Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 931525 times)

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Offline Artem

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9700 on: March 19, 2020, 11:29:26 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).
Great book, indeed. Along the line of Simon Reynolds' "Rip it up and start again", but covering a different era.

Online Jo498

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9701 on: March 19, 2020, 12:41:53 PM »
Giovanni Boccaccio: The Decameron.
Had this on my shelves for ages but never started, so I thought prophylactic Corona Quarantine must be the time for this. The framestory is 10 people leaving plague-ridden mid-14th century Florence for a country house. For ten days (deka hemerai) everyone tells a story, so we get a 100 stories altogether. Will see how far I'll get.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9702 on: March 19, 2020, 05:05:07 PM »
^coincidentally (or not, I guess) I'm currently doing a second read of Camus' The Plague:


Offline Spineur

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9703 on: March 21, 2020, 04:34:29 AM »
It is difficult to write about music and very few composers or musician succeed in conveying their artistry into text.  This is not the case for Toru Takemitsu complete writings which have been recently translated and published  into french.  Some portion of his text are also available in English.  The book contains some of his autobiographical notes, his thought about music, his inteview of other musicians, his own interviews and a few short stories of his own.  Each of them are between 3-10 pages long, so the book is easy to read, can be read in any order.  Takemitsu was a  very clear person in his music and his musical thoughts.


Ratliff

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9704 on: March 23, 2020, 04:30:35 PM »
The Cat's Table, Michael Ondaatje, started before the Coronavirus hogged the horizon.



This is a great book. It starts somewhat slowly, describing thee young boys traveling by ship from Ceylon to England, where they will attend boarding school. They meet at the “cat’s table,” the least prestigious dining table on the ship. The book describes their adventures on the ship, interacting with a broad cast of characters, and relates these experiences to their later lives. The three boys explore the physical reality of the ship, and the reality of the adult relationships surrounding them that they only later come to understand. A central mystery of the story involves a prisoner held on the ship, his relationship with others on board, and his attempt to escape. There are flash forwards to the characters in the story interacting decades later, as adults, and coming to terms with what they witnessed on that formative voyage. It also contrasts the culture of Ceylon with that of the West and deals with the issues faced by immigrants. Just a wonderful read. A book that can be grasped upon first reading, and richly reward re-reading, I expect.

For those of you who remember The English Patient, this one is less of a puzzle. I didn't fully grasp what was going on in The English Patient until I read the book, watched the movie, the read the book again.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 05:07:21 PM by Baron Scarpia »

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9705 on: March 23, 2020, 05:36:22 PM »
Hmmm - thank you, I'm going to wishlist that. I have a list of 25 books already in possession at home to read during this, uhhh, homestay. Last night finished Austen's Persuasion; now on to another pillar of merry olde England, The Scarlet Pumpernickel Pimpernel.

Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9706 on: March 23, 2020, 05:50:14 PM »

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9707 on: March 24, 2020, 08:18:52 AM »
One of my favorite cartoons!

Before the current madness descended, a Dallas bar owner was planning to open an English pub called Ye Olde Scarlet Pumpernickel after the cartoon.

Offline André

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9708 on: March 24, 2020, 08:39:06 AM »
Pumpernickel was my father-in-law’s favourite type of brot. Typical german fare. I don’t dislike it, but a few slices go a long way for me. Must be sliced very thin.


Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9709 on: March 25, 2020, 04:26:57 AM »
I have just finished reading Graham Greene's Doctor Fischer of Geneva


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

Offline Kaga2

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9710 on: March 25, 2020, 06:12:39 AM »
I have just finished reading Graham Greene's Doctor Fischer of Geneva



I read that over 40 years ago. Don’t remember it much. Was it good?

My reading has tanked this past week. Too much time online reading about Covid, and arguing with idiots who insist it’s a nothing burger. I am though getting through an old locked room mystery and a couple books of history.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9711 on: March 25, 2020, 07:05:30 AM »



I read that over 40 years ago. Don’t remember it much. Was it good?

My reading has tanked this past week. Too much time online reading about Covid, and arguing with idiots who insist it’s a nothing burger. I am though getting through an old locked room mystery and a couple books of history.

This was a re-read for me. I also read it about 40 years ago. I did not remember much of the book to be honest but I did remember the "feel" of it. I enjoyed it again but then I do like Greene's easy writing style.

BTW, don't waste your own valuable time with the idiots.  ;)
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Kaga2

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9712 on: March 25, 2020, 07:33:51 AM »

BTW, don't waste your own valuable time with the idiots.  ;)

But I just joined!

 ;) 8)

Seriously, I don’t actually try to convince idiots, I just try to make sure other readers see a counter argument. 

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9713 on: March 25, 2020, 08:30:05 AM »
But I just joined!

 ;) 8)

Seriously, I don’t actually try to convince idiots, I just try to make sure other readers see a counter argument.

Fair enough.

BTW do post your history reading. There are a few here interested in that genre.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Kaga2

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9714 on: March 25, 2020, 08:45:57 AM »
Fair enough.

BTW do post your history reading. There are a few here interested in that genre.

Mr Selden's Map of China. 17th century history. Not read very far.
Feeding Nelson's Navy. Odd book, but fun.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9715 on: March 25, 2020, 10:00:11 AM »
Mr Selden's Map of China. 17th century history. Not read very far.
Feeding Nelson's Navy. Odd book, but fun.

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

Offline j winter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9716 on: March 25, 2020, 10:44:26 AM »
Been chipping away alternately at War and Peace and Adam Zamoyski's Napoleon bio for a while now, adding this for a bit more background...



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 Kaga2

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9717 on: March 25, 2020, 11:02:45 AM »
Been chipping away alternately at War and Peace and Adam Zamoyski's Napoleon bio for a while now, adding this for a bit more background...


I devoured W&P twice. Zamoyski's 1812 book was great.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9718 on: March 28, 2020, 09:24:27 AM »
Henry James: The Aspern Papers





I have just finished reading The Aspern Papers. It is curious that my previous read was Graham Greene’s Dr. Fisher of Geneva as both it and James’s The Aspern Papers deal with avarice. An unintentional coincidence on my part.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Mookalafalas

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    Telemann, Russian music and musicians, Piano sonatas
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9719 on: March 28, 2020, 02:57:07 PM »


   I've got that...somewhere. Started it, liked it, got sidetracked--the story of my life. I think I'll track it down and give it another go. It would be the perfect complement to this, which I just started.



   However, I too am mostly diverted by virus news, and am having trouble sleeping and concentrating. As this book is narratively very challenging, I'm having a hard time really getting into it.
It's all good...