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PostPosted: Sat 21 Apr , 2018 1:27 pm 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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That sounds intriguing!

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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr , 2018 5:46 pm 

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Frelga wrote:
Saw this, and I think I'll read it.

Quote:
I'm saying this because I'm 1/3 of the way into @aliettedb's Tea Master and the Detective and she has absolutely *nailed* Holmes and Watson as Asian women in a distant future where one of them is a spaceship.



Did I read that right? Either Holmes or Watson is a spaceship, as well as being an Asian woman?! Methinks someone has quite an imagination ... or the Twitterer you quoted is missing some of that sentence.

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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr , 2018 8:51 pm 
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I don't know anything more but I assumed that the spaceship was some sort of an AI that had the identity of an Asian woman, the way in the Marvel movies, JARVIS sounds like an English man while FRIDAY is an Irish female (as I'm told). But who knows!

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr , 2018 12:43 am 

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That makes more sense. But unless it's a farce, I think a spaceship and a human playing Holmes and Watson might be a little too strange for me. Still, I definitely give the author credit for imagination. :)

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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr , 2018 1:30 am 
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I just started Lab Girl, and I'm loving it!

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PostPosted: Tue 01 May , 2018 4:49 pm 
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If you like, skip to 6:00 where he starts talking about his new book. Does it sound to you like he got the idea from Gaiman's American Gods?



It looks like it might be worth reading, even if he got the idea from Neil Gaiman.

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PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug , 2018 1:16 am 
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I wasn't sure if I want to put this here or in the WTF thread on HoF.

Barack And Joe Solve A Murder Mystery

Yes, it's an actual book. Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer. Proceeds support NPR.

Quote:
So you have someone who's close to Joe in the story [an Amtrak conductor from Wilmington, Del.] is found dead, and then Obama shows up mysteriously one night and says: Oh, I have some information here that you may want to hear about. And so Joe Biden is already very suspicious of, you know, why do you have this information? Why are you coming to me now? And so he thinks — he wonders what Obama is there for. Is he there to reconnect with him, or is he just there to help them out? So you don't really know. And so we spend — most of the book sort of follows almost a romance plotline where you have the separated lovers at the beginning and they have to talk about their feelings. And, you know, toward the end of the book things sort of reconnect.


I'm not sure how I feel about using two living, public people as fictional characters, especially if Biden ends up running in 2020.

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep , 2018 2:31 pm 

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Pioneer Girl is quite good, if you grew up on the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. It's the original autobiography she wrote and tried to get published as an adult book before turning episodes into children's fiction. It starts off slowly but later gets more detailed and interesting. Some of the annotations are very good, too, and put the events into historical context. For instance they describe the political and economic events during the time the family lived on land that actually belonged to the Osage (?) tribe, and what happened to the members of the tribe.

Though they could have skipped some of the annotations IMO. They went to a lot of trouble to trace everyone mentioned in the books, and it's a little annoying to be taken out of the story just to find a couple of paragraphs about the doctor who might have treated her little brother and where that doctor might have lived and died.

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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct , 2018 1:20 pm 

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Has anyone read any of Andrew Solomon's travel writing or his books? (Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, Far and Away, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost, etc. )
https://pen.org/biography-of-andrew-solomon/

I just began Far and Away (the first I've read of his work) and dutifully started on the preface chapter, thinking "well, it will be dull as they usually are, but at least I should skim it and get a feel for what he wants to say" and am finding it one of the most interesting prefaces I have ever read. There have been half a dozen spots where I think "I want to quote this" and other spots where I laugh out loud. I have no idea how the collection of travel writing will be - he comments that some of the pieces were written when he was young and naive, and he'd write them differently through the lens of experience - but so far I'm hooked.

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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct , 2018 1:33 pm 
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Oh, I haven't, but that's sounds very interesting! I do love travelogues.

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct , 2018 7:49 pm 
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It certainly sounds like he was able to write on a range of difficult subjects. I'll add him to my list.

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct , 2018 1:08 pm 

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Lali, I may have mischaracterized the book. I've started into the articles and they seem to be as much (or more) about people and attitudes and historic events as they are about the places he's visiting. His first article was about Soviet-era avant-garde artists during the first Sotheby's auction in Russia, when Gorbachev started opening up the country to the West. I have zero interest in avant-garde art, but it didn't matter - the story kept me interested.

There was also a short, newly written section at the end about how things are now in the avant-garde art world in Russia, under Putin. (grim, of course)



Frelga, he does cover a wide range of topics, doesn't he? He's a professor of clinical psychology, which does make sense as far as the book on depression and maybe the one on families. (Though I think the idea for the one on families probably came as much from his own situation as from his work - he's apparently gay and married, with children) But he knows how to write for a non-academic audience, with a light touch.


Edit: After reading a bit more, I've decided that if I were ever in charge of assigning a book to incoming college freshmen for a group read, this book would be high on my list. The published pieces are very good, with a sense of humor here and there, and the "how things are now" sections are also exceptional so far. For the first time, I understood why Pussy Riot chose to protest in an Orthodox church and how subversive that was for the Putin regime. Or just how deep the corruption runs in Russia now and how pervasive the penalties are for dissent about Ukraine.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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PostPosted: Mon 22 Apr , 2019 1:20 am 
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I'm reading James Oswald's "Inspector McLean" series, which takes place in Edinburgh. Currently I'm on "Cold as the Grave", which has this gem:

Quote:
Fresh food Solutions occupied a modern warehouse building on the edge of an industrial estate in Newcraighall. Whoever had come up with the name for the company had clearly never spent any time on the internet, as the large company logo spelled out FFS in big blue letters.

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PostPosted: Mon 22 Apr , 2019 2:47 pm 
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:LMAO:

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PostPosted: Wed 08 May , 2019 1:19 pm 

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https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062562661/the-marriage-bureau/
Quote:
The Marriage Bureau
The True Story of How Two Matchmakers Arranged Love in Wartime London

by Penrose Halson


This one surprised me. I picked it up out of idle curiosity, not expecting much, but loved it. It's nonfiction but takes the liberty of describing events as if they're happening in a novel, and it moves quickly, with a good blend of happy endings, tragedy, hardship and humor.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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PostPosted: Wed 08 May , 2019 4:13 pm 
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That sounds like it's worth a read.

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PostPosted: Thu 09 May , 2019 12:50 pm 

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I thought it was. Fair warning - a few of the meeting descriptions border on Harlequin romance territory for a paragraph or two (to be fair, so do a few of their clients' letters, so that may be consistent with the era) - but not enough to spoil the book for me.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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PostPosted: Fri 10 May , 2019 12:11 pm 

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btw, the lists of marriage requirements, circa 1939-1949, in the appendices are pretty entertaining.
Some samples from the women:

Engineers preferred but any really well-educated man except actors or theologists.

Sensible but not stodgy. Not living in or near Southport.

Someone born in February or May.

Not amorous.

I do not like anyone called Longstaff.

With knowledge of building repair, fruit growing and poultry.

My husband was killed serving as captain in the Royal Artillery in North Africa. Would like another.

I am ex-WAAF. If possible, a man interested in cars and car mechanism.

If in politics, must be “progressive.” An unsociable man slightly preferred.

Broad-minded. Should drink, smoke and be capable of swearing.

No encumbrances, fine character, no doctors.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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PostPosted: Mon 13 May , 2019 12:27 am 
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:D Those are great!

I like this one, minus the smoking bit:

Broad-minded. Should drink, smoke and be capable of swearing.

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