This is the Message Centre for TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

I've been reading

Post 21

Clive the flying ostrich: Amateur Polymath | Chief Heretic.

I too have a "to be read" shelf. smiley - blush

My bookcase is overflowing with "books I've read"

smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - booksmiley - book
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - book
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - book
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - book
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - book
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - surfer
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - booksmiley - book

I've been reading

Post 22


smiley - applause

...So what does that say about our 'supposed' sexuality?

I am Big, Very Big into Enid Blyton, always wanted to be George, but now i seem to be Aunt Fanny with Uncle Quentin throwing fits ...and no Anne around to clean the cave!


I've been reading

Post 23

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

Sourcery (reread); Rat Race

Sourcery is odd. I feel it should be before Mort, not after. It's a bit too epic, and doesn't quite pull it off. I think the Discworld is better when you see only a bit of it at a time. I like stories set in Ankh-Morpork, in Lancre, in Genua, in Sto Lat, in Klatch. In Sourcery, as in The Light Fantastic, the entire Disc is in trouble. The world is about to end.

Rincewind was fully formed from the first pages of The Colour of Magic, and is himself here. Coin and Nijel both work well too.

I didn't mean to read Rat Race. I picked it up because I wanted something undemanding to read while I ate, and I ended up staying up late and finishing it. It's solid Dick Francis: likeable characters, villains, and a fast-moving plot. Exactly what I wanted at the time.

ISBN 0-330-42095-X.

(What does it say about me that I hadn't noticed the publisher, but as soon as I started typing the ISBN and saw 0-330 I knew it was Pan Books?)

TRiG.smiley - booksmiley - wizardsmiley - biker

I've been reading

Post 24

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

I think Enid Blyton is fine in dilution. A good storyteller, but a little sexist, a little nationalistic, and perhaps a little racist.

Anne was the sensible one, wasn't she? But Julian got all the glory.

TRiG.smiley - smiley

I've been reading

Post 25


I'm having another little le Carré dalliance at the minute, with "A Perfect Spy". The difference between him and so many other espionage writers is that he can actually write. His characters come across as real people, and good guys and bad guys can be as hard to separate as they usually are in life.

And I'm still reading Glennkill, too. smiley - biggrinsmiley - sheep

I've been reading

Post 26

Malabarista - now with added pony

I'm trying to finish "The Happy Bottom Riding Club" before I go, so I won't have to carry it with me...

I've been reading

Post 27

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

Wyrd Sisters (reread).

Royal assassinations, bad kinds, duke and duchess, ancient kingdom. Oh, and three witches. Yes. All the Discworld novels are replete with references, but Wyrd Sisters brings this to a whole new level. A few important characters are introduced here: Gytha Ogg, Magrat Garlik, and Verence are first introduced. And Granny Weatherwax is developed into a stronger character (though she was pretty strong in her first appearance in Equal Rites). The canvass is kept small: these events concern only the small kingdom of Lancre, high in the Ramtop Mountains. This is Pratchett in full flow. Magnificent!

It's going to be pure Discworld for a while now: I already own the next few books.

TRiG.smiley - booksmiley - witch

I've been reading

Post 28

Sho - gainfully employed again

Ah Dick Francis. Totally totally a fan. He had a bit of a wobble a few years back but the last few (notwithstanding his son's involvement since it turns out his wife had a bigger hand in writing the others than thought up to now, and why not?)

My favoruites are Reflex and Hot Money.

As for Enid Blyton - they're ok. Totally unbelievable (The ... of Adventure stories, for eg) but I can only take them in small doses. The Gruesomes liked the first Famous Five book but have no interest in any more (they don't like how girls either have to be girly-girly or just-like-boys-but-better)

As for Spy books - I avoid them, generally these days.

I've been reading

Post 29


'spy books'

If you ever encounter one of the early Manning Coles novels, give it a try. Not your typical contemporaray spy yarn, but what you might call 'best of breed'

"Its realistic portrayal of the real world of espionage is what makes Drink to Yesterday one of the most important books in the development of the spy novel, a fact that was immediately recognized not only by the critics but by the general reading population.
Howard Haycraft, the genre’s first historian, wrote in his seminal Murder for Pleasure that it fell first to Eric Ambler to give new life to the spy-and-intrigue story by bringing it close to a legitimate marriage with detection in such works as Background to Danger (1937) and Coffin for Dimitrios (1939).
Gone from Ambler’s works were the “stereotyped cliches and slinky females in black velvet” found in the works of fanciful novelists such as William Lequeux, E. Phillips Oppenheim and H.C. McNeile (“Sapper”).
Writing in 1941, the year the first two Manning Coles books appeared in the United States, Haycraft commented that “the mood of subtle understatement which [Ambler] established seems already to have found an echo in such superior works as... Drink to Yesterday and A Toast to Tomorrow.”
He later added both books, with an assist from Frederic Dannay (one half of the Ellery Queen team), to his list of cornerstone books in the development of the genre.

The authors’ American publisher was also quick to point out that these books “were as different from the old spy stories as a Hitchcock movie is from silent pictures in the days of Lon Chaney.
We would like you to forget any ideas you have about spy stories and approach this as a novel with humor, three dimensional characters, realistic narration and breathtaking suspense.”
The two books almost immediately went into large reprint editions.
This was a most unusual circumstance during the early years of World War II when anti-German sentiment was at its height, given that the books, while denouncing Naziism, presented a balanced, sympathetic and often appreciative portrait of the German people, whom the authors clearly felt had been betrayed and deceived by all sides following World War I.
Yet there is never any question as to Hambledon’s loyalties. “If a country is worth living in,” he said, “it is worth fighting for.”"

I've been reading

Post 30

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

Yikes, I've read a few and not posted.

Pyramids (reread)

This is a standalone Discworld novel. Ankh-Morpork is developed more fully. The first time I read this, some time ago (it was one of the first Discworld books I read), I had recently read Tom Brown's Schooldays, which allowed me to appreciate some of the early scenes more than I would have otherwise. The first section of this book is told in flashbacks (and flashbacks within flashbacks). A lesser writer could leave the reader muddled here, but Pratchett carries it off.

Pteppic, the protagonist, is one of my favourite Discworld characters. I'd like to see him again. Pyramids is an excellent read. It is also an attack on a certain kind of religious mind.

Guards! Guards! (reread)

This is the first City Watch novel. A cast of characters are introduced here which we will much more of. Vimes, Carrott, Nobby Nobbs, Fred Colon, and Lady Sibyl Ramkin. Also Vetinary, who is a far more fully developed character in this book than he was previously.


I'd missed this short book on my previous reads through Discworld. It's tidies up the end of Sourcery a little. It's a Rincewind novella; very short, and doesn't seem to tie in very well with the rest of Discworld.

While the Light Lasts

Just for a change, this is a collection of short stories by Agatha Christie. All were new to me, though I've read a couple as they were rewritten for The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. There's a lot of early Christie in this collection: not all are detective stories, and one or two are quite odd. I'm fond of Christie, and I enjoyed this collection.

Moving Pictures (reread)

And back to Discworld. If you're at all familiar with early Holywood, you'll be forced to laugh out loud several times reading this book. The take-offs of Gone With the Wind, King Kong, Laurel and Hardy, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, et al. are too numerous to recount. This is simply a hilarious book. I loved it.

TRiG.smiley - magic

I've been reading

Post 31

Sho - gainfully employed again

I'm in the home straight of Stalin - The court of the red Tsar. And so, of course, I'm dragging my heels and reading the first of the Percy Jackson books. Very entertaining.

I've not read much Agatha Christie - but what I have read I've enjoyed. Maybe I should give her short stories a try, generally I get on well with short stories and novellas becuase I read in bursts several times a day.

I've been reading

Post 32

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

I've read a whole bunch of Pratchett and not posted.

Reaper Man (reread)
This is a very lyrical book. There's something beautiful about it. Again, Death is a major character, and again he grows and changes. Two independent stories are skilfully woven together, and both contain many very likeable characters.

The idea of shopping malls as parasitic lifeforms on cities which eventually destroy their host is interesting, but I don't think it works quite as well as the rest of the book.

Witches Abroad (reread)
More of the Lancre witches: Magrat Garlick, Gytha Ogg, and Esmerelda Weatherwax head off to fight a fairy godmother (no, really). This book contains Granny Weatherwax's first real displays of power, and very impressive they are too.

The rules to Cripple Mr Onion were derived from this novel. Reading that scene, I was able to follow what was going on. (I've played Cripple Mr Onion a couple of times. I bought the cards.)

Small Gods (reread)
De Chelonian Mobile! A standalone Discworld novel, like Pyramids, and, again like Pyramids, it's talking about faith and religion. (It's set in the same area of the Disc, too.) The religion stuff is far more overt here than it is in Pyramids. Again, there are likeable characters, such as Brutha, Simony, Didactylos, and Urn. And what a villain! *shudder*

That said, Brutha, likeable as he is, is not nearly as sexy as Teppic.

Lords and Ladies (reread)
And we're back in Lancre with the witches (and visiting wizards) for the royal wedding. And an invasion from a parasite world. This isn't the first time we see Ponder Stibbons -- he's a very minor character in Moving Pictures --, but it's his first proper appearance. And Mustrum Ridcully, the Archchancellor of UU, becomes a far more rounded character in this book.

I've heard it said that it's in Lords and Ladies that Granny Weatherwax is fully developed. I don't know. I think all three Lancre witches are already full characters in Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad. Certainly Lords and Ladies shows each witch dealing with the problems in her own characteristic way.

TRiG.smiley - book

I've been reading

Post 33

Clive the flying ostrich: Amateur Polymath | Chief Heretic.

Reaperman and Small Gods. My two favourite Discworld books bar none.

I agree about the supermarkets storyline being a bit anaemic. I usually, if I'm honest, skip those parts and concentrate of the activity of Windle Poons and Bill Door and Ms Renata Flitworth.

Small Gods is just fan-amazing-completely-tastic. There's not an ounce of the book I don't enjoy. Vorbis. *shudder* The Great God Om hungry lions not wasting protein. The goddess of the sea, the superbly balanced golden doors of the temple... the desert of ghosts, wheres souls of ships and dolphins swim.. I just *love* it

I pray nightly to the Great God Offler that Sky never get to turning those two books into tv movies. After the last two ... I just can;t bring myself to imagine.... (David Jason????) as Rincewind/Albert smiley - huh - no!

I want to keep them preserved as I imagine them...

I've been reading

Post 34

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

Isn't Ms Flitworth a wonderful character? She just refuses to be beaten down by what life's thrown at her.

TRiG.smiley - smiley

I've been reading

Post 35


I read Small Gods again recently. I'll have to dig out Reaperman - it's been ages since I read it.

I've been reading

Post 36

Clive the flying ostrich: Amateur Polymath | Chief Heretic.

"I've never seen anyone gather the harvest like you Bill Door, each stalk of corn one at a time?"

"There is some other way?"

smiley - laugh

I've been reading

Post 37

Malabarista - now with added pony

>>the superbly balanced golden doors of the temple<<

You do know that those exist on roundworld, too? The Romans had some very clever engineers working on their temples, so that the doors would fly open without anyone touching them at just the right moment during the ceremony. This was triggered by the sacrificial fire built on the altar outside, which essentially had a big tank full of water under it. The water heats up, expands, gets diverted into a hydraulic system linked to the temple doors at the other end of the courtyard, and look, it's a miracle! smiley - magic

I've been reading

Post 38

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

This thread has been sadly neglected. I read all Discworld up to Unseen Academicals, then went to the Con in Birmingham, then read I Shall Wear Midnight.

I've also read some non-Discworld books. I do, now and again. Particular ones I remember are my first (and so far only) Heinlein, Red Planet, which was lent to me by a friend, and Zadie Smith's On Beauty, which I borrowed from a local café.

Both are rather excellent, in very different ways.

TRiG.smiley - smiley

I've been reading

Post 39

Clive the flying ostrich: Amateur Polymath | Chief Heretic.

I've petered out with my discworld reading. "midnight" and "unseen academicals (football smiley - yuk) just didn't get my interest.

I might pick em up at the library sometime but I'm not in a great rush to be honest.

Almost down to the wire, I've still got a few chapters left in Sapolsky and then I've done this years reading.

I've got a few hangers on - the history of colour, simon singhs trick or treatment that I've yet to delve into, and I've got queuwd up on amazon some more neurology books

VS Ramachadran's "The Emerging Mind" lecture


Richard Fortey's Hidden landscape, I might also go after his Trilobite (after they featured so prominently on Attenborough's latest documentary)

So that's how 2011 is shaping up..

I've been reading

Post 40

Sho - gainfully employed again

Reaper Man is next up for me.
smiley - smiley

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