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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.
I'm reading Jasper Fforde's Chronicles of Kazam series. I just finished The Last Dragonslayer. It's a fun orphan-becomes-the-Chosen-One story and full of Ffordesque jabs at modern life. Yet it's not quite as good as other juvenile comedy-fantasy series I've read, such as Pratchett's "Tiffany Aching" sub-series of "Discworld" and Rowling's "Harry Potter." I'll probably read the rest of them since they're easy to read and I wanted some new talking-dragon comedy after rereading Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon.
Very excited about this one--perhaps as a follow on after starting PCs play through Ire of the Storm. This could make for a nice little mini-campaign with some homebrewed filler to get the PCs up to 5th level.
I had the same idea! But maybe the 5th level starting encounters would need to be modified a bit to work with 6th level characters (or let it be a bit of a cakewalk for them?)
I like pretty cover art as much as the next person, but it annoys me that there is no product description/synopsis. Are people so darn impatient that you must put up whatever you have on the schedule without even a hint of what the book will be about? Surely in development there was something you could include -- does the story even have a protagonist? Who is it? What does "shy knives" mean? If you have that info, why not put it here or link to it?
So what did everyone get this year? I picked up a bunch of kid-friendly freebies I can pass on to my sister for her classroom (I highly recommend the "Mouse Guard" comic that came in a compilation with "Lumberjanes". It has Gorgeous Art!) and I bought some Rat Queen issues.
Here's a link to the Free Comic Book Day website Link
I'm such a lit geek, I've read the annotated Treasure Island. It was awesome. The only thing I liked slightly less than most of Stevenson's works was The Black Arrow. My favorite Stevenson story is "Markheim," which is a little gem of a morality play, and really displays his deft hand at characterization.
I dunno. The Story of the Stone has
Spoiler:However, SotS is the book I read first out of the trilogy (I didn't know they had a reading order), so I didn't read Bridge of Birds with the same set of expectations of it being better, which skews my perspective on the series.
the most hilarious and shocking encounter with a demon in Hell I've ever read.
I do agree with you about Eight Skilled Gentlemen. I liked the conclusion with the dragon-boat race, but it has a lot of plot problems. Even if you pay close attention it can be impossible to tell what is going on.
What am I reading now, you ask?
Daughters of the Samurai: a journey from east to west and back, by Janice P. Nimura.
It's about five young daughters of disgraced Meiji-era samurai who were deputized to spend 10 years being educated in the United States of America, in order to acquire Western ways and introduce them to Japan. I'm enjoying it so far!
Marco Massoudi wrote:
I really enjoyed the Pathfinder Tale in the Legacy of Fire AP. The half-elf "water druid" was awesome!
This sounds great! The 32 page modules were "just right" for the limited time my group had to play, so this might fill that one-shot niche while also offering more for folks who want to run a longer game. It also sounds like the turn-around time for the final product will be quicker with 3 authors working on their parts at once.
It'd be cool if going forward the modules mix it up between offering "anthologies" for short sessions/one-shots and "mini-campaigns" for those who want something longer with a unified theme or arc.
My recent reads are an interlude of non-fiction:
The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past, by John Lewis Gaddis.
The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine, by Tom Standage.
Now I'm reading Cry, The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton. It's good, but at times I have trouble distinguishing the speakers due to Paton's style of setting off dialog by em-dash.
the Queen's Raven wrote:
Why does everyone keep bringing up Batman? Zorro, is who Batman was based on. Red Raven and Galt, Zorro and California.
It warms the cockles of my heart to have my lovely home-state compared to Galt. Does that make Governor Brown our Citizen Goss, and our State Senate the Cabinet of Skulls? Thank Desna it's an election year!
Also, it looks like the Red Raven has gained quite a bit of weight since we last saw him, in addition to his wardrobe upgrade.
I finished Barabara Hambly's Darwath trilogy. I'm SO glad I'm done. I won't be revisiting this series. I liked the fight scenes, the aliens, and her use of the two viewpoint characters, but really nothing else about the books. I wanted the villains to win as redemption for their being written as such flat, stupid stereotypes with cardboard swords. The themes in the book don't feel "of a piece" and each separate idea on its own that she introduced didn't quite mesh with the other ideas.
Lord Snow wrote:
Re: spoiler. Dangit, Snow! You made me get teary-eyed.
I still haven't read The Shepherd's Crown because Granny Weatherwax dies!
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Walter M. Miller wrote "A Canticle for Leibowitz," not Delaney. Delaney wrote "Dhalgren" which is a book that really intimidates me (and most books don't intimidate me).
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
False start on Some Summer Lands as I realized I should probably read some of the books I got for Christmas. Mr. Comrade and the Nigerian Princess got me a book by Octavia Butler
Thanks for the heads up about the Clockshop and Huntington celebrations. I remember reading something about it on the Huntington's website but I'd forgotten about it.
When I went to school in Santa Monica my sister would point out this house she said Octavia Butler used to stay at. One of those small Santa Monica stucco bungalows they've probably torn down by now.
Celestial Healer wrote:
Burroughs, along with the other Beats, is one of my dad's obsessions.
I've finished A is for Arsenic, and I've started the last book in the Darwath trilogy. So far it's not so bad, but there's more of a Shaver-like bent to the story once the protagonists start confronting the monstrous "Dark" (a collective monster kind of like a cloaker with ESP and magic).
"[Describing chiral compounds by analogy] Hands have identical components (fingers, thumb, palms and so on) but they are arranged slightly differently on each hand, forming mirror images that cannot be superimposed onto each other (hence the labeling in chiral compounds: l- for laveo, 'left' in Latin, and d- for dextro, 'right.'"
--A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup.
I finished book two in the Darwath trilogy. Man, was it a slog! It felt like a big book with a skinny book inside it waiting to get out... and it was only about 300 pages! But I'm still probably going to read the last book, "The Armies of Daylight" because I do want to find out what happens to the protagonists. This trilogy isn't really a recommend from me, but YMMV. Be prepared for cardboard villains if you do read it.
I'm now reading A is for Arsenic: the poisons of Agatha Christie by chemist Kathryn Harkup. I'm already at H in the alphabet-titled chapters: H is for Hemlock. If you are a Christie fan and/or a chemistry fan, pick this book up! It goes into all the details about the drugs Christie uses in her novels, the real-life cases that inspired her (and that she inspired!) and how the drugs function to disrupt the body's systems.
In the wings: The Devil's Rooming House: the true story of America's Deadliest Female Serial Killer. I picked this one up at the library and just KNOW I'm going to enjoy it! This is the true case that inspired the classic play/movie Arsenic and Old Lace.
I liked table-reading Shakespeare when I was in college. I felt I learned the most with that combination of hands-on acting and reading, with background reading/research sloughing off of it as needed. I also really liked Shakespeare in high school, but I was reading him on my own as well at the time so I didn't have much trouble with his language. After the weak-sauce of "Romeo and Juliet" I got to study "Henry IV" - & my English elective teacher looked like Falstaff!
They had an article on the recent DVD release of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" in the Los Angeles Times today. It works as a film, apparently because Tom Stoppard directed it. But it is also post-Walter Benjamin's "Task of the Translator", an Absurdist play working on different levels. Which is kind of why I like Julie Taymor's film "Titus" and her adaptation of "The Lion King" as a play. Things don't always have to resemble themselves. Plays can be films, if the difference of the medium is respected. Kurosawa's "Ran" is a great movie! & I own a comic-book version of the Iliad!
However, my favorite "Hamlet" movie is the scene in Last Action Hero, with Arnold. ; P