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  #8881  
Old 01-25-2014, 11:27 AM
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Next item on my list is Middlemarch by George Eliot, because it has been hyperbolically praised for a century.
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  #8882  
Old 01-25-2014, 09:56 PM
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While S.'s conceit is brilliant, and the margin characters Jen and Eric are well drawn and relatable, it's hard to buy Ship of Theseus as a masterwork by a literary genius.

Oh well, it's still a fun read so far.
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  #8883  
Old 01-26-2014, 09:45 PM
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Just finished a rather excellent history book called "The Reason Why" about the Charge of the Light Brigade. I'm not especially up on the Crimean War, and the author gave a lot of background on why the whole mess happened and why everyone involved was so incompetent (basically, the generation of war heroes from the Napolenonic Wars was in the process of dying off and anyone with a title and cash could buy military rank over the heads of people who knew anything).

Also, Lord Cardigan comes across as one of the stupidest leaders in the history of warfare (the chap who led the charge - his immediate superior was Lord Lucan, his brother in law, and the two heartily despised each other. Which did not help at all. It's what Orwell talks about "the cult of the amateur" with a vengeance).
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  #8884  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teaspoon View Post
Also, Lord Cardigan comes across as one of the stupidest leaders in the history of warfare (the chap who led the charge - his immediate superior was Lord Lucan, his brother in law, and the two heartily despised each other. Which did not help at all. It's what Orwell talks about "the cult of the amateur" with a vengeance).
But he had such wonderful sweaters!
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  #8885  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:01 AM
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They were named in his honour.

Seriously. He wore them on the campaign, and they became a Fashionable Article when he got back, because everyone treated the leader of a cavalry charge who had killed off everybody in his command as a heroic and thrilling man.

The cardigan was probably his greatest accomplishment, actually.
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  #8886  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:32 AM
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I'm still slowly working my way through Inherent Vice, despite that Book Club being over. Had a period of a few weeks where I didn't want to read, so it's been nice to get back into it, and enjoying the book.
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  #8887  
Old 01-27-2014, 06:17 PM
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I've read the first 100 or so pages of Gardens of the Moon and I am coming to the realization that this series is absolutely not for me. So far it seems to be constructed out of all the things I don't like about the fantasy genre, all darkness and grim. It doesn't help that Erickson, at least through 3 chapters, is going out of his way to make the book "difficult." By which, of course, I mean by presenting things out of order.

I am going to finish, though, since the book came highly recommended by a friend whose tastes are as different from mine as possible. I read things he suggests that he knows I won't like and he reads similar suggestions from me. We do both have a liking for DC's Lobo in common, though his enjoyment of that character is without the slightest trace of irony.
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  #8888  
Old 01-27-2014, 07:48 PM
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if you want to read an absolutely superb treatment of the battle of Balaclava, go get George Fraser's Flashman at the Charge. It is technically fiction, but its attention to historical detail is impeccable, and it's fuckin hilarious.
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  #8889  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:48 PM
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I have read that, and it is indeed great.

But the idea that Lord Cardigan could be as much of a nutter as he is in Flashman...well, I was wrong. He was more so in real life.
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  #8890  
Old 01-28-2014, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raider Dr. Jones View Post
if you want to read an absolutely superb treatment of the battle of Balaclava, go get George Fraser's Flashman at the Charge. It is technically fiction, but its attention to historical detail is impeccable, and it's fuckin hilarious.
I know Teaspoon has already read it, but seconding this recommendation for those who like historical fiction.

Quote:
Also, Lord Cardigan comes across as one of the stupidest leaders in the history of warfare (the chap who led the charge - his immediate superior was Lord Lucan, his brother in law, and the two heartily despised each other. Which did not help at all. It's what Orwell talks about "the cult of the amateur" with a vengeance).
Forgot that one of the Lord Lucans was at the Charge. I always associate the name with the twentieth century vanished peer/murderer. A fine specimen of the British aristocracy. Muriel Spark's Aiding and Abetting is a very funny novel about the Lucan case, for anyone interested. It has a satisfying end that the real life story is very unlikely to ever have.
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  #8891  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:01 AM
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Has anyone read any Doctor Who novels? Are they any good?
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  #8892  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:57 AM
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Oh blimey.

Some of them are. Some of them are really, really good. Some of them are unmitigated crap.

Where were you thinking of starting?
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  #8893  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:17 AM
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With the good ones most definitely.

I've only seen a couple of the classic episodes and know next to nothing about the old Doctors (one of them is a baker or something?) so I guess I'm looking for stuff since the reboot unless the book does a really good job getting one up to speed.
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  #8894  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:24 AM
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Mmm. I don't actually know much about those...but the ones by Gareth Roberts are pretty good (Only Human and I Am A Dalek). Michael Moorcock's "The Coming of the Terraphiles" was a wonderful blend of Wodehouse and sf. Terrance Dicks is a byword, though you might find his books a bit simple.
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  #8895  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:26 AM
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Great! I'll check them out. Thanks.
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  #8896  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rascally Badger View Post
I've read the first 100 or so pages of Gardens of the Moon and I am coming to the realization that this series is absolutely not for me. So far it seems to be constructed out of all the things I don't like about the fantasy genre, all darkness and grim. It doesn't help that Erickson, at least through 3 chapters, is going out of his way to make the book "difficult." By which, of course, I mean by presenting things out of order.
I had the same experience. I also seem to remember that maps are provided but most of the opening sections are set in areas not on the maps, which was frustratingly disorienting.
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  #8897  
Old 01-28-2014, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rascally Badger View Post
I've read the first 100 or so pages of Gardens of the Moon and I am coming to the realization that this series is absolutely not for me. So far it seems to be constructed out of all the things I don't like about the fantasy genre, all darkness and grim. It doesn't help that Erickson, at least through 3 chapters, is going out of his way to make the book "difficult." By which, of course, I mean by presenting things out of order.
Yeah, I could never make it through that damn series. The first book took me two tries, the second was pretty good (but is generally regarded as the high water mark of the series, which gave me some trepidation about reading the rest of them), and the third bored me to tears. I think I gave up about a third of the way through that one.

I know that Adrenaline is a fan of the Malazan books, so maybe he can provide some arguments as to why you should keep going.
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  #8898  
Old 01-28-2014, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raider Dr. Jones View Post
if you want to read an absolutely superb treatment of the battle of Balaclava, go get George Fraser's Flashman at the Charge. It is technically fiction, but its attention to historical detail is impeccable, and it's fuckin hilarious.
It's also got a cover by Frank Frazetta.

NSFW?
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  #8899  
Old 01-28-2014, 04:50 PM
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Reading Mike Davis's City of Quartz on falselogic's recommendation. The first 80 pages are a stunningly good essay breaking down the sources of the Los Angeles mythos piece by piece (the evolution of noir, early boosterism), without looking down upon the city, though the short section on gangsta rap is kind of embarrassing. This is a fascinating read for anyone who wants to understand how an urban area as strange, as contradictory as L.A. could organically come into existence.
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  #8900  
Old 01-28-2014, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Behemoth View Post
Yeah, I could never make it through that damn series. The first book took me two tries, the second was pretty good (but is generally regarded as the high water mark of the series, which gave me some trepidation about reading the rest of them)
Two is as far as I got through, but maybe I'll try again sometime. They're wearing to read yet too much to remember without picking up the next one relatively soon and that's a bad mix.

And how timely, the publisher has put together an treat: the whole deal in one $80 e-book.
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  #8901  
Old 01-28-2014, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Büge View Post
It's also got a cover by Frank Frazetta.

NSFW?
I never knew he did covers for the Flashman yarns. (They've been through tons of editions.) Nice work there.
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  #8902  
Old 01-29-2014, 04:00 AM
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Turns out Bujold's Captain Vorpatril's Alliance has a fairly similar plot to Georgette Heyer's Cotillion, or at least some of the same major plot elements. I didn't feel it for the first quarter or so, but once the stubbornly-bachelor man with resourceful family helps unconnected girl through sham ("hum") engagement/marriage part kicks in, I could see why people who like Bujold may like some of the Heyer books.

And duh, Aral Vorkosigan is regent for Gregor so most of the Miles stories take place in a Space Regency period.

Last edited by Grignr; 01-29-2014 at 05:51 AM.
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  #8903  
Old 01-29-2014, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Behemoth View Post
I know that Adrenaline is a fan of the Malazan books, so maybe he can provide some arguments as to why you should keep going.
They're really not for everyone, I think. I had to stubbornly fight to get through the first three books. During that book though is where I felt I actually got a handle on the setting and storyline, and it was much easier after that.

It seems at first like Erikson is being purposefully obtuse, but once you know more about the world, you go back and it's really all there, it's just never explained to the reader directly. I think he and Esslemont intent to release an encyclopedia at some point, it might be easier to get into once that's available for reference.

I also think the Kharkanas Trilogy (which only has one book released so far) might end up being a better starting point, because while it also doesn't explain itself very well, it takes place at the beginning of the world's greater mythology rather than hundreds of millennia later.
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  #8904  
Old 01-30-2014, 06:26 PM
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I'm working on Nancy Sinatra's biography of her father. It's vaguely disturbing when she talks about what a hot sex symbol Frank was, though I suppose that a performer commenting on another performer would have a clearer comprehension of that sort of thing anyway.

(There's another bit where she strongly implies that her fondness for "Chicago" and the city in question came about from having been conceived in that city. The family was evidently blunt as all get-out.)
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  #8905  
Old 01-31-2014, 04:12 AM
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I'm working on Nancy Sinatra's biography of her father. It's vaguely disturbing when she talks about what a hot sex symbol Frank was, though I suppose that a performer commenting on another performer would have a clearer comprehension of that sort of thing anyway.
And yet, she became one herself.
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  #8906  
Old 01-31-2014, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
It's also got a cover by Frank Frazetta.

NSFW?
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raider Dr. Jones View Post
I never knew he did covers for the Flashman yarns. (They've been through tons of editions.) Nice work there.
I didn't know either. Thanks for posting.
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  #8907  
Old 01-31-2014, 07:18 AM
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Finished King's 11/22/63 a few nights ago. I loved it and am encouraging my wife to read it next.

Now off to God is not Great.
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  #8908  
Old 01-31-2014, 03:30 PM
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The Flashman books that I have read are delightful books about an outrageous and hilarious scoundrel. The historical shenanigans add a nice field on which for him to paint his antics.
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  #8909  
Old 01-31-2014, 06:09 PM
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I tried to start reading the Flashman books, but I couldn't get past the part where he tries to rape his stepmother.
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  #8910  
Old 01-31-2014, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
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I tried to start reading the Flashman books, but I couldn't get past the part where he tries to rape his stepmother.
Sounds outrageous and hilarious.
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