I listened to the first two radio episodes this morning. I thought it felt a bit like a greatest hits list of gags/references from all the previous books rather than an entity of its own. I’d have liked it if Colfer had struck out on his own and introduced some of his own characters, locations and ideas. That said it was fun hearing the cast together again.
Currently reading the final short story of a British anthology called House of Fear, the title coming from the fact that most of the stories involve haunted-or-otherwise-unusual houses. Some great genre writers involved, including Joe R. Lansdale, Tim Lebbon, Christopher Priest (not the comics writer, the guy who wrote The Prestige), and Christopher Fowler. Sometimes a bit of horror is good for you.
Yeah. I call it “the news”.
I think that’s the kind that isn’t.
“For One Night Only” by Jerry Bloom. The story of a single concert Deep Purple played in the UK in 1985. 128 over-sized pages describing a single concert
That might seem a bit much, but… well, ok, yes, it’s really a bit much
But it was the first (and best) concert I ever went to. So I’m having a happy time reading it
I got few months ago a collection of short ghost (supernatural) stories by Charles Dickens; unfortunately, I noticed that some tales are missing, judging from the books I found on goodreads and amazon. All in all, three are 11 stories in:
1.A Child’s Dream of A Star
Deeply poignant and sad tale about love, dying and eternal reunion, albeit very short, made me wept all the way. (seriously, who doesn’t shed a tear or two, he can’t be human xD)
2.A Madman’s Manuscript
A darkly humorous and somewhat eerie account of self-professed “madman” from the title, who has (possibly) murdered his dead wife’s
brother and ending up incarcerated. Not bad, but quickly forgettable.
3.The Goblins who Stole a Sexton
A precursor story to A Christmas Carol, where instead of ghosts and spirits we have goblins and instead of a miserable rich man a miserable undertaker (sexton) who’s only joy is drinking and burying.
A premonition story. A railway signalman is haunted by a ghost who appears to warn him about impeding accidents. Probably the best in the collection. Very creepy.
This is incomplete, as it is only has the two tales, written by Dickens. The first is ambigious in terms that isn’t really clear is the house haunted or not. While other has the protagonists hallucinating, which leads him to remember his own (sad) past.
6.The Lawyer and the Ghost
Somewhat comical story which ends up on a moral note, for ghosts.
7.The Baron of Grogzwig
A ghost tale with highly optimistic message against comitting suicide. (btw, I learned a lot from that story).
8.To be Read at Dusk
Two un-related stories in one. The first one ends on unnerving, while the other on a sad note. What is mutual is that both deal with dreaming someone important to protagonist.
9.The Queer Chair
A talking chair guides a tired traveller to marry with the owner’s inn (where the traveller arrives).
10.Four Ghost Stories
Four stories in one.
Anyway, the 1st is about an artist who paints a person he never actually met. No2 and 3 are similar and both end with the death of a loved one. The 4th is more like a fairy tale, ending on happy note.
11.The Portrait-Painter’s Story
Artist’s story from the 1st 'Four Ghost Stories", but this time in deeper details.
All, I’d give 3 out of 5. Probably because I expected more macabre, given the subject matter, (there are no gothic full-blown effects) and the fact that not all stories are about ghosts. But there is good material here. Sadly, as I mentioned, the books lacks other Dickens’ tales of supernatural.
Vidvalt, another Medieval Yiddish Epic, this time secular in nature. It’s a Jewish version of the Arthurian Legend. It’s title character is someone missing from the Welsh-Anglo-French tradition we’re mostly familiar with, but features predominately in the German-speaking traditions of King Arthur. However, it actually is closer IMO to the legend’s Welsh roots then Le Morte D’Arthur, it shares more plot elements with the Mabinogion, which I have read. @garjones
Blew through a book last night (insomnia, ye are but a tool in my mighty hands!). So, The Kingdom of Cults by a guy I won’t dignify by naming. Apparently some sort of “Bible scholar” who thought he knew something, which was a problem, and it was written in 1970 and edited in 1985, which was another problem. Written after Jonestown, it purports to be an examination of cult and cult-like schisms from “the Church of Jesus Christ”; and rather boiled down to a vilification of Mormons, LDS and Christian Science. There was a bit on Scientology but it really never got going.
Now, the problem here is that the chapters on psychology did not discuss, raise, nor apply any known psychological principles. The dude mentioned B.F. Skinner once and thought that a citation. Hell, I had dinner with B.F. Skinner, and would never use that as a citation! His chapters on sociology did not raise standard sociological measures. I am glad he did not tackle economics, ot I might have gone ballistic. Basically it was an apologia of his own rather concrete thinking, poorly presented with a plethora of repetition.
Also the First Book of Maccabees, even though it’s Passover time, not Hannukah time, I’ve been wanting to read it since the past Hannukah and Judaism sees it as an important work of History (though we rely more on Josephus). It is part of the Non-Protestant Christian Bible (except for the Copts) and some Protestant Denomination’s Bibles put it and some other works either as an appendix to the Bible (Non-Canon but important Background), or Between the Hebrew and Greek scriptures, as “These books contain the history of Israel between Malachi and Jesus, so to understand the Gospels/Acts we’ve put this here, even though they’re not divinely inspired.”
Reading the Penguin book of modern speeches. One of my favorite books in a long time, I can recommend it to anyone.
There’s nothing as justified as throwing away a bad book.
Did anyone here ever read Beren and Luthien? It seemed more like a book about writing the story than the story itself. I’ve avoided it for that reason. I really enjoyed The Children of Hurin though. I hope this book is more like the latter.
I collected some of the more recent Tolkien releases, but haven’t read them yet. I think I offloaded one before getting around to it. Silmarillion made me paranoid. It’s entirely too academic.
The Silmarillion is one of my favorites. The Children of Hurin is a much more straightforward story though.
Hmm. I just looked at my shelves. (Admittedly not a straightforward and/or comprehensive affair these days.) My most recent Tolkien was 2009’s Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun, which isn’t Middle-Earth.
I haven’t read that one. The Children of Hurin was published in 2007.
Well, according to Barthes she’s dead, while Foucault says she was never alive.
Yeah. I think I got rid of it back in 2013, which was a horribly necessary purge year for me. Many an innocent book, CD, movie was lost. And comics! Tragic.
Normal by Warren Ellis - The thing I most love about Warren Ellis is how similar his voice is to William Gibson without sound like he’s aping Gibson’s style. They both sound like they see where things are going and write interesting stories (to me) about that time. In fact, the first time I picked up one of Ellis’ prose novels was because it had a recommendation by Gibson. This story is no different. It’s a nice short book about a psychiatric retreat for futurists with abyss gaze. It’s a nice little romp wrapped in a whodunnit with Ellis’s usual musings on modern science and similar subjects. So right up my alley. I really enjoyed it and if you’re into Gibson or Ellis especially, I think you will too.