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Default What are you reading ?

August 18th, 2007, 13:59
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I see your point. Sounds like a good idea for a thread — list of book suggestions for kids with some idea of the age range in there too. Like so?

Tove Jansson: The Moomin series of books, ages 4 to senile.
Susan Cooper: The Dark is Rising sequence, ages 8 to senile.
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Earthsea trilogy, ages 12 to senile.
Mika Waltari: The Egyptian, ages 14 to senile.
Some nice suggestions there. There are also books that aren't necessarily award winners but really capture the imagination of a child. I'll save that stufff for the other thread.

— Mike
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August 18th, 2007, 15:30
The book suggestions for kids..hmmh I don't know what kids read since I used to read lots of different things when I was a kid, but here are some of those…

Tolkien's Lord of the rings and Hobbit are excellent choises. from 8 to senile me thinks

Many Jules Verne books. I can't say the age range. you figure it out.

Alexandre Dumas : Three musketeers. this book never felt dry to me. Infact I couldn't stop reading untill the last page. from 12 to senile .

John Christopher : The Tripods trilogy. I totally enjoyed it when I was ten or so. And I reread it couple of years ago.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles..very good reading for youngsters and above.

Agatha christie's Murder on the Orient Express is a detective classic, not for the most youngest audience obviously, but I used to read lots of different detective novels when I was younger.. and I still do.
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August 18th, 2007, 15:59
After reading everyone's kid books suggestions, I was thinking how what you read at a young age really impacts and shapes you. In fact, just being a reader is a cornerstone of who you are and who you become.

Not many of the recent books are familiar to me, unfortunately. Classics like Wind in the Willows and Jules Verne were favorites. I mostly grew up on animal books like The Black Stallion and the Flicka books, Robert Louis Stephenson's Kidnapped, Treasure Island, etc(which i still enjoy) and Albert Payson Terhune's dog books(Lad, a Dog). The Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys were fun escapist reading. I think kids today might still enjoy most of these.

Narnia, LeGuinn and Tolkien came when I was quite a bit older.

Nauseating pap like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms was all too prevalent, unfortunately. The Secret Garden(Frances Hodgson Burnett) and Heidi (Johanna Spyri) really impressed me as a child, but going back now they are extremely sentimental.

It's really great that kids today have so many imaginative choices.

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August 18th, 2007, 16:54
The Narnia series was like that for me — I loved them as a kid, but when I re-read them as an adult, the agenda showed through so much that they irritated the hell out of me. Not to mention Susan's fate — IMO that makes the books unsuitable as unsupervised reading for children. (They're fine, of course, if they're discussed afterwards.)
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August 18th, 2007, 17:02
I read and loved the Narnia books as a kid, and I haven't read them since. I tried reading The Hobbit when I was quite young as well, and couldn't get into it. Then I read it about 6 years ago and loved every moment.

Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet are also excellent books for "kids" Kids being 12ish or thereabouts.

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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August 18th, 2007, 18:19
Its funny how all the good childrens books I suggested I have actually read
in a mature age. My first experiences with literature were perhaps predictably
those books considered classic "childrens literature" for my generation (I am
at the doorstep of 30 now).

So Jules Verne it was (bucketloads) and Conan Doyle and Alexander Dumas
and Dickens and even a reduced version of Les miserables among other things*.

Is it not typical that Upon their publication all of these books were concidered
adult material ?

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Earthsea trilogy, ages 12 to senile.
As chance would have it this was my first Fantasy book at the age of 15
(before that I was starting to read some "heavier" stuff like lots of Poe
and slowly discovering Poetry in general). Needless to say I was absolutely
captivated and it remains one of my all time favorites.

A minor note: Though I do agree that a 12 year old child can enjoy these series
and I would not hesitate to give it to one, I consider LeGuin's work (even the Fantasy) more adult oriented. I certainly was able to appreciate it more on later
rereads.

* Lots and lots and lots of Greek mythology plus Homer, being Greek and all.
Untill I got sick of It and started to shun it in favor of Celtic, Norse and other
of the Worlds mythologies from puberty onwards…
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August 19th, 2007, 06:18
Hey Jazz, as Mod of this forum, could you set up the Children's book thread and move these latest additions over to it, thanks!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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August 19th, 2007, 09:40
Originally Posted by Gallifrey View Post
I read and loved the Narnia books as a kid, and I haven't read them since. I tried reading The Hobbit when I was quite young as well, and couldn't get into it. Then I read it about 6 years ago and loved every moment.

Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet are also excellent books for "kids" Kids being 12ish or thereabouts.
Hoo boy, I'd forgotten all about those.

Then there was the Black Cauldron series (Lloyd Alexander, IIRC), and who wrote that bit about Half Magic? Was that L'Engle too?
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August 19th, 2007, 10:55
Dare I mention Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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August 19th, 2007, 11:36
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Then there was the Black Cauldron series (Lloyd Alexander, IIRC)
Yes, he died in May this year. I've finally aquired the Disney movie of that, and now I'm eager to read the original novels - in English, of course.

There is - by the way - on Wikipedia an interesting remark about the name of Gurgi, which might be - according to that - another form of a name of creatures which eventually became the "Puckel-Men" in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Like Ghan-buri-Ghan was one of them.

This is what I wrote about it in a different forum :

My plans are to buy the "Taran" books by Lloyd Alexander in the next months, since I've seen the Disney movie "The Black Cauldron" on DVD.
His books are more or less based on Welsh mythology, and I've found an interesting link towards J.R.R. Tolkien :

Wikipedia says that the name of the character of Gurgi could be a variant of another name Tolkien used :

The name Gurgi may be a variation on Gruagach (see Pca).
See here : Pca
Remember Ghn-buri-Ghn ? He was one of them - and the statues guarding these roads high above Rohan depict his ancestors, the "Pkel-men". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunharrow

That was an interesting find for me ! To take a glimpse at the sources from which both Lloyd Alexander and J.R.R. Tolkien drew from !
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August 24th, 2007, 21:01
Well, Ive had to abandon my foray into the world of Stephen King. As usual, after a few hundred pages he started getting on my nerves.

I'm still in a kind of summertime Light Reading mode, though so I started a book I picked up at the dollar book store, Where is Joe Merchant? by Jimmy Buffett. It's entertaining, and he has some whacko characters which are fun. I wouldn't call it a literary masterpiece, but it's not bad for what it is.

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August 25th, 2007, 01:32
Loved The Phantom Tollbooth when I was very young.
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August 25th, 2007, 07:08
The Phantom Tollbooth is a lovely book, agreed. I love the illustrations. A book I highly recommend in a similar vein is The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber.

In non-"young adult" reading:
I just finished reading "The Lies of Locke Lamora" by Scott Lynch and I'm looking forward to the sequel, "Red Seas Under Red Skies." They are fantasy novels about the title character and his band of thieves, the Gentleman Bastards. I quite liked the first one. I read some reviews comparing them to the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser books, but I don't think that's the best comparison. They have much less of the darkly mysterious and poetic feel of the Lankhmar books, and a lot more cussing and bloodshed. Actually it's more like the Godfather mixed with Lankhmar.

I also recently finished the most recent of the Malazan Empire books, "Reaper's Gale" by Steven Erikson. Another gigantic tome following a ton of characters through various nefarious and confusing events. Hit or miss for sure, but I enjoy his books despite (or because of, perhaps) the sheer mess of plot threads and people. Plus there's the occasional spark of pure weirdness. Finally some stuff got resolved in this one. Or did it? It's hard to say. All I know is some gods blew some stuff up and some soldiers turned into gods, maybe, and some arrogant dragons had the tables turned on them, and there was a lot of fighting and some wise-cracking.

Started reading the second Instrumentalities of the Night book by Glen Cook. I can't get into it, though. It's no Black Company. Way too much discussion of the politics of an imaginary land, not nearly enough fightin' and wizardin'! I'll come back to it when I have some free time.

Just read through the most recently translated Vampire Hunter D novel "Mysterious Journey To the North Sea part II" l. Pure Japanese pulp fiction. I don't know how they feel to read in the original Japanese, but the translations all feel pretty awkward to me. The dialogue is pretty stilted. They're fun to read though, but if I wasn't already a fan don't know what I'd make of them. There's an awful lot of time spent describing just how beautiful D is and how everyone swoons over him - and then how they are awed by the aura of darkness that surrounds him, and yadda de dah, and then some villain with secret powers challenges him, and D barely has to even twitch his sword to defeat them because he's such a stone cold badass, and the strong but beautiful girl heroine du jour secretly loves D, but he's not interested because he's got to carry on with his quest for whatever it is he's looking for, plus he's just too stone cold tough to have time for ladies anyway. They're kind of like horror post-apocalypse-spaghetti-westerns.

I spend a lot of time on my lunch break at work reading parts of various work-in-progress translations of martial arts novels by Jin Yong and others over on wuxiapedia dot com. I recommend The Eagle Shooting Heroes (or the Condor Heroes, or any of the other names it's known by). Also The Proud Smiling Wanderer.

And on a slightly different (though still fantastical) note:
I also finished Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami. I like his books very, very much. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is a favorite.
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August 27th, 2007, 16:31
Some very interesting titles in there, Black Hood. *scribbles more notes on list of 'to read someday' *

Phantom Tollbooth was great, and I remember giggling with my BGF all over The 13 Clocks. If I remember right, that was the one with the line: "I'll slit you from your guzzle to your zatch!" Thurber was a very funny man.

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August 28th, 2007, 04:51
Yes, that's the book Magerette - allow me to nitpick for a moment - I believe the exact zone that was being threatened was from the "guggle" to the "zatch." Man, that Duke was cold. Sadly, though I know my copy is probably within arms reach of me, I doubt it would take me less than an hour to find it so I can verify the spelling of the made-up words.

In the young adult vein again:
I just pulled these off the shelf to flip through them quickly again since I needed some reference material - I love John Bellair's first few books, well, mainly "The House with A Clock In Its Walls", "The Figure In The Shadows", and "The Letter, The Witch, and the Ring." Plus they were illustrated by Edward Gorey. Perhaps a tad (or a hell of a lot) frightening for younger kids - I know I was pretty young when I read them, but, well, I was reading a lot of stuff at a young age, which is why my avatar is a scary inquisitor-like figure and I think Black Hood sounds like a good name, if you see what I mean. He wrote a ton of similar books and while they started to feel a bit same-y after a while I think they all have some merit, and again they all have Edward Gorey illustrations, so how can you go wrong? I haven't read the ones finished posthumously by Brad Strickland. John Bellairs died much too young. It's not fair.
John Bellairs also wrote an amazing book called "The Face In the Frost," which is somewhere close to the top of my all-time favorite books. It's about a wizard named Prospero (no, not the one you're thinking of) and another named Roger Bacon (not the one you're thinking of either) and their battle against a dark force, and it's a charming, funny, genuinely terrifying at times work chock full of cleverness. I think I'll read it again, actually, tonight.
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September 1st, 2007, 16:10
Anyone You Want Me To Be- John Douglas. Just started reading it again.
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September 4th, 2007, 14:58
"The Unhandsome Prince" by John Moore

Comedic fantasy that isn't terribly funny nor all that well-written. Overall, a big "meh".

Started "Trace" by Patricia Cornwell.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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September 6th, 2007, 22:51
"Bronzestreif am Horizont", a small katalogue of a small exhibition on the bronze age here in the area of the rather north of the river Rhein (English: Rhine), which is opening tomorrow, but I was allowed to visit it today.

It's a nice addiition to my library on Archaeology and a nice reading, too.
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September 10th, 2007, 03:23
Just finished The Pale Horseman, Bernard Cornwell's latest and his second in a series of novels about Britain under Alfred the Great and the many battles against the Danes. Nice, bloody, and reasonably accurate historical stuff by the guy that wrote all the Sharpe novels about the Napoleonic wars.

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September 10th, 2007, 04:26
Both my wife and I are reading 'The Golden Compass' by Philip Pullman (aka Northern Lights in the UK) - my son already chewed through the trilogy and both are looking forward to the movie coming in December.

— Mike
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