Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 834684 times)

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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9420 on: October 01, 2019, 09:02:21 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.

I can understand what you describe: there is something special in the tactile feel of a well presented book. Go for the purchase I say.
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Offline ritter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9421 on: October 01, 2019, 09:07:11 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.
Haven't read any Gracq, but have been an admirer of the Pléiade tomes for decades. The wealth of information they contain on the authors and the works, and the quality of the presentation (despite the—as you point out—slightly old-fashioned format) make for a unique and most enjoyable reading experience. I've collected 46 volumes over the years (mostly 20th century French authors), and they take prides of place in my library. A publishing feat of the highest order...
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 10:03:29 AM by ritter »
ritter
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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9422 on: October 03, 2019, 08:31:28 AM »
Joseph Brodsky: Watermark





This is not a travelogue but rather a protracted Essay on Venice and Life.
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline greg

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9423 on: October 05, 2019, 01:40:55 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.
Ok, I will be finishing chapter one tonight. Out of 8 chapters. It's been two weeks and I've been fairly consistent!  :-X

So considering how long it takes and the fact that I want to read/play/whatever you call experiencing a visual novel, this will be a long-term project for me. Will just pick up and put down every few months, maybe. So might take a long time... also wanting to experience the new Ciconia When They Cry and also Higurashi When They Cry.

But is it great? Yep! I'd say feeling like a 9/10 for now, even if it at this point there are so many unanswered questions (it is called the "Questions" Arc for a reason).
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Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9424 on: October 10, 2019, 01:27:40 PM »
JBS mentioned he liked Thomas B Costain. Several of his books are 99 cents in Kindle today.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline Moonfish

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9425 on: October 10, 2019, 06:52:25 PM »
Joseph Brodsky: Watermark





This is not a travelogue but rather a protracted Essay on Venice and Life.

Aligreto,
That sounds like a great combination. I need to read more of his works - in particular the essays..... 
Thanks for bringing him up in the thread!
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Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9426 on: October 11, 2019, 12:33:00 AM »
various things on the go:





the Tharoor is whetting my appetite for Dalrymple's new book on the East India Company
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 12:35:02 AM by SimonNZ »

Offline j winter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9427 on: October 11, 2019, 04:04:54 AM »
Finished volume 1, moving on to volume 2.  After several aborted attempts over 30 years, I seem to have finally cracked this.  Very enjoyable, as a writer Gibbon's prose style is astoundingly good.  And not to be too cliched, but reading it in light of today's political environment, the parallels are many....


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

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9428 on: October 11, 2019, 05:00:33 AM »



Aligreto,
That sounds like a great combination. I need to read more of his works - in particular the essays..... 
Thanks for bringing him up in the thread!

Cheers. I must admit that it is the only work of his that I have read but I would certainly be encouraged to read more of Brodsky's writings.
Recommendations in this regard would be welcomed after you have immersed yourself further.
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9429 on: October 11, 2019, 09:05:27 AM »
Hammett The Glass Key. 4th time for this.

Freeman A. D. 381  A follow up to his excellent book on the Christianization of the Roman Empire, The Closing of the Western Mind. This is alas gets much more into the theological weeds, which I have read a lot about, and which is not his strength. However it will annoy both believers and Dawkins fans, which is a plus. 

The Club. Leo Damrosch on Boswell, Johnson, Adam Smith, David Garrick, Sheridan, Joshua Reynolds and a few others friends who constituted The Club.

Still periodically reading a bit of Bleak House.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9430 on: October 11, 2019, 04:23:21 PM »
Finished volume 1, moving on to volume 2.  After several aborted attempts over 30 years, I seem to have finally cracked this.  Very enjoyable, as a writer Gibbon's prose style is astoundingly good.  And not to be too cliched, but reading it in light of today's political environment, the parallels are many....




I read it and reread it several times over the years, but finally gave away my copy last year. It is great to read, as a matter of literature, but a lot of things 18th century scholarship was, in light of modern scholarship, wrong about, and his obvious prejudices got annoying the more I read them.

One serious fault doesn't show up until the last third of the work. He seriously underrated the importance of Byzantine history after Justinian, and compressed it accordingly compared to earlier eras he wrote about.
Try reading Lord Norwich's history of Byzantium, which has its own faults but in style and breadth may be the closest a modern historian has approached Gibbon's level.

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Offline j winter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9431 on: October 11, 2019, 07:00:05 PM »
I read it and reread it several times over the years, but finally gave away my copy last year. It is great to read, as a matter of literature, but a lot of things 18th century scholarship was, in light of modern scholarship, wrong about, and his obvious prejudices got annoying the more I read them.

One serious fault doesn't show up until the last third of the work. He seriously underrated the importance of Byzantine history after Justinian, and compressed it accordingly compared to earlier eras he wrote about.
Try reading Lord Norwich's history of Byzantium, which has its own faults but in style and breadth may be the closest a modern historian has approached Gibbon's level.

Thanks for pointing that out.  I actually just picked up Norwich's Byzantium trilogy in a used bookshop a couple of weeks ago, I've been wanting to read a good history on that subject.  That's next on my list.

I think what got me over the hump with Gibbon this time was a lot of reading up on Roman history prior to trying it again, both to get in the mood and also to refresh on some of the basics (I read a lot of history, but generally not ancient history). I read Mary Beard, a couple from Adrian Goldsworthy, and some Livy, Tacitus, etc. 


I agree that he's got some issues by modern standards; I love the style of it more than anything...
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

Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9432 on: October 11, 2019, 08:10:41 PM »
Rarely have I seen the complaint that Gibbon’s book is too short.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9433 on: October 11, 2019, 09:30:08 PM »
I read it and reread it several times over the years, but finally gave away my copy last year. It is great to read, as a matter of literature, but a lot of things 18th century scholarship was, in light of modern scholarship, wrong about, and his obvious prejudices got annoying the more I read them.

One serious fault doesn't show up until the last third of the work. He seriously underrated the importance of Byzantine history after Justinian, and compressed it accordingly compared to earlier eras he wrote about.
Try reading Lord Norwich's history of Byzantium, which has its own faults but in style and breadth may be the closest a modern historian has approached Gibbon's level.

Which sections held up best in your rereadings?

Offline milk

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9434 on: October 12, 2019, 04:12:58 AM »
I'm up for something taking place in medieval times and giving it a go.

Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9435 on: October 12, 2019, 05:52:36 AM »
I'm up for something taking place in medieval times and giving it a go.

Oh, do let us know. I am very interested in that but the reviews are so variable! I worry it’s a religious parable more or less.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9436 on: October 12, 2019, 06:25:09 AM »
Oh, do let us know. I am very interested in that but the reviews are so variable! I worry it’s a religious parable more or less.

It's excellent. Read with confidence.
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9437 on: October 12, 2019, 06:29:37 AM »
Thanks for pointing that out.  I actually just picked up Norwich's Byzantium trilogy in a used bookshop a couple of weeks ago, I've been wanting to read a good history on that subject.  That's next on my list.

I think what got me over the hump with Gibbon this time was a lot of reading up on Roman history prior to trying it again, both to get in the mood and also to refresh on some of the basics (I read a lot of history, but generally not ancient history). I read Mary Beard, a couple from Adrian Goldsworthy, and some Livy, Tacitus, etc. 


I agree that he's got some issues by modern standards; I love the style of it more than anything...

This is probably the best book on topic:



“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Moonfish

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9438 on: October 12, 2019, 10:32:14 AM »
I'm up for something taking place in medieval times and giving it a go.

I have only read the first volume and enjoyed it quote a bit. I didn't like the English translation very much so I challenged myself and got a copy in Norwegian. It was challenging, but was also a lot fun and added great flavor to Undset's novel. Now I just need to move on to part 2....  Definitely recommended if you like romances set in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages.
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9439 on: October 12, 2019, 10:34:15 AM »
This is probably the best book on topic:



How does this work compare to Norwich's volumes?
"Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want...."
Anna Lappé