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theHermit
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Post by theHermit » Thu May 31, 2007 11:00 am

I am now onto the new China Mieville YA novel, Un Lun Dun. Two of his novels, Perdido Street Station and the Scar, brew up some of the finest SF and Fantasy in recent memory to me and so I couldn't resist picking this up.

This summer I am also reading bits and pieces of the various History of Middle Earth novels I have cluttering up my home office.
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Post by theHermit » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:25 pm

Ok, what are you all reading? I just finished Michael Gruber's Book of Air and Shadows. Highly recommended summer read. A little bit Umberto Eco with some Iain Pears thrown in. The book is a fast moving story with an alleged lost Shakespeare manuscript at the heart of the mystery.
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:42 pm

I was going to finally read Harry Potter in the month I have left before school, but instead my list is too full with books that are good. I'm finishing up the Earthsea books, finally getting around to Moby Dick (because my roommate last year loves it religiously) and Kristin Lavransdatter , a 1000+ page book recommended to me by my friend the almost-Trappist-monk. In an ideal world, I'd also read the Fr. Brown books by G.K. Chesterton and finally finish up these theology books I've started, but I bet I won't have time. Afterall, gotta take advantage of my family's netflix account before I move back to school.
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Post by theHermit » Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:43 pm

Moby Dick is the great American novel imo. I used to have heated arguments about this when in grad school! Are you reading all five Earthsea books Sam? I especially think the last one from a few years ago does a nice wrap on the story, if it is indeed the last standalone novel in the series.

I'll look into the Lavransdatter as I'm a fan of the Trappists.
"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;"
- from the Prayer of St. Francis

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Post by yeshead 777 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:09 am

I've been reading fluff-Dean Koontz-which I hate to admit I really enjoy. I am into one of my "Reading" phases now and can't get enough, so someone recommend a sci-fi/fantasy book or series that I should be able to understand and enjoy-remember I am not of the literary genius caliber of most of you(in all seriousness).Thanks,David.
Art can "make people feel what's true rather than telling them".[Dan Haseltine,Jars of Clay].

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Post by MayorOfLongview » Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:44 am

yeshead 777 wrote:I've been reading fluff-Dean Koontz-which I hate to admit I really enjoy. I am into one of my "Reading" phases now and can't get enough, so someone recommend a sci-fi/fantasy book or series that I should be able to understand and enjoy-remember I am not of the literary genius caliber of most of you(in all seriousness).Thanks,David.
I literally burned myself out on Viking Sagas and maybe even 19th Century Naval adventures, and maybe even historical fiction on ancient Rome. I haven’t picked up a book in 2 weeks. What to do? :?
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:29 pm

theHermit wrote:Moby Dick is the great American novel imo. I used to have heated arguments about this when in grad school! Are you reading all five Earthsea books Sam? I especially think the last one from a few years ago does a nice wrap on the story, if it is indeed the last standalone novel in the series.

I'll look into the Lavransdatter as I'm a fan of the Trappists.
There are 5 Earthsea books?? What's the last one?

BTW sorry to confuse you - Lavransdatter is not about Trappists, but recommended by my friend who loves the Trappists and spend the summer at one of their abbeys. But if you go by wannabe-Trappist taste, then it's still a good read. I'm only barely into it so I can't give you my opinion yet.
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By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by bb » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:03 pm

Sam Gamgee wrote:... finally getting around to Moby Dick (because my roommate last year loves it religiously) ....
theHermit wrote:Moby Dick is the great American novel imo
Come on, you're joking, right? Diversity is great, but someone actually liking that tedious pile of doo is surely way more diversity than the universe needs. :)

I always figured that teachers made kids read Moby Dick because THEY had to read the darn thing (or at least pretend to!) when THEY were kids. It never entered my wildest dreams that someone would say it's a good book. I mean, you're certainly welcome to like it, but wow.

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Post by FredProgGH » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:57 pm

I've never read it myself. I suppose now I at least need to look at it just to see what the fuss is over...

Actually, one time on a different forum I made chapter one of MD my signature (because people's sig's were getting absurdly long). It wasn't taken to very well. It did seem rather dense and obtuse...
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:19 pm

Well, my roommate last year loved that book religiously. Obviously, if it's just a book about whaling it's painfully long and boring, but she told me she loved it as a book about man's quest for truth and the unknown. You have to read into the symbols and pay attention to the imagery, I think, which I'm not really catching so far... I'll send her an email and get a more detailed description from her. If the bears haven't eaten her yet - she's a park ranger intern in a Washington state park this summer. Yes, one of those adventure-loving people. I wonder if you need that love of exploration to be on board with the book?
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Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:19 am

This is what she says:

" ...don't worry too much if you find it dense, though, we'll have to talk about it at some point but I'd say that the primary thing I find so appealing about it is not even the eternally human themes that it addresses (which is why English teachers make kids read it, I think) but the manner in which it addresses them--an approach to philosophy that is shockingly similar to the approach a good Irishman might take to a drinking contest, I would say. I think it's Kierkergaard who argues that it's not what you know or say about the human condition that's important, but the spirit behind it, in other words what matters is how you say it and the depth or intensity of feeling behind what you say. And Melville has that down like nobody else, in his language and the juxtaposition of chapters and the style and all his silly talk about whales."

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By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by FredProgGH » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:26 am

Sam Gamgee wrote:This is what she says:

" ... I think it's Kierkergaard who argues that it's not what you know or say about the human condition that's important, but the spirit behind it, in other words what matters is how you say it and the depth or intensity of feeling behind what you say. "

I suppose by that standard the Unibomber Manifesto ranks as one of the great works of literature of the 20th century... :P :D (Not to mention performance art.)
"The baloney is yodeling" -- [i]Jon Arbuckle[/i]

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Post by theHermit » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:01 pm

Sam Gamgee wrote:
theHermit wrote:Moby Dick is the great American novel imo. I used to have heated arguments about this when in grad school! Are you reading all five Earthsea books Sam? I especially think the last one from a few years ago does a nice wrap on the story, if it is indeed the last standalone novel in the series.

I'll look into the Lavransdatter as I'm a fan of the Trappists.
There are 5 Earthsea books?? What's the last one?

BTW sorry to confuse you - Lavransdatter is not about Trappists, but recommended by my friend who loves the Trappists and spend the summer at one of their abbeys. But if you go by wannabe-Trappist taste, then it's still a good read. I'm only barely into it so I can't give you my opinion yet.

The last Earthsea novel is called The Other Wind. It picks up where Tehanu leaves off and I found it very satisfying.

I'm off in a couple of weeks to spend a week with the Trappists at the Abbey of the Genesee here in New York. I'm looking forward to taking a couple of good books along.
"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;"
- from the Prayer of St. Francis

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Post by theHermit » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:05 pm

bb wrote:
Sam Gamgee wrote:... finally getting around to Moby Dick (because my roommate last year loves it religiously) ....
theHermit wrote:Moby Dick is the great American novel imo
Come on, you're joking, right? Diversity is great, but someone actually liking that tedious pile of doo is surely way more diversity than the universe needs. :)

I always figured that teachers made kids read Moby Dick because THEY had to read the darn thing (or at least pretend to!) when THEY were kids. It never entered my wildest dreams that someone would say it's a good book. I mean, you're certainly welcome to like it, but wow.
Not joking at all. Moby Dick is a fantastic work of art. It's a study in human psychology and an adventure tale all rolled into one. It's also a commentary on Melville's contemporaries, especially the transcendentalists. All of Melville worth reading, but Moby Dick features in abundance all of what makes him an important writer.
"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;"
- from the Prayer of St. Francis

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Post by theHermit » Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:19 pm

Just started reading this:

http://www.amazon.com/History-Hobbit-Jo ... 732&sr=8-1

Extremely interesting so far.
"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;"
- from the Prayer of St. Francis

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