Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 931544 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3390
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9680 on: March 05, 2020, 10:00:58 AM »
Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music by Rob Young

A few years ago, I got interested in folk and roots music, and its rock offshoots, and eventually I wanted to know more about the whole subject. This enormous tome (almost 700 pages) covers the UK side of things in exhaustive detail.

One thing I like about it is that the author doesn't really respect genre boundaries. This means he is able to discuss the folk influences and explorations of composers like Vaughan Williams, Bax and Holst as part of the same larger phenomenon as the later folk revivals and the folk-rock explosion of the 60s/70s. He also discusses how folk music in Britain was a "floating signifier" that passed through a number of stages in its significance: the recovery of 'buried" national culture in the early 20th century, the politicized working-class music of the mid-century, and the psychedelic, individualist phase from the 1960s onward.

There's so much detail here that it's easy to get lost in it, but on the positive side, I can open any chapter and learn something interesting. It's really quite an achievement, and I highly recommend it for fans of British classical, folk, or rock (or all three).
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline AlberichUndHagen

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Helsinki
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9681 on: March 05, 2020, 11:49:15 AM »
Started reading Mann's lengthiest work:



Based on the opening pages, there is going to be more time-related pondering, a la Magic Mountain.

Offline JBS

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3864
  • If music be the food of love, play on!
  • Location: USA
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9682 on: March 05, 2020, 01:02:03 PM »
Started reading Mann's lengthiest work:



Based on the opening pages, there is going to be more time-related pondering, a la Magic Mountain.

From what I remember (it's been several decades since I read it), Mann ponders over a lot of things over the course of the series (isn't it actually a trilogy?).

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8779
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9683 on: March 05, 2020, 01:26:26 PM »
Started reading Mann's lengthiest work:



Based on the opening pages, there is going to be more time-related pondering, a la Magic Mountain.

My favourite book, ever. I read it 4 times in the last 35 years. Mann takes his sweet time retelling Joseph’s saga - and its many peripheral stories. It is filled with humorous traits that often come unexpectedly (as in Magic Mountain), and the recurrence of character leitmotives is brilliantly handled.

Offline Mookalafalas

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3008
  • Location: Taiwan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Telemann, Russian music and musicians, Piano sonatas
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9684 on: March 06, 2020, 04:46:46 AM »
Phenomenal writing and scholarship. Like his Teddy Roosevelt trilogy (but unlike his rather cursory LvB), a joy to read. It's not a page turner, but does achieve (for me, anyway) novel-like immersion. And I've always rather disliked Edison.



   It's written in reverse chronological order, which as far as I can tell (1/4 in) provides no benefit at all, except welcome novelty.  I read a lot of biography, and it is kind of fun to not start with the parents, ancestors, childhood, etc.   Perhaps when I get to the end there will be some kind of payoff.
It's all good...

Offline aligreto

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22054
  • Location: Ireland
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9685 on: March 06, 2020, 08:14:34 AM »
I have just started The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu


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

Offline AlberichUndHagen

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Helsinki
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9686 on: March 06, 2020, 09:05:46 AM »
(isn't it actually a trilogy?).

Actually, it's a tetralogy, however it is one novel in 4 parts, not a novel series in 4 parts. Funny how I am reading at the same time 3 novels among the longest in the world (In search of lost time, Joseph and his Brothers, Les Misérables).

Offline j winter

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 815
  • Location: Newark, DE USA
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9687 on: March 06, 2020, 11:47:32 AM »
Phenomenal writing and scholarship. Like his Teddy Roosevelt trilogy (but unlike his rather cursory LvB), a joy to read. It's not a page turner, but does achieve (for me, anyway) novel-like immersion. And I've always rather disliked Edison.



   It's written in reverse chronological order, which as far as I can tell (1/4 in) provides no benefit at all, except welcome novelty.  I read a lot of biography, and it is kind of fun to not start with the parents, ancestors, childhood, etc.   Perhaps when I get to the end there will be some kind of payoff.

Interesting... I got this at Christmas, but haven't started it.  I'm in the middle of big book on Napoleon at the moment, but this is on the list.  I enjoyed his previous books on Roosevelt, haven't read any others...
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 Mookalafalas

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3008
  • Location: Taiwan
  • Currently Listening to:
    Telemann, Russian music and musicians, Piano sonatas
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9688 on: March 06, 2020, 10:14:31 PM »
I have just started The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu




   I liked that a LOT.  The first has some thriller mystery elements that I had some doubts about, and book two starts off slowly. However, when it eventually moves into the far future, it was the most fascinating and thought provoking Sci-Fi I've read (which isn't much, admittedly).  One point he makes, which I found absolutely persuasive, is that we should NOT be trying to broadcast our presence to ET life.
It's all good...

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14351
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9689 on: March 07, 2020, 01:30:53 AM »
Started reading Mann's lengthiest work:



Based on the opening pages, there is going to be more time-related pondering, a la Magic Mountain.

I’ll be interested to know what you make of that, I’m not sure if  I finished it. He certainly had ideas about time and rebirth, and I vaguely remember being a bit put off by it all, but I may well return to it.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2020, 10:54:39 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline aligreto

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22054
  • Location: Ireland
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9690 on: March 07, 2020, 04:56:10 AM »



   I liked that a LOT.  The first has some thriller mystery elements that I had some doubts about, and book two starts off slowly. However, when it eventually moves into the far future, it was the most fascinating and thought provoking Sci-Fi I've read (which isn't much, admittedly).  One point he makes, which I found absolutely persuasive, is that we should NOT be trying to broadcast our presence to ET life.

Cheers. I am some eighty pages in at this point and I too like it.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Online Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 21373
    • Brian's blog
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9691 on: March 07, 2020, 02:59:28 PM »
The Mill on the Floss

Offline AlberichUndHagen

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Helsinki
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9692 on: March 08, 2020, 04:19:43 AM »
The Mill on the Floss

Ah, I plan on reading that one at some point too. Btw, I am almost finished with Daniel Deronda and it has been fantastic!

Ratliff

  • Guest
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9693 on: March 10, 2020, 05:46:07 AM »
Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told, Tom Phelan



A novel telling the story of two deaths that took place in an Irish village in 1951. The tale is recounted by three people who meet in a sunroom, more than 50 years later, consisting of the coroner who presided at the inquests at the time, his wife, and a man who was a boy in the village at the time and witnessed part of the aftermath of the first death. It turns out that both deaths were homicides, and the village overlooked the circumstances of the deaths because they brought justice to the victims, in a larger sense.

A fine book, recommended.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2020, 06:52:06 AM by Baron Scarpia »

Ratliff

  • Guest
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9694 on: March 10, 2020, 05:47:03 AM »
Exactly. I just re-read Mansfield Park in January, and the thing that's a struggle is that it's just a vicious read. I'd skim over a paragraph thinking it would be boring descriptions of party planning, then my eye would catch onto a word like a fish hook, and I'd go back and discover that Austen was just seething with sarcasm. Mansfield Park is about as genteel as a knife fight. The fact of slavery hovers over everything Sir Thomas touches - and another thing, too, especially with Fanny's beau, the absolute buffoonery and uselessness of the Church of England on moral issues like slavery. Fanny and Edmund are a uniquely loserly pair of "heroes"; they wind up together because they are useless to anyone else. I don't think Austen had much love for them at all.

The enormous and lengthy subplot about staging the play was - even after I pulled up the play's Wiki and read the scandalous plot summary - not interesting.

EDIT: In her fascinating and highly recommendable (if occasionally far-fetched - but in a quite thought-provoking way) book, "Jane Austen, the Secret Radical," Helena Kelly points out that Mansfield Park received almost no reviews and comment after its publication, and even a column late in Austen's life celebrating her body of work omitted it. The general consensus has been that it's because of the book's weakness; but Kelly, and based on some comments in letters possibly Austen herself, believed it was because of the anti-Church agenda hidden behind Edmund.

It was your mention of the book here that prompted me to read the book again. Thanks!

The Mill on the Floss

Another fine book, better than Middlemarch, I think, which is usually mentioned as her best work.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2020, 06:56:05 AM by Baron Scarpia »

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 19724
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9695 on: March 10, 2020, 06:59:06 AM »


The Man in Revolt
"Visând, întrezărim prin doruri –
latente-n pulberi aurii –
păduri ce ar putea să fie
și niciodată nu vor fi."

--- Lucian Blaga

Offline AlberichUndHagen

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Helsinki
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9696 on: March 13, 2020, 08:45:31 AM »
Macbeth

Online Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 21373
    • Brian's blog
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9697 on: March 13, 2020, 11:13:52 AM »
Another fine book, better than Middlemarch, I think, which is usually mentioned as her best work.
Interesting! I'm about two-thirds of the way through now (their father just died); like Middlemarch, the book has an interesting inertia-driven pace - that is, at the start, it takes forever to get wound up, and then once it starts moving, it doesn't stop. Getting really engrossed.

The ending of Middlemarch is a beautiful little sermon. I hear that the ending of this one is ... rather different.

Offline Daverz

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5765
  • You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down!
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9698 on: March 13, 2020, 11:26:10 AM »
   I liked that a LOT.  The first has some thriller mystery elements that I had some doubts about, and book two starts off slowly. However, when it eventually moves into the far future, it was the most fascinating and thought provoking Sci-Fi I've read (which isn't much, admittedly).  One point he makes, which I found absolutely persuasive, is that we should NOT be trying to broadcast our presence to ET life.

I enjoyed that one, particularly the historical backdrop.  But I was not able get into the sequel.

Currently reading:



Reminds me of a jazz musician riffing on a tune they wrote earlier in their career. 


Offline AlberichUndHagen

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Helsinki
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9699 on: March 13, 2020, 12:08:55 PM »
Interesting! I'm about two-thirds of the way through now (their father just died); like Middlemarch, the book has an interesting inertia-driven pace - that is, at the start, it takes forever to get wound up, and then once it starts moving, it doesn't stop. Getting really engrossed.

The ending of Middlemarch is a beautiful little sermon. I hear that the ending of this one is ... rather different.

Now that I'm finished with Daniel Deronda I think I will move on to The Mill on the Floss as my next George Eliot project whenever that may be. Daniel Deronda was awesome, as was Silas Marner. The only minus with Deronda was that the ending felt rather abrupt and anti-climactic. However, I didn't find the two plots of the book unconnected at all.