The most recent book I finished was Joseph Kanon's "Stardust". Much better than his last effort. I have gotten way behind on my reading. Hell, I still have a half finished copy of Ulysses, which I picked up for something to read during my free time at the '01 worlds. I guess the novel is timeless, so it will keep.
Just finished "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein- the life of a race car driver narrated by his dog, Enzo. Brought me to tears near the end.
Currently skimming through "Apeoples History fo the United States" by Howard Zinn. I never knew Chris Columbus was such a badguy.
Waiting in the wings- "Small Wonders" by Barbra Kingsolver- somehow missed this one amongst all of her others.
<<I went the SciFi route, got the trilogy that's the prequel to Frank Herbert's awesome Dune series. Co-written by his son and a pro. Halfway through the first one (The Butlerian Jihad) and it's almost as good as dad himself could have done.>>
Since my original assessment, my praise for the book has gone way up. They're juggling about 6 threads at once, but they're handling it very well by keeping chapters to 3-4 pages, which means it's never too long before you've had a refresher on all the relevant bits.
Finally got around to the Abe Lemons bio.. He was funnier in person than in 287 pages of one-liners... the author did not include Abe's advice on coaching quarter milers but did mention Abe ran a 64 second quarter mile on Walters, OK mile relay team circa 1937.
I don't remember the context but my favorite quote from the book, "Doctors bury their mistakes, ours are still on scholarship".
Bunion Derby: The 1928 Footrace Across America, which is the second book I have on the subject.
I just put in an order for Running: A Novel by Jean Echenoz, a fictionalized biography of Emil Zatopek. Originally in French, it's just been translated, and the excerpt in the current issue of Marathon & Beyond magazine was great.
"Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650-1750" by Jonathan I. Israel, an astonishingly deep and detailed study of--essentially--the intellectual and cultural ramifications of Spinoza's profound challenge to religious orthodoxy. It's 810 pages, but--for a certain kind of nerd--a veritable page-turner...
Playing the Enemy by John Carlin... the book that formed the basis of the film Invictus. Fascinating stuff. The movie stayed on theme but the book is much deeper and more nuanced. Mandela actually maintains family friendships with some of his white jailers.
Then there is the fabulous, horrible, appallingly hilarious novel White Tiger by Arivind Adiga.
Just finished reading "Out Of Nowhere" (The Inside Story of How Nike Marketed the Culture of Running) by Geoff Hollister. It was ok, but not great. I couldn't believe how many errors I found in this book. I'm talking spelling, grammar, and some factual errors.
Rummaging through a box of books inherited from my father. Found a nicely bound little tome, "The Campaign Speeches of James G. Blaine" c 1884, that he inherited from his father who must have obtained it from his father, possibly to take along for light reading when he "went West young man" to homestead in Western Kansas before before turning South to Oklahoma to homestead again when the Kiowa-Comanche reservation was opened for homesteading in 1902.
I skimmed a few speeches. Seems acrimony in politics is nothing new.
The book is in good but rather fragile condition. Although my great-grandfather's penciled signature, "his Book", is boldy enscribed on the front fly leaf, the book appears to be on loan from the Des Moines, Iowa Library, which is puzzling since my great-grandfather lived in NW Missouri, having migrated there from Kentucky. I am hesitant to return it. The late fees must be astronomical.
lonewolf wrote:the book appears to be on loan from the Des Moines, Iowa Library, which is puzzling since my great-grandfather lived in NW Missouri, having migrated there from Kentucky. I am hesitant to return it. The late fees must be astronomical.
On the other hand, if they ever declared a temporary amnesty on late fees, as part of a campaign to get people to return books, you could be their poster boy.
Brian, I've often thought there should be a company that can provide the reorganisation and filing away for book fans. I'm reorganising one bookcase and there are still piles there a week later and I've got that much re-reading to do I'm not sure when exactly they're going to make it back onto the shelves. I don't have an impatient spouse to, er ... encourage me to hurry up.
gh, I've seen The Children of Hurin on the bookshelves of my local book shop and wondered whether it was worth buying. I haven't finished the Silmarillion yet and haven't read the Unfinished Tales, being rather a latecomer to the Tolkien world. Is it worth investing in? I had heard it had attracted criticism from the hardcore fans.
In any case, none of the pre-Rings material has remotely the same tone. As with Silmarillion I find that all those early things read much more like scholarly tomes than entertainment fit for adult and child alike.
I'm not remotely a Tolkien-ologist, but I believe that a lot of the criticism of these works is from those who think that Christopher took too many liberties in competing dad's work. I've approached all of them (and have read multiple times) as merely being there for entertainment value, filling in earlier holes, and explaining some of the myths inside a myth that are so frequently referenced in Rings.
Put another way, I believe the critics are like wine snobs who are so busy putting down the new winemaker's interpretation on an old favorite that they've completely lost track of the fact that it's still many delicious mouthfuls to be consumed!
IanS_Liv wrote:Brian, I've often thought there should be a company that can provide the reorganisation and filing away for book fans. I'm reorganising one bookcase and there are still piles there a week later and I've got that much re-reading to do I'm not sure when exactly they're going to make it back onto the shelves. I don't have an impatient spouse to, er ... encourage me to hurry up.
Neither do I. Right now, to me, this would be the best possible argument for the institution of marriage.
And since I seem to be doing my "Annual Spring Cleaning" in conjuction with the US Census, there may be stacks in various places for the next decade. Sigh.
Went to visit a friend of similar mind (T&F guy, avid reader) in Minneapolis during state hockey tournament a few weeks back, and mentioned I was re-doing my books and how doing so was taking a long time. Before I could finish, he said, "Let me guess, you're too busy re-reading them to put them away...?"
gh wrote:Does "it" mean Unfinished Tales or Húrin?
I actually meant Hurin gh. Although I suppose the question could apply equally to Unfinished Tales as I've yet to buy that. And, having sampled several online 'fandoms' over the past few years, I completely agree with your views on the hardcore critics! I'm really asking whether you (or anyone else on the board) think they're good entertainment. Even if they're bleak.
Either way, they're going to have to wait as the Royal Shakespeare's own Complete Works complete with introduction, essays on each play and notes in the margin, plopped onto my doormat as a birthday present last week and I want to browse through that first.
The simplest test is this. Most editions of Lord of the Rings have some 100 pages of appendices at the end. If you enjoy those as much as the actual story, you should definitely buy Unfinished Tales; then, having read Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, there's no reason not to do Húrin as well.