neverstopreading's FALL (& early winter) thread for 2018
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2018 Categories Challenge
...the counters are moody...
January - August total: 151
January - August total: 28685
Books of the Bible are classed as they are in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha
39 Books of Hebrew Bible/Protestant Old Testament
20 Books of Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal Status
27 Books of the New Testament
Wow, it's almost halfway through September.
I've mostly been reading some short, historical church documents. These include some first century texts telling the stories of martyrs and a poem on the passion. Naturally, no one knows for sure who wrote them and how historically accurate the hagiographies are.
Then there's some recent (by comparison) documents on slavery (specific, not general, condemnations), and one much more recent (1899) on "Americanism" - a vague collection of ideas condemned as heretical.
I finished books 3 and 4 of the Long Earth series (working on the fifth and final one now). I enjoy the series, but the first three are definitely not plot-driven books. There are many story lines that don't always seem to intersect (at least until much later), and they often are given equal importance. The stories focus more on world building and gradual character development. It's not until The Long Utopia - book four, that there is really an clear, overarching plot line for the whole book. That being said, I think they are excellent, and the first and fourth books especially captured my imagination.
Finally, there is the book Beyond Trans by Heath Fogg Davis, a transgendered university professor. I can't say that there are many areas of agreement between the author and me. That's not a surprise. I do recommend the book to those who would normally dismiss this community, not as a way of changing minds, but as a way to come to an understanding and a compromise when it comes to policy.
Many of Davis' policy suggestions are doable and reasonable, such as redesigning bathrooms, or designing future bathrooms, so that the toilet section is fully private, ceiling to floor, with the washbasins in a common area. Others are unenforceable (I hope), and potentially demeaning to some, such as the suggestion to require men through law or encourage through public information campaigns to sit down to urinate, especially in unisex bathrooms.
Then there is the beyond absurd, such as the suggestion to change "male" to "people with penises" and female to "people with uteruses" on forms, despite the fact that later in the book he notes that some transmen refer to their clitoris as a penis. We'd be left with the same problem but more cumbersome forms.
I finished The Long Earth series. While it looks like it has generally mixed reviews from most readers, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's true that the story line is often either missing or bouncing all over the place, but it's not a plot-driven series. This series is about exploration and world-building. We, the readers, are Lewis and Clark heading out west. We are exploring, and making note of what we find, but we cannot linger too long in any place. We are not settlers. Those who are not fond of the series tend to complain about this, but that is OK because that's not what the books intended. Star Trek would have been quite boring if all humans did after Zefram Cochrane was to travel to Vulcan and study logic, right? Not much trekking, at least.
Partial read review for Timefall by Alison Lohans - an ER book (I never feel like I'm all that good at writing these things):
I found it difficult to get started. I've read these young-adult-transported-into-fantasy-world books before, and this one felt like it was trying too hard to seem authentic by over-using some of the traditional tropes. But as I pushed through a couple of chapters, the story line started to draw me in.
Katie is a typical teenage girl, except that's she's also a mother of an infant child. When she, her, child, and a friend get lost, they learn they're...where? Another world? The distant past? The future? Somewhere other than where they were. Somewhere where there has been a disaster. Somewhere where her baby is called to be the savior.
There is a responsibility (isn't there?) to help these people out - but no one will explain to Katie what is going on. All she wants is to take her baby, go home, get her phone working, and be a normal teen mom again.
I would argue now that the over-use of the tropes I mentioned before is actually a success. The two extremes of Katie's teenage world and this bizarre future/past/alternate/disaster world are much starker, and this adds to the overall development of the setting and story.
>9 figsfromthistle: Thanks :) Actually, I created this thread a month ago, I've just barely posted on it. So it might as well be new!
Well, it's over.
Thanks for a great season.
The long winter begins.
Aw, too bad. I know how you feel...I was a long-suffering Red Sox fan for years.
Well I've spent much of the last two months reading the Bible. It has certainly been rewarding in many ways. This is the second time I've read it through, previously in the New American Bible.
I've finished the Old Testament, and I have one book left in the New Testament, Revelation, which I will read last, as it was written last, concerns the "last things," and really does serve as a wrap up or epilogue to the overall story. Before that, I'll finish the deuterocanon/apocrypha. I have 1, 2, 4 Maccabees (I read 3 Maccabees already since it really is not connected to the Maccabees at all), 2 (or 4) Esdras, and Sirach.
Years ago, the church I attended had a wonderful bible study program. I learned a lot about the old testament! I seek the new testament though for solace. I especially enjoy the Psalms.
The Psalms are a timeless classic in their own right. While it's still popular to use them in prayer, in the middle ages, monks would pray the whole psalter every week, which is actually not as daunting as it sounds. If you structure it in the way that you have 7 times of prayer a day (like the traditional Matins, Lauds, Sext, Terce, None, Vespers, and Compline), and pray 3 psalms at each one, you would pray 21 per day, or 147 per week. You're left with 3, which can easily be fit in on Saturday night, Sunday morning, or any other time. The hardest part is setting aside the time each day. I don't remember who said it, but I heard once, "Everyone needs a half-hour of prayer every day, except for when you're busy. Then you need an hour."
Well, I finished the Bible. And while it was meant to be a year-long thing, and I intended to spread it out evenly, most of the reading was done in the past 2-3 months, and I've barely touched anything else. That's OK. Binge reading the Bible has its benefits.
>20 neverstopreading: congratulations! And reading straight through helps with continuity and seeing how some verses relate to others.
(**** 1/2) - This is a strange book. It's fun, it's dark, it's scary, but above all, it is strange fiction. Hell on earth(?)/wherever? Check. Political/religious cults? Check. Worshiping foam fingers? Check. Spider-induced hallucinations? Check. People wearing nothing or things that aren't proper clothes? Double check. That's only some of the strangeness.
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