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  #41  
Old 15 December 2011, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dropbear View Post
Sorry, the librarian turns into an orang in the 2nd book - The Light Fantastic.

Dropbear
Sorry I started reading the books about 20years ago so I can't be counted on to remember the details. Thanks for the correction. I could have sworn he was an orangutan from the start though. Hey my excuse is that I am on a disablity pension for bad memory, that's my excuse and I am sticking too it

I have enjoyed the series otherwise. I had forgotten how loyal (and naughty) luggage is though.
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  #42  
Old 15 December 2011, 08:17 AM
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Currently reading Naomi Klein's No Logo (the 2001 edition from a charity shop). It's basically about the pervasiveness of brand-name/designer-brand goods and how corporate logos/sponsorship infiltrates everyday life. These days companies aren't so much making a product as outsourcing the actual product, slapping a logo on it and selling an image/lifestyle/philosophy. And consumers are paying to be walking adverts.

It's written in an accessible style for a wide audience though too many of the "global brands" Klein mentions aren't actually global so it's harder for those of us outside of Canada and the USA to relate to a mentioned brand's image/lifestyle/philosophy (and European advertising rules are tougher too). It would have been nice to see how branding is working in other regions and how different advertising regulations affect how they do it. Since this edition was published, some of the brands mentioned have vanished (or been rebranded?) so it's probably worth getting the revised edition of the book.

Maybe I'm an odd consumer as I'm not attracted to brand-names or designer labels and it's a concept I simply don't understand! While I can understand that manufacturer XYZ has an excellent name for reliability (in specialist fields), I can't grasp the appeal of paying twice as much for a logo-ed item if there is a non-brand-emblazoned one of the same quality. I'm not sure I understand that sort of consumer urge any better after reading No Logo, but it's interesting to read how corporations have channelled this. It's an especially good read at this time of year as there are so many news stories about counterfeit items being seized by Customs - plenty of folks want to buy into a brand's image, but not everyone wants to pay full whack for it! Seems that some folks would buy dog-poop just so long as it had the right designer label on it!
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  #43  
Old 15 December 2011, 08:45 AM
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Zoo Do only $8.50 per bag.
Also Endangered Faeces. Delivered to your door. Which reminds me, I still have some Xmas shopping to do!

Really.
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  #44  
Old 15 December 2011, 11:10 AM
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Zoo Do only $8.50 per bag.
We have similar here - it's a bit hard to source rhino dung or elephant droppings any other way in these parts! I believe my nearest zoo (Colchester) is able to supply unbranded herbivore dung (I've seen notices around some enclosures). Getting hold of lion/tiger scats or wolf urine as predator deterrent seems to be a bit harder and would require more negotiation (and a lot of co-operation on the part of the wolf ).

PS: this is the time of year for "reindeer droppings" (chocolate covered raisins, sometimes available in plastic reindeer dispensers - push the head down, up lifts the tail and out comes the, errm, dropping)
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  #45  
Old 15 December 2011, 12:25 PM
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About the Librarian, I'm fairly sure that he's not in The Colour of Magic, and that although The Light Fantastic contains the story of his being turned into an orang-utan, it's related as a past event and not as something that's just happening as part of the plot. I could be wrong, but my books are in storage so I can't check. Waaaah!

Having said that, I can see why a TV programme might want to show the event happening, just because it's part of the background to the series. Although I think it would work equally well as a flashback, or indeed just as something that went unexplained and was taken for granted, as it is in most of the books...
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  #46  
Old 15 December 2011, 01:40 PM
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IMS, the Librarian is changed during the course of the book. The wizards are attempting a large spell (maybe saying all but one of the spells in the Octavio) which results in a giant ball of magic floating down through the University. It changes things as it passes, resulting in terrified kitchen staff (the knuckles, the knuckles) and changing the Librarian into a monkey.
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  #47  
Old 15 December 2011, 02:26 PM
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Don't say monkey!
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  #48  
Old 15 December 2011, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
PS: this is the time of year for "reindeer droppings" (chocolate covered raisins, sometimes available in plastic reindeer dispensers - push the head down, up lifts the tail and out comes the, errm, dropping)
Yup, we have those, too. ETA: Sometimes the candy is small jelly beans of some sort of "brown" flavor -- root beer, chocolate.
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  #49  
Old 15 December 2011, 06:31 PM
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Yup, we have those, too. ETA: Sometimes the candy is small jelly beans of some sort of "brown" flavor -- root beer, chocolate.
I know this is wildly off-topic, but do you also have the white "droppings" aka snowman poo? (these were white chocolate raisins last time I saw them, sold in bags and sadly not in a snowman shaped dispenser)
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  #50  
Old 15 December 2011, 06:32 PM
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Those I haven't seen.
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  #51  
Old 17 December 2011, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
I've ordered both "The Windup Girl" and "The City and the City" for some winter reading.

"The Manual of Detection" (Jedediah Berry) is another book well worth reading.

I recently picked up Romanitas (Sophie McDougall) in Oxfam as the idea of the Roman empire transplanted into the modern day (with slavery and alternative tech) should be right up my street.
I liked 'The City and The City' but did not enjoy 'The Wind-Up Girl'. I felt like the latter had a lot of lingo that wasn't explained & therefore made it difficult to understand IMO.
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  #52  
Old 23 December 2011, 02:02 PM
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I just finished reading Amanda Foreman's new book A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War which has an extensive discussion of British immigrants in the Civil War, and slurs Irish Union volunteers.
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  #53  
Old 23 December 2011, 04:05 PM
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Having heard a dramatisation on Radio 4 a few weeks back I was contemplating getting House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski but was a bit dubious about paying 17.99 for it in case I decided the page layout and style was just annoying. Fortunately I found a copy for 1 in a charity shop. I haven't started reading it yet, but that one's on my list soon, after a couple of others I bought in the same splurge.
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  #54  
Old 23 December 2011, 04:38 PM
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Going back and reading for the first time... Oliver Twist.
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  #55  
Old 24 December 2011, 04:18 AM
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Finished Longitude and then whipped through 2 Marion Chesney (aka M. C. Beaton) Regency fluff novels. I think I will use some of these as mood lifters after any books that I find to be downers. Like Jo Walton’s Farthing, which is migrating to the top of my to-be-read queue. The premise behind Walton's alt-history Small Change series is that England negotiated “Peace with Honor” with Nazi Germany, the results of which can be nothing other than godawful depressing.

Yesterday, I also started and finished James McPherson’s Abraham Lincoln: A Presidential Life. It’s a good primer for Civil War newbies, less useful for me since I’d already known most of it from my intense reading diet of Civil War books back in junior high. Oh, well, it was extremely short (hence how I finished it in one day without any particular effort).

Still moving through Reamde at a slow and steady pace. The thriller parts I like, but the WoR (War of Realignment) strikes me as more than a little silly. It also doesn’t as yet relate back to the REAMDE creators, making it a sidetrack from the main plot.

Just started Robert McCammon’s The Wolf’s Hour.
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  #56  
Old 24 December 2011, 05:05 AM
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I really like Robert McCammon. The first I read was "A Boy's Life", then "They Thirst" many years ago. I recently got into the Matthew Corbett stories starting with "Sings the Nightbird." Now I await the fourth in that series from this way prolific writer.
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  #57  
Old 24 December 2011, 08:14 AM
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"Chocolate Wars" by Deborah Cadbury. It's mostly a history of the British Quaker families in the chocolate and confectionery trade right from the days of drinking cocoa to the takeover by Kraft. Quite a few other long-established names of choclatiers appear too - Lindt, Tobler, Nestle - with their role in developing modern eating chocolate.

Lots of names familiar from my childhood: Fry, Cadbury, Mackintosh, Rowntree, Terrys of York etc etc. Some only exist in limited form today. It also mentions the big banks founded by Quakers and the work of Joseph Rowntree in aiding those living in poverty (the Joseph Rowntree Foundation exists to this day to help disadvantaged familes). Incredibly industrious people who set up trade in accordance with their religious principles.
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  #58  
Old 24 December 2011, 02:48 PM
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I just finished The Wreck of the Grosvenor by William Clark Russell. It's a seagoing account of a mutiny, a sinking ship, and a last-minute rescue...but it really reads like one of those Christian romance novels, told from the man's point of view. I'd give it two stars: Glad I read it, wouldn't read it again.
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  #59  
Old 24 December 2011, 03:11 PM
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"In another Christmas story," ends the first chapter of Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel, "Dale Pearson, evil developer, self-absorbed woman hater, and seemingly unredeemable curmudgeon, might be visited in the night by a series of ghosts who, by showing him bleak visions of Christmas future, past, and present, would bring about in him a change to generosity, kindness, and a general warmth toward his fellow man. But," it concludes, "this is not that kind of Christmas story, so here, in not too many pages, someone is going to dispatch the miserable son of a bitch with a shovel."

Currently available for download from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere for a mere $3.99, including some preview chapters from Moore's upcoming novel Sacre Bleu. The Stupidest Angel is possibly not the best introduction to Moore's work, being the third book of his "Pine Cove" works, and prominently featuring a character who starred in another book of his. But, it is a Christmas story of sorts. And, hey, $3.99!

(Sorry if I sound like a shill for Moore, but I sort of am, though I am not getting paid for it. I just thing the man is a NFBSKing genius and have been trying to get more people to read anything of his, with very, very little success. Trust me, dang it!)
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  #60  
Old 24 December 2011, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
IMS, the Librarian is changed during the course of the book. The wizards are attempting a large spell (maybe saying all but one of the spells in the Octavio) which results in a giant ball of magic floating down through the University. It changes things as it passes, resulting in terrified kitchen staff (the knuckles, the knuckles) and changing the Librarian into a monkey.
My copy was sitting a few feet away, so I took a look.

It happened in the first few pages of the book.

Quote:
The room had been part of the library until the magic had drifted through, violently reassembling the possibility particles of everything in its path. So it was reasonable to assume that the small purple newts had been part of the floor and the pineapple custard may once have been some books. And several of the wizards later swore that the small sad orangutan sitting in the middle of it all looked very much like the head librarian.
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