What're you readin'


I started up Claudius the God a few days back. I’m not traditionally a particularly big fan of ancient Rome but for whatever reason I find these Robert Graves books rather gripping.


Anyone have any suggestions for audio books? Apparently I’m subscribed to Audible and have credits for 6 books which I want to blow before unsubscribing. But I don’t know anything about audio books. I’ve been browsing through the thread but anytime something piques my interest I feel like I’d just want to read the book instead.


Yesterday I was telling my gf about the Three Body Problem trilogy and when I described the character of Luo Ji I realized that these books sounded like cliche misogynist sci-fi trash.

I mean… The protagonist of book 2 spends many, many hours imagining up his dream woman and then becomes so obsessed with her that he spends his life imagining she’s with him. Then the governments of the world make him one of the most powerful men in the world and he uses his newfound resources to have the girl who looks most like his imagined dream girl delivered to him, and they fall in love.

Damn, that shit is embarassing! And I kind of liked those books!



That’s always a bad sign.


Yeah I mean that was immediately embarrassing and bad. As I said somewhere earlier upthread, Liu has what borders on contempt for characterization and human drama. He only cares about the ideas.


I finished Lazarillo de Tormes, and have started reading Don Quixote.


are you reading them in translation?


Yeah. I’m reading English translations I got from Project Gutenberg.
Maybe someday I’ll go back and read them in Spanish, but I’ll need to learn Spanish first.


Just finished the second volume of 20th Century Boys. Really looking forward to the 3rd volume of the perfect edition in March.


Running the audiobook of Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror at work. There’s a bit where she goes through all the early 14th century complaints about scandalous clergy clothing decisions that remain extant and it includes canons in v. short tunics. Was disappointed that it did not specifically cite the complaint I have previously read from Angry English Monk re: short tunics on men, which is that they showed off men’s tight butts way too much and could lead to lascivious thoughts re: butts and from there to the basest butt sins.

I guess Barbara is one of those restrained historians that don’t explore all the butt avenues? maybe that’s why she won the Pultizer? idk


how tight are medieval pants? or, how stretchy are they?


Medieval hosen is quite close fitting/tight




I can picture the pictures I’ve seen, I just don’t grasp what the material feels like. Is it a stiff fabric that’s tight because it’s tailored, how pliable is it…?


It is tight through careful construction. Hosen was traditionally made from very fine lambswool

Hosen were often lined with a baggier linen layer, kind of like a pair of linen boxers sewn into the hose directly.

They were held up by points tied to the doublet, as can be seen in shrugs picture


I just read Blood Meridian in one sitting. I really enjoyed the vocabulary and language, but I was disappointed that the left-field brutality seemed to dry to a trickle after the first couple of hellishnesses. The absolute best and most affecting scenes of violence for me are the ones where we don’t even see it happen, just the bizarre aftermath that lets us piece together what horrible things happened. Certain aspects of the abstract antagonism dissatisfied me while others were impressive. I like the ambiguous ending, but I wish the theme of “dancing” had been alluded to more often than once (when Tobin is talking about the Judge’s many skills) for how crucial it seems to be to the final philosophical debate At the same time I liked how Holden would make really petty, cruel points with nonsensical, poor faith arguments in such enormously elaborate and grammatically complex, articulate speech, tempting the reader to puzzle them out and see whether he’s lying this time. Some wilderness adventures felt like they were there to justify snappy landscape descriptions that wouldn’t fit elsewhere. It certainly feels like a book with a lot of hidden connections to make, so I’ll definitely come back and read it again.


So maybe like a fine wool scarf tailored around my legs, with a liner? I can see that.

Thanks you two.


about to read the mechanical bride but alsp today i learned that people actually read light novels


Re-reading Doyle’s SH stories for the first time since I was in grade school. Surprisingly tight reads for the era, and with a remarkable amount of emotional intelligence. Which is something the detective procedurals that have cribbed from Doyle for over a century rarely have. Female characters are badly treated in general, which is irksome if not unexpected.

I have also come to the conclusion that none of the thousand screen adaptations have ever done the source material justice


I got a library card! I can get free e-books now! It rules.

I read about 45 pages of The Unwomanly Face of War. A woman interviewed women about their experiences in WW2 as soldiers, nurses, snipers, etc. Here’s what I wrote in my media diary:

I don't know how people read stuff like this. A catalogue of misery, hopelessnes, human folly, disaster…there's also love and some joy and humor and strength but good god, the other stuff is so overwhelming. I quit about 45 pages in and returned it.

It sent me into a depression for about 3 days, so no thanks.

I read Artemis, it’s by the guy who wrote the Martian.

A story about a terrorist group working for a corrupt government official to oust the mafia that same government official allowed to flourish, thereby helping a billionaire’s daughter profit even more. Also they’re on the moon. They blow up an aluminum processing plant and nearly kill every single person on the moon. Somehow it’s a heist comedy. Capitalism saves the day! It’s fine I guess

This book was compelling reading in the same way that a slot machine is compelling gaming. The lead was charming enough…but a little too charming?? like on the nose. At least she was very profane. I can’t emphasize enough how capitalistic the book is. Any other author would have written it as a dystopic hellscape but apparently living in terrible conditions on the moon while the rich get anything they want is fun and lighthearted.

Gonna read some PKD to cleanse my palate after that twee shit.