Welcome to the new (and now only) Fora!
Started by polly_mer, May 19, 2019, 02:43:35 PM
Quote from: Morden on June 09, 2023, 01:09:05 PMStation Eleven by Mantel: a post-apocalyptic world (pandemic) but far less focus on the day to day grittiness and more on character development than many books of the genre. Very good.Several Tchaikovsky novels (thanks to recommenders on this thread and the sci-fi thread): Children of Memory--OK but I didn't feel the need to continue on with that series; Shards of Earth; Eyes of the Void; Lords of Uncreation--I really liked the first; the other two were OK. The shifting point of view reminded me of the Expanse series. Actually I was reminded of the Expanse series several times; and Doors of Eden: I liked this one a lot--multiple alternate timelines of evolution on Earth, with different species developing sentience (for example, trilobites), begin to collide with each other.I think I'll work on mysteries for a while now.
QuoteFWIW, Children of Memory, the third in the trilogy, is not really representative of its predecessors.
Quote from: Morden on June 09, 2023, 01:41:37 PMQuoteFWIW, Children of Memory, the third in the trilogy, is not really representative of its predecessors.Shoot, I meant the one with the spiders. Is that Children of Time?Thank you Parasaurolophus for introducing me to this author.
Quote from: apl68 on June 10, 2023, 07:05:32 AMSalt, by Mark Kurlansky. It's one his books--like Cod, Paper, and Milk--that attempts a global history of some common commodity. I've always found them fascinating. You can tie the history of common commodities in with all sorts of historical events, social developments, customs, and technological and scientific developments. And Kurlansky doesn't seem to miss anything. I've always liked books that give the reader lots of esoteric facts about things we never thought about, delivered in a very readable style. Kurlansky is a master of that sort of work.Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert. I'm also fond of old Modern Library editions. This worn-out Modern Library edition of Flaubert's work dropped into my lap, so I thought I might as well make it one of my occasional attempts to catch up with the classics. Madame Bovary is often praised as a landmark in the development of the "realist" novel, in reaction to the prevailing "romanticism" of the earlier part of the nineteenth century. Certainly it's a kind of anti-romance, in the sense that "romance" is usually understood. It portrays quite well the manner in which "romance," for all its declarations of undying love and the like, is ultimately a very self-centered business. Love is about valuing others at least as much as one values oneself, and doing so in a practical manner. Romance is mostly about using the "beloved" to further a sort of emotional and/or physical thrill seeking. It can be as destructive to individuals, families, and society as an addiction to recreational drugs. Madame Bovary's life story is a kind of portrayal of a self-destructive addict.The story's setting also features a meticulous portrayal of the world of provincial France of its day. Commentary on Madame Bovary tends to speak of how the poor protagonist is driven around the bend by the "banality and emptiness of provincial life." Actually Flaubert makes it sound like a pretty interesting place to have lived back in the day. The standard of living wouldn't have been congenial to us moderns (I like indoor plumbing, myself), of course, but it was also a world where the natural environment hadn't yet been destroyed. As for the dull, provincial types, some of them sound like real characters. They had their shortcomings--who among us doesn't?--but I bet some of them would have been interesting folks once you got to know them. It's a pity that Madame Bovary was too busy yearning after romantic adventures to become more involved in the lives of the people right there with her.