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Thread: The Return of just what exactly are you reading right now?

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I'm reading "The Lady of the Sorrows" by Cecilia Dart Thornton. You guys really should give this Aussie writer a look... Big Smile Smilie
Last night I finished Grahan Greene's 'Our Man in Havana' which was hilarious for a spy novel because the vacuum cleaner salesman, needing money, agreed to become Her Majesties secret agent in pre-Castro Cuba, then proceded to hire non-existant sub-agents using real names to get them vetted, and then faked all his reports. The only problem is the enemy, believing him legit and having intercepted his reports, proceeded to act on them by killing off his agents namesakes. How all this gets turned around is great fun. Not your typical Graham Green or even John LeCarre spy story.

Tonight I will start the third of the five books of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, entitled 'The Castle of Llyr'.
I just started "Dracula" by Bram Stoker and besides I re-read my Pratchetts from first to last. (that keeps me reading a while...).
I'm halfway through a book on corrosion. But that gets boring sometimes so I'm also reading 'The Man Who Loved Only Numbers' - about Paul Erd’s, the greatest mathematician of all time. Very interesting.

I'm also re-reading 'Cry, Beloved Country' by Alan Paton, and 'The Life & Times of Chairman Mao'.
Just finished re-reading Pyramids (Pratchett) and am moving on to Destinys Road (Larry Niven) Big Smile Smilie
Tonight I start 'Soul Music' by T. Pratchett and have ordered the missing five of his novels that came between his 'Guards! Guards!' and his 'Lords & Ladies'.
Good move Mr Grond. Smile Smilie I think I'm going to go back to the Hitchhiker's guide again, as I've just been listening to the records/radio series and watching the TV series for too long, and need to remind myself where the books differ.
I'm re-reading 'Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire'. Awww, Vader is such a softie. Love that book.

Just bought 'The Essense of Aikido' - cover looked good. Smile Smilie
Mr. P: That's a good move. I find my LOTR memory has been corrupted by my two versions on tape. When I go to the books looking for certain dialog that's been running in my head, I find its missing, never got said that way in the book. Someday the movies will pose the same problem as they slowly burn into the place reserved for the story told in text.
Someday the movies will pose the same problem as they slowly burn into the place reserved for the story told in text.

Aaaurgh! Hope that's not true for FotR, Grondie! But it doesn't matter for the time being as I've just got my grubby hands on:-


Big Smile Smilie Hooray! Big Smile Smilie
But that's the real prob with HHGTG cos the radio is the original story, and the book is a variation, so which should be held sacred? Same postAuthorID, just coudn't ever make his mind up about anything!
The only radio-play that I've ever heard was the War of the Worlds. Not the one with Orson Welles, but the musical with Phil Lynott & others. Even then it was for English class - choice between that & the Cosby show. Smile Smilie

"No Nathaniel no! There must be more to life.
There has to be a way that we can restore to life
The love we used to know..."
Fantastic soundtrack! Big Smile Smilie
I'm reading Tolkien related articles from the past 50 years in the NY times archives
50 years! So how many articles in 50 years then?

Yeah, great soundtrack Plastic! I have to get it on CD...I've lost the cassette version. Sad Smilie

I'm re-reading Pratchett's Truth again, just to make sure. Still not quite satisfied there....

And the video of 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' is yet a third version, which ends on Earth 2 million years ago to the tune of 'What a Wonderful World'. Big Smile Smilie

In 'Soul Music' I'm to the point where DEATH is up to his neck in sand, having joined the Foreign Legion trying to forget everything, and I mean 'everything'. Meanwhile his granddaughter has taken over his route until he can be found. And the 'Band with Rocks In' has just hired(?) a manager. Note: Never have a Dwarf negotiate on your behalf for wages: he had them up to sixteen dollars a day and finally settled for two. Thus the need for a manager. Cool Smilie Not!
Ah! Mr C.M.O.T. Dibbler I presume?
There are like 12 articles that I'm reading, most of them from teh 60's and early 70's there may be more than that in their archive... they have a great archive online BTW. And I'm not reading any of the "recent" articles which are mostly about the movie.

My husband is reading the Two Towers to me (easier than reading it myself since I just finished the trillogy). He actually bought me the "movie" cover boxed set and I won't let anyone touch it... I bought another set just for them to trash.
I'm reading about baseball, because I'm sooo ready for winter to be over. A Day of Light and Shadows by Jonathan Schwartz. Plus Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini. I was feeling piratical.
I was reading 'Bored of the Rings' but only got half way through before giving up.....TRULY stupid book!
No way!! It's really funny!
Actually, I found the Harvard Lampoon version rather funny. Similar humour to the story board in one of the taverns. Except, Sam doesn't get killed quite as often and they did a better Elrond than PJ. Wink Smilie Wink Smilie
I must get myself to a bookshop again. Would like to read Bored of the Rings, but cannot find it in the library (predictable) so I must get to a bookshop soon.
I'm reading too much right now:
1) LOTR (again)
2) just finished Snow falling on cedars by David Guterson (truly fantastic book)
3) halfway through the famished road by Ben Okri (not sure yet)
4) some stupid french book (have to read it)
5) re-reading the hobbit
6) must start reading the sil soon, but don't find the time (surprised, Golly? Big Smile Smilie)
7) also reading sth by Tom Clancy, but don't even remember the title

I don't have a life... Smile Smilie
I agree with 42 - didn't finish it either. Sad Smilie

Decided to pick up HoME again - the Lost Road. Not as bad as Lost Tales 1 & 2.

Well, at least you have it on your list, Tommy. Smile Smilie
Okay, I read HHGTG last week, I'll give you three guesses what I'm reading this week.....
(I have too much of a life at the mo to read at my old speed)
1) What is Moby Richard?

2) What is Ulysses?

3) What is TRATEOTU?

Cool Smilie
There is a theory which states that if anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another which states that this has already happened.
From the postAuthorID of 3) above, may he rest in peace. Sad Smilie
And Grondy (after messing about with his first two answers) gets the rather obvious answer and a shiny new cuddly badger for his trouble.
Jehanne: Yes, I keep up with Owen Archer too. However, I haven't tried any of the others you mentioned. Did Edward Marston ever write more than two of his Domesday Mysteries?

Eryan: Have you read Sabatini's 'Bellarion the Fortunate'? He is a daring soldier in 15th-century Italy who has an inordinate amount of luck.
Tonight I start Michael Jecks' "The Boy-Bishop's Glovemaker" which is the tenth book in the 14th century investigation series staring Bailiff Simon Puttock and Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace and late of the disbanded Knights Templar.

This series is not nearly as good as Sharan Newman's excellent 12th century Catherine LeVendeur series, but still it is rather good.

Jehanne: Didn't you say this was your time of expertise?
[Edited on 13/2/2002 by Grondmaster]
Subject-wise, yeah, because I do a lot of stuff with the history of violence and crime, Church politics, royal interactions with the Church and that sort of thing. Time-wise, though, it's waaaay late for me. The only late medieval topic I work on with any regularity is the plague (and the Templars, occasionally). I stick to the eleventh century and earlier.

It's a good book, though. I bet you'll like it if you like Sharan Newman's work (not quite as good, you're right, but good enough).

Have you tried Candace Robb's Owen Archer books? They're about equal with Jecks' books, and I'm very fond of Owen. My fave medieval mysteries are the Dame Frevisse series (Margaret Fraser) and especially the Sister Fidelma series (Peter Tremayne), set in the 7th century (early medieval! woo hoo!).
How funny Jehanne,
I'm also deep in Rafael Sabatini (two days ago I saw again Curtiz Errol Flynn "Captain Blood" film on TV!).
I'm reading mostly my own fantasy novel (the first attempt to write one and not only to imagine things and let them roll in my head!). It is in statu nascendi since May and still VERY unsatisfactory...
Grondmaster- Yeah, in fact, number 12 just came out (The Foxes of Warwick). It's still in hardcover though, and I've only read, oh, maybe the first five. And I think a bunch of them are out of print.

I love Bellarion the Fortunate! If you haven't read it, Eryan, you really should! And the Historical Nights' Entertainment books are fun, too, although not that easy to find.
Hooray! My husband bought me loads of books yesterday! Doesn't matter that I've read many of them already, it's the thought that counts! Smile Smilie No Tolkien Reader, someone had purchased the last one...Sad Smilie

1) The Jesus Incident - Frank Herbert & some other bloke
2) La Grand Arm’e - George Blond
3) The whole Trollope set
4) Le Morte dArthur - Sir Thomas Mallory
5) Bunch of Gogol short stories in Russian. Yes!
6) Piers Anthony stuff.. Big Smile Smilie

Will be busy reading 'em the next few days, so I won't be around as much. Have finished the Piers Anthony stuff - funny, cheesy & ludicrous - but fun. Never read his books before , but I'm quite enjoying them now. Why is it 'uncool' to like his Xanth novels?

No I don't know Bellarion, I must go and seek it immediately!!! Thanks for telling me!
By the way, do you know old Morris books such as "The well at the world's end" or "Birdalone"? I found them not so bad at all, at all... really Tolkien-like...
I completely understand your predicament Eryan, my own current attempt at a novel has been only slightly tinkered with in the last year, and the plot has not advanced one iota. Though I have read it about a million times, in fact, every time I try to write anything I read the whole thing, and then decide I have no time to write after that.

Nearly got away with never having to read Crime and Punishment as the BBC decided to screen a three hour adaptation (allowing me to watch it instead, which as you know, I prefer to do as I'm a lazy git). But, guess who set his video for the wrong channel? DOH! Still can't be bothered to read it though...

they'll repeat it one day.... Smile Smilie
I hope that you will finish that novel Plastic nad that I will be able to read it one day. I simply LOVE some of your posts (at least these which I can't understand!) - many of them are so witty and hilarious, simply GREAT!

My main problem with my novel is that it is not linear - its original beginning is now right in its middle! And it's a mosaic of LOTR-like scenes interspersed with much more dense Silm-type writing. And it's really over long already and still far from completion...

Crime and Punishment makes great reading, I I read it five times at least and I have my own copy. And Raskolnikov and Razumikhin and their different attitudes (egocentrism versus open-mindedness) make a very similar contrast as in the case of Boromir and Faramir!
You mean I might actually have to read it :o

I think every writer experiences the same trouble as Tolkien did, in that the story grows and grows out of control as you try to write it. Look at George Lucas for another example.

My own latest attempt started life as a short story a couple of years ago while I was out of work for a bit. Thought I should get back into it, after my "Five Lobsters of the Apocalypse" lost momentum and died after 7 chapters.
However, when I'd got through doing the fun opening scenes and setting up all the suspense etc. and had to come up with a plot, it kept changing and growing and is now looking like it might end up on a par (size-wise anyway) with the Discworld series!
So I put it on hold and did a sequel first (which is a short(ish) story) to get to know my characters better. It's not bad, but it won't make sense to anyone but me until I finish the first one. And having not felt in the mood for writing humourous Sci-Fi for the last year, it is looking like going the same way as the Lobsters did (they're in it by the way, I liked them too much to kill them forever).
Anyhow, I've wurbled on enough now, sorry.
Hello Plastic,
I think I rather meant that I hope that one day your book will be finished, published,
loved (and hated) by crowds and then universally claimed to be the most influential book
of the XXI century!!! Wink Smilie Smile Smilie...
And that perhaps it would be possible for us to read some"trailer" before all this
happens! (An icon for large greedy eyes...)
My novel keeps growing since May but I have many others things to do and
I usually cannot devote to it more than 1-2 hours per day (and now when I'm geting
quickly addicted to this Forum it's even worse !!!).
The story keeps indeed growing in all directions, it's a little bit like watching a photograph
appearing bit by bit when it's developed in its chemical bath. It's fascinating, because
many turns of events come as a complete surprise. I do not "construct" the story in a fully
controlled way, it just "arrives" bit by bit!
Actually it's not a single novel, it's much too long already - more than 1200 pages (!!!)
(which does not mean that I will keep all that stuff!). I already had to divide it into 7 parts. .
How in Earth can it be so long??? Well it's mostly because of dialogues. Sadly, my heroes
are very very talkative (like their creator...)!
However, they are characterized mostly by what they say and what they do, only very
rarely I enter into their thoughts & feelings... so I hope they are not too boring after all...
But I'm not entirely happy about all that. I wanted to write a novel and I'm getting a sort
of a bloody movie scenario instead!
I also wanted to have a fair balance of three principal elements which are in my opinion
essential for a really captivating story: (1) Light (Beauty, Love, Friendship, Honour
and such...), (2) Darkness (Horrors, Cruelty, Defeat, Dark Doom etc.) and finally
(3) Common Sense and Humour. My story is full of Light and Darkness, and sometimes
quite prosy and common and down-on-earth, but ALAS !!!! it is NOT funny!!!

Do not apologize for writing too much on that, it's never too much (at least for me... Smile Smilie)

By the way, if we talk about Dostoievsky, do you know Mikhail Bulkhakov? ("Master and
I'd never have thought that you might write too much to fit in one book Eryan Wink Smilie

I'm afraid when it comes to Russian literature I tend to run like the wind at all the long names, and long books. That's why I wanted to watch it on TV instead, very lazy I know, but what can you do.
I know exactly what you mean by not being in control of the story, they do take themselves over don't they. Like characters, you try and make the most despicable character ever, and end up rather liking him and changing him for the better.
Also I found that since I got a PC with a modem, I never get any work at all done anymore, cos it's just too tempting to dial up and go see some people. Wish I'd stuck with a pen and paper now, but I have nobody to type it up for me after anymore, and I'm buggered if I'm writing it twice!
Btw, finally came up with a title this morning for my book of extreme blasphemy (only took 2 years) it's gonna be called "Angels and Lobsters and Gods Oh My!" in homage to the Wizard of Oz.
Wow, didn't know that there were so many writers in this group! Cool! I've always been envious of those who can write because I've always loved books, and wished that I could write myself - although my talents lie elsewhere I'm afraid. I hope that all you writers would publish your works one day - and remember to plug it here in the forum! Good luck!

Bulgakov's Master & Margarita is brilliant - I read a bad translation years ago but the power of the story still came through. I know that recently there have been better publications available, but I'm working on my Russian so that I can read it in its original language.

I must say that I prefer Russian literature above all else. The old masters are my favourite, and Tolstoy's War and Peace will always be my favourite book of all time. I read it when I was 14, and fell in love instantly. For the first time in my life, I felt that an postAuthorID had actually stepped into my skin...all my inner thoughts, fears, desires, loves and dislikes was there on paper. It was a very moving experience for me, and from then on I couldn't get enough of Rusian postAuthorIDs. I like the usual suspects - Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn, Pasternak etc, and I can't wait to leave this godforsaken hole so that I can get my hands on Pelevin, Aitmatov, Zoshchenko & co....wish I could move to Russia. Ah well, maybe one day.
Have finished the Piers Anthony stuff - funny, cheesy & ludicrous - but fun. Never read his books before , but I'm quite enjoying them now. Why is it 'uncool' to like his Xanth novels?

Good question! They're not deep but they're a lot of fun. I read all the ones that were out when I was in Jr. High and High School , and almost got myself shunned in the process! "What the hell are you reading?! Is that a Xanth book?" "What? No! It's... um... porn?" "Well, alright then. We were worried." Ah, peer pressure...
reading 'Wuthering Heights' now and thoroughly enjoying it...going to start in on Pride and Prejudice soon...

What does 'statu nascendi' mean?

now when I'm geting
quickly addicted to this Forum it's even worse !!!

hehe...I know what you mean... Big Smile Smilie
ooh! Wuthering Heights, that's right up high in my top 5 books, fantastic stuff. Like P&P as well (stop looking surprised) because Ms Austen has a certain gift for ripping the P*ss out of the whole society she felt so trapped in. Never fails to make me laugh that so many people take it so seriously as a love story (which it ain't)

Btw, finished Restaurant, have a guess at my next bit of reading material.
Yeah Jehanne....I only started his stuff three days ago, but I can't get enough now. I do find it refreshingly funny, stupid and smart at the same's a nice change from postAuthorIDs that take themselves too seriously all the time. Btw - peer pressure is one thing, and I understand from the net that people find his Xanth novels too juvenile...but why would a bunch of Jr/High school kids hate it? Did they have a much deeper and meaningful taste in literature then?

Chika I loved Wuthering Heights too...I think that's the best Bronte novel. Of course her sister's Jane Eyre isn't too bad either.

Plastic - most of the good women postAuthorIDs ripped their society to shreds. Like C. Bronte's Jane Eyre, and George Elliot's Middlemarch. I though that Dorothea wasa kick-*ss female!
Hello everybody,
I don't know Piers Antony and (a shame perhaps???) never heard about him...
Plastic, Ungoliant
I'm not a professional writer... and so I also am astonished that I wrote so much since
May. So far I always wanted to start but had no time and sor I was mostly day-dreaming,
just "seeing" everything with "my mind's eyes".
But now I find that writing is a much much superior form of entertainment.
I hate being pretentious and I prefer ascetic, "minimalistic" writing -
and yet I would like to create a living, captivating world, rich in details...
Oh all these nasssssty characters being reformed because you like them... I know that
so well!
I continue to be wildly interested in your writing. The title sounds exciting - good luck!
As for Bulgakov's "Master and Margarita" it's most emphatically my Book No 2 in
my private ranking of the best books of all times (LOTR is No 1, and "Don Quixote" of
Cervantes is No 3).
I recommend it VERY strongly to all Tolkien fans, you WILL LOVE it. Try to get hold of
a good translation, and an unabridged version. Perhapsl one day I'll start a thread
devoted to that book in some tavern. "Dune" has one, and "Master and Margarita" is so
much better!!!... Do you agree Ungoliant?
so you are a forum-addict as well? Fine, fine, I won't be alone!
In statu nascendi means "in train of being born".
Now about Sisters Bronte...
I LOVE "P & P" - I think I know it by heart (read it 20 times at least). And I liked a lot the TV
series (6 one hour films). I know Plastic that you are all for Ingrid Bergmann but Jennifer
Ehle (??? if I did not misspell her name????) as Lizzie was simply fantastic! warm, charming,
I personnally like the writings of Charlotte Bronte more than Wuthering Heights.
I adore Jane Eyre. And also another book about an English woman felling in love with
a Belgian schoolmaster - I forgot it's title - it is based on her own experience of an
impossible love for a married Belgian - it is very moving...
On Friday I found suddenly a cheap copy of "Prisoner of Zenda" (never read it before) and
now I'm right in the middle... Smile Smilie
but why would a bunch of Jr/High school kids hate it? Did they have a much deeper and meaningful taste in literature then?
Nah, they just wanted to look cool, and that didn't allow for goofy fantasy books. So the majority of my classmates stuck to SE Hinton, JD Salinger, and that sort of thing. You know, "my life is full of pain and no one understands me" stuff. Typical teenager books.

chika- I have no talent for translating Latin out of context, despite the fact that I read the stuff for a living and I ought to be good at it by now. But I'll try...

statu is an ablative form of status, "condition, state". nascendi is derived from the deponent verb nascor, -i "to be born" (it's a gerundive, specifically). So depending on what the context is, the phrase means something along the lines of "(in, at, whatever) the state of being born" or, more idiomatically, "in the earliest stages", "at the moment of birth", "at the point of origin" or something along those lines. Whatever fits your context.
Eryan- Ooh, Prisoner of Zenda is great fun. It has a sequel too, Rupert of Hentzau. Anthony Hope is one of those postAuthorIDs who had gobs of influence and helped found a genre, not unlike Tolkien really.
And check out the movie if you haven't already (the 1937 version, not the lame remakes)- Ronald Colman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Raymond Massey, Madeleine Carroll and an adorable very young David Niven. It's wonderful.
Jehanne, Latin eh? I'm jealous...

About to finish Herbert's 'Jesus Incident'. Interesting read, but just like Dune. Must get the Dosadi Experiment next!

Hmm...I won't be able to contribute much to your Master & Margarita thread Eryan (although I'm sure others will), I read it a long time ago & would have to read it again to refresh my memory. What's the best English translation around then - I remember that my old one was pretty rubbish, can't remember who did it though. I would like to read it in Russian, but unfortunately I still 'read like a seven year old' according to my tutor. Big Smile Smilie It takes me half an hour to understand a paragraph from Gogol, so I'm sticking to Russian fairy-tales until I improve.

Why don't you start a thread on Russian/Slavic books though? That would give a lot of people a chance to contribute opinions about their own favourite books - and maybe start your Bulgakov thread when you've determined that there are a lot of fans out there? It's just a suggestion though, you know that can start any thread you wish, anytime you want to, in the taverns.

thanks a lot for telling me about "Rupert von Hantzau", I must read it as well!
I know about the classical 1937 film (I simply LOVE old films and I always keep
to record them when they are on TV...) but I did not see it yet. It was a heart-
breaking decision - there was something yet more attractive on a parallel channel.
But they WILL repeat it one day I' m sure! Smile Smilie
finished Wuthering Heights today...amazing amazing... Big Smile Smilie

ooh, Don Quijote...that was a great book...I really want to read it in Spanish though, but I think that'll take more time than I've got just now...
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