drneutron's (Jim's) Reading to Avoid Work - Part 5
This is a continuation of the topic drneutron's (Jim's) Reading to Avoid Work - Part 4.
This topic was continued by drneutron's (Jim's) Reading to Avoid Work - Part 6.
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Read so far:
The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Committed by Dinah Miller and Annette Hanson
The Inkblots by Damon Searls
Monstress, Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu
The Seventh Plague by James Rollins
You Disappear by Christian Jungersen
The Unwinding by George Packer
The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl
The One-Cent Magenta by James Barron
Three Gothic Novels by E. F. Bleiler
In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Invincible, Vol 1 by Robert Kirkman
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
Lola by Melissa Scrivener Love
Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
Armada by Ernest Cline
Powers of Darkness by Bram Stoker
Coolidge by Amity Shlaes
Magic in Islam by Michael Muhammad Knight
And the stats:
Total Books: 23
Male: 19 (76%)
Female: 6 (24%)
Living: 24 (96%)
Dead: 1 (4)
Hardback: 4 (17%)
Trade: 8 (35%)
Mass Market: 1 (4%)
eBook: 10 (43%)
Fiction: 14 (61%)
Nonfiction: 9 (39%)
Library: 16 (70%)
Mine: 7 (30%)
Group Read: 1
22. Coolidge by Amity Shlaes
Wanted to like this one - since the US Presidents challenge, I've discovered the joys of biographies of our political leaders. Unfortunately, I had a couple of issues with this one that spoiled it for me. First, Shlaes writes uncritically about Coolidge and how his Presidency fed into the conditions that brought about the Great Depression. Second, the book was tedious, which may be fitting for a book about Silent Cal. Either way, didn't work for me.
23. Magic in Islam by Michael Muhammad Knight
So, ever been to the library and come across something so unusual that you just had to try it out? That's what happened here. First there was a blurb about Knight on the back: "Islam's gonzo experimentalist!" What? Then there was the previous book, Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing that I really need to find. Then the subject - magic and its relation to Islam across history - used as an intro to Islam and as a way to deconstruct and invert the orthodox/fringe split in modern Islam.
So how was it? Pretty much as promised, though I don't think this will "challenge common assumptions about organized religion" or "flip popular notions of a religion's center and margins", mainly because I can't see that this book will be widely read. But it did make me think about looking at historical religions through modern eyes, and it did make me think about how we interpret practices as compared to tradition and scripture.
Plus it was fun. Knight's a lecturer and grad student at UNC Chapel Hill's Divinity School, and it's clear he's got a talent for relating his ideas to people. He's out to shake some trees and make some people uncomfortable, and that's interesting to see.
>6 PaulCranswick: Congrats on being first!
Thanks for the good wishes, everyone! Welcome all!
Thanks! If it's any help, it's a short read. I read the whole thing on a plane from the West Coast.
That does help, thanks. It's harder to take a chance on a whopper, isn't it.
In keeping with your theme, and in honor of one of the best drinking days around: Happy St. Paddy's Day!!
Happy new thread, Jim, I don't drink beer, but you can make my husband happy with most of the trappists at your topper. We even named one of our Chow Chows dogs after one of them: Chimay.
Happy New Thread, Jim! Hurrah to both astronomy and zymology; you'll make scientists of us all at this rate.
>18 jnwelch: Yup! Although you and Mark convinced me to give Infinite Jest a go. :)
>19 Berly: Awesome! Bell's is a favorite!
>20 Carmenere:, >21 johnsimpson: Thanks! And welcome!
>22 FAMeulstee: I'd seen you talking about Chimay, but didn't know where the name came from.
>23 ronincats: That's my goal!
>24 mstrust: Thanks, and Happt St Patrick's to you!
Having a lazy Saturday afternoon and watching the old Adam West/Burt Ward Batman movie - yeah, I'm going cheesy this afternoon.
"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
I'm with you, brother... :)
that does sound like a lazy March Saturday......what beer accompanied the bomb?
Hi, Jim! Just stopping by (and delurking) to say Happy New Thread and that, though I'm not a beer connoisseur like some, I'm enjoying the astronomical beer theme! Glad you're having a good weekend!
I've visited Orval. Nice and green place. A camping next to a café, connected by a wobbly footbridge over a small ditch. Orval tastes fine, but is a heady drink. We did manage without accidents, but it was a close call one time.
I don't agree that global warming or climate change are 'fashionable catastophes' but are more the biggest threat to mankind, but the fact is pretty interesting.
>42 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!
>43 PaulCranswick: Oh, yeah, I've got some things I want to do... (1) Learn some Old English/Anglo-Saxon, (2) Get involved with a local literacy project to help people become functional readers, including non-English native speakers, (3) Bike and kayak more, (4) Get involved in a local non-profit that builds water purification systems for areas of the world without clean water, ...
>44 drneutron: They all sound like absolutely awesome retirement plans. Seems like you'd miss the space life as well though?
>45 lunacat: To some extent, but I think by the time I retire I'd like a change. This year's my 30th anniversary here at the Lab, and I'm likely to retire at 40 or more years. So I think that's enough for one space lifetime! :)
>44 drneutron: Interesting plans, Jim. And worth while. But before you know it, you'll be as busy as can be, and won't have time to go visit Belgium;))
Ooh nice! Seems we're neck in neck at 23! I'm so glad I finally stopped by, Magic in Islam sounds fascinating. I've been thinking a bit about it, since stricter religious laws make magic and islam a taboo mix, versus the 'lax' approach of most american christian churches. Don't know when I'll ever get to it, but I think it would be useful! Thanks for reading and making notes. :)
>1 drneutron: Beer and astronomy, or as I call it now: B'stronomy.
>4 drneutron: ever been to the library and come across something so unusual that you just had to try it out?
That is why I can't plan my reading too seriously, gotta leave room for the randoms out there! This one seems to qualify, and what a bonus that it got you thinking.
>44 drneutron: and the dot dot dot at the end there is also very promising!! Looks like you are busy til.....2057 then?
>52 knotbox: Knight punts on trying to define magic, which I think is the right approach because it's too relativistic an approach - at some times in history, you can't tell the difference between magic and religious ritual. Instead he talks about technologies and how they are sometimes sanctioned and sometimes not. And talks a lot about how we can't think about a subject like this in terms of "Islam" in that there's no one Islam. You have to allow for different practices and interpretations in different times and places. Really thought-provoking stuff.
>53 Ireadthereforeiam: *snerk* Gotta pass that on to my scientist friends...
>53 Ireadthereforeiam: I'm planning to work 10 -12 more years, but I'm also hoping I can make some room for "pre-retirement" after Solar Probe launches next year. What I'd really like to do next at work is a high altitude balloon flight so I can go to Antarctica for a few weeks. :)
>54 scaifea: Thanks! I'm pretty sure I can find useful stuff to do that's a mix of serious and fun. :)
What I'd really like to do next at work is a high altitude balloon flight so I can go to Antarctica for a few weeks. :)
I have a bunch of friends who have done that (well, that or work on a telescope on the ground at the Pole, but same idea), and they all had a wonderful time at least the first few times.
>57 lorax: We have a group here that flies telescopes on the long duration balloons there every year. Back in the 2003-2005 timeframe, I built a neutron spectrometer and flew it on some balloons out of Fort Sumpter in New Mexico to simulate astronaut exposure to cosmic rays and secondary neutrons in thick structures like the Space Station. Got my PhD out of that work - hence, drneutron. :) I'm hoping that I can translate that experience into their balloon work!
Happy New Thread, Jim! And a hearty "Amen!" to the retirement sentiments; I thought about it a lot and verbally expressed my desire to call it quits on numerous occasions at work this winter. I would also like to volunteer in an adult literacy program (I donate to ProLiteracy, but my work and travel schedule aren't conducive to actively volunteering at the present time). I would ideally like to retire at 65, although 70 may be more realistic, and I am still seriously thinking about moving to Spain when the time comes, as it would be much cheaper to live there than in the US.
>59 kidzdoc: Spain sounds like an excellent choice! We've got the additional complication of a son who may someday provide grandkids, so no thoughts about where we'll retire just yet.
>60 Morphidae: :) I so far haven't been able to convince mrsdrneutron to move to Alaska, but I haven't given up yet...
Amazing how grandkids affect where one lives :) Were it not for our two I would seriously be looking at an international move.
A research stay in Antarctica would be amazing (imho) but then, I'm not a scientist and I don't' think they have much call for city planners there.
Yes, the hope of a grandchild someday (has to be soon; my daughter's turning 34 this year) is also keeping me from moving to Costa Rica, Spain, Panama, even Canada - somewhere that isn't the U.S.
I volunteered at the L.A. City Library as a literacy tutor a few year's before I retired. It was very rewarding, and I am still friends with a woman I worked with.
Hi Jim! Your retirement plans sound ambitious and fun.
I love retirement, having been at it a year and 2 months now. The nicest part, besides not setting the alarm clock, is that I'm a member of the board of our local Friends of the Library and in July will take over as Treasurer. We do some fantastic things for our public library and I'm proud to be part of it.
That sounds really fun! The literacy program I'm interested in is run by our public library system.
Happy Friday, Jim. Glad to hear you have Monkey God in hand. But make sure, to enjoy Evicted first. That is a very, very special book.
Have a great weekend.
Or as I like to call it, Trappist-1g. Very good - I'd definitely have it again!
Beer looks good Jim. Hope the weekend trip is as fun as it sounds. I like the literacy programme idea. I would like to get a part time qual in that area.
What Mark said about the Orval, Jim. Any Trappist ale I've had, I've liked. Chimay is the one I remember best. Delicious.
>71 drneutron: drneutron - Beautiful presentation - is this one available all over the U.S. and is it seasonal?
Oooof. 20 miles today. With hills. After a winter of not riding. We may have overdone it... :)
>77 jnwelch: I'm gonna try to work my way through the Trappist-1 beers. My local,store also had a Westvalle one, but it was a trippel. I wasn't sure I was up to a 12% just then. :)
>78 m.belljackson: Well, I found it in a dinky little liquor store in th middle of semi-rural Maryland. :) Seriously, from the website it looks to be generally available, but you'll need to find a store that carries decent beer, I suspect.
>79 PaulCranswick: Thanks! I hope your weekend is good too.
>80 banjo123: :) I'm surprised anyone else remembers it! That's awesome!
>55 drneutron: What I'd really like to do next at work is a high altitude balloon flight so I can go to Antarctica for a few weeks.
Which would be cool, because you would then presumably come through Christchurch, where I live. Meaning....international LT meet up. Some time between now and pre-tirement anyway ;)
Happy Sunday, Jim! We (Donna, Anne, Joanne, Kris and me) had a meetup yesterday and your name came up. We reminisced about your two prior visits to Denver when we were able to meet up and wished you could have been there with us. We ate at Sahara where you and Anne and I met last time you were in Denver.
Stopping by to say hello and sending you best wishes for a wonderful week!
Glad to hear that you had a wonderful first rode of the season. Wishing you a good start into the new week.
And I'm long overdue for an update. Sorry this one's so long... :)
24. Watchmen by Alan Moore
Reread of a graphic novel classic - I can't believe it's been 9 years since I read it!
Moore's dark and twisted vision of a world where masked vigilantees are both despised and used as weapons. It's an homage and a criticism of comicbookdom. It's a commentary on our society and our government, especially as we swing to the conservative side. It's a look at human nature and what happens when someone loses that sense of humanity.
It's a tough read sometimes - and it's most effective if you're a superhero comics kind of person. Highly recommended, though.
25. I Am Providence by Nick Mamatas
A modestly successful writer of Lovecraftian fiction attends a convention in Providence and gets tangled up in a murder mystery. Involving a book bound in human skin. And people who may be trying to raise the Elder Gods.
So. The blurb sounded good. This is the kind of book that should be right up my alley. But it wasn't. It was absurd and mocking, and had a plot that was mostly not there. It did try to be funny at spots, but wasn't really successful. I didn't hate it - it was just meh.
26. Orphan X and
27. The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz
Evan Smoak is a orphan raised to be a super assassin by a mysterious father figure to serve the US government. But when he's ordered to eliminate others in the Orphan program, he disappears. And now he's helping folks who can't get help anywhere else. At least while the remaining Orphans aren't trying to kill him.
Yeah, it's been done before. Smoak is part Jason Bourne, part Repairman Jack, part Jack Reacher. And that's ok, because Hurwitz is a decent writer who knows how to tell a story. It's brain candy, but it's good brain candy!
Good morning, Jim!
I finally got a chance to try this. I was intrigued by the grapefruit angle, but have no idea about sculpin. It is also pretty expensive for a six pack of bottles ($13.99 on sale). It was smooth and definitely the kind of brew I would drink when I drink, which is rarely. My disappointment was in the lack of even a hint of grapefruit. I may have missed it; lumped it in with the over all taste. I just didn't get it. My two cents.
Never had that one, but I do like a good grapefruit shandy or wheat beer. If you wanna give one a try, go for the Leinenkugel. It's great!
Ballast Point was one of the first craft brews in San Diego. They sold to a big company a year or so ago. I wonder how "craft" they are these days.
I'll give it a try, Jim.
>102 RebaRelishesReading:. Hi Reba. It is still good beer, just didn't meet my expectations.
Sorry to see, over on Ilana's thread, that you've been a bit out of sorts due to pollen counts etc. I hope it begins to settle soon. It's only just occurred to me (as I was writing this) that my dry eyes and runny nose could be the beginning of hayfever season! You'd think I'd remember it by now.
:) Yup, every year I have to re-learn the lesson of when to start antihistamine. I'm medicated, so things are better today.
>95 drneutron: I read both Watchmen and V for Vendetta among many other graphic novels and comics that were hot when I was an undergraduate (1988-1992). Sad to say, I don't really remember much about Watchmen. I guess that means maybe I wasn't mature enough to catch subtexts and motifs? Or I was gulping stuff down so fast that I never paused to digest any of it?
I think maybe I should try them again, and see if I have more of a reaction this time. Of course, I never got Wuthering Heights when I read it for a book report in high school either. Or Heart of Darkness. And I think maybe I should try again now that I am middle-aged to see if they make any more sense or resonate at all with me now the way they never did when I was a teenager. But then, I already re-read so much instead of covering new territory, so why plan on more of the same?
Gregg Hurwitz Orphan books remind me of that movie Hannah that I just saw recently. We do love the stories with children raised in isolation to be super-assassins.
Well, I didn't remember the details from Watchmen, so the re-read was fun. I definitely got more from it this time around.
I think the books I read in high school are also due for a re-read. I didn't like Dostoyevski or Melville when a teenager but really came to appreciate them as an adult.
I'll have to look into Hannah - I think I saw a trailer for it but haven't watched it.
>100 brodiew2: A sculpin is a fish - the one on the box, I assume. I don't know if there's a grapefruit sculpin (presumably for its color/markings, rather than flavor!) or if they actually used a fish in making the beer... Very odd! Ah, their page talks about it - apparently sculpins have stingers, and they made this beer to carry a small sting... https://www.ballastpoint.com/beer/sculpin/
Hi Jim, just trying to get caught up! I also like the sound of your retirement plans. I told my husband I was ready to retire now but he didn't really go for the idea :-/
I am trying to figure out what I am most passionate about, because I want to get involved in *something* but I care about lots of different things, and only have very limited time... It's a conundrum.
Re: retirement, my father is still promising to do that some time soon. He is 72.
I'll just point out that Ballast Point is one of San Diego's 130+ craft breweries...
>109 jjmcgaffey: Thanks for the info, jjmcgaffey! Like I said it was good, just not what I was expecting for the price. There are other grapefruit brews that include the taste.
>111 katiekrug: Yeah, there's silly things like wanting to eat and have a roof over my head keeping me from retiring right now... :) Mainly I'm just looking at ways I can do something different that will make a difference in people's lives. I'm not interested in big political causes, just wanting to affect individuals. I care about a bunch of things too, so I suspect I'll be involved in several areas.
>112 Ireadthereforeiam: Hey, if you love what you're doing and it's keeping you going, why not? Too many times I've seen people retire because they're "supposed to at that age" only to waste away pretty quickly.
>113 ronincats: Sounds like I need to make a field trip to San Diego!
>114 brodiew2: Let us know what you think of the shandy! Tip: it's really good cold on a hot day. :)
Happy Friday, Jim. I have not read the Watchman. Why? I have no idea. Need to track a copy down.
I finished Norse Mythology today. You might enjoy this. Gaiman rarely disappoints.
drneutron - Many years ago, in 1994, there was a near-mythical
(at least to us teachers lucky enough to be awarded scholarships)
gathering of Astro people at NAU in Flagstaff: Carl Sagan,
David Levy, Carolyn and Gene Shoemaker, and many more.
If you also attended this AAS and ASP event and have a great memory, can you tell me the name of the Australian Astro Photographer and the American Astronaut who spoke...?
Thank you. We toured Lowell, the Meteor Crater, and, I think, a NASA site.
Wow, that would have been an awesome meeting to attend! I found a blurb on the web about an APS symposium called "Copleting the Inventory of the Solar System" at the Lowell Observatory. End of June 1994. Was that it?
That sounds right - I'll check when my old brochures again surface.
It was a memorable time - a friend and I traveled a circuitous route to Flagstaff -
Amtrak from Chicago to Glacier National Park, then drove up to dinos in Drumheller,
and down to Delta to dig trilobites, circling around the northern edge of the Grand Canyon...
Just found the next accessory: The Bicycle horn of Gondor!
On thy left!
>125 drneutron: Hahaha
I have the honour of posting the 1,000th post to your threads this year already, Jim.
Have a great weekend.
Hi Jim and happy Sunday to you!
>104 lunacat: and >105 drneutron: Allergies. Sorry you're afflicted. I learned to just take the Claritin-wanna-be, loratadine, every single day of my life. Winter, summer, fall, spring. It's saved me from quite a few sinus infections. Of course, I'm also mildly allergic to cat dander and we have 2 kitties, but since I don't pay attention to when the pollen is going to hit, I'm always ahead of the game. This week I will be hosing the porches off. They definitely need it.
>128 ronincats:, >129 Ameise1: yeah, saw it on Facebook and had to post it! :)
>130 scaifea: Thanks!
>131 karenmarie: Hasn't started here yet, but in a month we'll have the same problem. Unfortunately, Claritin and similar don't do much for me, even when I take them every day. Allegra's my salvation. :)
>125 drneutron: Awesome! I definitely must have that horn. Then I'll just need to buy a bicycle to put it on.
There's an online archive for physics papers called, amazingly enough, arXiv. I was browsing the abstracts posted over the weekend and came across an interesting one. Here's the abstract:
Schrodinger’s Cat and World History:The Many Worlds
Interpretation of Alternative Facts
I propose that much recent history can be explained by hypothesizing that sometime during the last quarter of 2016, the history of the world underwent a macroscopic quantum tunneling event, creating, according to the Many Worlds Interpretation, a new branch of the multiverse in which my consciousness and that of my readers is now trapped. The failure of much political polling is then understood by assuming that the particular branch we are on had very low amplitude in the quantum wave function of the multiverse. In this view, one must take a different attitude towards alternative facts than that proposed by the mainstream media. We know that quantum tunneling can change the low energy laws of physics in the different branches of the wave function. Alternative facts may simply be the reflection of the media's ignorance of the state of the world after a quantum transition of this magnitude.
Explains a lot... :)
Hi, Jim! I wanted to mention this to you- We went out for dinner Saturday night. It was a grungy brew-pub, with a weak tap list. They did have Orval on the menu. Just in bottles. 12oz bottle. For 12 bucks. I passed on it. I did notice it was nearly 12 per cent alcohol. Wow! I will look for it at the liquor store.
28. Evicted by Matthew Desmond
Many folks have said a lot about this book here on LT and in the 75ers. Most of what was said I agree with. Desmond has done a fantastic job documenting the lives of landlords and tenants in the economically poor areas of Milwaukee. I was especially impressed with how he makes everyone involved human, and doesn't try to lay blame on individuals or dumb down a complicated problem. Instead what we get is a pretty honest picture of people buried in a system that can't help them, and even if it could, so many bad decisions sabotage any attempt to get out.
In some ways this one hits close to home. We have family that are in similar situations, mainly because they make really bad life choices and have substance abuse problems that keep their lives chaotic. Frankly, it makes me skeptical of proposed solutions - we've tried over the years to help, with little more than wasted time and money. Still, Evicted is a book, and a discussion, that is needed.
29. Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton
Three years ago, in a horrible accident, Catlin's children were killed by her best friend Rachel. Since then, Catlin has been working herself to revenge. And just as she's about to do it, another child goes missing - the third in three years - which kicks off a wholly unexpected chain of events.
Bolton's mystery is well, and unusually, told with multiple points of view and layers peeled back as we go. The Falkland Islands setting is unique and interesting, though in some ways reminded me of the Anne Cleeves Shetland Island novels. All in all, a nice break from the grittiness of Evicted.
>115 drneutron: Hey, if you love what you're doing and it's keeping you going, why not?
And love it he does. Getting out into the wilderness and taking photos is his passion, its the office work that follows that irks him.
Little Black Lies sounds interesting. It would be a tough space to navigate, if a friend accidentally killed your kids, that's for sure! Yikes.
>134 drneutron: I think that writer has a plausible explanation there. Well, as plausible as any that I have heard this far. The Wayback Machine would be a good fix!
Love you're Schroedinger's excerpt, and I'm sure Peabody is our best hope!!! How far back do you think he'll have to go? Or will this take several trips.
Like the sound of Little Black Lies, Jim. The book at least.
Have a great weekend.
Ok, *that* was a sprint...
Due to various reasons ranging from date night with mrsdrneutron to spending most of Saturday disassembling and releveling a fountain in my front yard, I've been off LT all weekend. I've now
- Glanced through every thread with new messages since Friday
- Entered about a dozen new threads into the Threadbook
- Queued up a couple of books I finished this weekend to enter into my thread
I'm beat and it's only 9:30 in the morning...
30. The Secret State by John Hughes-Wilson
I'm not quite sure I know what this book is. It purports to be a history of espionage and intelligence, but it's not really a history. It's more like a first-year college introduction to intelligence and counter-intelligence, but it wasn't deep enough to use in a class. I suppose if someone knew absolutely nothing about the subject, it might be of some interest, but that's hard to imagine. And to make matters worse, it's about UK and US intelligence, with the occasional foray into Soviet Russia, as if no other country or people group did any of these things.
Quite the disappointment.
>155 katiekrug: No, no, we have to speed up so Jim starts his new thread with the topper of the latest picture of his little toy at work! Soonest!
>151 drneutron: Holy cow, Jim! I'm exhausted just reading about your frenzied catchup. :-)
I don't know how you can keep up with us all and have a real life too, Jim. Glad that you can but take time for the important stuff too,
>165 drneutron: Ah, that is probably why I am so hopelessly behind because I keep missing a couple of days. Real life and actually reading books cut into LT time. Thanks for making LT one of your priorities.
>166 Familyhistorian: It helps being a bit ADD, so I'm always doing something. :)
>167 Ameise1: Thanks! Happy Thursday!
>168 jnwelch: I'm not in fandom either, but I liked it and have recommended it to a few people. Plus I've got the next one sitting beside my reading chair (along with a bunch of others...) and plan to get to it over the summer.
We are Legion looks awesome - just put it on my list. How can you not like a series called Bobiverse... :)
I'm in the middle of The Madman's Daughter, a respinning of The Island of Dr Moreau and am liking it so far. I haven't decided yet whether it's warble-worthy, but it's promising!
You have to read about the Bobiverse!! I am a We Are Legion fan! Already have the second one ready to go and I loved the audio version.
>170 ChelleBearss:, >171 johnsimpson:, >172 DianaNL:, >173 Ameise1:, >174 mstrust: Thanks, everyone! I hope you have a happy Easter too!
>175 scaifea: Hi, Amber! Hope you had a good time in Chicago!
>176 Berly: Yup, I saw that and promptly added it to the list.
>177 alcottacre: Great! Hope you like it!
Nice! We haven't got irises yet - but yesterday when we reassembled our fountain, we split and replanted a bunch around it.
So a few days ago, mrsdrneutron and I found this light n go bonfire log at Home Depot:
Not our firepit, but we have a similar one. So we fired it up yesterday evening - and man, it really works! Great fire for a couple of hours until it burned down, then I put some other logs on top so we could sit outside a little more...
iPad books, rum and cokes, various snacks, peace and quiet. Beautiful evening!
That looks really cool. Is it a real log with something in the middle?
It's a real birch log, with a star-shaped cut along the length of the center. They put a fire starter in the center that you light, then it burns from the center out. Takes about 2.5 hours to burn down.
>181 drneutron: Lovely, we have them too and using them in summer when having a party.
Happy Monday, Jim.
>181 drneutron: Looks awesome! I would not mind one for crisp fall evenings.
Way too long since I updated my reading...
31. Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan
In 1980, a group of college friends end a wedding celebration by exploring an abandoned prison in Philadelphia. They get locked in and the bride disappears. Now, some decades later, the body has been discovered, and the investigation into a murder begins.
There's not much of a mystery here - what happens gets revealed earlier than I expected. But it is a decent thriller, and even better, an exploration of secrets and what happens when they're revealed. All in all, a pretty good book!
32. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Sheperd
Juliet Moreau is the orphaned daughter of Victorian Britain's greatest anatomist - who died in a scandal involving vivisection and forbidden experiments on animals. But she comes across evidence that he's still alive, then discovered her father's servant/assistant, Montgomery, in London gathering supplies. And so in spite of Montgomery's reluctance, she travels to an island off Australia to confront the man she thought was dead, only to discover just how far his experimentation has gone.
So, yeah, this is a reworking of H. G. Wells' The Island of Dr Moreau, but rest assured it's a pretty good one. There are whole new romantic elements and secrets revealed, and it's a decent action/thriller. I'm a fan of the gothic atmosphere and dark feel of the writing. Even though the "science" was way out of bounds of what's possible, it's really an homage to that long line of stories warning about the dangers of scientific over-reach.
By the way, book 2 of the trilogy is based on Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde and the third is based on Frankenstein!
Ooh, I like the "light n go bonfire log", Jim. I have to pick up a new fire pit, though. My last one fell apart.
Howdy, Jim. Hope all is well. I started Lola today. I like it, in the early going and I remember you enjoyed it too. Right?
Oh, yeah, I loved it. I think you will too.
We used a firepit, but those logs are set up so they work on any relatively flat, nonflammable surface.
thanks for the lovely post over on my thread, Jim.
In all the minor tempests in my life, I'm hoping I didn't somehow miss a Jim Sighting here in Beantown. Did you come and go already or may we still have hope to see you live and in person?
>183 drneutron: ingenious!
Fire pits are so cool. When I flatted with my sister we dig one in the lawn (perhaps that wasn't a great idea as far as the landlords thought!!) and had regular back yard fires. When we left the house for good we filled the hole with bark and grass clippings and hoped that the hole went unnoticed!
Morning, Jim! I like the idea of the bonfire log, too. I've wanted a firepit for ages, and it looks like we may get one soonish - we're thinking of doing some remodeling on our house, and the back deck area will be part of that...
>188 drneutron: Both books look like ones I would enjoy. Thanks for the recommendations, Jim!
>191 msf59: Yes. There's a lot of the same vibe there. And I liked Lola for a lot of the same reasons - mainly the strong, complex main character.
>192 michigantrumpet: You haven't missed me. The instrument we're getting from SAO had a major setback and won't be delivered for a bit yet. I'd like to get up there sometime in May or June. And a meetup is definitely on the docket if we can make the schedules work out. Plus mrsdrneutron may join me!
>193 Ireadthereforeiam:, >194 scaifea: Ours is one of those portable ones that you can move around We've had it on our back deck and in several spots out in the back yard. That plus a couple of camp chairs and you're good to go! Well, you have to throw in some Cuba Libres or a bottle of wine too. :)
>195 alcottacre: No prob! It's not like the BBs haven't flown the other way... :)
Hi Jim, hope you are having a really good weekend and the weather is good with you.
Hi, John! Unfortunately, it's been cool and rainy, but I've had inside work to do. So that hasn't stopped me!
>1 drneutron: And dogs? We have a new neighbor whose dog is named Chimay (after the beer, not the planet).
Hope you have a great Sunday, Jim.
Thought of you yesterday as I went to the Kennedy Space Center.
>202 drneutron: It was great Jim. I learned a lot both about what was and is but also what is planned to be.
Happy Sunday, Jim. I am still having a good time with Lola. I hope to spend more time with her, over the next couple of days. She is a helluva character.
Glad you had a good time with Monkey God! Now, I have been hearing strong buzz on Killers of the Flower Moon. Hey, keep that NNF coming!!
Hi Jim, reading Spaceman of Bohemia and thought of you. I love the idea that the Czech Republic could have their own space programme...
I heard an interview on Fresh Air with the author of Killers of the Flower Moon and it was really interesting.
So Rachel (The_Hibernator and family came into DC for the March for Science. After a long, rainy day, we met them for dinner at Kramer Books and Afterwords for dinner.
How wonderful! The March for Science and an LT meetup, all on the same day!
>209 drneutron: Ah, a lovely meet-up and a great cause to boot! Well done, everyone.
>209 drneutron: What fun to see another LT meetup!
I hope you all had a good time together, after this long and rainy day.
>209 drneutron: It looks like you had a great time. Happy Tuesday, Jim. Thanks for sharing the photo.
>208 drneutron: I also really liked The Lost City of Z and so rushed to see the movie when it came out last Friday. It's long and boring and has little to do with the story in the book. I would say the film makers just took the idea of a lost city somewhere and then wrote their own story without further reference to the book.
Wandering across the internets, I've uncovered the true antecedents of the 75 Books group. I'm really glad, Jim, that you've been able to buff up the group's image and attract more savory members. And we're all here voluntarily!
Interesting. I'm actually in Berkeley today and when we got to our meeting this morning there was a great view of Alcatraz across the bay...
>218 weird_O: I'd be thrilled to hear that they had a book club and shared reviews.
Oh man, I missed the news about your Meet Up with Rachel. It sounds like you had a nice visit. I have never been disappointed meeting a fellow LTer.
I finished Lola today. Good, solid read, with a kick-butt lead.
I saw a Simpsons episode recently where Marge was put in jail- the lawyer managed to get her out early, but she refused as was so pleased about the rest from family demands, and the 8pm lights out, that she wanted to stay. :)
Good evening, Jim!
As per an earlier conversation on another thread, I'm taking a crack at hosting the traditional May Murder & Mayhem thread.
>226 kidzdoc: Maybe it's just disinterest in swimming in shark infested waters.
This topic was continued by drneutron's (Jim's) Reading to Avoid Work - Part 6.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.