Have you read...can you recommend...

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Frelga
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Frelga »

Both of those stories made an impression on me. I forgot that the oak story was hers.
There should be a word for the microscopic spark of hope that you dare not entertain in case the mere act of acknowledging it will cause it to vanish, like trying to look at a photon. You can only sidle up to it, looking past it, walking past it, waiting for it to get big enough to face the world.
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Inanna
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Inanna »

That story is incredible.

I finished Dispossessed yesterday. Oh my. What a book. I was worried about reading book 5 of a series before reading 1-4, but after hearing everyone here talk about that book, I couldn't wait.

I could not fall asleep with all the ideas from that book swirling in my head. I finally got anarchy (never did before). Also got the perspective of many people in the Midwest & their feelings about "federal land".
'You just said "your getting shorter": you've obviously been drinking too much ent-draught and not enough Prim's.' - Jude
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Primula Baggins
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Primula Baggins »

I think Dispossessed is a standalone.* I'm glad you enjoyed it. I first read it at 15 and it knocked me sideways. I'd been reading a lot of Heinlein, with its strong subtext of conservative/libertarian views; SF then, at least the legacy books, was more in that direction than in Le Guin's, or else was neutral. So it was a revelation that you could use SF to show another approach to life. There were not many women writing SF then, which may have been part of it.

I reread it again last year (I've read it at least five times), and it still moves me.

Now, of course, the politics of SF in general are all over the map. I like it better. The Red Scare and the Cold War didn't do classic 1950s-1960s SF any favors.

(A little thing I did notice—Le Guin did become rather more intentional in how she portrayed women, and how often she did, between The Dispossessed and, say, Tehanu.)

*I just remembered the books they're selling now are all numbered as part of "The Hainish Cycle," but they aren't really a linear story at all; they just take place on various worlds in the same imagined future. I read them in the order I found them and was not confused.)
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Frelga
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Frelga »

Primula Baggins wrote:(A little thing I did notice—Le Guin did become rather more intentional in how she portrayed women, and how often she did, between The Dispossessed and, say, Tehanu.)
Indeed. Even starker contrast between A Wizard of Earthsea and Tehanu. I love the book, but the portrayal of female characters is very fantasy-trope.

Apart from the Earthsea cycle, I can't think of any Le Guin's books that depend on a continuity.
There should be a word for the microscopic spark of hope that you dare not entertain in case the mere act of acknowledging it will cause it to vanish, like trying to look at a photon. You can only sidle up to it, looking past it, walking past it, waiting for it to get big enough to face the world.
- Terry Pratchett, Mort
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Inanna
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Inanna »

I'm reading A wizard of Earthsea and I see what you mean. It's also obvious that it's one of her early books. After reading the dispossessed, and the Western Shore trilogy (those were great), I'm finding this really heavy going

BUT - I will persevere. Because I have much to look forward to....
'You just said "your getting shorter": you've obviously been drinking too much ent-draught and not enough Prim's.' - Jude
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Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Primula Baggins »

I found the first one to be the weakest of the Earthsea books. Each book improves on the one before. For me, the pinnacle is the fourth, Tehanu, written much later and more adult. The central character is a woman, and the book is about women's lives. It's emphatically feminist, and also moving in terms of what happens to the characters, including Ged, who is a major character but no longer the focus.

However, it's a polarizing book, and many people dislike it.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Frelga
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Frelga »

I feel that Tehanu is a better book but the Wizard is a better tale.
There should be a word for the microscopic spark of hope that you dare not entertain in case the mere act of acknowledging it will cause it to vanish, like trying to look at a photon. You can only sidle up to it, looking past it, walking past it, waiting for it to get big enough to face the world.
- Terry Pratchett, Mort
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Primula Baggins »

That's a good way to put it, Frelga. Tales aren't often improved by the passion of their authors. But I'd rather read the work of a passionate author than a dispassionate piece of pure entertainment.

I don't think the Wizard is dispassionate. Her heart was definitely in it. Her battles in edition after edition to have Ged appear on covers and in illustrations as she described him—as a man with dark brown skin—show part of what she was trying to accomplish. Her utter revulsion at the TV movie adaptation that came out a few years ago was memorable. It was mostly the second book and had a pretty, vacuous blond Ged and a sexy Tehanu. And all the moral depth of the story was gone.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Inanna
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Inanna »

Book 2-4 of Earthsea are not available at eNYPL. :( Looks like I will have to buy them, and the Kindle versions are more expensive than the paperback. Ah well.
'You just said "your getting shorter": you've obviously been drinking too much ent-draught and not enough Prim's.' - Jude
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Dave_LF »

I read 1 and 2 of Earthsea long ago, and then couldn't find the rest. Now that Kindle is a thing, maybe I should try again...
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Inanna
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Inanna »

I just finished 2 of Earth Sea & really liked it. Started 3 last night, a great start to that too. Had to sleep (boo!)

I bought 2 during prime deal day & got 40% off on 3. Yay.
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Jude »

I thought we had a thread about The Martian, but I couldn't find it. :?

Anyway, I just popped in to say I'm hooked on it and recommend it to all of you.
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Primula Baggins »

I do, too. He has a new one coming out later this year (Artemis: A Novel, due out November 14th). I've preordered it.

Characterization and deep emotional insight are not really a thing in The Martian, but the man knows how to plot a story. It's gripping, chilling, and funny. Worth your time even if you've seen the movie; the book has more detail. And more laughs.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Jude »

Has anyone read the Oz books? I mean all the sequels to The Wizard of Oz. I was hooked on them as a kid, and now I'm re-reading them out of curiosity.

I would say they're quite dated. There are good parts, and then there are other parts that I would consider a bit creepy - such as when we learn Ozma can read Dorothy's mind through magic, and Dorothy seems fine with it.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else had read and enjoyed / not enjoyed them. They were hugely popular with children when they first came out, but I have the impression that they were already considered old-fashioned by the time I came along.
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Frelga
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Frelga »

I read some of them. I don't feel any particular way about them, TBH.
There should be a word for the microscopic spark of hope that you dare not entertain in case the mere act of acknowledging it will cause it to vanish, like trying to look at a photon. You can only sidle up to it, looking past it, walking past it, waiting for it to get big enough to face the world.
- Terry Pratchett, Mort
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Inanna
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Inanna »

I read the first one a few years back when I came to the US and realized I kept missing cultural references to it. It was... shrug. Pretty much what Frelga said.
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Primula Baggins »

Have you seen the movie, Inanna? I think most of the cultural references these days are to that rather than the books.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Inanna
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Inanna »

No, I haven’t. Maybe with Irika?
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Primula Baggins »

When I was little, the movie was shown on network television once a year, and whole families watched together. I was very scared by it as a little girl, but entertainment was different then. It’s an excellent film, and Judy Garland is a beautiful Dorothy, but Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West steals the movie. “I’ll get you, my pretty!”

Back in the early days almost no one had color TV—we didn’t get one until I was 12. And of course there was no way to watch movies other than in a theater or when one of the three networks or maybe three local TV channels decided to run one. So I didn’t know until I was 12 that the Wizard of Oz starts in black and white and then goes into full color when Dorothy arrives in Oz....
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Re: Have you read...can you recommend...

Post by Maria »

So I didn’t know until I was 12 that the Wizard of Oz starts in black and white and then goes into full color when Dorothy arrives in Oz....
I didn't learn that until I went away to college and saw it playing there. We had a black and white TV until I was about 13, and then no TV at all after the old one died. It was, of course, too expensive to get a replacement.

So, yeah, I thought the old movie had been colorized when I first saw it playing in the dorm lounge.
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