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AlbertV

What Books Are You Currently Reading or Read?

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Just finished the third Kenzie and Gennaro novel, Sacred, and cracked open (as much as a Kindle can be cracked open) Clive Barker's 700 page beast, Weaveworld.

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Hmm...

1- "Without Remorse" (1993) Currently reading this after my bro-in-law recommended it. Pretty good so far. The only problem I'm having with it is some of the terms for things that I don't understand. Like names for weapons and equipment. But I just looks those up and I'm good. lol

 

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The Outlaw of Torn (1914) by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Set in the 1200's in England, Prince Richard is abducted at the age of 3 by De Vac, a French swordsman who was humiliated by the king. Richard is raised by the Frenchman as Norman of Torn, an outlaw who in Robin Hood-ish fashion preys upon the  nobility and elite of England, having been indoctrinated with hatred for all things English. A local priest does hold influence over the lad as he grows up, imbuing him with a sense of honor and chivalry. And of course, then there's Bertrade de Montfort, the girl of a prominent family who wins his heart. Norman builds his infamous reputation, developing his own army of former cutthroats and brigands, and performs acts that so offend the king, he unknowingly seeks to have his own son executed. 

Always loved this book, and I believe it's the only one ERB ever wrote with an entirely Medieval setting. It's a fun read. Of course, as usually is the case, there is no match for Norman when it comes to fighting, and there's plenty of swordplay here. Also, almost every girl who happens to meet the outlaw of Torn is actually intrigued by him and attracted to him. One such results in a surprising instance of suicide which I had completely forgotten about. ERB doesn't give a lot of detail to the action, except for the finishing strokes of death, and the story concludes with Norman/Richard dueling De Vac and then learning the truth of his identity. And he gets the girl.

ERB tells the story with a bit of Shakespearean flavor, but it is no way cumbersome to decipher. It's just a good, fun book. 

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Dan Brown - Origin. So-so compared to earliest Robert Langdon books, Too much science(fiction), computers and

Spoiler

artificial intelligence being mastermind was not only stupid concept, it was easy to guess well before the end as nobody else could have leaked exact info at that speed.

On the positive side, it was still better than Inferno.

 

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Hmm...

1- "Dark Nights: Metal- The Resistance" (Graphic Novel- July 3, 2018) Finally got this from Amazon yesterday! Pretty good so far. 

2- "Dark Souls: The Age of Fire(Graphic Novel-June 11, 2019) Really happy to finally get this! The last Dark Souls comic I got (Dark Souls: Legends of the Flame) was incredible, so I cannot wait to read this one. 

3- "Avengers vs. X-Men Companion" (Graphic Novel- May 21, 2013) A beast of a book at a little over 1100 pages! Pretty good, though it kind of turned me again the X-Men, because of how crazy they act. 

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After trying ever so hard to get through Clive Barker's dismal Weaveworld, I've done the unthinkable: given up. It's a paper thin, characterless novel that feels as though Baker is making it up as he's going along. Terrible book.

So, with disappointment in my heart, I aim to lift myself up by starting Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes on the bus home tonight.

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Running Blind (2000) by Lee Child

I've only read a couple of the Jack Reacher novels, and it's been a while since that, but I always enjoyed them. This one was so-so. An attempt to frame Reacher for the murder of former female soldiers, who had been sexually assaulted while in service, ends up with him essentially being extorted by the FBI and forced to work the case under their scrutiny. The pacing is really slow, and while the book starts off with a fair little piece of action, that's about all you get in this one. The writing and plot kept me engaged, but it seems to go in a lot of circles and drags things out. There's a nice little twist at the end as the real killer is discovered. Don't think I'll be reading this one again, but I did nab 3 more at the used bookstore the other day. Already started another one.

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On 8/25/2019 at 3:22 PM, kingofkungfu2002 said:

It is, and quite a hefty one at just under 500 pages. 

Nice. I'm planning to order my copy on Friday.

I finished Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, the true story of Kerman's imprisonment that inspired the Netflix series than ran from 2013-2019.

I am going to start reading How to Make Blockbuster Movies...And Do It On Your Own by Tom Getty. Getty is an indie filmmaker who gained a bit of a following after he made an action film two years ago entitled America Has Fallen. He personally gave me a copy of the book to check out.

Edited by AlbertV

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I'm just past the halfway point with Mattew Polly's intriguing and well written biography of the late Martial Art's star. This book is well worth picking up if you want to know learn more about the man behind the myth.

 

bruce-lee.jpg

Edited by DragonClaws

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One Shot (2005) by Lee Child

This is the novel the first Jack Reacher film starring Tom Cruise was based on. Reacher comes to town because a former soldier has been arrested for sniping 5 people, and he knows he's done it before. The ex-soldier's defense attorney happens to be the daughter of the prosecutor. All the evidence is there, and it irrefutably points to the ex-soldier's guilt. In fact, the amount of convincing evidence is so absurd that Reacher begins to suspect that something isn't right. 

I had been wanting to read this one since seeing the movie. However, this is again one of those rare cases where, to me, the movie is actually way better than the book. Child builds the story very slowly, and certain aspects of it get very redundant. It's also a bit light on the action until the end. More of that would have helped the pacing.

 

The Viking Spirit (2016) by Daniel McCoy

Read this for research for a novel I"m working on. It's very informative.The first section of the book deals with Norse religion such as its pantheon of gods and goddesses, cosmology, cultural and societal beliefs, magic & shamanism, and the like. The second part investigates Norse mythology. The author does a really good job in comparing the available sources, explaining perspectives, and condensing the mythological tales from their various renditions. I do wish the material was more in depth, but the fact of the matter is that there's just not a lot of recorded histories from the Viking era regarding expansive explanations about their religious practices, most likely because it varied region to region or altered from time to time. And since many of the myths were originally of oral tradition, much of that has most likely changed over time as well, and we have what we have from the few discovered sources. And it seems that culturally, that was the intention. Vikings weren't scholars, they were warriors. Just as in battle warriors must be fluid, so was many aspects of their religion and myths. It was quite interesting. And one myth in particular, The Saga of Sigurd, would make for a killer movie that would a killer movie as it is as epic as any Greek tragedy.

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On 8/27/2019 at 4:51 PM, kingofkungfu2002 said:

It's a great read..He's certainly led an 'eventful' life. :o

It sure is so far. I am reading it right now and I'm up to where he just finished working on I Come in Peace with Dolph Lundgren. 

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6 hours ago, ShaOW!linDude said:

The Viking Spirit (2016) by Daniel McCoy

Read this for research for a novel I"m working on. It's very informative.The first section of the book deals with Norse religion such as its pantheon of gods and goddesses, cosmology, cultural and societal beliefs, magic & shamanism, and the like. The second part investigates Norse mythology. The author does a really good job in comparing the available sources, explaining perspectives, and condensing the mythological tales from their various renditions. I do wish the material was more in depth, but the fact of the matter is that there's just not a lot of recorded histories from the Viking era regarding expansive explanations about their religious practices, most likely because it varied region to region or altered from time to time. And since many of the myths were originally of oral tradition, much of that has most likely changed over time as well, and we have what we have from the few discovered sources. And it seems that culturally, that was the intention. Vikings weren't scholars, they were warriors. Just as in battle warriors must be fluid, so was many aspects of their religion and myths. It was quite interesting. And one myth in particular, The Saga of Sigurd, would make for a killer movie that would a killer movie as it is as epic as any Greek tragedy.

 

Hi @ShaOW!linDude, many of the smaller villagers where I come from retain their Viking names. The area was once run by Eric The BloodAxe, who had a great hall here. He was such a big name at the time he had multple halls across England. Grew up with a lot of Viking stories and history, my sister and dad know more about the topic than I do. My sister is an archaeologist, and she has been on many digs invovlving Viking sites and Long ship's. The former Norse and Scandinavian countries still dominate strength contests to this day, say's a lot a really.

Edited by DragonClaws

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The Affair (2011) by Lee Child

Another Jack Reacher novel. This one I really enjoyed. Great plot. Loved the characters and its Mississippi setting. Liked the female character he is paired with in this, and there's some nice heat between them. Probably one of the reasons I liked this one so much is because it's more of a back story as to what led up to Reacher leaving the military. However, again, it was a bit light on the action for me. Still, it's one I'd read again since the story itself was so good.

 

Blake (1995) by Peter Ackroyd

A biography of writer/artist William Blake. I've read snippets of his work and seen a couple of paintings. Always heard of him, but knew next to nothing about him. This was pretty interesting, but also a chore to get through at times because it's quite dry reading. Blake, who actually started out as an engraver and copyist, was the underdog artist of his era, one of those whose talents are only appreciated by a few during his time, but has gained cult status in the centuries since. Ackroyd does a meticulous job researching the book, and really delves into what influenced Blake at certain points in his career and relates to his work at the time. I found that interesting, more so than just what techniques he used or characterizations he presented. While he was a man who talents were in demand for a time, he was often late with the work he was commissioned to do because he would follow his own muse. But such is the life of an artist, and they tend to work better when they have a patron to support them. Blake had a few of those, too. Still, he was very opinionated, and that often alienated him from his peers. The most interesting to me about him is that he believed he was often visited by heavenly apparitions and spoke with them, as well as spirits of the dead, throughout his life, which served as motivation for much of his personal artistic work.

 

Presently I'm almost midway through a collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories.

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18 hours ago, ShaOW!linDude said:

Blake (1995) by Peter Ackroyd

A biography of writer/artist William Blake. I've read snippets of his work and seen a couple of paintings. Always heard of him, but knew next to nothing about him. This was pretty interesting, but also a chore to get through at times because it's quite dry reading. Blake, who actually started out as an engraver and copyist, was the underdog artist of his era, one of those whose talents are only appreciated by a few during his time, but has gained cult status in the centuries since. Ackroyd does a meticulous job researching the book, and really delves into what influenced Blake at certain points in his career and relates to his work at the time. I found that interesting, more so than just what techniques he used or characterizations he presented. While he was a man who talents were in demand for a time, he was often late with the work he was commissioned to do because he would follow his own muse. But such is the life of an artist, and they tend to work better when they have a patron to support them. Blake had a few of those, too. Still, he was very opinionated, and that often alienated him from his peers. The most interesting to me about him is that he believed he was often visited by heavenly apparitions and spoke with them, as well as spirits of the dead, throughout his life, which served as motivation for much of his personal artistic work.

I studied William Blake while I was in college as one of the literature teachers was a specialist on Blake and I can attest the character is very interesting. I feel knowledge of his life and especially of his thought process - from the belief he was visited by spirits to his vision of life as a journey through different states and major events are a passage from one to another -  helps a lot when one wants to understand his work.

For instance, the state thing I just mentionned gives a very interesting light under which one can study some of his poems as a lot of the poems from Songs of Innocence will have a counterpart of sorts in Songs of experience - the most notable example is the opposition between "The Lamb" and "The Tyger", poems about two very different animals whose opposition is reinforced in "The Tyger" when the speaker wonders how such a cruel, ferocious beast could have been created by the same god who created the sweet little lamb.

 

Other works of his like The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, An Island in the Moon or Milton are more complex and can be difficult to understand, but they offer some interesting commentary on various topics such as English society in Blake's days, philosophy (the characters in An Island in the Moon are personifications of various philosophical currents IIRC) or literary criticism (Milton is essentially an essay on John Milton's epic "Paradise Lost"). I recall the teacher often cited The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Milton during classes (along with mentions of poems from  SoI and SoE), while I personally found An Island in the Moon very enjoyable and I was a bit bummed he didn't mention it more as the inclusion of songs and the way Blake depicted philosophical arguments and society in general could have been interesting to study.

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