Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 765903 times)

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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #880 on: January 12, 2008, 12:59:06 PM »
I'm always reading more than one book at the same time...

1) Edward Timms, Karl Kraus: Apocalyptic Satirist, The Post-War Crisis and the Rise of the Swastika

2) Philip Roth, Exit Ghost

3) Sven Hanuschek, Elias Canetti

The first book is the second part of the first major study in English of Austrian satirist Karl Kraus (1874-1936). The 'Post-War Crisis' referred to is, of course, the aftermath of the First World War in Austria and Germany, which Kraus commented on and often ridiculed sharply. He saw the danger of the Nazis earlier than most. I'm always glad that he didn't live to see even his darkest premonitions and prophecies confirmed, yes, easily surpassed during the Second World War.

I just started reading Pihlip Roth's novel. I have been very impressed by 'The Human Stain', so I'm looking forward to this.

The third book is the first biography (in German) of Elias Canetti, Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, who died in 1994 at the age of 89. He became world-famous with the publication of his extraordinary autobiography (in three parts). But early on in his career he wrote a great novel when he was just 25, 'Die Blendung' (Auto-da-fe, in English), and then worked for 30 years on the massive study 'Masse und Macht', Crowds and Power. Apart from this he wrote plays and essays. I'm reading the biography just to see what parts of his life Canetti shields form our gaze in his autobiography (which only covers the first 35 years of his life, btw)...

Johan

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Haffner

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #881 on: January 12, 2008, 02:27:17 PM »
At times weirdly repetitive, but it's nice to have a concordance. The selected recording section is interesting as well.

Offline The new erato

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #882 on: January 13, 2008, 01:38:39 AM »
At times weirdly repetitive, but it's nice to have a concordance. The selected recording section is interesting as well.
I'm reading Jonathan Carr's The Wagner Clan. That IS one scary family!

Haffner

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #883 on: January 13, 2008, 08:22:08 AM »
I'm reading Jonathan Carr's The Wagner Clan. That IS one scary family!


(laughing)  ;)

longears

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #884 on: January 13, 2008, 09:57:48 AM »
I'm reading Jonathan Carr's The Wagner Clan. That IS one scary family!
No shit, Sherlock!  But didn't little Adolf make a wonderful surrogate papa?

Hmmm, I just flashed on the similarities between Dickie and L. Ron Hubbard.

Offline Novi

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #885 on: January 13, 2008, 01:44:37 PM »
I'm not actually reading this, but it's book related so I'll post here anyway.

I came across a review for Andromeda Romano-Lax's The Spanish Bow, apparently based on the life of Pablo Casals. Sounds interesting, although the reviewer seems to think the author is trying a bit too hard. Has anyone read this or heard of this author?

http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/generalfiction/0,,2235880,00.html
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karlhenning

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #886 on: January 14, 2008, 11:56:12 AM »
Just finished The Groucho Letters, wonderful.


M forever

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #887 on: January 14, 2008, 01:54:38 PM »
I am now reading this, too, because my best friend gave it to me for my birthday:


Kullervo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #888 on: January 18, 2008, 05:34:56 PM »
First reading:



Another book I should have read before now.

Haffner

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #889 on: January 19, 2008, 09:03:55 AM »
First reading:



Another book I should have read before now.




Terrific book!

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #890 on: January 19, 2008, 05:34:43 PM »
Just returned from an overnight visit to the Fearrington Inn near Chapel Hill, NC - wife's yearly Birthday treat!  Great bookstore there called McIntryre's Bookstore - small, but w/ an intelligent selection of books w/ a lot of paperback selections, recent choices below:

Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World (2007) by Colin Wells - looking forward to reading this book - I love the Byzantium Empire - most simply don't know the impact this empire had on the world - excellent reviews!  :D

Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design (2007) by Michael Shermer  - short book on the present argument of 'Intelligent Design' vs. 'Darwinian Evolution', so if you're into this stuff (as I've been from the 1960s!), then pick up the book!  :o


  

Offline Bogey

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #891 on: January 19, 2008, 10:15:57 PM »
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

M forever

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #892 on: January 20, 2008, 02:19:34 AM »
Osprey have a pretty astonishing range of these little military history books. They must have hundreds of titles about all sorts of subjects, military history, campaigns, tactics, weapons, uniforms. Usually very well researched and with a lot of detailed illustrations. Very valuable sources of information if you are interested in that kind of stuff. Although since recent generations of Germans have grown up with an extremely critical attitude towards glorification of military subjects (I probably don't have to explain why), I am sometimes puzzled by the extent of the fascination the British have with that subject:



Hmmm...

Offline Lethevich

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #893 on: January 20, 2008, 05:00:52 AM »
Although since recent generations of Germans have grown up with an extremely critical attitude towards glorification of military subjects (I probably don't have to explain why), I am sometimes puzzled by the extent of the fascination the British have with that subject

I know that was rhetorical, but I have wondered about it myself. I think it's because after WW2, when grand "glorious" wars in the 18th/19th century sense were no longer possible for European nations due to the stability of the western side of the continent (and for a while, the Soviet Union's threat), the British seemed to go out on a "high" after a few hundred years of generally unbroken success in the field (not that it could've necessarily held onto its military position for much longer, it was just a fortunate coincidence), so there remained an interest in the subject opposed to other nations which went out on a "low". There is also regarding WW2 in particular, the realisation that it could've gone horribly wrong and the world could've been so much worse than after any previous war that it could hardly be comprehended*, so to celebrate/relive the good fortune of a victory against Germany is a way of "dealing" with a time that could've resulted in the eradication of the whole country.

The general inferiority complex of some British/English people means that reminding of long past or recent achievements is a way for someone to confirm to themselves that they are a great nation. The isolation (and also safety) of an island nation versus every other major European country with multiple borders plays a part of the psyche. Not just making cultural exchange a little more difficult, it has also been more stable than continental nations as a result. There was a medium hiccup in the 11th century, and a larger one in the 17th, but generally it has been plain sailing during other times, relative so some of the turmoil in Europe.

During a fair few parts of that millennium, there have been either strong armies, or a strong navy, which have kept out would-be invaders, and there's a perception that this has kept the country rather secure. The sheer amount of wars that the country was involved in, with a military infrastructure that was able to develop without being interrupted by major political problems, led to the country being able to do things militarily that should've been beyond its means. This simply means that the country created a lot of historical events which are of interest. As there is a bias towards national glorification in history in many arenas (for example, books on medieval cathedrals in French will mainly focus on French buildings, ones in English will mainly focus on English ones), then as the British were particularly good at waging war from between 1337-1945, their interests tend to reflect that more strongly than another nation where that is not one of their more prominent achivements.

*Only in the 20th century were the technologies and infrastructure available to fully occupy and eradicate whatever the aggressor likes within a country. Prior to that, wars generally ended in "shame" for the defeated nation, but generally the aggressor pulled out afterwards, and perhaps absorbed bits of territory, but not full countries. It was kind of pulled off by the English with its neighbours, but the success of this was partly due to cultural similarity, and partly because it was not a full assimilation anyway.
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Online drogulus

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #894 on: January 20, 2008, 08:51:43 AM »


      The British lost the war, along with the French, the Germans and all of Eastern Europe. The Soviets won with massive help from the Americans (we supplied food, fuel, trucks and planes, they supplied soldiers).

      If you want to understand why military glory no longer appeals to Europeans you just have to read a little history. Europeans don't really understand this any better than we do, though. They have formed the opinion that they reject glorifying war because of their superior virtue. Furthermore, there's no punchline to this joke.

     

     
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Offline Bogey

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #895 on: January 20, 2008, 09:31:00 AM »


Dave (Sonic),
I am sure you have read the above.  I just started today and would appreciate yours and others thoughts that have also read this.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #896 on: January 20, 2008, 09:55:17 AM »
 

Dave (Sonic),
I am sure you have read the above.  I just started today and would appreciate yours and others thoughts that have also read this.

Hello, Bill - yes, but has been a while (bought in hardcover from the History Book Club when released) - good read, some sections better than others - I really like Joseph Ellis, but must say that my favorite 'recent' book of his was the one on George Washington; BTW, also bought the DVD set of the Founding Brothers - quite good also (would suggest a rental, if you've not already seen the production).  Dave  :D


Offline Bogey

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #897 on: January 20, 2008, 10:13:00 AM »
Hello, Bill - yes, but has been a while (bought in hardcover from the History Book Club when released) - good read, some sections better than others - I really like Joseph Ellis, but must say that my favorite 'recent' book of his was the one on George Washington; BTW, also bought the DVD set of the Founding Brothers - quite good also (would suggest a rental, if you've not already seen the production).  Dave  :D



Yes Dave, I have read his GW book and was VERY impressed.  My wife is about half through it now and also is enjoying it.  Have you noted the new John Adams series coming up on HBO.  We may end up subscribing to it just to catch this series.  Here is a preview...looks impressive:

http://www.hbo.com/films/johnadams/index.html

« Last Edit: January 20, 2008, 10:15:07 AM by Bogey »
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #898 on: January 20, 2008, 10:43:38 AM »
Yes Dave, I have read his GW book and was VERY impressed.  My wife is about half through it now and also is enjoying it.  Have you noted the new John Adams series coming up on HBO.  We may end up subscribing to it just to catch this series.  Here is a preview...looks impressive:

http://www.hbo.com/films/johnadams/index.html

I was not aware of the Adams series on HBO - we have TW cable but to not subscribe to the premium channels - likely will be available soon after on Netflix, so will add to my 'rental list' - thanks for the mention!  Dave  :)

Danny

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #899 on: January 20, 2008, 03:54:00 PM »


Very researched and balanced, with all aspects of the dictatorships examined and explained.