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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:15 pm
by Malia
Saturn wrote:Standing in the rain for three days?

If that's your kind of fun.... :wink:

Hmm. . .rain sounds absolutely lovely to me right now (we're in the middle of the wildfire season out here). Ahh. . . standing out in the rain with a cup of tea. . .yes, that would be my idea of fun right about now! :)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:20 pm
by Saturn
Well whatever gets you through the night.

I'm currently imbing coffee.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:34 am
by AsphodelElysium
Ah, I have to admit that my next purchase is the newest Harry Potter. I too, was at one time a skeptic, thought "its just too popular to be that good," but really they are very well written stories and none of her praise is undeserved. And in all fairness and honesty, no one can say whether something is truly good or bad until they have experienced it. I just think sometimes fantasy/scifi lit. gets a bad rap for being "childish" and albeit her books are aimed at a certain audience, but there are other books in the same vein that are banished to the "juvenile" section of the library based on theme alone and I don't think that is very fair at all. I consider fantasy/scifi to be some of the lingering vestiges of romanticism, so the whole backlash gives me a great deal of anxiety. :(

Malia, I wished I heard your argument used in some of my classes. I think it might have opened a few eyes.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:03 am
by Saturn
I'm just stubbornly opposed to anything that's so overwhelmingly popular.

But hey I didn't watch or read Lord Of The Rings for the same reason but ended up falling in love with it.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:42 pm
by Sir Nevis
Saturn wrote:Dickens was certainly a boy wonder :D

I've never understood the reading more than one book at once thing - I've never done it, couldn't do it :?

I'm not very good at multi--tasking...

no, me neither. it's more that my desultory, piecemeal reading habits reflect the distracted state of my mind. i agree that it's much better in principle to stick to one book at a time. :)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:47 pm
by Credo Buffa
I was skeptical about HP at first as well, but clearly I was sucked in. In the end, I actually think that its massive popularity is part of what's so wonderful about it. I can walk into almost any place with any age group and be able to strike up a conversation with someone about Harry Potter. To go to a packed bookstore for the midnight release on Friday (yes I went, and I had a blast!) and see all those people waiting for the same thing--not the latest game console or sporting event or pop concert, but a BOOK--is pretty spectacular.

I also whole-heartedly echo Malia's sentiment that there is a fine line between literature for "children" and literature for "adults". Really, I would argue that HP was never merely for children, but simply had to be marketed in that light because the protagonist is a school-age boy (though ultimately, marketing went the other way as well once they figured out what they really had). In fact, J.K. Rowling herself said that she wrote for herself, not for kids. I've actually found myself considering when (if ever) I have my own children, at what age I will allow them to start reading Harry Potter. Honestly, the idea that 8-year-olds are out there reading this last installment is kind of distressing: torture, cruel and senseless death, swearing (oh, best line EVER from a character you would never expect!), dirty jokes. . . The list of mature content goes on and on. Ultimately, though, what is so great about J.K. Rowling is that she's not afraid to be realistic; she doesn't insult the intelligence of her younger readers by assuming that they are unaware of or incapable of digesting the darker things in the world, and it gives older readers the substance they want.

But that was my conclusion in my senior seminar paper for cultural criticism, anyway. Harry Potter has sort of opened people's eyes in a lot of ways, in the way that fantasy is written and perceived in a society that has for at least the last 150 years relegated it to a back corner in a world of "serious" literature, particularly.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:05 pm
by Saturn

Yes another translation of The Aeneid [I already have about five others] but this is a very special version by the greatest living translator of the Ancient epics.

I think I've sung the praises of Robert Fagles many times but I can't praise him enough.

If anyone is even beginning to think of reading Homer or Virgil's epics [or the Orestia of Aeschylus and Sophocles' Theban plays] they really can't do better than read the magnificent, concise, modern and above all poetic translations of these ancient authors.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:39 am
by AsphodelElysium
I was at a used book sale to day and I managed to come back with two jewels or, in any case, what I would consider jewels. I picked up an 1895 edition of Keats' poetry and an 1868 edition of the Common Book of Prayer. I also purchased a copy of Vathek and a few more odds and ends for myself and a friend. All in all, it was a satisfying experience. :D

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:08 pm
by Malia
Sounds like a great haul, AE! Was the Book of Common Prayer an Anglican or Episcopal version?

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:58 pm
by AsphodelElysium
I do believe Episcopal. It was a nice trip. Too bad I can't go back Sunday, everything is half off!

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:06 pm
by Sir Nevis
i'll definitely be buying a collection of wordsworth's poems today if the second hand bookstore still has it, and i may also buy george macdonald's 'david elginbrod', depending on how little sales resistance i have (i'm already reading a copy i got from the library.)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:08 am
by dks
I'm reading Great Expectations (again) because I'm teaching it this semester...I get something new out of it each time...I think about that Pip...I really do wonder about him--old chap...

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:11 am
by Malia
I'm currently reading the fourth installment of the Harry Potter series. I decided I'd use the Harry Potter series as my before-bed reading until I make it through all of the books. So far, my favorite character is Lupin :)

The one and only thing I don't like about this series is the fact that she writes in passive voice *all* the time. It makes me crazy. Other than that, it's a great read!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:48 am
by AsphodelElysium
I'm currently in the midst of George R. R. Martin's Ice and Fire series. A friend read them before and from what she said I didn't want to read them, but now she's re-reading and I'm being hijacked. I'm about 300 pages into book one, A Game of Thrones and I have to admit I'm hooked. Its like watching a train wreck kinda hooked, but still I'm addicted now. If you all get the chance you should check them out. Very well-written.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:10 am
by adonais
Oooh I love GRR Martin, "A Song of Ice and Fire" is the one that blows the rest of the genre out of the water. It's not for the faint of heart, though, there's some pretty gruesome stuff in there. You're forewarned :) Unfortunately the series isn't finished yet....he's still working on the remaining titles, and it looks like it could be a long while... :?