Captain_Bravo

What's the last non-Trek book you've read?

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And again a classic and a modern novella from the series:

"Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators in The Mystery of the Moaning Cave" by William Arden. Another pretty cool classic. :)

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And modern novella #181: "Die drei ??? -- Das Kabinett des Zauberers" (="The Magician's Cabinet") by André Marx from 2015.

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Many modern novellas stray further away from the original formula of the classics, but not so this one. The story about a magician is very much in line with the kinds of ideas the classic novellas featured. And again, Marx showed his pretty good writing skills, IMO.

 

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"Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators in the Mystery of the Blazing Cliffs" by M. V. Carey -- another classic:

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Yay! UFOs! :laugh:

As usual in this series, the UFOs turn out to be fake in the end, a scam to rob a millionaire -- but it's pretty cool aliens play a role at all! I already loved this story as a kid, because of that.

Again, M. V. Carey shows that among the classic authors, she has a knack for weird Californian characters. This time, the "robber Barron" millionaire scared of government, anarchists and collapse of the financial system, with his wife in the UFO cult. Great stuff! :thumbup:

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Probably my last for a while, I finished up the second and final Volume of Fourth Doctor DWM strips. A few characters or minor plot points where hinted at in this Volume which came into play during the Fifth and Sixth Doctor's runs on the strip. There were enjoyable stories in here, but on the whole I think they were just finding their feet with the strip right before the Fifth Doctor took over. 

I think I need a break from the Magazine strips though. I was kinda slogging my way through these Fourth Doctor strips. I just wanted to wrap up his era. Someday maybe I will give the Seventh Doctor strips a go, but he was im the strip for a while (1987 right up to 1996), and I understand it is kind of a messy run, from its eary days while he was still on TV, to its messy continuity with the Virgin books, and eventually its anandoning that continuity in favor of starting fresh...so I am a little reluctant to dive into that right now. 

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currently reading zero G co written by William shatner and jeff rovin

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Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  Actually reading this books has been on my list for so damn long, finally getting to it feels very rewarding, and the fact that it is so well written and entertaining makes it all the better.  I was reading the Hobbit when they first started advertising the film versions of these books, and part of me was really into the idea of trying to read them before they came out...but it just didn't happen for whatever reason (it was, for me, middle school, and I both lacked the attention span and/or had other interests like music and girls I had no chance with).  But having loved the film versions and waiting so long, I am glad to have finally gotten to it...and it was so engaging I've barely done much else but breeze through the first book in a week or two.  I haven't watched much TV or movies, or even been on this board as much, because I've been too engaged in the book in my free time.  Cracking into The Two Towers tomorrow!

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Fellowship is an enjoyable one. Any favourite parts? I particularly like the stuff at the beginning with the party, and then the scenes in Bree. There's also the Council of Elrond, and the Moria segment...

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On 5/9/2017 at 6:50 PM, Explorer3 said:

Fellowship is an enjoyable one. Any favourite parts? I particularly like the stuff at the beginning with the party, and then the scenes in Bree. There's also the Council of Elrond, and the Moria segment...

I enjoyed the whole book, Bree is good stuff, and the Party is good solid character building. Moria is probably my favorite section of the book though. 

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Finished up "The Two Towers" a couple of days ago.  The second entry is very different in style, in that instead of following Frodo's perspective throughout, the first half follows everyone but Frodo and their adventures following the breaking of the Fellowship at the end of the previous book, and how they all continue on from there; with the second half picking up on Frodo and Sam's journeys and their dealings with Gollum/Smeagol.  Really good stuff, and I am already a few chapters into the final book.

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Took me long enough (busy month!) but I finally finished up the third and finale book of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy; "The Return of the King." Great conclusion to the epic, and very satisfying when I got to the end. I haven't read the Appendices yet, but will probably hold off and skim through them on a later date. 

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the last non trek book I read was cane and abe by james grippando.about a lawyer being a suspect as a series killer and the killer of his wife.

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Took a trip back into the world of the Doctor Who Magazine Comic strips, reading the first two volumes of the collected Seventh Doctor stories.  The first Volume,"A Cold Day in Hell" is, like all of Panini's Who collections, wonderfully put together and restored, but early on some of the stories in that volume didn't totally work for me.  The first story tries to wrap up the Sixth Doctor comic era by having a finale adventure for the Talking Penguin (a shape shifter who prefers to be a penguin) companion "Frobisher," but just continuity wise it just feels out of place with the Seventh Doctor...too many references to "since Peri left" which just doesn't fit my head canon as Peri left a long while before the Doctor became the Seventh.  They should've just started fresh...time has passed, there is a new Doctor, and if you are going to say goodbye to Frobisher anyhow?  Why shoehorn him into the start of a new Doctor's run.  But as the old guard from the Fifth/Sixth Doctor's run on the strip moved on and new blood took over, things got slightly better and felt fresh again, including a running gag in which the Doctor is always landing and immediately realizing he has not yet found his friend's birthday party, which he can't find. 

The second Volume "Nemesis of the Daleks" featured a renegade badass called "Abslom Daak" in the opening story (who appeared in a couple of one-off stories that didn't feature the Doctor in the 70s, that also appear in this reprint), who is a Dalek killer with a chainsaw sword. And the stories are mostly pretty good in this set, though a good chunk of them didn't actually originate in Doctor Who Magazine, but were featured in a short lived Marvel UK publication called "The Incredible Hulk Presents," and as such they are a bit shorter than the usual DWM story.  I enjoyed most of this book though...good old fashioned Doctor Who.  And while, so far, the Seventh Doctor's run isn't as strong and consistent as the Fifth and Sixth, or even the early days of the Fourth, it is still solid enough to be considered canon for me. 

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Bought Jeffrey Kluger's new book on Apollo 8, but I'm saving it for Comic Con, because often times I wind up needing entertainment in the hotel after I come back to crash and rest my arthritic bones...:laugh:

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Read the Third Volume of the collected Seventh Doctor comic strips from Doctor Who Magazine, titled "The Good Soldier."  This was the strongest collection so far, actually felt like a collection of stories that worked together, as opposed to just a variety of random stories (the first set seemingly taking a bit of time before finding a groove with the Seventh Doctor, the second being one great opening story, followed by a bunch of one-offs that appeared in a different short lived Marvel publication).  In this set, we start off from the moment Ace joined the strip, and the opening and closing stories of the volume are written by the head writer/script editor of the McCoy era, Andrew Cartmel, with a great big story in the middle called "The Mark of Mandragora" which has two lead-in one-offs as well.  All around a good set, stronger stories, a more cohesive tone, and Ace!  At least of r this set, it felt the most like the Seventh Doctor's run on TV, which makes sense as the stories in this began about the same time that a new season of Doctor Who might have started, but (of course) did not.  A good collection!

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I've been reading a lot about Buddhism in the past days. It's one of the major world religions I've so far not known much about.

I've been reading in two introduction works, "Buddhismus" by Hans Wolfgang Schumann which is more popular, and "Einführung in den Buddhismus" (="Introduction to Buddhism") by Michael von Brück, which is more of an academic work. To find a Baha'i approach, I consulted "Buddhism and the Baha'i Faith" by Moojan Momen.

And I read some translations of Buddhist scriptures, mainly from the Pali Canon, from the Pitaka of teachings, mostly German translations by Karl Eugen Neumann. And "Udanavarga", a Tibetan text that isn't part of the Pali Canon, but shows some similarities to the "Dhammapada", translated by Michael Hahn.

 

So far, it has been most enlightening. I imagine that Buddhism is more easily accessible for Western atheists than, say, the monotheist religions, because you can as well see Buddhism as just a philosophy -- if you leave aside all the metaphysical embellishments around the core teachings. The practize of meditation has even been scientifically proven to work, so supporters of Buddhism never get tired of emphasizing how Buddhist teachings are absolutely compatible with modern science.

As I've mostly focused on the core teachings of the perhaps oldest Buddhist school, Theravada, which -- perhaps -- contains the most original teachings and least later additions and influences from other sources (compared to Eastern Vajnarana, Tantrism and Mahayana), I'm indeed surprised how thoroughly rational, intellectually challenging and coherent the teachings are (as far as I've been able to comprehend them so far), so much it makes sense to look at it as a scientific attempt to categorize and lay out a theory about the inner workings of human perception.

 

For me personally, it's also an intellectual challenge to bring Buddhist teachings in coherence with Baha'i teachings, to increase spiritual growth (hopefully :giggle: ): Although the Baha'i religion stands in the tradition of Abrahamitic monotheism (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and uses many similar terms and concepts, the Baha'i teachings explicitly acknowledge Buddha as a "Manifestation of God" alongside Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and Baha'u'llah; in fact, you cannot embrace the Baha'i Faith, without at the same time accepting the authority of the other Manifestations, including Buddha.

But how do you reconcile a faith/philosophy, that explicitly denies the existence of a soul, refuses to make statements about God and has a particular idea about reincarnation (though not of the self or soul, but of certain attributes) with monotheist conceptions? However, if you believe in Baha'u'llah's teachings and Baha'i theology, you have to.

I've got quite a few ideas about that, and insights which have been most enlightening to me, but I assume nobody here is particularly interested in them, so I won't bother writing them all down. :laugh: (If you're curious, just ask!)

Just so much: A major teaching in the Baha'i Faith is about the importance of detachment from material, worldly matters on the path of salvation; Buddhism obviously is much more detailed on the "how" of achieving that, which is of huge benefit for my Baha'i interests. Also, the practize of meditation (I've started meditating a week ago, mostly mindfulness exercizes inspired by Buddhism), which is explicitly demanded in the Baha'i Faith, has yielded interesting effects on me already.

 

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Bill Nye's "Everything All At Once."   

Bought it last week; started leafing through it.  Not going to get too into it right now, because there are a few other books I plan on buying (and immediately reading) at Comic Con next week.  But so far, it's typically Bill Nye; autobiographical, with some nicely pre-chewed science and frank philosophizing, delivered in an acerbic-yet-optimistic way.  

Sometime after Comic Con (and after I have time to finish Jeff Kluger's "Apollo 8") I want to go back and finish this one.

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