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Thread: Media Diary: What Did You Consume Today?

  1. #171
    Grifter
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    Re: Media Diary: What Did You Consume Today?

    Finished "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. Read it, that is an order.

    Just now into "The Disappearing Spoon" by Sam Kean which is about the Periodic Table and the entire nature of elements. Interesting, very science-y.

    Went to see "The Dark Knight" again but this time in IMAX with my mom. She freakin' loved it. She is an admitted action and superhero movie junkie. She's looking forward to Superman a whole bunch. She's also looking forward to any movie that Vin Diesel is going to be in...it wouldn't matter...she's got Vin Diesel issues that I really don't want to know too much about...its HER issue, not mine.

    T2

  2. #172
    Moderator Karen Mahoney's Avatar
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    Re: Media Diary: What Did You Consume Today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry.Tyson View Post
    Finished "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. Read it, that is an order.

    Just now into "The Disappearing Spoon" by Sam Kean which is about the Periodic Table and the entire nature of elements. Interesting, very science-y.

    Went to see "The Dark Knight" again but this time in IMAX with my mom. She freakin' loved it. She is an admitted action and superhero movie junkie. She's looking forward to Superman a whole bunch. She's also looking forward to any movie that Vin Diesel is going to be in...it wouldn't matter...she's got Vin Diesel issues that I really don't want to know too much about...its HER issue, not mine.

    T2
    I love that your mum is into action/superhero movies. Makes me think of my mum, who's a bit of a rocker. There are posters of Aerosmith all over the kitchen at her house.

    I have THE POWER OF HABIT on my Amazon wish list! I've heard it mentioned a few times, but if you recommend it then I'm buying it right now. Thanks for the rec.

    Kaz

  3. #173
    Chiseler beamish's Avatar
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    Re: Media Diary: What Did You Consume Today?

    I was feeling sentimental.

  4. #174
    Grifter
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    Re: Media Diary: What Did You Consume Today?

    Forgive the waxing didactic.

    Diving into two books right now:

    Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris is the final volume of Morris' T. Roosevelt trilogy covering the time when TR left the White House and ventured into Africa and the events leading up to and after his bid for a third term as president. TR is not an easy character to pin down and though I admire him greatly, held some beliefs and did things that the modern me find distasteful. But he was likely THE most important and popular public figure in early 20th century America. With the exception of his view towards wars and international conflicts, I find a kindred spirit in many of his political and spiritual views which were surprisingly modern. His progressive views of business, civil rights, national v states' rights and conservation are timely today. Morris' three TR books; The Rise of Theodor Roosevelt, Theodore Rex and now Colonel Roosevelt are certainly the magnum opus on the life of this very interesting, complex and influential man.

    Anathem by Neal Stephenson is speculative science fiction that is frankly blowing my mind and making me think beyond any recent fiction writing I've consumed. Recommended to me by a friend, Alex Getchell, it is the story of an Earth-like planet on which the philosophers, mathematicians, theorists and scientists are sequestered in monasteries, separated from the rest of the world only to mingle at very specific times, depending on the monastic order, annually, every decade, 100 or 1,000 years. Stephenson reimagines the philosophies of Plato, Socrates and even a little dash of Mr. Spock while applying discourses on Plato's Cave, Occam’s Razor and Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. Anathem uses these philosophies, plays them out in the narrative all the while attempting to show the convergence of quantum physics and theology.

    It's brutally long (980 pages) and frustratingly complex to grasp. Like Frank Herbert in Dune and Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange, he has created his own language to represent things you and I might otherwise recognize. It takes some getting used to but the payoff appears to be worth it. I'm reading a downloaded version for my Kindle and I wish I would've picked up a hard copy to facilitate referring to the handy glossary time and again. I've found some online resources that I will likely just print out to have handy as reference material to help understand what the hell characters are doing and what philosophy is being paralleled.

    I’ve also just finished two books that were appreciated and admired but couldn’t be more different.

    Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney is supposed to be for YA readers but this fellow who’s lived well beyond half a century enjoyed it greatly. What was disarming about the book is that it is NOT the typical “young-female-vampire” story. The vamp angle is more of a vehicle to create tension, conflict and a narrative framework for a young woman who must deal with less than ideal family relationships, quasi-addiction issues (is the desire for blood and her control of those urges an allegory for real-world eating disorders?) and creating bonds between individuals who might be normally thought of as adversaries. Plus, it’s a bit of a murder mystery. It’s written in a tone that could have easily been darker but Mahoney saves the darkness for times when it is most effective and thereby creating a more nuanced palette to the entire narrative. This 50+ year old man very much enjoyed the story of a 28 (looks 18…lucky girl) year-old woman who’s also a vampire (I mean everyone’s got something wrong with them, right?) who’d I really like to meet. I think we’d be good neighborhood pals. She’s the kind of gal with whom I’d trade books, recipes and comics.

    NOTE: I abhorred the Twilight series. It actually made me angry and shouting expletives at the writer and the characters. I started this book with trepidation but was disarmed and charmed by the character(s) and surprising narrative.

    I’ve gone on way too much, (the coffee was flowing this morning after a very early morning meeting) but I want to mention another book I just finished and recommend: Winter of the World by Ken Follett. This is Follett’s second installment to his “20th Century Trilogy” and it’s deeply satisfying. I won’t say too much about it because there are dozens of reviews available online. With healthy doses of history, drama, heartbreak and steamy sex, what’s NOT to like? In regards to the sex scenes, Follett doesn’t mince words but doesn’t linger voyeuristically, either. In regards to the history: it’s incredibly well-researched and accurate but rather than just recounting historical events, he exploits them to move his characters and narrative along to full advantage. Good read.

    That is all. Apologies all around.

  5. #175
    Moderator Karen Mahoney's Avatar
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    Re: Media Diary: What Did You Consume Today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry.Tyson View Post
    Forgive the waxing didactic.


    I’ve also just finished two books that were appreciated and admired but couldn’t be more different.

    Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney is supposed to be for YA readers but this fellow who’s lived well beyond half a century enjoyed it greatly. What was disarming about the book is that it is NOT the typical “young-female-vampire” story. The vamp angle is more of a vehicle to create tension, conflict and a narrative framework for a young woman who must deal with less than ideal family relationships, quasi-addiction issues (is the desire for blood and her control of those urges an allegory for real-world eating disorders?) and creating bonds between individuals who might be normally thought of as adversaries. Plus, it’s a bit of a murder mystery. It’s written in a tone that could have easily been darker but Mahoney saves the darkness for times when it is most effective and thereby creating a more nuanced palette to the entire narrative. This 50+ year old man very much enjoyed the story of a 28 (looks 18…lucky girl) year-old woman who’s also a vampire (I mean everyone’s got something wrong with them, right?) who’d I really like to meet. I think we’d be good neighborhood pals. She’s the kind of gal with whom I’d trade books, recipes and comics.

    NOTE: I abhorred the Twilight series. It actually made me angry and shouting expletives at the writer and the characters. I started this book with trepidation but was disarmed and charmed by the character(s) and surprising narrative.
    Terry, you are too kind. THANK YOU. I did actually see this before, but got sidetracked into emailing with you so didn't reply here.

    Kaz

  6. #176
    Grifter tomgastall's Avatar
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    Re: Media Diary: What Did You Consume Today?

    Haven't really checked out anything in a month or two... my Personal life sort of derailed everything. So...

    TV: Saw the Fringe Finale. I liked it... liked it more than the Lost Finale, actually.

    Comics:
    Uncanny X-Force #1 - I haven't read the X-Men in about 20 years, but I've been following most of Humphries' books since he did the Fraggle comic, so I picked up XF at his mobbed Pasadena signing. Liked it a lot, found it to be very accessible.
    Young Avengers #1 - if you liked Phonogram, you'll like Young Avengers.
    Black Beetle #1 - Style-wise probably my favorite of the bunch. Very pulpy.

    -Tom
    Tom Gastall
    tomgastall.com - creative services
    toppohaus.com - art & webcomics

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