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I finished The Left Hand of Darkness. Some things I thought I remembered were not in the book, specifically
Spoiler:Still an enjoyable story, with a good message about humanity overcoming differences at the end.
I thought Estraven shared kemmer with Ai, but it was not so! ...so, not as much alien sex as I'd thought there was, in other words.
I'm not sure what I want to read next. I'm starting a new job soon and I know I will do more work-related reading so I'm not sure I want to start a big epic novel or anything. I have the "Mr. Holmes" novella on hold at the library, so maybe that will tide me over till the new job starts (just before Xmas!).
Have you seen Without a Clue? Michael Caine as Sherlock Holmes and Ben Kingsley as Dr. Watson. Hilarious!
I finished Paris in the 20th Century. It had a suitably French, downer ending, with the protagonist dying in a winter cemetary. I can see why it didn't get published in Verne's lifetime.
Now I'm reading another Winter themed book: The Left Hand of Darkness. It's a reread. The last time I read it in high school, so I have totally forgotten the ending, although certain scenes remain in my head. e.g. Genly Ai walking through a forest of red trees, the landships driving over the snow. Le Guin is very good at worldbuilding in her description - just in her own, subtle way. However, on the second reading, I've discovered places where the connections between this book and her other "Hainish" books rubs a bit thin - that is, it stretches probability farther than it needs to go in order to make a tenuous in-text connection. Unless she's trying to make a point about the nature of the novel or point out its construction as a creation of her authorship, which would be very post-modern (despite Cervantes having done it), and I don't think she's trying to do that. It could be stealth marketing...But that kind of thing doesn't affect me. Hmm....Maybe I should go check out Rocannon's World...
Currently reading The Very Best of Tad Williams a short fiction collection by, of course, Tad Williams. I'm enjoying it; it's nice to see that Mr. Williams does not excel only at epic-length epic fiction.
I might try that since I like Williams' writing style but his doorstop novels are just too long to keep my interest.
I was expecting the tedious misogyny in Paris in the 20th Century, because I skimmed through before reading, but it is inadvertently funny when a character says, "There have been no true women since our grandmothers' time..." and he's supposed to be a guy in his 30s. Hold on there, Jules, you're getting way ahead of yourself. The GMILF won't be a "thing" until at least the 1970s*!
*e.g. "Harold and Maude" et al.
A lot of the book is like that. If you can push past the Knights Templars chapters the ending is just amazing. It's my favorite Umberto Eco novel.
I finished The Unwilling Warlord, by Lawrence Watt-Evans. The protagonist was quite a passive fellow, and I feel like Watt-Evans wanted to go somewhere interesting with his relationship to the more-active villain but didn't quite get there. It was a light, quick read.
I also re-read Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle, in honor of her 100th birthday this year. I highly recommend it if you haven't read it, along with The Haunting of Hill House.
There's a new movie of WHALitC coming sometime next year - although I must admit the actress playing Merricat doesn't look at all like how I envisioned her. I don't know how they're going to keep it from being funny instead of creepy because Jackson's 1st person unreliable narrative doesn't seem like it would easily translate to film. Stanley Kubrick managed it with Nabokov's Lolita, to some success - while deviating a bit from the book ['scuse the pun], but Nabokov was never aiming for a Gothic vein and Kubrick was directing Peter Sellers.
Next I'll probably be reading Alexei Panshin's Rite of Passage, but maybe not since there are a good 2 dozen books on my nightstand waiting patiently for me to read them.
Diego Valdez wrote:
Dear Customer Service,
I read Kant and Hegel in my Philosophy survey course as an undergrad, so it's not just doctoral students who are capable of reading him. You don't have to be a doctoral student to grasp the idea of "thesis-antithesis-synthesis." Hegel may be worth while, even if he isn't read generally for political economy.
I commend Mike Rowe for what he's written, even though I worry that what he advocates is predicated on an education attainment that we've placed such barriers to for so many (and is perhaps a bridge too far for some).
At one point, when the CNN camera was tracking him, his pacing made it look like he was turning his back on the audience. That is something that could so easily have been avoided.
For an awesome example of dwarven women with beards who then shave them and some great stories, check out the Rat Queens comic by Image. Dwarven women start shaving their beards as a protest against traditional male dwarven standards of beauty and it eventually becomes a hipster tradition like man-buns are now. The dwarven smiths also use their younger daughters to model armor they have finished forging, and a bunch of other stuff. It's a great post-modern take on traditional dwarves.
Rat Queens is awesome!
V's familiar is certainly a highlight of the comic; and probably a pleasant surprise to Rich how much he could mine the character for sarcastic quips as well as act as an audience surrogate.
I also like how Rich set up the frames/gutters for the giant-killing sequence. Belkar's never been my favorite character but he lends himself nicely to action sequences!
For my next three picks: why not a city under the distant shore, such as those mentioned in "Oceans of Golarion" from Raiders of the Fever Sea?
5) The cecaelias city of Sihuw.
6) Alohmba, built on the shell of Belimehu the Blind Mother.
7) The Tian Xia nation of Xidao (probably a bit more accessible than the first two for air-breathers).
1) Somewhere in Casmaron; possibly Kaladay. I'd love to find out what a city with a large Sweettalkers population would look like (or sound like).
2) Another monster city. Dhucharg was a surprise highlight of the Distant Shores book for me. It had so many seeds for adventure!
3) Mzali! I know there's already some information on this city, but it'd be nice to see it expanded with a nice map and additional locations, and cultural details.
4) Somewhere in Arcadia; possibly a city in Razatlan.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
SMH. Of course, at one of the libraries where I work there is half a shelf in the kid's section on Mandela, and MLK gets a shelf and a half (along with about a foot of Coretta). Which is good! Don't get me wrong, I'd never begrudge their shelf space (keep in mind, a kids' book is usually less than 1-2 in. wide so that's a lot of books!). But it'd be nice to see more stuff on Shirley Chisholm, A Philip Randolph, etc. At this point, MLK is up there with Washington and Lincoln as "people we learn a few facts about in school" and I don't see how kids can really see themselves in positions of leadership if we don't present them with a wide variety of leaders to emulate.