Welcome to the new (and now only) Fora!
Started by apl68, January 03, 2024, 06:35:02 AM
Quote from: apl68 on February 08, 2024, 07:36:59 AMIn Old Captivity, by Nevil Shute, involves a bush pilot who flies for a very small aerial survey expedition at an archaeological site in Greenland. Oddly enough, each story features a British academic who takes his just-grown daughter on a hazardous journey into an unfamiliar setting. Tomlinson and Shute were each also known for setting their stories in a world they had some first-hand knowledge of--sea travel and air travel, respectively. Shute is probably best remembered as the author of the book on which the movie On the Beach was based.
Quote from: apl68 on February 16, 2024, 07:58:36 AMThe Nun's Story, by Kathryn Hulme. A young Belgian woman from an educated family joins a religious order in the late 1920s. She spends the next 17 years striving to conform herself to the order's severe monastic Rule. Though she wins much respect from colleagues and others for her service as a medical missionary, she suffers from chronic imposter syndrome. During the World War II Occupation this comes to a head, as she is unable to develop any Christian charity toward the German invaders. Finally she leaves the order--not because she has found romance, or otherwise decided to lead a self-centered, worldly life, but because she has concluded that she can better serve God as a secular nurse.And really, she's probably right. For all that the nuns' total-life commitment to serving God deserves respect, in some ways there is something misguided about it. New Testament codes of sexual morality and such may seem like wild-eyed fanaticism to most in today's society, but Jesus didn't call upon his followers to live under a rigid, all-encompassing monastic Rule or beat themselves as penance. He didn't tell them to renounce all innocent enjoyments, or abandon all normal ties of family and friendship. God may lead them to lose many of these things or endure suffering for the sake of building character, but when that's necessary this world can be depended upon to provide plenty of suffering and sacrifice without our having to make a point of creating more for ourselves.Monastic orders also have a way of institutionalizing the common tendency to divide Christians into those who have a full commitment to the faith, and those who merely go to occasional services and try to keep their noses more or less clean. Jesus called on all of his followers to have that full commitment. Christian baptism's symbolic portrayal of death, burial, and resurrection is meant as a reminder that the old life before Jesus has been replaced by a radically new life. It's a life meant to be as different from the everyday concerns of the world as the lives of any monks or nuns, and yet it can be lived out in families, in work settings--anywhere. Jesus calls all kinds of people.Hulme's "Sister Luke" is based very closely on the real life of one Marie Louise Habets. They met after the War when they were both working with refugees. The Nun's Story became a 1950s bestseller--books with religious themes could actually do that back then--and soon served as the basis for a movie starring Audrey Hepburn. Pretty good movie--much better book.
Quote from: Hegemony on February 17, 2024, 12:40:03 AMQuote from: apl68 on February 08, 2024, 07:36:59 AMIn Old Captivity, by Nevil Shute, involves a bush pilot who flies for a very small aerial survey expedition at an archaeological site in Greenland. Oddly enough, each story features a British academic who takes his just-grown daughter on a hazardous journey into an unfamiliar setting. Tomlinson and Shute were each also known for setting their stories in a world they had some first-hand knowledge of--sea travel and air travel, respectively. Shute is probably best remembered as the author of the book on which the movie On the Beach was based.Just to say that I love Nevil Shute. Trustee from the Toolroom is my favorite. I recently reread No Highway — excellent (apart from a tad of sexism, but I forgive him) — which also made a good movie with Jimmy Stewart, Marlene Dietrich and the late lamented Glynnis Johns.
Quote from: Parasaurolophus on February 20, 2024, 11:23:11 AMMartha Wells - All Systems Red: The first book in the Murderbot series, recommended to me by a friendly librarian acquaintance. Basically, the story of a highly paranoid security bot that uses entertainment media to regulate its emotions. It was great fun, and I see now that it clearly seems to have influenced Leckie's Translation State in one respect. Martha Wells - Artificial Condition: More Murderbot, more fun. Murderbot befriends a ship and goes investigating. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.
Quote from: ab_grp on February 21, 2024, 01:42:13 PMI think it's been a while since I updated on my books, so I will try to do that at some point. Right now, I'm listening to Lessons in Chemistry (Bonnie Garmus), which I now see is narrated by three people (Miranda Raison, Bonnie Garmus, Pandora Sykes). I hadn't realized that. It's a pretty popular book about a woman scientist in the early 1960s dealing with a lot professionally and personally (e.g., sexism, family dynamics). I'm enjoying the story and her victories, but some of her traumas (e.g., sexual assault, loss of a loved one) have been really difficult to listen to. I have heard many stories with these elements that didn't bother me as much, so I guess it's something about the way they're told. It's some pretty heartbreaking and angering stuff. In any case, I can see why it's a bestseller and am looking forward to seeing what else occurs. I will update when I'm done.