMindBlueState at February 25, 2024 10:52 AM (z8Kb1)

201 I'm still reading The Dark Forest. In the middle, one part of the book ends. I think if this had been a Western author, might have made it a cliffhanger and made you buy the next book. So, author needs to set things up for this new situation and I've gotten a little bogged down in the new "science". I need to step things up.
Ann Cleeland's new Acton and Doyle book is out. She used to comment here as Artemis and got hooked on her books back then. Need to get to it.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 10:53 AM (t/2Uw)

202 105 I keep coming across references to CS Lewis and his Narnia books. I'm taking this as sign that I FINALLY get around to reading all of them. I have a hardcover edition of all the books in one volume, with the Pauline Baynes illustrations, that I should get off the shelf.
Posted by: JTB


They are very well written, and really make you see the action in your mind. Everyone starts with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I think The Magician's Nephew is my favorite.
Posted by: Thomas Paine at February 25, 2024 09:50 AM (9X5dH)

My deeply religious (and amazing) fourth grade teacher read The Chronicles of Narnia to class. I loved my fourth grade teacher, and she absolutely aided and abetted some of my worst habits and obsessive devotions, but she did everything in her power to kill any desire I had to read fantasy novels by reading us this series.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 25, 2024 10:53 AM (8sMut)

203 Venezuelans murderering people throughout the US, but our media will not report any of it.

-
The truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 10:54 AM (FVME7)

204 Russian literature is like opera.

To quote Bugs Bunny, "What did you expect, a happy ending?"

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 10:55 AM (l2Own)

205 So which squirrels are the Nazis? The Reds or the Greys?

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 10:56 AM (l2Own)

206 The big flaw in the film from The Young Lions was the handling of the German soldier Christian Diestl, played by Brando in the movie. The movie's Diestl was far more sympathetic, more disillusioned in every scene. The book's Diestl wasn't sympathetic at all. Far from it.
Posted by: Just Some Guy

+1

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 10:56 AM (FVME7)

207 Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 10:47 AM (FVME7)

Sounds quite interesting.

I probably should have made it clear that I knew Nellie Bly was a real person. That's what the game does. Mixing Edwardian real people with fictional characters written around that time period. As in, I came across what looked like it may have been a destroyed Martian walker from War of the Worlds.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at February 25, 2024 10:57 AM (nC+QA)

208 I've been reading The Canterbury Tales this morning. This is the type of book I need to read patiently, in small bites. If I read too quickly it starts going blah, blah, blah.

Posted by: Northernlurker at February 25, 2024 10:57 AM (xcrUy)

209 A bibliophile is a lover of books.

Posted by: Ciampino - Invasion at February 25, 2024 10:57 AM (qfLjt)

210 So which squirrels are the Nazis? The Reds or the Greys?
Posted by: Anna Puma

We have black squirrels here in MD. Probably would have been racist if they used them.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 10:57 AM (t/2Uw)

211 If it has tree legs, it is a Martian...

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 10:58 AM (l2Own)

212 wait..

three legs

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 10:59 AM (l2Own)

213 Good morning Perfessor and Hordemates.
Just finished rereading Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, by Hornfischer. Read it several years ago. Incredible story and one that will still bring tears to one's eyes.

Posted by: Diogenes at February 25, 2024 11:01 AM (W/lyH)

214 I'll make the case that Fleming did indeed show character development in Bond. The "Casino Royale" Bond is quite different than the "You Only Live Twice" version. Though the final novel, "The Man with the Golden Gun," as Kinglsey Amis pointed out, relapses into old patterns. Fleming wasn't well and the fatigue shows. As I understand it, he wanted to end Bond after From Russia With Love.

Posted by: Ordinary American at February 25, 2024 11:01 AM (GFoyL)

215 186 you can go to the aquarium in Chattanooga

Of the ones I've been to, that is my second favorite after Monterey Bay.
Posted by: Oddbob

Thanks for the recommendation Bob.
Chattanooga is doable for us and Mrs p0indexterous really wants to go to one.

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 11:01 AM (QBwMV)

216 *looks up thread*

Time management. Oh yeah need to do stuff.

Ciao.

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 11:01 AM (l2Own)

217 211 If it has tree legs, it is a Martian...
Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 10:58 AM (l2Own)

If it has tree legs, it's and Ent.

Posted by: Castle Guy at February 25, 2024 11:04 AM (Lhaco)

218 For anyone who is writing and looking to publish, or wants to write but has questions, I can recommend the WriterDojo podcast by Steve Diamond and Larry Correia. They have done a great job of demystifying some of the nonsense about the writing process, and have put up several interviews with well-known published authors discussing various aspects of creating a story.

I listen on Spotify, I'm sure it is available elsewhere. New episodes every Wednesday.

Posted by: Storm of Ale at February 25, 2024 11:05 AM (i14/a)

219 *looks up thread*

Time management. Oh yeah need to do stuff.

Ciao.
Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 11:01 AM (l2Own)

Have a good one Anna !

Chow !

Posted by: JT at February 25, 2024 11:05 AM (T4tVD)

220 Found this:
Bibliophilia

Bibliophilia or bibliophilism is the love of books. A bibliophile or bookworm is an individual who loves and frequently reads or collects books. Bibliophiles may have large, specialized book collections. They may highly value old editions, autographed copies, or illustrated versions. Wikipedia

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 11:05 AM (t/2Uw)

221 Adios, Miss Anna

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 11:06 AM (QBwMV)

222 214 I'll make the case that Fleming did indeed show character development in Bond. The "Casino Royale" Bond is quite different than the "You Only Live Twice" version. Though the final novel, "The Man with the Golden Gun," as Kinglsey Amis pointed out, relapses into old patterns. Fleming wasn't well and the fatigue shows. As I understand it, he wanted to end Bond after From Russia With Love.
Posted by: Ordinary American at February 25, 2024 11:01 AM (GFoyL)


You probably already know this but,

Kingsley Amis wrote a Bond book titled, "Colonel Sun".

It's good.

Hard to find these days but not impossible.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 25, 2024 11:08 AM (nFnyb)

223 My deeply religious (and amazing) fourth grade teacher read The Chronicles of Narnia to class. I loved my fourth grade teacher, and she absolutely aided and abetted some of my worst habits and obsessive devotions, but she did everything in her power to kill any desire I had to read fantasy novels by reading us this series.
Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 25, 2024 10:53 AM (8sMut)

Our fifth grade teacher read it to us. He'd read "The Hobbit" to my older brother's class (each year would alternate between the two). I was always sorry we were the off year.

Posted by: Ordinary American at February 25, 2024 11:08 AM (GFoyL)

224 The end of From Russia with Love (the book, not the movie), if memory serves, had Bond apparently killed.

As for the Bond movies, the early portions of Never Say Never Again played with the idea of Bond getting too old for all this and did it delightfully.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 11:10 AM (q3u5l)

225 'll make the case that Fleming did indeed show character development in Bond. The "Casino Royale" Bond is quite different than the "You Only Live Twice" version. Though the final novel, "The Man with the Golden Gun," as Kinglsey Amis pointed out, relapses into old patterns. Fleming wasn't well and the fatigue shows. As I understand it, he wanted to end Bond after From Russia With Love.
Posted by: Ordinary American at February 25, 2024


***
True -- and in fact Bond does change from the start of CR to the end of the novel. Yes, Fleming had gotten a little tired of Bond and the fact that the books were not selling very well at that point. (The endorsement by JFK was a few years in the future.)

Willard Huntington Wright, "S.S. Van Dine," said that most writers have at most six good books in them. (He proved it in his own work.) And Fleming's Doctor No, the sixth Bond, is the high point of the series as far as thrills and suspense go. After that Fleming toned down the "sadism" he'd been accused of, and the books became milder.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 11:10 AM (omVj0)

226 Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors?

Hornfischer you dolt! Check your facts.

USS Gambier Bay was not the first carrier sunk by naval gunfire.

That dubious honour falls to HMS Glorious in 1940 during the Norway Campaign. With a deck fouled by RAF fighters, only two destroyers in escort, and not all boilers on line; she was sunk the German Kriegsmarine's terrible twins Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.

In point of fact, USS Hornet in 1942 almost had the dubious American honor of being finally sunk by naval gunfire. First the US Navy tried to sink the damaged carrier with gunfire and torpedoes only to be chased away by the Japanese who tried to tow the carrier but realizing the ship was too far gone proceeded to shoot up the carrier before sinking her with Long Lance torpedoes.

Posted by: Anna Puma at February 25, 2024 11:10 AM (l2Own)

227 Oops.

"Colonel Sun" is no longer hard to find.

It's been reprinted and is on amazon.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 25, 2024 11:10 AM (nFnyb)

228 Kingsley Amis wrote a Bond book titled, "Colonel Sun".

It's good.

Hard to find these days but not impossible.
Posted by: naturalfake at February 25, 2024


***
Under the pen name "Robert Markham," I think. Yes, it is quite good, and shows Bond's ability at fitting pieces together to solve a puzzle, too.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 11:12 AM (omVj0)

229 Just finished rereading Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, by Hornfischer. Read it several years ago. Incredible story and one that will still bring tears to one's eyes.

Posted by: Diogenes at February 25, 2024 11:01 AM (W/lyH)

Knew a gentleman who was a "tin can sailor" in ww2...asked him his job, not his battle station...baker.

Posted by: BignJames at February 25, 2024 11:14 AM (AwYPR)

230 Though the final novel, "The Man with the Golden Gun," as Kinglsey Amis pointed out, relapses into old patterns. Fleming wasn't well and the fatigue shows. As I understand it, he wanted to end Bond after From Russia With Love.
Posted by: Ordinary American at February 25, 2024


***
It does. The GG book has errors, too. Bond's new secretary, Mary Goodnight, is described as having blue-black hair in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but in Golden Gun she is blonde, with no mention by her or Bond about any change.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 11:15 AM (omVj0)

231 It does. The GG book has errors, too. Bond's new secretary, Mary Goodnight, is described as having blue-black hair in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but in Golden Gun she is blonde, with no mention by her or Bond about any change.
Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 11:15 AM (omVj0)

And no one noticed!!!! I hate you all!!!!!

Posted by: Bottle Blonde at February 25, 2024 11:17 AM (Angsy)

232 I watched the movie, "Lady Of Burlesque" yesterday, based on the book "The G-String Murders," by Gypsy Rose Lee.

Imagine that.. and she can write too (although there are hints that it was ghostwritten).

However... the film starred Barbara Stanwyck. Holy smokes.

A gripping little murder yarn, with the lovely ladies being intertwined with the mystery.

Posted by: BurtTC at February 25, 2024 11:20 AM (GtZ7X)

233
I started the Brothers Karamozov a couple weeks ago for half-hour reads. Started off well but am deep in now and it's a struggle to pick up any more.

Posted by: Auspex at February 25, 2024 11:20 AM (j4U/Z)

234 Mrs Some Guy won't look at Mark Twain -- symbol hunting in "The Mysterious Stranger" for a high school class ruined Twain for her.
Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 09:27 AM (q3u5l)

High school lit classes tend to have that effect. I would get rid of all the phoney "analysis", and just assign the kids books to read, and simply test on comprehension and retention. "If I'm satisfied that you read the book, kid, you pass."

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 25, 2024 11:21 AM (tkR6S)

235 I ordered The Attack by Kurt Schlicter this week.

Posted by: Eromero at February 25, 2024 11:24 AM (DXbAa)

236 High school lit classes tend to have that effect. I would get rid of all the phoney "analysis", and just assign the kids books to read, and simply test on comprehension and retention. "If I'm satisfied that you read the book, kid, you pass."
Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 25, 2024


***
If I taught, I'd want to have them read something swift and short, like Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday. Then I'd get them to discuss the book by asking, "Who was your favorite/least favorite character?" and "What's your favorite/least favorite part and why?" Once you can get them talking, and they realize there are no traps or "analysis," they'll start thinking about the book as a story.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 11:25 AM (omVj0)

237 165 Ciampino, I have a terrible memory for titles but two Reachre books stand out. Maybe you remember which ones they are. One ,Reacher is on a bus in NYC and looks at someone on the bus and thinks something sinister is about to go down.
The other is Reacher has just left London and traveling down a small country road when he gets involved in a situation.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 10:28 AM (t/2Uw)
----
I'll search. Is the second one 'A Christmas Scorpion'?
The first one is 'Blue Moon' with the bus.

Posted by: Ciampino - Reacher again at February 25, 2024 11:25 AM (qfLjt)

238 234 - AOP:

If only. That might not have worked in my case, though, and I doubt I'm alone in this. I did most of the reading assigned, but I was more interested in science fiction at the time. So on a number of occasions I fudged assignments by reverting to my stock of Classics Illustrated comics. They saved my bacon more than once.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 11:27 AM (q3u5l)

239 I teach a summer fiction writing course, and one of the things I start by doing is to tell the students that most of what they learned about literature is bullshit.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 11:28 AM (78a2H)

240 229 Just finished rereading Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, by Hornfischer. Read it several years ago. Incredible story and one that will still bring tears to one's eyes.
Posted by: Diogenes at February 25, 2024 11:01 AM (W/lyH)

If you visit the Creston area of Grand Rapids there is a monument in front of the old library with the names of WW2 dead; the first name up was in the front turret of the Johnston.

My folks graduated high school in 1942. Mom would stop outside after we got books and tell us which class she was in with almost every name on the obelisk.

Posted by: Auspex at February 25, 2024 11:28 AM (j4U/Z)

241 . . . on a number of occasions I fudged assignments by reverting to my stock of Classics Illustrated comics. They saved my bacon more than once.
Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024


***
Cliff's Notes, too!

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 11:29 AM (omVj0)

242 237
Sharon, let me know if I got them right. I think I have all the Reacher books, even the short stories. I think The Christmas Scorpion is a shorter story.

Posted by: Ciampino - Reacher again ... at February 25, 2024 11:30 AM (qfLjt)

243 Had an 11th grade English teacher who was a middle aged female. Seems like all we ever did was read Shakespeare plays out loud and the only thing I recall was her constantly interrupting the dialogue to point out phallic symbols.
Something was going on there.

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at February 25, 2024 11:30 AM (NBVIP)

244 Venezuelans murderering people throughout the US, but our media will not report any of it.

-
Venezuela Stops Accepting Flights of Illegals Deported From U.S.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 11:30 AM (FVME7)

245 Didn't use Cliff's Notes more than once or twice in hs & college. Didn't want to spend sf paperback money on them, and already had the Classics Illustrated.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 11:31 AM (q3u5l)

246 238
So on a number of occasions I fudged assignments by reverting to my stock of Classics Illustrated comics. They saved my bacon more than once.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 11:27 AM (q3u5l)
----
That's how I read "A Tale Of Two Cities", "The Downfall" by Emile Zola, "The Oxbow Incident", and maybe others.

Posted by: Ciampino - CI was better that Reader's Digest abridged at February 25, 2024 11:34 AM (qfLjt)

247 >>>>I recall was her constantly interrupting the dialogue to point out phallic symbols.
Something was going on there.
Posted by: Quarter Twenty at February 25, 2024 11:30 AM (NBVIP)
++++
Or, maybe nothing was going on “there”. IYKWIM.

Posted by: Rufus T. Firefly at February 25, 2024 11:35 AM (+Mjp8)

248 This week I'm reading _Rivers of London_ by Ben Aaronovich. It's about the secret Metropolitan Police squad investigating supernatural mysteries in modern London. Emphasis on _modern_ London -- the book is very multi-culti, but I think that's deliberate as one of the themes is the clash between modern cosmopolitan London and traditional England. I understand there's a Netflix or Amazon series based on it, but I haven't watched. Recommended.
Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 09:42 AM (78a2H)

I have ask: Is there some reason why you use underscores instead of quotes? I see asterisks used in place of quotes, too. Weird. Is it a Rosicrucian thing?

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 25, 2024 11:35 AM (tkR6S)

249 Speaking of WWII heroes, an aircraft carrier (future CVN81) will be named after Doris Miller, who was a male.

The reader is left to research the story if interested, 'cuz Al Gore and the nternet and all.

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at February 25, 2024 11:36 AM (NBVIP)

250 Skunk Works is definitely worth the read. There has been a lot of words written about Oxcart, the A-12 and SR-71 programs, but that books sets the table. The Huntington Library in San Marino, CA has personal papers from Kelly Johnson and Ben Rich. The Blackbirds are still highlights of any museum collection - including places like the Smithsonian that have everything famous from air and space that you've ever heard of.

Posted by: TRex at February 25, 2024 11:36 AM (IQ6Gq)

251 Greetings! I am reading The Crusades by Thomas Asbridege. There are some very detailed accounts of this hundreds year long struggle and I'm trying to fill in some gaps in my knowledge.

Posted by: gourmand du jour at February 25, 2024 11:38 AM (MeG8a)

252 I use underscores to indicate italics, because book titles go in italics while short story titles go in quotes.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 11:39 AM (78a2H)

253 Well, off to deal with so-called reality. (Mainly the cat in my face and on the keyboard, demanding her morning treats...)

Thanks for the thread, Perfessor.

Have a good one, gang.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 11:40 AM (q3u5l)

254 "Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture" by Alan Hess is a good read for fans of Mid-Century Modern.

Googie architecture was an explosion of exuberant pop schlock embracing sunny California car culture, optimism for the future, and cultural self-confidence.
Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 09:46 AM (3e3hy)

I know what Googie is, and enjoy it. What about those teepee motels? I saw one in Wharton, Texas, years ago.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 25, 2024 11:40 AM (tkR6S)

255 I suspect, at least in part, the choice of the SR-71 Blackbird for the Marvel X-Men series was because it is such a great-looking plane -- it looks like it's moving even when standing still.

Someone mentioned '60s comics dialogue. I outgrew their kind of stilted dialogue when I was about eleven -- every sentence that was not a question ended in an exclamation point, for instance. But then a friend got me to try the X-Men in the early '80s, when Chris Claremont was writing them. What a quantum leap in style and readability, as well as in character and movie-like panels.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 11:42 AM (omVj0)

256 Watched the video linked by OrangeEnt above. My 5 second distillation of a 15 minute vid is "If your first thought when you see it is 'Buck Rogers,' then it's Streamline Moderne."

Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 11:43 AM (sNc8Y)

257 I use underscores to indicate italics, because book titles go in italics while short story titles go in quotes.
Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024


***
Right. Underscoring was the standard way in typewriter days of indicating italics.

I'd think the same setup would go for TV shows and their individual episodes, too: The Man From U.N.C.L.E., "The Finny Foot Affair." And a full-length movie should be in italics, a short film in quotes.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 11:45 AM (omVj0)

258 Venezuela Stops Accepting Flights of Illegals Deported From U.S.

Ya know, technically those flights don't need to actually land in Venezuela, just get close enough to open the doors.

Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 11:45 AM (sNc8Y)

259 I hate spunk.
Posted by: G'rump928(c) repeats himself at February 25, 2024 09:51 AM (aD39U)

The guy is bugfuck nuts. Full stop.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 25, 2024 11:46 AM (tkR6S)

260 Watched the video linked by OrangeEnt above. My 5 second distillation of a 15 minute vid is "If your first thought when you see it is 'Buck Rogers,' then it's Streamline Moderne."
Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 11:43 AM (sNc8Y)

I would say you are correct. Deco is more hard edged, while Streamline is rounded.

Speaking of Buck, did you catch that iron gliding across the screen?

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 11:46 AM (Angsy)

261 And so we come to the end of yet another fascinating thread about books wonderful and books somewhat less than that. Thanks, Perfessor!

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 11:47 AM (omVj0)

262 Speaking of Buck, did you catch that iron gliding across the screen?

Yeah, that was pretty out there, design-wise. The clock radios were what really caught my eye, especially the combination of natural wood with the swoopy shapes and Bakelite details.

Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 11:49 AM (sNc8Y)

263 From Megyn's tweet to God's ear.

Megyn Kelly
@megynkelly
Not sure if @Google is aware but it’s having its own Bud Lite moment. Self-inflicted utter humiliation of a brand.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 11:50 AM (FVME7)

264 237
Sharon, the alternate to Blue Moon could be 'Gone Tomorrow' but it starts in a subway car in NYC.

If you go to this ink you can read very short intros to each book and you may find what you want.
http://tinyurl.com/23x3vjyn

Posted by: Ciampino - Reacher never ages? at February 25, 2024 11:51 AM (qfLjt)

265 The original "I hate spunk."

https://youtu.be/QBJfciyvahQ

Posted by: Quarter Twenty at February 25, 2024 11:52 AM (NBVIP)

266 Found a synopsis of some of the Reachre books and Gone Tomorrow is the one that starts on the bus. Can't find the one in England.
Reading the synopsis of the first books realized I didn't remember some of them. Might have to reread. lol

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 11:53 AM (t/2Uw)

267 Speaking of the news . . .

NBC story claims intelligence officials are "vindicated" in calling Hunter Biden's laptop Russian disinformation even though it's been confirmed as real

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 11:53 AM (FVME7)

268 Streamline Moderne:
http://tinyurl.com/yc838jcw
Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 10:08 AM (Angsy)

The car in that image looks like an AI brain fart. Makes me question the whole image.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 25, 2024 11:54 AM (tkR6S)

269 I ordered The Attack by Kurt Schlicter this week.
Posted by: Eromero at February 25, 2024 11:24 AM (DXbAa)


You're gonna love it.
And then buy more ammo.

Posted by: Diogenes at February 25, 2024 11:54 AM (W/lyH)

270 Added Eastshade to my Steam wishlist. It art is beautiful and the description sounds very chill.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at February 25, 2024 11:55 AM (nC+QA)

271 263 Not sure if @Google is aware but it’s having its own Bud Lite moment. Self-inflicted utter humiliation of a brand.
Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 11:50 AM (FVME7)


I downloaded a podcast for a morning radio program last week and noticed that the website ads were wall-to-wall Gemini. I was in privacy mode, the show itself is expressly non political and non technical, so the only reason I can think of for the king of targeted ads flooding the zone like that is they're in damage control mode.

Posted by: CppThis at February 25, 2024 11:56 AM (PZvjL)

272 Ya know, technically those flights don't need to actually land in Venezuela, just get close enough to open the doors.
Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 11:45 AM (sNc8Y)

We're not maniacs, slow the plane down, and try to get less than 100 feet off the ground.

Posted by: BurtTC at February 25, 2024 11:57 AM (GtZ7X)

273 Attorneys for Fulton County DA's Office Deny Willis and Wade Lied About Relationship

-
They just misrpresented their hootchie cootchie status.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 11:58 AM (FVME7)

274 Thank you for another wonderful book thread, perfessor!
Or is it Dr Squirrel?

Posted by: p0indexterous at February 25, 2024 11:58 AM (QBwMV)

275 Google Gemini: Definitely artificial, questionable intelligence.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 12:00 PM (FVME7)

276 Rats! End of the Book Thread, again. Thanks, Perfessor.

Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 12:01 PM (Angsy)

277 Vin Diesel Confirms “Fast & Furious 11” Will Be the Final Film of the Franchise

-
F&F movies are like doughnuts. 10 is not enough, 12 is too many.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 12:03 PM (FVME7)

278 Streamline Moderne:
http://tinyurl.com/yc838jcw
Posted by: OrangeEnt at February 25, 2024 10:08 AM (Angsy)
*
The car in that image looks like an AI brain fart. Makes me question the whole image.
Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 25, 2024


***
The building looks like one on the former MGM lot that dated, I was told, from Irving Thalberg's time. And the car looks like something Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby or Monroe Stahr would drive.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 12:04 PM (omVj0)

279 F&F movies are like doughnuts. 10 is not enough, 12 is too many.

"Why did you eat 11 doughnuts, Bob?"

"Well, eating a whole dozen would just be crazy."

Posted by: Oddbob at February 25, 2024 12:05 PM (sNc8Y)

280
I know what Googie is, and enjoy it. What about those teepee motels? I saw one in Wharton, Texas, years ago.
Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon


wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigwam_Motel

Posted by: Bertram Cabot, Jr. at February 25, 2024 12:07 PM (63Dwl)

281 Continuing my reading and study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and of Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain.

For me, it is a real slog - but very rewarding.

Only 600 pages to go.

Posted by: Tonypete at February 25, 2024 12:08 PM (IpdaE)

282 Found that synopsis but don't see the one in England. Maybe it was one of the short stories. Going to drive me crazy til I find it. Yes, Gone tomorrow was the one I was thinking of.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 12:08 PM (t/2Uw)

283 I use underscores to indicate italics, because book titles go in italics while short story titles go in quotes.
Posted by: Trimegistus at February 25, 2024 11:39 AM (78a2H)

Now, that's really weird!

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 25, 2024 12:08 PM (tkR6S)

284 I have been reading a posthumous collection of Bruce Catton's work "Bruce Catton's America". Most of this is taken from his Civil War histories but there is also some very interesting stuff about his childhood (he was born in 1899) in a small town in Michigan. He knew veterans of the Civil War and heard them talk about what they had seen and done and survived. Something that I think is reflected in his writings.

One bit that I particularly liked: "And there was Cassuis Judson...who in 1916 went down to Manistee to see "The Birth of a Nation". When he got back I asked him if he had not been impressed by the picture's portrayal of the Battle of Atlanta. Mr. Judson, who had been in that battle personally, smiled faintly and said "Well, it wasn't much like the real thing."

Posted by: John F. MacMichael at February 25, 2024 12:09 PM (jjfDF)

285 Doris Miller, who was a male.

The reader is left to research the story if interested, 'cuz Al Gore and the internet and all.
Posted by: Quarter Twenty

Great man, great sailor!

Posted by: Tonypete at February 25, 2024 12:09 PM (IpdaE)

286 The story definitely takes place in England.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 25, 2024 12:12 PM (t/2Uw)

287 The building looks like one on the former MGM lot that dated, I was told, from Irving Thalberg's time. And the car looks like something Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby or Monroe Stahr would drive.
Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere at February 25, 2024 12:04 PM (omVj0)

Well, being a car guy, that car has a late 1930's custom look to it, but grossly exaggerated, and the red/green two-tone split longitudinally is right out. Kind of like an AI-generated woman with big knockers and six fingers...

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 25, 2024 12:15 PM (tkR6S)

288
As for the Bond movies, the early portions of Never Say Never Again played with the idea of Bond getting too old for all this and did it delightfully.
Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 11:10 AM (q3u5l)

But it is not a Bond movie.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 25, 2024 12:29 PM (8sMut)

289 "The quest for invention in which American Modernism and Coffee Shop Modern reveled is not necessarily superficial. Originality, novelty, and newness have been continuing threads in American culture since the discovery of the New World by Europeans. In their grander phases these values caused a continent to be explored and populated as the wonders of the new land were widely advertised. ... Repeated warnings that this emphasis on novelty would bring civilization to collapse seem unproved after five hundred years. The American tendency has been to open up new fields and to welcome new ideas in order to spread wealth, rights, and possibilities to more and more people. This leads naturally, in a democratic society, to inconsistency, diversity, and pluralism. It tends to move away from the impulse of many modern critics (who, like Alfred Barr, were "appalled by this chaos") to impose an artificial unity of style."

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 25, 2024 12:29 PM (3e3hy)

290 288 - Catch 33,

Yeah, I know -- not done by the same producers, etc. But it's practically a do-over of Thunderball, and Connery's playing Bond, so it's close enough to suit this kid.

(It also gets all kinds of points from me for Lani Hall's title song performance. Could listen to her all day...)

Posted by: Just Some Guy at February 25, 2024 12:45 PM (q3u5l)

291
109 . . .
Biggest problem is I'm missing books in the series' I'm working through. One on coatings and mold releases I really need to find.
Posted by: Reforger at February 25, 2024 09:51 AM (0MuVc)

*****

@Reforger,

I am late to the book thread as usual, but have you tried Archive.org? They have a lot of older out of print material available free to download, other items you can sign up and borrow free.

I got 5,797 hits for "forging". Looking right now at Forging from the American School of Correspondence published in 1906.

I could spent an hour or more just looking at it and my forging knowledge doesn't go beyond BigstackD on YouTube.

Your knowledge needs are probably very different, but you might find something there.

Posted by: Elinor, Who Usually Looks Lurkily at February 25, 2024 01:39 PM (G8nnv)

292 In Fleming's short story "The Living Daylights," Bond is fed up with the whole business, and you get the impression that he'll quit once he gets home.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 25, 2024 01:41 PM (p/isN)

293 NBC story claims intelligence officials are "vindicated" in calling Hunter Biden's laptop Russian disinformation even though it's been confirmed as real
Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 25, 2024 11:53 AM (FVME7)

It's true but inaccurate!

Posted by: Zombie Dan Rather at February 25, 2024 02:53 PM (V+hVw)

294 About Face, by Col. David Hackworth. It’s over 800 pages long. I’m two weeks into it and only halfway. The man lived more by the time he was 26 than most could live in 3 lifetimes. Granted, it was mostly combat in Korea, but still. It is quite the nugget on leadership and I dig his I don’t give a crap attitude

Hackworth lead a team in Vietnam that killed a lot of communists. "The Tiger Team" IIRC.
His success in killing commies made some people unhappy and he later was criticized regarding the way he achieved such good results.

Posted by: waepnedmann: at February 25, 2024 05:49 PM (MiM3G)

295 The squirrels are BOOK BURNERS?!?
I always suspected as much, the nutty little fur fascists.

Posted by: GWB at February 25, 2024 08:14 PM (mdc3p)

296 How about a discussion of foreign or weird names that make it hard to read a novel? Russian novels, Chinese, Indian and fantasy all are much harder for me. Maybe because I am old and we were Judy, Mary, Mike and Jerry.

Posted by: jimmymcnulty at February 25, 2024 10:31 PM (BJgzI)

297 I've decided to "stream of comments" this; first, something on the actual article, the comments on comments.
All output from any AI should be required, by law, to append the statement, "Yeah, that's the ticket," to all output.
The Reacher books are well written and entertaining.. My wife would describe them as page-turners; she doesn't like to start one in the evening because she'll be up late to finish it. In the mystery genre they'd be described as hard-boiled. The character's ethos reminds me of the Matt Helm series - the books, not the facial Deano movies.
Museums with Airplanes? The AF Museum at Wright-Patterson outside Dayton. I've visited it 3 times over a period of 35 years, the last time about 7 years ago. It just keeps getting bigger. I think their goal is one of every plane ever in the Air Force inventory. Third plane the Wright brothers built, a Blackbird, and a B-36 inside the building(s)? Check. Allow at least 3 days.
"Driving from central Kentucky to New Orleans would still be preferred to a trip through Atlanta. Posted by: p0indexterous"
Highway 61 Revisited, man! Seriously, Americana, "inclusive".

Posted by: buddhaha at February 25, 2024 11:31 PM (9Bamw)

298 It'ѕ ɑwesome in favor of me to have a website,
which is helpful in favor of my knowledge. thanks admin

Posted by: vegetated at March 01, 2024 11:44 PM (BmAcg)

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