Just bringing this discussion over to ning...

What books are you reading right now that don't have a narrative driven by images as well as words?

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Currently reading So I'm a Spider, So What?, vol.13, by Okina Baba

Jeff said:

This fourth book in the series first appeared in the pulps in 1914, but the copy I just finished is the first edition hardcover, 1917. There's something I enjoy about reading a book that is physically over 100 years old itself, and I wish I could talk to Mary Fuse about it. [Despite its French origins, St. Louis experienced an influx of German immigrants in the 1850s, and Mary's surname would have been pronounced "Fusey" (like Gary Busey).] I've attempted to read through the Tarzan series a couple of times before, never quite made it, and always (until this time) picked up at the very beginning. Consequently, I have read the first several volumes more than once. Although I don't remember exactly how far I got overall, I know I've read at least the first seven or so. This time, I picked up where I left off last time, in the middle of The Son of Tarzan in 2015. I know it was 2015 because the boarding pass I was using as a bookmark was still between pages (although I did start over at the beginning of this volume). I overestimated the durability of this old book, however, as, although I thought I was being extremely careful, wear and tear has caused the cloth binding to split nearly the height of the book where the back cover attaches to the binding. Oh, well. Books are meant to be read, and everything eventually turns to dust anyway.

Oh wow, that is super cool. I love that story.

OMG... can this be her?

"(I say "girl," but they were dated "1936," some years after they were published.)"

Born in 1925, she she would have been 11 years old in 1936.

"I know it was 2015 because I read it on a plane and the boarding pass I was using as a bookmark was still between pages"

...and she died the same year I was reading her seven books. 

"OMG... can this be her?"

Actually, now that I think about it, it can't be "my" Mary Fuse because Fuse is this woman's married name.

Interesting coincidence, though.

RE: old books.

I remember when I had my paper route, one of my customer's showed me a really old encyclopedia set she had. I don't remember how old, anywhere from the 1880s to the 1920s. The part that has always stood out to me was it mentioned how no one knew how we would ever reach the moon, as it would be really hard to build railroad tracks up there. I am paraphrasing of course.

I AM DRACULA: A couple of weeks ago I read I Am Frankenstein by C. Dean Anderson. I just finished this earlier book by the same author. Both books are written in short chapters. Consequently, I blew through the Frankenstein one in record speed, but this one had the opposite effect on me. For whatever reason, I generally didn't read more than a chapter or two at a time despite their brevity. Back in 1990, I read The Satanic Bible (which I came to think of as a hedonistic form of atheism); I Am Dracula reminds me a whole lot of that, mashed up with a Harlequin romance (or rather what I suspect a Harlequin romance would be like since I have never read one). There's lots of sex, but it's all pretty soft core. 

Those of you who recall the Buffy the Vampire Slayer discussion from the old board may recall that I have little patience for the "good guy vampire" trope (with the possible exception of Barnabas Collins). That's pretty much what this is, purporting t tell the "true" story of "Drakulya" from age four. The first half of the book lingers on his training in the occult by the witch Tzigane when he was 18-19. The historical period, covering ages 20-46, is largely glossed over, then it picks up again when he finally becomes a vampire.

As one might guess, most of the book is an EYKIW ("everything you know is wrong") concerning Satan and the "false God of light." Toward the end, though, we learn that both of those beings are in opposition to Tiamat, the Earth goddess. Even the Norse pantheon pitches in to help. The last couple of pages deal with Bram Stoker's "fictional" account. If this sounds like the kind of book you might enjoy, you'd probably like it.

Re: Old Books

My high school was built in 1915 when the area was all citrus groves. When I went there (1962-66) there were original buildings and new buildings. I was getting into Mark Twain and the school library had a copy of his Pudd'nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins which was printed in, I think, 1900. It blew my mind that the book in my hand, though not a first edition, was printed when Twain was still alive. Pudd'nhead Wilson is about slavery, baby-switching and fingerprinting before it was officially used.

He also wrote a short story titled Cannibalism in the Cars (the cars being railroad passenger cars), that used a version of the Donner Party event to satirize Roberts’ Rules of Order. I think the passengers were al Congress members. They started nominating each other to be eaten by the others and debating the choices. I was reminded of this story by the following.

Those Extraordinary Twins is a separate story from Pudd'nhead Wilson, in which two minor characters are identical twins from Italy. Twain says (possibly a lie) that the characters in Pudd'nhead Wilson were originally going to be a single body with two heads. The separate story uses this concept. Angelo was religious and a generally good person. Luigi was a drunkard and had violent tendencies. Each head falls asleep and the other takes over. Eventually, Luigi kills someone and “he” is put on trial. Twain satirizes jury deliberations. Jury members point out that Angelo is innocent and that there is no way to punish Luigi without also punishing Angelo. After long deliberations, the last line of the story in “So they hanged Luigi.”


Ever since I read Tarzan #223 in 1972 I awaited the return of Tarzan to the Lost City of Opar. I did finally read Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar in college (or shortly thereafter)... and promptly forgot it. I guess I was falling out of the mood after reading the five previous ones in a row, but this time through I'm mixing them up a bit. I was kind of remembering it as I reread it this time, but I wasn't anticipating what would happen next. I've got a pretty good idea how this one fits in with "The Great Korak Time Discrepancy" but I'm going to have to keep reading before I'm ready to present my conclusions. 

My 104-year-old first edition hardcover held up pretty well, but I was being extremely careful. this edition contains only one original illustration by J. Allan St. John, unfortunately. Instead, there is a section in the back of the book which advertises other book series published by Grosset & Dunlap (as well as some on the backside of the "wrapper," which I don't have), including other novels bt ERB as well as those by ARafael Sabatini, B.M. Bowers, William MacLeod Raine, James Oliver Curwood, Zane Grey, Warwick Deeping, Emilie Loring, Charles Alden Seltzer and Peter B. Kyne, as well as those by "Masters of Mystery Story Writing."

I'm getting the feeling that I've been reading too much "nerd canon" lately, so last night I started...

THE BIBLE: I start this project every decade or so, but I never seem to finish it. This time, although I have started over at the beginning again, I'm going to concentrate on a book at a time, mixing it up with other things as well (Tarzan, Star Trek Logs, etc.). As usual, I will be supplementing my reading with Asimov's Guide to the Bible. I will also be throwing in something new: Mark Russell's God is Disappointed in You

Never seen Asimov's Guide to the Bible.  I found his Guide to Shakespeare very useful.

This has got me womdering what a "nerd cannon" would do.  Would it fire nerds asprojectiles?  Would it turn anyone it hit into a nerd?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I'm getting the feeling that I've been reading too much "nerd canon" lately, so last night I started...

The Baron said:

Never seen Asimov's Guide to the Bible.  I found his Guide to Shakespeare very useful.

I have that one, too. I just noticed I have a bookmark between pages 606 and 607 in which he discusses the possibility that All's Well That Ends Well might be a revised version of his "lost" play, Loves Labors Won. Interesting.

Asimov's Guide to the Bible is equally interesting (and useful). It was originally published in two volumes, one each for the Old and the New Testaments. 

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