So you are reading what? v. 2016

Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography, by, obviously, Stephen Fry. Got this at a used bookstore in Philadelphia last week and it's pretty funny and the part about his time at Cambridge is interesting to someone who went to an American college. I knew that a lot of comics and actors come out of Cambridge, but I didn't know that theater/improv there was entirely extra-curricular and entirely run by students without faculty aid or interference. Not too many places get the kind of students who could do that.
     
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  2. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Denmark
    A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couple's Trial by Trail – Angela Ballard & Duffy Ballard

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    Couple fall in love, hike Pacific Crest Trail, and they are still in love when they finish.
     
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  3. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

    May 3, 2002
    Orygun coast
    Sounds like fun, have to look for it.

    Sounds familiar also.
    We, Mrs Scouse and I, hiked the PCT before there was a PCT. High Siera parts anyway. That was after a hike around Anapurna. All of 40 years ago now.
     
  4. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

    May 3, 2002
    Orygun coast
    Including but not only these guys.

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  5. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Saving Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem by a guy who was at LSU when I was, Rod Dreher. It is about 60% memoir, and the parts on Dante are tied to a particular series of crises in the author's life, but if you take that into account, it's a pretty decent book, and still fairly interesting on Dante at times, too.
     
  6. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]

    Laurus a contemporary Russian novel set in the middle ages by Evgeny Vodolazkin
     
  7. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

    May 3, 2002
    Orygun coast
    #332 usscouse, Dec 24, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
    I have quite an extensive collection of Everest and Nepal books. Starting from 1953 when my mum bought me a copy of John Hunts book "Everest" Since then I've read most of the books put out on the subject. People like Herzog, Hilary, Bonington, Ridgway, Messner and Jim Whittaker....and more.

    In 1978 I finally arrived in Kathmandu with the plan on flying to Lukla and hiking up to Base camp. with hopes of looking around and getting the feel of what it was all about. I had no hope of going farther, unless you're a dedicated and known climber with a sponsored team it's out of the question. Or you could buy in for, well about 10 years ago it cost approx. 65/75,000 clams. But I would have been happy with my plan.

    Not to be. There was a slide on the runway at Lukla so no flights in or out during my window. A few of us got together and tried to rent a helicopter ride but no luck with that. Ed Hilary's boy took a tumble one day so the chopper was used for rescue. Then again next day when a Japanese climber had a similar problem. So, we ended up taking a fantastic couple of weeks, flying to Pokhara and wandering Daulagiri and Anapurna. I still have about 1,000 slides if anyone needs a sleep aid.

    I've just finished another book on Climbing Everest "My Old Man and the Mountain" By Leif Whittaker. My wife found it in the local Library. I started it wondering how far I would get But Leif's self effacing and engaging writing style soon sucked me in. Starts with a bit of a bio and his awe and imitation of his dad. Then with his story of his climb he juxtaposes the 1963 climb of the first American expedition with his dad. Then does it very well.

    Jim Whittaker was 10th man and 1st American on Everest. That climb though was momentous because of the way they used two routes and both teams summited the same day.

    Loved the book, I felt every step with him. But it shows how much things have changed. He reaches the South Col and looks up to the Hilary Step and compares it to "Pay and Save on Black Friday" counting one hundred climbers coming down a one way steep trail. Four climbers died on that section 'that night!' Then describing his teams push for the summit when he's stepping around the bodies "littering" the mountain.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed the read and will recommend it highly.

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  8. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I finished this awhile back:

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    Christopher Buckley's The Relic Master is set in N. Europe on the eve of the Protestant Revolution. The protagonist is the titular relic master, whose job it is to acquire holy relics on behalf of two patrons who collect them, one to re-sell and one to retain. I loved the premise and the first couple of chapters really captivated me. But it becomes more of a traditional caper after that after an attempt to pass off a forgery of the Shroud of Turin goes awry. I wanted to keep reading that first book, and was disappointed I could not.
     
  9. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I finished these a couple of months ago (looks like it has been a couple of months since I posted in here):

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    It's the Old Man's War series from John Scalzi, which I enjoyed so much I gave them to my Dad for Christmas (which I am sure he appreciated since he usually gets more somber nonfiction from me). There are two main points of conflict: between Earth and a Colonial Union that acts both as a valve for easing population pressure on Earth and as the colonizing and military arm of humanity (getting its soldiers from volunteers 75 and older from Earth, hence the title), and between humanity and the rest of the universe. The books are very different one from the other, and I enjoyed them throughout.
     
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  10. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am just about finished with Jane Smiley's Moo, a book from 1995 that is a send-up of a land grant university in the Midwest. I am always impressed with the idea that no matter when someone sets an analysis - fiction or not - of the 20th/21st century American university, the issues are basically the same. I found a letter in my departmental files written by the faculty of the 1930s to their fellows fifty years on that could have been written by me, now, and reading Moo reminds me of the same things.

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  11. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    My favorite character in Moo, IIRC, was the conservative econ prof who, on a campus visit to interview for a more prestigious job, charges the University recruiting him his usual (pretty steep) speaking fee. And they pay it. I'll bet none of the guys featured in the book I'm currently reading did that, though universities were different in their days...


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    The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy a set of twenty lectures by French philosopher and historian of philosophy Etienne Gilson, a book I've owned on at least two occasions, and started on at least four. I should finish it this time, though I wish more of the Latin passages were translated.
     
  12. Atouk

    Atouk BigSoccer Supporter

    DC United
    Apr 16, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    Queens Park Rangers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Included in my Christmas stocking were two pairs of DC United socks, a Robyn Hitchcock CD, yummy MarketSpice tea from Seattle, various sweet and savory treats, and this western that I am now reading:

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    "A lawman past his prime; a prisoner past all hope"
    Standard western set in the ten days before Christmas, presumably to impact the title and chances of impulse holiday purchases, which succeeded in this case. :) Enjoyable read while on vacation visiting the in-laws.
     
  13. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's a nice-sounding stocking. :)

    I finished this on a plane ride to and from my daughter's university. My wife had it along and I finished my other book, and I recalled reading something about it being good. I don't typically read Steampunk but it is my wife's favorite genre, so I figured to give it a whirl:

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    Apparently i is atypical for the genre, and that's useful knowledge since it means that while I enjoyed it, there aren't other Steampunk Westerns (as in typical of old dimestore western novels) mixed in with geopolitical overtones and set in a place that's an awful lot like Seattle and told by an interesting narrator, the titular Memory.
     
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  14. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I "discovered" Bill Bryson a couple of years ago, and in the last year I was inundated with books of his at the standard gift-giving times. He is prodigious...

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    I'm a Stranger Here

    Bryson returned to the US after 20 years of living in England and this work is a collection of the columns he wrote about his re-patriation. Bryson's a funny guy, and it's on full display here, but really, he's no different than Dave Barry or Calvin Trillin. In fact, he steals from Barry. About mid-way through I started counting the number of times he wrote: I'm not making this up. The writings lack Bryson's wit and are unmemorable. Just a day after finishing this, the only two columns I recall are his introduction and the second essay. This is not a book that will stay on my bookshelf.

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    The Mother Tongue

    Now this is more like the Bryson that I have come to like. This is a scholarly history of the language, one that shows Bryson's depth, it has wit, and most importantly, it shows how fine a writer Bryson is. He can craft a sentence with the best of them. Alas, my daughter absconded with the book to take on her flight to London, so I will have wait 10 days until I can finish it.
     
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