The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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Miscellaneous Archives > Croissants, Coffe &Tea--Part the Tenth

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Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Please stop by for coffee, or tea, and a croissant. Bring your book and sit a spell, and tell us what's going on.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Hello, everybody! Yes, I've been absent for a bit, but I'm going to try to be more present and involved. The past couple of years have been a zoo. but my wife and and I are in a new house and things are starting to slow down (knock on wood), and I believe that I can be more involved in group reads and other back and forths.


message 3: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4417 comments Mod
Welcome back Chris. Funny, the last few years have been chaos here too. Something in the air, perhaps? I look forward to your involvement.


message 4: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 1963 comments Mod
Glad to have this new thread as I wanted to recommend something this group might appreciate just for a hoot - Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton. You would swear you were reading Trollope, with a plot about inheritance, marriage, lawsuits, and social class - except that all the characters are dragons! I found it delightful to read of the dragons putting on their hats, going to church, conversing, taking the train (very large carriages, of course) sitting down to a dinner of raw beef carcasses, then tidying up the blood from their scales. And if their disputes get too intense, they just eat each other! The author, who generally writes more straightforward fantasy, obviously had a wonderful time creating this.


message 5: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments It will be good to have you back Chris although I am listening to books on www.audible.com more than reading them, because of failing eyesight. I try to keep up with y'all in Croissants though:)


message 6: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments Robin wrote: "Glad to have this new thread as I wanted to recommend something this group might appreciate just for a hoot - Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton. You would swear you were reading Trollope, w..."

Is it meant to be humorous or serious?


message 7: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments A new bio of Stephen Crane, who I haven't read since college. I might take a 2nd look. Maybe a 3rd, because I had no idea he was so handsome.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/boo...


message 8: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 1963 comments Mod
Rochelle wrote: "Robin wrote: "Glad to have this new thread as I wanted to recommend something this group might appreciate just for a hoot - Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton. You would swear you were readi..."

Definitely humorous, but kind of a tribute to those great 19th century writers as well.


message 9: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments But what is the point of making the protagonists dragons?


message 10: by Linda2 (last edited Aug 03, 2014 07:50AM) (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments The same reason that children's books use anthropomorphic animals, maybe, or why Watership Down is about rabbits.


message 11: by Linda2 (last edited Aug 03, 2014 08:02AM) (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments I found many reviews. I skipped over the ones by readers (I hesitate to call them reviewers) who were unfamiliar with Victorian novels and didn't "get it."

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...

http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/reviews/b...


message 12: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments When I first saw this, I thought I was misreading "Apple" for "Amazon." I don't understand the connection between Apple and e-books, since they don't have an e-reader. Actually, I'm gleefully waiting for the axe to fall on Amazon too, concerning paper books.

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketco...


message 13: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4417 comments Mod
Rochelle wrote: "When I first saw this, I thought I was misreading "Apple" for "Amazon." I don't understand the connection between Apple and e-books, since they don't have an e-reader. Actually, I'm gleefully waiti..."

Rochelle, Apple uses it's phones and iPad as ereaders and have a source of books called ibooks.


message 14: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments But Watership Down is a children's book which is only incidentally appreciated by adults, as some children's books are. Is the above book aimed at children or adults? Is it scifi type fantasy?


message 15: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments Watership Down is not and never was a children's book, not any more than Animal Farm is, but it is an allegory about family, war, politics, religion, and a number of other subjects. Children might read it, but they will miss much of it.


message 16: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments It was first published as a children's book by Penguin in 1972 and I still have the first edition, bought for my children. It subsequently gained popularity as an allegory suitable for children and adults.


message 17: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments Sorry typo, 1973. It is a Puffin book, the Penguin Children's book arm. I believe there was an earlier edition but it was the Puffin which took off and I remember Adams being interviewed telling how he told the story to his children during a long car journey.


message 18: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments I sit corrected.


message 19: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments :)


message 20: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (inanimategrace) Walton made the protagonists dragons in part because she wanted to see what happened if she literalised some of the tropes in Anthony Trollope's novels, such as the idea that the pure virginal woman, once touched by a man, changes in some fundamental way that is obvious to everyone who looks at her. Obviously this is not a biological truth in human beings, but she could make it a biological truth of her dragons.


message 21: by Linda2 (last edited Aug 03, 2014 05:37PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments It's on my list.

Madge--Here WD wasn't marketed as a children's book. My paperback for that and the sequel are from Avon Books, and besides, they're 350 pages each. They were reviewed as adult books.


message 22: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments Is that a first edition Rochelle? Subsequent editions were marketed as adult books because of the publicity the allegorical content received. (I was replying to your remark that it never was a children's book.)


message 23: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments 350 pages is fine for older children, some Harry Potters are 600-700. American editions may have fewer pages because your books are a bit larger than ours.


message 24: by Linda2 (last edited Aug 15, 2014 12:28PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments WD ©1972, first printing by Avon was 1975
Tales From WD ©1996, first Avon printing was 1998
Both paperbacks. Much dog-eared and worn by re-readings

WD was $2.25! Priced a paperback of Tooth & Claw yesterday at $13.25, and my income is about half what it was in 1972, not even counting for inflation. So it's off to the used paperback sites for me.

I think T&C would be a hoot, despite the main characters' habit of eating their relatives. Scores of Victorian protagonist were either chewed up and spit out or swallowed by their friends and relatives.


message 25: by Lily (last edited Aug 19, 2014 05:34AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments UK-sunny skies

http://metro.co.uk/2014/08/19/experts...

Fun image seen with this article about Iceland's volcano, Bardarbunga, apparently larger than the one that blew in 2010. Suggests you had sunny skies Saturday, Madge?

http://www.businessinsider.com/icelan...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-...

http://www.decodedscience.com/activit...
Chart of earthquake activity here will enlarge. This is probably the most interesting article among these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A1r...


message 26: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments The last one caused us problems so I'll keep my fingers crossed. We are now having a lot of stormy weather after our heatwave and an arctic blast' is on the way!


message 27: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Madge wrote: "The last one caused us problems so I'll keep my fingers crossed. We are now having a lot of stormy weather after our heatwave and an arctic blast' is on the way!"

Yes, this sounds like one that it would be far better if the activity remains underground.


message 28: by Emma (new)

Emma (emmalaybourn) | 298 comments Our UK summer bank holiday weekend has just started, so of course it has rained all night, and is so cold I'm wrapped in a woolly scarf to write this. And they wonder why the English are obsessed with the weather :(


message 29: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments Yes, it has suddenly turned cold and autumnal though midday is quite pleasant in the sun. Lucy isn't so keen on going out so has stopped getting me up at dawn! I put the c.h. back on yesterday.

How are you folks dealing with all the barbaric news from the ME? As quite a few of the psychopaths are from the UK there is worry here that they will bring their murderous ideas and activities back home with them:( Rather than bombing them and creating more martyrs, opinion seems to be veering towards humanitarian aid and rescue where possible but let them continue killing each other. (I was one of those who was saying in 2003 that deposing Saddam Hussein and invading Afghanistan would open Pandora's box...)


message 30: by Linda2 (last edited Aug 25, 2014 11:47PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments An article on classicist Mary Beard. I read her on and off on the TLS (Times Literary Supplement,) and I wish PBS would buy her TV shows.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/201...


message 31: by Linda2 (last edited Aug 25, 2014 10:04PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments I can't understand why educated, intelligent people go on Twitter. What a waste of time.

RE: Beard's gray hair. The anchor of the news show Democracy Now, Amy Goodman, is totally gray, although more well-groomed. WNYE is an independent station,not part of PBS, although PBS stations sometimes buy their shows. But there's no way a major network here would hire a female news anchor with gray hair. Some of them look like they're barely out of broadcasting school.

http://www.democracynow.org/events


message 32: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments Re: the Middle East. Problem is, they're not just killing each other any more. They're targeting the US now.


message 33: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments They are targetting the West, not just US. Just as Bin Laden did but they are more bloodthirsty:( It is very worrying, shaming even, that these young men have been educated in the West and yet have grown up with such barbaric ideas:( There are reputedly 500 of them from the UK and how to deal with them when they come home is a big problem for our security forces. Strip them of citizenship? Put them under house arrest for the rest of their lives?


message 34: by Linda2 (last edited Aug 25, 2014 11:30PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments The beheading of Foley was specifically aimed at us, but thanks for the moral support.


message 35: by Madge UK (last edited Aug 26, 2014 12:31AM) (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments Their rhetoric when speaking of these barbarities on video, includes the UK and the 'West'. It is mistaken to see America/Americans as the only victims in this international struggle. Thanks to Tony Blair siding with Bush, the UK is a pariah to them too and they have British hostages. The French paid a ransom to free 3 of their journalists. Hysterical press comment about pursuing them because they killed an American is likely to fuel their medieval 'crusader' mentality and could lead to more of the same IMO:(


message 36: by Susan from MD (last edited Sep 01, 2014 11:06AM) (new)

Susan from MD | 11 comments Not sure we are allowed to promote campaigns, but this is a reading one and it's ending soon! I can delete if it's not OK. I thought some of our cohort might be interested.

World Education (an organization that promotes adult literacy and education worldwide, including in the US) is affiliated with my workplace. World Ed has a campaign to try to count 2,000,015 pages read this summer in recognition of the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/).

The MDGs are a set of 8 health and development goals for the world and for individual countries. MDG 2 is: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

If you are interested in logging in the number of pages you have read this summer, go to http://worlded.org/pages4progress/. The closing date is September 8 (International Literacy Day) and they are at over 1.95 million pages so far.

They started with a goal of 20,015 and reached it within days so they ... went big!

ETA: They don't give a specific start date, but are focused on summer reading, so I have logged in pages from mid-June to end of August so far.


message 37: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments New findings about the death of Richard III, whose skeleton was found in 2012: Madge or European history junkies: at what point did kings stop riding with their soldiers into battle?

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/scien...


message 38: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments The last English King to lead his troops into Battle was George II at Dettingen, Austria in 1743. Richard III was the last English king to die onthe battlefield at Bosworth in 1485.


message 39: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments I knew you would have it. Wonder what made them George III wise up. Maybe he felt irreplaceable.

How do you feel about the possible independence of Scotland? It's getting a lot of press here.


message 40: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments Even though it is none of my business as an American, I hope that Scotland votes 'no.' I understand their reasons, but I hope they look to the future rather than trying to change the past.


message 41: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments I've read an a number of articles and heard interviews. It doesn't look right to me either. But I've also heard that some want their own constitution and their own parliament. I don't know a lot about whether they still feel abused by England.


message 42: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments I am very worried about the possibility of Scotland voting Yes to Independence because it will mean a Tory government in England for the foreseeable future - there are 40 Labour MPs in Scotland which is traditionally more left wing than England. Nor do I think that Scotland can survive economically without England or without the EU, to which it would have to apply for membership. Scotland already has its own parliament, this would be a complete break with the UK. It would be better having more power, over taxes etc rather than seperating. There is talk of us becoming federal states if it happens because other parts of the UK may want to break away from the Tory south. 13 years of Thatcher and 5 of this Tory 'austerity' government have created a lot of resentment in the UK:( I will be up all night hoping for a NO result but it is too close to call at present:(:(


message 43: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments Rochelle wrote: "I knew you would have it. Wonder what made them George III wise up. Maybe he felt irreplaceable..."

George III was ill and his problems lay over the Pond with a pesky country called America:)


message 44: by Emma (new)

Emma (emmalaybourn) | 298 comments Madge wrote: "I am very worried about the possibility of Scotland voting Yes to Independence because it will mean a Tory government in England for the foreseeable future - there are 40 Labour MPs in Scotland whi..."

I'm with you, Madge; I entirely understand why Scots might wish for independence but do worry about the effect on the rest of the UK. I read a suggestion today that in the event of a YES vote Cameron will have to resign, allowing Osborne to become PM (gulp)


message 45: by Madge UK (last edited Sep 18, 2014 01:29AM) (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments Emma wrote: "Madge wrote: "I am very worried about the possibility of Scotland voting Yes to Independence because it will mean a Tory government in England for the foreseeable future - there are 40 Labour MPs i..."

Yes the breakup of the Union would be a big blow to the party who until recently called themelves The Conservative and Unionist party. A new leader would have to be selected from within the Party so Osborne isn't a shoo-in. However, electing a new leader so close to the 2015 election would be very risky.

UK politics is at a very crucial juncture and may have been changed forever, whatever the vote, because the campaign has heightened all regional divisions.

Tonight's the night!!


message 46: by Emma (new)

Emma (emmalaybourn) | 298 comments Yes, even in the event of No vote I don't think anything will stay the same. It's been a galvanising campaign and really could go either way. I don't think I'll be staying up all night to see the results (they say the crucial Glasgow count won't be in till 5 am) but I'll be up early in the morning to hear the news with fingers crossed...


message 47: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2908 comments I don't think I wil sleep!


message 48: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments It looks good so far - the polls are saying 53-47 for the no's. But then again, can't trust the polls!

We'll know for sure tomorrow....


message 49: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments Madge wrote: "Rochelle wrote: "I knew you would have it. Wonder what made them George III wise up. Maybe he felt irreplaceable..."

George III was ill and his problems lay over the Pond with a pesky country call..."


There was a humorous editorial on CNN.com about how America should go back with the Brits...it would be a win-win for both sides.

I've always wondered what would have happened if the colonists and King George patched up their differences and stayed together.

Might make a good novel... :-)


message 50: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3732 comments It might have been done already.


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