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Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2019.
No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger - Mark Twain
Parts of this are hilarious, other parts not so much.
Found this at a library book sale, I'm like, "A travel book by a Yugoslavian 20 something before he started grad school in philosophy? Pretty sure haven't read many of those before..."
Santhana: A Journey to the East which ends in an ashram but not before a couple of knife fights (with a members of a caravan in Afghanistan, and, later, a cabdriver in Bangkok) by Croat philosopher Bebek Borna, who from what I can tell doesn't have a wikipedia page
^That map of India is hurting my brain
Not if you are a fan of Assam independence.
Google is so great. I thought I was going to have to scan the actual books I read, but no, there's an image already available:
The Jungle Book -- Rudyard Kipling
I've long considered Kipling to be England's Hemingway: sophomoric writing characterized by repetitive adjectives, simple sentences, elementary foreshadowing, uncomplicated characters, etc. And that's true, to an extent, but man, what rollicking stories. I must have read Rikki Tikki Tavi 20 times through high school and after 30+ years, the story's as good as ever. Sure, there are some stinkers here -- the White Seal is an exercise in melodramatic pathos -- but this collection stands the test of time. Other than the aforementioned story of a heroic mongoose, I'm now wishing I had read/shared more of these stories with my kids when they were growing up. This was a delightful read.
Recently, Ive started listening into Christopher Clark's Sleepwalkers as an audio book and oh boy I rarely make any book recommendations... but if you are interested in history in general I cannot overstate how well written this book is. Just buy it. You learn about stuff that happened in Serbia 20 years prior that dont seem to have any importance and later the persons in question turn up contributing to the crisis in July 1914. Great Britain bonds with Japan against Russia and then later not. It's like real life European game of thrones. From a scientific pov it is possibly the best book dealing with this period
Milkman - Anna Burns
"Every weekday, rain or shine, gunplay or bombs, stand-off or riots, I preferred to walk home reading my latest book. This would be a nineteenth-century book because I did not like twentieth-century books because I did not like the twentieth century."
Winner of Man Booker prize, this is brilliant
I re-read the Terry Pratchett-Neil Gaiman novel Good Omens in advance of the television adaptation coming later this Spring. I read it several years ago and I enjoyed it quite a bit. And that's usually enough to dissuade me from watching a movie or tv version because I don't want the show to mess with the images, voices, mannerisms, sets, and the like I have in my mind from the book. This is different somehow, and the idea of seeing David Tennant and Michael Sheen in the main roles of the demon and angel who team up to stop the apocalypse. Re-reading the book, though, they disappear for long parts of the book and the main focus is on a group of pre-teens called The THEM, and to me the success of the series (six one-hour episodes airing on Amazon Prime in the US and BBC2 in the UK) will rest primarily with the kids.
I enjoyed the re-read and am looking forward to the show.
How I Became a Famous Novelist, a much-deserved winner of the Thurber Prize for humor chronicling the rise and hilarious downfall of a guy who becomes a writer of best-selling crap fiction in order to, obviously, get revenge on the woman who dumped him in college and is now marrying someone else by Steve Hely. Quite funny, and in the end, a surprising defense of the sort of great writing and thoughtful books that don't make the best seller lists very often. And damn funny.
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
A fun read that I never read before.
John Steinbeck -- East of Eden
I read the first three in this collection back in '16, then put it down. I finally got around to East of Eden, which I'm finishing up today. It has many emotionally difficult characters/situations and it's not subtle, but the effect is stunning.
I read The Pearl in ninth grade in 1999-2000. The white colonizers were prejudice against the natives.