Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1045489 times)

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Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11020 on: June 08, 2021, 09:42:36 PM »
That looks extremely interesting. Did anybody like his book with Ozawa? I'm yet to pick it up.

Yes - that was actually excellent. Murakami is clearly a close and careful listener, who was able to speak with Ozawa at Ozawa's level, which was a surprise as the way he talks about classical music or jazz in his novels is much lighter.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11021 on: June 08, 2021, 09:49:27 PM »
There's also a NYRB version of that novel with a different title, which I assume is a more direct translation.

I see he's also done this, which has piqued my curiosity:


Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11022 on: June 09, 2021, 03:49:29 AM »
Orwell: Burmese Days





It is a long time since I have read Orwell’s books. Many, many years later I am going to re-read them. This is his second novel after Down and Out in Paris and London which I re-read lately and both books were published approximately only one year apart. However, from the very first paragraph, Burmese Days is a completely different writing style to Down and Out in Paris and London. It is far more descriptive and detailed of both characters and events. I know that the books are entirely different from the point of view of approach but not so much so that the writing style should also be so very much different from one another. There were also some very interesting characters in Down and Out in Paris and London which could easily have been developed. These are just my very initial thoughts.

Burmese Days is the story of the occupying English ruling class in a small outpost in Burma at that time. It is one man’s struggle against the attitudes, arrogance and prejudice of the English and their treatment of the natives. These sentiments manifest themselves in the conversations among the various members of “The Club” where only white English planters are allowed to congregate each evening to be served by the “locals”. This is interesting from an English perspective as we do not often get such truths on the social injustice of “The English Empire” and indeed how “Empire” should maintained very often from a dissenting English perspective.

There is also an interesting side story about the corruption of a local Burmese official and both of these parallel stories intersect. It can be an uncomfortable read but it is always a compelling one.
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 #11023 on: June 09, 2021, 04:26:09 AM »
You think of Down And Out as being a novel rather than memoir?

It is a work that's hard to fix in an exact genre.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11024 on: June 09, 2021, 05:49:49 AM »
Orwell: Down and Out in Paris and London





This was a very rapid read in comparison to my last read [Dickens: Our Mutual Friend - see Pickwick Club]. My initial reaction to this book is that I am very thankful that I was never that poor so that I experienced the hunger and deprivation that is illustrated in this work. The juxtaposition of this work and the mention of Dickens strikes me as opportune because Orwell was describing the plight of the poor worker in the context of working in some well to do hotels and the gruelling life of servitude that these unfortunate people had to endure in order to serve the well to do their daily meals. The dichotomy of the two modes of life is well contrasted by Orwell even though he primarily focuses on the lower end of the social scale. I am also very glad that I was not dining in those exclusive Parisian hotels that Orwell describes from a cleanliness and hygiene point of view.

The other interesting side of his account is the people and characters that he met and knew and their outlook on Life. Orwell’s social commentary and philosophy are also both interesting.

Zero hours contract.
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11025 on: June 09, 2021, 05:51:09 AM »
Orwell: Burmese Days





It is a long time since I have read Orwell’s books. Many, many years later I am going to re-read them. This is his second novel after Down and Out in Paris and London which I re-read lately and both books were published approximately only one year apart. However, from the very first paragraph, Burmese Days is a completely different writing style to Down and Out in Paris and London. It is far more descriptive and detailed of both characters and events. I know that the books are entirely different from the point of view of approach but not so much so that the writing style should also be so very much different from one another. There were also some very interesting characters in Down and Out in Paris and London which could easily have been developed. These are just my very initial thoughts.

Burmese Days is the story of the occupying English ruling class in a small outpost in Burma at that time. It is one man’s struggle against the attitudes, arrogance and prejudice of the English and their treatment of the natives. These sentiments manifest themselves in the conversations among the various members of “The Club” where only white English planters are allowed to congregate each evening to be served by the “locals”. This is interesting from an English perspective as we do not often get such truths on the social injustice of “The English Empire” and indeed how “Empire” should maintained very often from a dissenting English perspective.

There is also an interesting side story about the corruption of a local Burmese official and both of these parallel stories intersect. It can be an uncomfortable read but it is always a compelling one.

Sounds like I must get a copy.  :)

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11026 on: June 09, 2021, 08:00:27 AM »
You think of Down And Out as being a novel rather than memoir?

It is a work that's hard to fix in an exact genre.

That is a good point and well made  ;)
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 #11027 on: June 09, 2021, 08:01:53 AM »
Zero hours contract.

Yes, it is amazing how not many things fundamentally change with "Progress".
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 #11028 on: June 09, 2021, 08:03:15 AM »



Sounds like I must get a copy.  :)


It is a definite recommended read.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11029 on: June 09, 2021, 03:24:45 PM »
L'amant (The Lover), Marguerite Duras.
Innovative and delicate writing.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11030 on: June 10, 2021, 12:51:22 AM »
Yes - that was actually excellent. Murakami is clearly a close and careful listener, who was able to speak with Ozawa at Ozawa's level, which was a surprise as the way he talks about classical music or jazz in his novels is much lighter.

When I read that book, I thought "this guy is one of us"  ;D

‘“Old and Fabulous Records of Classical Music” by Haruki Murakami will be published soon in this month.  This is a collection of essays on 486 classical music records he likes. Hope an English edition will be published soon.  Jfyi and I haven’t read it yet.

https://tower.jp/article/feature_item/2021/05/19/1111

This looks amazing. Also hoping for an English translation.

Offline ritter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11031 on: June 10, 2021, 01:10:55 AM »
L'amant (The Lover), Marguerite Duras.
Innovative and delicate writing.
A beautiful book, and one that deservedly catapulted Duras (who already had a very distinguished career behind her at the time) into literary mega-stardom.

A couple of years after L'amant was published, I wrote her a letter expressing my admiration for her work, and she was kind enough to answer (saying that she usually wouldn't reply to readers' letters, but that mine had "touched her for its sincerity and naturalness"  :)). Her framed letter hangs on my walls....
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Offline Artem

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11032 on: June 10, 2021, 02:45:49 AM »
That's kind of amazing, ritter!

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11033 on: June 10, 2021, 06:36:29 AM »
A beautiful book, and one that deservedly catapulted Duras (who already had a very distinguished career behind her at the time) into literary mega-stardom.

A couple of years after L'amant was published, I wrote her a letter expressing my admiration for her work, and she was kind enough to answer (saying that she usually wouldn't reply to readers' letters, but that mine had "touched her for its sincerity and naturalness"  :)). Her framed letter hangs on my walls....

That’s wonderful. I don’t have anything like that. I like her writing style.

Online Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11034 on: June 10, 2021, 09:05:28 AM »
If Murakami is covering 486 records, there's a good chance I own at least two or three of them  ;D

Wonder if they tried convincing him to find 14 more.

Offline LKB

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11035 on: June 10, 2021, 09:44:07 AM »
When the Wolf Rises,

An account of the Linebacker ll campaign written by one of the squadron commanders involved, G. Alan Dugard.

https://www.amazon.com/When-Wolf-Rises-Linebacker-Eleven-ebook/dp/B0792YJ3FZ

Dugard's writing is not overly polished, and his overuse of the exclamation point border's on the comical. Still, he is coherent and successfully presents a turning point in the Vietnam War from an insider's perspective.

LKB
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11036 on: June 10, 2021, 10:24:37 AM »
If Murakami is covering 486 records, there's a good chance I own at least two or three of them  ;D

Wonder if they tried convincing him to find 14 more.


I “think” (haven’t read) that the essays are based on the compositions he likes, and he talks about various recordings per work.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11037 on: June 10, 2021, 02:48:12 PM »
I'm about a third of the way into Sayaka Murata's Convenience Store Woman



So far so good; a very easy read. I think it was someone in this thread who first brought this book to my attention, but I've been wanting to read it for a couple months when I found it at Half Price Books the other day.

I have been struggling to finish books lately; I've started and left unfinished 3 or 4 since I last posted in this thread.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11038 on: June 10, 2021, 02:59:05 PM »
Finished the book on Rwanda which was excellent, but needing something lighter so started:


Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11039 on: June 12, 2021, 04:28:44 AM »
Almost halfway through the second volume of The Buddenbrooks and it gets better and better by the page. I can't believe I waited that much to read this magnificent book.

And since my habit is to read several books simultaneously, I also started this:



What is Music? How do you define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, the rustle of leaves in Summer. Music is the far off peal of bells at dusk! Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love!  --- Rachmaninoff