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Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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dustydigger
Posted 2024-01-13 10:36 AM (#29237)
Subject: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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At last! Here we are again with this challenge with very few restrictions. As long as the book on in the WWEnd data bases,its book lists,enjoy reading it.
This year I will be as relaxed as possible. Old WWEnders may know my husband had a stroke 8 weeks ago,and has been left with serious speech difficulties and also some of his cognitive functions are impaired too. He is in mid 80s,so things may have severe impacts. I love my WWEnd booklists and the whole WWEnd experience,but with all the extra tasks and duties involved,the days of reading loads of titles may be in the past,and I cant see me tackling huge tomes at the moment(hey,there's always a silver lining. I just cant bring myself to buckle down to Stephenson's Anathem at the best of times,now I have an excuse not to do it)
I will aim for 40 titles this year instead of 80,and for stress busting I may focus on old favourites,rereads,comfort reads and the like.
The last two years were ones of poor health for myself,and I certainly neglected this challenge. Lets hope that I can be more diligent this year. I am always so grateful that the thread gets a lot of visitors. Thank you. And anyone is very welcome to come on and comment on books I read,even if not doing the challenge. If you are doing,dont leave me like a lone voice crying in the wilderness. Come and join me.
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daxxh
Posted 2024-01-13 2:31 PM (#29239 - in reply to #29237)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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Yay! Glad to see this challenge back. I have a lot of books that don't fit any challenge that I have joined. This is also a good place for those spur of the moment books that someone recommends that I have to go get and read immediately. I am not sure I will get to read as much this year as I no longer have the long commute to listen to audiobooks. I won't miss that!
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dustydigger
Posted 2024-01-13 3:28 PM (#29240 - in reply to #29237)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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I enjoyed my reunion with old friend Podkayne,the eponymous heroine of Robert Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars
Poddy is an intelligent young woman who is going on an interstellar trip with her precocious 11 yr old genius brother and her diplomatic ambassador uncle to a intergalactic conference. But certain people are determined to stop Uncle Tom getting there by hook or crook or blowing up the ship. Lots of typical Heinlein humour,characters you are amused by ,nonstop action,and an underlying satiric tone that is way darker than the juvenile novels of a decade earlier. Fast and fun.RAH is usually an interesting fast paced read,but I wish the feminist brigade who continually attack him as an authoritarian a sexist,a mysogynist etc etc etc would give it a rest. Why read books written 60 years ago and complain that your cultural mindset of the 2020s is not represented there?.What will the audience of 40 years time make of 2020s books? Not much,I imagine. lol.
I am soon going to do a reread,about the 5th time I think,of Mansfield Park. To readers of her times,Fanny Price is a fantastic awesome heroine. High principles,gentle and sensitive. Now people ridicule her,call her stuffy smug,prim etc etc. Its almost unbelievable how she has been downgraded. True,great books often have universal themes,can transcend their times to some extent,but we still have realize books primarily are of their time,we need to be forgiving.
As far as I am concerned RAH is a very enjoyable author. Some of his quirks look a little oldfahioned today,but he can still tell a rattling good story appropriate to his intended audience. That is what I turn to him for.
Anyway,I enjoyed the book,and I still find RAH an excellent author today Judge him by his writing,pace,character work,plotting, humour etc and he still scores highly.
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Acknud
Posted 2024-01-14 9:12 AM (#29242 - in reply to #29237)
Subject: RE: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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dustydigger - 2024-01-13 10:36 AM


I will aim for 40 titles this year instead of 80,and for stress busting I may focus on old favourites,rereads,comfort reads and the like.
The last two years were ones of poor health for myself,and I certainly neglected this challenge. Lets hope that I can be more diligent this year. I am always so grateful that the thread gets a lot of visitors. Thank you. And anyone is very welcome to come on and comment on books I read,even if not doing the challenge. If you are doing,dont leave me like a lone voice crying in the wilderness. Come and join me.


Best of luck in your reading endeavors. Reading is for enjoyment, you shouldn't stress over it. I wish you and your husband good health for the remainder of 2024.
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dustydigger
Posted 2024-01-15 1:48 PM (#29254 - in reply to #29242)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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Many thanks for your kind regards,Acknud. Yeah,I intened this year to be quite relaxed on the reading front.
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dustydigger
Posted 2024-01-15 2:14 PM (#29255 - in reply to #29237)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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Philip Latham's exciting juvenile novel Five Against Venus was one of the better of the Winston Classic series.A small family on their way to a new job on the Moon are abandoned on board their ship by the crew who are intending to steal a prototype weapon. They crashland and have a pretty hard time,nothing like most Robisonade tales which are usually lighter fun.. There are nasty bat like aliens and several quite strong suspense scenes.All in all a nice addition to the series,where every time it is a young brave teenager who heroically risks all in fraught conditions.
Actually Latham was a pen name for Dr Robert Richardson,an esteemed professor of astronomy,who was involved in being an expert consultant on such films as Destination Moon. Charming and enjoyable full of an innocence that is a delightful component of the series.
Written right at the end of the time authors could at least speculate that Venus was an exciting world setting for SF. In 1962 the first fly past of Venus occurred,and after that dear old Planet and Sword stories of the Barsoom sort were no longer plausible.
A staple strand of SF became sadly obsolete.No more Barsoom,or Carter of Venus,no more Malecandra or Perelandra.In the future such tales would have to take place in a galaxy far away........
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dustydigger
Posted 2024-02-01 1:32 PM (#29323 - in reply to #29237)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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Lester Del Rey's Attack from Atlantis was also off the Winston SF list here on WWEnd,but a much blander mediocre work. about an experimental nuclear submarine which is captured by descendants of Atlantis who have developed a civilisation deep beneath the sea. Once again we have a brave,decent young 17 yr old boy as hero,but I found it rather ho-hum,it took me many times picking up and putting down to finish the 200 pages.
Del Rey is a rather commonplace writer,but he does respect his young SF magazine audience,explains scientific ideas,and always brings up ethical and moral points in a suitable way for the young aspiring scientists who read the pulp magazines. I often smile to myself as I imagine those earnest young would be scientists. I'm sure they were really irritated by the garish wildly inappropriate covers with the Bug eyed monsters. At least the Winston covers were a little more restrained and sensible! lol
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dustydigger
Posted 2024-02-02 4:20 AM (#29326 - in reply to #29323)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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Lucius Shepard's The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaulle was a Hugo,Nebula and World Fantasy Award nominated novella in 1985
The mountain-sized sleeping Dragon Griaule overshadows a nearby town with its overpowering presence. Desperate to overthrow its malignant influence without alerting the dragon to their intent, the town hires a painter who promises to cover the dragon's beautiful scales in a poisonous paint which will kill it once and for all.
Griaulle is huge,literally mountain size. Even its eye is 70 feet long.,and it inexorably grows,no longer able to fly with vegetation covering most of it,but it mentally dominates the town below.The story is beautifully written and intriguing. I will look out for more stories by this author.
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dustydigger
Posted 2024-02-12 6:11 AM (#29368 - in reply to #29237)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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Completed Clifford D Simak They Walked Like Men a story of alien invasion . A bit of an oddity,not top rank,but even in lesser Simak there is always so much good stuff. Typical sympathetic hero,tough but sensitive.Lovely descriptions of nature of course,the love for the natural world shines through. A warmth and care for his well written characters,but a sad despairing for the race as a whole.The first half of the book is sharp and engrossing,tense and mysterious,but once we have learned about the aliens,the book tails off badly IMO,and the plot becomes silly,or is it meant to be satiric,its difficult to tell. Too much philosophical musings,an unlikely set of aliens, dull ending.
Still despite all the faults it is Simak,so its a charming pleasant read on a windswept rainy winters day when cosy indoors.
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dustydigger
Posted 2024-05-01 3:46 AM (#29525 - in reply to #29237)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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I have been able to add titles to my Pick N Mix challenge these last few months as I have battled constant ill health as my stupid crazy auto immune systen continually attacked my body. One outbreak would ease off,another would take its place. I seem to have mostly weathered the storm,probably because almost every part of my body underwent an onslaught,there's nowhere left to torture! lol.
New month,spring in the air,cautious optimism for an improvement,so I hope to get back to my challenge. Always I have done the full ''sweet shop'',80 books,but I will have to be diligent to even get to 40 this year..
I am behind adding comments of the books finished,so bear with me as I try to catch up.I'll try to bring my list up to date the next few days.
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Emil
Posted 2024-06-24 1:20 AM (#29994 - in reply to #29525)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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I have the same issue although it does not sound nearly as bad as yours. However, I did spend the weekend in bed and finished Armour finally. Brilliant first half of the book. The next mediocre at best. Wishing you all the best.
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dustydigger
Posted 2024-06-28 11:11 AM (#30006 - in reply to #29994)
Subject: Re: Pick & Mix challenge 2024
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Hey Emil,fantastic to hear from you.Remember way back,a decade ago now I suppose,when the old gang used to post frequently.Later many of them became Uber Users,adding a torrent of books to the library. Dave and Galleyangels seem to ever busy at the moment adding books for members. Over 40,000 books now listed,amazing.
Are you still heavily involved with the farm? I know you often felt sorry that some of your reading time got curtailed.
Hope everything is going well,and thanks for your kind regards.
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