The Read goes ever on and on...MrsLee 2021 chapter 2

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The Read goes ever on and on...MrsLee 2021 chapter 2

1MrsLee
Apr. 3, 12:44am

Thought I would start this before the countdown begins tomorrow (at least if you are in the U.S.A. or anywhere that has month, day, year record keeping).

I'm still moseying through some books and enjoying them. Will comment when I am moved, and do a small writeup when I finish. I'm on my phone tonight and this is already more than I have patience for.

2MrsLee
Bearbeitet: Apr. 3, 12:44am

So impatient I double posted. :/

3Bookmarque
Apr. 3, 8:54am

Countdown? Are we doomed?

4MrsLee
Apr. 3, 10:22am

>3 Bookmarque: Today, as we in the U.S.A. record it, is 4-3-21. I suppose the doom part is something we will find out!

5Bookmarque
Apr. 3, 10:25am

Oh gotcha. I thought I missed something and had to head to the bunker!

6fuzzi
Apr. 3, 12:25pm

>4 MrsLee: 🤣🤣🤣

7MrsLee
Bearbeitet: Apr. 10, 12:40am

After really enjoying the television series "Endeavor" (a spinoff from Inspector Morse series) and fairly enjoying Inspector Lewis, another spinoff, I thought I would watch the original series again. At least I presume I have watched it before. Anyway, it is rather repulsive so far, 3 episodes in, which is the first season. He is a lecherous old goat! He gets very familiar with women who are in no position or mood to return his affection. One was already invloved with someone, but she died, so he could feel all moody. The other 2 episodes he is all over women who are suspects. Crowding in close on them, putting his hand on their shoulder when they are cringing, and even kissing them! Blech! Possibly I am being influenced by the sexual harassment training I just had, but I think not because even my husband was disturbed by it. Ick.

8-pilgrim-
Bearbeitet: Apr. 10, 6:58pm

>7 MrsLee: I have had never any time for Morse (in his screen incarnation, at least). But John Thaw came to playing Inspector Morse straight after a long run as Inspector Jack Regan of The Sweeney, so there may be some persona leakage going on.

9MrsLee
Apr. 10, 6:23pm

>8 -pilgrim-: I will have to try a book or two and see how the author portrays him.

10Majel-Susan
Apr. 10, 7:48pm

>7 MrsLee: I also recently started watching Inspector Morse, and after only four episodes, I've put the show on hold. I completely agree with you about how distasteful Morse is with how very handsy he is with women and his constant ogling at them. The aggravating factor, that they also all happened to be rather vulnerable women, aside, it drives me nuts when a main character changes a new love interest every other episode. And the craziest thing is that the characters are always in deep earnest. Every. Single. Time. Whenever I realise that this is going to be the pattern of a series, I'm like, "Am I supposed to believe that this show has continuity or not?!" And my interest drops pretty rapidly from that point.

11MrsLee
Bearbeitet: Apr. 25, 9:13am

>10 Majel-Susan: It sort of makes James Bond forgivable in a way. At least he is sincere about only wanting to play with women. I don't think I would care if everyone were having a good time, but as you say, they are vulnerable women and he is using his position over them to take advantage.

On a different note, here are the first of what I suspect will be many books I will give to my grandson.

Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort - Don't look for historical accuracy here folks, it is written for the silly hahas.
If I Were a Dragon by Anne Wilkinson - a touch and feel board book (which shall have as a package decoration a fuzzy soft green dragon)
Ten Little Monkeys illustrated by Tina Freeman - another board book for sillies.
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler - Fun story of a clever mouse.
Where's Spot? by Eric Hill - A lift-the-flap book. I'm afraid this one might be duplicated at the shower, but then, it can always stay at grandma's!

12clamairy
Bearbeitet: Apr. 11, 9:36pm

Okay, I just love that book title... Dinosaurs Love Underpants.

13-pilgrim-
Apr. 12, 5:12am

>10 Majel-Susan: I suspect the "woman of the week" is a consequence of the series' origin in Colin Dexter's novels. At the rate at which books come out, one has more of a sense of time passing between stories. A man who falls in love once a year is plausible in a way that "every week" is not.

14MrsLee
Bearbeitet: Apr. 24, 9:50am

>12 clamairy: Like a clever wine label, I'm a sucker for a good title on a book. ;D

>13 -pilgrim-: True, now and then there are references to time passing. Last night's episode had him ogling teenage girls in their sports uniforms which were pleated skirts above the knees, and a fairly modest top, commenting about how much he thanked the designer's of sport uniforms, especially when watching Wimbledon. The comment wouldn't have been bad, if he hadn't been staring at the teen girls running around the field.

15-pilgrim-
Apr. 12, 7:30pm

>14 MrsLee: I was addressing the plausibility, not the likeability issue!

On the other hand, that sort of leering remark about school uniforms was something I heard quite often in my youth. It doesn't make it more acceptable, but in the context of the period Morse is not being portrayed as more sleazy than was actually common. (Going back to Jack Regan, he was the hero of a major Saturday night drama, yet his behaviour, both professional and personal, would definitely not be considered remotely acceptable nowadays.)

16Meredy
Apr. 18, 3:58pm

>14 MrsLee: "Like a clever wine label" . . . I'm not much of a drinker at all, but I'm a pushover for a clever label. (Like grabber covers on paperback novels, it's not about whether you like the book, only about whether you buy it.) When I ran across Smoking Loon, I was smitten. I don't even remember whether I liked the wine, but I loved the bottle.

17MrsLee
Apr. 24, 9:54am

I finished The Silmarillion yesterday, and am still in the mood for Middle Earth, so I'm going to start The Fall of Gondolin which has been published recently as a stand alone. Will possibly do this with the other recently published stand-alone novels of Tolkien which are on my shelf waiting to be read. This one, and Beren and Luthien have illustrations by Alan Lee.

I am in such an odd phase of reading, not sure when it will pass. The only book I've completed in April is The Silmarillion, although I am also reading in a couple of others. I'm enjoying the collection of science articles from 2011, and at work I'm still working through a cookbook. For some reason I don't want to invest in new fiction, or sitting for hours at a time reading like I used to do. My pace of completion and my "numbers" are way down, but the enjoyment is there.

18Busifer
Apr. 24, 11:17am

>17 MrsLee: But then the enjoyment is the important thing, is it not? I find reading towards a number takes the joy out for me.

19MrsLee
Apr. 24, 2:52pm

>18 Busifer: Yes indeed. Only I used to read more than 100 books a year and enjoyed it also. :)

20Busifer
Apr. 24, 4:18pm

>19 MrsLee: Oh yes. For me it's not the achieving but the trying to do so that poses a problem: reading mainly because I need to reach a pre-defined number instead of summing up the year and realising that gosh! I read a lot of books this year :-)

21MrsLee
Apr. 25, 9:40am

Here's a book I decided to quit reading. Began it in March, read about halfway in 3 evenings, set it down and haven't gone back to it. I picked it up last night and tried to read another chapter, became disgusted and decided to quit. Life is too short for this sort of narcissistic twaddle. The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death: Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia and Laser Hair Removal by Laurie Notaro.

This is a book I inherited from a friend who died almost ten years ago. There were two others by this author and looking at my reviews, I didn't much like them either. The author takes a small thing and blows it way out of proportion, insisting the world revolve around her and her incidents. I know it is done for comic relief, but it really isn't either one. I nearly quit after the first chapter where she was mocking a family at a resort because they were overweight, suggesting that they were also idiots and morally corrupt, and they were ruining her dinner by sitting in range of her sight. It wasn't funny.

As a palate cleanser, I will begin Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd. I have read other mysteries by this author and enjoyed them, so hopefully this will be the same.

An aside about the baby shower for my daughter, where people were encouraged to give a book signed by them, instead of a card. There were three duplicate board books that my daughter-in-law decided should live at Grandma Lee Lee's house. :)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? by Eric Carle
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Cyd Moore

I have a dedicated bottom shelf for all the children's books I've been saving from my own, my husband's and my children's childhoods. Not to mention a few I bought for myself because I love them. I think I will set it up to look at them, since they've been in a cupboard for years since my mother moved in with us. Now that I have that end of the house again I suppose they can come out of the closet.

There were some very funny books given, reflecting my son's humor, I think. One which had us laughing out loud was, I Need a New Butt! (apparently this is one of those which has been renamed for U.S. readers, because the title touchstones as, I Need a New Bum!) Very silly, and apropos for my darling son who has always loved butt/poop humor. *eyeroll emoji* When he was about 9 years old, he was made to stay in a bathroom by himself at a birthday party until his father picked him up because he wouldn't stop saying the word, "poop." It didn't hinder him in the least and he was unrepentant. Aside from a talk on not discomforting your hostess, his father and I were not much bothered either. Yes, we are that kind of poopy family.

22bjappleg8
Apr. 26, 3:05pm

>21 MrsLee: This story reminded me of when my boys were in grade school and would think it hilarious to add "diaper" to my grocery lists when they found them lying around. Nothing would get them giggling like potty humor - we were kind of a poopy family too.

23Jim53
Apr. 28, 4:19pm

>21 MrsLee: I met Caroline Todd at Bouchercon one year and liked her a lot. As you may already know, Charles Todd, the author, is actually Caroline and her son Charles.

24MrsLee
Apr. 30, 1:35pm

>23 Jim53: Yes, I am aware of the team authors. :) They do a good job. The only reason this series doesn't rate higher than 3.5 on my mysteries scale, is the lack of any lightness to the story. 3.5 is where I put a lot of good-to-excellent mysteries, but they are not ones with characters I want to go back and visit again, as I do my 4-5 point mysteries.

25MrsLee
Mai 1, 11:15am

I managed to get through 3 books in April. One was the Silmarillion, another the book I quit reading halfway through, and this one.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011, edited by Mary Roach.
An informative and interesting collection of writings on varied subjects. Some favorites were:
"Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science" by David H. Freedman, showing the shaky ground medical "experts" are often on, and why we need to go slowly before following every recommendation thrown at us.
"Letting Go" by Atul Gawane, thoughtful article on end of life decisions and how the medical world's purpose can differ from a terminal person's purpose for their last days.
"Nature's Spoils" by Burkhard Bilger, fun insight into the world of fermentation. Highlighting one of my favorite fermentation gurus, Sandor Katz.
"Spectral Light" by Amy Irvine, good suspense story blended with the idea of meeting and understanding opposite political views.
"Face Blind" by Oliver Sacks, Fascinating. Didn't know this was a thing.

Least favorite:
"The Whole Fracking Enchilada" by Sandra Stiengraber, hyperbolic, strawman arguments, inflammatory and a poor read. I don't think Fracking is a great idea, but this article would never have convinced me of that.
"Fertility Rites" by Jon Cohen, Um. Yuck. Masturbating monkeys.
"Sign Here if You Exist" by Jill Sisson Quinn, Poorly reasoned, hard to get what her point was. Wasps? Her mom's inadequate theological answers? Author's inadequate and poorly reasoned raging against God? Meh.

There were very few articles in this collection I didn't care for. Not that I agreed with all of them, but most were interesting and well written. Some were enlightening. Considering it is ten years old, it would be interesting to follow up on some of them to see where things in that discipline have got to today.

My next read will be Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table by Ruth Reichl. I have enjoyed other books by this author and look forward to reading it. Even though I'm allergic to apples.

26Meredy
Mai 1, 2:10pm

>25 MrsLee: Everything by Oliver Sacks is fascinating. If I'm not mistaken, face blindness was covered in a chapter of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

One of the lessons that Sacks makes clear--something that it took me a long time to learn, in general, around the time that I found out that cats could have diabetes--is that everything that works, everything, can also be in a state of not working. Everything that works can be broken or fail, and everything that has the potential to work can fail to work. When I dwell on that, it's mind-boggling. So I try to notice and appreciate all the things that do work.

27MrsLee
Mai 1, 2:27pm

>26 Meredy: The more I read and learn about the brain, the more I realize how little we understand yet. Actually, that applies to the natural world as well.

28-pilgrim-
Mai 1, 6:22pm

>26 Meredy: Yes, that was where I first read about it.

29MrsLee
Mai 3, 11:34am

Finished Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd. As always, a good mystery, interesting setting in the Fens. Time 1920. Reading about police operating with very little communication (most of the small villages didn't have telephones) was a reminder of how very slow investigations like this one would have been. I have compassion for Rutledge, perhaps even pity, although he wouldn't appreciate that, but no desire to keep his company. Therefore, this book will find a new home as I won't read it again. However, if you enjoy historical settings with a good mystery and good characters, you should enjoy this.

Have begun a book about Trimming the Verge. Well, actually, it's about pruning. Not terribly exciting, but I hope to learn something from it as that duty has now fallen upon me. I may try to touchstone a title later, but it is just a publication by Ortho that my grandmother had.

30fuzzi
Mai 4, 10:10am

>25 MrsLee: in case you weren't aware of it, the expression "Comfort me with apples" comes from the Song of Solomon (King James Bible 2:5).

31Jim53
Mai 4, 2:04pm

>24 MrsLee: I'm with you there. I've read a few of Todd's books, but the characters don't really beckon me back, and I haven't read any in several years.

>26 Meredy: Amen! I've developed a real appreciation for things that do what they're supposed to do.

32MrsLee
Mai 5, 12:24am

>30 fuzzi: I didn't remember that. This book is like reading about all my cooking heroes before they were rock stars. It is (at least in the beginning) centered in Berkeley CA, in the late 1970s. So far, I have 3 cookbooks by people mentioned therein, all having connections to one another.

33MrsLee
Mai 9, 9:07am

Yesterday I actually sat down and read for the afternoon hours. Something I've not been able to do for over a year, sit and concentrate on reading for that length of time.

I finished Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl. A very enjoyable read. I suppose this could be considered one of those memoirs where the author fesses up to all their dirty laundry, but it didn't feel like that. It felt like a woman trying to sort through her experiences in life to understand them. As I said before, this writer ran in the circles of the cooking avant garde of the 1970s and since then. She was a restaurant critic, food journalist and editor of Gourmet magazine for ten years. More than that, she loves food, the act of cooking and the experience of eating. In addition to all the rock star chefs she knew, she became friends with Danny Kaye while she was in L.A., being invited to his home more than once for his special meals. I didn't know he loved to cook. I adore that of all the Hollywood celebrities she may have met, he was the one she was thrilled to know. I have another book by this author and I will be happy to read it. She includes recipes at the end of each chapter, some of which I may try.

Up next, chosen by the "give me a number between 1 and 30 method," husband chose 21, I chose the bookshelf and since it is a vertical corner shelf, counted down the books until I got to 21.
The Saxon and Norman Kings by Christopher Brooke. I somehow feel that this will be similar in tone to The Fall of Gondolin, only instead of Orcs and Melkor, we will have people doing horrid things to other people. Ah well. I think it is a book I purchased in order to do research on some of the times a line of my family lived in.

34clamairy
Mai 9, 9:23am

>33 MrsLee: I'm glad you enjoyed this. I read her Garlic and Sapphires and it was quite good. I have another floating around here somewhere...

35-pilgrim-
Bearbeitet: Mai 9, 10:40am

>33 MrsLee: I think that The Saxon and Norman Kings was the history of that period that I read in the seventies. I don't remember there being detailed atrocity in it. Volume 1 of Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, was larger, more detailed, and much worse from that point of view. Brooke, IIRC was more inspiring about the establishment of settled forms of government etc.

36MrsLee
Mai 9, 10:04am

>34 clamairy: I think I read that one, too. Also enjoyed it. I think I may be reading them backwards. The one I haven't read, Tender at the Bone, is about her childhood, I think. Her mother was a manic/depressive personality and it sounds as though living with her was not easy. I think I have that book as well. Not ready to jump into it though.

>35 -pilgrim-: Interesting. I've read Churchill's Vol. 1, haven't finished the series though. I'm not worried about reading about atrocity in history, I know it is there. Of course I don't read fictionalized accounts where the focus is on the torture or atrocities, well, for that matter, nonfictional accounts, either.

37pgmcc
Mai 9, 10:21am

>33 MrsLee: I actually sat down and read for the afternoon hours. Something I've not been able to do for over a year, sit and concentrate on reading for that length of time.

I am delighted to hear you have managed to do this. I hope the ability continues.

I can also let you know that your BB sniping, which you have extended into facebook, has resulted in my acquiring a two novel volume of Rex Stout's works. It contains Fer-De-Lance and The League of Frightened Men. It worked out that buying the two story edition was the same price as buying them separately. On the downside, it is a Kindle edition. The physical books were considerably more expensive.

38Busifer
Bearbeitet: Mai 9, 10:36am

>33 MrsLee: It's such a good feeling, getting back to reading. I hope it will keep up, and if it don't I'm holding my thumbs for it to come back.

ETA, on reading accounts of historical times, when the account was written some time ago: I've come to understand that many of these accounts are, today, seen as inaccurate, highly influenced by the author/historian's personal or political context and motive. This means things we read and learnt in school are now considered untrue, something which has been demonstrated to me again when I discuss historical events with son. What he has been taught and what I was taught is sometimes VERY different.

39-pilgrim-
Mai 9, 10:46am

>38 Busifer: Very true. But more recent accounts are not necessarily more accurate, it is just that their perspective is different. Assumptions are still there.

Certainly Brookes is very much from the Enlightenment perspective of "the march of progress". Change is assumed to be for the better.

There was no real consideration of ways in which the pre-Conquest legal system could have been superior, for example. (In my opinion, there were several ways in which it was).

40hfglen
Mai 9, 11:06am

>33 MrsLee: Do you have The British Museum Cookbook? If so, you can inflict a typical 7th-century Saxon meal on your husband. The recipes in that section look alternately boring and horrible, but YMMV.

41Busifer
Mai 9, 12:20pm

>39 -pilgrim-: Certainly. But today we are more aware of the ways perspective influences the writer, and so can apply methods for managing the inevitable bias.

42-pilgrim-
Mai 9, 12:41pm

>41 Busifer: I agree. On subjects where there has been relatively little shift in the factual information available, I find it useful to read a couple of books, written in different eras. We can never eliminate bias completely, even when we intend to write objectively, but as readers that is a useful way of detecting it.

I find that it is usually the most recent popular history books that tend to have a specific agenda that distorts their perspective - what that agenda is, naturally varies from book to book.

Older popular texts tend to be more neutral in intent - less message-driven - but that means that the unconscious bias, presumably deriving from their education and their era, is more consistent (and so, perhaps, more insidious).

43Busifer
Mai 9, 4:43pm

>42 -pilgrim-: Yes, the older books might have less of a conscious agenda but never-the-less often weighted down by era-specifc biases and preconceptions when it came to women, the working classes, and people "not from here". Especially people from places that wasn't at a level technologically, what with "evolution" being seen as a pre-defined set of steps, always placing Europeans at the top of the stairs.

As to English history I can't not think that many of the historians whose works were published up until possibly the 1060's set out to write justifications for British superiority, even if they didn't do it on purpose: it was just how they saw the world, and every historian, in every country, did the same. It's just how it was.
In the early 60's, when my father wanted to write his thesis (he majored in history) on Tibet he almost wasn't allowed. Historians at prestigious universities was expected to write eulogies for dead kings, or about famous battles.
This has changed, fast and thoroughly. But in a way so fast and thoroughly that we almost can't remember how it used to be, and so lack the tools to interpret historians who are seemingly close to us, in time.

(Sorry, Lee, for hijacking your thread, it definitely wasn't my intention. I'm holding my thumbs for The Saxon and Norman Kings to be an entertaining and interesting read, with or without orcs!)

44MrsLee
Mai 9, 4:57pm

>37 pgmcc: HAHAHA! Glad my efforts were not in vain. Although, I thought I recalled you saying that you already had a book or two of the Nero Wolfe series on your shelves? There is some fun in watching Stout hit his stride after the first couple of books, but don't worry too much about reading them out of order. I do hope you find them enjoyable when you get to reading them.

>38 Busifer: & >39 -pilgrim-: Thank you for the insight. I am very much a hit and miss scholar who is interested in many things and an expert in none. I do, however, bring a hefty amount of skepticism with me when I read. Not that I doubt everything, more that I'm interested in it, and say to myself, "It might be so." I read a variety of sources, both modern and classic and original, or eyewitness accounts. One must always consider that one is seeing history through the author's lens.

My husband and I can't even agree on events our family experienced 10 years ago. We saw them through different filters. When I read about our brains, and how they "store" memories (overwriting them each time we recall), I realize how difficult (impossible) it is to find a perfect account of an event.

45Busifer
Bearbeitet: Mai 9, 5:09pm

>44 MrsLee: My husband and I can't even agree on events our family experienced 10 years ago. We saw them through different filters.
It's strange that most of us can relate to that - we've all been through it - yet historians, who plainly are as human as anyone else, try to tell us "this is how events took place". Even if they weren't there, 200 years ago.
Skepticism is really useful.
(My father was, as can be surmised from >43 Busifer:, a historian. He had quite strong opinions on "how things really were", even as he was conscious if his biases. We humans are so full of contradictions...!)

46MrsLee
Mai 9, 10:24pm

>45 Busifer: Most certainly we are full of contradiction!

I think I am going to like this particular history though. He says, "The study of medieval history, especially of the early Middle Ages, is largely detective work, and there is no reason why it should not be widely enjoyed as such."

Since I love detective fiction, this bodes well. He is, so far, informative, if not quite entertaining. I didn't pick it up for it's entertainment value, so that's ok. He warns against viewing history and historical figures through our own political and social assumptions, and uses the phrase "to the best of our understanding" or similar terms, frequently, reminding the reader how very little source material historians have to go on.

47Busifer
Mai 10, 3:03am

>46 MrsLee: Sounds like a good approach!

48-pilgrim-
Bearbeitet: Mai 14, 11:50am

>43 Busifer: It seems that vogues in history may have appeared in different places in different times. Academic history in England in the sixties and seventies viewed everything through the prism of Marxist ideology.

I don't have the impression of the "imperial outlook" in British history written post-World War II (with Churchill being typically Churchill and going against the tide - in this case in the direction of conservatism).

But certainly Brookes is oriented to see every change as a positive development.

I am currently reading a popular history by Geoffrey Ashe on Kings and Queens of Early Britain. I remember coming across his books on Arthur in the seventies, and that he tended to be derided and spoken of in the same breath as von Daniken. But it struck me that what he was actually trying to do was find out what, if anything, lay behind the myths - before the growth of the Arthuriana industry made that night impossible.

In this book he is taking a similar approach. He is treating the myths of British history as worthy of note, NOT because they are in any sense factual, but because they record how people (English, Irish, Welsh) regarded themselves, through the prism of their "histories". He then tries to relate these to the archaeological record, to see if any actual events can be recognized as giving rise to these myths.

All history is, in effect, the story that we are telling ourselves about the past. Some is a deliberate construction, most, nowadays, attempts to be objective. But always the attempt to turn facts into narrative involves imposing some sort of theme on events, whether preconceived or unconscious.

49Busifer
Mai 10, 4:11pm

>48 -pilgrim-: Well, as you hint at no one can be objective when it comes to reconstructing past events; everyone has a bias, one way or another, even if it only shows in a different memory of who actually bought the tea set, 15 years ago ;-)

The difference is if we chose to recognise the existence of those biases and motives or not. Trying to uncover the basis for some of the more popular myths is risky business, and I'm sure Ashe hadn't counted on that: I guess his books are interesting reads?

To many history is the story we tell about ourselves. But to me it's something more: it's a way to uncover the patterns, which has nothing really to do with history but all about the future: to find out why things really happened, to be able to recognise the patterns even as the events themselves are unrecognisable as being similar.

Both ways are equally valid, in my mind, as is the attempt to understand how the political and economical power shifts affected the people who lived in the times we chart.
Without CJ Cherryh's special interest in Roman Antiquity I'm sure we would not have the Alliance-Union universe, which I think is brilliant: her understanding of the larger game, the patterns and the structures, has aided her in telling stories of societal and structural change through the eyes of the people who has to live through all of it.
For some those books is all adventure and space opera, but for those of us who leans that way we can read it as an analogy for something that is going on right now but has also gone on for centuries upon centuries.
(It is no secret that my favourite CJC is Hellburner, which is all about corporate politics in times of structural change, and how it affects the foot soldiers.)

(Sorry again, Lee: it's just that I happen to have a lot of thoughts on this topic!)

50MrsLee
Mai 10, 7:28pm

>49 Busifer: No need to apologize. I am always interested in the thoughts of my friends here.

51-pilgrim-
Bearbeitet: Mai 14, 12:18pm

>49 Busifer: I am also reading Connie Willis' Doomsday Book currently, so the topic of the nature of "history" is very much look my mind at the moment.

Treating "history" as a clearcut fact is always a mistake. Apart from conscious and unconscious biases in the historians' analyses, there is also the eyewitness problem: given the studies of how people can misinterpret a scene that unfolds in front of them, include the perils of information having been transmitted second- or third-hand (or worse), and one has to accept that "the bare facts" have themselves reached us through filters that we can only guess at.

Ashe's attitude is to take all that as given. And then argue in the reverse direction: that myths - whether deliberately constructed or evolving naturally over time - are built on kernels of something.

Thus the lists of the names of the Kings and Queens who ruled Britain between the time of Abraham and the invasion of Julius Caesar, that Geoffrey of Monmouth provides, does NOT tell us who really ruled then (in a period of competing tribes, when Britain has not one ruler), but DOES tell us which of the Welsh families, contemporary to Geoffrey, that he considered important and wished to endow with a noble pedigree. And also that he, unlike later mediaeval chroniclers, found nothing inconceivable about the concept of a ruling queen.

In the same way, Ashe believed that there must have been a warrior "Arthur", around whom the myths built up.

During my lifetime many things that I had been told were "pure myth" have proved to be based on a kernel of truth.

So I think Ashe's approach of trying relate myth to archaeological information, and try to work out what it refers to, is an interesting approach.

I do not think we can divide history neatly into "myth" and "fact". All records are flawed -some much more than others. We can neither trust uncritically nor discount entirely. Where the record is deliberately fabricated, the motives behind the fraud are themselves of interest.

And yes, we need to remember that people are always people. Different circumstances may cause them to react in different ways, but if we cannot comprehend their motives, our interpretation is an probably wrong.

Patterns of behaviour are timeless.

52MrsLee
Mai 15, 10:20am

I finished reading The Silver Palate by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. It was the book I was reading at work on my breaks. An easy thing, being a recipe book. It had belonged to my friend that I lost last year and made me miss her very much. She had just the easy and elegant entertaining style the authors talked so much about.

Review:
This made for pleasant reading and lots of ideas for entertaining. Too bad I'm past the age where I want to entertain. I haven't tried the recipes yet. Many of them are for basic foods but with some flair. They seem easy enough, and I will no doubt try some of them in the future. Some depend on one's locality. In my rural area, I do not have access to the food shops the author's take for granted in New York City, so many of the cheeses, specialty meats, etc. are not available to me. That's ok, I know how to make substitutions for many of them, and if I want to pay large prices, I'm sure I could order some from my local grocery or online. I think much of this book is geared toward up and coming young folks in the city who want to entertain and make a show of it to impress their coworkers or bosses.

Next book to keep at work, which I doubt will go as fast as this last one seemed to, Care of the Soul: a Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life by Thomas Moore. Not sure where I picked this up, some bookbag or other. Not sure if it is my thing, but one never knows until one tries. Apparently the author is into Jungian philosophy and mythology and several other "ologies."

53-pilgrim-
Mai 15, 11:16am

>52 MrsLee: Could you say a little more about the Thomas Moore book? That sounds as if it could be either extremely interesting or complete twaddle.

54MrsLee
Mai 16, 12:47am

>54 MrsLee: I've only read the introduction and part of chapter one, but already I've noted down two quotes and have been moved to ponder. I haven't read enough to know exactly where he is going, but I am interested in the trip. His description of the "soul" isn't to do with religion necessarily. More a being true to yourself and paying attention.
From the introduction:
..."care of the soul is quite different in scope from most modern notions of psychology and psychotherapy. It isn't about curing, fixing, changing, adjusting or making healthy, and it isn't about some idea of perfection or even improvement. It doesn't look to the future for an ideal, trouble-free existence. Rather, it remains patiently in the present, close to life as it presents itself day by day, and yet at the same time mindful of religion and spirituality."
When he speaks of religion and spirituality, he is not talking about a specific one, but about a sense of awe to something greater than ourselves.

Another quote in the book, by Wallace Stevens in "Reply to Papini"
"The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it."

The thoughts resonate with me so far. He has just begun describing how he applies this in his practice. He is a psychotherapist.

55Karlstar
Mai 16, 10:16am

>52 MrsLee: I had that cookbook in the house for years and years, but I think I only made 1 or 2 of the recipes. I always wanted to be more interested in it, but once I opened it up and started going through it, I just didn't find many interesting recipes. I never really figured out why.

56-pilgrim-
Mai 16, 10:31am

>54 MrsLee: Sounds like the "interesting" category then. Thank you.

57MrsLee
Mai 16, 5:54pm

>55 Karlstar: Well, I put it out in the other room with my reference cookbooks. I think some of it has to do with the way it is laid out, more around entertainment than everyday. Another reason may be that many of the recipes were already dishes I'm familiar with.

58MrsLee
Jun. 1, 10:04am

I actually finished three books yesterday. I had been reading in bits and pieces of each of them and was near enough to the end of each that I made a bit of effort and finished them up.

The Saxon and Norman Kings by Christopher Brooke.
I wish I were a more educated person to write the review of this book, since there are no other reviews on LT, however, this review by a non-specialist will have to do.

This was very readable, not dry or dull. The author wrote with some humor, as an observer of history trying to learn as much of the mystery of these early kings as possible without over-reaching and making assumptions which cannot be proven. He cited early and original sources, as well as more recent historians who have written on these very early kings. There are some photos of artifacts, some illustrations, genealogical tables and an index. Sadly, only one sketch of a map.

For this American non-educated person, it was a great way to become familiar with the places and events of early English kingdoms. It covers the time between 550 A.D. and 1150 A.D. The author approaches it as a mystery with clues, not as settled fact, admitting the bias each scholar brings to his studies. He tells how each king was "elected" and a bit of their reign, if it is known at all. Brooke also gives a feeling of time and place, explaining how the culture and beliefs were different then, and how they evolved.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and will keep it for a reference, although I doubt I will read it again straight through.

The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien
A lovely book. I enjoyed reading the fleshed out tale, even though it wasn't very long. I was a bit surprised that the book was as long as it is. Christopher has included the many versions of the tale and related tales that his father wrote as he formed the story of Middle Earth through the years. I believe it was helpful that I had just reread the Silmarillion before I began this. Some very helpful information at the end, including a map, genealogies, glossary of words which are of obscure meaning to some modern readers and definitions of place names. The illustrations, of course are lovely. All in all, I am very glad to have purchased this to sit beside my Lord of the Rings collection.

Secrets of the Spas by Catherine Bardey
Filled with simple recipes for do-it-yourself spa treatments from facials to body wraps and mineral-herb soaks. I say simple recipes because none of them are difficult to mix, however, some of them do require ingredients most of us do not have around the house. There are enough of them using everyday food ingredients and herbs though, that they would not be too difficult to manage. Problem being that I would rather eat avocado than smear it on my face.

I can't imagine ever having time to do all that is recommended here. Soaking and treating the hands (10-20 min.), facials (10-30 min.), body wraps (20-30 min.), soak in the tub each day (20-30 min.), and so on. That is for the actual body treatments, not the time required to mix the ingredients for them and clean up after.

I have never been to a spa, although this book makes it sound more inviting to me than it has before. I may try a recipe here and there if I ever have a slow weekend, and I might try a couple of them to make for Christmas gifts. In other words, I will keep this book for reference as a symbol of hope that life will slow down enough to do some of these pampering things for myself. Or, perhaps I will save up and go to a spa one day.

Included are recipes for the body outside, a few for the body inside (drinks, salads), lots of pages of terms for spa treatments (interesting), pages of actual spas to go to, places to buy ingredients and a nice glossary of essential oils and their properties for health, as well as some of the dangers.

59Karlstar
Jun. 1, 12:37pm

>58 MrsLee: I'm glad you enjoyed The Fall of Gondolin! I really appreciated the more complete version in this book, even with all of the repetitions.

60Meredy
Jun. 1, 1:11pm

>58 MrsLee: I'm resisting all BBs now, but you'd probably have got me with The Saxon and Norman Kings. In general I think I know British history better than I know American, but it still needs a lot of reinforcing.

It took me a long time to realize that up until roughly 1600, British history was "our" history, those of us who came from those sources. We didn't spring into being in the New World without a past.

61MrsLee
Jun. 1, 1:18pm

>60 Meredy: Yes indeed. And that history also began elsewhere for the most part! The words Saxon, Anglo, and Vikings were always synonyms in my head, but now I know why they are not. :)

62Meredy
Jun. 1, 1:22pm

True enough. Keep going back, and we wind up somewhere in Africa . . .

63-pilgrim-
Bearbeitet: Jun. 1, 6:50pm

>58 MrsLee: The cover pictures plus your description have convinced me that The Saxon and
Norman Kings was indeed the book that I read in my teens (and which inspired me to join my Local History Society) .

I am glad to see that it has apparently stood the test of time.

64YouKneeK
Jun. 1, 5:26pm

>58 MrsLee: My mind is boggling about all the soaking/facials/body wraps/etc stuff. The author and I clearly live very, very, very different lives! Even if I had 1 to 2 hours to spare for all of that, there are so many other things I would rather to do with that time, even if it were guaranteed to make me The Fairest of Them All.

65MrsLee
Jun. 1, 5:40pm

>64 YouKneeK: Hahaha! I agree. The thought crossed my mind that one would need to live in a harem to dedicate all that time, but I suppose one treatment here and there could be fun.

I have a sort of daydream of having a "spa" party in my backyard. I would buy 2 or 3 kiddie pools on sale, then when it was 109° outside like it is today, I would fill one with red clay mud and creek rocks from down the hill, one with an herbal-salt water mix, and one with a soothing oil bath. Or whatever. With appropriate shade clothes and possibly privacy screens, my friends and I could do the hot soaks, run through the sprinkler for a cold treatment, give each other massages, pedicures, hair treatments and facials, and enjoy some cool drinks and lovely food. I don't actually know anyone to invite to that sort of party though. :)

Until then I will settle for a vigorous body rub after the shower with an airdried towel.

66YouKneeK
Jun. 1, 7:20pm

>65 MrsLee: LOL, that is a fun idea! Something like that would be much more fun with like-minded friends I think, so you can laugh with each other about it.

67Busifer
Jun. 2, 1:57pm

>65 MrsLee: My husband nurses the wild idea of an outdoor shower. But the only area in our garden that actually would work for that, privacy-wise, is quite shaded. And where our cabin is shade means big mean mosquitoes, and an assortment of other biters.

68MrsLee
Jun. 2, 7:35pm

>67 Busifer: Ouch! Not the kind of nature I want to experience. For the most part, I find the ideal of nature much more fun to contemplate, than the practical experience of nature tooth and claw.

69Busifer
Jun. 3, 7:11am

>68 MrsLee: Just so. We actually tried installing a shower in that corner, but it had to come down. No-one wants a mosquitoe shower.

70MrsLee
Jun. 8, 9:27am

The Art Pottery of Joseph Mrazek by Robert J. and Harold R. Mrazek
I purchased this little book because I inherited some Mrazek pottery from my grandmother. It was given to her as a wedding gift in 1927. The colors are vibrant and alive. I wanted to find out a bit about the origin of the Czecho Peasant Art Company, which was inscribed on the bottom of some pieces. What I found out was even more interesting than the pottery. Robert J. Mrazek did a fine job of writing an homage to the life of his grandfather, and father as well. Joseph Mrazek was a Renaissance man of sorts. Immigrating to America in the early 1900s, he had been trained as an artist. He took that training and built up a business in beautiful pottery, after WWI, opening a factory in Czechoslovakia where he had come from. He was also a patriot, an inventor, a spy against the Austro-Hungarian empire and more.

I also discovered that he was born and raised 30 miles away from Prague, Bohemia, which is where my husband's grandfather was born and raised. My husband's grandfather came to America to avoid being drafted by the Austro-Hungarian empire, and was also an inventor among other things. Fun to have this connection to the pottery that graces my kitchen shelves.

71clamairy
Jun. 8, 10:04am

That's lovely! Do you use any of it?

72pgmcc
Jun. 8, 10:13am

>70 MrsLee: Fascinating family history and beautiful pottery too.

73Sakerfalcon
Jun. 8, 10:13am

That is beautiful! And how wonderful to have found a connection with your family!

74NorthernStar
Jun. 8, 7:05pm

>70 MrsLee: Lovely!

75MrsLee
Bearbeitet: Jun. 10, 8:31am

>71 clamairy: Thank you. Much of it is broken, I had to work to get it displayed on the shelf so that the missing handles, cracked saucers and chipped cups didn't show. There are a few sound cups and saucers and plates. However, I have read that it may not be wise to use older pottery due to lead levels in the pottery or glaze. Since I don't have a way to measure that, I think I will be satisfied to use them as an art display.

>72 pgmcc:, >73 Sakerfalcon:, & >74 NorthernStar: Thank you. :)

Another book I've finished over the weekend: Rock with Wings by Anne Hillerman. An enjoyable mystery. Anne has taken up the characters her father, Tony Hillerman, created. Lt. Leaphorn, Detective Chee and Officer Bernadette (Bernie) Manuelito. Anne has done well by the series, her books are more character oriented and less scenery/history involved, but still very gripping. Because I enjoyed being with these characters, I went ahead and began a book by Tony Hillerman, written in 1980, The People of Darkness. His books don't move as quickly as Anne's, they are a lovely (well, aside from the violence) place to linger.

I've also begun Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. There are two extensive introductions. One by a modern scholar, and one by de Tocqueville himself. I decided to read both of them because of the history of this book, written in the 1830s. This is, apparently, a condensed version. It is truly interesting, his predictions of where Democracy leads are inciteful and sometimes painfully accurate. I am enjoying it thus far, even though I am still reading the introductions and haven't begun the text.

76MrsLee
Jun. 20, 7:50pm

I finished Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore yesterday. It is too hot here for me to put my thoughts together yet. Also, there are many, so I will do that on my laptop when I have the will to live again. At the moment I am a puddle.

Began Running Blind by Lee Child because again, too hot to think much, so I want a book which isn't a challenge. Would be nice if it had some funny in it, but this is what I have on the shelf. Unless I want to dive into my old favorites and reread. Would gladly do that, but I do so want to get through some of the books I haven't read.

Looking at my shelves of unread books, I see that they are mostly "worthy" sorts of books. Which doesn't mean I don't read fluff, it means I am more prone to grab the light stuff first and then the heavy stuff builds up.

77clamairy
Bearbeitet: Jun. 21, 8:51am

>76 MrsLee: The older I get the less patience I seem to have for the heavy stuff. Or even if I'm enjoying it I can't read it at bedtime without nodding off almost immediately, so it takes ages to get through.

Hope your AC is working perfectly soon!

78-pilgrim-
Jun. 21, 11:02am

>76 MrsLee: I look forward to hearing more about Moore's book, once you feel up to writing it.

79Meredy
Jun. 21, 3:24pm

>76 MrsLee: I like that category label, "worthy." It neatly distinguishes a broad grouping of books that aren't all necessarily literature, or necessarily serious or heavy, or necessarily superior (although in some way I suppose they are), but clearly not in the same class with, say, the Harry Dresden novels. I hope I can remember it, because it's just the designation I need for so many of the books I have to deal with.

80MrsLee
Bearbeitet: Jun. 24, 9:07am

Some thoughts on Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life by Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore undertakes to define the soul, and the differences between spirituality and soul needs. This is not a "how to fix yourself" book. If you are looking for quick and simple directions on how to have a healthy soul, one, two, three, this is not the book for you. I think what he is trying to do, is to convince the reader first, that there is such a thing as soul, and second, how to define it and look for it in our daily lives.

I don't believe that I understood the half of this book, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. In fact, I am keeping it because I want to return to it occasionally to examine passages again. The first few chapters were the most difficult for me. Moore gave some examples of how he helped people who came to him for therapy and related their experiences or behaviors to certain mythological figures. It is interesting, having read Robert Graves' The Greek Myths not long ago, to see the complete and utter opposite reading of them which Moore gives. Graves interprets them historically, Moore uses them as universal figures to define humanity and soul needs. They could both be right, and I suppose that is why the Myths have endured. This section of the book was difficult for me, because it seemed a bit woo-woo at times, and when Moore talked about his therapy techniques, well, if I were a patient, I would be frustrated because he isn't clear about how to overcome difficulties (which is his whole point), rather he encourages patients to explore them for soul food. Here is where I lack the ability to describe the contents. I will say though, that having read this book, I was able to gain a different perspective on some issues at work I am having with co-workers. It hasn't solved them. I can't "fix" them, however, something has shifted and the torment I was having has changed. Not gone, but viewed differently.

The chapters which resonated more with me were those near the end which defined "soul" and the differences between that and spirituality. *running out of time, will have to finish this later.*

When the author speaks of faith, he isn't speaking of creeds or specific religions. He is speaking of the mysteries which move our souls. He says, if we allow ourselves none of those mysteries, we are denying a crucial element of our soul. For me, this can happen when I am examining some form of life or nature, whether plant, animal or mineral. Pondering its essence, its origin, its nature, its function, all of that creates awe in my heart, or my soul. The more I understand it, the more awe, if I slow down and allow the awe to enter, and don't simply file away the facts in my brain, moving on to something else without pondering and giving way to the wonder. The author says even a mathematician can experience awe in their profession and the perfection or imperfection of numbers and equations. Whatever. ;)

I'm going to put some quotes here which I have underlined in the book for my own purposes.
"Care of the soul is a continuous process that concerns itself not so much with "fixing" a central flaw as with attending to the small details of everyday life, as well as to major decisions and changes."

"The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it." - Wallace Stevens in "Reply to Papini"

Here he is speaking of his cousin, a former nun, who died of cancer. Her faith failed her, and when she sought help from her priest and others, they failed her as well. Her experience parallels my faith experience amazingly, only mine began without the ogre of cancer.

"She had no choice then but to sink into her black emotion...She was then led deep inside herself, to the very edge of the person she knew herself to be, emptied of all spiritual ambition and all satisfaction in what she had accomplished. She had no guides, no hints at where to go next. She had no life in front of her and no one to talk to. She had read about the Eastern concept of emptiness, but she didn't know it could feel so barren.
...eventually she discovered a new kind of faith that rose directly out of her depressive thoughts and emotions. She was shocked to feel it stir in that deep, empty pit. She didn't know what to think of it because it was so different from the kind of faith she had ben learning about and nurturing all her life...She no longer craved comfort from the hospital chaplain or anyone else. She said she found it difficult to describe this new trust she felt, because it was so deep and different from the faith she had been cultivating in her previous spiritual practices."

To sum up, the author encourages people to search for soul, to allow it room in their lives, through beauty, painful experiences, love and sorrow. His thought is that any of life's strong emotions, if allowed in and looked at with imagination, pondered, experienced, can feed soul. However, if we load ourselves down with "busy" work each and every day, if we focus only on the material aspects of life, if we don't use our imagination to look at problems, we are denying ourselves a deep part of our personhood and that leads to sickness and mental illness.

I leave you with one more quote, which made me laugh.
"When a summer breeze blows through an open window as we sit reading in a rare half-hour of quiet, we might recall one of the hundreds of annunciations painters have given us, reminding us that it is the habit of angels to visit in moments of silent reading."

So. Even angels like to interrupt people reading a book.

81MrsLee
Jun. 23, 9:42am

Please see previous post for the second part of my thoughts on Care of the Soul, if you read the post yesterday.

I have decided to stop reading Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. Not because there is anything wrong with it. It is very interesting to read his thoughts, and to see how they apply even to our modern world. To read his predictions in 1835 of the outcome of America's political environment, and to see the results of today (which he was spot on much of it). However, I am simply not the person I was 25-30 years ago when I bought this book. I haven't the patience. I haven't the time. I haven't the interest. I am sad about that, but that's how it is.

I have begun Mr. Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow, which I am enjoying very much. I suppose I am at the stage of life where I enjoy biographies much more than political theory. I purchased this book when I had my trip to New York City and met up with Jim and Jill. Such a fun day! It is the last book of my trip purchases to read, so I suppose when I finish this, I will have to go on another trip. ;)

82pgmcc
Jun. 23, 9:47am

>81 MrsLee:
I suppose when I finish this, I will have to go on another trip. ;)

No supposing about it. get planning.

I remember the great photographs you posted from the last trip.

83Meredy
Jun. 23, 2:32pm

>81 MrsLee:

> I am simply not the person I was 25-30 years ago when I bought this book.

Good reminder of a reality check that makes it easier to let things go. Thank you.

84pgmcc
Jun. 23, 2:42pm

>81 MrsLee: & >83 Meredy:

You made me remember a moment I had yesterday. I was thinking about the first time I visited Donegal. I thought of when that was and realised it was 50 years ago. I have more books now than I did then. I am definitely not the person I was then.

85MrsLee
Jun. 24, 9:32am

I just read all the (20) other reviews of Care of the Soul, and if you are interested, the one with the best descriptions, etc. is by bfrank. Very good.

>82 pgmcc: Found out yesterday that my next "trip" will be to see my grandson for the first time next Saturday! It isn't an exotic trip with bookstores and Dragoneers, but it will do for now. :)

86pgmcc
Jun. 24, 10:00am

>85 MrsLee: I think making a trip to see your grandson for the first time is very exotic.

87MrsLee
Jun. 27, 2:40pm

Finished Running Blind yesterday. It was a reliably good and distracting read, which is what I needed because the temperature outside was 115°F plus, and inside about 88°F. Our A/C is broken in the main house and due to convenience, we are trying to stay in there, but I may jump ship this afternoon. Happily, the attached apartment still has A/C, so we are not quite doomed. Anyway, about the book; I pegged the perpetrator, and the motive pretty early on, but the author got me with the opportunity. It was there to be seen, but I missed it.

88pgmcc
Bearbeitet: Jun. 28, 11:12am

I read the Introduction to Fer-de-Lance, not something I tend to do with fiction for fear of stumbling into a spoiler. This introduction, however, was more about the overall series of books rather than the story in this book. Thanks to the introduction I am keen to get to this Rex Stout novel. Thank you for your well aimed shot. I will let you know how I get on with it.

It will be a few days before I get to Fer-de-Lance as I am taking my time reading Angelmaker. Also, would you believe it, work has been very busy lately and I am finding it interfering with my reading time. That is just downright unacceptable. Work is the curse of the reading classes.

89MrsLee
Jun. 28, 5:37pm

>88 pgmcc: I hope you enjoy this series. My only goal in recommendations is your reading pleasure. :)

I hear you about work and reading. Also I am finding that temperatures above 105°F and no air conditioning hampers the ability of the brain to focus on reading.

90MrsLee
Jun. 28, 5:41pm

The book I randomly grabbed today from the shelves to read during breaks, is The Divine Comedy as translated by Dorothy L. Sayers. Not sure this will work out, but it should at least give me an idea if I want to put the effort into it. I have read it before, but not Sayers' translation.

91Karlstar
Jun. 29, 9:56am

>90 MrsLee: That's some heavy reading for breaks! I hope you enjoy it.

92MrsLee
Jun. 30, 7:28pm

>91 Karlstar: I am only on page 17 of the 69 page introduction and she has me very excited to read it! I've even begun underlining.

93pgmcc
Jun. 30, 8:33pm

>92 MrsLee:
That is a very good sign.

94Meredy
Jun. 30, 8:59pm

>92 MrsLee: Did she actually translate it from the Italian, or did she rework somebody else's translation?

95pgmcc
Jul. 1, 4:37am

>94 Meredy: This would be the translation Umberto Eco praised in his book, Mouse or Rat. It was the work Sayers was most proud of.

96haydninvienna
Jul. 1, 5:05am

>94 Meredy: And yes, she did translate it directly. She has an essay about it somewhere, how learning Italian was relatively easy after having learned Latin.

97ScoLgo
Jul. 1, 12:14pm

>92 MrsLee: You can notch another BB. I have been considering buying a copy of this translation for a while now and you have managed to push it off the shelf and into my shopping cart.

98MrsLee
Jul. 1, 12:24pm

>96 haydninvienna: Thank you for answering, as I was unsure.
She dedicated this first book to Charles Williams.

She has also convinced me to find the second book after Inferno. I quit the first time after the Inferno.

>97 ScoLgo: I hope it proves a good BB. :)

99MrsLee
Jul. 9, 4:19pm

In the three days we were in Benicia, CA to meet my grandbaby, we managed to find a bookstore on the same street as our hotel. Imagine that!
I purchased new, a copy of Goodnight Moon for Geoffrey because that is one book he didn't manage to receive yet. Also one for when he is older about Yucky Nature things, but I've forgotten the title.

For myself at $1 each:
Past Tense by Lee Child, for those quick read fixes.
Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck, because I hadn't seen it before, I like to read Steinbeck, though not very often.
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. Because I have never read it and am curious. This copy is held together with a rubber band and will be thrown out page by page as I read, so it won't take up room on my shelves for long. :)

For my husband, also on sale:
The Day the Sun Stood Still: Three Original Novellas of Science Fiction by Poul Anderson, Gordon R. Dickson and Robert Silverberg

100Meredy
Jul. 9, 4:23pm

>99 MrsLee: "will be thrown out page by page as I read"

Now, there's an idea I never thought of. Insurance against pointless retention, for sure. That store must be run by an optimist. Who else would expect a copy in that condition to sell? Almost makes it worth respecting enough to donate it back . . .

101YouKneeK
Jul. 9, 4:24pm

>99 MrsLee: Congrats on your new grandbaby!

102clamairy
Jul. 9, 5:38pm

>99 MrsLee: When will we see pics?

The Anne Rice books are okay. They got better and then got worse. I loved the first book in her Mayfair Witches series, but the rest were mediocre at best. I just found the box with her book yesterday, and I think I may just donate most of them, and keep the few I haven't read.

103MrsLee
Jul. 9, 5:45pm

>100 Meredy: I did wonder how she came by the copy for her store, even though it was on the $1 shelf outside. Most of the books inside were new. Maybe locals drop off books or something, but yes, it found the right person because I have had a very mild interest in that book for years, but not enough to pay much or go to the library for it. :)

>101 YouKneeK: Thank you!

>102 clamairy: Pictures are in the July thread. :) I would put more here, but it is a pain to get them from my phone to LT, then from my pics on LT to a thread. Also, I don't want to be redundant. I'm sure more will sneak into my thread as he grows though. lol.

As to the book, yes, from what I've heard it is worth a read once, but most likely not my style. Still, ya gotta try it once, right?

104pgmcc
Jul. 9, 5:53pm

>99 MrsLee: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. Because I have never read it and am curious. This copy is held together with a rubber band and will be thrown out page by page as I read, so it won't take up room on my shelves for long. :)


More specifically, ...This copy is held together with a rubber band ...

It sounds like an undead book.

So meta!

105MrsLee
Jul. 10, 12:16am

>104 pgmcc: LOL, so long as it doesn't bite back.

106hfglen
Jul. 10, 6:40am

>99 MrsLee: "will be thrown out page by page as I read" Via a hook in the smallest room?

Happiness with and to the newest addition to the family.

107Narilka
Jul. 10, 4:10pm

>99 MrsLee: Congrats on your grandbaby!

108MrsLee
Bearbeitet: Jul. 10, 6:35pm

>106 hfglen: Thank you!
Not sure I will read it in the smallest room. I prefer, if possible, the softer, modern product. Hmmm, maybe we should all start stockpiling books we read to hate for future shortages?

>107 Narilka: Thank you!

109Sakerfalcon
Jul. 12, 9:35am

>99 MrsLee: Visiting new grandbaby AND a bookshop??? Now that is the perfect trip!

110MrsLee
Jul. 12, 11:07pm

111MrsLee
Bearbeitet: Jul. 18, 3:52pm

Sadly, we are losing our used bookstore in town. It is a paperback store, and the owner lost her husband and wants to retire. Husband went by and looked for books, trying to pick out things he thought I would like. How do you think he did?
Life with Father by Clarence Day - a lovely hardbound Reader's Digest classic edition, no abridgments.
The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler - hardcover with woodblocks by Howard Simon
What Might Have Been by Gregory Benford & Martin H. Greenberg, paperback, Vol. 1 of Alternate empires (pretty sure this one is for my husband.
The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain - paperback. I read this years ago, and remember it as good. My grandmother had great admiration for Costain's writing style.
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold - paperback. I've read it and own a Kindle version.
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold - paperback
The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold - paperback
The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold - paperback

OK, I confess that I told him to buy all the Bujold books except Vorkosigan saga, because I own all of those already.

In other news, I am reading the biography of Edward Lear slowly and happily. I like the author's style, the information they give about the world and society around him and more.

Also still reading the Dante Inferno. I finished the introduction yesterday and the first Canticle. I am very much enjoying it. I love the way Sayers has put it together, giving a bit of the story before each canticle, then more notes at the end, without interruptions to the poetry itself. The introduction gave me a clear idea of who Dante was and why he wrote the way he did, as well as the history around him. I can't really describe how much I am enjoying the way she has translated this.

The book of the moment in the smallest room shall stay in that room. It should be interesting and exciting, but the author who went to the Yukon to interview those living there in an attempt to record the happenings before all the elders passed away, has managed to make it a very dull tale indeed. Good enough for where it is at, but I won't be giving it time in my reading chair.

112Karlstar
Jul. 18, 6:22pm

>111 MrsLee: Seems like he did fairly well!

Glad the Inferno is going well for you, that really does sound like a good translation.

113Narilka
Jul. 19, 7:56pm

>111 MrsLee: Sad to hear the store is going out of business. Nice haul though!

114fuzzi
Jul. 19, 8:39pm

>111 MrsLee: every Costain book I've read was good. My mother was a big fan, had many hardcover editions of his works on her shelves including The Silver Chalice (one I've NOT read).

115clamairy
Jul. 20, 4:14pm

>111 MrsLee: Nice haul! But that is heartbreaking news. :o(

116MrsLee
Jul. 26, 5:12pm

Quit reading Interview with a Vampire. Navel-gazing at its finest. Also the little girl vampire with the mind of a woman was veering too close to pedophilia for my taste. I looked up the plot summary and it went exactly where I thought it was going, ending up where I predicted, so don't think I'm missing anything. Last page I tore off was 148. I was generous to go that far.

117Meredy
Jul. 26, 11:21pm

>116 MrsLee: Was that tearing off of pages a satisfying response to the book?

118-pilgrim-
Jul. 27, 3:52am

>116 MrsLee: Regarding spoiler: I thought that part at least took seriously the "having been around a couple of hundred years means that you are not the child that you were" aspect - I mean, how is "Twilight" NOT squicky, with someone hundreds of years old dating a teen?!

IIRC, our "child" vampire is in a weird place mentally because she has been watching adult behaviours for years, without the hormonal impulses required for them to make sense. That could have been an interesting starting off point for a critique on human behaviour. But instead I think this falls firmly in the genre of vampire literature "exploring" aspects of human sexuality that would be tabu if raised in other genres. Bram Stoker has a lot to answer for!
You may gather that I am not an Anne Rice fan.

119pgmcc
Bearbeitet: Jul. 27, 4:08am

>118 -pilgrim-: Have you read Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu? That is the story reputed to have prompted Stoker to write Dracula.

120-pilgrim-
Jul. 27, 4:13am

>119 pgmcc: No, I have not. Le Fanu is an author who I kept meaning to read, but never got around to...

121pgmcc
Jul. 27, 4:25am

>120 -pilgrim-: His work is well worth reading. M. R. James regarded his work very highly.

122-pilgrim-
Jul. 27, 4:38am

>121 pgmcc: Ok, Ok. Your return fire has been effective. We are now both book hunting.

123clamairy
Jul. 27, 9:14am

>116 MrsLee: I'm pretty sure if I tried to read any of those books for the first time now I'd be horrified, but I started reading them in my 20s and enjoyed them. I think I stopped reading that series in the late 90s. I kept going with the Mayfair Witches series and was sorry I did. The first one was great, the rest were not. I don't think I've read anything of hers for quite some time, and most of her books are in the 'donate' box in my basement right now...

124MrsLee
Jul. 27, 9:55am

>117 Meredy: Deliciously so.

>118 -pilgrim-: Agreed, but still squeamish for me. I have not/will not read Twilight series. It is right out of my likeability area and it would be silly for me to do so. Also unfair to the author if I gave it a bad review when I knew I wouldn't like it in the first place. Also a waste of the precious little reading time I have now.

I actually laughed at one point when Louis was talking about his dear sweet little "girl" who would sit listening for hours on end without interrupting him. What a man fantasy! Perfect for mansplaining. I had to wonder if Rice wrote that with her tongue in her cheek.

>119 pgmcc: I have read that, a long time ago. Now THAT was creepy. *shudders* Somehow this didn't have the horror effect of chills up the spine creepy like that one. I was just a man talking about himself, endlessly. OMMV

>123 clamairy: It certainly makes a difference when we read something, no? I did enjoy some of her descriptions of New Orleans, but I think perhaps our social awareness has moved on and so makes it difficult to melt into the story, which makes one sit back and be sarcastic. At least this one does. :)

125pgmcc
Jul. 27, 12:47pm

>124 MrsLee: Deliciously so.

I thought I heard a purring sound when I read that.

It was just a man talking about himself, endlessly.

It must have been very educational.

126-pilgrim-
Bearbeitet: Gestern, 8:09am

>124 MrsLee: I met Twilight via the film(s). That was quite enough time wasted on it.

There are only two vampire series that I consider worth following: by Barbara Hambly and by Jasper Kent. The first takes traditional vampires and takes both the ethics and and effects of longevity seriously. The latter is closer to traditional South Slavic concepts of a vampire - very far from human. (It was also rather bloody, I am not sure that I would read again now.)

But I am not interested in the erotica, and dislike the "cozy vampire" genre intensely, so that means that 90% of vampire stories leave me cold. (Am open to recommendations though. I try not to get close-minded over this.)

127pgmcc
Jul. 27, 3:59pm

>126 -pilgrim-: Carmilla should be right up your street then.

:-)

Also, Vampyre by Lord Byron’s secretary, Polidori.

128MrsLee
Jul. 27, 4:29pm

>126 -pilgrim-: I like the way Jim Butcher portrays them in the Dresden files, but no time to elaborate because I'm at work.

129-pilgrim-
Bearbeitet: Gestern, 8:19am

>127 pgmcc: Actually, I think you might particularly like the Jasper Kent: Twelve. On 12th June 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia. The story is told from the point of view of a junior officer whose superior has negotiated the hire of a mercenary company from a very powerful Romanian lord. The Russians are initially disappointed that only twelve arrive, but are assured that they will be quite enough... (And yes, they have a certain sense of humour, adopting pseudonyms from the Apostles.)

This is about the ethics of WMDs.

>128 MrsLee: I look forward to hearing more.

130pgmcc
Bearbeitet: Gestern, 8:57am

>129 -pilgrim-: Have you watched the film, Shadow of the Vampire? It is very funny. It is a film about the making of the film, Nosferatu. The humour is amplified if you have watched Nosferatu in advance.

Fun fact about the making of Nosferatu (1922). {MrsLee, I hope you do not mind this digression on your thread, but you did start the digression into "smallest-room-in-the-house horror. :-) }
For those not aware of it, Nosferatu was being made without the permission of the Bram Stoker estate. His widow had expressly refused to give the producer permission to make a film based on her husband's book, Dracula. The producer went on ahead and made the film but changed the name from Dracula to Nosferatu.

Mrs. Stoker was not amused and took the producer to court. She was successful in her case and the court ordered the destruction of all copies of Nosferatu. The court order was executed and Nosferatu was thought lost to the world until some years ago, I am not sure of the exact year, a copy was found in, I believe, the USA. It is thanks to the discovery of this single copy that we can enjoy this masterpiece of the silent movie age. It is easy to find on youtube. There are many iconic scenes and imagery in the original that are reprised to humorous effect in Shadow of the Vampire.

Without giving too much away, I can let you know that the humour of Shadow of the Vampire is based on the director hiring a real vampire to play the leading role. Of course he is the only one who knows the main character is a real vampire. Have a look at the cast of Shadow of the Vampire; it is quite impressive.

By the way, the humour in the film is subtle. It is not a slap-stick style comedy. If someone was not aware of the original film I suspect they might watch Shadow of the Vampire and miss much of the humour, and not realise it is a comedy at all. They might take it as a horror film with some strange references.

>129 -pilgrim-: It was the description of Twelve that brought Shadow of the Vampire to mind.

MrsLee, I think you might enjoy this film too. It does not have any of the cozy-vampire, romantic-vampire, self-ingratiating-vampire tropes you have mentioned with distaste, and which I also detest. I watched one Twilight film and that was enough to banish those books and films from my life.

131MrsLee
Gestern, 11:24pm

>129 -pilgrim-: and >130 pgmcc: Digress as much as you like. I'm sitting over here with my popcorn writing down names of movies to watch. At the same time, watching a Midsomer Murder episode about horror films. Serendipity is alive and well.