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Garett Hornwood

Second Quarter 2019 Reading

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15 hours ago, Ser Kafka said:

In the meantime, I have started on Jurassic Park. FINALLY getting around to reading it!

Are you doing a back-to-back reading of Jurassic Park and The Lost World? Or just Jurassic Park?

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9 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Are you doing a back-to-back reading of Jurassic Park and The Lost World? Or just Jurassic Park?

I'm not sure yet. I do have TLW with me so I might as well jump right into it... 

Have you read both? 

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16 hours ago, Ser Kafka said:

I'm not sure yet. I do have TLW with me so I might as well jump right into it... 

Have you read both? 

Aye, that I have. The reason for asking is that they feel like a very good duology. 

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On 5/29/2019 at 5:53 AM, IlyaP said:

 

2. Economics as Religion: From Samuelson to Chicago and Beyond by Robert H. Nelson

The latter book is incredibly interesting and I highly, highly recommend it.

Interesting rec, thanks

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I've been reading through some of this year's Hugo nominees.

I read Rebecca Roanhorse's Trail of Lightning. It's an interesting premise, much of the world has been drowned by the 'Big Water', a massive rise in sea levels but the book isn't really about that. The book takes place in the Navajo Nation which has been left intact as the US collapses, and various beings and powers from Navajo mythology have re-emerged. In many way it feels like an urban fantasy story, although the word 'urban' isn't really appropriate. I thought the characterisation was good for the protagonist Maggie and the other main characters, although some of the supporting cast could have done with a bit more development. The book is fast paced and there's an effective mix of action and horror elements as Maggie tries to take on a plague of monstrous creatures. I think the book's biggest flaw is that the ending feels a bit rushed, and I think it leaves too many questions unanswered. Presumably the sequel will answer many of those questions, but at the moment some parts of it feel a bit confusing.

I then read Aliette De Bodard's novella The Tea Master and the Detective. This is basically a Holmes and Watson story in space (one character even introduces herself as a 'consulting detective'), even if the Watson role is taken on by a sentient starship who makes its living by brewing tea. I think so far I like De Bodard's shorter fiction more than the novel I've read by her. The mystery itself is reasonably interesting but I think the main strengths are the setting and characters. I liked the characters and would happily read more if they end up taking on another case in the future.

I was going to read Martha Wells' nominated novella Artificial Condition next, but since it's the second part of a series I'll begin by reading the first part.

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I finally finished Marlon James' Black Leopard, Red Wolf.  Still absorbing it.  There's a lot of good stuff in there, and I'd probably recommend it to a lot of people in terms of some really sharp writing and some fantasy-esque stuff.  But it feels a bit more like a folklore / Aesop type of thing rather than high fantasy.  Definitely going to jump into some other internet to try to fill in some blanks that I have. 

I bought a few non-fictions the other day including Jared Diamond's Upheaval, but I also picked up Tad Williams' first Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn book.  Never read that one and maybe gonna try it out.  Impressive GRRM quote on there.  

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Finished listening to the audiobook of Hampton Sides's In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette. What a harrowing and tragic expedition.  

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On 6/1/2019 at 3:52 AM, IlyaP said:

Aye, that I have. The reason for asking is that they feel like a very good duology. 

Thoroughly enjoyed Jurassic Park. Good, fun, thriller. Obviously, it's difficult not to compare it with the film...Some things were better in the book, some better in the film. 

Not sure if I'll go straight into TLW. Royal Assassin arrived on Saturday and I'd like to get cracking with that... 

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14 hours ago, Ser Kafka said:

Thoroughly enjoyed Jurassic Park. Good, fun, thriller. Obviously, it's difficult not to compare it with the film...Some things were better in the book, some better in the film. 

Not sure if I'll go straight into TLW. Royal Assassin arrived on Saturday and I'd like to get cracking with that... 

As is usually the case. There are always trade-offs between the film and text versions of a story. The book also has the time to go and develop characters, ideas, secondary stories, and scenes in more detail than the film. 

TLW, meanwhile, feels like a logical sort of sequel, and in its own way, felt like a bit of a tragedy to me as well. But it's also much smarter, I would argue, than the Spielberg adaption - which he made during a rather unpleasant divorce, and whose negative feelings came out during the making of that film. 

Makes me rather wish that Crichton's book had been properly adapted. And now that we're in a time of long-form media narratives, maybe someone might actually realise that the best approach to take with these books is as serialised adaptions. Which would be proper awesome!

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1 hour ago, IlyaP said:

As is usually the case. There are always trade-offs between the film and text versions of a story. The book also has the time to go and develop characters, ideas, secondary stories, and scenes in more detail than the film. 

TLW, meanwhile, feels like a logical sort of sequel, and in its own way, felt like a bit of a tragedy to me as well. But it's also much smarter, I would argue, than the Spielberg adaption - which he made during a rather unpleasant divorce, and whose negative feelings came out during the making of that film. 

Makes me rather wish that Crichton's book had been properly adapted. And now that we're in a time of long-form media narratives, maybe someone might actually realise that the best approach to take with these books is as serialised adaptions. Which would be proper awesome!

I thought TLW was written specifically to be filmed. Thus

Spoiler

Goldblum's character suddenly not  being dead.

 

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4 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Currently working my way through some uncharacteristically highbrow stuff, notably Plato and Shakespeare.

I haven't read Shakespeare since school, fifteen years ago...I will of course blame it on my boring English teacher. She even ruined Steinbeck for me for the following five years. 

Boring teachers are the devil! 

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5 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I thought TLW was written specifically to be filmed. Thus

Crichton's website has, in his own words, some thoughts on the matter: 

Quote

It [The Lost World] was really something that came from the readers. From the first publication of the book, kids began to read it and they would send letters: “What about the sequel? What about the sequel? What about the sequel?” I had not ever done a sequel before and would always say, “There won’t be one.” Then, as time went on, they would say, “Well, this would be a good sequel. Here’s another idea for a sequel.” Now you’re reading them thinking,”No, that’s not right. No, we wouldn’t do that.” Then you start thinking, “Well, why not? Well, what would be good?” Eventually there did seem to be the likelihood there would be another film and Steven seemed to have some interest in that. It’s a very difficult structural problem because it has to be the same but different; if it’s really the same, then it’s the same—and if it’s really different, then it’s not a sequel. So it’s in some funny intermediate territory.

The Wikipedia entry includes a bit of text that lacks a citation, and as such, I'm going to recommend not taking it as 100% fact until I can locate the source of the quote, but here it is nonetheless: 

"Despite the character of Ian Malcolm dying in the first novel, Crichton chose to bring him back for the sequel: "Malcolm came back because I needed him. I could do without the others, but not him because he is the 'ironic commentator' on the action. He keeps telling us why it will go bad. And I had to have him back again." Bringing a dead character back was an idea Crichton got from Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes, who had been killed off but was later brought back. Malcolm was also considered a favourite character among readers of the first novel and people who watched its film adaptation."

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1 hour ago, Ser Kafka said:

Boring teachers are the devil! 

Or ones who destroy a love of reading. 

*shudder*

Flashbacks suddenly to the teacher in school who had us read The Scarlet Letter and actually told us in advance the book was boring and to read it with a fresh pot of coffee in a sunny room. "Killjoy" just doesn't seem strong enough a word to describe such an approach to teaching.

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21 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Or ones who destroy a love of reading. 

*shudder*

Flashbacks suddenly to the teacher in school who had us read The Scarlet Letter and actually told us in advance the book was boring and to read it with a fresh pot of coffee in a sunny room. "Killjoy" just doesn't seem strong enough a word to describe such an approach to teaching.

They should be locked up! My physics teacher near as damit put me to sleep, despite physics being my favourite subject. 

It should be a criminal offence. :D

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14 minutes ago, Ser Kafka said:

They should be locked up! My physics teacher near as damit put me to sleep, despite physics being my favourite subject. 

Any book can be made interesting. Engage with the audience correctly and all will reveal itself unto thee. 

Don't want to do that? Bring in someone else, then. It shouldn't be that difficult to make books interesting to potential readers.

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

God, I'm so lucky I had teachers that knew how to teach Shakespeare.

Yes, yes you really really are. 

It's a rare occurrence in my world to meet anyone who has positive feelings about Shakespeare, Marlowe, and others, as they weren't taught to enjoy it. Nor taught by someone who themselves not only knew how to teach it, but also enjoyed it themselves. 

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13 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Any book can be made interesting. Engage with the audience correctly and all will reveal itself unto thee. 

 Don't want to do that? Bring in someone else, then. It shouldn't be that difficult to make books interesting to potential readers.

Any book?  Any??  You're one of those optimists aren't you?

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