nuranar: (reading)
This one from [livejournal.com profile] seawasp


1) What author do you own the most books by? Not sure. With the weekend's acquisitions, I have 32 Saint books, so that's probably the highest.  The Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew collections surpass that, but both are jointly owned by my mother and I. And the majority of the Louis L'Amours are Nathan's.

2) What book do you own the most copies of? With far too little space for the books, I don't like having multiple copies of many things unless there's a reason for a particular edition. I have duplicates of some Austens and Sherlock Holmes, but I think the winner is Bibles, with five. In length-of-ownership order, I have the Living Bible I was given for Christmas in... 1989, I think; the NIV I got for Xmas in 1992 or 1993; a slimmer NIV, this time from the church, upon my high school graduation in 2001; an 1855 pocket-sized KJV I bought on ebay while in college to use for 1860s reenacting, and which I often carry to church because it's the smallest; and the NIV study Bible given to me by Mr. and Mrs. Klob when I graduated from college in 2005.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? Nope. Sometimes I try to avoid it in my writing, but only when it doesn't sound too contrived.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Oh, I love Richard Diamond, but that's hardly a secret; and he is a radio character, not a book character. There's plenty of others I could love, but none come to mind right now when I want them.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life? Err.  I never keep count. The Bible, Ben-Hur, Alistair MacLean's Where Eagles Dare and The Golden Rendezvous, Rifles for Watie, maybe Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime and The Man in the Brown Suit; probably lots more. I love to re-read.

6) What was your favourite book when you were ten years old? Nothing stands out; probably a Nancy Drew. I read all of Mom's before I was 8, and I added to the collection for years.  I also loved The Black Stallion; it's one of the earliest books I remember reading, certainly before first grade.  I would have read it to death except that I never owned it.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Not sure. Probably the book I stumbled across on Project Gutenberg that ends unhappily, with the central character going rather nuts - after the reader's been suckered into really really rooting for him and the woman. I loathe books wherein the main character(s) really, truly are insane.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? Impossible to say. Thanks to Project Gutenberg and Google Books, it's a choice among hundreds.

9) If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? I can't think of one. People tend to hate what they are forced to do. I sure do!

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature? Not a clue.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie? There was something I was thinking about recently, but I'm dashed if I can think of it now... I would love to see the Lensman books made into good movies, but there's No Way In The Universe that's going to be done acceptably.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie? There's an ocean of drivel that should never be given the shred of dignity conferred by movie release. And then there's the Lensman books, as I just mentioned; honestly, I would cringe if I heard they were being filmed, because they wouldn't be right.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character. I don't remember my dreams. This phenomenon has long been a cause for passing puzzlement and frustration.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult? I have no pretense to any brow. This question and all its implications annoys me.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? Maybe the textbook for discrete mathematics, although I don't remember a thing about it. It's more likely the first programming text I had, since it hopelessly confounded me for the first fourteen minutes and put me to sleep within the fifteenth.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen? Neither The Tempest nor King Lear is obscure, methinks.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians? As authors, neither. Judging from what I've read, French, for the sake of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne.

18) Roth or Updike?  Who?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers? Who?

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer? Shakespeare. I haven't read enough Milton to know for sure, though.

21) Austen or Eliot? Austen.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading? The biggest gap would probably be the so-called "Lost Generation" writers, both American and British. I have little-to-zero interest in the worldview of those writers or the content of their writings, and no plans to ever close that "gap" in my reading.  I'm not embarrassed about this gap.  I do wish I had read more 19th-century literature back when I had more time and less tired brain cells, but it's still a strength in my reading and I'm planning to continue.

23) What is your favourite novel? Another impossible question. I'd probably have a list of 50, even if I limited favorite authors to one book. The ones I've read multiple times are there.

24) Play? The translation of Molière's Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite in my high school lit book is hilarious and made of awesome. (So is Wishbone's version of The Hypochondriac!)  I want to find out which translator did it and get Tartuffe, and others if possible, by him.

25) Poem? Not sure. Maybe If.

26) Essay? Either "On Faerie Stories" or one of C. S. Lewis's writing ones, such as "On Writing for Children" or "On Science Fiction."

27) Short story? I have no idea. There are way too many to tell, especially considering the SF ones.

28) Work of non-fiction?  The Bible. Aside from that, Costume in Detail. I've pored over the drawings in that book for years, and it still never fails to fascinate me.

29) Who is your favourite writer? I can't pick one. Alastair MacLean is waay up there.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today? No idea. I read little that was published in the last 10, 20, or 30 years.  I'd take a stab at Stephanie Meyer, but for all the raving I haven't heard anyone actually building up her writing.  (I don't seek out such discussion, though.)

31) What is your desert island book? Swiss Family Robinson.

32) And… what are you reading right now? LJ, with forays to Wikipedia (drama on the Lost Generation talk page, ahoy!), Amazon, and my tags list, to garner links.
nuranar: (reading)
This one from [livejournal.com profile] seawasp


1) What author do you own the most books by? Not sure. With the weekend's acquisitions, I have 32 Saint books, so that's probably the highest.  The Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew collections surpass that, but both are jointly owned by my mother and I. And the majority of the Louis L'Amours are Nathan's.

2) What book do you own the most copies of? With far too little space for the books, I don't like having multiple copies of many things unless there's a reason for a particular edition. I have duplicates of some Austens and Sherlock Holmes, but I think the winner is Bibles, with five. In length-of-ownership order, I have the Living Bible I was given for Christmas in... 1989, I think; the NIV I got for Xmas in 1992 or 1993; a slimmer NIV, this time from the church, upon my high school graduation in 2001; an 1855 pocket-sized KJV I bought on ebay while in college to use for 1860s reenacting, and which I often carry to church because it's the smallest; and the NIV study Bible given to me by Mr. and Mrs. Klob when I graduated from college in 2005.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? Nope. Sometimes I try to avoid it in my writing, but only when it doesn't sound too contrived.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Oh, I love Richard Diamond, but that's hardly a secret; and he is a radio character, not a book character. There's plenty of others I could love, but none come to mind right now when I want them.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life? Err.  I never keep count. The Bible, Ben-Hur, Alistair MacLean's Where Eagles Dare and The Golden Rendezvous, Rifles for Watie, maybe Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime and The Man in the Brown Suit; probably lots more. I love to re-read.

6) What was your favourite book when you were ten years old? Nothing stands out; probably a Nancy Drew. I read all of Mom's before I was 8, and I added to the collection for years.  I also loved The Black Stallion; it's one of the earliest books I remember reading, certainly before first grade.  I would have read it to death except that I never owned it.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Not sure. Probably the book I stumbled across on Project Gutenberg that ends unhappily, with the central character going rather nuts - after the reader's been suckered into really really rooting for him and the woman. I loathe books wherein the main character(s) really, truly are insane.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? Impossible to say. Thanks to Project Gutenberg and Google Books, it's a choice among hundreds.

9) If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? I can't think of one. People tend to hate what they are forced to do. I sure do!

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature? Not a clue.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie? There was something I was thinking about recently, but I'm dashed if I can think of it now... I would love to see the Lensman books made into good movies, but there's No Way In The Universe that's going to be done acceptably.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie? There's an ocean of drivel that should never be given the shred of dignity conferred by movie release. And then there's the Lensman books, as I just mentioned; honestly, I would cringe if I heard they were being filmed, because they wouldn't be right.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character. I don't remember my dreams. This phenomenon has long been a cause for passing puzzlement and frustration.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult? I have no pretense to any brow. This question and all its implications annoys me.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? Maybe the textbook for discrete mathematics, although I don't remember a thing about it. It's more likely the first programming text I had, since it hopelessly confounded me for the first fourteen minutes and put me to sleep within the fifteenth.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen? Neither The Tempest nor King Lear is obscure, methinks.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians? As authors, neither. Judging from what I've read, French, for the sake of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne.

18) Roth or Updike?  Who?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers? Who?

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer? Shakespeare. I haven't read enough Milton to know for sure, though.

21) Austen or Eliot? Austen.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading? The biggest gap would probably be the so-called "Lost Generation" writers, both American and British. I have little-to-zero interest in the worldview of those writers or the content of their writings, and no plans to ever close that "gap" in my reading.  I'm not embarrassed about this gap.  I do wish I had read more 19th-century literature back when I had more time and less tired brain cells, but it's still a strength in my reading and I'm planning to continue.

23) What is your favourite novel? Another impossible question. I'd probably have a list of 50, even if I limited favorite authors to one book. The ones I've read multiple times are there.

24) Play? The translation of Molière's Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite in my high school lit book is hilarious and made of awesome. (So is Wishbone's version of The Hypochondriac!)  I want to find out which translator did it and get Tartuffe, and others if possible, by him.

25) Poem? Not sure. Maybe If.

26) Essay? Either "On Faerie Stories" or one of C. S. Lewis's writing ones, such as "On Writing for Children" or "On Science Fiction."

27) Short story? I have no idea. There are way too many to tell, especially considering the SF ones.

28) Work of non-fiction?  The Bible. Aside from that, Costume in Detail. I've pored over the drawings in that book for years, and it still never fails to fascinate me.

29) Who is your favourite writer? I can't pick one. Alastair MacLean is waay up there.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today? No idea. I read little that was published in the last 10, 20, or 30 years.  I'd take a stab at Stephanie Meyer, but for all the raving I haven't heard anyone actually building up her writing.  (I don't seek out such discussion, though.)

31) What is your desert island book? Swiss Family Robinson.

32) And… what are you reading right now? LJ, with forays to Wikipedia (drama on the Lost Generation talk page, ahoy!), Amazon, and my tags list, to garner links.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
This time I'm quick with another Alistair MacLean review!  In the past year I've pretty much exhausted his pre-1970 books.  Now I'm working my way through the later ones. (Complete list and links here.)  I'm not bothering to read them in order, since by most accounts their quality, although uniformly poor in comparison to his previous excellence, varies.  I'd rather go in with poor expectations and be surprised.

To be entirely frank, I'm getting this review out of the way because I'm wanting to ramble. As I've read more and more MacLeans, I'm really beginning to grasp the depth and variety and consistencies of his work.  In addition, there are certain allegations on the Wikipedia MacLean article that I want to address.

Athabasca )
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
This time I'm quick with another Alistair MacLean review!  In the past year I've pretty much exhausted his pre-1970 books.  Now I'm working my way through the later ones. (Complete list and links here.)  I'm not bothering to read them in order, since by most accounts their quality, although uniformly poor in comparison to his previous excellence, varies.  I'd rather go in with poor expectations and be surprised.

To be entirely frank, I'm getting this review out of the way because I'm wanting to ramble. As I've read more and more MacLeans, I'm really beginning to grasp the depth and variety and consistencies of his work.  In addition, there are certain allegations on the Wikipedia MacLean article that I want to address.

Athabasca )
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Dangerous Books)
I've had a few friends-list additions (Yay!) since I last wrote about Alistair MacLean, one of my Favorite Authors Evah. To sum up, since explaining would take too long, he wrote action/adventure/spy novels from the 1950s to the 1980s. They particularly appeal to me because they (1) are really exciting, (2) are complexly and carefully plotted, (3) have really good characters, (4) are written with exquisite and delightful language and wording, (5) have no more profanity than would be found in a typical 1930's mystery, and (6) have the perfect touch of romance while lacking any sexual language, double entendres, or escapades whatsoever.

The primary drawback to MacLean's writing is that reasons (1)-(4) are not consistent throughout his books. He became an alcoholic, and I understand that's the primary reason why his writing declined so strikingly. I am a compulsive, extremely fast reader of fiction, but my experiences with his work range from I'm-staying-up-til-4-to-finish to I'm-finally-finished-and-I-can't-remember-what-happened. It's really sad. Thankfully, the good stuff outweighs the bad, and even his "bad" is bad only in comparison.

Below I freely adapt text and lists from Wikipedia, where I learned just why my reader experiences varied so widely when I was first trying to find his stuff. (I don't think it's in print - go for used paperbacks and the library.) The breakdown into periods and styles are generalizations, but reasonably accurate and fairly useful.  The links are to my reviews.  I have read all the ones in bold.



Now that I've set the stage, here are two more reviews. Bro. No. 1 gave me a gift certificate to the used book store for Christmas, so a couple weeks ago I went on a spree and got about a dozen books. Among them were When Eight Bells Toll and Puppet on a Chain.





nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Dangerous Books)
I've had a few friends-list additions (Yay!) since I last wrote about Alistair MacLean, one of my Favorite Authors Evah. To sum up, since explaining would take too long, he wrote action/adventure/spy novels from the 1950s to the 1980s. They particularly appeal to me because they (1) are really exciting, (2) are complexly and carefully plotted, (3) have really good characters, (4) are written with exquisite and delightful language and wording, (5) have no more profanity than would be found in a typical 1930's mystery, and (6) have the perfect touch of romance while lacking any sexual language, double entendres, or escapades whatsoever.

The primary drawback to MacLean's writing is that reasons (1)-(4) are not consistent throughout his books. He became an alcoholic, and I understand that's the primary reason why his writing declined so strikingly. I am a compulsive, extremely fast reader of fiction, but my experiences with his work range from I'm-staying-up-til-4-to-finish to I'm-finally-finished-and-I-can't-remember-what-happened. It's really sad. Thankfully, the good stuff outweighs the bad, and even his "bad" is bad only in comparison.

Below I freely adapt text and lists from Wikipedia, where I learned just why my reader experiences varied so widely when I was first trying to find his stuff. (I don't think it's in print - go for used paperbacks and the library.) The breakdown into periods and styles are generalizations, but reasonably accurate and fairly useful.  The links are to my reviews.  I have read all the ones in bold.



Now that I've set the stage, here are two more reviews. Bro. No. 1 gave me a gift certificate to the used book store for Christmas, so a couple weeks ago I went on a spree and got about a dozen books. Among them were When Eight Bells Toll and Puppet on a Chain.





nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
The test was hard.  Very hard.  I've never had a professor want so much extrapolation during the test.  I know it's legitimate for a professor to test on anything in the text; but usually they stick to the problems and examples that were assigned instead of pulling out new stuff.  It's nice when they see tests as a measure of how much they taught the students, not as a measure of how fanatical about studying  the students are.

I don't want to go through it, but please pray that God's leading will be clear for me in this whole school thing.  I'm working on the grad degree, in accounting.  I do not like going to school.  I've been doing this for a year and a half and it's still a struggle.  Is God telling me to drop everything but work and school?  Take only one instead of two classes?  Go in another direction entirely?  I really, really don't know.  Please pray that my parents' counsel will be wise, too.  Pray that I'll listen to Him.

In other news:  I am thoroughly motivated to get stuff done.  Unlike the end of most semesters, when all I want to do is let my brain turn to mush for a few weeks, I'm really energized to attack all the other stuff that's been building up.  I'm currently taking a break from preparing certain people's surprises.  Muahaha!

Aspen, your package was waiting for me when I got home last night at 11:15!  I'm so excited!  I cannot open this book until I get stuff done, though.  But now it's pleasurable anticipation instead of sullen fine-I'll-study-instead-ness. *g*

And now, the quote of the day.  I do so love adventure fiction - especially when there's humor in it.  Cracking good movies made from cracking good adventure yarns really, er, light my fire as well.

Smith and Schaeffer have just torched a German train station, sort of accidentally on purpose.

Schaffer said:  "They're not going to be very pleased."

"I shouldn't think so."

"They're really going to go after us now.  They've Doberman pinschers up at the castle and I've no doubt they have them at the camp too.  They've only to bring them to the station, sniff our packs, have them circle the station, pick up our scent and that's it.  Smith and Schaffer torn to shreds.  I'll take on the Alpenkorps one-by-one but I draw the line at Doberman pinschers, boss."

"I thought it was horses you were scared of?" Smith said mildly.

"Horses, Doberman pinschers, you name it, I'm scared of it.  All it's got to have is four feet."  He looked gloomily at the burning station.  "I'd make a rotten vet."

Alistair MacLean, Where Eagles Dare

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
The test was hard.  Very hard.  I've never had a professor want so much extrapolation during the test.  I know it's legitimate for a professor to test on anything in the text; but usually they stick to the problems and examples that were assigned instead of pulling out new stuff.  It's nice when they see tests as a measure of how much they taught the students, not as a measure of how fanatical about studying  the students are.

I don't want to go through it, but please pray that God's leading will be clear for me in this whole school thing.  I'm working on the grad degree, in accounting.  I do not like going to school.  I've been doing this for a year and a half and it's still a struggle.  Is God telling me to drop everything but work and school?  Take only one instead of two classes?  Go in another direction entirely?  I really, really don't know.  Please pray that my parents' counsel will be wise, too.  Pray that I'll listen to Him.

In other news:  I am thoroughly motivated to get stuff done.  Unlike the end of most semesters, when all I want to do is let my brain turn to mush for a few weeks, I'm really energized to attack all the other stuff that's been building up.  I'm currently taking a break from preparing certain people's surprises.  Muahaha!

Aspen, your package was waiting for me when I got home last night at 11:15!  I'm so excited!  I cannot open this book until I get stuff done, though.  But now it's pleasurable anticipation instead of sullen fine-I'll-study-instead-ness. *g*

And now, the quote of the day.  I do so love adventure fiction - especially when there's humor in it.  Cracking good movies made from cracking good adventure yarns really, er, light my fire as well.

Smith and Schaeffer have just torched a German train station, sort of accidentally on purpose.

Schaffer said:  "They're not going to be very pleased."

"I shouldn't think so."

"They're really going to go after us now.  They've Doberman pinschers up at the castle and I've no doubt they have them at the camp too.  They've only to bring them to the station, sniff our packs, have them circle the station, pick up our scent and that's it.  Smith and Schaffer torn to shreds.  I'll take on the Alpenkorps one-by-one but I draw the line at Doberman pinschers, boss."

"I thought it was horses you were scared of?" Smith said mildly.

"Horses, Doberman pinschers, you name it, I'm scared of it.  All it's got to have is four feet."  He looked gloomily at the burning station.  "I'd make a rotten vet."

Alistair MacLean, Where Eagles Dare

nuranar: (books)
I read Dracula for the third time over the the trip last week.  I guess maybe it's time to buy my own copy instead of frequenting the library, no?



OK, I think the words are exhausted for tonight.  I know I will be, come 5:30 ack emma...
nuranar: (books)
I read Dracula for the third time over the the trip last week.  I guess maybe it's time to buy my own copy instead of frequenting the library, no?



OK, I think the words are exhausted for tonight.  I know I will be, come 5:30 ack emma...

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