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Last Book You Read

Literature Prose

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#241 Offline Captain Caboose

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Posted Feb 01 2014 - 12:36 PM

I'm on Canto IV on Dante's Inferno. Makes me sleepy sometimes.
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#242 Offline MrSciFiGuy

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Posted Feb 14 2014 - 05:38 AM

Halo: Contact Harvest, and before that, Dragonlance: Test of the Twins


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#243 Offline 16N1K4

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Posted Feb 20 2014 - 04:41 AM

Divergent.

I heard about the movie, so I got myself a copy to read and compare. Not a big fan of the romantic bits, but I find the dystopian concept very interesting.

 

Right now, I'm reading World War Z, and I got myself a copy of Insurgent.


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#244 Offline JAG18

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Posted Feb 20 2014 - 03:10 PM

I just finished reading "Pride and Prejudice" last night.  

 

Boy!  Was it hard to get into; good book, but not really up my alley.


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#245 Offline Vorahk1Panrahk2

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Posted Feb 20 2014 - 06:39 PM

Doctor Sleep

 

Spoiler

 

It was a very different novel than I was expecting (and certainly different from old-school King), but it was a pleasant surprise. I liked it.

 

Up next... something. Maybe A Lion Among Men.


Edited by Vorahk1Panrahk2, Feb 20 2014 - 06:39 PM.

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#246 Offline Baltarc

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Posted Feb 20 2014 - 09:05 PM

Finished rereading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. While I enjoyed it, it was probably the weakest overall in my rereading of the series so far.

 

I also read Alex Flinn's Breathing Underwater on a friend's recommendation. I would recommend it as well.

 

Next up is probably The Great Gatsby, after which will come Divergent, as per my sister's request.


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#247 Offline JAG18

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Posted Feb 26 2014 - 12:36 PM

"The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", 

 

Wow, that was a real thriller.  Jekyll and Hyde may have both become well known figures in the world of Literature, but I was surprised that arguable the character who sees most of the action is someone I had never heard of: Mr. Utterson.

It was horror, suspense, and mystery, all rolled into one, but it is such a shame that the great fame the story has, rightfully, attracted has ever so slightly diminished its effect.  Because who doesn't know that Jekyll and Hyde are one and the same?  Thus answering the mystery before you are even introduced to it.  

 

This is a great book, which I enjoyed very much.


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#248 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Feb 26 2014 - 01:01 PM

I've recently begun listening to H.P. Lovecraft (which I've been "regular reading" also) and Edgar Allen Poe stories while I knit. 

Still working on Eye of the World (the first Wheel of Time book). It just...goes on...and on... But it's really good.

I'm planning to read C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy once I finish EotW. It seems like it should be a pretty quick series to get through.


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#249 Offline Vorahk1Panrahk2

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Posted Mar 02 2014 - 01:20 PM

So as it turns out, A Lion Among Men was in fact the next book I dug in to. The book tells the story of the Lion, named Brrr, through flashbacks while he interviews for information as to the location of a magic book. As I think I stated elsewhere, one of my major criticisms of Son of a Witch was the unfocused story about a character who, as a reader, I didn't really have any reason to be invested in. A Lion Among Men fixes this problem, both by being about an established character and by keeping the story relatively short compared to the the last two. Admittedly it still wanders, but not as much, and it's still able to advance the story while still providing background to the Lion and other characters relevant to "The Wicked Years". Overall I greatly enjoyed it. I've already started Out of Oz and so far like where it's going, especially since we see more of Glinda. She was missed in the last book.


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#250 Offline Elric of Melnibone

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Posted Mar 06 2014 - 05:57 AM

Reading The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher by Andrej Sapkowski. Pretty fun so far, translation flows very nicely.

 

Not prose, but I just finished up Afterlife with Archie #4 (which almost makes the over-saturation of zombies worth it. Almost). That... wow, the comic's been dark before but that was a new level.


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#251 Offline Chronicler06

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Posted Mar 09 2014 - 07:15 PM

Cosmos, by Carl Sagan. Yes, he wrote a book based on the TV series he made in 1980. With the upcoming reboot to the series, I decided to find out more about the classic series, and since I don't know where to look to watch it, I figured reading about it in a book that I conveniently have laying around would be my best option.


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#252 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Mar 10 2014 - 11:22 AM

I just finished Eye of the World (the first Wheel of Time book). Quite good. I'm looking forward to more of the series.

Right now, though, I'm reading OUt of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis.


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#253 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Mar 10 2014 - 04:05 PM

Last book I read was Mogens and Other Stories by Jens Peter Jacobsen, I believe. Although I actually learned that the copy I had was missing two of the stories, which is like finding two more cookies at the bottom of the box that had fallen out of the plastic packaging. And we're talking really good cookies here. Jacobsen has a very plain but penetrating style with a simple descriptive beauty. I learned about him from Rilke via Letters to a Young Poet, a very great read also, by the way. I'll have to pick up Jacobsen's Niels Lyhne at some point.

 

Right now I'm reading Diana Maryon's O Love How Deep. An emotional, intellectual, and spiritual novel. I'm taking it at a slow pace and really enjoying it.

 

Oh, and this will shock you: I'm also reading through all my Calvin and Hobbes collections right now. Couldn't have guessed that, could you?

 

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:


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#254 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Mar 10 2014 - 05:02 PM

Although I actually learned that the copy I had was missing two of the stories, which is like finding two more cookies at the bottom of the box that had fallen out of the plastic packaging. And we're talking really good cookies here.

 

Wait, so is this good or bad?


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#255 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Mar 10 2014 - 06:04 PM

 

Although I actually learned that the copy I had was missing two of the stories, which is like finding two more cookies at the bottom of the box that had fallen out of the plastic packaging. And we're talking really good cookies here.

 

Wait, so is this good or bad?

 

 

Good point. I meant to imply that this was good, because you didn't expect to find the cookies there and that means there are two more; but I guess they could also be stale and possibly unsanitary. All right, more like two more presents under the tree you forgot to unwrap? From someone whose taste you trust, so probably no indecently colorful hand-knit sweaters.

 

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:


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#256 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Mar 10 2014 - 06:28 PM

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. Indubitably a masterpiece of emotional and allegorical fiction, this novel conveys emotions and morals as proficiently and paradoxically as the characters display their views of their lives and their family. Recommendation is certainly given.

 

Currently working through the interesting Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. As a reader who finished Ender's Game (and Ender's Shadow) and Speaker of the Dead over a year ago, I have been withheld from progressing through Ender's story month after month by this novel. It's not bad, per se, but awkwardly ponderous and finds itself too busy trying to introduce and remove characters to develop any of them, or explain their situation beyond the barest details. (Basically, this.)

 

Also starting John Steinback's Grapes of Wrath.


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#257 Offline Sumiki

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Posted Mar 10 2014 - 11:13 PM

Scriabin by Faubion Bowers. Douglas MacArthur's interpreter wrote the definitive biography of the Russian composer who wanted to end the world by holding a week-long concert festival in the Himalayas. These plans didn't come to fruition because Scriabin died from a lip pimple. Really interesting character to read about, and a total nutcase to boot.


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#258 Offline Vorahk1Panrahk2

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Posted Mar 11 2014 - 10:34 AM

Finished Out of Oz! The series concludes with the story of Elpheba's granddaughter, Rain, and how she got caught up in the war and general political turmoil while dealing with her family legacy. I think Maguire learned a lot of lessons from writing Son of a Witch, because much like that one this story is also about an invented character. But unlike Son of a Witch this has a fairly cohesive story (even if is a slow one) and Rain is a well written and interesting character. My only real complaint is the involvement of Dorothy in the story. I get that there's a thematic connection between her and Rain's desires, but I don't think she needed to be such a huge focus of the story, and she definitely shouldn't have shifted the attention away from Rain for a whole section of the book. But despite that flaw there's a lot to really enjoy here. It successfully ties an admittedly lose series together and offers a really compelling conclusion to the story and characters we've come to know over the course of the three novels. As a whole I do think the series has issues, but overall I enjoyed it. I would happily re read it.

 

Up next: They Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré. Because who doesn't enjoy a good cold war spy thriller every now and again?


Edited by Vorahk1Panrahk2, Mar 11 2014 - 10:38 AM.

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#259 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Mar 11 2014 - 03:55 PM

 

 

Although I actually learned that the copy I had was missing two of the stories, which is like finding two more cookies at the bottom of the box that had fallen out of the plastic packaging. And we're talking really good cookies here.

 

Wait, so is this good or bad?

 

 

Good point. I meant to imply that this was good, because you didn't expect to find the cookies there and that means there are two more; but I guess they could also be stale and possibly unsanitary. All right, more like two more presents under the tree you forgot to unwrap? From someone whose taste you trust, so probably no indecently colorful hand-knit sweaters.

 

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmit

Oh, I think I get what you're saying. You read the book without knowing that there were two more stories, so when you found that out, you were excited because there were two more (although you didn't actually have them).


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#260 Offline Baltarc

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Posted Mar 24 2014 - 09:10 PM

I read The Great Gatsby, which I quite enjoyed, though I can certainly understand why others wouldn't. Not particularly looking forward to whatever papers I'll have to write about it in AP Lit next year but whatever.

 

Then I read Divergent. It was okay, I guess? Suppose I'll read the other two books in the series since it was interesting enough that I'd like to know how it ends.


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#261 Offline Vorahk1Panrahk2

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Posted Apr 11 2014 - 10:36 AM

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold was, as I suspected, a tense little cold war thriller. The reason I like le Carré so much is because while his early books are short (this one was just over 200 pages) that are pretty dense with story. Up next on my le Carré list is The Looking Glass War. But first I need to finish Kerouac's On the Road, which I am currently ten chapters into. So far it's very enjoyable- this man certainly knows how to use words to paint a picture.


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#262 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Apr 11 2014 - 10:41 AM

I finished Perelandra, the second book in C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. It was quite good. The debate between Ransom and the taken-over body of Weston was pretty intense.

I've started the final book of the Space Trilogy, That Hideous Strength, and wooooow the beginning is really boring.

Really boring.

In a week, I've only read about 30 pages. I've heard that the first two chapters are like that, but it picks up after. I'll be trying to get through it this weekend.


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#263 Offline Valenti

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 08:44 PM

Well, finished A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow and I just started A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold.

Depressing, yet absolutely fantastic novels.


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#264 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 07:23 PM

The other day at BJ's I picked up the three books from Lemony Snicket's new series, "All the Wrong Questions".

The series is a sort of prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events and deals with Lemony Snicket's apprenticeship with VFD at the age of thirteen. Where ASOUE was inspired more by Gothic novels and penny dreadfuls, this new series is more of a noir detective story. It maintains Lemony Snicket's trademark humor, but being told in the first person more of that humor is told through dialogue than in ASOUE, where the bulk of it occupied the narration. It definitely scratches the itch I've had since ASOUE concluded almost eight years ago.

The titles, for whoever is interested:

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?" (Book one, dealing with a "stolen" statue)
"When Did You See Her Last?" (Book two, dealing with a disappeared girl)
"File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents" (A standalone collection of Encyclopedia Brown-like whodunits, presumably taking place between book two and the upcoming book three, "Shouldn't You Be at School?")

Halfway through the series (which will have four books rather than the 13 of ASOUE), I'm already on the edge of my seat with anticipation. And I'm surely going to want to read these to my mom, as I did with ASOUE back in high school. Personally, I can't wait.

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#265 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Apr 19 2014 - 09:29 PM

I finished Perelandra, the second book in C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. It was quite good. The debate between Ransom and the taken-over body of Weston was pretty intense.

I've started the final book of the Space Trilogy, That Hideous Strength, and wooooow the beginning is really boring.

Really boring.

In a week, I've only read about 30 pages. I've heard that the first two chapters are like that, but it picks up after. I'll be trying to get through it this weekend.

 

I loved Out of the Silent Planet and Peralandra, and much as I love them they really are very slow reads. I have That Hideous Strength and I'm really looking forward to reading it, but I bought it nearly a year ago now probably, and still haven't gotten around to it. I just haven't found the right time when I was in the right mood for it. Does it pick up as promised?

 

 

The other day at BJ's I picked up the three books from Lemony Snicket's new series, "All the Wrong Questions".

The series is a sort of prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events and deals with Lemony Snicket's apprenticeship with VFD at the age of thirteen. Where ASOUE was inspired more by Gothic novels and penny dreadfuls, this new series is more of a noir detective story. It maintains Lemony Snicket's trademark humor, but being told in the first person more of that humor is told through dialogue than in ASOUE, where the bulk of it occupied the narration. It definitely scratches the itch I've had since ASOUE concluded almost eight years ago.

The titles, for whoever is interested:

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?" (Book one, dealing with a "stolen" statue)
"When Did You See Her Last?" (Book two, dealing with a disappeared girl)
"File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents" (A standalone collection of Encyclopedia Brown-like whodunits, presumably taking place between book two and the upcoming book three, "Shouldn't You Be at School?")

Halfway through the series (which will have four books rather than the 13 of ASOUE), I'm already on the edge of my seat with anticipation. And I'm surely going to want to read these to my mom, as I did with ASOUE back in high school. Personally, I can't wait.

 

Lemony Snicket's stories have a strange allure in spite of the fact that for a lot of reasons, they also feel really intolerable. A Series of Unfortunate Events drew me in and held me like an Extremely Deadly Viper (which was a constrictor albeit pretty harmless, right?), and like the onion Snicket often compares it to left me with a bitter aftertaste. I was so sick of the series that I read it all through again almost right away. There's something really rare and inexplicable about the way Snicket makes you sort of hate his stories and at the same time find them irresistible. Somehow you have to love him and his style anyway.

 

I really want to read All the Wrong Questions, and also File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents, and like many books I really want to read, I haven't had the chance and probably won't get around to springing for them for a while. But someday, I'll have to read them yet.

 

Vale, Nuile :smilemirunu:


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#266 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Apr 21 2014 - 08:42 AM

I loved Out of the Silent Planet and Peralandra, and much as I love them they really are very slow reads. I have That Hideous Strength and I'm really looking forward to reading it, but I bought it nearly a year ago now probably, and still haven't gotten around to it. I just haven't found the right time when I was in the right mood for it. Does it pick up as promised?

It's still pretty slow compared to the others, but yes, it does pick up.


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#267 Offline Baltarc

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Posted Apr 25 2014 - 09:25 PM

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. Weird book. Worth a read, though, given that it's only about eighty pages long.

 

Now I'm working on the second Divergent book which I don't really feel deserves a title of its own, haha. I'm about a third of the way through and it's only thanks to reasons that I'm still reading it. Not that it's bad, per se, but it's just not ... eh. I'm not really sure how to describe it - it seems almost like it's trying too hard to be a gripping story, which is resulting in unconvincing characterization and unnecessary details that just detract from what's important. Take, for instance, this quote from chapter 10:

 

 

I lather soap into my hair. [...] I shove my head under the faucet again, this time massaging my scalp with my left hand to get the soap out.

 

who cares

 

I think the biggest fault of this book - and, to a certain extent, of its predecessor - is that it's written in first-person present tense in what appears to be an attempt to make the plot and the characters (especially the protagonist) more engaging. Lots of people - myself included - have compared this series to The Hunger Games. Regardless of how appropriate such a comparison is, I feel that it's safe to say that - despite the series' faults - with Hunger Games Suzanne Collins demonstrated a far better command of this technique than did Veronica Roth with Divergent.


Edited by Baltarc, May 10 2014 - 09:16 PM.

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#268 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Apr 26 2014 - 08:32 AM

I guess I should've said before, but That Hideous Strength is very much different from Out of the Silent Planet or Perelandra. Completely different cast of characters, and a more dystopian feel than either before. I've also heard that it doesn't, well, have much to do with outer space. It has more fantasy elements than scifi. I'm still only around 100 pages in (I read really slowly, not to mention that I'm very busy with other things), though, so what I say is mostly going off of what I've heard.


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#269 Offline JAG18

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Posted May 09 2014 - 05:42 PM

The Civil War: A Narrative [Volume II] Fredericksburg to Meridian by Shelby Foote.

 

It is engaging, well-written, and incredibly informative.  Now, it's time to start reading the third volume and finally end this awful war.


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#270 Offline Lyichir

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Posted May 10 2014 - 02:18 PM

My Little Pony: Rarity and the Curious Case of Charity. Cute pony story. Seemed slightly longer than G.M. Berrow's other MLP chapter books. Not much more to say about it otherwise.


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#271 Offline Vorahk1Panrahk2

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Posted May 15 2014 - 10:40 PM

The Art of Tangled, by Jeff Kurtti-

 

Admittedly I've never read one of these before, but I feel here are certain expectations one has when they go dig into an 'art of' book, particularly one that applies to films, video games, or other visual media. The first expectation is that the book will detail the journey from initial concept to final product, and the second is that there will be lots and lots of pictures.

 

Unfortunately, as I started reading the book, I realized that these two goals may not be achievable in the same book. Having lots and lots of pictures means having a lot less text, which means the stories of how certain artistic decisions where made are going to be left off. The Art of Tangled suffers from this a bit. The format of the book is that it's divided into sections that deal primarily with places, characters, and overview of the project. While each of these sections does contain narrative information, some of the anecdotes are cut unfortunately short. One anecdote in the section devoted to the animation tells of one criticism that Disney animator Ollie Johnston (see: Nine Old Men) had of Glen Keane's 3D animation technology. As Keane was showing it off, he had one simple question: "Uh, Glen, what I want to know is.... what is she thinking?" Unfortunately the anecdote ends there and no follow up is given (aside from a note that Keane took the criticism seriously). Or, other times, the author will go into the detail of what the directors wanted to achieve with a character via costume design, or expression, but fail to go into specifics of how they got from that concept to final design. Yes, the concept art pictures do a very good job of showing the evolution of character, but I don't want to just know that Rapunzel originally wore a green dress. I want to know why it was changed.

 

I can't necessarily fault the author, though. He has 160 pages, most of which have to be filled with pretty pictures, and a truly comprehensive book would probably end up being a 10 set volume or larger. At the end of the day, the questions I have to ask myself are: Did I learn stuff about this film's production, and have I seen things I haven't seen before? You should know that I am a huge fan of this movie and have scoured the internet for pretty much every factoid and piece of concept art I could find, so I was initially worried of how those questions would be answered. Much to my delight and surprise, though, I did in fact learn things, and many of the art pieces where new to me. Not all of them were (I'd say about 50/50), but that is more than enough to make me happy.

 

So no, The Art of Tangled isn't as comprehensive as it could be (detailed profiles of the featured artists would be nice as well), but it's about as comprehensive as it could reasonably be. I am very happy with it, I enjoyed reading it, and I will definitely check out other Disney artbooks as well. In fact I may very well journey to B&N this week to pick up The Art of Frozen- I've heard it's a good one as well.

 

Actually, if anyone knows of a really good example of an "Art of" book I'd really love for you to tell me. I'm not really sure what a 'good one' is and am basing this review off of what I personally expected.

 

Next up: The Once and Future King (T.H. White). I am currently reading 'The Sword in the Stone' section, and am surprised by how whimsical it is. Definitely looking forward to the rest of it.

 

EDIT: 15 days later and no new posts? BZP I am disappoint. Anyway, I finished The Once and Future King. And, yes, while The Sword in the Stone section is quite whimsical with Merlyn and Archimedes and people turning into animals and what not, the rest of the book becomes progressively more serious. I found it very interesting and I'm not entirely sure what White was going for with such juxtaposition. But, still, I found the stories and characters to be very engaging, and I'm glad I read it.

 

Next: Five Came Back, A Tale of Hollywood and the Second World War. A nonfiction book about how WWII affected the careers and filmography of five big name directors during the time (Capra, Huston, Ford, Stevens, Wyler). I'm less than one hundred pages into it but so far it's providing a very interesting look at Hollywood politics of early war time. I suspect the rest of the book will be just as good.

 

EDIT: I made that last edit on the 29th, and seemingly five or six days later I'm finished with Five Came Back. Did it really take me that short of a time? Possibly. The book was very interesting and I went through it fairly quickly. The author (Mark Harris) does a good job of splitting the information between the authors in ways that allow you to easily follow their careers, interactions, emotions, etc. during the war, and concludes with a nice epilogue about the end of their careers and lives. World War II buffs might not learn much from this, but film buffs will, and if you're interested in the golden age of cinema you should definitely take a look.

Next up: The Art of Frozen. So far I haven't even taken off the shrink wrap packaging. Will get to it today. Or tomorrow. Or the next day.


Edited by Vorahk1Panrahk2, Jun 05 2014 - 09:58 AM.

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#272 Offline Solomon Kane

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Posted Jun 10 2014 - 02:12 PM

Last night, I finished reading Skin Game (the fifteenth entry in Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series). It definitely made good use of all the trademark moves of the series: characters progressed and interacted in interesting ways (Butters' story arc was especially well-done); plots and gambits piled up on each other to insane depths; Harry made lots of smart-arse remarks and pounded enemies way more powerful than him through quick thinking and judicious application of magic. Basically, it hit all the marks that make these books great. The only downside is, now I'll probably have to wait a good two years for the next one (Insert about a dozen sad emoticons here).

 

 

I'll probably read The Turn of the Screw next, because between The Dresden Files and A Song of Ice and Fire, I feel like I haven't been getting enough of the old classics into my system lately. 


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#273 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Jun 10 2014 - 04:03 PM

Last Thursday, I finally finished That Hideous Strength.

 

The first 150 pages were tough to get through, since practically nothing happened in them. But after that, things got pretty intense. 

I actually found it funny how much C.S. Lewis swore in it; he doesn't usually swear much, if at all. It was also surprising to me how... brutal (or something) some of the scenes were. Like, nothing gory or anything, but just sudden and... I dunno.

I really loved it, though. 

 

and oh man merlin is so hilarious

 

 

Up next:

I've since begun reading H.G. Wells' The Time Machine and Robert Jordan's The Great Hunt. Both are great, and I'm enjoying them. 

Also, I'm hoping this summer to read The Modern Prometheus (a.k.a. Frankenstein), Dracula, and The Great Gatsby, among more Wheel of Time books, if I can, and if I can manage it, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

I kind of doubt I'll be able to pull all of that off, because of the fact that I read excruciatingly slowly, combined with the larger obstacle of my job. 


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#274 Offline Infamousevil

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Posted Jun 11 2014 - 09:59 AM

Discworld Raising Steam.


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#275 Offline Vorahk1Panrahk2

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Posted Jun 12 2014 - 11:04 PM

The Art of Frozen- Charles Solomon

 

After The Art of Tangled I had pretty high expectations for this book. Or, at the very least, I expected it to be on par with that one. Ultimately I found it to be slightly inferior for several reasons.

 

My main criticism is that the book seemed to offer less information about the production than Art of Tangled did. It has a few less pages of textual information* and more pages of pure artwork. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the artwork that is included is larger so it takes up more space, and as such actually contains less of it. I think part of this has to do with the artists who worked on the film, though. Glen Keane, who provides much of the visual richness of Art of Tangled does a lot of character sketches which I think made Art of Tangled a much warmer, more appealing book to go through. His sketches also tended to be smaller, which means one page of the book held up to six or seven different sketches (usually supplemented with his hand written notes as well). There are very few of these in Art of Frozen, and instead we have whole pages devoted to two or three large graphics with no notes. It's not necessarily bad, but it doesn't offer nearly as much of a view into the artists' head. To the book's credit, though, it contained lots of image captions (which Art of Tangled lacked) and contained twice as many artist quotes, which were always interesting to read even if they were often repetitive.

 

My other criticism (and maybe this is just me being overly defensive about my favorite Disney film) is that the author included quotes that seemed to take potshots at Tangled. More than once it's referred to as "a movie with songs" (as opposed to a formal musical) and used as an example of something that the filmmakers wanted to avoid for Frozen. On one level it seems unprofessional. On another level one can easily debate the necessity of certain songs in Frozen, at which point the quotes become amusingly ironic. I appreciate that Solomon included quotes about what the directors and song writers wanted to accomplish with the music, but he could have framed the information more appropriately. To Solomon's credit, though, he does refer to Tangled as one of the "best loved animated films of recent years" (155).

 

My third criticism is that, on a purely aesthetic level, Art of Frozen has a much weaker visual appeal. The background of pages in Art of Tangled where filled with rich and colorful vignettes that emulated (or possibly directly mimicked) the artwork that adorns Rapunzel's tower. Even if a page was filled with nothing but text (I think there was one) there was still something interesting to look at. In Art of Frozen this isn't the case. Most pages had a black background with bold white text. Sometimes there was a white background, and one page even used grey. It's true that Frozen doesn't have as wide a color palette range as Tangled, but I think some effort could have been made to make the backgrounds more interesting.

 

So, going by my qualifiers in my previous post I have to ask: Did I learn something new? Did I see something new? The answers to those are kind of and yes. There were definitely some interesting tidbits about the design and lighting challenges of the film, but much of it was already noted in other quotes and interviews I've read. As for images, some of what was shown was new to me, but since there were less images a smaller proportion of them were new. Standing on it's own the book is definitely interesting, informative, and offers a fascinating look into the design of the film. People who don't research this stuff all day for fun will learn a lot. But this is an "art of" book, and as someone who does research this stuff for fun, I've read better.

 

* Textual information refers to pages that contain information as written and synthesized by the author, as well as the preface and introduction. Pages that have exclusively artist quotes or images did not count.

 

I'm now starting The Annotated Wizard of Oz. It's hard to get through because the annotations are practically ten times longer than the text itself, but so far I'm learning a lot about the author and the series. I look forward to reading more of it.


Edited by Vorahk1Panrahk2, Jun 13 2014 - 11:11 AM.

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#276 Offline bls999

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Posted Jun 20 2014 - 05:49 AM

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

 

I'm glad I read it at a later point in life, I get to really enjoy and understand all the mature subject mater. 

 

 

I'm currently reading 1984 by George Orwell. It's good. 


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#277 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Jun 20 2014 - 04:41 PM

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

 

I'm glad I read it at a later point in life, I get to really enjoy and understand all the mature subject mater. 

 

 

I'm currently reading 1984 by George Orwell. It's good. 

GAH BOTH OF THOSE ARE SO DARN GOOD

 

So good.

 

EDIT: Well derp I forgot to update what I've read. This morning, I finished The Time Machine (I would've finished it sooner, but deh jobz be crowdin mah time). I quite liked it, although he somewhat evaded the question of paradoxes and such. Not that I really care, though. 

There was one thing that was bothering me with it as I finished it, though. He said that as he was leaving the "present" (early that afternoon, I think), he went forward like an hour and saw that woman run across the room quickly, since he was basically "fast forwarding" through time. But that left him at ~4:00 or something. That's all well and fine, until the end. When he's returning to "the present" (though actually around 8:00, now), he says that he saw her go through the room at the same speed, but backwards. That wouldn't have happened, since he stopped around 8:00, not earlier that afternoon.

So yeah that kinda bugged me. But overall, I really liked it.


Edited by Kopekemaster, Jun 20 2014 - 04:46 PM.

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#278 Offline The Doctor U

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Posted Jun 21 2014 - 05:48 AM

A Feast For Crows, the 4th book of A Song of Ice and Fire. Now I am reading Dance with Dragons. I just love Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice And Fire.


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#279 Offline Baltarc

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Posted Jun 27 2014 - 09:00 PM

Nineteen Eighty-Four. Thought-provoking and a good read, but #### that was depressing.

 

Next up: The Fault in Our Stars, since I finally managed to get a copy from my library. The county's library system shares books between its facilities as needed and has over two hundred copies of that particular book. I nonetheless had to wait over two weeks after putting it on hold before a copy was available. This had better be good, haha.

 

After that I plan to read The Metamorphosis and then read The Kite Runner and reread The Great Gatsby for summer reading.


Edited by Baltarc, Jun 27 2014 - 09:02 PM.

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#280 Offline Vorahk1Panrahk2

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Posted Jun 27 2014 - 11:38 PM

The county's library system shares books between its facilities as needed and has over two hundred copies of that particular book...

 

 

 

200 copies of one book!! We also share between facilities within, and outside of, the county and we still don't have that many copies. I want your library system!

 

Finished The Annotated Wizard of Oz. Overall very informative annotations, although I do feel like they too often talked about elements of the MGM film or other Wizard of Oz productions. It's not that talking about them is necessarily a bad thing, but I would have hoped that they would be more about the text itself. Admittedly, though, when talking about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz it's hard not to mention its adaptions.

 

Currently reading The Disney That Never Was: The Stories and Artwork From Five Decades of Unproduced Animation. I'm loving it so far and I'm definitely learning a lot.


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