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jsorense 25-02-2015 23:14:01

See my comments at #1056.
I would now add "magical realism" to that review.
j

jsorense 11-03-2015 04:35:28

:gasmaske_mad: Grrrrrrrr! I just wrote a long, insightful and almost poetic review and the damn site lost it. :gasmaske_mad:
Anyway I read Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. It the first of a planned trilogy.
3/5 or 5/10
Too bad you missed my brilliant summary. :tizzy:

Funko 12-03-2015 08:27:57

It can't be 3/5 or 6/10 it has to be 2.5/5 and 5/10 or 3/5 and 6/10

You're just trying to annoy us right? :mad:

zmama 12-03-2015 15:35:52

I will be re-reading all of Terry Pratchett.

jsorense 12-03-2015 17:14:55

I have not read any of his books yet. Where should I start?

zmama 12-03-2015 21:14:37

Hard to say. My first Pratchett was Small Gods, but probably not where to begin. Here's a chart
http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-...r-guide-20.jpg

zmama 12-03-2015 21:16:03

With your sense of humor I think maybe the Death novels a good place to start. ;)

Oh and don't skip the footnotes!

jsorense 12-03-2015 23:37:53

zmama, the chart is hugely useful thank you, thank you, thank you.
Whadya mean, my sense of humor? I ain't got one.

jsorense 26-03-2015 09:05:43

Last Stand At Khe Sahn: The US Marines' Finest Hour In Vietnam. By
Gregg Jones (2014)
I got this book because I am basically ignorant of the strategy and tactics used by the different sides during this long war. While the book does shed light on the US side But it does a poor job describing or explaining the North Vietnamese.
Some of the descriptions of the various ambushes, skirmishes and battles can be harrowing but the fact that these took place in tall grass or at night leaves only confuses images. Which, I know, is how the combatants experienced them.
The narrative is also hindered by the author's decision to present mini-profiles of everyone KIA, wounded or otherwise intensely involved.
If this was the marines' finest hour I can understand why we won battles but lost the war.
Overall I cannot recommend this book unless you are intensely interested in the "American War."
2/5
j

mr_G 04-04-2015 20:25:57

paddington 9-10

The Mad Monk 04-04-2015 22:04:31

"On The Slowness Of God To Punish", Plutarch, Essays, Penguin Classics.

Just got past the introduction, and first thing he gives Epicurus a slap. 'Cuz Epicurus don't buy into Providence.

Funko 05-04-2015 18:30:15

Ender's Game, somehow this passed me by. On book 3 now. Really good, as everyone and all awards committees have known forever.

jsorense 12-04-2015 04:21:34

I picked up The Martian by Andy Weir (2014) in an airport the other day when I was desperate. It is about an astronaut who is marooned on Mars and his fights for survival. Its an engineers view on how men can do things.
I enjoyed the first half of the book but all of near death calamities got to be boring. One thing really missing from the book is the presence of Mars. Except for the lack of atmosphere the story could have taken place on Earth, IMHO.
I'll only give it a 2/5 but I didn't like Ender's Game either. :p

MOBIUS 27-04-2015 10:35:18

Finished the last GoT book a few weeks back - had to cos the TV series has now caught up!

MOBIUS 27-04-2015 10:36:00

Oh and still remember the first Pratchett books coming out... :beer:

Funko 28-04-2015 08:00:32

I missed the Pratchett chart...

Don't start with the first two Rincewind books, they were the first two but they aren't the best, and he does get better and better.

I started with Equal Rites, maybe that then Mort then Guards Guards then see where you want to go.

zmama 29-04-2015 22:04:26

I started with Small Gods, maybe not the place to start but I was hooked.

No longer Trippin 01-05-2015 01:11:06

Do research papers on PDC whirl count?

Are the Game of Thrones books worth reading? I won't get pissed off in the end and feel gyped, will I? I need to read something that isn't work in a bad way.

jsorense 01-05-2015 17:17:13

Sorry Trip, I can't help you. I have a low tolerance for fantasy outside LotR. :violin:

jsorense 09-05-2015 05:05:14

One more 'ho hum' space opera. This snore fest is titled Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber (2007). It is the first installment of a series of at least 5 more volumes (Safehold Series).
Let's see, Earth meets an advanced civ and loses the war. Survivors hold out in a far off planet hiding behind pre industrial tech. It is mostly a sea world so most of the action is around oar and wind driven navies. It is as if Weber wants to be Patrick O'Brian.
Anyway, it was a waste of my time. 1/5

No longer Trippin 15-05-2015 05:12:51

I remember readimg a series of books by some schizophrenia authornabout lizarf people. It was pretty.cool seeimg wjat batshit insanity doesm to ones logic ocer seven booksm

jsorense 16-05-2015 20:54:27

Philip K. Dick?

jsorense 17-05-2015 23:36:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsorense (Post 1059760)
I have read "The Long Earth.". Some interesting concepts. But not interesting enough for me to continue. I guess I am too jaded. :violin:

I am going to revise my opinion. I have read The Long War (2013) while lounging next to the pool in Kaua'i. �� The book is entertaining and full of interesting ideas. In fact maybe too many. It seems to me that Pratchett (RIP) and Baxter strung a bunch of short story ideas on the prop of infinite Earths. Still, a good read and I will give it a generous 4/5. How can one be mean in Hawai'i? I will take The Long Mars with me on the red eye home.
Time for more sun block, a G & T, and to turn over.

jsorense 17-05-2015 23:44:57

Oh, BTW, The Ultimate Kaua'i Guidebook is excellent!

C.G.B. Spender 01-06-2015 21:23:40

I read a book. Can't remember the name, but it's good. Cool writer btw.

jsorense 02-06-2015 03:28:08

I read that one too. It was rubbish and it was in German. :gasmaske_disc:

Funko 02-06-2015 07:04:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsorense (Post 1062867)
I am going to revise my opinion. I have read The Long War (2013) while lounging next to the pool in Kaua'i. �� The book is entertaining and full of interesting ideas. In fact maybe too many. It seems to me that Pratchett (RIP) and Baxter strung a bunch of short story ideas on the prop of infinite Earths.

Yeah, I think that's both a strength and weakness of the series.

zmama 02-06-2015 13:24:34

I stopped at the Long Earth. Didn't like it. I'll probably read the others sometime since I hear they are a bit better.

JM^3 02-06-2015 16:30:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by zmama (Post 1062273)
I started with Small Gods, maybe not the place to start but I was hooked.

Pretty sure that is his best book so not a bad place to start.

JM

jsorense 05-06-2015 03:13:03

Well, folks, I'm looking for a good SciFi read. Please help. Also, it needs to be in English, no French, Dutch or German or Chinese either.
Thanks!

JM^3 06-06-2015 17:12:47

Fluency was fun.
Ancillary Justice was very good (Ancillary Sword was good).

I am also reading
Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential
The Shack
Capital in the 21st Century
The Road to Reality

JM

MOBIUS 09-06-2015 12:11:33

I finished the last GoT book just before they started mangling it on TV

jsorense 01-07-2015 23:18:11

Reading nothing but news papers lately, lazy git.

jsorense 12-07-2015 17:58:02

Just saw "Jurassic World."
It was OK, just what you would expect. No surprises or thrills. I would give it a 6/10.
If you haven't seen the first three then it would be terrific.

jsorense 23-07-2015 00:30:36

Back to reading real books: West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776 by Claudio Saunt (2014). it contains a number of vignettes describing events that took place in the year 1776 in other places of North America other than the East Coast. Most of the topics involve European and U.S. contact with Native Americans. An interesting volume for those of us steeped in the issues wrapped up with the transformation of the 13 colonies into the U.S.

jsorense 16-09-2015 04:39:08

:violin: Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution by Kathleen DuVal (2015)
Well, it is fairly well written for an academic work. I did learn a lot about the competing plans of the Americans, Native Americans, British, French and Spanish. It is just that it was a trial to wade through. I couldn't shake the feeling I was going to be tested on what I read every night. Not a pleasant reminder of college daze.
If I were to rate it I would give it 3/10 just because the author deserves something for writing it.

zmama 25-10-2015 14:51:47

Unfaithful Music And Disappearing Ink, Elvis Costello

jsorense 16-01-2016 03:42:55

2313 Kim Stanley Robinson (2012)
This was a total disappointment.:tizzy: The story, what there is of it, takes place 300 years in the future. The solar system is now populated by humans and maybe what can be characterized as post-humans both physically and socially. To me it seemed the book was just an excuse for KSR to speculate on what the solar system would look like if current trends continue. No aliens, no star drives, now significant new technologies at all. Just a lot of scooting around between planets in a post-shortage universe. I give it only a 4/10. Do we really need a city on Mercury that rolls on rails?

jsorense 16-01-2016 03:55:34

Leviathan Wakes the team of James S. A. Corey (2011)
Yes, this is the first of a series if books that explores the space opera that belongs in the Expanse universe. And, yes, it is now a SciFy channel series (which I have not seen). It is pretty good. Lots of action and a series of likable characters. It all takes place in our solar system in the near future (2312?) where there is political friction among The Belters, Mars and good old Earth. A shooting war breaks out that may, or may not, involve alien technology.
This was OK light reading. I am not too impressed. I will not go out and buy the sequels, alt least not right away. I guess my quest for a satisfying space opera has been tarnished by reading the likes of Herbert, Banks and Vinge.
6/10

MOBIUS 26-01-2016 14:21:20

I've been reading The Lazy Project Manager by Peter Taylor. Quite informative and interesting. I particularly liked the bit where he assumes you've skipped to the end :D

jsorense 30-01-2016 03:26:49

Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell (2014)
The author is well known as the creator of the "Sharpe's Rifles" series of historical novels and TV shows (Sean Bean before he got famous). I was, therefore, expecting something exciting and illuminatingly fresh about this famous battle. I was disappointed. This would be a good book as an introduction to the battle and it's immediate military context. But if you are at all familiar with its history and hunger for more insight into the tactics of the period then this volume is not for you, IMHO.
j

The Mad Monk 30-01-2016 04:01:46

Voltaire's notes on Rousseau's notes on Rousseau's Discourse On Inequality.

Summary: Voltaire rips Rousseau several new ones.

zmama 30-01-2016 21:08:11

Ulysses, James Joyce. Figured it was time to tackle it, but it is fun reading. :D

The Mad Monk 31-01-2016 17:07:07

I read some of Finnegan's Wake in a bookstore.

...

Then I put it in the Occult section afterward because it was obviously an incantation to summon a demon or some shit like that.

jsorense 01-02-2016 15:27:38

:nervous:No, I have not entered those dark realms.

jsorense 18-04-2016 12:49:22

Anathem by Neal Stephenson (2008)
:confused:Well, I really wanted to like this book. There is a nice little space opera in there but, for me, all of the dialogs on philosophy and cosmology were distractions. I started to skip over those parts. Does that make me a shallow person?
Maybe The Mad Monk would appreciate it more than I did?

zmama 18-04-2016 13:48:23

I might like it because I'm bored with space operas anymore. ;)

jsorense 18-04-2016 15:29:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by zmama (Post 1069885)
I might like it because I'm bored with space operas anymore. ;)

I think the recent space operas have gotten boring too. If you pick up Anathem make sure you consult the Glossary in the back. I didn't see it until I was half way through. :o

zmama 12-05-2016 13:53:47

I've graduated to Finnegans Wake. It was extremely hard going until instead of just reading, I pronounce the words in my head. Many puns and other funnies that way.

jsorense 25-05-2016 19:19:10

Wolf Hall, by Hillary Mantel (2009). If you didn't already know this is a novelized treatment of the political/religious struggles during Henry VIII's reign during the 1530's. It focuses on the interactions and personalities of Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn and Henry. I struggled for weeks to get this novel. Granted, it is a historical period that doesn't interest me but I thought that this award winning treatment would draw me in and educate me. It did not. It's unique style that jumps around in time and interweaves thought and conversation just kept me confused and bored. From my point of view I could not recommend this book. :(

jsorense 08-07-2016 03:42:12

I am still reading books but just too lazy to report. :zzz:

The Mad Monk 08-07-2016 03:58:18

Me too.

The Mad Monk 08-07-2016 04:01:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Mad Monk (Post 1068742)
I read some of Finnegan's Wake in a bookstore.

...

Then I put it in the Occult section afterward because it was obviously an incantation to summon a demon or some shit like that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by zmama (Post 1070243)
I've graduated to Finnegans Wake. It was extremely hard going until instead of just reading, I pronounce the words in my head. Many puns and other funnies that way.

:gasmaske_eek::gasmaske_eek::gasmaske_eek:

jsorense 17-07-2016 03:18:17

Benedict Arnold's Navy by James L. Nelson (2006). A history covering the early years on the northern front during the Revolutionary War. It is still shocking how close it was to folding Canada into the grasping arms of the United Colonies. Pretty close, eh Jock?
Anyway, the book is a long long exposition on how tough those frontier soldiers were. If you ever read Undaunted Courage by Steve Ambrose (1996) then you have some idea.

jsorense 17-07-2016 03:20:38

I will write more if you beg.:smoke:

The Mad Monk 17-07-2016 04:00:14

...and now, a few selected words from Pascal's Pensees (mid 1600s):

II VANITY

36 Anyone who does not see the vanity of the world is very vain himself. So who does not see it, apart from young people whose lives are all noise, diversions, and thoughts for the future?
But take away their diversion and they will be bored to extinction. Then they feel their nullity without recognizing it, for nothing could be more wretched than to be intolerably depressed as soon as one is reduced to introspection with no means of diversion.

III WRETCHEDNESS

70 If our condition were truly happy we should not need to divert ourselves from thinking about it.

IV. BOREDOM

77 Pride. Curiosity is only vanity. We usually only want to know something so that we can talk about it; in other words, we would never travel by sea if it meant never talking about it, and for the sheer pleasure of seeing things we could never hope to describe to others.

79 How tiresome it is to give up pursuits to which we have become attached. A man with a happy home life need only see a woman who attracts him, or spend five or six pleasant days gambling, and he will be very sorry to go back to what he was doing before. It happens every day.

jsorense 19-07-2016 10:54:52

New York Times, the Science Section comes on Tuesdays.

The Mad Monk 21-07-2016 20:00:15

About two-thirds of the way through "Day Four" of The Decameron, by Boccaccio.

jsorense 23-07-2016 12:12:43

"A classic of early Italian prose." Sounds interesting in a nerdy way.
I think I'll stick with The Economist for today.

The Mad Monk 23-07-2016 13:08:23

Its actually pretty raunchy, by early Italian Renaissance standards; I found the tale of the gardener and the nuns quite memorable. ;)

The Mad Monk 26-07-2016 09:34:41

Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, The Miller's Tale and The Reeve's Tale.

Chaucer was directly inspired by Boccaccio, whom Chaucer translated into English early in his career. The Canterbury Tales was a very deliberate homage to The Decameron.

The Mad Monk 28-07-2016 16:54:27

Another tidbit from Blaise Pascal's Pensees:

V. CAUSES AND EFFECTS

81 ...Equality in possessions is no doubt right, but, since men could not make might obey right, they have made right obey might. As they could not fortify justice they justified force, so that right and might live together and peace reigns, the sovereign good.

paiktis 30-07-2016 07:00:24

"new finnish grammar" (in greek)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...-marani-review

paiktis 30-07-2016 07:57:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Mad Monk (Post 1071351)
About two-thirds of the way through "Day Four" of The Decameron, by Boccaccio.


jezas christ we used to read this when we were 14 years old

The Mad Monk 30-07-2016 08:32:01

...in the original Greek? ;)

The Mad Monk 30-07-2016 08:34:09

I was reading The Lord of the Rings, The Great Gatsby, Huckleberry Finn and The Lord of the Flies.

paiktis 30-07-2016 09:24:53

well bocacios was sort of a nerd's soft porn read

we also read herman hesse, erich fromm that sort of thing
and spiderman

zmama 31-07-2016 13:09:56

Finished with Joyce for awhile. Moved on to Kafka, really enjoying it. I bought a collection of his writings and was pleasantly surprised by a forward written by Updike.

The Mad Monk 04-08-2016 09:33:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by paiktis (Post 1071505)
and spiderman

The classics are important for one's education.

The Mad Monk 04-08-2016 09:36:26

Started reading the introduction to Diderot's D'Alembert's Dream, but got distracted and read the introduction to Journey to the West instead. Now on chapter 1 of the same. It's called one of the "Four Great Novels" of Chinese literature, and it's Huge.

paiktis 06-08-2016 10:38:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Mad Monk (Post 1071581)
The classics are important for one's education.

Marvel comics were the equivalent of scratching your butt when it itched.
Sometimes it itched

The Mad Monk 07-08-2016 12:01:56

Scratching you but when it itches is important for one's education.

The Mad Monk 07-08-2016 12:02:37

Well, onto D'Alembert's Dream!

jsorense 01-09-2016 12:30:35

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1992)
This is a Hugo and Nebula Awards winner. For some reason I have completely over looked this author in the past. Her series of time travel books should have grabbed my interest a long time ago. It was with a giddy anticipation of finding overlooked classics that I openned this book.
The book chronicals parallel stories of a time traveler who trips back to 14th Century England and the crisis that engulfs her base in Oxford. There are two potentially interesting aspects to this book: the depiction of a near future England and an unvarnished description of the Middle Ages. For me this effort was a total disappointment. 4/10
Go ahead and reread Timeline by Michael Crichton (1999).

jsorense 13-11-2016 17:24:42

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (1995)
This is a satisfying construct of a book within a novel. Much of the action takes place in the near future perhaps 100 years after Readme and Snowcrash. It is a post nation-state world where nanotechnology is maturing. The main character is a girl who is given a "magic " book that prepares her for an unlikely future.
I must say that this book reinforces my admiration for the author.
8/10

zmama 30-12-2016 19:49:58

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, founding fathers fun

paiktis 08-01-2017 18:32:43

"Troika, the road to destruction."
An assortment of clusterfecks

paiktis 20-01-2017 18:10:04

camus' the fall

it has a profound impact on me

camus always manages to have a profound impact on me at maybe critical junctures of my life



I also read a philosophical book

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...they-change-it


it was fun


i bought it at a english bookstore in brussels

there was an american there and he started saying some shit like oh no dollars? dollars is thebest and some shit like that

I thought, get the hillbilly out of here for fucks sake

also the clerk was blazingly gay and very chirpy which was very funny and uplifting
he was also iranian

I also sw a girl that was watching me and when I watched she smiled.

I thought let's have sex with a booklover but then I thought of the SO and bought the book and a gift for the SO and I left


I then entered an asian/arab store to buy cigs

there was a drunken french man there scoulding the asian clerk for "not treating his customers right"

I walked right up to him and talked very politely to the clerk cutting the frenchie off


he left

he was very drunk

jsorense 23-03-2017 09:12:04

Shadow & Claw: The First Half of The Book of the New Sun; The Shadow of the Torturer (1980) and The Claw of the Conciliator (1981) by Gene Wolfe
Wow, where to begin? These sci-fi/fantasy books are nothing if not ambiguous. The story takes place in a far future Earth that has been totally transformed through the rise and fall of past civilizations, the introduction of advanced, now magical, technologies, as well as aliens and alien life forms. The book chronicles the the trials and tribulations of a novice torture/executioner.
I have a lot of problems with these books and the universe that Wolfe creates. I don't like the settings, I find them too fantastic, nor do I like the characters, they are all fatally flawed. I know these works are supposed to be some of the best sci-fi ever written but I just don't get it. Each chapter reads like a stand-alone short story. There is lots of repetition. The society and ecology are incomplete and unbelievable. I had to force myself to finish this volume. I have no desire to ever revisit the vast, strange and unpleasant world Wolfe has created. :(

The Mad Monk 23-03-2017 18:33:34

After watching the anime Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, I decided to read the Alexander Dumas' novel; 400 of 1200 pages in, and I find it very interesting.

jsorense 23-03-2017 22:28:21

Nice adventure read.

The Mad Monk 12-06-2017 10:52:16

Oh yeah, I finished it. Late April or early May. I think.

jsorense 15-06-2017 13:22:47

The Three-Body Problem , Cixin Lou (2006)
I am somewhat conflicted by this book. One one hand I appreciate the POV of the author, coming from the PRC. It is a unique voice in science fiction. However, the actual science fiction part of the novel is disappointing, i.e. the evolutionary development of the aliens. Totally unbelievable if imaginative. But too much for this old anthropologist to suspend belief.
I give it a 5/10 for originality.

The Mad Monk 15-06-2017 14:40:35

Now on The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill; the book also contains On Liberty by the same author, which I read last year, and the year before; very compelling stuff.

The Mad Monk 15-06-2017 14:45:07

My father lent me his copy of BIG AGENDA -- President Trump's Plan to Save America, by David Horowitz.

It's...hard to read.

It's not that the language is difficult, no, that's not it at all.

It's the aneurysms I get with every other sentence.

jsorense 15-06-2017 15:00:10

Keep taking those baby aspirins.

jsorense 15-07-2017 16:31:15

Gettysburg , Stephen W. Sears (2004). Yes, another in a series of military histories from jsorense. This one is quite good, if you are interested in the American Civil War (aka War of Nothern Aggression). This book is detailed, down to the individual tactics of regiments. It is , therefore for an audience that is already familiar with the battle. If you just interested in an overview then you may be overwhelmed by the details in this volume. Do you really want to know the succession of 'chains of command' for the different army units? Probably not.
If you are interested in this book then I highly recommend Sear's book on the Battle of Antietam, Landscape Turned Red. I give both of these books a healthy 8/10.

The Mad Monk 16-07-2017 14:32:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsorense (Post 1075727)
Keep taking those baby aspirins.

I ain't no baby. Look at these hands!!!

jsorense 16-07-2017 20:21:43

Y'uge!

paiktis 02-11-2017 16:42:31

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adults-Room.../dp/184792445X


I think varoufakis just sucks to the anglosaxon world.

paiktis 02-11-2017 16:46:09

the issue with greece was that it got frecked by an amazing colleration of both europe AND greece.

then it said: we're going to blow the whole thing apart (but didn't have the balls to play that bluff to the end


varoufakis is from australia or has taught in cambridge?

whatever he's a limeyassworshipper. and it shows.


some of his ideas do hold water but all in all he was just a minor play in a close to be tragedy that was averted.

I used to look at other countries and say

aw look how "organized" belgium is or what big streets paris has or that colonial flair of barcelona (I never was jealous of the US, noone that I know is)

but then it hit me.

I got a very stable job I got a house of my own I got free health care for life. I HAVE socialism.
Whatehell am I complaining for? because bloomberg said I should be?


ha

jsorense 09-11-2017 17:50:06

The Fleet At Flood Tide by James D. Hornfischer (2016)
This is a military history of the conclusion of the war in the Pacific during WWII. It discusses the strategy and the rationale for the bombing campaign over Japan that concluded with the dropping of two atomic bombs which ended the war.
I expected to really like this book based upon my experience with two of the authorís previous books: Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and Neptuneís Inferno. However I found it less focused than these other works. Perhaps he tried to put too much, too many, topics in one volume. It ended up being a long slog to finish. I highly recommend the other two books, this on, not so much.

paiktis 11-11-2017 15:38:46

The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism

https://www.amazon.com/Seduction-Unr.../dp/0691125996

I started to read this because the subject seemed very interesting.

but i got bumped (dissilussioned?) early on unrfortunately when the author said that marxist theory about what drives fascist emergence has been discredited.
Actually it is being verified by the hour so what da fook he's talking about, I don't know

Bummer.
At least I didn't pay for the book so ok.


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