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Amph What book are you reading right now?

Discussion in 'Community' started by droideka27, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. anakincol

    anakincol Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Votan and other short stories by John James.

    The son of a greek Doctor/priest of Apollo has to leave the Roman colony of Vindabona(modern Vienna) after his affair with the wife of the Garrison's commander is discovered.

    Heads north with some German friends, hijnks ensue and he ends up the the basis for the myths about the God Woden/Votan/Odin amongst the Germanic speaking peoples. Interesting as Woden/Odin is believed to be a late edition to this Germanic pantheons. Tyr is believed to behave been the original chief god as he like roman Jupiter, greek Zeus, Vedic Dyaus and luwian Tiwaz is a Version of the proto Info European Dyeus Pinter(Sky father) god.

    Partially an inspiration for Neil Gaimann and his American God's novel as he read Votan as a teenager and Gaiman provided the forward to the edition I am reading.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  2. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    FYI - and I'm not done with Words so I have no idea how "essential" or not it is, there's actually an interquel novella, Edgedancer, that came out in between Words and Oathbringer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  3. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Yeah I heard about it just yesterday. I have no plans for it.
     
  4. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrel Rangler of Fun & Games star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    Star Wars - From a Certain Point of View

    Only a couple stories in, but this is just simply delightful. I hope they do this for very SW movie.
     
  5. Charmbracelet

    Charmbracelet Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 24, 2020
    I finished Toni Morrison's Beloved a few days ago. I found the ambiguity frustrating while reading it, but once I finished the book, I found myself enjoying how there were no clear cut answers to any of the happenings that occurred between the covers.

    The title of Beloved is in reference to the dead daughter of protagonist Sethe. Sethe had escaped from bondage in Kentucky and settled in Ohio. When men from the property she was enslaved on came to take her back, she managed to kill one of her four children so that they would not be forced to endure the life that she had endured. Sethe is taken to jail, but is released and spends the next 10-20 years living at the house with her other children and what is believed to be the ghost of her daughter haunting her. When Paul D., a man who was enslaved alongside her takes her and Denver (Sethe's other daughter) out of her house (she only left for work) to a carnival, a woman walks out of a river, plops herself in front of Sethe's door and begins to comment on things that only Sethe's slain child would know. The woman calling herself Beloved is believed by several characters to be the dead daughter come back to life to punish her mother in a more direct way. At the end of the story, she disappears after breaking down her mother via the weaponization of her own guilt.

    While it can be interpreted that Beloved is not Sethe's daughter, Morrison has said that she is. Had she not, I still would favor the reborn/revenant Beloved over an imposter, as the book's events provide more credence for the former than does it the latter.

    One thing that is left completely unanswered is what happens to Halle, Sethe's husband and the father of her children. Sethe is attacked before she escapes and Paul D tells her that he saw her being attacked but does nothing to stop it. We never get Halle's side, nor any focus chapters. He is only spoken of, never doing his own speaking outside of occasional words in other character's chapters.

    The next book I have started is called Geisha of a Different Kind: Race and Sexuality in Gaysian America which discusses the racism and overfeminization (which is a byproduct of racism, in this instance) that gay Asian-American men face.

    This is discussed within the United States, generally--- affecting all Asian-American men, straight or gay--- but is often specified to practices within the American gay community itself. Among many productions of the kind of racism gay Asian-Americans go through, a popular one featured in the book are the "No Asians" statements in dating profiles justified as being 'preferences'. (For those who don't know, this is often a condensed version of "No fats, no femmes, no Asians, no Blacks")

    The idea that the gay community is racist does not shock me, as I've known for a while that the community is racist, but the ways in which the racism can be employed and reproduced still get a, "what?" out of me.

    Though it may be beyond the scope of this book, I would be interested in seeing insights into anti-Blackness discussed in Asian-American/African-American gay relations, as most times these books only do the white person/person of color dynamic and never look at how racism can be perpetuated among people of color.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  6. Ahsoka's Tano

    Ahsoka's Tano Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2014
    A Bookshop in Berlin, by Francoise Frenkel
    A memoir once lost in time then rediscovered and published for the 21st Century. A Jewish woman in the early 1920s fulfills a lifelong dream of opening a French bookshop in Berlin; attracting all walks of life. But the times are changing, and Germany will soon be undergoing a dramatic transformation to shape the course of history.
     
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  7. Blue Ice Cream

    Blue Ice Cream Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2006
    The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View by various authors [face_party]
     
  8. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. A good and engaging read one fourth of the way in. It helps that Clarke references his earlier 2 books a lot and meshes them with this book.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  9. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Same - it's one of the three books I have on the go. Reading a couple of stories at a time.
     
  10. JEDI-SOLO

    JEDI-SOLO Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Gaunts Ghost 4 and Iron Gold by Pierce Brown. Can’t get Rhythm of War till I go back to TX to get my mutt as my bookstore is still wrecked from 2 hurricanes.
     
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  11. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. Sequel to Skyward, more YA-level light space opera teenage fighter pilot stuff. It wasn't bad, but a lot of it felt more like watching someone else play a video game than reading a work of literature.
     
  12. SWpants

    SWpants Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Yeah. I liked rhe sequel a lot less
     
  13. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Having read Warbreaker, all I can really say about the ending of Words of Radiance is aaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH

    Anyway,

    Medieval Christianity: A New History by Kevin Madigan

    I don’t really know how Christianity in Europe from roughly 800 - 1400 CE became a topic of endless fascination for me, but it did. I guess it’s maybe down to the contrast between its near-total societal pervasiveness and the simultaneous deep divisions between its Western and Eastern expressions, and the looming splintering of the Reformation that practically demands a deep understanding of what came before. Regardless, Madigan provides a good, thorough overview of the timeframe while also doing a lot to flesh out examinations of non-Crusade interfaith relations, which are often weirdly overlooked in popular histories of Christianity (as if these things occurred in vacuums sealed at the borders of Byzantium and around every Jewish quarter).

    I’d say it’s probably essential reading for the curious non-expert, y’know, all five of us. Avoid like the plague (heh) if you want the “fun” bits that kick off when Martin Luther nails some papers to a door, you won’t get much here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
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  14. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    [​IMG]

    Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts (1930) – Agatha Christie

    In 1928, one of Agatha Christie’s best novels, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, was adapted for the stage under the title Alibi. Christie wasn’t a fan of the adaptation. A love story was shoe-horned into the plot, one of Christie’s favorite characters was completely changed from an elderly woman to a young girl and, perhaps most shocking of all, Hercule Poirot was explicitly stated to be French, not Belgian! So, Christie decided to try her hand at playwriting as well by creating an original play, not an adaptation of one of her pre-existing novels, featuring Poirot. The result is Black Coffee, Christie’s first play; it was enough of a hit to ensure that she did more work for the stage and she’s probably as well-remembered now for her plays The Mousetrap and And Then There Were None as she is for her novels, so things worked out. This is a pretty fun little play, a kind of a spy caper in which Poirot is summoned to an old country house by Sir Claude Amory who believes one of his friends or employees is a spy for a foreign government; Poirot arrives approximately ten seconds after Sir Claude is murdered, so the case takes a turn. There’s nothing game changing here either in the story or in the theatricality, but it was her first play and, let’s be honest, her first novel is actually quite bad, so she gets off to a better start with plays than she did with novels. But it’s a lot of fun with a lot of juicy roles and a quick wit. I read it earlier this year with an eye to auditioning for a local production of it, but then came the Lockdown, so that plan got scuppered. Still, it was a fun, quick read, so it didn’t feel like a waste of time. 3 ½ stars.

    tl;dr – Agatha Christie’s first play isn’t groundbreaking or surprising, but it’s witty, entertaining and fun; quick, smart and an all-around good time. 3 ½ stars.
     
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  15. anakincol

    anakincol Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Azrael-Warhammer 40K Novella
     
  16. SWpants

    SWpants Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2004
    The Future of Humanity by Michio Kaku

    I read Warbreaker a few weeks after my WoR re-read....so I don’t remember what you are talking about :( Would you be able to clarify (under a spoiler cut)?
     
  17. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Admittedly it's not the end end, rather the penultimate chapter (excluding the epilogue), but
    Nin/Nale, the Herald of Justice, gives Szeth a black, smoking blade that talks about destroying evil, which is exactly like Vasher's sword Nightblood.
    I have no idea if it's going to go anywhere or if it's just a fun easter egg, but I marked out. Mind you,
    owing to my love of Elric and Túrin Turambar, sentient black blade that drinks souls
    is precisely my favorite overused fantasy trope. :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  18. SWpants

    SWpants Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Ah, yes. That's right. Whereas, reading "Warbreaker" afterwards, when that came up, I was like "woah, what?!"
    A LOT from "Warbreaker" makes its way into Stormlight, a lot more than Elantris and Mistborn combined, which I'd say equals White Sand.
    It's tough to keep up with the multiverse and there are definitely times when I go "okay, this is Sanderson's sandbox and it's up to him and not me to keep track of all the toys" ;)
     
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  19. Chancellor Yoda

    Chancellor Yoda Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2014
    Jumping into the Polity universe via Gridlinked (An Agent Cormac Novel Book 1) by Neal Asher. I've heard good things about this book series and the rest of the books set in this particular universe Asher has created.
     
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  20. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse by Alexander Pushkin (tr. Stanley Mitchell).

    I was actually interested in reading The Captain’s Daughter, but I figured I probably needed to at least make a go at Pushkin’s most famous infamous translation hurdle first. This required... actually figuring out which translation to read, and I went with Mitchell because it’s a very recent, well-annotated translation that by all accounts struck a good balance between Nabokov’s... Nabokovianism... and actual reading like a poem. Y’know, like a kind of “Novel in Verse,” if you will.

    This led to a curious phenomenon when I started reading this evening - I plowed through the first chapter. And then the second. Annnnnd then because it’s relatively short I decided I was going to read all of Eugene Onegin in one evening. So I did.

    Folks, it’s good (yes, a random individual on a Star Wars message board has at last weighed in: the most influential and universally well-regarded book in 19th century Russian literature is good). In a mere eight chapters Pushkin manages to craft a highly artificial bit of self-reference about the folly of projecting artifice onto our own lives. He does it all with gusto, providing the narrator with a self-deprecating, jovial tone that propels you through every scene. Even the deaths. Mostly. Mitchell’s balancing act is deft but commendable - cursory comparisons with Nabokov’s arch-literalism are pretty favorable, and by Mitchell’s own admission he even borrowed a couple of lines outright, but also sticks to a good visual rhyme scheme that keeps everything flowing. The end result is incredibly readable - shockingly so for a poem, at least for me, and while nothing can ever replicate the Russian, you at least feel like you get a bit of the flavor. If I have one major complaint, it’s that he over-annotates - I don’t need five separate annotations for five separate brief book references in one stanza, my guy.

    I don’t really have a conclusion so much as the thought that I wish I’d read Eugene Onegin sooner, because I’m reasonably certain this thing is actually a Rosetta Stone for half the books I love.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
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  21. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    The Boer War, by Thomas Pakenham. The Boer War is a really unique war, fought between the world’s greatest empire and a couple small gold-rich republics of outrageously racist, insanely determined farmers. The insanely determined farmers, in irregular armies armed with modern smokeless, magazine-fed rifles, gave the British a hell of a time in surprisingly modern warfare that combined mobility and entrenchment and from which the British, beset by endless foul-ups, barely learned a thing for World War I. And they had a hell of a time before the Boers turned to guerrilla warfare. Pakenham does a fantastic job of illuminating the war, the personalities behind it, how it was engineered and how it was fought. It’s a really gripping and insightful book and I strongly recommend it.
     
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  22. SWpants

    SWpants Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson (reading)
    Girls on the Line by Aimie K. Runyan (listening to)
     
  23. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    Casting Shadows: The Passing of the Techno-Mages, Book 1 by Jeanne Cavelos
    A Babylon 5 book focusing on the background history of minor characters from B5 and Crusade. The writing is better than expected, but most of the suspense is drained by knowing where they'll all end up. There's a lot of detail that the TV shows never had a chance to dig into, and I'm interested enough to finish the trilogy when I get around to it.
     
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  24. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    I'm 1/3 of the way through this and I'm grateful for your review. Yes, the personalities of Kings and Explorers show the stunning determination of a small nation to carry a big stick. They did not speak softly when meeting potentates who could have wiped them out by sheer force of numbers, but who developed a healthy fear of the "bombards" *cannons* that Portuguese ships wielded to great effect. I was particularly impressed with the tactic of directing cannonfire so as to make the ball bounce atop the waves before striking the enemy at the waterline, its most vulnerable point.[face_hypnotized]
     
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  25. Charmbracelet

    Charmbracelet Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 24, 2020
    Right now I am reading: The Queering of Corporate America: How Big Business Went from LGBTQ Adversary to Ally by Carlos A. Ball, which focuses on how large corporations in the United States went from being, at best, apathetic, to the plights of LGBTQ staff & personnel to becoming allies in the fight for gay-friendly policies outside of the workplace. It has been interesting to read which places had antidiscrimination policies on the books (both corporate workplaces and municipalities) and how due to a multitude of factors (wanting to hire and retain a qualified workforce, secure corporate profits, and having their hearts grow three sizes bigger when they realized that it was morally okay to treat LGBTQ employees fairly) corporations were more likely to go forth with LGBTQ-friendly policies than the local, state, and federal governments. I feel like it is the least they [the corporations] can do.

    After I wrap up this one, I am going to read either the Wonder Woman comics I checked out or read Lost Stars by Claudia Gray.
     
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