Tea & Books - What are you reading?
Just finished The History of ‘Leo the Deacon, Byzantine Military Expansion in the Tenth Century’. It’s a good translation of Leo’s histories and has some fun stuff about medieval Byzantium. Just about to start ‘Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness, Arab Travellers in the Far North’. It’s a new translation of Ibn Fadlan and other medieval Arab writers. Looking forward to it. I don’t get to read much that is not to do with my research at the moment.
It is good. I got started on ibn Fadlan this afternoon and am ploughing through at a great rate of knots. I love his note-style observations on all the people he meets and places he goes.
G.Martin – Game of Thrones
Yay, another one on board! I’m waiting for my fiancee to get through Dance with Dragons so I can read it. He’s on page 30. This shouldn’t take long.. : )
I hate sharing books because it feels like forever until it’s your turn. Back when I was still reading paper/hard covers my mom and I had to share a Harry Potter book… yeah I feel your pain :D
I quite enjoyed the first four, but have not bothered with the fifth yet. No time for fiction at the moment, and I am still scarred by him killing off all my favourite characters!
He does tend to do that a lot doesn’t he? oh well… hopefully my two favourites will make it (Tyrion & Arya)
I read all those. My only irritation: I think it took him 5 years to write that last book…can I wait another 5 years to read the next one?
And yeah, he spends so much time developing characters, only to kill them!
I think the killing makes his books very realistic and keeps you on your toes. There’s no comfort in feeling like you know the protagonist won’t die. There is real actual suspense. Not to say that I am not disappointed at some of the deaths. :( the one at the end of the last book was seriously devastating to me. I can’t wait til my friends get to it so we can cry over it together.
I agree that it feels more realistic, although I am not certain that so many deaths really is. However, it also feels gratuitous. Worse yet, so many deaths happen off camera and are only mentioned in an aside. In the end I stopped engaging with the characters and lost all emotional investment in the books, which significantly reduced my pleasure in reading them. Character death can be used really well in some novels to heighten the drama and lend real tension to the story, but Martin has gone long past that point. I mentioned earlier that I had not yet bought the latest book. I wonder if I ever shall. The gratuitous deaths of characters may well have lost Martin this reader.
Unfortunately, despite (quite frequently) being very upset with Martin, characters and the world in general, I can’t tear myself away. I never quit a book once I’ve started, and apparently that “rule” applies to this series as well. These characters do terrible, cruel things and evil seems to reign over all – yet I keep reading! I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
Uniquity, I’m the same way. Once I pick something up, I put it down only when it’s finished. It’s a very annoying trait, as it means that I waste time on mediocre stuff instead of moving on to better things. Oh well. =)
Me too. Once I have started a book there is very little that will make me put it down again, even if it is utterly dire. I too have wasted a lot of time on bad books.
Still trying to finish Jasmine Moon Murder from the Laura Childs Tea Shop Mystery Series.
Just finished making my scones and reading the last few pages of The perks of being a wallflower with a nice cuppa in hand, the strong kind with sugar and milk (yes I’m a barbarian). I finished it within a day, the book that is.
I guess it is, but around here, I’m not sure why, I just feel like a monster for drinking my tea with sugar and milk (I mean..sugar..AND MILK) but hey, it’s just the way I roll
I like the way you think Nik :) And I’m with you on how I like my tea most of the time. I do the milk and sugar thing too :) Also, I wanted to read that book!
I’m thinking of re-reading that one, since I would like to see the movie. I fell in love with it back when it was first released in the 90’s. Wow, I can’t believe it is already that old! I’d have to get a new copy/borrow it from the library though…since my old one has long since gone to live with someone else. (Whyyyy can’t people return my books???) PS: Going to read this with a strong black w sugar and milk, too!
Wrapping up What The Dog Saw (Malcolm Gladwell) and sad to see it end. I love essays and his have been fascinating, even when I didn’t expect it. I’m pretty well versed in hair dye and ketchup now. : )
Supposed to pick up Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma from the library tonight and will probably read that next. I’ve been meaning to get to it for years now!
I love all of Pollan’s books, especially that one & the Botany of Desire!
I love reading about food and where it comes from. Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle actually prompted me to go as local as I could a year or two ago. I also do homemade pizza every Friday because of her. Mmm, food writing!
Well my book still hasn’t arrived at the library that I hoped to read here in Orlando – this makes me sad.
But on a different note I’m reading COLD BLOOD by James Flemming. An action packed novel set during the Russian revolution.
I finished ‘seawitch’. I thought about starting a new book, but NaNoWriMo starts in 10 days, so I think I’m gonna take a break from reading, to mentally prep myself for writing!
I finished Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin last night, and next is Soulless by Gail Carriger.
Just finished Lamb by Christopher Moore. Cute book. Makes me want to read the King James bible again.
Started on Outlaws of the Marsh (aka Water Margin, aka All Men are Brothers, aka Suikoden). I forget which translator I’m reading and I’m feeling a bit too lazy to go and get the book. :p Despite my Chinese heritage, the real reason I’m reading this book is because I am absolutely in love with Suikoden 1 & 2, the RPG for PS1. I’m old school like that. 3 was okay, but they lost me on 4. I do enjoy classic Chinese novels though, even if it weren’t for awesome video games. Monkey King is a favorite. :)
Anyway! This book is long so I think I’ll be on it for a while. :)
Outlaws in the Marsh is excellent. I loved reading it even more than I enjoyed the TV series. I picked my copy up in Shanghai some years ago while on honeymoon, so it means even more to me now. Monkey is brilliant too, although I did find the full edition that I bought a bit repetitive by the end.
Did you read it in Chinese or translated into English? I’m trying to figure out if I get the best translation before I get too far in.
I’m loving how the Song dynasty version of “the good guy” is so different from the modern western version of “the good guy.”
Also, there’s a TV series? :D What dialect is it in? HK produced or mainland? Sorry for all the questions. :)
I read both ‘Outlaws in the Marsh’ and ‘Journey to the West’ in English translations. I don’t read any type of Chinese sadly. The Water Margin that I saw was this one:
It was originally in Japanese but dubbed into English. A quick search of IMDB shows that were was a Chinese version in Mandarin too, but I never saw that.
You’re right about the whole good guy thing. It is such a different concept in the book from our modern ideas of such things.