Jan 09, 2023, 09:50 AM Last Edit: Jan 09, 2023, 09:58 AM by Guybrush
I'm always reading something and maybe you're the same way. What are you reading?

These days, I'm finishing up Stephen King's The Stand, a later version extended with 400 pages or so. Without spoiling too much, there are two reasons I wanted to read it.
  • Very minor start-of-book spoiler - it features a pandemic so felt relevant for that reason
  • Many claim it to be King's magnum opus. It's been made into a movie / TV show like what.. two times? Three times?
It's a good book with some decent characters. It's entertaining and fairly well written. However:

Spoiler alert for Stephen King's The Stand
I don't care for the good vs evil post-pandemic storyline at all (even if it does entertain me). A few months / weeks into the post-apocalypse and we get this seemingly silly religious scenario with the old woman's gang vs. the slick devil's gang, but there seems to be so little internal logic to it. It's not a fight for space or resources and the people in each camp don't seem that much different. Each group seems to be guessing that the other guys are bad, but why should there even be a conflict? Is it just God's will for some reason?

Right now, it does seem kinda silly. BUT. I'm not quite done with it, so maybe there are some pleasant surprises that will shed some light on this and make me change my mind.
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Happiness is a warm manatee

this isn't a big give away spoiler

Spoiler
I read it a long time ago. I liked that that guy could fuck his girl anywhere except her cunt because that was being saved for satan or whatever it was. I thought it was a standard good SK read. All those books, Cujo, Fire Starter, Pet Sematary, all were about the same to me: fun page turners
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Hey, OH ! Great to see you again! I've often wondered how you got on after leaving MB so completely.

At a friend's insistence, I also read The Stand when he discovered that I'd never read an S King book. Like you say, OH, it's an easy enough thing to read because SK clearly knows how to tell a story, but I was glad when I was done. The book engaged me about as much as the magazines in my dentist's waiting room.

As for me, I'm reading a book about a battle made famous by Abba. Spoiler because everyone will need some time trying to guess which battle it could possibly be  ;) :-

Spoiler
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To get lost is to learn the way.

Thanks for the friendly greeting. Nice to see you online as well. The Stand is not SK's best book. The Shining is much better. Carrie and Rage aren't as fully developed as The Shining but they are raw and gritty.

The first book I finished in 2023 is The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology by Mark Boyle. Highly influenced by Thoreau and Wendell Berry and some of the best parts of this book is when he references other books. Compared to others of this genre I preferred both Into the Wild and The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen, probably because they're both more about not just successful off the grid living but also more about seizing the day and exploring life with wild abandon. I invested in a fair amount of foundation building reading in my twenties so I can say from experience that all these books are better put in context if you first read Thoreau, Emerson, and Muir.

I hope people don't settle with just the movie for Into the Wild even though they did do a really good job with it.


Quote...because they're both more about not just successful off the grid living but also more about seizing the day and exploring life with wild abandon.

Not sure that's how I would summarize Into The Wild, but we can agree on it being a great book. Actually, every J Krakauer book I've read has been exceptional. He has a talent for making real life as exciting as a suspense thriller.

On Walden Pond felt like the opposite to me, but I was only 18 or so when I dipped into a few pages of it, so perhaps I wasn't ready for it. Mind you, I did at the same age read The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, which I enjoyed more - partly because I can imagine rural England so  much more easily than I can rural America.

To get lost is to learn the way.

I never read anything in that genre, I believe, but thanks for the recommendation. I did move out into the forest for 2 weeks when I was 17, sometime after my older GF broke up with me ;D it was an interesting time.

About King, I've read quite a bit, but most of my reading was when I was in my teens. My favorite then was Desperation. I liked the theme and how grisly it occasionally gets. Upon rereading it a few years ago, it didn't quite hold up so my opinion has changed. I'm not sure what King-book I like the most anymore.

Now I'm reading Garth Marengi's Terrortome which is just stupid fun and very true to his character from the TV show  :D

Happiness is a warm manatee

Two weeks in a forest at 17 years old is quite impressive.

On the topic of the rural retreat genre:
I think this will always have limited popularity, not just with readers but with writers too. If the most exciting chapter of your book is, "The Day The Goat Got Into My Cabbage Patch", then the author really has nowhere to hide, either as a writer or a thinker: no distractions like plot or suspense to cover up the quality of your craft.
I've also read a couple of genuine diaries, Samuel Peyps, for example, who saw both the Plague and the Great Fire of London. Lucky B*st*rd! ;) The nice thing with a diary is how you get to read the exact details of what people thought worthy of recording; what they ate, who they met, etc. The downside is that our lives are not super exciting on a daily basis, so a diary can get kind of repetitive. For Peyps, his diary catchphrase quickly becomes, "And so to bed." and let's face it, that's how each day ends for us too, 350 years after Sammy Peyps was blowing out his bedside lamp. 

To get lost is to learn the way.

It wasn't hard, really. It was in summer and I already had a lot of hiking experience back then, having been a member of various scout orgs. I had a pet rat called Mambo for company and I got a lot of tick bites. Sometimes, friends visited camp and stayed over.

About reading diaries and the like, years ago when we vacated to Thailand, I thought it would be nice to read British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace's travelogue The Malay Archipelago. I ordered it online only to find I'd gotten the wrong book. What I got instead was a book containing letters he sent to his sister and others while on his journey.

He had a lot to say about his failing health, bug bites and his brother in law's business. And he made a 19th century joke about the murder of a certain ape that seems extremely inappropriate today :coldsweat:

My other book was a brief history of time, but that also wasn't a great pick for a beach book.

Happiness is a warm manatee

Quote from: Guybrush on Jan 14, 2023, 10:24 AMI never read anything in that genre, I believe, but thanks for the recommendation. I did move out into the forest for 2 weeks when I was 17, sometime after my older GF broke up with me ;D it was an interesting time.

About King, I've read quite a bit, but most of my reading was when I was in my teens. My favorite then was Desperation. I liked the theme and how grisly it occasionally gets. Upon rereading it a few years ago, it didn't quite hold up so my opinion has changed. I'm not sure what King-book I like the most anymore.

Now I'm reading Garth Marengi's Terrortome which is just stupid fun and very true to his character from the TV show  :D

Whoa! I had no idea there was new Garth Marenghi stuff, the show is one of my all time favorite pieces of media.


QuoteI think this will always have limited popularity, not just with readers but with writers too. If the most exciting chapter of your book is, "The Day The Goat Got Into My Cabbage Patch", then the author really has nowhere to hide, either as a writer or a thinker: no distractions like plot or suspense to cover up the quality of your craft

Yet off the grid reality shows have achieved traction. It's something people like to fantasize about and romanticize. Myself included.

Quotegenuine diaries

Anne Frank - Anais Nin


Quote from: Mrs. Waffles on Jan 15, 2023, 03:01 PMWhoa! I had no idea there was new Garth Marenghi stuff, the show is one of my all time favorite pieces of media.

Hey, you know Darkplace :)

Yeah, this took me completely by surprise. It just came out a little while ago too. Some algorithm suggested I pre-ordered it. Those suckers are figuring me out.

As you'd expect, it's really dumb.

Happiness is a warm manatee

#11 Jan 16, 2023, 01:54 PM Last Edit: Jan 16, 2023, 03:19 PM by Guybrush
Quote from: Guybrush on Jan 15, 2023, 01:44 AM...What I got instead was a book containing letters he sent to his sister and others while on his journey.

He had a lot to say about his failing health, bug bites and his brother in law's business. And he made a 19th century joke about the murder of a certain ape that seems extremely inappropriate today :coldsweat:

:laughing: That sounds quite intriguing! Yep, books of letters are also good ways to "get inside someone's head". I've read one or two of those, including The Letters of Van Gogh. The only thing I remember about it now is my friend's comment when he saw what I was reading, "Where's the bit where he cuts his ear off?"

A Brief History of Time isn't as easy as the title suggests is it, guybrush? I still have it here on my shelves so perhaps one day I'll have another go at failing to understand it !

Never read the Anais Nin diaries, OH, but Anne Frank's diary must be one of the most famous in the world. Even here in Mexico, my son had to "do" it at school.

And yes, those rural retreat progs on tv are quite interesting. I like the ones, still fairly rural, but focused on renovation: "I bought a stone barn in Italy, etc,etc,"

To get lost is to learn the way.

PS: Hi, Lady Of Synth ! Goodwork on consistently promoting the synthesizer, even in your signature phrase at the bottom of your posts.

To get lost is to learn the way.

Quote from: Lisnaholic on Jan 16, 2023, 01:54 PMA Brief History of Time isn't as easy as the title suggests is it, guybrush? I still have it here on my shelves so perhaps one day I'll have another go at failing to understand it !

No and especially not while feeling drowsy under a parasol on a hot day on a Thailand beach.

The one thing I vaguely remember from it is that Hawking suspected that time moves along with increasing entropy and that's why time moves in the direction from cause to consequence. But that this might change one day, who knows?

Happiness is a warm manatee

Quote from: Guybrush on Jan 16, 2023, 03:21 PM
Quote from: Lisnaholic on Jan 16, 2023, 01:54 PMA Brief History of Time isn't as easy as the title suggests is it, guybrush? I still have it here on my shelves so perhaps one day I'll have another go at failing to understand it !

No and especially not while feeling drowsy under a parasol on a hot day on a Thailand beach.

The one thing I vaguely remember from it is that Hawking suspected that time moves along with increasing entropy and that's why time moves in the direction from cause to consequence. But that this might change one day, who knows?

i read it when it came out and saw the film at the theater

i remember thinking of the entropy as every time the universe contracts to such a dense point again the big bang repeats but like a copy of a copy of copy and with each expansion things change or get slightly distorted each time - it's not what he was saying but something i dreamed up while reading it-