Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 789204 times)

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Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9400 on: September 16, 2019, 10:00:36 AM »
I don't know of a specific book to suggest, but if you want presidential contests that were triumphs of mudslinging and skullduggery, read on up on the two elections in which John Quincy Adams opposed Andrew Jackson.  The first one JQA won in the House of Representatives, the second one Jackson won.

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9401 on: September 16, 2019, 02:59:15 PM »
Yeah, that's another one I know in outline but not in detail, if anyone can recommend a study of it.

Or even if they know a particularly good biography of Jackson.

Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9402 on: September 16, 2019, 03:39:08 PM »
Yeah, that's another one I know in outline but not in detail, if anyone can recommend a study of it.

Or even if they know a particularly good biography of Jackson.

As for Jackson, there is a one volume biography by HW Brands--didn't you read his newest one not long ago?--and a book by Meacham that restricts itself to his years as President. I have not read either one, but I read Robert Remini's biography years ago. It is good, but over 20 years old.

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9403 on: September 16, 2019, 04:07:23 PM »
As for Jackson, there is a one volume biography by HW Brands--didn't you read his newest one not long ago?--and a book by Meacham that restricts itself to his years as President. I have not read either one, but I read Robert Remini's biography years ago. It is good, but over 20 years old.

Not me, though a number of his books have turned up on my radar:


Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants (2018) by H.W. Brands - biography of the three giants who dominated Congress in the first half of the 19th Century, namely Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster - this was on my list back in early May, but just getting a start.

 

Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9404 on: September 16, 2019, 04:28:39 PM »
Not me, though a number of his books have turned up on my radar:

That must have been the post my mind was thinking of...

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9405 on: September 16, 2019, 04:38:52 PM »
Looking around I see there's also this one, published by Oxford in 2011:


Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9406 on: September 16, 2019, 04:48:12 PM »
Reminded myself of this one, which is focused on the Adamses. Again, I have not read it.

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9407 on: September 21, 2019, 08:12:34 PM »
Instead of starting the Larsen Washington I knocked this off - a quicker read than I expected it to be:



which was as good as I'd heard, and particularly so in the last quarter dealing with the Ukranian response to Soviet ecological imperialism, the growth of the Ukranian green party, and the cruel turnaround they faced in having to support nuclear power and the site in the face of economic collapse in the post-Soviet era

Offline greg

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9408 on: September 23, 2019, 06:38:36 PM »


Just started this massive undertaking- the legendary, one and only, Umineko no Naku Koro ni (it's a visual novel in the mystery genre).

I say massive, because if it were a book, it would be over 3600 pages! Expecting to take about 2 months to finish this.

What led me to pick it up were: 1) it's related to Higurashi When They Cry, which I love, and 2) the reviews of some people make it sound like this was some sort of life-altering experience that it's so good.
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Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9409 on: September 23, 2019, 06:52:02 PM »


Just started this massive undertaking- the legendary, one and only, Umineko no Naku Koro ni (it's a visual novel in the mystery genre).

I say massive, because if it were a book, it would be over 3600 pages! Expecting to take about 2 months to finish this.

What led me to pick it up were: 1) it's related to Higurashi When They Cry, which I love, and 2) the reviews of some people make it sound like this was some sort of life-altering experience that it's so good.

Why is it legendary? (Never heard of it...but that applies to most graphic novels)

Offline greg

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9410 on: September 24, 2019, 05:42:59 PM »
Why is it legendary? (Never heard of it...but that applies to most graphic novels)
(side note, since you used the term "graphic novel" just want to mention there's a difference between a VN and a graphic novel, just in case you didn't know)

Probably a little subjectivity of my own there about being "legendary."  ;)

But on any top 10 list of visual novels, it will be there, as well as the glowing reviews (seriously, I've seen a few that are so over-the-top positive that I've never seen quite as much on anything else- and they are dead serious- taken out of context you'd think they are joking).

For me, its importance is large because the anime adaptation is notoriously unimpressive and also incomplete, so I got the memo that it's worth just going to the source: the visual novel. And since it is strongly connected to my favorite anime/tv show of all time (not in story, but in spirit), and created by the same people who made the original visual novel source material for it, this thing has been on my to-do list for a couple years now.  :)

About ~7 hours into it so far and pretty entertaining even though "nothing" has really happened yet, and it's mainly just character introductions and plot setup.
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Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9411 on: September 24, 2019, 06:48:14 PM »
(side note, since you used the term "graphic novel" just want to mention there's a difference between a VN and a graphic novel, just in case you didn't know)

Probably a little subjectivity of my own there about being "legendary."  ;)

But on any top 10 list of visual novels, it will be there, as well as the glowing reviews (seriously, I've seen a few that are so over-the-top positive that I've never seen quite as much on anything else- and they are dead serious- taken out of context you'd think they are joking).

For me, its importance is large because the anime adaptation is notoriously unimpressive and also incomplete, so I got the memo that it's worth just going to the source: the visual novel. And since it is strongly connected to my favorite anime/tv show of all time (not in story, but in spirit), and created by the same people who made the original visual novel source material for it, this thing has been on my to-do list for a couple years now.  :)

About ~7 hours into it so far and pretty entertaining even though "nothing" has really happened yet, and it's mainly just character introductions and plot setup.

I  must admit that until now I have never even heard the term "visual novel".

TD


My copy is from the public library, and is the one on the left. I think the one on the right is the UK edition.

A lively collection of what little info is known about Nero's mother.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9412 on: September 25, 2019, 12:12:21 AM »
VG
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline greg

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9413 on: September 25, 2019, 08:15:51 AM »
I  must admit that until now I have never even heard the term "visual novel".
Oh, if I asked 10 people on the street what it is, probably 8 or 9 would have absolutely no idea.  ;D

Technically they've been around since the early '80s, but doesn't help that they are rarely produced outside of Japan.  :P
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Offline greg

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9414 on: September 25, 2019, 08:53:30 AM »


Finished this last week. It's an all-in-one manga (harcover, 752 pages).

It's about this girl who seduces men into murdering and cutting up her body, so she can regenerate into multiple versions of herself. Fun stuff.  :D
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Offline Jo498

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9415 on: September 26, 2019, 12:56:51 AM »
what's the difference between a graphic and a visual novel? When I was a kid in the 80s they were all called comic books :D And sneered at by adults and regarded as trash (except maybe Asterix because one learned history and Latin there).
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Offline greg

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9416 on: September 27, 2019, 07:21:56 PM »
what's the difference between a graphic and a visual novel? When I was a kid in the 80s they were all called comic books :D And sneered at by adults and regarded as trash (except maybe Asterix because one learned history and Latin there).
Visual novel example of Umineko:

(just flip through it for a few seconds to get the idea, better to show than to describe in detail).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaIXt4qVJWU&list=PLdyU6Nd-103adhYebWb_yha3RNuadQ0Om&index=3

VN's are either PC programs or sometimes on game consoles. But if they have any game elements at all, it's going to be just a branching storyline based on dialogue choices (like the Choose Your Own Adventure books).

The first VN, interestingly, was made back in 1982 and was based on the book Lolita.



And sneered at by adults and regarded as trash (except maybe Asterix because one learned history and Latin there).
Given my general impression of American graphic novels, I might tend to agree... but surely I'd find at least a few to like if I consciously started looking.

Problem is, I've never gotten a good impression of American comics in general. No, I'm not excited about the rehash of same superhero movies based on the same stories again and again... absolutely no creativity.

That's why I mainly stick to the Japanese side of things. I'd rather see a story about kids that are raised peacefully in what they think is an "orphanage" but is actually a human farm, where they are sold to and eaten by monsters when they turn a certain age. Interesting plots like that, not just superheroes until my eyes bleed.  ::)

Trying not to get ranty, just something I've felt more strongly about over time.  :P
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Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9417 on: September 28, 2019, 02:25:08 PM »
Finished:



First read, but wont be the last. While only 150-ish pages its more insightful than most books three times that length, and ranks at least among the best of Didions reportage. The couple of things I picked up after this seemed weak in comparison, so I'm not sure what comes next.

I dont actually have the cover above, I've got it in the big fat Everyman collection of her nonfiction "We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order To Live"


Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9418 on: September 28, 2019, 07:07:25 PM »
Just finished tonight The Butchering Art by Fitzharris. Joseph Lister and antisepsis. A very well written book.

Waiting For Sunrise, William Boyd. A novel set in Vienna and England 1914. My 4th or 5th novel by Boyd over a span of 30 years but so far I am a bit undecided.

The Seeds of Life, Dolnick. The history of understanding conception and birth.

I have abandoned several books lately. Maybe we should have a thread for that.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9419 on: October 01, 2019, 08:39:00 AM »
Julien Gracq. I borrowed Tome 2 of the Pléiade edition, first time I've held one of them,  and I've become completely addicted -- especially Lettrines 2 and La Forme d'une Ville. Initially I was put off by the format of the Pléiade  -- it's small, with pretty small print,  like an old fashioned bible, bound in leather with the feel of luxury -- but now I love the idea of getting to know an author's complete works like that. I like the way the books open flat and aren't too heavy, and they fit nicely in your hand.  I think I'm going to buy it for myself.
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