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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

Re: BOOKS by Rusted on 14 March 2003 9:15am
Hello Judy!

I agree with you often, but now I'm going to disagree with you a bit. ;O)

For the most, agree with what you said - Michael's books are great and such...otherwise, why would I be here? ;O)

I have to say I'm the complete opposite on P2P, though. I actually found the North/South poles the most boring, in comparison to the rest of the trip. I really dug the fact that it focused so much on fewer cultures - I really got a feel for Africa because he was in it so long. LOL. If I ever had the courage to do so, Africa would probably be the place I'd want to visit most after the UK and several countries in Europe (Greece/Italy/Belgium/etc). But I don't think I'm quite as brave as Michael, going so long with all those troubles and lower conditions than I'm used to. I'm too comfy in my suburban living. ;O)

But again, personal preference. :O) And I haven't seen or read Full Circle yet - now don't jump on me, I can't get the videos at the library and their very expensive to buy. ;O) But the book will be read when I get the time! Heh heh.

And then there's Hemingway...I think I said a long time ago that I wasn't going to get into this discussion on this board because, well, hey, Michael likes Hemingway and... But some of you already know my dislike of him because I mentioned it a few days ago. LOL! At any rate, I'm only mentioning this again because I found it amusing that you love "A Farewell to Arms" so much.

Why? Because I severly disliked it. (I won't say hate, that's too strong. ;O)) I was just curious as to why you liked it - I'm sincerely asking you this, I'm not mocking you - because I found it absolutely boring. But again, it's just not my cup o' tea; not my kind of writer and not one of my periods of interests To each their own!


Okay, now I need to send you hugs!!!


Re: BOOKS by sleepydumpling on 14 March 2003 11:52am
Hey folks!

Well, if we're talking about other books, I've got one for you all. Inspired by the fact that I am just about to start Douglas Adams "A Salmon of Doubt" (miss you dearly DNA!!), I'd like to recommend to you all his non-fiction book "A Last Chance to See", which he co-wrote with zoologist Mark Carwardine.

If you like Michael's books, I am quite sure you will all enjoy "A Last Chance to See" as Douglas travels the world seeking out various seriously endangered species. Like the "not even remotely white Northern White Rhinocerous", the komodo dragon, the silver-back gorilla, and my favourite bird in the world, the Kakapo.

Douglas's humour is deeply infused into the whole book, but he also manages to describe these amazing animals (and the places he visits to find them) in such a way that it inspires you to do something, ANYTHING to help their plight.

I believe it has been re-published since Douglas's death, so you should be able to find it in bookstores and libraries quite easily.

I'd love to hear from any other Douglas Adams fans - he's been gone over a year but I'm still mourning him!


One happy Grubby Mitted Punk! by Helen on 14 March 2003 3:13pm
My Amazon order arrived yesterday-- I now own Full Circle and Around the World in book form. Help! I am salivating!
I just orderd Pole to Pole! I must be stopped!
Judy! Your book reviews are great. thank you!
Kath-- blasphemy-- I have not read Douglas Adams....(runs, hides...) Which one would you advise me to read first?
And Mary-- how do you plead?
oooh! This is fun! heehee!
Re: BOOKS by nottlob on 15 March 2003 3:50am
No problem Mary, don't worry about it, lol!

I have to say, the first time I read the beginning of "A Farewell to Arms" I thought it was boring. I stopped reading and I re-read the beginning again because I found it so very very boring that I wasn't even paying attention! The seasons were changing and there was a war. It was weird that Frederic was an American and that he had helped the Italians as an ambulance driver. It got more interesting when the character Rinaldi came in, being the funny drinking friend. I started to get more interested when Fred met Catherine the nurse. He was really really interested in her and they eventually developed their relationship. The book suddenly got my attention when there was an attack in the dugout and people's legs weren't...attached to them anymore. I realized that there was really a horrible war and that being in love or being in a part of the war in anyway was horrible, at any age and as anybody.

When Fred has to go to the American hospital because of his leg injuries, he meets Catherine again because more nurses are needed for the great amount of wounded soldiers. The couple falls deeply in love and belong to each other. After some weeks, Fred recieves a letter saying he's got to go back to help fight in the war. Catherine hopes to get transfered to another hospital to be with Fred. (I'm trying to cut some things out so to prevent telling the whole plot but...it's sorta hard! I really did enjoy the book!)

Fred then takes the train to Milan but escapes and has to face a horrible and long ordeal to run away and stay safe and unseen which had caught my great attention and imagination. He then goes to a hotel and meets his love and etc. Ahh! I can't keep telling the plot!!! I was just so into their love for each other and what Fred had done for Catherine so they could both escape the war and live their lives in peace. Then Catherine gets *you know Mary* and they're both very happy! Months develop and near the end of the *, it was a horrible day. Remember what Catherine said how she felt about ****? (And it doesn't start with F.) It was ****ing and it was a very sad and horrible *you know what*. I just can't believe they never got ** and lived *.*.*. I'm sorry, I can't do this, AHH!

I mean, to come so very far and do so much for each other to end like that, it was quiet sad and touching to me. They loved each other so MUCH, they ran away together, they were just meant to be and I just couldn't believe the ending! Two people so much in love with each other to end up like that!!! To tell you the truth, I cried!!! I CRIED! I've never cried reading a book!!! I never wanted it to happen, though you can guess someone was about to * once it started ****ing. So there you go Mary, I'm a cry baby!!! Didn't you like the book one bit??? I'm usually fair minded about things, but I'm trying to think about the things I didn't enjoy in this novel, was it that their relationship was unbelieveble or was it boring? Did you like the ending?
Re: BOOKS by sleepydumpling on 15 March 2003 7:28am
Oh no Helen!! We must get you an emergency dose of Douglas Adams right away!

You could either start with Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and do them all chronologically, or if you would like to start with something a little along the lines of Michael's travelogues, do read "A Last Chance to See". All his work is exceptionally good - so whichever road you take I am quite sure you will enjoy it.

Re: BOOKS by Rusted on 15 March 2003 9:14am
You know, in my philosophy class we've been discussing the meaning of life the past few weeks, and it was quite frustrating for a lot of people. In the end I just wanted to give up and say: "the meaning of life is 42!" ;O) Actually, my response to the question was on quite similar lines as the meaning of life in The Meaning of Life.

Helen..."I confess!"

Judy, you had me chuckling with all of your **** and how you valiantly tried not to give away the plot for others. LOL. Thank you for giving me your view on A Farewell to Arms. :O) If it's the only book that's made you cry, I suppose it must've said something to you! If you've only cried reading that book, though, I wouldn't likely call you a cry-baby - I'm much worse. ;O)

But again, a large percentage of the books I've read in the past few years have been based on the Arthurian Legend, and that's just a depressing story. I nearly started bawling at the end of "Arthur", Stephen R. Lawhead's 3rd book in his Pendragon series. I HIGHLY recommend that series for anyone who has an interest in medieval times, early Celtic/Druidic Britain, or anyone who happens to be a romanticist like me...

But going back to "A Farewell to Arms", I wouldn't say I "didn't like the book one bit". It had a lot of good messages. But I couldn't help noticing how completely ineffectual it was on me. I just couldn't get into their love, their relationship - I didn't feel anything for them or care about the characters at all. The characters were all too flat for me, I guess. A lot of folks might disagree with me there, but I don't know how explain what I mean. To put it simply, I didn't feel anything for the characters. And if I don't care about the characters, what's the point in reading the book? In my own writing and reading I focus a lot on character development, it's a big thing for me, so that may be why I'm biased.

As for the ending, no, I didn't like it. ;O) In fact, one of our assignments for the class I had to read it for was to re-write or continue the ending of the novel. I re-wrote it so that the **** lived. (I'm sorry, have I given it away? LOL!) Having both *** seemed absolutely pointless to me and the ending went nowhere - I didn't see Hemingway trying to make a point of what he wrote and why it happened. I suppose some things in life are pointless and a terrible waste. But if you're going to write, write with a message, and if you're going to have a message, have the story end so it emphasizes the message. I can't help thinking what more could have been done with the book if the **** lived while Catherine still ****.

But, of course, this is all IMHO about what makes a good story. Each person looks for their own style and format!

~Mary :O)

Re: BOOKS by nottlob on 16 March 2003 1:44am
Thanks for replying Mary! I can sort of see how Catherine was a flat character. I've read a couple of Hemingway books now and his women seem sort of all the same. Loyal, in love and alway's asking "You won't leave me?" "Do you love me?" etcetc. I see how the ****'s had made you laugh because I was laughing too, it does look funny, doesn't it? We are so opposite Mary! I cannot like fantasy/medeival or science fiction books, I just love to read the normal life or a person in modern or past times, sort of boring isn't it?

I thought it was interesting that you made the **** *you know what*! I've never even thought about that. That's true, what if they had both *? Wouldn't have much been a plot other than Happily etcetc.
Re: BOOKS by Rusted on 17 March 2003 9:17am
Heh heh, Judy. :O)

Yeah...I've always had a problem with the way Hemingway portrays his women so perhaps this poisons my opinion of his pieces to begin with...but I maintain my belief that A Farewell to Arms seemed dry to me. ;O)

Oh, and so you know, I must've given you the wrong impression - I don't like science fiction books. I'm not huge on mythical books either, in the sense of stories completely made up with magical beasts and all that. I like them every once in awhile, but I mostly like mine history books of past cultures and peoples, in fictional story form.

So, as I said, the Arthurian Legend. That *can* be very mythical, but it's usually only peppered with it - the Lady of the Lake, Excalibur, Merlin the Enchanter, Morgan le Fey and all that. But I like the versions of the stories that are a bit more realistic. That's why I like Lawhead's version so much. He sets the story in a realistic setting (most scholars believe Arthur lived 6th century, although if you ask Monty Python, it's the 10th. LOL!), which would be the Dark Ages, tribal England, druid England. That time period fascinates me. Scary but fascinating!

Most of the books I read are general, realistical historical novels from ancient Greece and Rome (poet Simonides, Alexander the Great, etc) and medieval England (usually just stories about made-up nobles and peasants, but realistic nevertheless). I like to focus on that sort of cultural aspect with the Arthurian Legend as well, although the rest of it is still vital and interesting.

So, you see, we're not totally opposite. I just like my stories a bit more mystical than you. ;O)

~Mary **** (LOL!)

Re: BOOKS by Tracy on 17 March 2003 9:21am
**A Beautiful Mind**

This is a serious biography. If bios aren't reaaally your thing, or if you refuse to advance your mathematic vocabulary don't even try. It took me about a month or two to get through, wanting to read it thorouly but it was worth it. You've probably all seen the movie, and if the movie left you wondering more about John Nash's life READ THE BOOK! its so insightful, provides many answers. It is a little drawn out in places, but all in all, it's an awesome book!
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