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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:52 am 
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"By His Own Hand? The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis" edited by John D.W. Guise.

There are some introductory chapters, a big chapter on those who think Lewis probably did kill himself, a chapter devoted to the possibility of murder and a wrap-up chapter. We'll never know the true story, but it's fascinating stuff. He either shot himself in the head with one gun and in the abdomen with another, or somebody else shot him with the two guns.

This happened while he was trekking up the Natchez Trace, hauling his journals & artifacts from the Expedition to Washington, DC. After I saw his grave, I found the book in the Tupelo Visitors' Center and decided I needed to read it.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:30 am 
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Reading Stephen King's 'Under The Dome' and I thinks it's brilliant, certainly his best in a while. He also quotes OH in it (haven't come accross it yet though).


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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:15 am 
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I've just started "Finn" by Jon Clinch. It's about Huckleberry Finn's father.


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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:36 pm 
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To get into this, I am currently trying to get more reading done then I have tended to do in the past. Not so much because I don't want to, but I have trouble finding the time. I started after coming across a tie-in novel for the old science fiction series Babylon 5, which we went through last year, then after that I read Neuromancer by William Gibson (part of the inspiration for Transverse City by the way). Currently I have been trying to paw through several books recommend by my mother, at the moment Friday by Robert A. Heinlein. Also, though this is book on CD, me and my twin brother had been listening to the Arkady Renko series by Martin Cruz Smith, and just have Stalin's Ghost to go through on our list. We listened to Gorky Park, Polar Star and Red Square but do not have Havana Bay and my mother disliked Three Stations.

EDIT: Ah, I see Renko was already mentioned. I do agree that his career is revived a bit too often. Still, it is probably the only half-way realistic vision of Russia that people often get in the West, even now. Gorky Park and Red Square are too, well, romantic to be truly great though. Polar Star and Wolves Eat Dogs are better in my opinion, more gritty and more cynical. Also, as my mother says, they good for their characterization and not their plots. My favourite line is when Arkady quotes someone and they ask "Tolstoy?" and he replies "Stalin." I also saw the film Gorky Park, first on library tape and then even worse as a censored copy on KCTS. The film is awful but I love the British accents, I did not know that SIS had infiltrated the Moscow militia...

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:24 pm 
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I just cleared off the nightstand so there are only two books now:
Midway through: H.P. Lovecraft's The Thing at the Door. I'm not a horror fan but his work is very good. Definitely a disciple of Poe. Given the popularity of his Cthulhu stuff I feel like I'm late to the party.

Saving as a treat: Enemy Ace: War in Heaven. It's a graphic novel written by Garth Ennis taking up the old character of Enemy Ace (triplane pilot a la the Red Baron), set in WWII. Enemy Ace is an interesting character given the traditional treatment of Germans in American comics. As a true gentleman of honor, he's deeply conflicted about his status as a famed killer.


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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:39 pm 
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Well, I guess you could say I am somewhat of a disciple of Lovecraft who has yet to actually read him. His work has had a massive affect on horror games, most prevalent in my mind being the excellent indie and cross-platform (eg. Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux) Penumbra and Amnesia titles by Frictional Games. As an aspiring game developer myself, and writer, this inheritance has probably passed onto me somewhat. I am most likely going to read some H.P. at some point (they have a good collection on WikiSource, as I am of the generation that is more comfortable reading from screens). From what I know, the comparison to Poe seems accurate - though I am only properly introduced to "The Raven" and "The Cask of Amontillado" at this point. I am fine with horror fiction in literary or interactive form, but I do not care for it as passive cinema or radio. It is like how I feel about action films, if you are going to have no plot you might as well actually live the repetitive 'thrills' as a video game. :lol: I spend a lot of time considering the difference between mediums if you have not guessed, and again of the generation that sees interactive as a proper form of artistic expression (so sue me ;) ).

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Technopeasant, you owe it to yourself to read his stuff. As a writer you'll find the language perfectly tuned to the subject.

His influence on anything horror is massive, and I'm of the belief that it's best to know these things firsthand (as someone said, "secondhand is third rate").

Here's a great collection of his works on line:
http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/

You should also read more Poe!
http://www.poestories.com/stories.php

I'll stop handing out reading assignments now :)


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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:02 pm 
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Yeah, I do have every intention, as I said earlier in this thread, I am trying to actually read more. Me and my mother (sorry, my mother and I ;) ) were talking about 20th century literature a few weeks ago and came up with this list of great 20th century English language fiction writers, mostly based on their foundation laying:

J.R.R. Tolkein (modern fantasy)
H.P. Lovecraft (modern horror)
Agatha Christie (modern mystery)
Raymond Chandler (noir)
John le Carré (espionage)
Isaac Asimov (science fiction)
George Orwell (political fiction) (and essays, but that is not fictitious)
Charles Sheffield (hard science fiction, my father's selection)
Margaret Atwood (breaking the Anglo-American bias)

Based on the fact I could actually input into the conversation, she agreed with my description as a "unread literate". :P

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:57 am 
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I'm reading the Daniel Silva thriller Portrait of a Spy.


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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:38 pm 
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Just finished Reginald Hill's latest, "The Woodcutter." He doesn't disappoint. As always, for my money,the best living mystery writer.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:20 am 
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Quotations from Chairman Mao (aka The Little Red Book).

Rather ironic to read today in the context of modern China, particularly the tension between the government/corporations and the growing labour movement and neo-Maoist groups. Also, always nice to brush up on guerrilla tactics and theory. :P

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:20 am 
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Heavier Than Heaven ... just getting started.


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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:22 am 
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A TimeLife "Library of Nations" book on the Soviet Union from 1985.

Amazing how things have changed, or not (Putin going for a third, cumulative, term, same party in for 20 years...) :P

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Heavier Than Heaven ... I'm a little disappointed. Not well written. But I just finished Brian Wilson's "Wouldn't It Be Nice" .... a bit dated (1991) but it was a good read.


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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:53 pm 
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I don;'t know if it's my mood or this awful head cold, but I've been disappointed in the two books I've read most recently, both from authors I usually like. I just finished the latest Laura Lippman, and it left me cold. And I was really let down by the new entry in Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce books. However, the previous three were all excellent, and I encourage everyone to read them, and not be put off by the descriptions on the jacket. Trust me!

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