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Hertzian56
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I was adding a books thread here, anything about books really, which ones you like, are reading etc Links to ones if you like, tons of free ebooks on gutenberg, archive.org and all over the internet etc, reviews, etc etc wide open. I have a handful of physical ones now, used to have a sizable store on scamazon and had a large collection myself but moving and mobility made me discard most of them and just keep to special and rare ones in my physical library. I've had an old 7" Samsung Tab 3 for reading ebooks only for years, thousands of books in epub, pdf, txt etc forms. All on a 32gb microsd. I use Moon+ reader app.

 

I just finished the original Dracula last night from a gutenberg epub and since I also have watched the so called "bram stokers dracula" by the coppolamafia I just wanted to mention the messages they added in that are not in the book at all. Stoker, if still alive, would probably sue them for putting his name on it and it's a blatant fraud to do so. Similar to what is presented as history by paid for experts.

 

First of all Mina is NOT some reincarnated lost love of Dracula as shown in the movie, dracula does NOT get the way he is by the cursing and renouncing as shown in the first 5mins of the movie, it's not clear how he got that way in the book but that he comes from a long line of invaders guerilla warfare and is somehow connected to Atilla the Hun ancestry. So there is no link to fighting Muslim invaders, Mongol invaders and such shown in the movies prologue. I don't think Dracula was ever Christian to begin with nor his ancestors so the crusader stuff is falsehood. There is never any romance sequences in London between Mina and Dracula etc

 

In the book Mina describes Dracula as a criminal with a criminals childlike materialistic mind and slave of habit/pavlovian, as does Van Helsing in his memos. Dracula is never presented as the tragic figure as in the movie who is some good guy underneath. There is no final battle other than the chase to beat Dracula to his stronghold castle in the remaining native coffin of earth from TRANS-sylvania, they catch him and dispatch him. And there is other stuff that Van Helsing does at the castle before then that would prevent Dracula from triumphing anyways. Mina is just bitten by Dracula and is slowly turning into one of his slaves but Van Helsing and the others have ways of delaying it until they dispatch Dracula, freeing the ones that are in process of turning and have not died yet. In the so called "host" cut of the movie(another subtle insult) reincarnated Mina and her love go into the castle and you see the end with some priests absolving or something. I think the release version just showed the final actions by reincarnated Mina to dispatch her love etc. Renfield is NOT a former employee that previously went to Draculas castle for the same business that Jonathan did in the book, the movie puts that in and really it makes some sense to do so otherwise how does Renfield have a specific link to Dracula? Idk maybe I missed that, I admit the long winded expositions got pretty tedious so I did skim a bit.

 

The early part with Jonathan in Draculas castle is the best part of the book and really of the movie but much better in the book, very suspenseful and more complete for obvious reasons.

 

The book is over long and gets a bit too ponderous with expositions all over, similar to frankenstein which I also recently read. Seems to be a problem with romantic era literature what we'd call monster classics now. I liked the movie don't get me wrong and there is a lot of dialogue and other things true to the book but there is almost as much added on stuff to serve other purposes.

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Just bought a brief history of time by stephen hawking. I hope its as good as they say. has diagrams which will help with understanding, with only a grade 12 level education/

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Yeah not everyone's into reading that much, my dad barely does despite being a professional in his field he doesn't read much outside of that, maybe newspaper and internet though that does count of course but not quite the same as enjoying it and making time for it exclusively. The modern popular style of writing being pretty open and plain kinda makes it a bit hard to read some old stuff. Victor Hugo does get pretty fanciful and annoying like the rest of the romantics/encyclopediasts etc I find St Augustine still crystal clear to this day, and he wrote 1600 years ago. Anyways hope you enjoy the book!

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oh and before I forget I was researching the hbp thing since I had some high readings but feel fine. Dr Rogers has a whole book about it called The Blood Pressure Hoax and another one called The Cholesterol Hoax. I have not got either among her other works but found this interesting blog post about the hbp thing. https://louisaenright.com/tag/the-high-blood-pressure-hoax/

 

This blogger quotes some others that say 120/80=1.5 a ratio which rings more accurate to my engineering background than absolutes. One of them says that if your ratio is 1.5 that you're fine but if the absolute numbers are higher you're dehydrated which definitely does raise your heart rate among other effects. So drink more water, make sure you're in a relaxed state, no coffee, meds etc or food within a couple hours at least THEN take your readings. She also has some info on magnesium deficiency being key to some as well.

 

I saw a huge difference taking it in a quiet room in the morning Vs. at the store or with the tv going talking to people having eaten within 2 hrs and coffee within then too, HUGE. BPM was also way lower, mid/low normal. Some people get nervous during Dr visits and thus get warning or more levels, not accurate.

 

So take it in the morning before anything or before bed, rest of it's usually not accurate. The meds they give you make it worse not better but they're profitable no doubt. Borderline/high normal used to be 140/90 but about 6 years ago the ptb lowered it to 120/80 and borderline 130/90, millions more meds sold. The high readings I got had a 1.5 ratio or lower usually btw but higher heart rate duh.

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5 hours ago, ryan said:

Just bought a brief history of time by stephen hawking. I hope its as good as they say. has diagrams which will help with understanding, with only a grade 12 level education/

I'll be curious to hear what you think of it.  I haven't read it yet, but I'm curious how approachable it is for the average person.  Is it a book that people can read and follow and gain insight from, or is it a book that you read 10 pages of and display it on your bookshelf as a conversation piece that makes you appear well-read?

 

2 hours ago, Hertzian56 said:

Yeah not everyone's into reading that much, my dad barely does despite being a professional in his field he doesn't read much outside of that, maybe newspaper and internet though that does count of course but not quite the same as enjoying it and making time for it exclusively. The modern popular style of writing being pretty open and plain kinda makes it a bit hard to read some old stuff. Victor Hugo does get pretty fanciful and annoying like the rest of the romantics/encyclopediasts etc I find St Augustine still crystal clear to this day, and he wrote 1600 years ago. Anyways hope you enjoy the book!

Augustine of Hippo... IIRC, one of our required readings in college was Augustine's Confessions, or part of it at least.  I still to this day remember how every other sentence he invoked the deity, and while I am sure it was well-intentioned as a display of his piety, it made it extremely difficult to stay focused on the philosophical/theological argument as someone used to works from the past few hundred years.  Or to translations of classical Roman authors, for that matter.

 

If I'd had a translation that omitted most of his pious invocations of God, I might have enjoyed it, but at least the translation I had was a bear to get through.  Its only real rival in that regard in my college repertoire was Darwin's On the Origin of Species, which might have been fascinating if I'd never heard of the theory of evolution before, but as it was, was an extremely detailed argument for something that I already knew about conceptually.

 

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Currently I'm reading Candice Millard's River of the Gods (2022), about the European discovery of the source of the Nile.  Millard is my favorite non-fiction author, and it does not disappoint.  Adventure non-fiction is her specialty, she used to work for National Geographic, and always travels to the locations where the events happened to have first-hand familiarity.  Combined with a knack for picking interesting but not-that-well-known topics and great writing skills, and I'll always pick up her new books.  I could see her being her generation's David McCullough, in terms of being a very popular and effective history writer for the populace at large, albeit with a somewhat different focus than McCullough (another of my favorite authors).

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1 hour ago, Sandy Bridge said:

I'll be curious to hear what you think of it.  I haven't read it yet, but I'm curious how approachable it is for the average person.  Is it a book that people can read and follow and gain insight from, or is it a book that you read 10 pages of and display it on your bookshelf as a conversation piece that makes you appear well-read?

 

Augustine of Hippo... IIRC, one of our required readings in college was Augustine's Confessions, or part of it at least.  I still to this day remember how every other sentence he invoked the deity, and while I am sure it was well-intentioned as a display of his piety, it made it extremely difficult to stay focused on the philosophical/theological argument as someone used to works from the past few hundred years.  Or to translations of classical Roman authors, for that matter.

 

If I'd had a translation that omitted most of his pious invocations of God, I might have enjoyed it, but at least the translation I had was a bear to get through.  Its only real rival in that regard in my college repertoire was Darwin's On the Origin of Species, which might have been fascinating if I'd never heard of the theory of evolution before, but as it was, was an extremely detailed argument for something that I already knew about conceptually.

 

---------

 

Currently I'm reading Candice Millard's River of the Gods (2022), about the European discovery of the source of the Nile.  Millard is my favorite non-fiction author, and it does not disappoint.  Adventure non-fiction is her specialty, she used to work for National Geographic, and always travels to the locations where the events happened to have first-hand familiarity.  Combined with a knack for picking interesting but not-that-well-known topics and great writing skills, and I'll always pick up her new books.  I could see her being her generation's David McCullough, in terms of being a very popular and effective history writer for the populace at large, albeit with a somewhat different focus than McCullough (another of my favorite authors).

Funny thing is that Confessions is the only one I've not been able to get through, it's a bit too sing songy mellodramatic for me. I was primarily thinking about City of God which I've read several times and Exposition on the Psalms and the other stuff. I read that Darwin was not the first to suggest what he did he even despaired about it in his private letters, he was just the one pushed probably the Beagle drama to give a flourish for the popular mind. Probably the greatest Kiwi of all time A.N. Field would interest you, wrote several great NF books in the early to mid 20th century.

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I re read the first part of Dracula, when jonathan is trapped in his castle the best part really most suspense and horror. The book is vague about a lot of stuff though and he escapes by simply climbing out the window of a castle on a high peak then finding his way through a wolf infested forest to get help isn't explained hm ok then. The  part about being in the bowels of the castle and having to search the sleeping count for keys is hair raising. After moving scenes it does come back to him and his being in a convent or such getting treatment and Mina joining him there though. Similar to Frankenstein it's vague, the movies add stuff in like the mad scientist using electrical gizmos and such but that's not in the book at all, it never goes into any details.

 

So moving on I decided to read some Philip K Dick which I've read in the past but it's been years. First up is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep which Blade Runner is based on and noticed that Decker has a wife and a real robot sheep lol Movies based on his work take a VERY wide berth, not a surprise. A bit of Nesta Websters Surrender of an Empire etc

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Oh! A books thread! Could almost have a forum on that alone lol 

 

My favorite fiction probably has to be The Legend of Drizz't. Gave me a love of adventures in fiction and also tempered how I think about things instead of merely reacting to them. I am quite thankful to Salvatore for writing that series. Haven't read anything in some time but probably read up to volume X and completed some of the side stories. 

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Yeah definitely a lot different from bladerunner movie, PKD definitely can get very whacky remember that from when I read some of his stuff last.

 

On another note I was converting some epubs to pdfs and came across a couple of free programs that do it and also a few other formats back and forth. Calibre is one and works but is not the best GUI out there that's for sure, it will do batch converts and all for free. One note about it though is that I got the rare windows notification of a non-microsoft approved app, meaning it's not off their app store so I had to go figure out how to turn that off so I can decide myself what to install and not M$. It does say "install anyway" but never does it just sits there, so you have to turn off their nannyware. Calibre has a portable option which is nice, M$ bully still came along though until I turned off the app warning and set it to from anywhere, no more big brother.

 

Any ebook converter is also free but won't do batch for free, only one at a time which is totally fine for my needs. The GUI is MUCH better and works fine, looking at the install it seems to use calibre as the converter but has the sensible UI. I don't know if I would have got the M$ big brother thing or not since I turned it off before trying it. Both of the ones mentioned are free to download and use, about 144mb dl and 400mb installed.

 

I used to use Hamster which is even more simple and free but the latest one requires some dotnet or other update that is out of the ordinary, or I have not got it since I turned off all updating a couple of years ago, so if you have a newer OS version etc that would probably be good to get.

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