A Conversation for Ask h2g2

(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8901

You can call me TC

How did this thread slip so far back? Does no one read books any more? smiley - booksmiley - book

I have got Ada's Algorithm on my Kindle which I'm reading ATM - the story of Ada Lovelace and her co-operation with Charles Babbage. If it's all accurately researched and her writings are quoted correctly, we learn that

(a) in the world of IT very little has changed - the users (represented here by Ada) use the computers and see the potential for what can be done, and the programmers (Here represented by Babbage) cannot look further than the cogs and workings and will ask you "What do you want to do THAT for?"

(b) If Babbage had been better at marketing his ideas, we would possibly have had computers nearly 200 years earlier. Not necessarily, of course, a good thing, but annoying, none the less.

(c) Ada's visions were so groundbreaking, based on her profound understanding of maths, and the potential of Babbage's Analytical Engine, that it is hard to believe that she did not come from the 1970s or 1980s and had time-travelled back to the 1830s. She realised that computers would be able to do far more than just working out sums.

She offered to assist Babbage, as she not only understood exactly what his machine did, but she also knew his personal shortcomings and could have managed the marketing and financing far better than he did.

He refused her offer - probably because he was miffed that she had pointed out some mathematical errors in his calculations.

The style of writing is not very good but the material contained in the book speaks for itself and makes for compelling reading.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8902

Pastey

I'm currently rereading The Armageddon Crazy (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/552262.The_Armageddon_Crazy)
and it's a little too close to what America might actually become smiley - erm


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8903

ITIWBS

A point little known and mostly forgotten, TC, Ada's father, Lord Byron, was an early proponent of automation.

Currently my reading is going into recession, though I've been doing little else for most of the last couple of years.

I'm rediscovering William Henry Hudson at the moment, after reading his book "A Crystal Age", re-reading his "Green Mansions", which I haven't looked at since my pre-teens in the early 60s.

Also re-reading James Branch Cabell's "Chivalry", though only one tale at a time, rather than trying to read it straight through.

The opening Howard Pyle illustration gives such a good likeness of Hudson I can't hel[ wondering whether Hudson may have been the model, though it may be entirely coincidental.

All three books are available at Gutenberg Books.

Come to think of it, I haven't read "Jurgen" since that long ago either.

Will be having a look at "The Armageddon Crazy", Pastey.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8904

Cheerful Dragon

I've been doing a lot of knitting over recent months, so I haven't been reading much. That doesn't mean that I don't read at all. I'm currently reading House of Cards by Michael Dobbs and the first Flashman novel on Kindle. I'm also reading two print books: Anne Boleyn by Joanna Denny and Agincourt by Juliet Barker.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8905

Sho - with added slapping hand

Just finished Bill Bryson's The Road to Little Dribbling

Too much whining about how things aren't how he wants them to be and so on. Quite bitchy in places. Disappointing


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8906

broelan

Got lots of awesome books for Christmas, including a Monty Python history, a volume of novelizations of original Star Trek episodes, a novelization of Doctor Who: City of Death, a 7th doctor novel, and a book of subversive cross stitch patterns.

Started on the City of Death this week.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8907

Pastey

I have mislaid the book I was reading.

I tend to only read in bed these days, so the books stay by the bedside. But from one night to the next the book's disappeared. smiley - erm


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8908

ITIWBS

Cabell's "Chivalry" is set in the middle ages, relates to actual historic personages, but is a compilation of Cabell's own short stories without continuity from story to story, with a variety of illustrators.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8909

Cheerful Dragon

The Big Deal on Kindle today (13.1.2016) is the complete Brother Cadfael novels for 99p each. I've just completed my collection on Kindle and plan to read them in order, just as soon as I've finished the other books I'm reading.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8910

Cheerful Dragon

I've started A Rare Benedictine on Kindle, a series of short stories that tell how Cadfael became a monk. Hubby and I watched The Fellowship of the Ring last night, so I've started reading The Lord of the Rings (print book).


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8911

Pastey

I've still not found my missing book smiley - erm


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8912

Cheerful Dragon

Have you looked under the bed? In a drawer, if you have a bedside table? Under a pillow? In a bookcase/on a bookshelf? Behind the furniture? If you only read in bed, there aren't many logical places a book could be.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8913

Pastey

Looked in all of them, which is why it's perplexing smiley - erm

So I'm currently reading Truckers, Diggers and Wings. smiley - smiley


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8914

Bluebottle & Towel

All three at the same time?

I'm working my way through 'A Song of Ice and Fire' and am on 'A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow'.

<BB<


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8915

Pastey

Back to back rather than at the same time, just about to start Wings.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8916

Bluebottle & Towel

A book that, despite all the adverts, they don't give out free when you buy a Red Bull…smiley - blue

<BB<


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8917

Cheerful Dragon

Or when a woman buys certain sanitary products.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8918

Cheerful Dragon

I've complained on the Petty Hates thread about the way watching a film or TV programme can remind me of books I haven't read for a long time. I'm determined to finish Anne Boleyn and Agincourt, but my next two print books will be Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser, and Catherine de Medici by Leonie Frieda. I'm about to start The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas on Kindle.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8919

You can call me TC

I've been off ill for a couple of days and have been reading through those books on my Kindle that are so odd or non-descript that I can't remember why I downloaded them. However, one stood out - it was called "The Mistress of Paris" and is a real story of a courtesan who had a fairy tale career, cavorting with all the big names in the second half of the 19th century, and even getting involved in the Dreyfuss affair (although I can't say I remember Robert Harris mentioning her in his brilliant book on the subject.)

It is well-written and although it is just a stringing together of facts, it reads fluently and is quite compelling. I won't say I couldn't put it down, but as I was confined to bed, I read it practically in one go. Who can fail to be fascinated by life in Paris at that time? - The protagonaist, "Valtesse" sees - and gives her support to - the beginnings of the Impressionists, she socialises with the big literary figures such as Flaubert, Maupassant, Zola, she embraces the beginnings of photography and Art Nouveau, skirts becoming straighter, copying the English and their five-o'clock teas, and the resulting burgeoning women's rights movement.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8920

Sho - with added slapping hand

I've just finished Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics which is absolutely fascinating.

I'm trying not to read anything part from brain candy or behavioural economics at the mo. So I'm working through a book of 50 short stories by Agatha Christie, some of which feature Miss Marples


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