Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 952087 times)

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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10080 on: August 13, 2020, 11:48:43 PM »



That's one that I've been wanting to read..particularly after hearing (over radio) a wonderful operatic production years ago.  Tried googling it to see if I could find out who all did it, the production etc.  I happened to come in part way.  It was during the Saturday Met broadcasts but it wasn't from the Met.

PD

A subject worthy of an opera.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline j winter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10081 on: August 14, 2020, 08:30:23 AM »
I love Nero Wolfe, but these covers look like penny dreadfuls! And I think the first two are a bit long winded, the Rubber Band and the Red Box much better although the masterpiece among the earlier ones is probably "Some buried Caesar" for me.

I would actually agree with all of that.  I chose the vampy covers because they just amused me... indeed they often bear little to no relation to the actual book... if you recall, in The League of Frightened Men, they're frightened of a male actor, not a platinum blonde.  I'm reading ebooks anyway, so the cover art is a non-issue.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Online Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10082 on: August 14, 2020, 08:57:32 AM »
That cover art is really funny. I wonder how many people bought them for the covers and ended up being disappointed or confused or, perhaps, Nero's new biggest fans.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10083 on: August 18, 2020, 04:14:28 PM »
Finished:



Started:


Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10084 on: August 21, 2020, 01:38:44 AM »
De Bernieres: Notwithstanding





This is a collection of very convivial short stories about the motley characters and happenings of a village in rural England. They are wonderfully written. The characters are very human and very real, warts and all. The stories are independent, stand alone plots but are tenuously interlinked by the strains that bind neighbours and a community. The stories are always very amusing and sometimes poignant and sad and he reflects the oftentimes very eccentric inhabitants extremely well. It is a re-read for me and a terrific book that is most definitely worth your time.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10085 on: August 22, 2020, 02:55:26 AM »
My library currently has a very limited browsing area (due to Covid-19); they have a holds area that is open for one to pick up items and check them out yourself, but they did also put out some books, etc. which they thought might be of interest to folks.  I picked up a copy of The Testaments which is the follow-up novel to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale which I last read many years ago.  Hoping to crack it open this weekend.

PD

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10086 on: August 23, 2020, 12:42:58 AM »
Gogol: Diary of a Madman and Other Stories





These stories are filled with eccentric and interesting characters.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10087 on: August 27, 2020, 08:41:46 AM »
James Joyce: Ulysses

This is my second go-round, but I'm not actually reading it. I'm listening to the spectacular large-cast recording of it, made by RTE in Joyce's 100th anniversary year, 1982.

To my mind, this is the ideal way to experience Ulysses. Since it's one of the most poly-stylistic books ever written, and can be exhausting when you confront it on the page, hearing it read out by multiple voices (with the major characters each getting their own voice), and enhanced by sound effects, really brings it to life.

If you want to sample it, it starts here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY1E-NqPcP0&t=5s
 
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10088 on: August 28, 2020, 12:09:24 AM »
Gabriel García Márquez: Love in the Time of Cholera





I thought this a very good read. It had strong characters and a good plot. However, I thought that it was over long and could have done with some constructive editing; insertion of shorter chapters to break up the sometimes rambling, wandering storytelling [which was, in itself, very good]. The conclusion, literally the last two pages, was  ridiculous in the context of such a detailed novel; perhaps he had a Hollywood film in mind when he concluded it.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10089 on: August 28, 2020, 12:11:59 AM »
James Joyce: Ulysses

This is my second go-round, but I'm not actually reading it. I'm listening to the spectacular large-cast recording of it, made by RTE in Joyce's 100th anniversary year, 1982.

To my mind, this is the ideal way to experience Ulysses. Since it's one of the most poly-stylistic books ever written, and can be exhausting when you confront it on the page, hearing it read out by multiple voices (with the major characters each getting their own voice), and enhanced by sound effects, really brings it to life.

If you want to sample it, it starts here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY1E-NqPcP0&t=5s

You are quite correct, of course. I also believe that it is a much more meaningful book when it is heard as opposed to read. Some of the Joyceans in my country believe that if one is reading it one should read it aloud to oneself.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10090 on: August 28, 2020, 01:25:55 AM »
knocked off a few quickies:



and started:


Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10091 on: August 28, 2020, 01:56:12 AM »
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10092 on: August 28, 2020, 06:04:00 AM »
James Joyce: Ulysses

Speaking of Ulysses, I have almost finished it. Only about 20 pages more to go. I'm at the last chapter which describes Molly Bloom's thoughts. This is often thought of as one of the most difficult chapters of the book but I find it rather easy. The only minor annoyance so far has been the lack of punctuation and extremely long paragraphs. However, that has not been the most baffling thing about Ulysses. The most baffling thing is understanding every single reference in stream of consciousness of the characters, varying from extremely easy to spot to extremely obscure and unknown. And this chapter is easy to understand. My hat's off to anyone who understands only half of the numerous allusions in this book without cheating. I believe Joyce himself said that he had put in so many enigmas that critics are gonna debate this forever and that's the only way to immortality. You can believe I was pissed off when I learned after several hundred pages of reading that there is an annotated translation in existence. Although if I had picked that one, I wouldn't probably be even halfway through.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10093 on: August 28, 2020, 06:14:11 AM »
You are quite correct, of course. I also believe that it is a much more meaningful book when it is heard as opposed to read. Some of the Joyceans in my country believe that if one is reading it one should read it aloud to oneself.

I think they are probably right. In addition to this RTE version, I also sampled the Naxos audiobook, read by Jim Norton. He does a really good job with it, but it's still only one voice. I think it would be wearying to listen to one voice for 27 hours. Still, I'm glad he's available for comparison.

Speaking of Ulysses, I have almost finished it.

I think the key to enjoying it is not to worry about the whole mess of allusions, references, minutiae and so forth, but rather to let the style and characterization take control of your mind. That said, it's also helpful to be familiar with Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, because many of the characters in Ulysses make their first appearances in those books.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10094 on: August 28, 2020, 06:15:59 AM »
Speaking of Ulysses, I have almost finished it. Only about 20 pages more to go. I'm at the last chapter which describes Molly Bloom's thoughts. This is often thought of as one of the most difficult chapters of the book but I find it rather easy. The only minor annoyance so far has been the lack of punctuation and extremely long paragraphs. However, that has not been the most baffling thing about Ulysses. The most baffling thing is understanding every single reference in stream of consciousness of the characters, varying from extremely easy to spot to extremely obscure and unknown. And this chapter is easy to understand. My hat's off to anyone who understands only half of the numerous allusions in this book without cheating. I believe Joyce himself said that he had put in so many enigmas that critics are gonna debate this forever and that's the only way to immortality. You can believe I was pissed off when I learned after several hundred pages of reading that there is an annotated translation in existence. Although if I had picked that one, I wouldn't probably be even halfway through.

Yes, but you are enjoying it nonetheless. Well done for staying with it.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10095 on: August 28, 2020, 01:06:33 PM »
I must look out for that one.

A short story collection, and like most a mixed bag, though I's still recommend it. The first four of the seven I thought especially good.

Only one story I thought was a total misfire, the one which is Kafka's Metamorphosis in reverse, but others may like the gimmick there.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 01:12:26 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10096 on: August 28, 2020, 03:11:06 PM »
Gabriel García Márquez: Love in the Time of Cholera





I thought this a very good read. It had strong characters and a good plot. However, I thought that it was over long and could have done with some constructive editing; insertion of shorter chapters to break up the sometimes rambling, wandering storytelling [which was, in itself, very good]. The conclusion, literally the last two pages, was  ridiculous in the context of such a detailed novel; perhaps he had a Hollywood film in mind when he concluded it.

The rambling, highly detailed nature of the book stalled me; I had to put it down about halfway through. Hopefully I will pick it up and finish it before the end of the year. I really loved his 100 Years of Solitude; this one seemed to be of a different caliber.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10097 on: August 30, 2020, 12:51:52 AM »
Johnston How Many Miles To Babylon?





A short but wonderfully written book which really brings characters and landscapes to life. It was a real pleasure to read.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10098 on: August 30, 2020, 12:52:21 AM »
A short story collection, and like most a mixed bag, though I's still recommend it. The first four of the seven I thought especially good.

Only one story I thought was a total misfire, the one which is Kafka's Metamorphosis in reverse, but others may like the gimmick there.

Cheers and thank you.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10099 on: August 30, 2020, 12:54:36 AM »



The rambling, highly detailed nature of the book stalled me; I had to put it down about halfway through. Hopefully I will pick it up and finish it before the end of the year. I really loved his 100 Years of Solitude; this one seemed to be of a different caliber.

I can understand that. Despite the quality of the book it was sometimes a tortuous read. As I have already mentioned, serious editing should have been employed.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.