Does anyone read? Part II

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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Schmeelkie » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:13 am

Finished The Sword of Shanara - don't know if I noticed the almost complete lack of female characters when I was younger - kinda annoyed me... I really hadn't consciously remembered the details, but had a good sense of forboding when stuff happened. Eg, they're close to the Mist Marsh - something bad happens there.... so I wasn't really surprised. Anyway, compared to the Eragon series (we've finished Brisingr and are about 75 pages into Inheritance), it's much less bloody, the vocabulary is easier and it's a much faster read. Will likely read it to Pumpkin when we're done with Inheritance. Sequel to The Hunger Games wasn't in the library last time we were there...will have to look again next time. Will try to rent the movie one of these days - don't want to buy as it will tempt Pumpkin too much!
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Schmeelkie » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:21 am

Still haven't gotten Catching Fire yet - scheduled library visit this Saturday, so we'll see. Pumpkin and I paused in the middle of Inheritance to read The Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan's third in the Heroes of Olympus series. Same great humor that he started with in the first Percy Jackson book, with more serious elements and still excellent characters. There's a scene with Echo and Narcissus that is wonderful and hilarious! Now we just have to wait another year for the 4th book...
I had borrowed The Passage by Justin Cronin from a friend, and now, with the sequel, The Twelve out, am contemplating buying both... Might just see if I can get it from the library first. It was so hard getting through the beginning of the first book that I wasn't quite sure it was worth it by the end. But I'm too curious with where he's going with the story to give it up...
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:44 pm

I only read the first Percy Jackson book. I didn't continue with the series, since my son has rather outgrown the teen book series (I liked to keep up with what he was reading). I have no idea what he reads now.

I think I purchased all the books through The Last Olympian, before putting them aside.

I have all of The Complete Peanuts books currently published, up through 1985-1986, which I just completed. Since these are the years I was in the Navy, I've not read many of the strips covered.

I also have started Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter of Mars, though work has kept me from reading much.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:19 am

I've started reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series, starting with 'A Princess of Mars'.

I recall that I read a couple of them back when I was a younger man, though I cannot say for sure which ones. My brother had the whole series, I think, in paperback. But that was long ago.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:10 am

Finished with the Barsoom series. Now I'm reading Robert E. Howard's 'Conan the Barbarian' series.

I've never read any of Howard's works before. The collection I have starts with his History of the Hyborian Age, which is rather tedious reading, despite being so short. The first book in the collection, however, The Phoenix on the Sword, appears to be more lively.

I also purchased Asimov's Foundation Trilogy to read. I've read some stories by Asimov, but never read any of the Foundation books, as far as I can recall. It's on the shelf for later reading.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Schmeelkie » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:33 pm

Somehow got onto rereading Scott Lynch's Red Seas Under Red Skies - now looks like 3rd book in the series The Republic of Theives might actually be published this year (July 18, they're saying). Lynch has had problems with depression, etc., so it's been like 6 years now... he had planned 7 books in this series - we'll see if he gets to them. Sigh....

We own the Foundation series - I'll get to it one of these days. Generally I prefer fantasy, but I get into harder SciFi moods sometimes...

Almost done with Sword of Shannara with Pumpkin - not sure what we'll be reading next...
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:37 am

I've gotten about half-way through the first Conan collection. It's interesting stuff, but I'll probably take a breather after I finish this one before beginning the next. I've got some other books piled up that are screaming for attention...
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby barfle » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:52 pm

I'm reading a biography of a rather remarkable electronic engineer named A.D. Blumlein. He was an Englishman who did early work on audio recording (both mono and stereo) and helped develop the radar that allowed the Brits to make the bombing raids on London very, very expensive for the Nazis.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:27 am

Good to hear from you, Barfle!
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:40 am

I finished the Conan series, and picked up the Foundation Trilogy to read, but was interrupted about half-way through the second page, and again when I got to the third page, and again about half-way through the third page. I gave it up as a bad job.

I'll try again later...
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby barfle » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:59 pm

Shapley wrote:Good to hear from you, Barfle!

Thanks, Shap. Not too many of us left here, I'm afraid.

Is there anyone listening to the stream?
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:13 pm

barfle wrote:Is there anyone listening to the stream?


I had it on for a while this morning, but shut it off when I had to shut my computer down to restart it. It's a cranky old thing but I can't shift to the new one yet, since I am unwilling to invest in a new version of the software, as we are trying to wean ourselves off it.

i just restarted it now, listening to Bruckner's Symphony No. 1.

I think Howard (Trumpetmaster) listens in. I'm not sure how many others.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Schmeelkie » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:48 pm

I still listen every day at work... just don't get on the BB that often...
Back on topic:
For Christmas, husband got me Robert Asprin's Dragons Wild - as he says in the opening, a bit of a departure from his other work. Fantasy, but based in the real world, with much less pun-ing, but still some good laugh-out-loud lines. Good, not great - bit of a pacing problem. One of the last books he wrote before he died... Great homage to New Orleans, though - having been there a few times, I can just see a lot of the locations he references...
Am now, finally, onto George RR Martin's A Game of Thrones - good so far - husband tried reading, but didn't think he could keep up with the many characters! Saw something online that suggested that after book 3, the series isn't so great...
Finished Sword of Shannara with Pumpkin and we are now reading The Elfstones of Shannara - I didn't pre-read this time (at least, not since high school), so I am often as surprised as he is. But he's doing a better job of predicting when something bad is going to happen and predicting plot twists - so I'd guess he's getting a good conscious sense of the structure of at least this type of book.
"Up plus down equals flat" Pumpkin, 3 yrs, 10 mo, July '07
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Trumpetmaster » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:54 am

barfle wrote:
Shapley wrote:Good to hear from you, Barfle!

Thanks, Shap. Not too many of us left here, I'm afraid.

Is there anyone listening to the stream?



I listen every day!!!
Just can't get on the board as much as I would like.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:10 pm

"Making Out in Korean" Constantine

All the vulgarity you could need

"The Revised Romanization of Korean" National Academy of Korean Language

Phonetic alphabets are wonderful

"I Hate to Cook Book" Bracken

New edition by Peg's daughter.

"Random Walk Guide to Investing" Malkiel

Some advice for investing. Ok.

"Go Figure" Hopkins, Mayne and Hudson

An older book with the math of everyday life.

"The Mathematical Universe" Dunham

An interesting book if you have this kind of curiosity. I do.

"Popes and Bankers" Cashill

History of credit and debt

"Taxes in America" Burman and Slemrod

An orthodox look at taxes.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:22 pm

Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri (1888) and The History of Southeast Missouri (1912) by Robert Sydney Douglass.

To say I'm 'reading' them is a bit of a stretch. I've been reading those parts that pertain to my home county and to my family. Both books follow a similar format: the first half details the actual events involved in the settlement and establishment of the several counties and communities of the area, with the second half providing biographical sketches of various prominent citizens of the time. Goodspeed's was written at the time of my great-great grandfather's life, whereas Douglass' includes a biography of my great-grandfather as well as my great-great grandfather, who died just prior the book's publication.

Douglass' first part seems to pay a lot more attention to the legal and financial procedings of the time and, in my opinion, is a much drier read. His biographical sketches are a bit more flattering of the subjects, I think, though Goodspeed's are not by any means unflattering of the subjects.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Schmeelkie » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:16 am

Onto the 4th book of the Song of Ice and Fire series - I'm really liking Martin and a friend has loaned me the first season of Game of Thrones on DVD. Obviously, they have to cut even for a TV series, but a lot of my favorite bits and lines from the book are in the series. I've heard there's more divergence in later seasons, but it's still fun - especially to have a decent visual of the Wall.
Made it through The Fellowship of the Ring with Pumpkin, but we just skipped to 'the good parts' in The Two Towers. I've shown the kids parts of the films - Pumpkin's old enough to handle most of the battle scenes, but some of the talking parts are too slow for them. Both are a little creeped out by Gollum, so we end up skipping a lot of that too. They enjoyed the new Hobbit movie (skipped a little, but not much).
With Bella, we're going back and forth between Percy Jackson and The 39 Clues. She's starting to read much more by herself now - graphic novels and comics are appealing to her at this point. We're travelling this weekend and got The Spiderwick Chronicles on CD to listen to in the car.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:33 am

Currently reading "War In The Boats: My World War II Submarine Battles" by Capt. William Ruhe.

Capt. Ruhe started out in submarines while stationed in Australia, where he was supposed to install radar on aging S-type submarines. When the first load of radar equipment was sunk at Pearl Harbor, and a later load was delayed, he requested to ship out on one of the submarines to get a taste of what it was like, rather than simply sitting out the war doing various duties on the tender. He remained on submarines through the rest of the war and beyond.

He kept a journal through all of his tours. This book is compiled from those journals. The book describes many aspects of the patrols, with a focus on the mental stresses experienced by the crew. He describes the mundane aspects of sea duty aboard the boats: battles with cockroaches, the effects of depth charges on porcelain toilet bowls, and the difficulties in lighting cigarettes in the damp interior of the submarines. He also describes the difficulties of fighting the war in the early days, using aging World War I vintage vessels and torpedoes that often failed to detonate, detonated prematurely, or otherwise went awry. One has to wonder at how success was ever achieved under those conditions, but the men managed.

The strain on the captains under which he served are of particular interest, as he describes in detail how these manifested themselves through odd behaviour. To their credit, most captains recognized these failings themselves, and requested transfers or duty changes themselves. The men, with responses that sometimes bordered on mutiny, managed to keep the boat focused on the missions and on the war even as the captains' mind failed to maintain that focus. It is a good study, and shows us that the ‘iron men' had their weaknesses after all.

On an interesting note, (at least interesting to me): I've commented before that I prefer hardcover books, and this one was no exception. Since the book is currently not in print, I had to order it from Amazon's secondary market. The seller advertised its condition as ‘very good', which it was, and shipped it promptly. When I first opened it, I noticed that it has one of those embossed "Library of" seals inside, indicating that it came from the library of one Wayne R. Fritz. The next thing I noticed was an inscription from the author addressed to Capt. Fritz, who he identifies as a fellow diesel submariner.

Capt. Fritz (USNA ‘57) is on the board of the United States Naval Institute, of which I am a member. Capt. Ruhe (USNA ‘39) passed away in 2003. He had been an advisor to Tom Clancy on the book "The Hunt For Red October". He also wrote the book; "Slow Dance to Pearl Harbor: A Tin Can Ensign in Prewar America", which I have not yet read.

Anyway, I find it rather nice owning this little bit of history, a book passed from two old diesel submariners. I think it's a nice addition to my bookshelf.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby Shapley » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:31 am

Reading "Submarine Stories: Recollections From The Diesel Boats" edited by Paul Stillwell.

A collection of remembrances by various officers (so far, there may be some by enlisted men later in the book) who served on diesel boats. The recollections appear, more or less, in chronological order, starting with the World War I era. I am now only as far as the period of the Sino-Japanese War, building up to World War II.

The recollections range from the tragic to the humorous. It's an enjoyable read, thus far.
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Re: Does anyone read? Part II

Postby barfle » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:38 pm

I'm still working my way through the Franklin Mint collection of 100 greatest pieces of American Literature. I'm presently reading "The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen (?) Crane. It's not all that long, so I should have it done next weekend.

If you're ever inspired to read "The Deerslayer" by James Fennimore Cooper, get the Cliff's notes version instead. Way, way, way too wordy, and way, way way too speechy (although that seems to be a Cooper trademark). "Last of the Mohicans" was better, even though it was done quite a bit earlier in his career.
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