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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2009 :  11:19:06  Show Profile Send Siobhan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, actually more like what I've been reading.

When I'm not knitting, or playing tai chi, or bellydancing, or sewing, or teaching... I read.

This year I started with Off-Islanders by Nathaniel Benchley. It is the basis for the movie "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming."
I just started Journey to the West. It's one of the "four great works" of Chinese literature. Had to read about the Monkey King after seeing "Forbidden Kingdom."
Also have a biography of Mata Hari to pick up at the library.

And then there's the Harry Potter series to read again. I haven't yet decided whether to start from the beginning or pick up at the last two. I keep hoping that if I start at the beginning again, I won't be so disappointed in DH at the end. Wishful thinking?

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2009 :  13:39:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Which translation of "Journey" are you reading, Siobhan? An abridged version or the full 100-chapter monster? I've only read an abridgment, the Arthur Waley translation, which is my favourite of the ones I've seen. I've contemplated getting the whole three volume translation but given that it took me 6 months to read "Three Kingdoms" I haven't had the will to start. Monkey's a great character; one of my absolute favourites. The book's really funny too.

Right now thanks to Christmas I have so many books in my flat that I could probably survive a nuclear war without dying of boredom. I'm picking and mixing between several different books: one, "The Scientists" by John Gribbin, an entertaining romp through some of the weirder characters in the history of science. Another one is "Reading the OED" by Ammon Shea, a somewhat odd individual who decided to spend 1 year reading the 22,000-page Oxford English Dictionary from beginning to end, and listing not only his experiences but also the weird words he found along the way. Finally, I'm reading the QI companion book, the Book of General Ignorance, which is full of all sorts of facts that I can use to make other people feel intellectually inferior to me at parties. Joking. Sort of.

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2009 :  20:01:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, my version was translated by W. J. F. Jenner and is 4 volumes, so I'm assuming this to be the monster version.

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2009 :  07:54:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's funny; in Chinese the book is only about 200 pages long.

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2009 :  10:04:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mine is paperback on top of being 4 volumes. It will be like reading Tolkien.

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JKRisSuperior
Mediwizard

USA
694 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2009 :  10:40:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My other two favorite series are Uncle John's Bathroom Reader and The Cat Who Mysteries. The Bathroom Readers are full of interesting bits of trivia, and odd/interesting stories. The Cat Who centers around a reporter in upper Michigan named Jim Quillerwen who solves all sorts of mysteries with the help of his two siamese cats named KoKo and Yum Yum.

I have also read the History Channel's Greatest Stories Never Told books. The titles are The Greatest Stories Never Told, The Greatest War Stories Never Told, and The Greatest White House Stories Never Told.
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2009 :  15:38:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love Qwill! I even have the cookbook. The herb polenta is a favourite around my house. I've got most of the books on audio rather than text.

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JKRisSuperior
Mediwizard

USA
694 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2009 :  09:21:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Didn't realize there was a cookbook. I'm going to have to get that!
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Cour_Delafleur
Confunded

Canada
714 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2009 :  22:02:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a few books on the go at the moment:

Mansfield Park which is my last Austen book. I haven't picked it up in a while because I've been so busy with school (and after reading articles and text books all day the last thing I want to do in my down time is to read some more)

I'm also about 3/4 of the way through One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It's been a long time since I've picked it up but I haven't forgotten about it. I always feel guilty buying new books when I know that I have these two on the go.

Today I bought Who's Your City? by Richard Florida. I need it for a research paper in my urban geography course and they don't have it at my library. I read some clips on Google Books and actually enjoyed reading it (which doesn't usually happen with books I use for research) so I caved and bought it. It's about how the "creative class" are influencing urban landscapes and cultures.

The last book I actually finished (besides Twilight) was The Street of A Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama. It starts in Japan in 1939 and follows the lives of two families during WWII and in the 20 years after it. It has actually become one of my favourite books and I've bought a few other books by the author.

"I think she's magic," said Nor.
________"You, you think everything's magic," Manek said. "Stupid girl."
____"Well, everything is," said Nor. - Wicked

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2009 :  13:16:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've read Women of the Silk and The Language of Threads by her. Rather enjoyed them.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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Bee
Mediwizard

846 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  04:27:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just read The Road by Cormac McCarthy while in Rome. I enjoyed it, though it probably wasn't the best pick for a light holiday read.

Order of the Bookmark
Purveyor of Fine Peebles
Haggy is (probably not) Cactus!

Edited by - Bee on 02/21/2009 04:27:22
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  14:25:52  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I recently read Claudia Gray's Evernight. The beginning of it seemed very similar to Twilight, but after about a third of the way through it diverged enough to be enjoyable. Not great literature, but if you liked Twilight you would enjoy this.

I also read Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games a few months ago. It was an incredibly absorbing book. Her world was very disturbing, the characters engaging, and the plot intricate. And the ending left me filled with angst for our poor star-crossed lovers. If this is a trilogy, I might have to wait until it's done to finish as I don't handle angst well right now.

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  15:05:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One great thing about working at an observatory is that I get to buy astronomy books at discount prices. I sped-read Martin Rees's "Just 6 numbers", about the 6 fundamental ratios that underlie our understanding of matter, energy, time and space, and how if they were only slightly different we wouldn't be here. One line made me chuckle; he said, "I would like to think that in 5 years I will be telling you what dark matter is". I checked the publication date, that was in 1999. For the record, we still don't know what dark matter is.

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2009 :  17:06:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cooooool!!!! Diri I didn't know you were working at an Observatory-- that in itself is cool.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2009 :  04:24:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not a paid capacity, and not in any position of authority. But yes, I am working at an observatory.

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2009 :  11:01:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's still way cool. The closest I ever got to one was on my university campus, and it was closed to all but the astronomy department while I was there.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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Bee
Mediwizard

846 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2009 :  17:24:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ooh, an observatory. Very cool indeed.

Now that my holidays are over I'm back to reading textbooks and peer-reviewed journals. Bah.

Order of the Bookmark
Purveyor of Fine Peebles
Haggy is (probably not) Cactus!
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2009 :  23:13:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While traveling I decided to pick up a couple of quick entertaining books. I have read The Tale of Hill Top Farm (the first in the Beatrix Potter Cottage Tales) and just finished Death at Bishop's Keep. Both are by Susan Wittig Albert, though the latter is under a pseudonym jointly with her husband. They are not the most complex stories, but rather enjoyable light reading.

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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  09:18:16  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There are several HP fanfic authors who have recently become "real" authors. I just finished R. J. Anderson's Knife (Faery Rebel in the U.S.) and found it had many of the aspects that I loved about her Darkness and Light fanfic series. She creates a cast of individual, strong female characters in a fantasy, mystery, romance mix. So if you enjoy YA fantasy, you might want to give the book a try. I will say that I had a little trouble getting into the book, but by the time I finished I realized that my difficulty was actually planned--we aren't really supposed to feel comfortable at the beginning with her created faeries and their world. And the ending had one of those "keep you grinning" for several days moments. The sequel is in the works already.

If you want more info, check out Rebecca's LJ: http://rj-anderson.livejournal.com/

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  11:18:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I liked her fan fic, perhaps I'll see about her published work.

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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  15:19:29  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

I liked her fan fic, perhaps I'll see about her published work.

She's also working on an adult SF story that makes use of some of the ideas for her OFC in her Dr. Who stories, so those have been pulled from the web. But her HP, Alias, and House stories are still available.

My kids liked the look of the UK cover with its holographic faery, so I bought my first book from Amazon.uk even if it was paperback while the American book is hardback. It's interesting that they pulled a "Rowling" on her and changed the title for the two releases.

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gimu
Addled

Ireland
209 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  16:14:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I recently read Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. I was very moved by that book. I would love to hear what non-irish people think of this book.
I got stopped by an author doing a book-signing in Waterstones last Saturday. His book is called "The Glass Trumpet" and I sped through it, thoroughly enjoying every word. This guy sure can write an adventure story!
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2009 :  14:19:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Are you a fan of Resident Evil or other zombie flicks?
Are you also a fan of Jane Austen?
Then this book is for you!
quote:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.

http://www.chroniclebooks.com/index/main,book-info/store,books/products_id,7847/title,Pride-and-Prejudice-and-Zombies/
Why does this appeal to my sense of humour? As a reader of Austen, I should be rolling around on the floor in sympathy with Jane. Instead I'm laughing my... erm... head off.


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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2009 :  18:43:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't often post here, because it's been a while since I've read a book worth recommending, but I've finally stumbled across one - or rather seven. I'm reading Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series which is a children's series my daughter got me interested in. The books follow the adventures of a boy named Arthur who, against his will, has been roped into being the Rightful Heir of, well, pretty much the whole universe - which is in something of a mess since the Architect disappeared 10,000 years ago and left the Keys to the Kingdom with seven very untrustworthy trustees. Arthur has to enter the House, the vast magical center of the universe, and try to get the keys back (no easy task) while trying to protect his family back on Earth and not get killed.

The books are wonderfully imaginative and ideal for preteens. Unfortunately, the last book won't be out until March of next year, but it should be worth the wait. The series is definitely worth taking a look at and I recommend it to everyone with children.

PS: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sounds hilarious!

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s.i.n.e. qua non

"Always"
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  07:55:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds interesting. Hope he can hold a world as vast as that together

My aunt is demanding I read Shantaram. Seems like a bit of a project, and I already have "A Journey to the West", which is three books long, on my list, but my aunt doesn't like the word "No."

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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JKRisSuperior
Mediwizard

USA
694 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  22:24:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm currently reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. It's very good. I'm almost finished.
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Bee
Mediwizard

846 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2009 :  09:46:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oooh, I want to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!

gimu, Brooklyn is on my to-be-read list. Obviously I won't be able to give you a non-Irish perspective though.

I just finished The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry. It's a novel about an elderly Irish woman institutionalised in a psychiatric hospital. I thought it was excellent, but I wasn't fussed on the ending. The writing is wonderful though.

The book I read before that was The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House by Kate Summerscale, which is an account of a real-life murder in Victorian England. I'd never read anything like it before, but I got really into it. The case is laid out in a very factual, dry sort of way, running through the investigation mainly from the perspective of the investigating detective (the eponymous Mr Whicher). I thought it was rivetting, but creepy!

I bought The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga to read on the plane when I'm going on holidays (it edged out The Secret Scripture for the Booker prize apparently, so hopefully that means it's just as good but with a better ending!).

At the moment, The Mill on the Floss is sitting on my bedside locker giving me the evils. I haven't opened it yet. I'm on a bit of a modern literature kick at the moment so I need to get my classics game face on.

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Purveyor of Fine Peebles
Haggy is (probably not) Cactus!

Edited by - Bee on 07/15/2009 09:55:52
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2009 :  11:39:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JKRisSuperior

I'm currently reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. It's very good. I'm almost finished.

I very much enjoyed Angels and Demons though I have to say I actually liked the plot of the movie better than the book.

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s.i.n.e. qua non

"Always"
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JKRisSuperior
Mediwizard

USA
694 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2009 :  16:19:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did hear some things were changed in the movie, like the nationality and actions of the assassin. Which were good decisions.
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2009 :  17:55:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JKRisSuperior

I did hear some things were changed in the movie, like the nationality and actions of the assassin. Which were good decisions.

Yes, the movie's definitely worth watching once you've finished the book.

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s.i.n.e. qua non

"Always"
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2010 :  09:05:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So I see I need to update this topic.

Since the last note, I've read the whole HP series again. That took a little while (most of the summer, actually). Other than those books:
  • Shutter Island by Denis Lehane
  • Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
  • Drood by Dan Simmons
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Also "The Gold Bug" by Poe.
But that is nothing to the stack of books I've got waiting for my attention. It's a good thing books are patient.

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