nuranar: (books)
Meme from [livejournal.com profile] impulsereader:

It's international book week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence. Don't mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your post.

"He had his orders to divulge nothing."

No title, but I will say it was published in 1946.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Campion)

I got a few more suggestions, so here goes!

Tell me you want to play and I'll pick up to three of your fandoms (a list might be helpful). Then update your journal and answer the following questions:

1. What got you into this fandom in the first place?
2. Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?
3. Favorite episodes/books/movies, etc?
4. Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?
5. Do you think more people should get into this fandom?



First, from [livejournal.com profile] litlover12, Albert Campion, I Spy, and Georgette Heyer

Albert Campion

1. What got you into this fandom in the first place?
Somewhere I saw a list of great British mystery writers. I've always been a fan of Agatha Christie, and of course Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter came a little later.  Margery Allingham was new to me, though.  I must have been at Texas A&M at the time (early 2000s), and the only Allingham the library had was Traitor's Purse.  In one way, it was the worst choice for a new Campion reader. Not only is Traitor's Purse smack dab in the middle of the Campion chronology, Campion himself has amnesia!  To say I was totally lost is a mild understatement.  But in another way, it was still a good choice, because I was thoroughly hooked in spite of my confusion.  Traitor's Purse is fascinating, and one of the most atmospheric of Allingham's atmospheric books. She seemed to alternate between straightforward mystery stories, and sensational and atmospheric adventures.  So Traitor's Purse fascinated me enough to try again when I got home, and then thanks to Paperback Swap and Book Mooch, I've accumulated all of the Campions and read them more or less in order.

2. Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?

Definitely stay. Campion is one of my favorite characters - I have to say, even more than Lord Peter. He can be so crazy, but under it all he's so very, very smart. And very athletic, far more Saint-like than like Lord Peter in that respect.  I enjoy Allingham's writing, particularly the "sensational" books, for their adventure alone.  And the TV show with Peter Davison is an unending delight, not just for the perfection of the characters and plot adaptations, but also for the (near) perfection of the setting.  Allingham did not usually write "ordinary" settings, and whether it's behind the scenes in a show-business family, or in the aged household of a former pre-Raphaelite master, it's all fascinating.

3. Favorite episodes/books/movies, etc?

Oh, lots! Mystery Mile, Gryth Chalice/Look to the Lady, Sweet Danger, and The Fashion in Shrouds (despite a slow beginning). The Crime at Black Dudley is Campion's first appearance, where he's a fairly minor character, although key to the plot; it's interesting, and definitely sensational in spots. The Tiger in the Smoke is a later Campion, in which he's not the star of the majority of the action; but it's an excellent, suspenseful novel, again very atmospheric.
The shows are all taken from pre-WWII books, and again, "Mystery Mile" and "Look to the Lady" are my favorites.

4. Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?

No, not really. I have a few icons I like, but I haven't gotten into fanfiction, and have not really found much discussion.

5. Do you think more people should get into this fandom?

I'd love it if they did. But it's so quirky in many ways, that I think it's hard to really get into. My brother enjoys some of the shows, but he finds Lugg's dialogue almost wholly unintelligible, which definitely puts a damper on the fun!


I Spy

1. What got you into this fandom in the first place?

As with Hogan's Heroes and The Wild Wild West, thanks to broadcast TV stations when growing up. My mother knew what it was when we stumbled across it during lunch hours, so we all quickly got into it. Being a spy show it was fun and exciting, but it wasn't nearly so silly as Get Smart (or as Hogan's), and the dialogue between Robert Culp and Bill Cosby is pretty much unequaled.  Shortly thereafter I graduated high school, though, and ended up in College Station without a TV - and away from the broadcast station if I had had one!  When I moved back, I discovered the whole series was on DVD, and bought all three sets within six months for myself.  I dived in and never looked back!

2. Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?

I'll never leave this one! I did finally get overloaded halfway through the third set, and had to take a break.  There are some pretty intense episodes, with some pretty hard questions, and it's not all fun and games.  That said, it's something I've always gone back to.

3. Favorite episodes/books/movies, etc?

Whew, so many! It's a rare episode that doesn't have SOMETHING priceless in it. And some of these I haven't seen in a long time - I was in the process of re-watching everything when John Carter stopped recognizing his CD drive. Real favorites:
"A Cup of Kindness"
"Carry Me Back to Old Tsing-Tao"
"Three Hours on a Sunday Night"
"Bet Me a Dollar"
"The Conquest of Maude Murdock"
"Sophia"
"Vendetta"
"Will the Real Good Guys Please Stand Up?"
"Child Out of Time" (Kelly telling how he tried to impress the chambermaid with his shiny Colt makes me giggle uncontrollably)
"Mainly on the Plains" (Boris Karloff!)
"Let's Kill Karlovassi"
"The Honorable Assassins"
"Home to Judgment"
"Tag, You're It"

4. Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?

Not now. There was a fairly active discussion board I was on for a while, but when I got saturated I kind of dropped off. Especially since I was still new to most of the episodes, and hadn't seen some, so I was trying to avoid spoilers.
That said, several years ago someone recommended a piece of fanfic he wrote, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5. Do you think more people should get into this fandom?

YES. This is a really good series,high quality in every way, down to having an individual soundtrack for every episode.  Of course some things are dated, but there's more than a little emphasis on ideas and principles and what it means to do that job. The plots are usually day-to-day spy jobs, not saving the world! every week!  And the interaction between Culp and Cosby is just incredible.  People who've seen original scripts say that their dialogue is nothing like what was scripted - they ad-lipped everything.  Except for the episodes Robert Culp wrote.  He knew both characters so well that their dialogue is practically word-for-word.


Georgette Heyer (mostly Georgian and Regency romances)

1. What got you into this fandom in the first place?

I honestly do not know where I first heard of Georgette Heyer. I don't know if it was [livejournal.com profile] estelyn_strider at the first, but she certainly contributed.  I know Heyer was not associated in my mind with Jane Austen. I mean I didn't heard of her as recommended to Austen-ites. And I appreciate that, because although the time period is (usually) the same, the actual settings are usually nothing alike, and the style of writing is very much the same.
Anyway. I really can't remember which was the first book I read. I got a few on Paperback Swap, but I think most of those were her mysteries. (IMHO rather inferior to her romances. Hence why they're easier to find on PBS.)  I've found a few at Half Price Books as well, including a nice 1960s hardcover (with illustrated dust jacket) of False Colours that's special to me, but most I got in a couple of big batches on eBay.


2. Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?

Definitely stay, at least for the romances! They've already held up well to re-reading. All but one of the mysteries (Footsteps in the Dark - more of a sensational adventure than a mystery) I've traded back. I have a number of her historical novels, part of the big eBay auctions, but I've not really been motivated to read them; and they don't seem to be as popular among her readers.


3. Favorite episodes/books/movies, etc?

False Colours, The Masqueraders, Sprig Muslin, The Foundling, The Toll-Gate, The Corinthian, The Grand Sophy, Powder and Patch


4. Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?

Not really... Esty pointed me to a really good discussion board, but I haven't read all the books and I really want to avoid spoilers! The last time I checked it was down for maintenance.


5. Do you think more people should get into this fandom?

Absolutely! This is the way romances should be: Really fun characters, stuff actually happens, and CLEAN.  I wish they were easier to find! There are a few just now being reprinted, in (slightly pricey) paperback editions - Sprig Muslin and The Toll-Gate! I somehow only see 1 or 2 at Barnes & Noble when I go in, though, and usually a random history like Lord John. Strange.
I would really love to see some of THESE made into movies, too. Much as I love Jane Austen, do we really need a new film of the same books every ten years?

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (1920s)

From Project Gutenberg, new today.

 

APPROPRIATE CLOTHES FOR THE

HIGH SCHOOL GIRL

BY

VIRGINIA M. ALEXANDER

DIRECTOR

DEPARTMENT OF FINE AND

APPLIED ART


 

NUMBER 74—FEBRUARY 1, 1920

Issued monthly by the College of Industrial Arts, Denton, Texas.


http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/37007

Denton is just about an hour's drive north of me! Here's a few pictures from the article.


APPROPRIATE SCHOOL DRESSES


 
(No. B 820) ORGANDY GRADUATION DRESS (No. B 822)

Patterns for these dresses may be secured at the College of Industrial Arts.

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (1920s)

From Project Gutenberg, new today.

 

APPROPRIATE CLOTHES FOR THE

HIGH SCHOOL GIRL

BY

VIRGINIA M. ALEXANDER

DIRECTOR

DEPARTMENT OF FINE AND

APPLIED ART


 

NUMBER 74—FEBRUARY 1, 1920

Issued monthly by the College of Industrial Arts, Denton, Texas.


http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/37007

Denton is just about an hour's drive north of me! Here's a few pictures from the article.


APPROPRIATE SCHOOL DRESSES


 
(No. B 820) ORGANDY GRADUATION DRESS (No. B 822)

Patterns for these dresses may be secured at the College of Industrial Arts.

nuranar: (adventure)

Bold are new reads; all others are re-reads.

90.  Seer's Blood, by Doranna Durgin
91.  Exiles of the Stars, by Andre Norton
92.  Overthrowing Heaven (Jon & Lobo #3), by Mark L. Van Name
93.  Lord Valentine's Castle (Majipoor #1), by Robert Silverberg
94.  Flight on Yiktor, by Andre Norton
95.  Dare to Go A-Hunting, by Andre Norton
96.  Back to the Time Trap, by Keith Laumer
97.  A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift #1), by Kate Griffin
98.  The Treasure of the Tigris, by A. F. Mockler-Ferryman (via Project Gutenberg)
 
May
Books: 9
Books/day: 0.29

That's pretty pathetic! But part of it is because I got unusually busy in May, adding commitments and starting the house hunt.

In a very good way, though, I discovered some excellent books. Seer's Blood piqued my interest when I read the chapters available on Baen's website, and I thoroughly enjoyed it when I found a copy at Half Price Books.  Overthrowing Heaven was good, although it's clearly not the finale to the series as I had assumed.  One more to look for.  Lord Valentine's Castle was amazing. I really, really liked that one.

The one that's stuck with me the longest is A Madness of Angels.  I found this one after an entry on Larry Correia's Monster Hunter Nation mentioned Elitist Book Reviews.  Trolling the archives of that site turned up some possibilities for my list. A Madness of Angels was the first of Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift series, so when I ran through my list at a Half Price Books and it was there, I snagged it.  And I really think I loved it.  I'm not entirely sure why.  I can break out some reasons (first person, fascinating theory of magic, riveting storyline, lavish use of specific descriptive detail)... but ultimately, it was incredibly compelling to me. It took me a while to read because it's quite long, nearly 500 pages. But the pacing is good, it totally kept my at-times-impatient attention, and I was thinking about it for a long while since.  The next two in the series are out, and the word is they're also very good. Here's hoping they show up soon at a used book store!


Year to Date

Books: 98
Books/day: 0.649

Books ahead or behind:  (6)

I need to amp it up if I'm going to make my goal.  June is already looking better, though.








2011 Reading Challenge



2011 Reading Challenge



Nuranar has
read 106 books toward her goal of 250 books.


hide








nuranar: (adventure)

Bold are new reads; all others are re-reads.

90.  Seer's Blood, by Doranna Durgin
91.  Exiles of the Stars, by Andre Norton
92.  Overthrowing Heaven (Jon & Lobo #3), by Mark L. Van Name
93.  Lord Valentine's Castle (Majipoor #1), by Robert Silverberg
94.  Flight on Yiktor, by Andre Norton
95.  Dare to Go A-Hunting, by Andre Norton
96.  Back to the Time Trap, by Keith Laumer
97.  A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift #1), by Kate Griffin
98.  The Treasure of the Tigris, by A. F. Mockler-Ferryman (via Project Gutenberg)
 
May
Books: 9
Books/day: 0.29

That's pretty pathetic! But part of it is because I got unusually busy in May, adding commitments and starting the house hunt.

In a very good way, though, I discovered some excellent books. Seer's Blood piqued my interest when I read the chapters available on Baen's website, and I thoroughly enjoyed it when I found a copy at Half Price Books.  Overthrowing Heaven was good, although it's clearly not the finale to the series as I had assumed.  One more to look for.  Lord Valentine's Castle was amazing. I really, really liked that one.

The one that's stuck with me the longest is A Madness of Angels.  I found this one after an entry on Larry Correia's Monster Hunter Nation mentioned Elitist Book Reviews.  Trolling the archives of that site turned up some possibilities for my list. A Madness of Angels was the first of Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift series, so when I ran through my list at a Half Price Books and it was there, I snagged it.  And I really think I loved it.  I'm not entirely sure why.  I can break out some reasons (first person, fascinating theory of magic, riveting storyline, lavish use of specific descriptive detail)... but ultimately, it was incredibly compelling to me. It took me a while to read because it's quite long, nearly 500 pages. But the pacing is good, it totally kept my at-times-impatient attention, and I was thinking about it for a long while since.  The next two in the series are out, and the word is they're also very good. Here's hoping they show up soon at a used book store!


Year to Date

Books: 98
Books/day: 0.649

Books ahead or behind:  (6)

I need to amp it up if I'm going to make my goal.  June is already looking better, though.








2011 Reading Challenge



2011 Reading Challenge



Nuranar has
read 106 books toward her goal of 250 books.


hide








nuranar: (reading)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] ladyneferankh. :)

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Haha, LibraryThing to the rescue! Although I don't have everything in there yet. Hmph.
Andre Norton, 49.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, 37.
Erle Stanley Gardner, 30-40.
Margery Allingham, 27.
Leslie Charteris, 20-30.
Agatha Christie ought to be up there, too, since between my mother and I we own all but a couple of her 70+ novels. But I did most of my buying in junior high and early high school, and we never kept track of them.

More behind the cut! )
nuranar: (reading)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] ladyneferankh. :)

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Haha, LibraryThing to the rescue! Although I don't have everything in there yet. Hmph.
Andre Norton, 49.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, 37.
Erle Stanley Gardner, 30-40.
Margery Allingham, 27.
Leslie Charteris, 20-30.
Agatha Christie ought to be up there, too, since between my mother and I we own all but a couple of her 70+ novels. But I did most of my buying in junior high and early high school, and we never kept track of them.

More behind the cut! )
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (MHI)
Hmm, interesting meme.  The hard part is limiting myself to only 15, because I pick at least one favorite character in everything I read. And I'm just now over 600 books on LibraryThing, and not finished cataloging. >.<

List fifteen of your favorite characters from different series, and ask people to spot patterns in your choices, and if they're so inclined, to draw conclusions about you based on the patterns they've spotted.

Which means YOU, my dear friends list, get to play psychoanalyst. Enjoy! :p 


1. Albert Campion (author Margery Allingham)
2. Nhi Vanye i Chya (Cherryh's Morgaine books)
3. Kelly Robinson (I Spy)
4. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Shaara's The Killer Angels)
5. Lord Peter Wimsey (author Dorothy Sayers)
6. James Eckert (Dragon Knight series)
7. The Duke of Sale, a.k.a. "Gilly" (Heyer's The Foundling)
8. Sir Gareth Ludlow (Heyer's Sprig Muslin)
9. Simon Templar, the Saint (author Leslie Charteris)
10. John Carter (MacLean's The Golden Rendezvous)
11. Tuppence Beresford (author Agatha Christie)
12. Tyrel Sackett (L'Amour's Sackett books)
13. Donald Lamb (author Erle Stanley Gardner)
14. Aragorn (The Lord of the Rings)
15. Kimball Kinnison (Lensman series)

I used a random sequence generator, so don't make anything of the order. I will volunteer that except for Tuppence, these are all men. :p

(Note - it says "series," but that may be geared toward TV series and I don't do many of those. I'd rather focus on favorite characters, period. Which is hard enough... I know I'm leaving off some dillies...)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (MHI)
Hmm, interesting meme.  The hard part is limiting myself to only 15, because I pick at least one favorite character in everything I read. And I'm just now over 600 books on LibraryThing, and not finished cataloging. >.<

List fifteen of your favorite characters from different series, and ask people to spot patterns in your choices, and if they're so inclined, to draw conclusions about you based on the patterns they've spotted.

Which means YOU, my dear friends list, get to play psychoanalyst. Enjoy! :p 


1. Albert Campion (author Margery Allingham)
2. Nhi Vanye i Chya (Cherryh's Morgaine books)
3. Kelly Robinson (I Spy)
4. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Shaara's The Killer Angels)
5. Lord Peter Wimsey (author Dorothy Sayers)
6. James Eckert (Dragon Knight series)
7. The Duke of Sale, a.k.a. "Gilly" (Heyer's The Foundling)
8. Sir Gareth Ludlow (Heyer's Sprig Muslin)
9. Simon Templar, the Saint (author Leslie Charteris)
10. John Carter (MacLean's The Golden Rendezvous)
11. Tuppence Beresford (author Agatha Christie)
12. Tyrel Sackett (L'Amour's Sackett books)
13. Donald Lamb (author Erle Stanley Gardner)
14. Aragorn (The Lord of the Rings)
15. Kimball Kinnison (Lensman series)

I used a random sequence generator, so don't make anything of the order. I will volunteer that except for Tuppence, these are all men. :p

(Note - it says "series," but that may be geared toward TV series and I don't do many of those. I'd rather focus on favorite characters, period. Which is hard enough... I know I'm leaving off some dillies...)
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. (Nhi Vanye i Chya)
Behold, the unveiling of a new and rarely-seen National Weather Service icon!  (I.e., Friday's, with a forecast high of 26.)



I'm glad I won't be going to work that day. Brr!


I've been re-reading the Morgaine books over break, by the way. Man, I love those books!  So my Vanye icon is particularly appropriate, although I'm mainly using it because whatever Jordi did to the picture makes it look cold and snowy. :)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Nhi Vanye i Chya)
Behold, the unveiling of a new and rarely-seen National Weather Service icon!  (I.e., Friday's, with a forecast high of 26.)



I'm glad I won't be going to work that day. Brr!


I've been re-reading the Morgaine books over break, by the way. Man, I love those books!  So my Vanye icon is particularly appropriate, although I'm mainly using it because whatever Jordi did to the picture makes it look cold and snowy. :)

Cool!

27 March 2009 06:59 pm
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
At our home weather station, the temperature fell from 73 to 57 in one hour.  Nice.  Three hours later and it's fallen another 10 degrees.

I AM working on Bible study. Slowly.  Y'know what's the Distraction of the Day?  The Gate of Ivrel.  Yep, I just happened to pick up the Morgaine books again today.  I've read it four times already and it still distracts me.  At least there's no hope that I'll finish it in time to get back to work. :p

I am branching out a little more in Cherryh's work, though.  I read Fortress in the Eye of Time some months ago, based on comments at [livejournal.com profile] cj_cherryh that its fantasy setting is closer to the Morgaine books than her other SF novels.  Unfortunately I found it unexpectedly heavy on the magic (very un-Morgaine-like) and, more importantly, unpardonably dull.  So I have no inclination to try the rest of the series.  Other reviews indicate that it's pretty much more of the same.

I did read the Faded Sun trilogy while on my trip to Michigan two weeks ago.  It's a trilogy like The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy, in that it's one story broken into three parts.  It kept me pretty riveted.  To me it's not as good as the Morgaine books (less action, although there's a good amount), but still quite good.

And now I have Foreigner, which is the first of what seems to be her best-known (or newest?) series.  It finally arrived via BookMooch today.  At least I've resisted temptation enough to not open that one up already.  *g*

Cool!

27 March 2009 06:59 pm
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
At our home weather station, the temperature fell from 73 to 57 in one hour.  Nice.  Three hours later and it's fallen another 10 degrees.

I AM working on Bible study. Slowly.  Y'know what's the Distraction of the Day?  The Gate of Ivrel.  Yep, I just happened to pick up the Morgaine books again today.  I've read it four times already and it still distracts me.  At least there's no hope that I'll finish it in time to get back to work. :p

I am branching out a little more in Cherryh's work, though.  I read Fortress in the Eye of Time some months ago, based on comments at [livejournal.com profile] cj_cherryh that its fantasy setting is closer to the Morgaine books than her other SF novels.  Unfortunately I found it unexpectedly heavy on the magic (very un-Morgaine-like) and, more importantly, unpardonably dull.  So I have no inclination to try the rest of the series.  Other reviews indicate that it's pretty much more of the same.

I did read the Faded Sun trilogy while on my trip to Michigan two weeks ago.  It's a trilogy like The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy, in that it's one story broken into three parts.  It kept me pretty riveted.  To me it's not as good as the Morgaine books (less action, although there's a good amount), but still quite good.

And now I have Foreigner, which is the first of what seems to be her best-known (or newest?) series.  It finally arrived via BookMooch today.  At least I've resisted temptation enough to not open that one up already.  *g*
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Dangerous Books)
(Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] vintage_crime)

A. A. Fair was one of the pseudonyms used by Erle Stanley Gardner, who is best-known for creating the famous defense attorney Perry Mason.  Gardner wrote over seventy Perry Mason books from the 1930s through the 1960s.  Perry Mason is most known from the 1950s television show starring Raymond Burr, but there were also earlier movies and even a radio serial. In addition to the Perry Mason books, Gardner wrote a handful of other series.  His most notable non-Mason books are the two dozen or so Donald Lam and Bertha Cool detective stories published under the name of A. A. Fair.  (A full listing of Gardner's works can be found at StopYou'reKillingMe, a superb mystery book directory.)

I have been familiar, if not fully acquainted, with Perry Mason for quite some time, primarily from the television show.  My mother watches it and I've seen many five-minute segments when I wander into her room, although I don't think I've actually sat down and watched an entire episode.  (Raymond Burr himself I've heard as a very tough cop in the Pat Novak radio series, opposite a very tough Jack Webb.)  The series has never really grabbed me.  Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against it.  Courtroom drama and legal issues have simply never been that interesting for me.  I read mysteries for the excitement and the puzzles, mostly in that order, and it seemed unlikely to me that the Perry Mason books would have much of those elements, particularly the first.

Somehow, through PaperBackSwap, BookMooch, or possibly an auction for a lot of paperbacks on Ebay, I've ended up with a few Gardner books.  They've all been earlier ones, from the 1940s.  In my experience, the earlier decades of long-publishing authors tend to be the best, so I did avoid the late 1950s and 1960s books on principle.  The Perry Mason books I've read have a different feel from what I've gathered of the show.  They're a bit more wacky, a bit more romantic, and have more action.  Still, at the heart they're legal mysteries and not my ultimate favorite. My first A. A. Fair book, Spill the Jackpot, is different.  I have no memory of how I got it, but at least the publication date of 1941 didn't look bad.  I finally read it right after The Case of the Crooked Candle, since I'd been very pleasantly surprised by the Crooked Candle book.  The next thing I know, I'm really liking Spill the Jackpot.  I mean really liking it.

Bertha Cool, the head of the B. L. Cool Detective Agency, has "the majesty of a snowcapped mountain, the assurance of a steamroller."  She'll never see forty again, weighs 200+ pounds, keeps an eagle eye on agency money, and never turns down good food.  She's a peach.  Donald is one of her operatives.  Donald himself... Well, let me quote Bertha:  "He's a pint-sized parcel of dynamite with the nerve of a prize fighter and a punch that wouldn't jar a fly loose from a syrup jug--but he's always trying."  Ain't it the truth!

After that brilliant success, I've gone on and read the first two in the series, The Bigger They Come and Turn On the Heat.  I've concluded that these books are good simply because of an astute combination of characterization and style that works extremely well.  Donald and Bertha are very atypical characters in the classic crime genre.  Bertha's no old hag, no femme fatale, and certainly no Girl Friday; she's the one who runs the agency, and she's all about the money with very little benevolence.  While at 5'5" and 127 pounds, Donald in no way resembles a detective, he's got about two full measures of a hero's typical willingness to fight.  Furthermore, Donald's size isn't just a gambit to make a detective series a little different.  Because he's simply not big enough to handle a serious fight, he's got an extremely sharp mind enhanced by legal training.  The legal element thus becomes key in each plot, but working seamlessly with events and deductions instead of becoming the entire plot.

Bertha and Donald together make a pretty wacky combination, especially when Donald's determination inconveniences Bertha way too much and spends way too much of her money.  Finding out what's going on is only part of the issue.  Actually dealing with it, and other things that happen, are just as much of what goes on.  Like the Albert Campion books, these are more suspense or adventure stories than true mysteries, since they're not written for the reader to try to solve.  They're written to tell a story.  Donald and Bertha do plenty of serious information-gathering and deduction--the books have a level of detail that I've rarely seen in other authors--but they don't stop there.  They don't just try to discover; nor do they just pitch a wrench into the works to see what'll blow, like Sam Spade.  They plan and maneuver to achieve a particular outcome, changing those plans as events develop.  Combine atypical characters with atypical behaviors in atypical plots, and you've got stories with humor, action, ingenious legal reasoning, plenty of the unexpected, and even romance.  These books are page-turners.

Has anyone else read these books?  Like the Perry Mason books, Gardner continued the series through the 1960s; does the quality and content degenerate, as it does for other authors in the same period?  I'd love to hear other opinions on the Perry Mason series, too.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Dangerous Books)
(Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] vintage_crime)

A. A. Fair was one of the pseudonyms used by Erle Stanley Gardner, who is best-known for creating the famous defense attorney Perry Mason.  Gardner wrote over seventy Perry Mason books from the 1930s through the 1960s.  Perry Mason is most known from the 1950s television show starring Raymond Burr, but there were also earlier movies and even a radio serial. In addition to the Perry Mason books, Gardner wrote a handful of other series.  His most notable non-Mason books are the two dozen or so Donald Lam and Bertha Cool detective stories published under the name of A. A. Fair.  (A full listing of Gardner's works can be found at StopYou'reKillingMe, a superb mystery book directory.)

I have been familiar, if not fully acquainted, with Perry Mason for quite some time, primarily from the television show.  My mother watches it and I've seen many five-minute segments when I wander into her room, although I don't think I've actually sat down and watched an entire episode.  (Raymond Burr himself I've heard as a very tough cop in the Pat Novak radio series, opposite a very tough Jack Webb.)  The series has never really grabbed me.  Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against it.  Courtroom drama and legal issues have simply never been that interesting for me.  I read mysteries for the excitement and the puzzles, mostly in that order, and it seemed unlikely to me that the Perry Mason books would have much of those elements, particularly the first.

Somehow, through PaperBackSwap, BookMooch, or possibly an auction for a lot of paperbacks on Ebay, I've ended up with a few Gardner books.  They've all been earlier ones, from the 1940s.  In my experience, the earlier decades of long-publishing authors tend to be the best, so I did avoid the late 1950s and 1960s books on principle.  The Perry Mason books I've read have a different feel from what I've gathered of the show.  They're a bit more wacky, a bit more romantic, and have more action.  Still, at the heart they're legal mysteries and not my ultimate favorite. My first A. A. Fair book, Spill the Jackpot, is different.  I have no memory of how I got it, but at least the publication date of 1941 didn't look bad.  I finally read it right after The Case of the Crooked Candle, since I'd been very pleasantly surprised by the Crooked Candle book.  The next thing I know, I'm really liking Spill the Jackpot.  I mean really liking it.

Bertha Cool, the head of the B. L. Cool Detective Agency, has "the majesty of a snowcapped mountain, the assurance of a steamroller."  She'll never see forty again, weighs 200+ pounds, keeps an eagle eye on agency money, and never turns down good food.  She's a peach.  Donald is one of her operatives.  Donald himself... Well, let me quote Bertha:  "He's a pint-sized parcel of dynamite with the nerve of a prize fighter and a punch that wouldn't jar a fly loose from a syrup jug--but he's always trying."  Ain't it the truth!

After that brilliant success, I've gone on and read the first two in the series, The Bigger They Come and Turn On the Heat.  I've concluded that these books are good simply because of an astute combination of characterization and style that works extremely well.  Donald and Bertha are very atypical characters in the classic crime genre.  Bertha's no old hag, no femme fatale, and certainly no Girl Friday; she's the one who runs the agency, and she's all about the money with very little benevolence.  While at 5'5" and 127 pounds, Donald in no way resembles a detective, he's got about two full measures of a hero's typical willingness to fight.  Furthermore, Donald's size isn't just a gambit to make a detective series a little different.  Because he's simply not big enough to handle a serious fight, he's got an extremely sharp mind enhanced by legal training.  The legal element thus becomes key in each plot, but working seamlessly with events and deductions instead of becoming the entire plot.

Bertha and Donald together make a pretty wacky combination, especially when Donald's determination inconveniences Bertha way too much and spends way too much of her money.  Finding out what's going on is only part of the issue.  Actually dealing with it, and other things that happen, are just as much of what goes on.  Like the Albert Campion books, these are more suspense or adventure stories than true mysteries, since they're not written for the reader to try to solve.  They're written to tell a story.  Donald and Bertha do plenty of serious information-gathering and deduction--the books have a level of detail that I've rarely seen in other authors--but they don't stop there.  They don't just try to discover; nor do they just pitch a wrench into the works to see what'll blow, like Sam Spade.  They plan and maneuver to achieve a particular outcome, changing those plans as events develop.  Combine atypical characters with atypical behaviors in atypical plots, and you've got stories with humor, action, ingenious legal reasoning, plenty of the unexpected, and even romance.  These books are page-turners.

Has anyone else read these books?  Like the Perry Mason books, Gardner continued the series through the 1960s; does the quality and content degenerate, as it does for other authors in the same period?  I'd love to hear other opinions on the Perry Mason series, too.

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