Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 972036 times)

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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9500 on: November 01, 2019, 06:42:02 AM »
.... Another one I liked was King Solomon's Mines by Haggard, but again you have to turn a blind eye to a few things. And not mind that the plot is ridiculous!

 :laugh:  :laugh: Very true and quite amusing comments.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Online Biffo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9501 on: November 01, 2019, 09:04:18 AM »
Each year at school we were given a book to read; we weren't examined on it, I think the intention was to prompt us to read further. In the first year we got A Christmas Carol; I did read it but found it heavy going and it was many years before I read any more Dickens. The next year we got King Solomon's Mines followed by Salute to Adventurers by John Buchan.

I read a couple more Rider Haggard novels including She and one whose title I have forgotten but it was about an aged Odysseus embarking on one last adventure to find Helen of Troy, believed to be in Egypt.

I read more Buchan including The Thirty-nine Steps and its sequel Greenmantle. I can't remember much about the latter but the former has been made into a movie at least twice and more recently a television series, suitably sanitized for modern audiences.

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9502 on: November 01, 2019, 09:07:14 AM »
Dumb question perhaps but is that book perhaps the same The 39 Steps that Hitchcock's famous film was based on (and which, to this date, I still haven't seen)?

Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9503 on: November 01, 2019, 09:41:00 AM »
Dumb question perhaps but is that book perhaps the same The 39 Steps that Hitchcock's famous film was based on (and which, to this date, I still haven't seen)?
It is, but you wouldn’t know it from their respective plots.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9504 on: November 01, 2019, 11:30:31 AM »
Each year at school we were given a book to read; we weren't examined on it, I think the intention was to prompt us to read further. In the first year we got A Christmas Carol; I did read it but found it heavy going and it was many years before I read any more Dickens. The next year we got King Solomon's Mines followed by Salute to Adventurers by John Buchan.

I read a couple more Rider Haggard novels including She and one whose title I have forgotten but it was about an aged Odysseus embarking on one last adventure to find Helen of Troy, believed to be in Egypt.

I read more Buchan including The Thirty-nine Steps and its sequel Greenmantle. I can't remember much about the latter but the former has been made into a movie at least twice and more recently a television series, suitably sanitized for modern audiences.

Interesting as Greenmantle and She were two that I too read soon after reading their prequels. I was quite young, could not afford to buy books and borrowed them from my local library. Happy days  :)
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline listener

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9505 on: November 01, 2019, 11:57:47 AM »
Catching up on current history with Brexit Boris
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 12:00:46 PM by listener »
"Keep your hand on the throttle and your eye on the rail as you walk through life's pathway."

Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9506 on: November 01, 2019, 12:03:39 PM »
Life and Fate
V Grossman

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9507 on: November 01, 2019, 12:18:49 PM »
Life and Fate
V Grossman

What do you make of it?
“Especially as far as I am concerned, romanticism is not the bloodless intellectual commitment to a program, but the expression of my most profound mind and soul.” --- Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952)

Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9508 on: November 01, 2019, 12:50:30 PM »
What do you make of it?
I am only at 1/4 through. Not much of a connected narrative, more a collage of scenes from a bad time and place to be alive. I am liking it so far.

Offline Artem

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9509 on: November 01, 2019, 11:14:53 PM »
It's a great book, I think. I'd like it to be more widely known.

I had recently finished Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin that I've been meaning to get to for a long time, but had difficulty with locating a copy. Finally, got one in Helsinki. I had very high expectations for it, probably, but overall it was a great novel. Some really strong imagery.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9510 on: November 02, 2019, 02:43:22 AM »
It's supposedly one of the "founding" books both of the espionage genre and the trope of an "ordinary guy" getting involved in such stuff (although the latter is older if one casts a somewhat wider net, The prisoner of Zelda would already be an earlier example). As you are probably aware, it also served as an inspiration for quite a bit of the Tintin adventure "The black island".

No I didn't know! As a Tintin fanatic I find that very interesting. Thank you.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9511 on: November 02, 2019, 02:44:21 AM »
Nostalgia trip; I remember reading that one as a young man.
Well, I'm glad Fergus to be responsible for you having a nostalgia trip rather than the other way round!
 :)

The 39 Steps has an absurd number of coincidences but the plot device of a completely innocent man being pursued by the bad guys and the police is very entertaining. It reminded me of 'North by Northwest' which is itself like a forerunner of a James Bond film.

I bought a collection of Buchan's other books for £2.00. Are they worth reading?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 02:48:59 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9512 on: November 02, 2019, 06:47:49 AM »
Well, I'm glad Fergus to be responsible for you having a nostalgia trip rather than the other way round!
 :)

The 39 Steps has an absurd number of coincidences but the plot device of a completely innocent man being pursued by the bad guys and the police is very entertaining. It reminded me of 'North by Northwest' which is itself like a forerunner of a James Bond film.

I bought a collection of Buchan's other books for £2.00. Are they worth reading?
Unasked: are they worth buying.
I never knew you were an MP!

 ;)

Online Biffo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9513 on: November 02, 2019, 07:00:21 AM »
Well, I'm glad Fergus to be responsible for you having a nostalgia trip rather than the other way round!
 :)

The 39 Steps has an absurd number of coincidences but the plot device of a completely innocent man being pursued by the bad guys and the police is very entertaining. It reminded me of 'North by Northwest' which is itself like a forerunner of a James Bond film.

I bought a collection of Buchan's other books for £2.00. Are they worth reading?

According to Wikipedia Buchan wrote six Richard Hannay adventures. I definitely read two and vaguely remember reading a third (The Three Hostages, possibly) - I also remember there was diminishing returns with The 39 Steps being easily the best. If you have it give Salute to Adventurers a try.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9514 on: November 02, 2019, 07:01:29 AM »
According to Wikipedia Buchan wrote six Richard Hannay adventures. I definitely read two and vaguely remember reading a third (The Three Hostages, possibly) - I also remember there was diminishing returns with The 39 Steps being easily the best. If you have it give Salute to Adventurers a try.
Thanks. Will do.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9515 on: November 03, 2019, 03:50:41 AM »
Well, I'm glad Fergus to be responsible for you having a nostalgia trip rather than the other way round!
 :)

The 39 Steps has an absurd number of coincidences but the plot device of a completely innocent man being pursued by the bad guys and the police is very entertaining. It reminded me of 'North by Northwest' which is itself like a forerunner of a James Bond film.

I bought a collection of Buchan's other books for £2.00. Are they worth reading?

The only other Buchan book that I have read is Greenmantle. I would say that they are of their time but probably worth reading if one accepts them for what they are,  a light read.
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 #9516 on: November 03, 2019, 09:29:56 PM »
taking a vacation from the to-read pile with this:



and am thoroughly enjoying it

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9517 on: November 06, 2019, 09:14:33 AM »

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9518 on: November 06, 2019, 11:37:05 AM »
started:


Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9519 on: November 11, 2019, 08:10:46 PM »
Florestan wanted to know what I thought of Grossman's Life and Fate, which I just finished.

I am going to quote a couple Amazon reviews that capture my reaction pretty well between them.

Quote
But then there are the myriad characters, most of whom are incompletely drawn. This reader found himself returning time and again to the 18 page list of chief characters to keep track of who is who.

Quote
An incredible look, on a very intimate level, at life in Stalin's Russia. This is how World War II looked to individual Russians on a day to day basis. I've seen nothing else like it. Fair warning: it can be hard to keep track of all the characters. Also, this is not a conventional novel with a linear plot. It's more like a series of short stories or vignettes. But everything is tied together in an over-arching structure.

I still, after 35 years, remember some characters in War and Peace. I won’t remember many of those in this book, and that puts a ceiling on my affection for it. But I agree with the second comment too.

Goya and Picasso both painted war in Spain. I prefer Goya. I remember faces from Goya, but Guernica is a great painting too.