So! You Are Reading What? v. 2018

Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Faroe Islands
    #201 chaski, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    Lonesome Traveler - Jack Kerouac

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    A collection of short pieces "connected together because they have a common thread: Traveling" ; by author who "read the life of Jack London at 18 and decided to also be an adventurer, a lonesome traveler."

    Don't let the cover fool you!
    The two best pieces are in (1) San Francisco and Northern California - "The Railroad Earth" and (2) Washington state - "Alone on a Mountaintop".

    Here is recording of Kerouac reading first part of "The Railroad Earth" accompanied by Steve Allen (!) on piano.

     
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  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Caretakers of the Cosmos: Living Responsibly in an Unfinished World, a reading of philosophy, literature, and esoterica through the ages presented as a critique of the more nihilistic tendencies of modern life by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gary Lachman.
     
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  3. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Faroe Islands
    Pierre, or The Ambiguities - Herman Melville

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    "It is often to be observed of the shallower men, that they are the very last to despond. It is the glory of the bladder that nothing can sink it; it is the reproach of a box of treasure, that once overboard it must drown."

    This novel is very tedious, but a few bits are entertaining.
     
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  4. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My apologies for abandoning post here the past couple of months. Not a lot of reading - rough semester - but some good ones, including The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age.

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    I hosted David Sanger on campus in October, and we sold a bunch of books - including two to me (my dad's birthday is in November so he has a whole shelf of books signed by my Fall speakers from me as gifts). This is a hell of a thing to read about, and a pretty engaging book. What is most worrisome (I think - there are a lot of messages in here) is how simple the sabotage can be. Case in point is the scheme by Russia to get into a Pentagon network: leave infected USB drives laying around a base, wait for someone to find it and pop it into a computer, and voila!
     
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  5. Atouk

    Atouk BigSoccer Supporter

    DC United
    Apr 16, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    Queens Park Rangers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #205 Atouk, Nov 20, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
    Recent (since last post here):

    James Baldwin's Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
    Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day
    John Banville's The Sea
    Aldous Huxley's Brave New World
    Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale
    Charles Dickens' Hard Times

    Now:

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    Emile Zola -- Germinal

    Just getting started, but gripping thus far.
     
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  6. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Curiosity about the USB drives killed the cat. It reminds me of something I read. Page 16 of Crime Control, Politics and Policy 2nd Edition by Peter J. Benekos and Alida V. Merlo quoted Kathleen Hall Jamieson in her Dirty Politics: Deception, Distraction, and Democracy (1992) where she wrote "messages that induce fear dampen our disposition to scrunitize them for gaps in logic."
     
  7. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Woodrat Flat, a book of ... journals? prose poems? diaries? interesting observations ... by a guy best known for contributing to a book of haikus with Jack Kerouac and Lew Welch, who should be better known at least among people who follow the Beat Generation and/or West Coast literature named Albert Saijo
     
  8. MadAdam

    MadAdam New Member

    Dinamo Zagreb
    Croatia
    Nov 22, 2018
    At the moment I am reading Stephen King's Finders Keepers, I think it is a rather new novel. I wasn't a fan of Stephen King because it is one of those authors who is mentioned absolutely everywhere so I didn't want to read his work for ages. But in the last few years I did and I am glad, he really knows what he is doing! The finders keepers is OK, it will keep you on the edge, but he had much better titles.
     
  9. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Native Realm: A Search for Self-Definition, which I'm reading to get a head start on a world literature class I'm teaching next semester that focuses on Nobel Prize winners, by the Lithuanian-born Polish poet who spent most of his later career in Berkeley, CA, Czeslaw Milosz. Pretty thick in spots, but students with an attention span will likely dig it. Not sure how the other 25 will fare.
     
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  10. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
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    The Other Lady Vanishes -- Amanda Quick

    What a craptastic book!

    This book is a genre bender: part noir, part cozy mystery, part romance, Amanda Quick launches into a complex, multi-layered thriller in a hurry. I was quite impressed, actually, because I bought this thinking it was a cozy mystery. The first 50 pages were as entertaining a midnight read as any. But then Quick kills off her two most interesting characters and the book plummets and I didn't finish. Quick started out as a romance writer and it is evident here: every car is a speedster or a roadster and the engine purrs or rumbles into life. Every woman is gorgeous, if some are striking in a non-traditional way, and each has sea-green, or luminescent blue, eyes, and the hair, oh the hair, it billows and luxuriates around the shoulders. That's why I couldn't finish this thing.

    But... the author's bio states that she's been on the NY Times bestseller list 40 times. How is this possible? Is there a way to check this? Does the Times have a 100-book chart just for romance? The writing on display here is just so bad that there cannot possibly be any crossover.
     
  11. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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  12. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    The Orthodox Church (2nd edition) by Timothy Ware. Interesting history, though the book is relatively short so there are times when 50 years go by in the space of a period between sentences.
     
  13. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I finished a series of essays collected as The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann.

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    I much preferred the tales of madness and obsession, but the largest part were more or less standard profiles of interesting murder cases. The essay about the men building the third irrigation tunnel far below New York City though, that was fascinating to read.
     
  14. Atouk

    Atouk BigSoccer Supporter

    DC United
    Apr 16, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    Queens Park Rangers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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    A.J. Liebling -- The Sweet Science

    It's safe to say now that I love reading Liebling, no matter the topic (having previously read Between Meals & The Jollity Building from the below LOA collection). My to-read pile is massive, but I need to add LOA's other Liebling volume (containing his WWII reporting) to it.

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  15. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  16. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Rumi's Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love, a new biography by the author of previous biographies of the gay New York poet Frank O'Hara and the Southern Catholic fiction writer, two writers who have nothing in common other than the fact that they died at around forty, namely, Brad Gooch.
     
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  17. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Faroe Islands
    The Reivers, A Reminiscence - William Faulkner

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    "I will never lie again. It's too much trouble. It's too much like trying to prop a feather upright in a saucer of sand. There's never any end to it. You never get any rest. You're never finished. You never even use up the sand so that you can quit trying."
     
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  18. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers, and Life, a collection of essays by outstanding novelist Richard Russo, who considers himself extremely fortunate to make a living as a writer. This book is largely about how it happened.
     
  19. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
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    Shogun --- James Clavell

    I read this with my son. It's been a while since we've read a book together, but he has an abiding interest in Samurai, and this was the best I've read. The book is incredibly political and every bit as gripping as I remember from my first reading almost 40 years ago.

    Edit: Quite the pic. I really don't know what goes into how this site sizes loaded files.
     
  20. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    At a friend's house for the holidays and I picked Lawyers and Other Reptiles off the shelf. It's a compilation of lawyer jokes. It was written in 1992.

    One of the author's other compilations, written before 1992, was The Really, Really Classy Donald Trump Quiz Book. I hope author Jess Brallier is making a killing....
     
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  21. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    First up in my holiday break "reading fest" is a book called The Philosopher's Flight by first-time author Tom Miller.

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    At the holiday, I "impulse borrow" based on covers and colors and titles and font, so this one caught my eye on several fronts. It centers on a "science" called empirical philosophy based on sigils, something called smoke shaping or carving, and through them, transporting people and/or flying - almost entirely practiced by women. The protagonist is one of the very rare males who is any good at it, as he trains to join the US sigil corps of "rescuers" of wounded or cornered troops fighting in World War One.

    There's a lot that could go wrong, but after about half the book I am enjoying it immensely.
     
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  22. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I tried to read that. Found it boring as hell. Of course, I was eleven or twelve, and had no aboding interest in things Samurai.

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    Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health, some incredible, and complicated, science reporting covering a couple hundred years of research (focusing mostly on post WWII U.S. nutritionists and physicians) as well as recent (re)discoveries that, maybe, the low-fat/high carbohydrate diet recommended by scientists and the US government from the 80's on just might not be the healthiest approach for most people, by the deservedly-award winning science journalist Gary Taubes.
     
  23. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
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    A decent read if you're thinking about leaving your wife.
     
  24. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
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    The Devil and Dr Barnes -- Howard Greenfield

    Albert Barnes, or Dr Barnes as the fawning docents at the Barnes Collection refer to him, amassed a stunningly staggering collection of impressionist art. The scope of the collection will take your breath away: he acquired 174 Renoirs and 114 Cezannes alone. He commissioned the largest mural Matisse would ever paint and he owned one of Monet's favorite paintings. While most of the works in his collection are not museum quality per se, two dozen certainly are. The collection, if you are in to this kind of thing, simply must be seen to be believed.

    Barnes never made it as a medical doctor and instead made his fortune as a chemist: he developed a use for silver nitrate as an ophthalmic antiseptic that prevented eye infections and a specific infant blindness caused by maternal gonorrhea. He made a mint. And being very wealthy, he wanted the trappings of wealth and collected impressionist masters. His timing, to say the least, was fortuitous. He started collecting with his fortune in 1912. Cezanne, for example, had a MAJOR show in 1909 and he was destroyed. He was called a sham and his work was disparaged. By 1919 when he had a second minor show, he was accepted as an impressionist master, but by then, Barnes had been buying up his works for 7 years and he had a head start on the rest of the hoi polloi. Plus, World War I started and lots of rich Europeans were desperate for cash and he again, bought at the bottom of the market.

    But Barnes was a total dick.

    He sought out everyone he could find to clash with them. Repeatedly. And in disputes that would last for decades. He was almost Trumpian in his general dickishness, so while his collection, and the school he founded stateside for the appreciation of modern art, might be impressive and laudable, he's still a dick. It just comes at you in waves as you read this book. It's a shame.

    But Barnes got his just desserts, it seems. He wanted his collection kept in his house in a residential neighborhood of Philadelphia. He wrote a VERY exacting and specific will to prevent the foundation from ever moving it. But the demand to see this collection just overwhelmed the residential neighborhood and it took a series of losses in court, from a half dozen judges who knew Barnes, and despised him, to allow the foundation to move to a more desirable location in the shadow of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is a lovely site, but Barnes would be enraged.

    And after reading this book, that thought makes me very happy.
     
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