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Old 08-03-2015, 06:54 PM   #41
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At 1332 this afternoon I finished Henryk Sienkiewicz' "With Fire and Sword" in the W.S. Kuniczak English translation. I have its successor, the two volume "The Deluge", on order. In the meantime I will carry on reading Thomas B. Costain's "The Magnificent Certury".
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:37 PM   #42
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At 1705 this afternoon, at the tail-end of supper, I completed my sixth reading of Thomas B. Costain's "The Magnificent Century", book two of his A History of the Plantagenets. I will begin book three, "The Three Edwards", by day's end.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:14 PM   #43
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I took a break from "The Three Edwards" and read John E. Klapproth's "Beethoven's Only Beloved: Josephine!", finishing it at 0816 this morning. Lots of goodness there, especially as I have for some time favored Josephine as prime contender for the Immortal Beloved. I at first thought to ignore the forty page film script draft which begins on page 229 of my 2nd Edition copy. In the end I read and enjoyed it too. Heck, I even read the lengthy "Literature" section of the appendix in detail.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:46 PM   #44
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At 1509 this afternoon, 08 September 2015, I finished my sixth reading of Thomas B. Costain's "The Three Edwards" and will likely but not assuredly move on to the last book in the series, "The Last Plantagenets", ere day's end.

Relatedly, yesterday morning I placed an order with Amazon that includes two books; "The Last Kingdom" by Bernard Cornwell and "The World of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin and others. I might well reread the Ice & Fire series again before too long, hoping against hope that rumors of volume six seeing the light of day prior to next year's HBO Game of Thrones season premieres bear fruit.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:57 AM   #45
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Quote:
I took a break from "The Three Edwards" and read John E. Klapproth's "Beethoven's Only Beloved: Josephine!", finishing it at 0816 this morning. Lots of goodness there, especially as I have for some time favored Josephine as prime contender for the Immortal Beloved. I at first thought to ignore the forty page film script draft which begins on page 229 of my 2nd Edition copy. In the end I read and enjoyed it too. Heck, I even read the lengthy "Literature" section of the appendix in detail.
What film script draft?! Do tell me more DP. My copy is the first edition.
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:38 AM   #46
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Perusing

I'm perusing this rare antique book, published in 1916 I got for free from Healthy Planet. It is a beauty- just look at the cover and some of its pictures!
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:31 AM   #47
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What film script draft?! Do tell me more DP. My copy is the first edition.
I'm not sure I can say much more about the 'screen play'. The second edition cover states ". . . with screen play of the movie . . .", which led me to assume that there was/is a film based on the author's finding in the works. This is, so far as I know, not the case. It is instead a proposal of how the story of Beethoven and Josephine can be told 'with images and sounds' in the Hollywood manner while remaining largely faithful to the source material. I enjoyed reading the screen play because it summarizes the author's viewpoint in straight forward way.
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:39 PM   #48
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Intriguing DP! I think Mr Klapproth should send this idea to Jane Campion- if anyone could make a respectful, authentic and moving film about Ludwig and Josephine, she could...

I will have to get the 2nd ed..I'd love to read this!
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:41 AM   #49
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I failed to mention that I broke off reading The Last Plantagenets and read Cornwell's The Last Kingdom instead. I enjoyed it, but am not sure I'll buy more of the series. I have resumed The Last Plantagenets.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:59 AM   #50
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I have read a decent number of titles since my most recent thread entry. I mention only the last, a recently acquired copy of Beethoven for a Later Age: Living with the String Quartets by Edward Dusinberre, current first violinist with the Takacs Quartet. It's a good read, though as a long-ago performing musician and fairly well read on Beethoven I encountered no shocking new revelations on the inner workings of a performing ensemble or the composer himself. One sad reminder of classical music's ever sorrier status in the commercial recording industry: even a group as prestigious as Takacs needed to self-fund seven of the nine recording sessions required for their early 2000s Beethoven complete quartet CD set, which according to Dusinberre added up to almost $100k.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:08 PM   #51
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At 1221 today I finished The Claw of the Conciliator, volume two of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun. This was its fourth reading, the first having ended Sep 1988, the most recent Apr 2002. I find it interesting that this series' main character, Severian, claims to forget absolutely nothing, while another of his series centers on a fellow who, due to a head wound, forgets pretty much everything after a brief span of time. (This wound also lets him see and communicate with gods and other supernatural beings.) I think Wolfe's handling of the man's forgetfulness very well executed. That said, I feel the meat of the story is contained in volume one, Soldier of the Mist, while volume two is more "The continued adventures of . . . ". (Wolfe wrote a third volume many years after publication of the first two. I never bothered with it.)

I will continue on with volume three of The Book of The New Sun, The Sword of the Lictor. Gotta love those Wolfe titles.
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Old 06-25-2016, 02:04 AM   #52
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At 2037 this evening I finished my fourth reading of volume three of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, The Sword of the Lictor. I'll begin volume four, The Citadel of the Autarch, either later tonight or sometime tomorrow.
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:59 PM   #53
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At 0742 this morning I finished my fourth reading of The Citadel of the Autarch, volume four of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun. I might of might not continue on with Wolfe's followup, The Urth of the New Sun.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:34 PM   #54
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I'm re-reading Jerrold Northrop Moore's excellent biography of Elgar.
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Old 11-26-2016, 02:02 PM   #55
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I keep forgetting to log my reading here. As can be seen, I've read a few books since my last entry, most of which are, as is usual for me, re-reads. The majority are "fantasy", a few "history, one a "celebrity autobiography" which is also a loan from my brother. The Beethoven is a sort of surprising read, since I first read it only a year ago. Thing is, its printing isn't the best, so that some of it confused me first time round. I figured out what was throwing me off and got more out of it this second time.

It must be said that the reason so many books appear below is at least partly because I find myself reading much of the time when, in the past when my hearing was up to the task, I once listened to music. (I have not abandoned music listening altogether, but such forays tend to be fewer and further between, and limited in scope to those works which don't "freak out" my ears.)

Favorites amongst the below? Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn has long been a favorite Tolkien influences "traditional" epic fantasies. I'm a huge fan of almost anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, though neither of the two Kay books here are among my favorites of his works. The McKillip books are a long time favorite I'd not read in a good many years.

The list; time and date at the beginning of each entry signify book completions:

07/17/2016: 0309 “Beethoven's Only Beloved: Josephine” John Klapproth (2nd reading)
08/05/2016: 1236 “The Lost Prince” by Paul Edwin Zimmer (third reading)
08/11/2016: 1653 “Shadows of the Storm” editor William C. Davis (2nd plus reading)
08/13/2016: 2315 “King Chondos' Ride” by Paul Edwin Zimmer (third reading)
08/21/2016: 1552 “Tales of Neveryon” by Samuel R. Delany (second reading)
08/28/2016: 1339 “So, Anyway...” by John Cleese
09/11/2016: 1025 “The Guns of '62” editor William C. Davis (2nd plus reading)
09/16/2016: 2254 “Neveryona, or The Tale of Signs and Cities” S. Delany (2nd reading)
09/21/2016: 1252 “The Riddle Master of Hed” by Patricia A. McKillip (fourth reading)
09/24/2016: 1204 “Heir of Sea and Fire” by Patricia A. McKillip (fourth reading)
09/26/2016: 0055 “Harpist in the Wind” by Patricia A. McKillip (fourth reading)
10/15/2016: 1020 “The Embattled Confederacy” ed Wm C. Davis (2nd plus reading)
10/21/2016: 1323 “The Dragonbone Chair” by Tad Williams (sixth reading)
11/04/2016: 1845 “Stone of Farewell” by Tad Williams (sixth reading)
11/11/2016: 0005 “To Green Angel Tower, Part 1” by Tad Williams (fifth reading)
11/15/2016: 1536 “To Green Angel Tower, Part 2” by Tad Williams (fifth reading)
11/21/2016: 1657 “Children of Earth and Sky” by Guy Gavriel Kay
11/25/2016: 2226 “The Last Light of the Sun” by Guy Gavriel Kay (second reading)

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Old 11-26-2016, 06:59 PM   #56
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You are a very quick and industrious reader Decrepit! I find the older I get the more I'm into biography rather than fiction though - my latest reads being the fascinating (if not totally reliable) autobiography of the pianist Harriet Cohen 'A Bundle of time' and now 'The house of Wittgenstein - a family at war' by Alexander Waugh.
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Old 11-29-2016, 11:19 AM   #57
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At 0358 this morning, just prior to shambling out of bed, I concluded my third reading of Dreams of Stone, volume 1 of Jonathan Wylie's The Unbalanced Earth Trilogy. Last read roughly 18 years ago this was a fairly fresh experience. I deem it a satisfactory read but nothing special. I spent much of the read debating how best to classify it. The book labels itself as fantasy. Not far in I began to feel that science-fantasy, as some Wolfe books used to be classified, might be closer to the mark. Occasionally it felt more science fiction. Then it would veer back to science-fantasy or even straight-up fantasy. And so on. In the end I settled on labeling it Speculative Fiction and calling it a day. I also found it interesting that Wylie's descriptions are such that it is hard to discern what earth-equivalent period, if any, the book equates to. It definitely takes place some years following an apocalypse of some sort, but this is kept somewhat vague and subject to debate in volume one.

I'll likely begin volume 2, The Lightless Kingdom, ere day's end.

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You are a very quick and industrious reader Decrepit! I find the older I get the more I'm into biography rather than fiction though - my latest reads being the fascinating (if not totally reliable) autobiography of the pianist Harriet Cohen 'A Bundle of time' and now 'The house of Wittgenstein - a family at war' by Alexander Waugh.
I read little other than history (including bios of historic figures), along with books related to classical music, for roughly the first fifteen years of my adult life. Then, after being given a number of fantasy and sci-fi novels by a fellow military dorm rat who didn't want to lug 'em along during his upcoming change of duty station, changed my primary allegiance to fantasy. (I never developed a taste for sci-fi literature.) I still enjoy history, prolly as much as I ever did. But the vast bulk of my library is fantasy. Since I mostly re-read these days and seldom buy new books, the preponderance of my reading tends to be speculative fiction. (It doesn't help that my early library, which was entirely history or music related, was lost in 1973 when a tornado totaled my parents home, there the books were stored during a military oversees assignment.)

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Old 11-30-2016, 06:28 AM   #58
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Jan Swafford, in his excellent biography of Brahms, writes about the growing love between Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. There's such beautiful prose here in the writing of this book - simultaneously poetic - that I cannot avoid quoting one irresistible passage about the love that dared not speak its name.

"That summer of 1854 such understanding lay in the future. That summer Johannes seethed in his passion. His emotions had become like a harmonic suspension in music, when a composer allows a tone from a previous chord to linger piercingly into a new harmony, and the music cannot find rest until that dissonance is resolved. To Johannes, his love felt like an endless, unbearable suspension"(p.116).

No Mills and Boon here, but the author evoking a passion using the 'voice' of an inexperienced 21 year old whose love of music is suffused with that of his love for a woman and musician. His musical and sexual responses were part of the same impulse.

I absolutely get that!!!
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:45 PM   #59
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Enoch Powell Biography, by Robert Shepherd.
Powell's gifts and abilities were simply astonishing. He must have been one of this countries greatest linguists.
His ability is such that during the war as an intelligence officer, he lectured the Generals on faulty translations that they were making or being given. His great teacher at Cambridge was A. E. Housman.

I understand Powell also played the Clarinet to a high standard.




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Old 12-05-2016, 09:42 AM   #60
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At 0208 this morning I brought to conclusion my third reading of Jonathan Wylie's The Lightless Kingdom, volume II of The Unbalanced Earth Trilogy. As with book one, I found it an enjoyable read but not a fantasy for the ages. Like that first volume I consider it more science-fantasy and often pure science-fiction than fantasy, though there are certainly fantasy elements (and magic) in it.

I began volume III immediately afterward but was thankfully able to put it down after page one and get a tad more sleep before waking for the day (at as still-too-early circa 0341).
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:12 PM   #61
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At 1520 this afternoon I concluded my third reading of Jonathan Wylie's The Age of Chaos, volume three of The Unbalanced Earth Trilogy. This book does not change my opinion that the series is a decent read but not a fantasy for the ages.

I have tentatively settled on Margaret Wies and Tracy Hickman's Rose of the Prophet series to (re)read next, but am far from sure I'll stick with it.

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Old 12-18-2016, 07:49 PM   #62
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I gave up on Rose of the Profit only pages in and am now on page 416 of 614 of my third reading of Mickey Zucker Reichert's The Renshai Trilogy, book one: The Last Renshai. I expect this to be the last book read in full this year, though I'll surely start in on book two before 2017 rolls in.

That being the case, I'm going to jump the gun and submit my pointless annual reading recap for 2016.

I read thirty-nine qualifying titles to completion, forty counting the book I'm reading now, which I'll surely finish by year's end. That's a marked increase over twenty-three read last year. Thirty-one are fantasy, three historic fiction classics in their country of origin, three history, two classical music related, one popular culture celebrity autobiography. The autobiography was a loan from my brother. All other books are owned by me. All are traditional paper printings. Nine were first-reads, the rest re-reads.


Best First-read of the Year: The Deluge, volumes 1 & 2, epic-scale historic fiction by Henryk Sienkiewcz as translated by W.S. Kuniczak. This is hands-down winner in its category. Nothing else comes close. It is also the very first novel(s) I read this year. I knew from the get-go that they would be next to impossible to knock off their pedestal. Can't say I'm disappointed in proving myself right. Deluge is the second book in Sienkiewcz's “Trilogy”. I read book one, With Fire and Sword, during 2015. It's on par with Deluge. I'm not as fond of book three, Fire in the Steppe, but think highly of it and the trilogy as a whole. The Trilogy gets my strongest recommendation, with the caveat that English-only readers should insist on the Kuniczak translations and avoid all others.


Best Re-read of the Year: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams. Like the Sienkiewcz, a four book trilogy. A long-time favorite more-or-less traditional Tolkien inspired epic fantasy.

Best Re-read of the Year, very honorable mention: The Quest of the Riddlemaster series by Patricia A. Mckillip. I hadn't read this since 1999 and had forgotten just how good it is.

Best Re-read of the Year, honorable mention: Under Heaven and River of Stars by Guy Gaviel Kay. Kay is pound for pound my favorite active fantasy writer. These two stand-alone yet related novels rank high on, but do not top, my list of favorite Kay.


Pleasant Surprise of the Year: Tales of Alvin Maker, books 1, 2 and 3 by Orson Scott Card. I've owned these for ages. Tried to read them at least twice before. Never got far. Just couldn't get into 'em. Tried again this May. To my surprise and delight, I quite enjoyed them. Not enough to make me immediately order later volumes, though I don't rule it out later on.

Most Frustrating Read of the Year: The Dark Border by Paul Edwin Zimmer. As re-reads, I knew what to expect going in. Even so, the conclusion of book two, King Chandos' Ride, vexed me to no end. Rather, its lack of conclusion. The books do a decent job of establishing and developing interesting characters and plot lines, enough so that we, I at least, want to know how it all turns out. Then, as one of the central characters enters into what is surely going to be a crucial combat scene, POOF!, it ends. Plot lines and characters' stories remain unfinished. So abrupt is the non-ending that it's as if the manuscript's final few chapters were lost en route to the publisher, who decided to print it as-is anyway. (Along this same line, I re-read a two book series by Thorarinn Gunnarsson, Song of the Dwarves and Revenge of the Valkyrie, that was surely supposed to have followups but never got them. Unlike Dark Border, the two books we have don't leave us hanging.)
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:25 AM   #63
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I'm reading "The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England" by Dan Jones. You all know how I love reading books written about my royal ancestors.

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Old 12-19-2016, 11:00 AM   #64
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@ Decrepit Poster: I'd say you're anything but "decrepit", judging by that reading list. You're obviously a prolific reader. I've never been able to penetrate the mysteries of fantasy or sci-fi; I couldn't even tolerate Harry Potter when I was teaching - in book or film. The mere mention of those two names was enough for me to break out in hives!!

My reading this year has been mixed:

Jan Swafford, "Johannes Brahms" - a glowing biography with superb writing and intelligent insight;

Charles Barber, "Corresponding With Carlos" - some biographical information (a tad disorganized and incomplete) which complements the letters exchanged between Carlos Kleiber and Charles Barber from 1989 to 2003. Carlos reveals himself to be witty, intelligent, forthright, open and intellectually honest. And he didn't suffer fools gladly! A tiny morsel:

"Would you believe it; I conducted!! (A concert in Berlin with the BPO, Coriolan, a Mozart symph and Brahms 1V. I solved the Coriolan-problem by starting it off as Duke Ellington woulda done.)
5 July, 1994

Niall Ferguson, "The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die". This self-described "applied historian" is one of the most significant public intellectuals today. He details how western European civilization was able to be in the ascendant for nearly 1,000 years and makes some dire warnings and predictions about what is possible in the future, especially if debt isn't brought under control. Ferguson is pessimistic and has serious reservations about the Obama presidency.

Theodore Dalrymple: "Life At the Bottom". I went to a lecture presented by the good doctor late last year (Dalrymple is his pseudonym) and this book was read in tandem with that lecture. Dalrymple has some very confronting things to say about "the worldview that makes the underclass". Much of it is self-perpetuating and seen through the lens of his work as a psychiatrist working within the prison system and the underclass in Britain. One chapter, "Choosing to Fail" should be required reading for all social democrats!!!

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Old 12-21-2016, 02:26 PM   #65
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At 0818 this morning I finished my third reading of Mickey Zucker Reichert's The Renshai Trilogy, book one, The Last Renshai. Not much to say about this one other than that I found it decent fantasy and an enjoyable read. I'll surely begin book two, The Western Wizard, ere day's end.
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@ Decrepit Poster: I'd say you're anything but "decrepit", judging by that reading list. You're obviously a prolific reader. I've never been able to penetrate the mysteries of fantasy or sci-fi; I couldn't even tolerate Harry Potter when I was teaching - in book or film. The mere mention of those two names was enough for me to break out in hives!!

<snip>
I myself read history and books related to classical music and musicians almost exclusively during my first fifteen years of adulthood. (I hardly read 'for pleasure' at all until graduating High School.) Fantasy and historic fiction are about the only genres of fiction that interest me. I sometimes think to get back into history but just don't don't make new book acquisitions very often any more. I don't consider myself overly prolific. I simply have a lot of time of my hands these days, with few affordable pastimes to fill it with now that my hearing has gone south.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:51 PM   #66
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At 1548 this afternoon I concluded my initial reading of Jessica Amanda Salmonson's A Silver Thread of Madness, a collection of short-stories by ms Salmonson written between the mid seventies and late eighties. I've owned this book a long time. Likely never got around to reading it until now because 1) I'm just not a short-story person, and 2) the author's introductory note that reads in part, "...the great art of modern literature is found all but exclusively in the short story . . . Those authors who have forsaken the short story for the less competitive and monetarily greener pastures of the novel have by and large abandoned art." What the ...?????

The book is divided into three parts, Six Legends, Silver Threads of Madness, and Tales of Naipon. To the extent a non short-story lover is able to judge such things I found the stories contained within those divisions of varying interest, some decent, some mediocre, a few I didn't care for at all. They tended to become rather predictable and same-old same-old after a while, but I'm not sure how this could have been avoided in a collection of works by the same author.

No idea what I'll tackle next.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:27 PM   #67
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At 2143 yesterday evening, 31 Dec 2016, I concluded my sixth reading of Orson Scott Card's Hart's Hope. I bought this book March 1988 while traveling by bus in the military, at a combination gas station / convenience store out in the middle of nowhere where our unit stopped for a quick fuel refill / rest break. It was my first exposure to Card. Began reading it as our bus pulled out of the station lot. (I believe but am not certain that I suffered from a migraine at the time, as I too often did in those days.) Was hooked from the start. Couldn't put it down. Finished it during that trip. Read it four more times between then and early 2005, then set it aside until now. It remains my favorite of the admittedly few Card novels I've read, and a favorite fantasy as well.

The book itself is presented as sort of a dark fairy tale told in second (?) person, in the form of a written communication from a long separated (newly reunited) wife to her husband, a disposed king now restored to power, hoping to pursued him to spare the life of a young man he is determined to destroy.

Searching the internet shows the book to have garnered mediocre reviews. Digging in a bit deeper reveals Hart's Hope to be something of a love-it-or-hate-it novel. Naysayers tend to dislike it for its inclusion of acts deemed unsuitable for public consumption, largely of a sexual nature. Me, I've no issue with this whatsoever, certainly not when used to good purpose as it is here and in Donaldson's first Thomas Covenant chronicles. (In both instances I'd argue that the act most frowned on by dislikers is “the” crux of the novels, the raison d'etre of all that follows.) I'm not trying to prove those of the opposite persuasion wrong, only to point out that the book's middling review totals do not necessarily reflect its quality but rather have more to do with the inclusion of certain actions that may or may not prove distasteful on an individual basis.

I have tentatively started in on Paula Volsky's Illusion, another book I've owned a long time but for whatever reason never got around to reading.
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:29 AM   #68
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At 1942 this evening I completed my first reading of Paula Volsky's Illusion, a fantasy novel set in a fictional quasi equivalent to our French Revolution. I've owned this book a good many years but for whatever reason never got around to reading it until now. I found it enjoyable, but not a page-turner.

No idea what I'll start in on next. I expected it to be Tad Williams' The Heart of What Was Lost, but found it too expensive at our local Barnes & Noble so will likely be ordering it online.
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:12 AM   #69
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At 0340 this morning I concluded The Many-Colored Land, volume one of Julian May's The Saga of Pliocene Exile. This was its third reading. The first occurred Mar 1985, the second Jan 1999. It was among the paperbacks I selected from the give-aways of a fellow military dorm-rat lightening his library in preparation for a transfer. Those books were my introduction to speculative fiction, predated only by a few novels forced on us in school and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit, read during the 70s.

It is also one of my rare forays into Sci-Fi, a literary genre I normally have little interest in.

As to the book itself, it has an interesting premise. A some point in Earth's future ... no, I'll not spoil things. Those unfamiliar with it are welcome to listen to this YouTube reading .

I read a good three-fourths of it last year, then lost interest. Despite the lengthy break I elected to pick up where I had left off rather than begin afresh. Even so it took longer than expected to finish. Even when I devoted hours to it, I had trouble maintaining focus so that only a few pages would be read. Thankfully my sessions yesterday and this morning were far more fruitful.

I have not yet decided whether or not I'll continue the series.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:03 AM   #70
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At 2235 yesterday evening I finished one of several recently acquired US politics themed books, this one documenting the transformation(s) of one of the two major US political parties over the past some decades. Though I knew of overall gist of those changes beforehand, the book opened my eyes to several reasons behind those changes that I had not fully comprehended. I found it both fascinating and disheartening. The book's one major disappointment for me is that, while it is a recent publication it is not quite recent enough, carrying us only so far as the beginnings of last election's primaries.

ADDENDIUM: I just realize I've neglected to mention that between this post and its immediate predecessor I re-read the first two volumes of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

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Old 04-01-2017, 05:59 PM   #71
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At 1212 this afternoon, April Fools Day 2017, I concluded my fifth read of A Storm of Swords, book three of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. I finished the main text three days ago. Took me all this time to get through the Appendix, a detailed listing of personnel associated with The Kings and Their Courts. It wasn't a lot of reading, but I don't have a mind that gears itself to dry listings of dates and/or things. Nor do I retain such info any length of time, interesting though it often is.

During Jamie's final visit to Tyrion's "holding cell", a reveal is make concerning an oft mentioned event in Tyrion's past. (I'll not be specific to avoid spoilers.) This reveal likely results in actions taken in its almost immediate aftermath. I can't for the life of me recall the reveal being included in the TV show. But my memory is notoriously unreliable. Was it?

Not sure if I'll start in on book four or take a break and read one or two recently purchased non fantasy titles before returning to Westeros.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:00 AM   #72
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At 2225 yesterday evening, May Day 2017, I concluded my initial reading of Our Revolution by US Sen Bernie Sanders. I read a chunk of it earlier this year, only to set it aside when the urge to return to Westeros became to strong to resist. The first part of the book documents his candidacy during our recent US presidential primary, along with a relatively brief glimpse at his life up to that point. His take on the primary held no shocking revelations for me, having followed it both during and after the fact. If anything I know more about it than Sanders chooses to reveal here. The rest of the book is devoted to his "platform". This was of more interest to me, as it provides a great deal more in-depth analysis on what he sees at the major issues currently facing the Nation and our world, along with how he would rectify them, than MSM allowed the voting public to hear. I knew the gist of this too beforehand, but appreciate the wealth of detailed justifications backing his claims. In this latter section he is less inclined to "pull his punches" than in part one.

This being political in nature I will not discuss stances and the like except to mention that I was right pleased to see that Sanders concludes his "message" with a sufficiently lengthy discussion of the dangers of a modern day mainstream news media controlled by a mere handful of "players", who between themselves determine what is newsworthy and how we ought to react to it, while suppressing and/or condemning all else. I mention this only because, by sheer coincidence, I recently touched on the same thing in another forum (before having read Sanders' take on the matter).

I have now resumed A Feast of Crows, just finishing a chapter in which we find Cersei plotting/fabricating Margaery's downfall. I now realize Cersei herself is the main reason I have set Feast aside as often as I have. Book Cersei (more so than TV Cersei) is for me the most despicable of Martin's creations. Her actions/demeanor remind me far too strongly of what I see the increasingly irreversible dominance of those in power in our "real world" who seem hell bent on enriching themselves regardless of the costs to others and the planet. I had not noticed this comparison during prior reads. Than again I last read Feast in 2011, after passage of Citizens United but before its affects on US politics became glaringly obvious.

Yeesh, I can't seem to type a paragraph within veering into unsafe waters. One of those days, I reckon.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:31 PM   #73
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Harry Bellafonte's Biography . Called, My Song.

A beautiful and extraordinary story from when he was growing up in Harlem New York living in poverty from his childhood and being from a Jamaican background the blacks were treated as second class citizens back then in America in the 1940's, to 1960's. Harry shares his struggles and triumphs of growing up in this background , he eventually became a famous actor and singer mixed with becoming involved with politics and the 'civil rights' movement and worked to better the lives of the black community . He became friends with Martin Later King and met John F. Kennedy. Mr. Belafonte has such a beautiful soul and inspiration to us all. He is now a sprightly 90 year old.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:29 AM   #74
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At 1507 this afternoon I concluded my fourth reading of George R.R. Martin's A Feast of Crows. I wasn't terribly far from the end when I took it up again the other day, and zipped through those final hundred-plus pages. There was one further Cersei chapter to contend with, but this time she falls victim to her own evil schemes (for the short term at least), making the chapter a joy to read. Okay. Joy probably isn't an emotion appropriate to A Song of Ice and Fire. Let's just say I took satisfactory from seeing her get a small measure of the comeuppance she so richly deserves.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:43 PM   #75
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At 1512 this afternoon I completed my second reading of George R.R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons. This might well be my favorite volume this cycle, simply because, unlike previous series entries, there were whole chapters I had absolutely no recollection of whatsoever.

Having exhausted ASOIAF I have no idea what I'll start in on next.
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