Canadian Political Events

Beyond Politics => General Discussion => Topic started by: msj on February 02, 2017, 10:09:20 pm

Title: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on February 02, 2017, 10:09:20 pm
Currently reading (listening through Audible) to Linsey Addario's "It's What I Do."

She is a photojournalist who has seen some awful things in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc. 

About a quarter into the book and it is really interesting to get her perspective on things as to just how piggy muslim boys/men are and how stupid US soldiers can be.

Her website has some of her pictures:  http://www.lynseyaddario.com

So, what are you reading lately?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: cybercoma on February 02, 2017, 10:12:41 pm
I've had Player Piano and Flowers for Algernon on the go for a year. Finding time to read for pleasure is impossible for me.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: JMT on February 02, 2017, 10:20:45 pm
I am currently (slowly) reading the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories - I'm really enjoying it.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: kimmy on February 03, 2017, 12:29:27 am
Currently reading (listening through Audible) to Linsey Addario's "It's What I Do."

She is a photojournalist who has seen some awful thongs in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc. 


This typo caused me to laugh out loud.  ;D

 -k
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on February 03, 2017, 12:51:06 am
 ;D
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: cybercoma on February 03, 2017, 05:41:01 am
Currently reading (listening through Audible) to Linsey Addario's "It's What I Do."

She is a photojournalist who has seen some awful thongs in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc. 


This typo caused me to laugh out loud.  ;D

 -k
Maybe it wasn't a typo......
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: JMT on February 03, 2017, 07:46:12 am
I could imagine that having no running water might make for some awful thongs for some people.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: cybercoma on February 03, 2017, 10:28:20 am
Where's the vomiting emoji?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on February 03, 2017, 03:03:17 pm
I tend to read part of a book and then go to another and then back to the first.  (ADD thing).  But I was reading Bombs Away: the Hot War by Harry Turtledove, an alternate history novel.  Atomic war breaks out in 1952 when the allies start to lose the Korean War.

Another thing I was reading was The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet, and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Almost finished Book V of the latter.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: wilber on February 03, 2017, 07:04:37 pm
Currently reading the last of Conn Iggulden's historical novels on the Wars of the Roses. Said to be the inspiration for Game of Thrones.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: wilber on February 09, 2017, 11:59:59 pm
Just started Trevor Noah's, Born a Crime.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on February 10, 2017, 12:54:45 am
I am settling into this from Audible:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51sUlL5maVL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)


Not sure why I am surprised by it and Phil "Buck" Knight.

He's from the Pacific Northwest, he has had an interest in Japan and eastern philosophy (and world travel at a young age), he was a CPA too for that matter.

At one time, late '80's, I actually loved Nike.

But then I grew tired of the "Just Do It" bs tag line and the overpriced Nike store concept and have barely bought anything Nike since.

I doubt the book will change my mind - I still prefer Mizano and New Balance gear.

But I have found an admiration for Buck.



Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: crystalline on February 10, 2017, 09:30:54 am
Just finished Distiction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Classic!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on February 10, 2017, 03:53:58 pm
I was reading something about the game of lacrosse, speaking of sports.  It was a little dull though.  however, it had to do a lot with Canada.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: bcsapper on February 10, 2017, 07:19:34 pm
Re-reading Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich".

I usually read a Science Fiction book along with a history book and I'm looking for one as I just finished Dick's "The Man in the High Castle".  Also a re-read as I found out they made some TV out of it. 

Then I heard they deviated quite a bit from the book, but what the hell, it was good to read it again anyway.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on February 11, 2017, 04:53:54 pm

I usually read a Science Fiction book along with a history book and I'm looking for one...

Ever read this:

(https://canadianpoliticalevents.createaforum.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebookmall.com%2FPublic%2FImages%2FProducts%2FProductPage%2F1%2F2370002518208.jpg&hash=734a05c6e552f00b8c8618760164a4bf2e1ba3de) ?

I may give it a shot. Supposed to be a classic.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: bcsapper on February 11, 2017, 07:54:39 pm
Ever read this:

(https://canadianpoliticalevents.createaforum.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebookmall.com%2FPublic%2FImages%2FProducts%2FProductPage%2F1%2F2370002518208.jpg&hash=734a05c6e552f00b8c8618760164a4bf2e1ba3de) ?

I may give it a shot. Supposed to be a classic.

I haven't.  I'll keep an eye out for that in the used book stores.

I'm making do with old copies of Analog and Fantasy & Science Fiction  at the moment.  I have lots of unread copies for just such dry periods.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: wilber on February 11, 2017, 09:34:06 pm
Read Rise and Fall when I was in high school. How does it re read?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: bcsapper on February 11, 2017, 09:46:49 pm
Read Rise and Fall when I was in high school. How does it re read?

I'm enjoying it. It's a period of history I'm particularly interested in.

I like reading history by journalists.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: wilber on February 12, 2017, 09:27:10 pm
Sapper, being into history and all, are you into George Macdonald Fraser at all?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: bcsapper on February 12, 2017, 09:42:15 pm
Sapper, being into history and all, are you into George Macdonald Fraser at all?

I've heard of the Flashman novels, but I've never read any of them.  Do you recommend?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: wilber on February 12, 2017, 10:08:02 pm
Yes I do recommend. Also, Fraser was a rifleman during the last stages the WW2 in Burma. Quartered Safe Out Here is one of the better WW2 memoirs I have read. Near the end of the war they made him an officer and he wrote a "fictional" trilogy referred to as the McAuslan novels based on his experiences as a subaltern in a post war Highland regiment. Being an ex Pongo, you might relate to them.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: JMT on February 12, 2017, 10:47:26 pm
Has anyone ever read A Picture of Dorian Gray?  In thinking of tackling it next.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on February 13, 2017, 12:14:46 am
Give it a try for free:  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/174/174-h/174-h.htm.

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: JMT on February 13, 2017, 12:25:20 am
I think the copywrite is long expired in Canada so it's free on Kindle as well.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: wilber on February 13, 2017, 11:47:33 am
bcsapper. I hope you weren't offended by the Pongo comment, none was intended. Hung around with too many ex RAF guys over the years I guess. My grandfather was RE during WWI, Joined as a private, finished as an officer. I have his enlistment and demob papers, plus his Commission and decorations.

Back to Flashman. Very entertaining and the history is solid, except for him.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: bcsapper on February 13, 2017, 07:19:48 pm
bcsapper. I hope you weren't offended by the Pongo comment, none was intended. Hung around with too many ex RAF guys over the years I guess. My grandfather was RE during WWI, Joined as a private, finished as an officer. I have his enlistment and demob papers, plus his Commission and decorations.

Back to Flashman. Very entertaining and the history is solid, except for him.

Not offended at all, but truth be told, I never heard it used when I was in.  It was always Squaddie.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: kimmy on February 17, 2017, 01:27:27 am
I don't want to give away any spoilers... but that guy in the striped shirt?  I found him!

 -k
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on March 07, 2017, 11:00:42 pm
Into this book now: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Narrow_Road_to_the_Deep_North_(novel)

Listening to it via audible of course.

It is ok. Slowly building to some sort of climax I'm sure but looks like I'm about 50 chapters away from that (the book isn't long but has over 100 chapters so lots of vignettes).

------------------

I will reiterate, based on finishing "Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight, that it is one of the best business memoirs out there. 

Maybe I'm biased by how many CPA's are responsible for Nike's success but it is well written, intelligent, funny, interesting....
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on March 16, 2017, 11:32:44 pm
Ordered this the other day:

(https://canadianpoliticalevents.createaforum.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foliosociety.com%2Fimages%2Fbooks%2Fillustrations%2Flrg%2FACG_14869864627.jpg&hash=35ee73994c904492a500a2aec1d1b11bc2b2c20a)

It is a thing of beauty: 

(https://canadianpoliticalevents.createaforum.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1us.denofgeek.com%2Fsites%2Fdenofgeekus%2Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Farticle_width%2Fpublic%2F2017%2F03%2Famerican-gods-folio-society-3.jpeg%3Fitok%3DyDAaqyJw&hash=b900be1c77c25f06eb6358b1c93f58a63e34361a)


First "read" the author's preferred text version from audible (full cast edition) which led to buying the hardcover version which led to buying this version.

On April 30 it is coming out as a TV show: http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/15/14935794/american-gods-starz-trailer-neil-gaiman-watch


Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: cybercoma on March 17, 2017, 02:07:17 pm
I started that book...got about 100 pages in and never got back to it. I should get back to it. Probably won't though.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on April 01, 2017, 09:28:05 am
Got the Gaiman book, finally!

It is awesome.

In the meantime, have subscribed to Kindle unlimited so now have access to many books.

Not the newest or the best sellers but a very good selection for the $10 /month fee.

For now, looking through this as I look forward to a December break:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51P-q3oeXIL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on April 02, 2017, 09:31:28 am
Found these two links yesterday related to happiness:

26 scientifically backed strategies on happiness: https://s3.amazonaws.com/njlifehacks/26+Research-Backed+Strategies+to+Become+Happier+-+NJlifehacks.pdf

Checklist (or the tl;dr version): https://s3.amazonaws.com/njlifehacks/How+to+Be+Happy+Checklist+-+NJlifehacks.pdf

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on April 06, 2017, 10:31:25 pm
Taking the rest of the night off from any more stinkin tax returns and now reading: What We Said When the World Changed.

Seems to be a look at hindsight bias with respect to the airplane and car:


http://www.collaborativefund.com/uploads/Collaborative%20Fund%20--%20What%20We%20Said%20When%20the%20World%20Changed.pdf
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on April 23, 2017, 10:04:55 am
At this time of year, being so busy at work, the only thing I seem capable of reading is autobiography with a financial bent. 

Really enjoying Ed Thorpe's new book with his awkward narration:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51S51H9sAzL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on May 25, 2017, 11:01:56 pm
Almost done this classic:


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/516yP3uDS1L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)

As usual listening to it on audible and the narrator is excellent: listen to the sample. https://www.audible.com/pd/Classics/All-Quiet-on-the-Western-Front-Audiobook/B00478WP40

The book begins with these lines: "This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped (its) shells, were destroyed by the war."

This is one of those classics that truly are classic.








Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on May 26, 2017, 12:30:43 am

In the meantime, have subscribed to Kindle unlimited so now have access to many books.

Not the newest or the best sellers but a very good selection for the $10 /month fee.

For now, looking through this as I look forward to a December break:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51P-q3oeXIL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)

Still subscribed to the Kindle unlimited thing so now reading this:

(https://canadianpoliticalevents.createaforum.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fhttp_coversbooktopiacomau%2Fbig%2F9781743216767%2Findia.jpg&hash=033c9a67724942e50e133ee3f346630e6e7b7c22)

Looking like the wife is choosing India this year instead.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on June 22, 2017, 02:19:40 pm
Finished Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night: 

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41rtmb0ZIEL.jpg)

An interesting way to bring attention to fascism and America's complicity with Nazi Germany.

Entertaining and funny as only Vonnegut can do.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on June 22, 2017, 02:24:42 pm
On the playlist in the car is:

(https://canadianpoliticalevents.createaforum.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegreatcourses.com%2Fmedia%2Fcatalog%2Fproduct%2Fcache%2F1%2Fimage%2F800x600%2F9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95%2F3%2F5%2F350---packaging_flat_4.1416858256.jpg&hash=b4b593af255986b316bce709592b13e77833dd76)

This is the best of the Great Courses serious I have heard so far.

Bob Brier loves his specialty and it shows. I am surprised at how interesting this course is until he reminded me that before Greece and Rome there was Egypt.

So true and now I cannot help but see that influence from them into Greco-Roman culture.

It is always interesting listening to lectures - Brier has a NY accent and at times sounds a little like Trump (but in a likable way) and other times like Christopher Walken. 

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on June 25, 2017, 01:10:43 pm
Now into this:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51n%2BwnBtIRL.jpg)

The female diabetic POV is different and interesting while the love for the SE Asia countryside is quite wonderful.

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on August 06, 2017, 09:24:56 pm
Almost done The Sympathizer:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/418kJrcPkzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)


A look at the Vietnam war through Vietnamese eyes. The unnamed narrator is really a communist "half breed" who has infiltrated the South Vietnamese military special police and escapes to America as a refugee on the fall of Saigon to continue to monitor the "General" and his attempts to rekindle the war.

Friendships, betrayal, that sort of thing.

The NY Times review here spells it out well: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/books/review/the-sympathizer-by-viet-thanh-nguyen.html


NPR did an interview with the author which is very interesting:  http://www.npr.org/2016/05/17/478384200/author-viet-thanh-nguyen-discusses-the-sympathizer-and-his-escape-from-vietnam

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: cybercoma on August 08, 2017, 10:49:12 am
Christ, I wish I had time to read for fun these days.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on August 08, 2017, 02:02:08 pm
You should make time.  ;D
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: cybercoma on August 11, 2017, 01:19:11 pm
You should make time.  ;D
You're right, but I'd honestly rather just watch a movie or play video/board/card games. I watched Shin Godzilla the other night. It was what the new American film should have been.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: MH on August 14, 2017, 06:05:09 am
In vacation with WiFi now but I need a book.

I did Kissinger's World Order, and Elvis Costello's autobiography. 

I also tried two academic books on oral history, and postmodern historical analysis.  Too dense.  Word salad.  Not good for camping.  Moving on.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on August 17, 2017, 12:39:32 am
With another birthday it is time for another Amazon gift card. One of the many books I got was Cork Dork which is an entertaining and light read but still learning a few things from it. It likely will help me appreciate wine a little bit more but I have every intention of drinking wine rather than tasting wine so whatevs.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511tttldasL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on August 20, 2017, 11:10:05 pm
Well, into some history again with this one:


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51E292WahAL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)

A story about two separate shipwrecks on Auckland Island (450 kms south of New Zealand) with two very different outcomes.


Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on January 13, 2018, 08:27:03 am
While travelling through India finally finished this book:


(https://canadianpoliticalevents.createaforum.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.valuewalk.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F08%2FJesse-Livermore-Boy-Plunger.jpg&hash=b4521a890b6d86aa9fa8c6caeac690aff4c94d2a)

It was okay. Not the trading manual some people like to think it is and too contradictory (or perhaps inconsistent) in parts to be taken seriously (on the trading side) but an enjoyable read.

Also listend to the sequel to “You” while on the various bus/train rides as it was not possible to read while weaving in and around people, cows, traffic etc.

(https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1437414470l/23492288.jpg)

It was okay. Not as witty or clever as the first but entertaining.  A story about a psycho killer who finds love.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: msj on January 31, 2018, 11:50:47 pm
Finally finished “The Life and Operas of Verdi.”

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41RJxI8KAjL._SL300_.jpg)


Started listening to this on a bus in India as it was impossible to actually read anything.

It is one of those “Great Courses” and it is excellent.

Robert Greenberg as lecturer is not for everyone. He has personality and will sacrifice seriousness for lame jokes at times.

The best part was when he takes on the voice of the Duke of Mantua from Rigoletto. He makes him sound like the martian from that Bugs Bunny cartoon and it is delightfully hilarious.

Imagine singing “woman is fickle...” with this voice: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LkbWF-kDK8Y

Interesting blend of Verdi’s life, readings and synopses of opera librettos (for which I am very forgivng of his American pronunciations), and musical selections. 

Also interesting to learn that Verdi was not very well informed about Wagner’s operas so any influence from Wagner was little to none (and this was likeley the same vice versa).

Sort of like Newton and Liebniz “inventing” calculus simultaneously.   
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: guest4 on June 25, 2018, 12:26:22 pm
I've recently read two similar-but-different biographies, both very interesting if odd human behavior is your thing.   One is set in Canada, the other in the States.

The similarities are: Fathers, daughters, mental illness, religion.  The religion is the least important part of these stories, but still influences how the stories play out.

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/547427/run-hide-repeat-by-pauline-dakin/9780735233225/

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/550168/educated-by-tara-westover/9780399590504/





Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Goddess on June 28, 2018, 11:12:12 am
Just about finished reading "The Lucifer Effect".

A good read about the Stanford Prison Experiment, which was abandoned in a week because ordinary college students were transformed into either brutal, sadistic guards or emotionally broken prisoners.

Quote
By illuminating the psychological causes behind such disturbing metamorphoses, Zimbardo enables us to better understand a variety of harrowing phenomena, from corporate malfeasance to organized genocide to how once upstanding American soldiers came to abuse and torture Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib. He replaces the long-held notion of the “bad apple” with that of the “bad barrel”—the idea that the social setting and the system contaminate the individual, rather than the other way around.

The "bad apple vs bad barrel" part is quite interesting.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Omni on June 28, 2018, 01:19:25 pm
Currently I am reading a book a friend from Spain sent to me as a birthday gift called "Classic Tapas" edited by Rafael de Haro. If you're into that kind of food it's a great book and so far I haven't burned down the house. (well at least not literally).
But on a more serious note, a previous Christmas I let my family know I wouldn't be able to come by to help decorate the tree as I had to go to work over that time. An uncle of mine, who always gave me books, this time gave me a copy of "Where Men Win Glory" by Jon Krakauer. Of course the book focuses on Pat Tillman and his US military service and unfortunate death in Afghanistan. but it turned out also to be a pretty good history lesson, especially for me who didn't know much about the country. I hastily stuffed that book in my travel bag since I was also heading to Afghanistan. I was there a month and traveled most every day, and read some more of the book every night. A rather riveting event that occurred was when the day after having read the chapter which describes the one room mosque just south of Kandahar where Mohammed Omar essentially created the Taliban, I was on a Canadian military base just south of Kandahar, and I was able to arrange a lift over to that mosque. Now I hasten to add I'm no fan of the Taliban, but it was certainly an interesting experience.


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c9/Where_Men_Win_Glory_-_bookcover.jpg/220px-Where_Men_Win_Glory_-_bookcover.jpg
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: wilber on June 28, 2018, 01:42:27 pm
Fire Court by Andrew Taylor. A 17th Century whodunnit centred around the Great Fire of London. Just finished The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. A novel based on the exploits of Louise de Bettignies, a WWI spy called "The Queen of Spies" by British intelligence.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: kimmy on December 19, 2018, 12:19:16 am
So I'm trying to fight off "seasonal affective disorder" by spending at least an hour a day with a "Happy Light". And since I'm going to be sitting in a bright light anyway I figured I'd read some of the books I've picked up and never got around to. First on the list:

The Book of Cthulhu (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1597802328/)

This is a large collection of short stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's writings and the "Cthulhu Mythos".  From the editor's introduction:

Quote
Lovecraft's impeccable storytelling-- often filtered through his collaborators and "disciples"-- has inspired many to pen their own Mythos tales, and the Cthulhu Mythos story cycle has taken on a convoluted, cyclopean life of its own, as posthumous collaborators continue to expand the scope, scale, and ultimate interpretation of what is perhaps the most diverse shared fictional universe ever created.

Today,  the Cthulhu Mythos cycle includes tales by some of the most prodigious writers of the twentieth century... and so far, some of the most astounding writers of the twenty-first century as well. Mythos fiction has become one of the major cultural memes of our era-- everybody knows what Cthulhu looks like, even if they haven't read Lovecraft. And it would seem that Cthulhu and his minions are everywhere, not just books and short fiction (especially online short fiction), but represented in music, toys, audio dramas, feature films, comics, and games (video and otherwise).

While I would quibble with some of that (Lovecraft was hardly an "impeccable" writer... his prose was often cumbersome, awkward, and to borrow his signature adjective, "cyclopean".)  But I think it's fair to say that his work has had an immense influence on the fields of science fiction and horror. Even though during his lifetime his work was recognized only in the pages of pulp magazines ("Amazing Stories!") and he died quite young, his ideas and creations have found a much larger audience since his death.  Other authors-- including Stephen King and Robert Bloch, to name a couple-- have penned their own contributions to his mythology, some of them better than his own work, others... not so good.

Two of the main themes found in Lovecraft's work are fear of the unknown, and humanity's tiny insignificance in the vast cosmos.  The universe is fully of mysteries, and if we knew the answers to them we'd go insane with terror. We're lucky to be ignorant, and those who delve too deeply into these mysteries usually meet terrifying fates in Lovecraft's tales.

These stories are often told through a "frame".  A "frame" is a storytelling technique that explains how you, the reader, have obtained the information you're about to read. A collection of letters from an increasingly nervous correspondent who suddenly stops writing, leaving the reader to extrapolate his fate. "Notebook Found in a Deserted House". (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notebook_Found_in_a_Deserted_House) "The Blair Witch Project" and other "found footage" movies are examples of how a frame can be used in storytelling.  As in Blair Witch, the frame in which the story is told is in itself giving you a message, which is often that the narrator of the story isn't around anymore, creating an ominous air right from the start.

I read the first of the stories in this book last night, "Black Man with a Horn" by T.E.D. Klein. The author addresses the frame right from the start:

Quote
There is something inherently comforting about the first person past tense. It conjures up visions of some deskbound narrator puffing contemplatively upon a pipe amid the safety of his study, lost on tranquil recollection, seasoned but essentially unscathed by whatever experience he's about to relate. It's a tense that says, "I am here to tell the tale. I lived through it."

 ... "It's over now," he says. "I lived through it."  A comforting premise, perhaps. Only in this case, it doesn't happen to be true. Whether the experience is really "over now" no one can say; and if, as I suspect, the final chapter has yet to be enacted, then the notion of my "living through it" will seem a pathetic conceit.

We learn that he's an elderly man typing away at an electric typewriter, and that he's very sure that he's going to die soon.


Like most stories in the Lovecraft genre, the curtain pulls back a little at a time... revealing to the reader ever-so-slowly what's really going on, letting the reader fill in the blanks using their knowledge of the mythos which the narrator, not having this knowledge, isn't able to piece together as quickly as the reader.  But eventually, both reader and narrator arrive at the same place.  This story works on two levels... on the more literal one, it's a horror story about an old man who believes that he's become the target of strange Asian cultists and that a supernatural creature will soon arrive to end him.  But less directly, it's about grappling with his mortality, accepting that his life is coming to its end, his casual racism and xenophobia are the realization that the world is changing around him... the supernatural creature that's coming for him is really just old age and mortality. It's very satisfying to get to the end of the story, put down the book, and realize that the author was really telling you two stories at the same time, and then go back and reflect on the details that contribute to both aspects of the story.


  -k
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: bcsapper on December 19, 2018, 09:42:10 am
I'm reading all the books on which "The Expanse" is based, before I binge watch the show.

I'm very excited about it.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Bubbermiley on January 03, 2019, 06:43:37 am
My son convinced me I needed to watch Game of Thrones. I'm not partial to fantasy and decapitation so I held off, but then I saw the first book in his room and decided to see how far into it I could get. I found it surprisingly readable. I'm up to the end of the fourth book now, but it's gotten significantly less readable. The pacing of events became excruciatingly slow.
I decided to watch the show, just to help me keep track of characters, so I subscribed to Crave and watched the first 6 seasons. Now I have the seventh season Blu-ray out of the library. The TV show is much better at ensuring things happen regularly to keep you interested and it has fewer characters to keep track of, and I've become desensitized to the ultra-violence. I don't expect I'll finish the fifth book, or the sixth or the seventh when they finally come out.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Bubbermiley on January 03, 2019, 07:00:35 am
Also reading the Beastie Boys Book. Fascinating boys, those Beasties.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: kimmy on January 05, 2019, 12:02:29 pm
I'm reading all the books on which "The Expanse" is based, before I binge watch the show.

I'm very excited about it.

I watched the first two seasons of The Expanse, and will probably watch the third season sooner or later. I was quite interested in the premise, and I like that they put some real thought into building their near-future setting.  Their space-travel reflects realistic physics... space ships take days or weeks to get where they're going, changing directions in the middle of a flight is a major event, and so on. They've put some thought into the economy.  The political elements are interesting as well. Much of it seems like a somewhat plausible imagination of what our not-too-distant future could look like.  Then there's the other element-- the supernatural/superscience aspect that's not at all part of the speculative near-future.  On the one hand it's the magical McGuffin that drives events forward, but on the other hand I wasn't as interested in that part of the show as I was in the speculative part of the show. I didn't feel it worked as well, at least in the TV adaptation.

I have not read the Expanse books, but I have read a book series that he wrote under another pen name. "The Black Sun's Daughter" was an urban fantasy series he wrote under the name M.L.N Hanover.  I really liked his writing style.

 -k
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Gorgeous Graham on January 05, 2019, 10:52:56 pm
A while ago I watched the "Manhunt: Unibomber" mini-series on Netflix.  I give that a very high recommendation.  He's a fascinating guy, extremely intelligent.

So I just recently read most of his lengthy manifesto, published in the Washington Post many years ago before he was caught, as part one of his "demands".  His thesis was essentially that technology post-industrial revolution, despite what its achieved, is decaying society, destroying humanity & the planet etc, so we must revolt against technology and destroy it, using violence to achieve this revolution if necessary.  Though his manifesto didn't seem violent whatsoever, despite his own behaviour.  He was clearly a bit touched.

The problem with this thesis is that this would have to be done worldwide at the same time, and even if 1 country decided not to follow suit, that 1 country would conquer every other country & dominate the planet with its technology.  Odd but interesting read.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: the_squid on January 06, 2019, 12:25:09 am
Did you two who posted last have the subtitles on while you watched?  If so, I guess this is the correct topic.  If not, well....   maybe not.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Gorgeous Graham on January 06, 2019, 08:00:34 am
No i didn't, sorry.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: wilber on January 06, 2019, 10:47:14 am
A legacy of Spies.  John le Carre.

Resurrects ghosts from the Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

le Carre has no equal when it comes to this genre.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on January 23, 2019, 11:59:04 pm
As I posted on "a certain other website", I am reading Shogun by James Clavell. It's a little hard to follow at times what with the labyrinth of intrigue in Japanese feudal politics, but still a great read. I am about 3/5 of the way through it.

Have any of you read "The First Man in Rome" by Colleen McCullough, by the way?