Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1266629 times)

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Offline foxandpeng

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11880 on: April 22, 2022, 04:17:02 AM »
Louis MacNeice
Collected Poems


Some good work in this. Not a poet I know well, but thoughtful and serious.
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

Online Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11881 on: April 22, 2022, 07:43:59 AM »
The Tide at Sunrise: A History of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905. Denis and Peggy Warner.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11882 on: April 27, 2022, 06:37:01 AM »


Just finished this superb Romanian novel first published in 1933. Supremely stylish prose, subtle psychological insights and splendid nature descriptions. Proust meets Turgenev in Romanian setting and context.

(Adela is the name of the main female character)

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Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11883 on: April 27, 2022, 09:44:26 PM »


Half way through. Excellent, but not the history/sociology book I was expecting, instead a first person travelogue of encounters around black Europe weaving in the history, and meditations on the authors own Afropean-ness, in the style of Afua Hirsh's also excellent book Brit(ish)

Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11884 on: April 29, 2022, 03:07:36 AM »
Barnes and Noble promotional email says this is coming out in November.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Online Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11885 on: April 29, 2022, 08:54:42 AM »
Just started: Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life's Ordeals. Thomas Moore.
Recommended by Vandermolen.
Nice read about the hard-time, depression, tragedies, etc. in life. The book is on the emotional and psychological side more than philosophical/logical side. This could be a strength as well as weakness. Still the book gives consolation and the author is like a readers’ brother/sister.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11886 on: April 30, 2022, 02:58:02 AM »


The Lily of the Valley --- third attempt at reading the whole thing.

I have a feeling this time I'll succeed. The subtle, poetic and delicate prose of Balzac hit right home this time.

(not the pictured edition but could not find a good image for the one I'm reading).
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11887 on: May 02, 2022, 11:13:35 PM »


Reread the "Drive My Car" story, and am very impressed by how much the filmmakers were able to develop and extrapolate from what are the most fleeting one or two lines of information in the story. Also reread the following "Yesterday" and the title story that ends the collection.


Started:



Had this sitting unread for far too long. Every bit as good as I expected it to be and beautifully produced with generous reproductions.

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11888 on: May 04, 2022, 05:56:04 AM »
The Memory Police, Yoko Ozawa



I stumbled upon because bookbub alerted me of a deep discount on the Kindle Edition ($1.99) and it sounded interesting.

A dystopian novel depicting an island where things (birds, boats, everyday objects) regularly disappear. The population almost immediately forgets about these disappeared objects. However there are people who remember, either voluntarily or involuntarily. The memory police enforce the loss of memory of disappeared objects, and those who remember are hunted and arrested. The protagonist of the novel has had her mother and father taken into custody and later hides her editor, who is one who retains memory and is in immediate danger of being taken. A compelling read.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11889 on: May 04, 2022, 09:07:17 AM »
Well, has been a few months or so since my last posting - recent books read and still reading the last two:

Crown & Sceptre (2022) by Tracy Borman - hardback from the History Book Club (have 3 more in a pile!) - a concise (500 pages or so) history of the British Monarchy; after some pre-1066 introduction, starts w/ William the Conqueror and the Normans and ends w/ Elizabeth II - not a lot of detail but a good introduction.

Killing the Rising Sun (2016) by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard - 'An enthralling, gripping account of the bloody battles, huge decisions, and historic personalities that culminated in the decision to drop the atomic bomb and brought the war in the Pacific to its climactic end.' - quote from Amazon - this is my 4th 'Killing Book' by O'Reilly which I've thoroughly enjoyed and will likely purchase more of interest.

Strange Bedfellows (2021) by Ina Park, an M.D. specialized in STDs or STIs (sexually transmitted diseases or infections) - may not be for all but as a retired physician a nice update and refresher course; covers virtually all of the 'bugs' from viruses to bacteria -  :laugh:

Last Days of the Dinosaurs, The (2022) by Riley Black - 66 million years ago, a 7-mile wide asteroid struck the earth in the Yucatan Peninsula wiping out 75% of life on the planet and virtually all of the dinosaurs (except of course birds) - just getting started w/ this newest Kindle purchase - wonderful storytelling so far - probably like many of us I've been a 'dinosaur nut' since boyhood.  Dave :)

     

Online ritter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11890 on: May 09, 2022, 07:59:40 AM »
Louis MacNeice
Collected Poems


Some good work in this. Not a poet I know well, but thoughtful and serious.
I should revisit that. Many years ago I read “MacSpaunday” (MacNiece, Spender, Auden, Day-Lewis) avidly and profusely, but my recollection  of their work (which I found impressively good at the time) has faded. Time to remedy that!

THREAD DUTY:

Starting Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Ragazzi di vita (The Street Kids), his first novel (from 1955), depicting the Roman lumpen proletariat.



On the occasion of the centennial of the author’s birth, publisher Garzanti has beautifully  reprinted the original hardback edition of this and of Pasolini’s second novel, Una Vita violenta.

Even if my Italian is quite good (as it should be, after decades of listening to opera  ;D), this is not a easy read, as the use of Roman slang is abundant in the text. Thankfully, there’s a glossary of some terms at the end (and the internet also helps). I’m only a few pages in, but the book already exudes the poetry that can be found in Pasolini’s films depicting the same sordid setting and down and out characters (e.g. Accattone and Mamma Roma), and its strength in part derives that it’s narrated without any sort of moral commentary.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2022, 08:36:34 AM by ritter »
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Online Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11891 on: May 15, 2022, 12:27:14 PM »
Hans J. Morgenthau: Politics Among Nations.


 


Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11892 on: May 19, 2022, 06:15:52 AM »
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers



I've been a fan of McCullers since I first read her books many years ago. I'm re-reading this book after a long interval.

The book depicts the poverty and limited opportunities that restrict the people who live in a southern mill town. The central character is a deaf-mute named John Singer, who is initially roommate and close friend with another deaf-mute, who eventually becomes insane and is confined to an asylum. When Singer is left alone he moves to a room in a boarding house and starts taking long walks through the town. Singer is able to read lips and communicate by means of a writing tablet and this restricted form of communication allows the people he meets to project their own idea of his identity on him. He is befriended by a disparate group of people who share the trait of being isolated and unable to find their place in society. Other important characters are Mick, a tomboyish girl who dreams of being a musician, a labor agitator who comes to the town at the beginning of the story and leaves at the end, an African-American physician who strives to strives to raise the members of his community from poverty and ignorance, but is unable to relate to his own family, a cafe owner who is fascinated by the flow of people through his restaurant but struggles to engage with them. A gem of a book.

Online Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11893 on: May 19, 2022, 06:20:53 AM »
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers



I've been a fan of McCullers since I first read her books many years ago. I'm re-reading this book after a long interval.

The book depicts the poverty and limited opportunities that restrict the people who live in a southern mill town. The central character is a deaf-mute named John Singer, who is initially roommate and close friend with another deaf-mute, who eventually becomes insane and is confined to an asylum. When Singer is left alone he moves to a room in a boarding house and starts taking long walks through the town. Singer is able to read lips and communicate by means of a writing tablet and this restricted form of communication allows the people he meets to project their own idea of his identity on him. He is befriended by a disparate group of people who share the trait of being isolated and unable to find their place in society. Other important characters are Mick, a tomboyish girl who dreams of being a musician, a labor agitator who comes to the town at the beginning of the story and leaves at the end, an African-American physician who strives to strives to raise the members of his community from poverty and ignorance, but is unable to relate to his own family, a cafe owner who is fascinated by the flow of people through his restaurant but struggles to engage with them. A gem of a book.

Great book!

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11894 on: May 19, 2022, 06:24:23 AM »
Great book!

My big McCullers revelation was when I read "A Member of the Wedding" as an adult. I was assigned it in secondary school and I didn't get it at all. But re-reading, it is a very raw look at a person trying to find her maturity.

Offline Iota

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11895 on: May 21, 2022, 10:07:11 AM »



At 900 pages, in prose that I can't help but stop to savour, I must admit it took a while ..

Although sometimes I feel Dickens paints characters a little too good or too bad to be true, they can still be immensely successful, partly owing to his genius for creating unforgettable characters, and partly because the qualities he gives them are often nonetheless very real/familiar human virtues and failings that stimulate empathy or antipathy, such as he clearly often feels himself.
David Copperfield has a rich line-up of such characters, perhaps the most famous being the egregious Uriah Heep, descriptions of whom are just so simultaneously brilliant, hilarious and repugnant, it's a bit like watching Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks sketch while having live maggots poured down your shirt.

His compassion, wit and powers of description seem to come from a quite inexhaustible reservoir, a spectacle in itself, and they light up the novel from beginning to end. A great and immensely enjoyable book.

Almost straight after DC I read the also excellent Drive My Car by Haruki Murakami. Hard to imagine a greater contrast in prose style. Not surprisingly the short story is very different from the (marvellous) three hour film, but its distinct feel/atmosphere very much pervades the whole film I think.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11896 on: May 21, 2022, 10:14:45 AM »



At 900 pages, in prose that I can't help but stop to savour, I must admit it took a while ..

Although sometimes I feel Dickens paints characters a little too good or too bad to be true, they can still be immensely successful, partly owing to his genius for creating unforgettable characters, and partly because the qualities he gives them are often nonetheless very real/familiar human virtues and failings that stimulate empathy or antipathy, such as he clearly often feels himself.
David Copperfield has a rich line-up of such characters, perhaps the most famous being the egregious Uriah Heep, descriptions of whom are just so simultaneously brilliant, hilarious and repugnant, it's a bit like watching Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks sketch while having live maggots poured down your shirt.

His compassion, wit and powers of description seem to come from a quite inexhaustible reservoir, a spectacle in itself, and they light up the novel from beginning to end. A great and immensely enjoyable book.

Almost straight after DC I read the also excellent Drive My Car by Haruki Murakami. Hard to imagine a greater contrast in prose style. Not surprisingly the short story is very different from the (marvellous) three hour film, but its distinct feel/atmosphere very much pervades the whole film I think.

My favorite Dickens is Nicholas Nickleby. Also The Bleak House but this I've only seen the ecranization, never read the book proper.
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline Iota

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11897 on: May 21, 2022, 10:59:08 AM »
My favorite Dickens is Nicholas Nickleby. Also The Bleak House but this I've only seen the ecranization, never read the book proper.

I still haven't read Nicholas Nickleby, something I should rectify before I depart this world. Not sure I have a favourite, quite a few I've yet to read. I will say I liked Hard Times a lot more than some seemed to .. also attractively brief in comparison to much of the Dickens canon.

Offline Ganondorf

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11898 on: May 22, 2022, 01:02:54 AM »
David Copperfield is in my top 5 Dickens books and I enjoy it immmensely. To me the most brilliant and memorable character of the book is James Steerforth. I really enjoy Byronic Heroes.

However, my absolute favorite Dickens book is Our Mutual Friend.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11899 on: May 23, 2022, 11:57:47 PM »
These on the go: