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In The Beginning...Was The Command Line

Stephenson, Neal
Why Islam hates us, and why you might want to switch to Linux. Very interesting.




Stephenson, Neal
Started 3/15/04. Looks long... UPDATE: Too long, stopped reading March 2004. 150 pages read, continue at a later date! Reading again 7/2008.

Words I Had To Look Up:

Shawm (pg 84) -- A medieval double-reed musical instrument.

Ricercar (pg. 144) -- A musical composition, instrumental, from the mostly Baroque era.

Zargon (pg. 342) -- Apparantly the argot of Vagabonds, according to the Urban Dictionary.

Qwghimian (pg. 370) -- Language of the fictional islands of Qwghlm.

Sabotage (pg. 444) -- I KNOW what it means, I was interested in the derivation of the word, related to "sabot', a wooden shoe.

Hexen (pg. 458) -- A German verb, "to practice sorcery". So I guess in this case, used as a noun, it practitioners of sorcery.

Obnubilated (pg. 480) -- Unclear, dim, less visible.

Whilom (pg. 562) -- Former; sometime, late, formerly.

Scudding (pg. 613) -- To run or skim along swiftly and easily.

Enconiums (pg. 623) -- Probably a mispeling of "Encomium", glowing and warmly enthusiastic praise.

Conventicles (pg. 629) -- An assembly for religious worship; especially : a secret meeting for worship not sanctioned by law.

Exaltation (pg. 669) -- An excessively intensified sense of well-being, power, or importance.

Exultation (pg. 669) -- The state of being exultant filled with or expressing great joy or triumph.

Antelier (pg. 683) -- A studio or workshop.

Extirpated (pg. 742) -- To destroy completely; to pull up by the root'; to cut out by surgery.

Discursive (pg. 742) -- Marked by analytical reasoning is the best defintion I could figure out here.

Ninehammers (pg. 745) -- Only 14 hits on Google for this word. Maybe a mispelling or "affection" of "ninnyhammers", which means "ninny", and that would seem to fit.

Spanish Netherlands -- Pretty much what is sounds like, now I know where it is.

Ganymede (]g. 826) -- Not just a moon, he was a Trojan prince kidnapped by Zeus to be his lover. Hera hated him.

Lambent sky (pg. 863) -- Softly bright or radiant.

Parlous (pg. 877) -- Full of danger or risk.

Enfeoffed (pg. 891) -- To invest with a fief or fee


...Pepys core of librarian-mercenaries... (pg. 909)




Stephenson, Neal
Just over a thousand pages of thriller action!

Best Quote::

The GPS unit became almost equally obstreperous, though, over Richard’s unauthorized route change, until they finally passed over some invisible cybernetic watershed between two possible ways of getting to their destination, and it changed its fickle little mind and began calmly telling him which way to proceed as if this had been its idea all along.--I copied the quote from another source, so I don't have the page number. It's a VERY popular quote!




Stephenson, Neal
Pretty, certainly easier to absorb than that darn Cryptonomicon that I finished a couple of weeks ago! I didn't get the title until the author hit me over the head with it, in the 600s, page-wise. I spilled coffee all over my borrowed copy and so bought a new copy to replace it. Thirty-five bucks hardcover! Yikes!



Snow Crash

Stephenson, Neal
Virus crashes programmer's brains! Great story, loved Fido! I am so impressed by this guy's writing. He writes what I would if I had any brains and wasn't a lazy bum! 440 p.





The Diamond Age, Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

Stephenson, Neal
An fascinating story of a little girl named Nell and her book. 455 p.



Zodiac, The Eco-Thriller

Stephenson, Neal
Boston harbor is full of toxins and Sangamon Taylor is going after the culprits. Very good! 283 p.


When I got back, bacon was smoldering on the range, filling the house with gas-phase polycyclic aromatics--my favorite carcinogen by a long shot.



The Death And Life Of Superman

Stern, Roger
A rather long (527 page) story with way too much fighting. I did not like all the tedious battles, and I thought the various Supermen confusing. It was depressing to see Supergirl under Lex Luther's thumb, but there was hope she would eventually see through his shenanigans. I have not kept up with the Superman saga; this book clashes with what I remember, and of course the movies and television series do not follow the storyline as laid out in this book. I guess I will try to forget I ever read this.

Words I Had To Look Up:

J'onn J'onzz (pg. 66) I had to Wikilook™ to refresh my memory. He was in Detective Comics, one of my favorites, back in the day.
proscenium (pg. 93) -- The part of a modern stage in front of the curtain.
woods colt pg. 261) -- A child born out of wedlock.


"They're not dead until they're warm and dead!" (pg.525)

I ran across this sentiment before, but I forget where.



The Mysterious Benedict Society

Stewart, Trenton Lee
Four kids save the world from an evil genius. Pretty good stuff, with some good puzzles that I thought I got, but didn't, just like some of the characters in the book. Never did figure out the final puzzle, though.



The Mysterious Benedict Society And The Prisoner's Dilemma

Stewart, Trenton Lee
The third book has the group in an exciting adventure when Mr. Curtain attacks Mr. Benedict's house and steals away the Whisperer.


..."it was on that very day that the brutes showed up and threatened the librarians. Who told them nothing, incidentally."
..."You'd think these would learn their lesson--librarians know how to keep quiet."
"It helps to ask politely," said Mr. Benedict



The Help

Stockett, Kathryn
Novel about 60s women in Mississippi and the women who work for them. Might make a good movie!

Words I Had To Look Up:

degustationary (pg. 214) -- The action or an instance of tasting especially in a series of small portions


"Who are these Fedders, anyway?" Mother asks. "Where are their people from?" -- pg 324



American Nomads

Stowell, Emily
A novelized biography of the author's family coming to America and eventually settling in Oregon. Vanity published, I guess, the printing was poorly done in the beginning, and there are some editing problems, but after getting past the Dutch ancestors (WHY do they keep using the same names for everyone??) I became engaged with the story, and even teared up a bit at points. Still looking for that Huntington family chart, though!



The Water Wars

Stracher, Cameron
It is just one darn thing after another when Vera and brother Will go to rescue their friend Kai. I liked the first half of the book more than the second.



The Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Of The Year, Volume Twelve

Strahan, Jonathan
“The Mocking Tower”, Daniel Abraham
“Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue”, Charlie Jane Anders
“Probably Still the Chosen One”, Kelly Barnhill
“My English Name”, R. S. Benedict
“Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance”, Tobias Buckell
“Though She Be But Little”, C.S.E. Cooney
“The Moon is Not a Battlefield”, Indrapramit Das
“The Hermit of Houston”, Samuel R. Delany
“The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine”, Greg Egan
“Crispin’s Model”, Max Gladstone
“Come See the Living Dryad”, Theodora Goss
“Bring Your Own Spoon”, Saad Z. Hossain
“Babylon”, Dave Hutchison
“The Faerie Tree”, Kathleen Kayembe
“Fairy Tale of Wood Street”, Caitlin R Kiernan
“The Worshipful Society of Glovers”, Mary Robinette Kowal
“An Evening with Severyn Grimes”, Rich Larson
“The Chameleon’s Gloves”, Yoon Ha Lee
“The Smoke of Gold is Glory”, Scott Lynch
“Sidewalks”, Maureen McHugh
“Concessions”, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
“The Martian Obelisk”, Linda Nagata
“The Secret Life of Bots”, Suzanne Palmer
“A Series of Steaks”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad
“Belladonna Nights”, Alastair Reynolds
“Eminence”, Karl Schroeder
“The Lamentation of their Women”, Kai Ashante Wilson
“Confessions of a Con Girl”, Nick Wolven
“Carnival Nine”, Caroline M. Yoachim


"Well then," Corrina said. -- Probably Still The Chosen One


Zero-gravity puke was a truly terrible thing. -- The Secret Life Of Bots


Magic does from time to time so boil one's piss. -- The Smoke Of Gold Is Glory


"God, this is a good way to die," he said. -- Bring Your Own Spoon



A Girl Of The Limberlost

Stratton-Porter, Gene
Elora lives near a big swamp/forest in Indiana and collect moths First published in 1909, this 2013 eBook. Pretty much a classic.




Stratton-Porter, Gene
This book takes place before A Girl Of The Limberlost, and concerns Freckles and the Swamp Angel. Pretty good, if effusive.



That's me all over, Mable

Streeter, Edward
Fun read of fictional letters to home from a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War I. A few objectionable racist terms appear, sadly. I read the Project Gutenberg e-book version.



The Grays

Strieber, Whitley
A novel about UFOs. Didn't care for it. Check my blog entry for points of complaint.



2 Guys Named Lenny

Stroke, Jack
A free e-book (short story) download about two guys, cousins, named Lenny (who appeared in another book that takes place before) who have acquired a large quantity of "E" and need to sell to...someone. Good story.



Blockhouse Blues and the Elmore Beast

Stroke, Jack
Brains and Hammers get make dumb decisions and get caught up in the shenanigans of a crime bosses' daughter. Read the Kindle edition.


20 books displayed
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