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Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I just realize that I've neglected to set up a thread for one of life's finer pleasure -- great books. So here we go, people!

This is for the discussion of lit-tra-tyoor, sublime and not so sublime.

7/16/2009 #1
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

And in other news, this morning I am once again attempting to read David Foster Wallace's novel, Infinite Jest, which is the only book that has so far defeated me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_Jest

We'll see.

7/16/2009 #2
White Eyebrow

Do you guys remember the first book you've ever read (without pictures) just for the hell of it? :p

Mine was 'Reinhart Lifts' in the 5th grade (I guess you never forget your first time. XD)

7/16/2009 #3
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I think it was Freddy Goes To Florida, about a group of farm animals who run away from their stingy farmer-owner. Freddy was a pig. It might have had simple illustrations, but it was not a children's picture book. I think I was in the third grade at the time.

My teachers had complained that, while I was a good reader, I didn't read for pleasure, so my parents enrolled me in something called the Children's Book Club. The offerings were a little more interesting than what the school library had to offer, and I've never looked back. Let's see -- there was Follow My Leader, about a boy who is blinded by a firecracker and had to adjust to sightless life with the help of a guide-dog, The Pink Motel, a mystery, Ride Like an Indian, about a kid at a dude ranch who learns to ride without a saddle and beats the fastest horse in the end of the season race, and others that are coming back to me. *sigh*

7/16/2009 #4
hixto

In those days they cared if children read for pleasure. No more.

I don't remember the first book I read on my own. In fact, I don't remember not being able to read. I used to read to my younger brother who was not a good reader. I read him comic books and fairy tale books and all sorts of things so I don't know what I would have read first on my own.

Even as a kid I liked books with poems and rhymes and I remember our school library had a good book of children's poetry. There was a book on dinosaurs I must have checked out a dozen times. One about an animal trainer in a circus that I read thinking I might do that as a living one day. That was also the first book I gave myself eyestrain reading because I couldn't put it down. I remember a book about a girl with cerebral palsy coming from a special school back to home to live. I had no idea what cerebral palsy was but I remember her crying because she thought she wasn't going to be able to dress herself, but her mother had bought her clothes with no buttons or zippers she could pull on. There was a book about orphan children living in a railroad boxcar that I liked. And comic books, lots and lots of comic books.

7/19/2009 #5
Aislynn Crowdaughter

I do not recall which book I first read for myself (does Winnie Poo count? ;)) but I do recall that I was a big fan of reading Gustav Schwab's "Sagen des Klassischen Altertums" (Schwab's collection of myths and legends of antiquity), for a time, when I was about eight or so. I loved them to pieces. I played some scenes with characters of these myths with a friend. I think if I would have been interested in writing stories, at tzhe time, I would have written my first fanfiction about them. :)

I must have read a lot of other books and stories, back then, but this one I recall most vividly.

7/19/2009 . Edited 7/19/2009 #6
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Ooh! Ooh! Gustav Schwab! I had a copy of his book too, and I'll bet mine was a translation.

7/19/2009 #7
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

There was a book about orphan children living in a railroad boxcar that I liked. And comic books, lots and lots of comic books.

The Boxcar Children. There was a whole series. I never had those as a kid, but we got some for my son.

7/19/2009 #8
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Ooh! Ooh! Gustav Schwab! I had a copy of his book too, and I'll bet mine was a translation.

Well, *technically*, the German narration was kind of a translation of the original myths and tales, too... ;)

Wonderful book. It still has a special place on my bookshelf. :)

7/19/2009 #9
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Well, *technically*, the German narration was kind of a translation of the original myths and tales, too... ;)

I'm not sure -- I think Schwab told the tales in his own words rather than translating from Homer, etc. And I went and checked -- my version is a translation from the original German. With a name like Schwab, it could have gone either way.

Speaking of translations, I possess, as a bit of exotica, the translation from English into German of Captain Scott's diary of his ultimately fatal attempt to reach the south pole. The title is Kapitan Scott: Letzte Fahrt, or, Captain Scott, The Final Journey. None of us reads German, but my father saw it in the discard bin of the local library and simply had to have it for the giggle-producing pun when the German title is pronounced aloud. That's was my dad! ;P

Wonderful book. It still has a special place on my bookshelf. :)

And on mine! I'm still able to walk right to it -- just down the line from my books on comparative religion and at the beginning of the mythology section. The English title is Gods and Heroes.

7/20/2009 . Edited 7/20/2009 #10
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

And now to continue this discussion of firsts -- what was your first 'adult' book? I don't mean XXX adult, just a book written not for children. I'm having trouble recalling mine, but I think it's a choice between the Schwab book Aislynn mentioned, Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi, and Gone with the Wind (of which I totally did not catch the emotional nuances until I reread the book in my thirties).

I switched to adult literature around the age of ten and never went back.

7/20/2009 #11
White Eyebrow

Animal Farm

7/20/2009 #12
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Animal Farm

I think I was in high school before I got around to that one. And again, I didn't get the allegory completely.

7/20/2009 #13
Aislynn Crowdaughter

I'm not sure -- I think Schwab told the tales in his own words rather than translating from Homer, etc. And I went and checked -- my version is a translation from the original German. With a name like Schwab, it could have gone either way.

Nope, it isn't a real translation, he told the stories in his own words. Except to do that he had to read them in the original. Whatever.

I think I leave this thread now to the all wise Randy, as I have no desire to get corrected every other post In make. Have fun.

Aislynn out.

7/20/2009 #14
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

My sincere apologies, Aislynn. I certainly didn't mean it that way at all.

7/20/2009 #15
Aislynn Crowdaughter

My sincere apologies, Aislynn. I certainly didn't mean it that way at all.

Thank you, and sorry for my touchiness. I guess I am just overworked and utterly cranky, at the moment. I shall call it a night and hope that I am less touchy in the morning.

7/20/2009 #16
hixto

what was your first 'adult' book?

I don't remember either. Probably whatever they made me read in school.

7/20/2009 #17
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

LOL -- okay. Then what was the first adult book you enjoyed enough to remember?

7/20/2009 #18
hixto

I read Stranger in a Strange Land when I was 14. It changed the way I looked at the world.

7/20/2009 #19
Doctor Madwoman

Okay, I know I should probably introduce myself first, but I saw this and I couldn't restrain myself.

First children's book that I read by myself? Harry Potter series,and I am not ashamed to say that this book probably changed my life for the better. I was a 'troubled' little seven year old not at all interested in reading or learning, and then my mother read me the story of a young boy wizard finding his place...

And the rest, as they say, was history.

First 'adult' book? Aw, hell, I dunno...*wracks brain* Cujo, I guess?

Right now, one of my favorite book is The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley (must...find...Parnassus on Wheels...). I love it because is shows a brilliant and tender love for the written word and the thoughts of mankind. It's funny, as well, and has an interesting plot. I am slightly annoyed by how the female characters are sometimes treated (but, hey, it was written in 1918), but the characters make up for it...even if one is a stereotypical ditzy flapper girl.

The book also depresses me, because it took place just after WWI, and you can tell that the author was seriously hopeful for a brighter, more peaceful world. I don't think I'm being a an idiot for thinking that Master Morley was speaking through his main character when he ranted about how the world would change because of knowledge and understanding between nations (through the written word, of course). I had to put the book down and drown my sorrows in chocolate because the poor bastards had no idea that the world would go insane in less than 25 years.

Le sigh.

Well, I could rant for hours about books, but I'd better leave and post an intro right swiftly. But first, I must ask: Does anyone else have an obsession with hardcover?

Farewell and adieu, milords and ladies

~Doc

PS: Morley pwns Stephanie Meyer's sorry arse. And that is all.

7/29/2009 #20
hixto

First children's book that I read by myself? Harry Potter series,and I am not ashamed to say that this book probably changed my life for the better. I was a 'troubled' little seven year old not at all interested in reading or learning, and then my mother read me the story of a young boy wizard finding his place...

I've heard those books have turned a lot of young people on to the joys of reading. It's a great series.

The book also depresses me, because it took place just after WWI, and you can tell that the author was seriously hopeful for a brighter, more peaceful world.

I try to keep that optimism too. There's no reason not to keep hoping. :-)

Does anyone else have an obsession with hardcover?

I do, but I can only afford paperback.

7/29/2009 #21
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Hello, Dr. Madwoman! Good to see you here.

First 'adult' book? Aw, hell, I dunno...*wracks brain* Cujo, I guess?

Well, that was an exciting one, at least.

7/30/2009 #22
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Hi, Doctor madwoman! :)

But first, I must ask: Does anyone else have an obsession with hardcover?

Hm, depends. I own the HP books in Hardcover, but tat is mainly bevcause I could not wait until they came out as paperbacks. I will very rarely prefer to have a finely bound hardcover book to a paperback, because it is more fun to touch and handle a book like that. I do love te feeling of holding a finely bound hardcover book in my hand, or on my knees. However...

....as it is a matter of price , too, I will usually prefer to buy a paperback, instead, as it is nopt as pricey. PLUS, a paperback can be more easily transported... ;)

7/30/2009 #23
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

But first, I must ask: Does anyone else have an obsession with hardcover?

Ooh -- I missed this. With a really good book, I prefer hardcover, because they hold up longer, but I'll take a book any way I can get it.

7/30/2009 #24
Clodia

I'm an absolute sucker for really beautiful editions. I have sometimes bought books I already have (usually in a different translation, though) just because I've caught sight of a Folio Society edition in a secondhand bookshop.

7/31/2009 #25
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I'm an absolute sucker for really beautiful editions.

The gem of my collection is a beautiful hardcover illustrated edition of The Hobbit. Even better, although the books aren't quite as pretty to look at, is my Gabrilowitsch edition of the complete works of Mark Twain -- almost 100 years old now. It's missing Letters From the Earth and a few others of Twain's racier works that weren't published until ong after his death, but still it's worth it. I read most of them as a young teen. To augment it, I also have the 1985 'Halley's Comet' edition of 1601 that my parents brought be back from Hannibal Missouri.

In case anyone is wondering, I practically worship Mark Twain.

7/31/2009 . Edited 7/31/2009 #26
Azral Returns

Mark Twain is very good, yes. I love many authors but as so far as "worshiping" that would be Neil Gaiman or Guy Gavriel Kay.

(Random trivia, Guy Kay helped write and compile J.R.R. Tolkien's unfinished works with Christopher.)

7/31/2009 #27
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

*bumping*

Update: I finally finished Infinite Jest, so I can at least say I did it. Toward then end, I cottoned to the fact that it bore certain similarities to Hamlet -- a dead father, a mother who has hurried to 'incestuous sheets' (actually she seemed to have been there all along), a protagonist's madness that may not be madness -- so I was gearing up for a huge revelation about the dead father's rather unusual suicide. Not going to leave any spoilers, but . . . didn't happen.

The book is still worth reading.

10/12/2009 #28
Virtuella

Two excellent books by Barbara Kingsolver: "The Bean Trees" and its sequel "Pigs in Heaven"

10/12/2009 #29
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

My father was a big Kingsolver fan. I think I saw Pigs in Heaven among the welter of books Kat had me unboxing. Now to locate it . . . LOL

10/12/2009 . Edited 10/13/2009 #30
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