Reading!

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
16,535
77
107
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
My previous read was a serious attempt to write about philosophy and religion, but Christopher Moor's Lamb (and its subtitle "The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal") takes a flippant and funny perspective. It is definitely adult in its humor, but it is not (too) disrespectful in creating an "alternate" description of Jesus' (called Joshua, or Josh, the correct name) time between his youth of around age four to his days preaching. And yes, it includes demon fighting, kung fu, poison potions, soap operas, and yeti.

[edit: 7/29] I thought I hadn't read a mystery novel yet this summer (turned out I had) nor had read a letter K author yet (turned out I hadn't), so Laurie R. King's Pirate King fit both categories. Apparently, she writes a series about Sherlock Holmes (who is not a fictional character, but is living at that same time) and his wife Mary Russell. To solve a case of crimes associated with a British movie company, Mary goes undercover as an assistant to the director. The silent movie is related to The Pirates of Penzance, and eventually the hired "extras" turn out to be real pirates who take the cast to sea and then to their home region. The first 1/3 of the book was very slow, but once Sherlock himself appears, it got better. It was decent.

[edit: 7/30] More King to read! This was the book I was looking for at the library, when I settled for the Pirate King above. I have enjoyed the non-horror stories of Stephen King, but Later, while labeled as horror, wasn't quite so (despite the narrator saying so repeatedly). It references the Bruce Willis movie, but Jamie can see dead people soon after they die and can get them to answer questions; of course, no one else sees them. Some suspenseful scenes and good action, but with short chapters (another reason I'm not a big King fan is the length of his tomes) in a short novel, it's easy to follow. Not too key to the story as a whole, but the surprise to end the penultimate chapter was "whoa!"-level.
 
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Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
16,535
77
107
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
I've often seen Eugene O’Neill's play titled The Iceman Cometh on Jeopardy!, in lists (LISTS... drool) of greatest American plays, in my own mind raised on Marvel and DC Comics wondering if The Plastic Man or The Iron Man also cometh. ;) Well, now I've read it. Set in the 1910s (pre-WWI) in New York City over a couple days, mostly inside a bar, the "regulars" complain and yell and insult (in phonetic spellings of their accents). If there's a human vice (lyin', cheatin', drinkin', cussin', killin', etc.), it's here. I am sure that a stage production of this would bring out the emotional depth of the cast, and that the audience would be drawn into the pathos and humanity of the story. But to just read it; not so much.
Tomorrow doesn't end my summer (that's a week later), but I start attending "school stuff" to get ready for teaching year #20. Meaning, less time to read.

[edit: 8/7] What is likely my final summer book, William W. Johnstone & J.A. Johnstone's Winchester 1887 was a slow-developing western novel, that became quite good about a 100 pages before it ended (the title is the model and year of the weapon). A family living in Texas in the 1890s learns that their uncle lawman is killed, and the elder son wants to become a lawman in his honor, running away into Indian Territory. There are about 4 or 5 groups/people that converge together (that was the slow process to get there): an Indian US Marshall, members of a gang, a whiskey runner who's wanted by the law and the Native Americans he's harmed over the years, the father of the gone-missing son. It sounds convoluted, but again, it works well by the end.

I'll add my eagerly-apathetically-tolerated reading stats ;) for the summer once it officially ends tomorrow.
 
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Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
16,535
77
107
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
So, all those work responsibilities turned "tomorrow" into about two weeks later! Ah, adulthood...

Here are my summer statistics for this year and the compiled data:
2021 summer: 47 books = 12,800 pgs.; 272 pgs. per

Authors by letter: one each (D, H, N, V, X, Y, and Z); two each (G, K, L, and W), three each (E, J, and O), four each (M, R, and S), B (5), and C (6).

Author repeat read: Beverley Cleary (2).

Genres: 1 each (play, romance, classics), 2 each (history/science, travel, humor, fantasy/adventure, western), 3 each (sports, mystery/horror, philosophy/poetry, education/learning, movies/TV), 4 each (Star Wars, auto-/biography, YA/children’s), and 7 (general fiction).

Summer Totals (18 years, 607 books = 166,000 pgs., 273 pgs. per, 34 books per summer)

I can also add a recent book I read: Salvation by bell hooks. I have seen her name referenced in several books about the African American (and female) experience in my readings over the years, first drawn to her e e cummings-esque non-capitalized names. She offers love (in various definitions: self-love, appreciation of others, respect for accomplishments, etc.) as a solution to multiple societal ills. Sometimes, there were assumptions I disagreed with, and over-generalizations that diluted the subject, but the variety of sources as evidence usually overcame those concerns; overall, it was fine. I have a couple other books of hers on my to-read compilation, when I get more time, of course.
 

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
16,535
77
107
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
With my only day off this month, this three-day Labor Day weekend allowed me to read what will likely be my only September book, Luis Alberto Urrea's Into the Beautiful North. He took the concept from The Magnificent Seven, taken from Seven Samurai, and set it in 21st century Mexico. The characters were the best part of the novel, as they try and fail multiple times to bring back the men who left the village years ago for economic gain in the US, along with "warriors" to repel the cartel that tries to move into and bully the village into submission.
 

The OC47150

Jedi Initiate
Nov 9, 2018
163
9
53
I had my first real vacation in more than 1 1/2 years recently. I've been on an Indiana Jones kick and was able to track down an IJ novel, IJ and the Army of the Dead, by Steve Perry. Set during WWII in the Caribbean. Not a bad vacation read. Nice break from the SW universe. Might have to track down some more IJ novels.

Also picked up an IJ YA novel but haven't gotten to that yet.
 

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
16,535
77
107
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
OC, you beat me to it! Nice!
I have found that Ryder Windham (a frequent SW writer) and Rob McGregor have penned some IJ books, but haven't found them without buying a copy online. I've read a couple that were at my local libraries (IJ & the Mystery of Mount Sinai is the only one I could quickly locate in my records right now). Last night, there was an IJ marathon on TV and I caught Raiders and Doom.

I might be able to finish reading the book I am currently reading before October ends. :(
p.s. Good news, everyone! It's not October, and Printer's Error, written by J.P. Romney and Rebecca Romney (of Pawn Stars fame, with her husband getting first billing) has been read. It takes a very flippant, pop-culture-y, and irreverent (as the book's subtitle states) history of books, in various forms. The chapters were usually centered around a person, some famous (Ben Franklin, Shakspear [yes, that is one way his name was spelled over the years], Gutenberg) and less so (Mary Wollstonecraft, Marino Massimo De Caro). I laughed and learned.
 
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Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
16,535
77
107
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
Perhaps my only October book will be this one I finally finished today, and that in looking at my library receipt, I checked out on July 28th: Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran. I read the titular Nabokov book this year (and in my alphabetical list [LISTS... : drool : ], these two authors are side-by-side), and knew I should also read this one. It traces the author's time in Iran, dealing with societal and wartime issues, along with teaching English literature at a university. If you ever think you have it tough, read this and see the difficulties that the "characters" (she gives them new names, to protect their true identities, but keeps the stories true) endure in multiple facets of their lives.