logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Third-Industrial-Revolution
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-06-14 22:15
Two for One and I Went Crazy
The Industrial Revolution - Patrick N. Allitt
Cycles of American Political Thought - Joseph F. Kobylka
History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration - Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
The Mysterious Etruscans - Steven L. Tuck
Privacy, Property, and Free Speech: Law and the Constitution in the 21st Century - Jeffrey Rosen
An Economic History of the World since 1400 - Donald J. Harreld
Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know - Mark Berkson

The latest Audible sale is offering  2 for one credit on 250 of the Great Courses lectures and I went crazy. I spent every credit in my coffers. It will take me weeks to get through all that I bought because I will have to sprinkle some light-hearted romps in among the didactic discourse just to keep me going.

 

The banner should look a lot better once the cover art gets updated. (Thank you, Librarians).

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-08-29 18:25
Raising Steam (audiobook) by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs
Raising Steam - Stephen Briggs,Terry Pratchett

This is the third Discworld novel to feature Moist von Lipwig as a protagonist. I've listened to the first, Going Postal, many times and fully expected to love Raising Steam. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work for me.

In this book, the Discworld gets its first locomotives. Dick Simnel, a self-taught engineer, invents and improves the things, spending a great deal of time on his pride and joy, Iron Girder (while listening, I thought it was spelled Iron Gerda). Sir Harry King, looking for something more respectable to attach his name to than waste and sanitation, agrees to finance Dick's project, and Vetinari assigns Moist von Lipwig to the project as a government representative. Moist's charm and quick thinking come in handy as he struggles to get the land agreements necessary for the locomotive project to be successful. Meanwhile, Vetinari is adamant that the train must go to Überwald, and his timetable may be tighter than even Moist can handle. Dwarfish fundamentalists in Überwald and Ankh-Morpork add another level of difficulty.

Raising Steam was just as quotable as any other Discworld book, and, once again, Stephen Briggs' narration was fabulous. Unfortunately, I haven't yet read Thud! and Snuff, both of which I think might have provided the background for the tensions between the dwarves and trolls and the status of the goblins. Also, the steam locomotive stuff didn't interest me much, in part because I'm just not a train enthusiast, but also because Moist didn't really have much to do with any of it.

In Going Postal, Moist was the driving force behind the resurrection and improvement of the Ankh-Morpork postal service. I loved seeing him think on his feet. He constantly raised the stakes and acted far more confident about his chances for success than he really was. In Raising Steam, most of the nitty gritty details of the trains and railway were worked out by other people. Moist was primarily on the sidelines. He was an important character – his negotiation skills were vital – but he felt more like one small part of the whole than like the driving force behind all of it. I missed seeing him have a more prominent role, and Dick Simnel and the others just weren't interesting enough to me to make up for that.

Before I wrap things up: this was the first Discworld book that prompted me to wonder where the same-sex couples were in the series. There was a moment that made me think a couple characters were going to turn out to be a secret gay couple, which made me realize I couldn't recall any gay or lesbian couples in the series, so it was all the  more disappointing when my suspicions about those two characters turned out to not be correct. It didn't really affect how I felt about the book, but I did see it as a missed opportunity.

All in all, Raising Steam was disappointing but not necessarily bad. I think I liked it more than the Rincewind books, but less than most every other Discworld book I've read. However, I do plan on giving it another go after I've read Thud! and Snuff, just to see if that improves my opinion of it.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-03-24 17:06
Bellman and Black: A Ghost Story - Diane Setterfield
Bellman and Black: A Ghost Story - Diane Setterfield

As a novel about a Victorian man who makes his fortune by clever planning in business, I liked it okay. The book dealt kindly with aging and grief and the trauma of grief on a large scale. But I thought it was supposed to be a ghost story, so I kept waiting for that aspect, and kept being disappointed. Fundamentally, I suppose I just didn't get it. Wonderfully moody though.

 

Personal copy

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-01-05 17:10
The Truth - Terry Pratchett
The Truth - Terry Pratchett

April 3 2004
Jan 1 2012

Having read it twice, I feel like I should remember it better.

***

December 16, 2014

The Industrial Revolution series-within-a-series are all devoted to bringing the Discworld out of medieval European fantasy and into the modern world. This is the development of the printing press and newspapers. It is a romp on the theme of great newspaper romantic comedies, with the clever aristocratic publisher solving a mystery, dealing with politics, and getting the girl despite a certain romantic obliviousness. Lots of jokes about people wanting things published in the paper (pictures of amusing vegetables), jokes about feeding the press, and rather more serious issues dealt with lightly: integration, new technology, old boys.

Satisfying but somehow hard to distinguish in memory from the movies it riffs on.

Personal copy.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-12-03 22:01
Iron Man Vs. Dinosaur
Iron Man: Industrial Revolution - Fred Van Lente, Steve Kurth (Illustrator)

Given that a highlight of this volume is a round Iron Man vs. Dinosaur, this is surprisingly serious.   Schizophrenia?   Check.   Destitution?   Check?   Tony Stark in an interracial relationship?   Check.  

 

And this isn't just a fobbed off story about schizophrenia.   No, it's pretty heartbreaking because it's pretty honest and it doesn't end well or pretty.   And most of the time, that's the case with this meant illness. 

 

I'm going to keep this review short and sweet.   It's heartbreaking and it's a worthwhile read. 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?