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Wondering if starting a new reading thread is a good idea...

The Green Dragon

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Mar 2, 3:19pm Top


Some of you know me from other groups and I follow several threads here, but I've never begun my own thread in this happy land.

But perhaps it's time to pull up a chair and clink mugs/glasses.

Today, I am taken by a new fantasy writer. My younger daughter mentioned her to me last week, but not that she had read her yet; only that she seems to be having some publishing success. (They attended college together.) So I had to check her out and fluff her author page.

I discovered that her short story, A Witch's Guide to Escape, can be read online, in fact HERE.

I was truly impressed. Her story concepts and phrasing are powerful. Her delivery is succinct and appealing. She reminds me of two of my old favorites, Orson Scott Card and Diane Duane, and a more recent favorite, Kate Griffin.

I know that's some heady company. Check her out and tell me what you think.


Mar 2, 3:39pm Top

>1 2wonderY: Nice to see you starting a thread. I for one shall be lurking. I shall get around to reading A Witch's Guide to Escape given your recommendation.

Diane Duane and her husband Peter Moorwood have lived in Ireland for a some time and they are great attendees at the Irish SF fandom events. I have to confess I have not read any of Diane or Peter's work but I have enjoyed their contributions to various panels and discussions.

Good luck with your thread. I look forward to future clinking of mugs/glasses and discussions on works of common interest.

Now, what are you drinking? It's my round.

Mar 2, 3:45pm Top

I just discovered Irish Stout - yum! And thankee

Mar 2, 4:31pm Top

>3 2wonderY:

Two pints of Guinness it is.

Mar 2, 7:35pm Top

>1 2wonderY: I would enjoy following your thread if you decide to maintain one. I’ve found maintaining a thread here to be a fun experience and the people in this group are great.

Mar 3, 4:03am Top

>1 2wonderY: I second >5 YouKneeK:. Looking forward to seeing what you read.

Mar 3, 10:59am Top

>1 2wonderY: Glad you are joining us for a pint!

Mar 3, 2:19pm Top

You have pints?!

Mar 3, 2:49pm Top


Mar 3, 5:09pm Top

>1 2wonderY: ooh. There's some great lines a real nice touch my favourite two are: "So, it’s only a certain kind of patron I pay attention to. The kind that let their eyes feather across the titles like trailing fingertips, heads cocked, with book-hunger rising off them like heatwaves from July pavement" I love that. "Sainte-Geneviève in Paris is supposed to have vast catacombs beneath it guarded by librarians so ancient and desiccated they’ve become human-shaped books, paper-skinned and ink-blooded. "

As ever don't read the comments!

Mar 3, 5:44pm Top

I appreciate your warm welcomes.

>10 reading_fox: Right? Here's another of my favorites:

His caseworker was one of those people who say the word “escapism” as if it’s a moral failing, a regrettable hobby, a mental-health diagnosis. As if escape is not, in itself, one of the highest order of magics they’ll ever see in their miserable mortal lives, right up there with true love and prophetic dreams and fireflies blinking in synchrony on a June evening.

Edited: Mar 3, 11:34pm Top

It's wonderful to see you settling in here at the pub. I don't participate much anymore, but I do look in regularly.

Mar 4, 12:42am Top

>1 2wonderY: Welcome! and >11 2wonderY: J R R Tolkien is supposed to have said "Who would be most concerned with, and most hostile to, the idea of escape? Jailers.".

Mar 4, 1:03am Top

>13 haydninvienna: I hadn't heard that one. What a great quote!

Mar 4, 7:11am Top

>1 2wonderY: Very happy to see you here! I look forward to following your reading and making some great new discoveries. I will definitely check out the Witch's guide to escape story.

Mar 4, 5:40pm Top

A decade or two ago, I took a literature course at the community college - Science Fiction & Fantasy. It was a blast. (The core dozen or so and the professor continued to meet semi-regularly for several years after.) We each had a final project to present to the group. One of the women, a local librarian, really sold her favorite world - the Vorkesigan universe. I had read one of the novels, Brothers in Arms already; but Lynn's passion made me examine the series in more depth, and I caught the fever. This is one of a very few series that I continue to track and replenish. I keep handing out Shards of Honor and Cordelia's Honor to daughters and friends, but no one in my world has taken it up yet.

I'm upgrading to hardbacks, as the print is easier on my old eyes. I scored several last week, the plum being Test of Honor, because it has been too long since I've read The Warrior's Apprentice. I'll take up The Vor Game next.

I'm also listening to Bujold's Penric books; just finished Penric's Fox. I'm finding this series only mildly entertaining. I rate the seminal books of the larger World of the Seven Gods-verse, The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, as masterpieces.

Edited: Mar 4, 5:45pm Top

>16 2wonderY:

Cordelia's Honor is among my absolute favorites of all time. I also often recommend it to others.

Mar 4, 7:15pm Top

>16 2wonderY: I've been picking up the Vorkosigan series via means of the omnibus editions every so often and have enjoyed each of those that I've read so far. I have Miles Errant sat on the tbr shelf for me to get to at some point.

Mar 5, 5:49am Top

>16 2wonderY: Hurrah! I too rate The Curse of Chalion as a masterpiece. And I also concur in finding the Penric series less involving.

I have wanted to read the Vorkosigan saga for a long time, but have been put off by it length. I fear embarking on such a long series may be injurious to my finances!

Mar 5, 8:16am Top

>19 -pilgrim-: It's not the money you'll spend, it's the time you are wasting! Go! Start! We'll help. I've inadvertently bought a couple of duplicates of the later part of the saga that need new homes.

>13 haydninvienna: Huh, Neil Gaiman just quoted that to me in his 2012 presentation, 'What Is a Children's Book' read by himself in The View from the Cheap Seats. Great minds, eh?

Mar 5, 8:34am Top

>20 2wonderY: I got it from C S Lewis somewhere. But yes, definitely a case of great minds thinking alike.

Mar 5, 8:36am Top


Gaiman was quoting C.S. Lewis.

Edited: Mar 5, 8:40am Top

>21 haydninvienna: >22 2wonderY:
It looks like C.S. Lewis was the guilty party.

Mar 5, 8:54am Top

>22 2wonderY: >23 pgmcc: As I remember, Lewis was explicitly quoting Tolkien. I don't have the source at hand, but a little googling leads to this. I have the book Of Other Worlds cited in the footnote, and this is probably what I'm remembering. It seems that all roads lead back to Tolkien.

Mar 5, 9:10am Top

>19 -pilgrim-: I will jump on the bandwagon and encourage you to read the Vorkosigan saga! They are some of the treasures on my reread-keep-forever shelves. Absolute escape into fun, adventure, deep thoughts and good reading. I believe I also discovered them due to the Green Dragon pub influence, among several other of my now favorite authors.

Mar 5, 9:21am Top

>24 haydninvienna: And I could be wrong in #22. I'm listening to the book, and my audio memory is not nearly as good as my visual memory.

Mar 5, 10:25am Top

In the whole of the Orange County library system there is only one paperback copy of Cordelia's Honor so I wonder how much longer it will be available. Although there is an eaudiobook copy of Shards of Honor so maybe I'll have to get used to that format if I want to read this series.

Edited: Mar 5, 10:32am Top

>27 jjwilson61: Grover Gardner reads all of Bujold's books, so that's not a bad way to go. But her brief characterizations are sometimes heartbreakingly beautiful, and you want to just savor them over and over.

PS: I have really good luck finding copies at Half Price Books.

Mar 7, 3:38am Top

>17 suitable1:, >18 AHS-Wolfy:, >20 2wonderY:, >25 MrsLee: OK, you got me! Well, you did until I saw the price for Shards of Honor on Amazon: £45+.

Have not had any luck with the discount bookstores either. I am not a fan of audiobooks, particularly for something that I want to savour.

Mar 7, 11:45am Top

>29 -pilgrim-:

You should be able to find paperback copies of Shards of Honor and Barrayar at normal prices. They are still in print.

Edited: Mar 7, 12:35pm Top

Check Abe.com Shards of Honor paperbacks start at $7.99

I miss Half.com!!!!!

I went ahead and ordered myself a copy of Vorkosigan's Game, as well as two recent non-fictions not in my public library system yet. Temptation is too great.

Edited: Mar 7, 1:09pm Top

I had to go to the dentist on Tuesday with a couple of ouchies. Laying in that chair, helpless while someone is drilling/grinding/etc on one side and that awful sucking thing is in the other cheek causes me some consternation. I know that I'm still breathing, but I can't tell that I am. Doctor is recommending Valium for me on all subsequent visits.

Anyway, although I'm discarding and down-sizing my collection, I survived and thought to reward myself for being such a brave girl. And I happened to be just around the corner from the only bookstore in the county. I'd just been there selling several boxes of books, and had already bought the three Bujold books; so I had to poke around some.

Met the nice young man running the store and had a conversation about Discworld. Invited him to come join us. Well, and all that, I bought the first The Science of Discworld.

Edited: Mar 7, 1:36pm Top

>32 2wonderY: Oh dear, poor you. Still, it ended well. Even better, if your young man joins LT.

Edited to correct the embarrassing error pointed out by >34 (blushes)

Edited: Mar 7, 1:22pm Top

>33 haydninvienna:
Even better, if your young man joints LT.
What kind of joint did you have in mind?

Mar 7, 1:39pm Top

>34 suitable1: Whoops! That will teach me to post using an iPad and not preview properly!

Mar 8, 6:33am Top

>32 2wonderY: I’ll be interested to find out what you think about The Science of Discworld once you try it. I read the first two Science books and wasn’t crazy for them, but my opinion seemed to be in the minority when I was reading other reviews for them.

Mar 8, 10:39am Top

>29 -pilgrim-: As well as the previous suggestions for picking up Shards of Honor, there's also the option to select Cordelia's Honor which is an omnibus edition containing both Shards & Barrayar. Might be cheaper than getting them separately.

Mar 8, 12:33pm Top

>37 AHS-Wolfy: Thank you for that suggestion.

And yes, I have caved, and am hunting...

Mar 8, 6:22pm Top

>32 2wonderY:, >36 YouKneeK: I really enjoyed all the Science of Discworld books, but then I have rather a fond relationship with all of Discworld.

Mar 11, 7:16am Top

>36 YouKneeK: I will, but possibly not for a while. My reading pattern is circuitous.

>39 Busifer: I've liked almost everything Pratchett wrote that I've come across. I'm trying to be a compleatist, but I've got a ways to go. In honor of the new film coming out - which my children are bouncing about - I've ordered up Good Omens on audio. There has been a surge on the holds for it.

I binged on the Netflix first season of The Umbrella Academy this weekend. I hadn't read the comics and probably won't. But was very taken by the story and the characters and the production.

Mar 11, 9:13am Top

>37 AHS-Wolfy:, >31 2wonderY:, >30 suitable1:, >25 MrsLee: Your opinions please.

Apart from finding copies of Cordelia's Honor relatively expensive, once shipping costs are factored in, I also have a certain hesitation towards starting a series whose volumes I will probably wishy to keep, whilst away from my home address.

I also read somewhere that Lois McMaster Bujold recommends reading the Vorkosigan Saga im internal chronological, rather than publication, order.

With that in mind, what are your views regarding my starting with Falling Free instead? I understand that it is set sufficiently earlier as to stand alone effectively.

Edited: Mar 11, 10:06am Top

>41 -pilgrim-: Falling Free is almost a separate tale, until much later in the Vorkoverse. You'd be safe to start there.

It's not entirely necessary to begin with Cordelia. I started with the Miles stories and tracked back to Cordelia. You must read her two stories in order and the Miles books are better if read in chronological order; they make more sense. Start with Young Miles, which covers his first adventures and has the heartbreakingly beautiful Mountains of Mourning. (Plus the virtue of three books in one.)

Holy crap! Some dealers are really offering a rip-off deal. Prices range from less than $6 to almost $300. That's just stupid.

Mar 11, 11:57am Top

>41 -pilgrim-: My introduction to the Vorkosigan books was A civil campaign, which is apparently not a good place to start (it's quite late in the series), but I loved it! Enough of the backstory was given that I could either figure it out, or handwave stuff away if I didn't get it, and the storyline had me totally gripped - and roaring with laughter. I still haven't gone back and read all the other books (I have read some and enjoyed them but am slow to fill in the gaps in my collection) but this one is still my favourite, and one of my all-time favourite books. If you prefer reading in chronological order this is not the approach I'd recommend, but if you like the sound of a Regency-style romance set in space (with extra bugs) then it might work.

Mar 11, 12:34pm Top

>43 Sakerfalcon: Oh! The dinner party!

But if you haven't read Diplomatic Immunity, you haven't really seen the next generation Vorkosigan lady in action.

Mar 11, 12:34pm Top

>40 2wonderY: I just started Umbrella Academy this weekend too - we watched the first two episodes. Do you know if there will be a second season?

Mar 11, 12:36pm Top

>45 Darth-Heather: Yes. But… Some major changes - and I can't tell you more - so don't go looking it up until you finish season 1.

Mar 11, 12:38pm Top

>46 2wonderY: sounds like perfect rationalization for me to watch the rest right away :D

Mar 11, 12:39pm Top

Who is your favorite Hargreeve so far?

Mar 11, 3:14pm Top

>41 -pilgrim-: The first one I read from the series was Falling Free but wasn't overly impressed and it was over a year before I picked up another Vorkosigan book. Would probably not be my book of choice to recommend starting with. If you can't find a cheap enough copy to start with the Cordelia books then as >42 2wonderY: suggests start with the first of the Miles books in either The Warrior's Apprentice which is also featureed in the omnibus edition Young Miles.

Mar 11, 3:53pm Top

>48 2wonderY: I'm only two episodes in, but am becoming attached to Number 5, the young guy who time-travels. I don't know if he has another name. I also like Vanya and hope something good happens for her.

I am hoping at some point there will be an explanation for their conception?

Mar 11, 4:06pm Top

The Wikipedia page says Number 5 does not have a proper name, but is only referred to sometimes as 'The Boy.' Which makes little sense. Their robot mother, Grace, supposedly named each of them.

There are lots of details that never get explained. Sigh.
And the comics series is supposedly even less forthcoming.

Mar 11, 4:33pm Top

BTW, >12 SylviaC: BIG HUG! I miss you.

Mar 12, 12:00am Top

>52 2wonderY: BIG HUG right back at you!

Mar 12, 9:16am Top

>41 -pilgrim-: Falling Free was probably my least favorite. My first in the Vorkosigan saga was Cetaganda. Right smack in the middle of the series and it didn't matter at all. I fell in love. After that, I raided used bookstores until I found a copy of Cordelia's Honor, then forward from there with the help of Amazon, etc.

The reason Cetaganda was first for me was that I was commuting at the time in a car which had a CD player, but no way to listen to Audible books (which I hadn't discovered yet), so I was going to my local library and reading their CD books in alphabetical order for fun. I came across several authors I would not otherwise have tried, and a couple I love. Also a couple that were real stinkers (the books, not the authors!).

Mar 12, 4:36pm Top

>50 Darth-Heather: By the end of the 10 episodes, Klaus is definitely my favorite. Oddly, less screwed up than the others.

Mar 13, 4:26pm Top

Just got back from an extended break and this is the first post I spotted. Welcome, Ruth! Glad you decided to dive in. :o)

Mar 14, 6:17pm Top

>56 clamairy: Hey, hey! So good to see you again!

Mar 15, 9:21pm Top

Just found and starred this thread!

I got sucked into the Vorkosigan universe a couple years ago, and am slowly reading the books in chronological order. My next book is Mirror Dance, which I do not own.

I loved The Curse of Chalion.

Sources for inexpensive used books online include Ebay.com, bookfinder.com (search), and abebooks.com, go for it!

Mar 16, 10:56am Top

>58 fuzzi: Oh! I'm sorry, I thought you would have seen me here in the corner. Hey-ho!

Mar 18, 4:04pm Top

Seeking advice. I've never read Susan Cooper, and thought I should. I started with Over Sea, Under Stone, and I'm not all that interested. Is this one of those series that must be introduced in childhood? Is it worthwhile to carry on?

I'm listening to Record of a Spaceborn Few. Tried it in print and was having trouble focusing on the variety of characters. This is a frustrating read compared to the first two books; both of which had a lot fewer characters and a more apparent plot line. Not enough time spent on any one group, and thus, less emotional commitment.

I was at the library last week, and the very attractive cover of That Inevitable Victorian Thing caught my eye. I'm not terribly impressed with the innards, and may abandon it.

Mar 18, 4:26pm Top

I was introduced to the Dark Is Rising sequence by a boyfriend when at university. He was so enthusiastic about them that he bought me the entire sequence. I dutifully read them, but they did not particularly impress me then.

In retrospect, I am more drawn in by their very real sense of place, located in a region in which both he and I grew up. If I recall aright, the first book has a slightly different tone to the rest of the sequence, so you may want to stick it out a little longer.

I do wonder how much of my own, fairly negative, response was reaction against the excessive hype. Certainly a lot of what I recall compares favourably to a lot of fantasy that I have read since. It still can't hold a candle to the books by Alan Garner though. They too occupy that middle ground, but they do not disappoint on adult rereading.

Mar 18, 6:35pm Top

>60 2wonderY: the dark is rising is perhaps the best. I would definitely describe them as YA, and they are sufficiently dated I doubt they'd appeal to modern teenagers, lacking in any cultural reference points. They're also very very UK centric, so if you don't have that background they won't get the same effect. I greatly enjoyed them, but haven't re-read them for some time. The clever working of the different characters across the series is perhaps one of the better areas, so give book 2 ago, but if you still don't like it don't progress further.

Mar 18, 6:50pm Top

>60 2wonderY: I read and loved all the Dark is Rising series, including Over Sea, Under Stone many years ago, when they were fairly new (and so was I). I haven't reread them recently, however, and am not sure if I would love them as much now or not.

Mar 19, 8:12am Top

>60 2wonderY: I've always loved The Dark is Rising series, though would agree that the first book is the weakest. I used to reread them regularly while I lived in America because the sense of place and mythology is so strong.

Mar 19, 5:35pm Top

I would recommend reading at least The Dark is Rising before giving up on the series. I like them all, but Over Sea, Under Stone was written a lot earlier, and is so different that it hardly seems to fit the rest of the series.

Mar 20, 7:58am Top

Thank you all. I will forge on.

Mar 21, 3:47pm Top

Late to the table, but while I did read all of Dark is rising it never did anything for me.

>61 -pilgrim-: I loved Alan Garner's Alderlay books when I was a child, and often wonder how they would fare on a reread. I haven't dared, yet.

Mar 21, 4:15pm Top

Listened to Record of a Spaceborn Few. I tried it in print, but was getting frustrated with the numerous unrelated characters and scenes. The structure is much different from the first two books, and suffers accordingly. Chambers excels in cozy small group dynamics. The status of the human Exofleet is center stage here. It did have a satisfactory ending.

Probably tossing That Inevitable Victorian Thing. Was attracted to the enormously pretty cover. But the characters do not engage me. Well, Helena and August might, if I kept going.

Mar 22, 9:18am Top

>68 2wonderY: From the reviews it looks like you wouldn't be alone in tossing That inevitable Victorian thing. Sounds like one I'll steer clear of. I hope you can find something more satisfying.

Mar 22, 6:14pm Top

>67 Busifer: I reread Elidor a few years back and actually appreciated it more than I had as a child.

Growing up in a semi-rural environment, I had found Manchester as alien as Elidor, but I can now appreciate his evocation of the inner city of the sixties, not yet recovered from wartime devastation. Now that I know Manchester a little, the sense of place is as strong as on his portrayal of Alderney Edge. (And the latter was so powerful that I once took a short holiday there, simply to retrace the locations described in The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath!)

I can also now recognise where Gorlas was, and the other cities on the hills, and the significance of each child's treasure.

So, on that basis, I would say that rereading would not be a disappointment.

Mar 22, 6:54pm Top

>70 -pilgrim-: You definitely manage to nudge me in the direction of a reread.
As it is something that I considered for at last 15 years maybe it's time. Back when I was a child they were library reads, so I need to find them. Should not prove too hard, I hope.

Mar 23, 2:19am Top

>71 Busifer: I am a little wary of rereading A Weirdstone of Brisingamen; it is the least mature of all his books, both in terms of its target age range and in terms of writing style. That is the one book in which he uses some names from mythology (such as Ragnarok, the necklace) for concepts not directly connected to their ancient meaning. For any of the others I would say unhesitatingly: go for it!

I met Alan Garner at the Edinburgh Book Festival once; he seemed saddened that most people there knew him only for his first, and least resonant, book.

That said, I must schedule another reread myself some time: I have the last of the trilogy, Boneland, sitting in my TBR pile.

Incidentally, if you have not yet read Thursbitch, may I leap up and down, gesticulating wildly with enthusiasm, as I recommend it to you?

Mar 23, 11:26am Top

>72 -pilgrim-: Oh, I haven't even heard of it! Thanks, I'll look out for it!

Edited: Mar 25, 3:02pm Top

Well, drat! I've been scrabbling through my fantasy bookshelf this weekend, sampling all the unread books, deciding what to keep and what to toss.

I came across an interesting magical concept that isn't represented much. Now, which book was it? Must I tear the shelves apart once more?

Barbara Hambly incorporates the idea into her Winterlands series. Jenny Waynest struggles with her magic when she goes through her mid-life change.

The book I found and lost again is a school for female witches, and their spells have to accommodate the moon's phases. One lady says she'll be glad when she no longer has to be concerned about that aspect.

I'm trying to recall if this notion repeats in any other Hambly stories. I don't recall it does. I'm just starting Stranger at the Wedding. Oh Ho! I think I solved my question.

Are there other fantasy writers who speak of menopause, menstruation, (notice all of women's difficulties begin with men?) and magic? Perhaps Terry Pratchett addresses it in The Science of Discworld?

Edited: Mar 25, 3:25pm Top

>74 2wonderY: The Hambly you can't think of could be Sisters of the Raven and Circle of the Moon. I haven't read them in a long time, so can't be sure, but it rings a bell.

Oh, actually re-read what you posted, and it wasn't a Hambly you were looking for. Ah, well. If you haven't read those two you should anyway :)

Mar 25, 3:39pm Top

>75 tardis: I will! Thanks.

And I'll have to re-read The Unschooled Wizard to search for this theme.

Mar 25, 4:06pm Top

>74 2wonderY: Pretty certain that menopause isn't addressed at all in Science of Discworld, but I could be wrong as it has been ages since I read it.

Mar 25, 5:18pm Top

>74 2wonderY: I only read the first two Science of Discworld books, but I concur with >77 Busifer: that I don’t recall any discussion of the topic whatsoever in the books I read. I remember it mostly as theoretical, origin-type science with a tiny dash of applied science and a gigantic dose of repetition.

This is not at all what you’re talking about, but your comments reminded me of it. Clive Barker’s Weaveworld will forever live in my mind as “the menstruum book” because that’s what he calls a power that some women possess in the story. It made me cringe every time I read it because it was just so cheesy. It didn't have any discussion of menstruation or anything though; it was just the term used with its implied connotations.

Edited: Mar 26, 9:11am Top

>74 2wonderY: I am scrabbling in the deepest recesses of my memory here, but I recall the saying Weak as women's magic in A Wizard of Earthsea - doesn't a later Earthsea book explain this as being because it is linked biologically to this, and hence waxes and wanes with the lunar cycle?

In the A Weirdstone of Brisingamen/The Moon of Gomrath duology (by Alan Garner) the aspect of the triple goddess who is strongest (major spoiler:Susan, Angharad Goldenhand, the Morrigan) is dependent on the phase of the moon. Its link is never spelt out directly - partly because these are books suitable for younger readers, but mainly because Garner never believes in spoon-feeding his readers - but this is a major theme of the book. Garner is immersed in British myth and folklore, and his concepts of women's magic draw directly on traditional beliefs. (He also contrasts women's magic as drawing from, and working with, natural forces, with wizards' magic, which is hubristic, seeking to impose the caster's will over the natural order.)

I think Pratchett does touch on the idea, in some brief, oblique remarks exchanged between Granny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax with (or about?) Magrat in Wyrd Sisters, but I don't recall the theme ever being fully developed.

Mar 26, 8:03am Top

>78 YouKneeK: and >79 -pilgrim-: Perfect! Just what I'm looking for. More please. Perhaps there is a list in this. Everyone here approves of lists, eh?

Mar 26, 9:12am Top

>80 2wonderY: Go for it. It sounds interesting.

Mar 26, 3:47pm Top

>79 -pilgrim-: Interesting re A Weirdstone of Brisingamen, that totally went past me when I was 12 (to the surprise of exactly no one). Now I feel like I need to find those books again!

Mar 26, 10:28pm Top

>82 Busifer: What is happening re that aspect only really becomes clear in The Moon of Gomrath, Susan is given the bracelet in the first book, but it is only in the second that we uncover more about the "why".

Mar 27, 1:44pm Top

>83 -pilgrim-: I don't think I'd read only one of them if I manage to locate them, but thanks for the tip!
I've put out some feelers and it seems those books are hard to find over here - I had hoped for the library, as I'm not sure I really need to won them. But they seems to have been taken out of circulation since I read them in the 70's... which is not surprising ;-)

Edited: Mar 27, 3:19pm Top

>84 Busifer: I may have spare copies. I was fortunate enough to meet Alan Garner at a signing, and now have new signed copies. If I can find my childhood copies - currently in storage - I could send them to you.

Edited: Mar 27, 3:53pm Top

>85 -pilgrim-: As much as that would be appreciated I don't want to bereave you of your books. If you find them and still won't hurt from parting from them I will of course pay you for postage.
And no hurry. I'm still looking for them over here :)

Mar 31, 7:44am Top

Are you a Peter Grant fan? One of the elements in the books is of the Russian ‘night witches.’

An audio story today in The Washington Post speaks of their real history.


There is mention of a new book about them called The Huntresses.

Edited: Mar 31, 9:33am Top

>87 2wonderY: The real history of the "Night Witches" is also the subject of Lyuba Vinogradova's first book Defending the Motherland. Like Avenging Angels: the Young Women of the Soviet Union's World War II Sniper Corps, it works by collecting oral testimony from as many of the survivors, and those who knew them, as she could. (And yes, I still have not posted a review of the latter!)

>86 Busifer: I will look them out for you when I am next in the right location. As long as I still have the signed copies, the others are yours.

Mar 31, 9:12pm Top

>88 -pilgrim-: I look forward to getting my hands on some of the treatments of their story.

The Huntress, by Kate Quinn, is the novel mentioned in the WP story.

After the torture of a root canal Friday, I took the entire weekend off, luxuriating in great home cooked foods, a eucalyptus foot scrub, and a fresh hardback copy of Vorkosigan's Game.

Edited: Mar 31, 9:51pm Top

>89 2wonderY: glad you survived, and enjoyed Vorkosigan's Game!

Apr 1, 9:30am Top

>89 2wonderY: That sounds like a pretty great weekend, sans the beginning of it on Friday. :)

Apr 2, 1:06pm Top

>88 -pilgrim-: Thank you.

>89 2wonderY: Root canals are not fun, at all, not to mention the black hole they usually make appear in one's wallet... the rest, though, sounds like a nice good weekend :-)

Apr 2, 4:46pm Top

>88 -pilgrim-: - there's also Rusalka one of CJC's lesser known works, about the russian ghost/witches. I feel it's not her best work with the pacing and character voice getting a bit lost in the middle, but it's still great fantasy in an unusual setting.

Apr 2, 6:07pm Top

>89 2wonderY:, >92 Busifer: I’ve had two root canals and really didn’t mind them so much aside from how long they take. Maybe it’s not the norm, but mine were completely painless. Even the shot of Novocain didn’t hurt because they numbed the area before they used the needle.

But in both of my cases it was an abscess that led to the root canal and the abscess itself was quite painful, so maybe that's why the root canal seemed like a breeze by comparison. :) My last one was a couple years ago, and the pain started right before the Christmas holidays so I couldn’t get an appointment right away. It was around a week between the time the pain started and the time the time the antibiotics kicked in. It amuses me when they try to write me a pain pill prescription after the procedure. After I’ve toughed out a week in pain with nothing but Advil and ice packs, they think I need pain pills for the miniscule pain from the procedure? But I just smile and say “No thank you.”

Apr 2, 6:55pm Top

Yeah root canals are a breeze compared to many other dental procedures. Good luck!

Edited: Apr 3, 7:16am Top

>93 reading_fox: I am a little confused. Does Rusalka deal with the Soviet WWII pilots, whom the Germans nicknamed the "Night Witches" (die Nachthexen), or is it about traditional Russian koldun'i?

>94 YouKneeK: That does not sound fun. I hope you are feeling better now.

Apr 3, 7:54am Top

>95 Bookmarque: I'm fascinated with your statement. I want to ask what is worse, but I don't really want to know. Does it have anything to do with the next (crown) procedure?

Pinterest is evolving into a marketing location. Mostly, I can ignore those pins that try to target me on clothing, household goods, etc. But now and again, my attention is drawn to a book. I'm very glad to have followed through and ordered this Korean children's book, first published in 2010; the English translation just came out. When Spring Comes to the DMZ. This is a textured, timely and loving look at Korea. The restrained text perfectly compliments the illustrations and leaves a hopeful message while conveying a particular natural science situation and a society's longing for re-unification and peace.

Apr 3, 9:54am Top

>97 2wonderY: & >95 Bookmarque:

Root canals can be nasty but I do remember Bookmarque having trouble a couple of years ago with another procedure that I shall leave for her to relate. Her experience was enough to assure me that I had made the right choice in not opting for that same procedure.

All that being said, I empathise and sympathise with you on the root canal work.

Apr 3, 10:16am Top

Oh there’s worse. Pete is right...it was a horror show. Brace yourself.

You can see my 2017 reading thread (and some of the health thread) for details, but here’s the short version -

After like 20 years one of my previous root canal and crown combinations finally failed (a middle molar on the bottom left) but I didn’t notice right away because there wasn’t much pain until it was too late. The end of the root replacement (the little metal post they put in) actually ground out the bone the tooth grew in. So it was extracted, but there was a complication - a tiny shard of bone was left in and it became necrotic and so I had to have the socket basically cored out and irrigated. Lovely. Antibiotics ensued.

Then I went through a series of bone grafts to support a dental implant, none of which took except for the last one which was MUCH more elaborate than the first ones. I had a piece of plastic or maybe teflon over the socket to protect the grafting bone (they call it a membrane I think) and the gum grew over it. Eventually. Liquid diet for a while then basically baby food for a while longer. No chewing at all on that side, which I was used to from having a missing tooth anyway.

After about 6 months of that - constant intense pain. You should see my pain meds journal. It was the most prolonged severe pain I’ve ever experienced. 4 advil every 3-4 hours for WEEKS. Anyway, the bone graft took - I grew lots of lovely dense bone, and the implant went in. But it didn’t take. The jawbone literally spat the implant out - it basically unscrewed itself from the bone and that was that. Hurt like hell while that was happening, let me tell you. I have a bridge now and while it works, I’d rather have had a tooth there even if it is a fake one.

That took about 4 years - from extraction to bridge.

Apr 3, 10:22am Top

Actually it was more like 4 1/2 years.

Apr 3, 11:30am Top

O M G!!!

Thankfully, though I've had an awful lot of dental procedures in my lifetime, this is my first root canal, at age 65. I consider my teeth ugly, crooked (despite 4 years of braces), cracked (because of 4 years of braces) and dingy, but they are still all mine. My dad's teeth started breaking off at near my age, but he ignored them and had just a mouthful of stubs when he died at 86. I know there are differences in nutrition and environment, but our genetics are remarkably similar, so it's a cautionary tale for me.

I've progressed to near panic in the dentist's chair recently. Hence the Valium trial. I intend to do what it takes though to keep a functional set of choppers.

That said, people have always remarked on my great smile.

Apr 3, 11:48am Top

6 different dental people in 2 states. It was crazy. I was awake for everything except the final bone graft and I'm grateful I was unconscious for that one. When the same doc put the implant in I knew what it felt like to be a car in a mechanic's garage. Lots of torque and pressure and power tools.

For me smiles are about the eyes, not so much the teeth!

Apr 3, 3:03pm Top

I've had both painless but lengthy root canal jobs and one that was pain of the kind I call "white pain", which is when the nerve is exposed and the pain so great that the brain whites out.

Happy to say that I've been spared the kind of horror that Bookmarque describes.

Apr 4, 8:07pm Top

>99 Bookmarque: I think I should have skipped reading that...I have dentist-phobia. The last time I went they extracted a tooth, and the side of my face was so bruised it was yellow for a couple weeks. I also wound up with a dry socket from that visit. Brrr.

Apr 5, 12:20pm Top

I hate the dentist, but I have to go on Monday because one of my crowns fell out. Ugh.

Apr 5, 12:27pm Top

And to answer your question, which I so rudely ignored, the crown part is easier. The nerve is severed and/or dead so the pain is minimal or non-existent. No anesthetic needed for any of my crown procedures. Just a lot of shoving the thing into place which is only pressure. The ache in your jaw from holding your mouth open is about the worst of it.

Apr 13, 5:02pm Top

Well, it was Stranger at the Wedding:

(Kyra) "It's bad enough having to alter spell-weaving in time to the phases of the moon."
"Yes," Rosamund sighed ruefully. "If it's any comfort to you, I am not looking forward to relearning half my own magic in ten years when my own moon cycles cease..."

I just stumbled upon a bit of the same vein in a Diane Duane book, different species:

Before her wizardry, while still very young with her ehhif (human), Hhuha had taken Rhiow to the vet's and unqueened her. ... Being ffeih did free you from certain inconvenient urges; sometimes Rhiow wondered how still-queened wizards managed when heat and an assignment coincided.

- The Book of Night with Moon

Apr 14, 3:46am Top

>107 2wonderY: Aha! I knew that I had come across this theme in more novels than I had listed. I have read Stranger at the Wedding too, although a long time ago.

Apr 16, 4:31pm Top

Well, I've been dragging. Hit with a whopper flu that moved into sinus infection, I lost all of last week. And I wasn't foolin' around... in bed, up to the gills medicated.

You can tell I'm reading in several universes. The Young Wizards is a perennial favorite, and I've wanted to read the feline stories, because it just sounds like a good premise. It's not doing much for me, though. It may be the blahs in general. I did find energy on Saturday to toss a bunch of stuff I decided could live without me.

I'm cruising through the Vorkoverse again, with Cetaganda, probably my least favorite of all of the books.

But the sun is out and it is spring!!!

Apr 17, 9:10am Top

>109 2wonderY: Glad to hear you are on the road to recovery! Cetaganda, while perhaps not my favorite, still holds a special place in my heart as my introduction to the Vorkoverse. :)

Apr 17, 2:24pm Top

>109 2wonderY: I hope you're on the mend now, and that you're starting to feel better.
The flu can be such a /expletive deleted/

Apr 17, 9:40pm Top

>109 2wonderY: sorry you've been sick.

Apr 29, 3:00pm Top

I moved on to Brothers in Arms, and that was my intro to the Vorkoverse, MrsLee.

I'm a compleatist with the Young Wizard series by Diane Duane, and I own the first two feline stories, so I finally read The Book of Night with Moon. It must be a season for me. It went on and on and on. Way too much trekking around. And though I like the concept of species specific thought patterns, I wasn't really enchanted by this attempt. Perhaps Duane does get it right and I'm just not a cat person. It's possible. In the other books, Kit and Nita always have fascinating conversations with the Lone Power. Here, he was not that interesting.

Edited: May 1, 8:01pm Top

Any other Kate Griffin fans here?

I decided I need to own a copy of Stray Souls, my favorite. Sad it's not available in hardcover.

First line -
"It was raining when Sharon Li became one with the city."

Re-reading now.

May 2, 1:44am Top

>114 2wonderY: Flogging is too good for him.

May 2, 5:59am Top

>115 2wonderY: - I picked up stray souls a couple of years ago. I kind of enjoyed it, but found the choppy writing style a little off-putting. I did intend to go back to the beginning and see how it started, but haven't yet done so.

>114 2wonderY: - you get what you deserve from airport bars. I doubt it was left to settle either.

May 9, 2:24pm Top

>117 reading_fox: I found the first book in the Urban Magic series, A Madness of Angels, to be very strange. But I appreciated Griffin's ability to write from inside an inchoate character's head. You should definitely try it.

I'm back in the Temeraire world, listening to Blood of Tyrants. I feel as if I missed reading Crucible of Gold, as I remember nothing of them being in Brazil. I do have it checked off as having read it in 2017.
Interestingly, Lawrence is suffering from amnesia that covers his entire 8 years with the dragons.
It gives a new vantage - he tries to make sense of the actions he is told he took in those years. The treason charge is especially hard for him to absorb and process. He also records his unexpected lack of fear of dragons and his gut emotional responses to Temeraire. This is a nice angle for the story arc to have taken.

Jun 17, 12:18pm Top

I finished Rogue Protocol and will move swiftly to the fourth Murderbot story.

I'm thrilled today to be able to download the new Vorkosigan book in audio, The Flowers of Vashnoi!! Ekaterin has already proven her mettle. Now she gets to be the protagonist.

Jun 18, 9:54am Top

Well poop. I got all excited about getting a new Vorkosigan novel, only to find on Amazon that I already own the Kindle version. I really need to start reading in my Kindle.

Jun 18, 10:07am Top

>120 MrsLee: Sorry, I should have said 'newest.' I just discovered it. And it slips nicely into place after my re-read of Captain Vorpatril's Alliance.

Jul 8, 10:50am Top

I finally got serious about reading the second book in Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, Terminal Uprising. Though I've only read one other of Hines' books, this seems a departure from his typical fantasy trope. It's also more successful, in my opinion. I had read the first janitors book just after a Becky Chambers book, and compared the two, with Hines coming up slightly short. But both of them know how to world build. The first notable scene occurs inside a kilometers long hibernating space borne creature. Another sentient species has colonized it and harvests certain bi-products commercially. The janitor team is there to meet with a Prodryan, a race committed to annihilating all others. This individual is also a lawyer, and joins our crew, representing them in various encounters, while justifying to himself delays in finishing them off.

They travel to Earth, expecting to find only feral humans (a virus caused global disaster). Instead they discover a group of humans who proved resistant to the virus. Those humans are now caretakers of humanity's legacy - they self identify as librarians!

Jul 8, 1:35pm Top

>122 2wonderY: , last sentence (since I can't quote it): YEAAAAHHH! Instant wishlist!

Jul 9, 11:44am Top

>122 2wonderY: I had forgotten the team has an encounter with feral animals when they first land, till my sister sent me this meme:

Edited: Jul 16, 5:19pm Top

I'm harvesting blackberries this week. Last year, I hit the calendar wrong and had to leave while the biggest jewels hung on the brambles. This year I am right on target. Got 5 gallons of cordial put up already.

I bought a 2nd hand ipad at a pawn shop. Daughter set it up for me and let me into their Amazon Video so I could watch the new Good Omens series. Watched 1st episode and I'm downloading the rest. No service at all up on the ridgetop.

Jul 16, 6:11pm Top

>125 2wonderY: Yum, blackberries are one of my favorite fruits. :) I hope you enjoy Good Omens!

Jul 16, 6:54pm Top

That's how we have to watch all our TV, 2wY. When husband is in a place with good wifi he downloads shows to the ipad and we plug that into our TV. There isn't any cable in the ground here and the cell service isn't good enough for streaming.

Edited: Jul 17, 9:34am Top

>125 2wonderY: Enjoy! (Both the show and all of those berries.)

>127 Bookmarque: Yikes! Well, you're really not missing much. I'm ditching cable next month when my new customer discount expires. I'm keeping the high speed internet. Not sure how I'd exist without that. ;o)

>114 2wonderY: Ha! Peter is right. Flogging is too good for him.

Jul 24, 11:54am Top

>127 Bookmarque: Wisconsin? No cable? You must be out in the nethers. I sometimes wonder how we will cope when this wireless and wi-fi system fails. My iPhone quit working for a day or so in town, and I presume there was a tower issue. But without land lines and local TV or radio, how would you hear except by word of mouth?

On a plus note, I ended up with 32 quarts of cordial and enough berries for a couple of cobblers. It was a fine, if hot, week. Spent time with daughters and grands as well. Couldn't get anyone to help me pick berries though.

Aug 1, 10:28am Top

I'm spending time in Peter Grant's world this week. I found the three Moments mini-stories that Aaronovitch has posted online. Then I was fortunate to be able to download the audio of The October Man. We're off to Germany to meet Peter's counterpart there, Tobias Winter.

One of the other Moments stories is based in the USA. We've met FBI agent, Kimberley Reynolds, in Whispers Underground. Reynolds – Florence, Az. 2014 is a glimpse into her subsequent assignment profile.

Aug 14, 2:26pm Top

I've been trying to listen to the 4th Murderbot book, Exit Strategy, and I'm having trouble with the new app I've had to download, RBDigital. Grrr.

Aug 15, 3:54am Top

>131 2wonderY: I really have to get around to reading the Murderbot books. But I wish they were available in one volume.

Aug 15, 1:47pm Top

>132 Sakerfalcon: You might find the comments section on this TOR page interesting...

Aug 15, 2:42pm Top

>133 ScoLgo: Wow! Good news for those of us that would love to meet Murderbot again.

Aug 15, 2:43pm Top

Has anyone found The Future of Work: Compulsory? I just added it to the series. It was marked 0.5.

Is it online?

Aug 15, 2:49pm Top

>135 2wonderY: No? I've never heard of it. Must research!

Aug 15, 3:16pm Top

>136 Busifer: It's on Wired. Two pages long. Yay!

Aug 16, 12:26am Top

>137 2wonderY: thank you!

Aug 16, 4:16am Top

>133 ScoLgo: Two pieces of good news there! Thanks for sharing!

Yesterday, 11:27am Top

Daughter just sent me a reminder that Alix E. Harrow's novel is coming out next month. My library has it in their catalog, so I'm close to the front of the line. The advance reviews gush.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Yesterday, 3:17pm Top

>137 2wonderY: Thank you!

Today, 7:18am Top

>140 2wonderY: I am really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Harrow's novel. It looks great and I've already seen good comments about it.

Edited: Today, 7:56am Top

I'm thinking of creating a tag 'favorite guardians.'

My all time favorite is Uncle Alec in Eight Cousins.

Recently, I was greatly impressed with the Sweep, (his only given moniker in the book) Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster. This guardian is not physically present through most of the book, but his self-sacrifice is central.

I'm currently reading Rooftoppers, and I am completely charmed by Charles Maxim, who rescues Sophie at 1 year old, when the ocean liner they are both passengers on, sinks. He is gentle, unorthodox and wise.

I thought of another - the absent benefactor in Daddy-Long-Legs

Group: The Green Dragon

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