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  1. #41
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    Doyle was actually a doctor, funnily enough. But he also fully believed in fairies and was a committed spiritualist. So an interesting relationship with science, to say the least.

    On an unrelated note I think you should name and shame that editor!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  2. #42
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    I've definitely got the impression that Doyle was a bit of a weirdo, and that just strengthens the impression!

    His name is Kyle Freeman, and I suppose he could be worse. I don't know why he thinks he has to footnote every Bible verse and Shakespeare quote. Yes, I know "the game's afoot" is from Henry V, Kyle!! You don't have to keep telling me!

  3. #43
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    Finished the Holmes collection and really enjoyed it, but perhaps the most enjoyable thing in the book was a brief Holmes parody written by Barrie for Doyle included at the end! Apparently Doyle and Barrie worked on a play together that didn't do well, so immediately afterwards Barrie wrote the story to cheer Doyle up. The story goes that Holmes and Watson see two upset men coming down the street, and Holmes deduces that they are playwrights who have just failed, via some insulting observations. Watson is so surprised by Holmes brilliance that he "jumps to the ceiling", which is much dented. The two men come in to Holmes' home, and they are Doyle and Barrie himself! Doyle demands that Holmes dispense with "the first 4 pages" and get right to the solution, why didn't people see his play? Holmes says "because they preferred to stay home", and Doyle gets so mad he writes Holmes out of existence! As Holmes fades away, he condemns Doyle to a lifetime of using public transportation because without his star character, he won't be able to afford private cabs anymore, which leaves Doyle aghast at what he's done. I literally laughed out loud several times reading it, it was charming and delightful.

    Went quickly through the start of the Sandman Universe series. Neil Gaiman wrote the first issue, the one that I read, though I'm not sure he's writing anything full time for the series. It was good though, and I love that universe so I'm interested to see more.

    From there jumped into the Carrie Fischer biography Wishful Drinking, which has been very charming so far. It's a bit sad at times but Carrie seemed to be alright with that. It seems like it'll be quick read as it's very engaging and not very long, but I'm enjoying it a lot so far. She seemed like a hell of a personality, always liked her a great deal from what I've seen of her.

  4. #44
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    Just finished off that The Mechanical, which was very good. Think I'll have to check out the next in that series soon

    Aside from a few political history things I'm reading I'm also back into my Victorian realism and am reading the Eustace Diamonds. Going to be an interesting one I think - from the first chapter I have the feeling it's going to be one of those affairs where they try and get you to be fair and sympathetic when appropriate towards characters who are generally a bit unpleasant.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  5. #45
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    Still in my book of horror stories. My reading always slows down in the winter because I like to walk and read, plus being busy at work cut out a lot of my break reading. Read some real good ones though, really enjoying it.

  6. #46
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    I'm currently reading "Lion's Pride" by Chris Charlton about the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling. It is structured a little weirdly, but has excellent information.

  7. #47
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    Very nice! Anything fun in particular to share?

  8. #48
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    Just finished a brilliant crime book called Scrub lands. Real page Turner and paints a startling good picture of country Australia.



    @Sir_Samuel

  9. #49
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    Sounds interesting. Can't say I know much Aussie literature but I do have a book of Australian ghost stories somewhere which I should pick up.

    Ploughing through The Eustace Diamonds at a huge rate. So easy to read. 500 pages in already.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  10. #50
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    Trying to think what I've been at since the last post in here. Read Mort which I mentioned in the Pratchett thread. That was fun. Then some more heavy bits. Read the Woodward book on the first year of the Clinton administration. Something else about the Walpole administration back in the 18th century which is an area I don't know much about.

    Now onto Phineas Redux which follows on the heels of The Eustace Diamonds, mentioned above.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  11. #51
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    Still in the midst of my horror collection. It's very good for the most part but my reading time has been very scarce lately, sadly.

  12. #52
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    Finished Phineas Redux. Now ground to a halt in a book about Pitt the Elder. It's not bad when you get going but it's quite easy to put it aside for a few days at a time and not make much progress with it in the way you would with a novel.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  13. #53
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    I know all about not making much progress on my reading! Basically all my reading time has been cut out in the past few months. I was reading while spending time outdoors in the summer, while carpooling, and on my lunch at work, but now it's too cold, my carpool buddy bailed on me, and work has been so busy I end up spending my lunch working or catching up on stuff like LOP! I'm really enjoying that horror anthology but it feels like it's taken me as long as everything I read this summer combined!

  14. #54
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    How many stories are in the anthology?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  15. #55
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    A buttload, but I finally finished them! Wrapped up with some Lovecraft, which was re-reading for me but he's one of my favorites so it was all good.

    Right afterwards went back to some Stephen King. Burned through "The Long Walk" in one day, which was good but pretty harrowing. Started on "Gerald's Game", I've seen the film already but the book already promises to be better. Might make slow progress on that for a bit as I'm spending time with the family in Denver for a week or two but excited to go through it.

  16. #56
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    Ah, that's cool. I've been leafing through a couple of Robert Louis Stevenson stories lately - I don't know if his gothic stuff found it's way into the collection? Anyway, these are the bits and pieces he wrote while living out in Samoa before he died, so for a Victorian Scot writing about what was then a whole other world is intriguing. One of my favourites is called 'The Bottle Imp', and the basic premise of the story (if I haven't mentioned it before?) is there's an old sailor's legend about this bottle with a devil in it that will bring you luck or grant wishes or some shit. It can be bought and sold, but if you die without selling it you are damned for eternity. The catch is that you can only sell it for less than you paid for it, so the clock is always ticking back towards the poor sap who can no longer sell it because no one will take the risk, or because there's literally no amount lower that you can see it for. And there's a whole story on top of that which means I haven't even given any spoilers out. I'd suggest reading it, if the concept sounds appealing. It's certainly stuck with me and I read it for the first time a decade or more ago.


    Doing another Goodreads reading challenge this year. I've noticed it has made me find more time for reading than I used to. I've knocked off 85 books in the last two years. Most of that was in 2017 but I did manage 34 this year just gone. So I've aimed for another 30 in 2019, just to try and keep the focus and effort up.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  17. #57
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    There was indeed a Stevenson in there! Can't recall off the top of my head the name of the story, but definitely remember liking it. It wasn't that one, but it sounds damn good!

  18. #58
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    It is a cool story, for sure. I like the framing device of it being an old merchant legend, too - because it's got that whole Faustian thing of making a deal with the devil for supernatural power on earth, but it's also got that gambler's element of your not being damned necessarily, if you can take your chance and get out - which I think plays quite well into a lot of the attitudes of, and assumptions that we have about, the explorers of that period in time.

    Knocked off that Pitt book and quickly followed it up with the Bob Woodward book about the lead-up to the 1996 Presidential election. It's a funny old book in a sense because it's not really a book about the election - it stops pretty much as soon as Dole has sewn up the Republican primaries. But it's definitely a more engaging read than the other book I mentioned earlier. I think both Dole and Clinton come out of it reasonably well, but definitely more the former than the latter - my memory of the election is kind of hazy because of how young I was at the time but all I really knew was that here the election itself was treated as a fait accompli and that he had no real chance, so it's interesting to get this portrait of him that shows more of his character and in which he just seems so... decent, for the lack of a better word.

    But yeah, that was my first book of 2019. Now moved on to something someone gave me called Authentocrats. Essentially it's about how politicians feel the need to fake a kind of 'authenticity', a man of the people image that never really existed in the first place and which even if it did, that they could never live up to themselves. So far it's OK, but a bit hit and miss. It makes some good points but there are also times where it's going in with a sledgehammer where what you need is a scalpel. But a few provocative thoughts and some food for thought, which is about as much as you can realistically ask for - and anything else is a bonus.

    Do need to get through this and return it because I haven't had any fiction on the go (other than the occasional short story) for about a month, and I like to try and go back and forth between the two where I can.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  19. #59
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    Finished South Sea Tales and been on a train, so I also ploughed through Shiloh by Shelby Foote. For something that has some 'literary' credentials that's a very quick read if anyone fancies it.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  20. #60
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    Gotta build up that lit cred!!

    Still working on "Gerald's Game". I actually think I'd enjoy it more if I hadn't seen the film first, it was a very loyal adaptation so I feel like I know everything that'll happen. Still, you get some internal thought stuff which enhances the story a bit further, so I'm still digging it.

  21. #61
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    After a couple of fiction books (of a sort, anyway, given Shiloh's odd status) I'm back into my reading of the old Prime Ministers and have moved on to William Hague's biography of William Pitt the Younger. It's surprisingly readable, actually. I imagine Hague isn't a name that means much to anyone outside the UK - he led the Conservative Party here against Tony Blair back when no one had a chance of beating him, and when the Conservatives returned to power he was our Foreign Secretary for a spell. For an American comparison, think Mitt Romney if he became the Secretary of State soon...

    But yeah, it reads well - better than a lot of books I've read by actual historians, annoyingly. It also looks to be very well researched, though there's a lot of indications that he has gotten plenty of help with that (not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but good that the professionals get their due).

    I've got some fairly short one-volume things on Melbourne and Robert Peel to get through after that, and a book about Huskisson, who was the MP killed by the train back when it was first exhibited. So I imagine I'll be busy with that lot for a while.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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