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bartist
Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 9:44 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
No faint praise there. Adding to my teetering pile.

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bartist
Posted: Tue May 12, 2020 6:07 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
Syd wrote:
Just finished N. K Jemisin's new novel,"The City We Became," and though I didn't like the story that created this universe, I love this book. (Staten Island may not agree with me.) Jemisin is the best sf writer in the world.


Just looked at a basic synopsis and I'm fairly taken by such a weird and fantastic notion. I'm not sure what she writes is SF, but she makes her world-building so plausible that I can't say it has to be classified as fantasy or really nailed down at all. Anyway, it's on reserve at the library, so I will pick it up soon. From shadowy masked figures who lurk behind glass and send your books out to you via a sterilized tray that pops out of the exterior wall of the library.

Then, I will BOROUGH into the story!

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Syd
Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:48 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12651 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
"People love the ocean. People are always asking me why I don't study the ocean, because, after all, I live in Hawaii. I tell them that it's because the ocean is a lonely, empty place. There is six hundred times more life on land than there is in the ocean, and this fact mostly comes down to plants. The average ocean plant is one cell that lives for about twenty days. The average land plant is a two-ton tree that lives for more than one hundred years. The mass ratio of plants to animals in the ocean is close to four, while the ratio on land is close to a thousand. Plant numbers are staggering: there are eighty billion trees just within the protected forests of the western United States. The ratio of trees to people in America is well over two hundred. As a rule, people live among plants, but they don't really see them. Since I've discovered these numbers, I can see little else."

--Hope Jahren: Lab Girl, opening paragraph. This is a memoir of her life and her career in botany, a subject I've not been that interested in, but I'm in love.

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"Most books on witchcraft tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men."--Good Omens
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Syd
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:39 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12651 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Christopher Moore, who's hit or miss, has been doing a series of novels based on Shakespearean plays starring Pocket, the Fool from King Lear. The first was Fool (King Lear), which I liked quite a bit, followed by "The Serpent of Venice" ("the Merchant of Venice," which I mostly found tedious), and "Shakespeare for Squirrels", which is "A Midsummer's Night's Dream," and mostly hilarious. The title comes from the idea that Titania's fairies (Cobweb, Mustardseed, Peasebottom and Moth, but not Titania herself) turn into squirrels when the sun rises, an idea that comes about because Christopher Moore feeds squirrels and decided to include them in the novel. He's obviously not going to stick too closely to the play, something that is hinted at when Puck is killed about a third of the way into the novel, and Pocket has to solve the mystery. It's a lot of fun, and really a loving tribute in its way, since this is Moore's favorite Shakespearean play, which does not mean that he's above making a farce of its plot. I recommend it highly.


Last edited by Syd on Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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"Most books on witchcraft tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men."--Good Omens
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carrobin
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:23 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7753 Location: NYC
Really stressing out about the book situation--I'm trying to clear things out so the agent can show my apartment, but beyond the usual problems (paint, dust, general clutter) there are Books and Clothes. Most of which are in decent shape, but there are few places that take either right now. Why do I have a two-volume hardcover boxed biography of Lytton Strachey? How did I get so many heavy books about architecture? Not to mention cookbooks, when I've never had a full kitchen? Will I ever have the time to read a tenth of the novels on the must-read-next pile (N. K. Jemisin on top at the moment)?

Needless to say, this hasn't quite stopped me from buying the occasional paperback. My Nook is so stuffed that I can't add any more.
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bartist
Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:59 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
Sorry to hear about your weeding woes. I believe many bookstores now sell coffee and pastry so they can get money from people like me, i. e. those out of shelf space at home. I try to encourage my offspring to buy books from bricks and mortar stores, hoping they can keep the whole dead tree paste industry alive. I don't know if there are used book dealers elsewhere who are buying. If you've got nice stuff, like the architecture ones, maybe you could store them someplace until the market rebounds. If there's a recession, sometimes used goods sell better than new, once people are going to stores again. The two volume bio of Lytton Strachey sounds like something that eight people in the world really want, which suggests some online auction site maybe is an option.

Much as I like paper books, I can see reasons to envy a future generation of literate people who will keep most of their volumes in a handheld computer tablet.

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Befade
Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:47 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3719 Location: AZ
Thereís a great used book store in PHX. He has everything you can imagine or want. He buys books. Especially art books. So whenever Iím ready to retire some volumes I go down. He gives store credit or cash. Last time he took a dozen art books and I went home with 3 special finds. Itís too easy for me to buy books. And since I envision moving in a year or two, I need badly to downsize and get realistic about how many of these books Iím going to actually read before my timeís up. For the love of books.

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Syd
Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:04 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12651 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Reading Robert Galbraith's (J. K. Rowling's) latest "Troubled Blood," and despite the cancel culture's criticisms, am enjoying it a lot. Comoran Strike and Robin Endicott are investing a 39-year old cold case (in 1974; the timeline has slipped to 2013), and the novel is all about the complexities of investigating such an old case, which apparently means the number of suspects multiplies exponentially. The murderer may be the prime suspect, but I wouldn't bet on it. Galbraith is a master of sowing red herrings, and I wouldn't put her past making that entire plot line a red herring.

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"Most books on witchcraft tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men."--Good Omens
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Syd
Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:16 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12651 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
It's also a long read which takes place over a year, and also has a lot of secondary events that take place for Comoran and Robin over the year and lots of detail on the major suspects and the first cop who investigated the case and had a breakdown in which he got involved with astrology and other weird stuff.

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"Most books on witchcraft tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men."--Good Omens
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bartist
Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:32 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
Spouse is reading one of the Galbraith books. Will pass that along. I notice if you combine Rowlings initials with her pseudonym, you get JK Galbraith which is the name of a famous economist.

Am currently rereading The Plague, for what i hope are obvious reasons. It certainly speaks to our present moment, and how people react to restrictions that come with epidemics. It is quite expository in places, which makes it challenging, but worth it.

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bartist
Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:01 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
Spouse finished The Silkworm and reported it as hard to put down.

I've moved on to The Fall, another Camus classic -- it is entirely coincidental that I checked it out of the library on Sept. 22.

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Syd
Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:07 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12651 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Finished "Troubled Blood" and enjoyed it very much without coming close solving the mystery. Incidentally, there are all sorts of other mysteries that get solved in the course of the novel, including possibly an unrelated murder or three to complicate things.

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"Most books on witchcraft tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men."--Good Omens
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carrobin
Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:59 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7753 Location: NYC
Time magazine has a list of "The 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time," which isn't in the 10/19 issue but is online. I can't copy the url but you can Google it.

I was happy to find many of my favorites listed, including "The Last Unicorn" and "Neverwhere," but there were also many I'd never heard of, so I'll have to check them out.

There's also a brief introduction by N.K. Jemisin.
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bartist
Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:35 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
Useful to someone like me who has read very little fantasy. The ones I liked as a youth, like CS Lewis's Space Trilogy, aren't on this list. The Bone Clock looks fascinating. My wife would be pleased The Crystal Cave made the list. She likes Arthurian stuff.

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Syd
Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:12 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12651 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
bartist wrote:
Useful to someone like me who has read very little fantasy. The ones I liked as a youth, like CS Lewis's Space Trilogy, aren't on this list. The Bone Clock looks fascinating. My wife would be pleased The Crystal Cave made the list. She likes Arthurian stuff.


They may consider the Space Trilogy to be science fiction despite its religious elements. "That Hideous Strength" is certainly a sf dystopia despite its religious and fantastic aspects. Going to meet the Head, indeed.

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"Most books on witchcraft tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men."--Good Omens
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