What Are You Reading

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March 30th, 2022 at 3:51:07 PM permalink
Member since: Aug 15, 2019
Threads: 22
Posts: 3214
I have read it before (more than once), but I have been rereading Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien), I think that this is my favorite in the series, the escalation and change of pace is excellent. And, I just really love Tolkein, he is such a great writer, and how he formed such an elaborate world in a time before computers is amazing (yes there are plenty of Fantasy books before him, but the scale is not the same).
April 29th, 2022 at 5:41:10 PM permalink
Member since: Aug 15, 2019
Threads: 22
Posts: 3214
I came across an old television show randomly some weeks ago called "Sharpe's Rifles" , a British show staring Sean Bean as a new officer of a rifle company during the Napoleonic Wars from the 1990s. It held up quite well (mostly because it was all practical effects). Anyway, from what I can tell the show ran for quite a few years (1993-1997, with a couple of specials made in the mid 2000s). I watched the first two episodes (its pretty much impossible to find available for streaming in the U.S. so that is all I was able to watch) , and discovered it was based on a series of novels have been published from 1981 until the current year. The show was very good from what I watched and seemed to have quite a few very big British actors early in their career (you can tell the budget was thin, but the good acting, and practical effects can't really go wrong, though relying on such reenactments does leave battle scenes to feel very small, which is not inherently bad since its focused on a small group of elite rifles that often are off doing their own thing).

(Not an official trailer, but good as a general summary)

I started reading "Sharpe's Rifles" (Bernard Cornwell, historical fiction author, probably best known for "The Last Kingdom" series which was adapted on Netflix, final season I have not watched, but came out not long ago) which takes place in early 1809, and involves the British military in Spain, trying to push the French out, and involves a lot of Guerilla tactics (by the Spanish) that are not often thought about in such a period. I am enjoying it so far. (This is the book that the first episode of the show was based on). If you like historical fiction, and the Napoleonic period (especially about lesser-known aspects of the Napoleonic Wars, in some cases 25 different stories published over fifty), it is extremely interesting. I can't say its a book for everyone, most would find it an obscure subject matter, but for people interesting in certain aspects of the Napoleonic War from the British side, its worth checking out (again historical fiction, so not to be read as accurate).

(It has a 4.25 on Goodreads, and from what I can tell skimming the reviews, most of the negative-mid reviews are related to the audiobook version where apparently this narrator is either not who people are used to for the series, or has cheesy/offensive accents when doing dialogue, or other random issues with the narrator -I have the Kindle version so I cannot comment on this-, and a smaller subset of negative reviews seem to be about portrayals of problematic situations with women, which I mean its a war in 1809, if portrayals were not problematic it probably would not be realistic, but I understand that some people don't like reading such things in escapist fiction....
And another subset of poor reviews is how this book does not blend well with books that take place before and after -even if they were not written in order, since they were/are being written over 5+ decades its understandable that a writer may not remember every character detail for a series out of order, but if somebody reads them all back to back they may notice discrepancies- , as this is my first one reading, I cannot comment on this either).

(Also, this show is apparently where the "Now That's Soldiering" meme came from).
April 30th, 2022 at 4:39:39 AM permalink
Member since: Aug 6, 2014
Threads: 54
Posts: 9804
Grant by Ron Chernow
Listened to it on my move from St Louis to Kansas City
One of my favorite Presidents
I actually visited the Grant house
It's where his wife grew up, owned by Grant's father in law
He lived there before the Civil War
The slaves loved listening in on their arguments
Father in law owned slaves and Grant was against slavery
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own - Grateful Dead "Eyes of the World"
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