Author Topic: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club  (Read 79602 times)

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Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #810 on: March 01, 2018, 01:31:33 PM »
I think I've mentioned this book here before, I thought it was a kick.  I almost never read books twice, but this one I did, just to catch all the pop culture details.  As much as I loved it, I was surprised it's been such a hit, thinking it would only click with a niche audience of nerdy gamer types raised in the 80's, such as myself. 

I saw the trailers for the movie, and sadly I am not optimistic - it looks quite removed from the spirit and content of the book.  I watched with that wtf feeling book lovers often get at such moments.  I suspect much has been changed both to give it wider appeal and also due to legal issues with rights for all the referenced movies/shows/games/music etc.

Sorry I didn't see your earlier post before writing this.  Yes. The '80s are our "good old days" though for me the '90s even more so. The 90's  8) .....  But I digress

"I saw the trailers for the movie, and sadly I am not optimistic ..." Exactly why I wanted to read it first. Like The Martian and World War Z . Even the Harry Potter books (oops, did I type that one out loud?). And reading is a whole different level of immersion.  I remember walking into the first LOTR movie thinking, Please don't screw this up .... please don't screw this up

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #811 on: March 01, 2018, 01:33:18 PM »
Sorry I didn't see your earlier post before writing this.  Yes. The '80s are our "good old days" though for me the '90s even more so. The 90's  8) .....  But I digress

"I saw the trailers for the movie, and sadly I am not optimistic ..." Exactly why I wanted to read it first. Like The Martian and World War Z . Even the Harry Potter books (oops, did I type that one out loud?). And reading is a whole different level of immersion.  I remember walking into the first LOTR movie thinking, Please don't screw this up .... please don't screw this up

He's going to screw it up.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #812 on: March 01, 2018, 01:35:05 PM »

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #813 on: March 01, 2018, 06:56:05 PM »
Well I can't blame Spielberg, but Hollywood did screw up the Hitchhiker's Guide, Ender's Game, and the Dark Tower.  And I never did get over what they did to poor Conan. 

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #814 on: March 12, 2018, 04:35:01 PM »


Vanguard to Venus is (as if you couldn't tell by the above book cover) a science fiction novel written in 1957 by one Jeffery Lloyd Castle, an English chap I'm assuming, because the story starts off in England.  The time frame for the story is vague, kind of like 'sometime in the future when things like advanced space travel are possible.'  And this is what I like about science fiction written in the forties and fifties, I am eager to see how close the authors come to forecasting the future.  In this case, while visualizing a grand, ala 2001 A Space Odyssey orbiting space station (or rather a space port) Mr. Castle falls short in a number of instances.  For example, people aren't using smart phones yet.  FAIL!

So the main character, a space explorer named Chisholm is newly arrived on Earth after being part of a group that journeyed to Mars (described in the book as being 'lifeless...case closed') and he's driving along an English road when a saucer mysteriously appears and a man and a woman get out.  Traffic stops and everyone is looking at them, so they climb back in the saucer and zip away real quick.  Chisholm drives over to space headquarters and reports the sighting to a superior.  Instead of calling Chisholm a nut, the head honcho fills the spaceman in on all the goings on regarding the saucer.  Turns out, they think the saucer is from Venus, and this on the eve of a planned mission that would be journeying to the second planet in the near future.  Chisholm is intrigued and volunteers to be part of the crew that will be going there.  He is almost turned down because "Geez Dude, you just got back from Mars!" but they relent and let him join the expedition.

The story pretty much takes off from there.  A lot of pages are used in describing the preparations for the trip.  A rocket takes off from Earth, carrying crew and supplies.  It docks at a humongous space station where the main (think USS Enterprise size) space vehicle is parked, ready to take the crew to Venus. 

The giant rocket ship takes off and heads for Venus, and still more pages are dedicated in describing the journey. Lots of scientific jargon is described here regarding propulsion, etc. but I can't vouch for the believability of it because I'm no rocket scientist, but it does seem a bit far fetched to my nonscientific brain.  I think the journey took five months, yet most of the crew are frozen to cut down on intake of supplies, etc.  Earth radio-controls the giant craft until it comes midway to Venus, from then on the space voyagers are on their own.  (Interesting to note, there is no communicating between the expedition and Earth.)  Some strange goings on occur during the trip, for instance the flying saucer re-appears and a whole side note of plot takes place before the spaceship makes it's way to Venus. 

So how do the space explorers get down to the surface of Venus?  Well, how else...they climb into a big, rocket propelled ship that glides down to the surface.  They skid-land onto a giant, sandy island of sorts and they immediately set about in using the glider's parts to assemble a rocket that will take them back to the orbiting mother ship.  In the mean time, a group of spacemen (Chisholm included) are chosen to climb into a hovercraft of sorts (called a Veetol) and they leave the island in order to make a more detailed exploration of the planet.  Everything comes to a climax after the Veetol lands at a Venusian palace.  Yes, there are living Venusians, and I don't think I'm giving anything away by revealing that they originally came from Planet Earth, ancient Egypt to be more precise.

As we all know now, there can be no life on Venus because it is one mega-hot planet.  Its surface temperature is believed to be hot enough to melt lead, but hey, you really can't blame an author from the 1950's for trying to make the place more habitable.       

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #815 on: March 12, 2018, 07:52:45 PM »
Have not read yet but got Jules Verne's Magellania which apparently was released by his son originally, who drastically rewrote and changed it, but a "lost copy" was found in 1977 and translated and released.
Haven't read yet so no review but noticed weirdness on Amazon?
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/138-9470955-5538204?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=magellania
MagellaniaFeb 28, 2002Unknown Binding$1,500.00(1 used & new offers)

Jules Verne's Magellania2002by Dumas, Olivier & Ivry, BenjaminHardcover$30.71(7 used & new offers)

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #816 on: March 12, 2018, 08:50:03 PM »
Reading a rather dark cyber-thriller called Daemon by Daniel Suarez.  Btw warning, it has some graphic sex & violence.  Anyway it's got alot of techie jargon, but also filled with action and intrigue.  Some of it actually seems plausible which is rather worrisome.  It's the kind of book that could be a Netflix/Amazon tv series someday.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #817 on: March 17, 2018, 03:28:26 AM »
Reading a rather dark cyber-thriller called Daemon by Daniel Suarez.  Btw warning, it has some graphic sex & violence.  Anyway it's got alot of techie jargon, but also filled with action and intrigue.  Some of it actually seems plausible which is rather worrisome.  It's the kind of book that could be a Netflix/Amazon tv series someday.

The violence won't bother me.  It will just make me hungry.  the sex?  It'll make me, um, hungry.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #818 on: March 25, 2018, 03:44:25 AM »
I've  read three of Maarten  Troost's books in the last three days. Travel writer? I'm  not sure he would even call himself that.  It's  somewhat gonzo.  Like Hunter S Thompson  meets Bill Bryson. Some of his descriptions  are pure poetry, but then he falls into a shell of kava and it's a hilarious blur.
Headhunters on my doorstep
Getting stoned with savages
The sex lives of cannibals
Lost on planet china
I'm sure there are typos but I'm baked so,  back to my book now.. Cheerio.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #819 on: April 25, 2018, 11:16:29 PM »
I just finished The Hate U Give by Angie Thompson, now reading The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #820 on: May 12, 2018, 09:00:57 PM »


This book is full of short chapters on everything, well, strange.  Lots of territory covered here.  Things like the Loch Ness Monster, ghosts, the Abominable Snowman, a guy that was swallowed by a whale and survived, dreams that came true, ice falling from the sky, fish falling from the sky, a comet falling from the sky, (Tunguska) Napoleon's strange death, signals from space, disappearing armies, a disappearing farmer, (yeah, right in the middle of his field, 'poof' and he was gone) manmade structures on the moon and a cursed car, just to mention a couple.  There are 74 topics in all and each subject is given two and a half pages of coverage, thus, nothing is covered in a comprehensive way but still it's fun to read the short accounts of the strange things.  I had heard of most of these subjects, but there were several, like the disappearing farmer and a super smart dolphin that guided ships through a narrow inlet, that I had never read about before.  I was surprised to note that most of these strange subjects took place back in the seventeenth century.



Frank Edwards, the book's author, made a living off books like this.  I think there were a couple more, in fact I've got a signed copy of his book called Strange World.  Frank was born in 1908 and like Art Bell, got into radio at an early age.  He had a full career in radio and had his own show for a number of years.  He did television too.  I remember seeing him on Art Linkletter's House Party a couple of times.  Frank covered the UFO phenomena that cropped up when pilot Kenneth Arnold spotted some flying saucers back in 1947.  His best selling book was titled Flying Saucers - Serious Business, and come to think of it, he was probably hawking the book on Linkletter's show.  Edwards didn't live all that long, I think he was only 59 when he passed.  As a matter of fact, he died in the last couple minutes of June 23, 1967.  If he had lived just a few minutes longer he would have died on June 24, 1967, the twentieth anniversary of Arnold seeing the saucers.           

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #821 on: May 13, 2018, 12:45:26 PM »
When I was in college, my adviser was Jack Williamson who was a long time faculty member at a small southwestern college and Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction writer.  I am re-reading his last book (2005)  "The Stonehenge Gate"  which features some of the other college faculty (Chemistry, Archaeology) as characters ( under different names, of course but still recognized by character traits and habits)  I am also reading the Landmark Julius Caesar by Raaflaub and Strassler--fascinating.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #822 on: May 13, 2018, 09:48:11 PM »
I recently finished The Manchurian Candidate, and was surprised to learn that commentary on the book & movie each treat Jocie as guileless in wearing her Q of Diamonds costume.  That doesn't seem to fit the style of Richard Condon.  Any idea why that seems to be the prevalent interpret'n?  1st thing I thought of was, who tipped her?  Then I started to wonder whether she was actually in it deeper than the Reds!  From her 1st magical appearance in the book to treat Ray Shaw's snake bite, it looks like too much of a setup to have been a coincidence.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #823 on: May 14, 2018, 08:37:01 AM »
No ideas on that one, but the (1962) movie with Angela Landsbury was memorable--she must be the only surviving cast member.

Bill from Madison
« Reply #824 on: May 16, 2018, 12:23:19 PM »
So I'm reading a book about the Appalachian types who used to live around here, interestingly now some of the most expensive real estate area. They sort of were hillbillies and their family graveyards and some of the cabins are still around. "The Cedar Choppers: Life On The Edge Of Nothing," by Ken Roberts. And one of Bill from Madison's theories (you know the frequent caller about Finno-Urgic stuff) is mentioned!  :o
https://www.amazon.com/Cedar-Choppers-Nothing-sponsored-University-Commerce-ebook/dp/B07C52PTVZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526491258&sr=8-1&keywords=the+cedar+choppers+life+on+the+edge+of+nothing&dpID=517cpC4P-fL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch