You Are So Reading What? v. 2019

Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    The Outer Circle: Rambles in Remote London, a book of essays/walk reports that read like antique entries into the discourse of "psychogeography" (which became a thing in the 1960s and continues to this day, though more and more the word "psychogeography" is used be people who read certain kinds of books on philosophy, urban studies, sociology as a kind of marker, because most people would just say they are "walking" instead of "conducting psychogeographical investigations") written by Thomas Burke in 1921.
     
  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing a collection of essays and a couple of interviews on the art of biography by the author of bio-epics devoted to Robert Moses and LBJ, Robert Caro
     
  3. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Putting the Thirty Years War to the side for now.

    Just blew through Ready Player One last weekend and got this one from the library, slowly getting into it

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So @Val1: Success!

    [​IMG]

    I picked this up both because of your very strong recommendation, and because I had just come off a "fish sitting" stint for one of my students who (obviously) couldn't leave them in the dorms over Winter Break. I have never really been interested in having an aquarium of my own, but I was intrigued several times as Bodie describes setting ones up for friends/colleagues/contacts, and goes through different varieties of fish. It's a delightful picture of what is possible when owning an aquarium.

    I passed the book onto my student, who I think will appreciate it too.
     
  5. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Glad you liked it, ismitje. I think it's simply a charming read. And how often, really, do we get those?
     
  6. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Charming is exactly the word to describe it.
     
  7. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Question: would someone who doesn't keep fish dig it?

    As it is, it sounds like a perfect gift for some friends. We'll have to scan their bookcases first...
     
  8. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Yes. Ismitje liked it and has no interest in fishkeeping. I liked it long before I got into fish.
     
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  9. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    So my wife's college has a School of Architecture and they do an annual "Jane Jacobs Walk" along with dozens of other groups around the world in honor of the great scholar of Urban life, Jane Jacobs. Unlike urbanites in NYC, Toronto, Tokyo, Barcelona, and other places that do this walk, we get to walk past her childhood home. Anyway, the head of the department asked me to teach an introductory writing-based class using this book, Building And Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett.


    I will have to read other things to be able to teach this book with any credibility.
     
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  10. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Shirley - Charlotte Brontë

    [​IMG]

    "If you think, from this prelude, that anything like a romance is preparing for you, reader, you never were more mistaken. Do you anticipate sentiment, and poetry, and reverie? Do you expect passion, and stimulus, and melodrama? Calm your expectations; reduce them to a lowly standard. Something real, cool, and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning, when all who have work wake with the consciousness that they must rise and betake themselves thereto."
     
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  11. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    OK... now I must put this on my list because how dare I miss out on it? LOL!
     
  12. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
  13. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Located on Interlibrary Loan, on its way to me.
     
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  14. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Some great editing, both in terms of the book itself, and by A. G. in revising the poem.
     
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  15. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World a collection of essays, mostly travel-based, frequently hilarious, by Geoff Dyer, who might be my favorite writer among those whose books I do not own. The essay about traveling to see the Northern Lights in arctic Norway is quite funny (I liked his line about how it must be nice to live in Oslo so that when you travel to Tokyo or Shanghai or London or Manhattan you can chuckle about how quaintly inexpensive everything is). I have a headache this morning so I didn't especially enjoy his last essay, about a minor stroke he suffered a few years ago, though even that was was funny when he lamented that his father, who'd recently died at 90 after living a life seemingly designed to bring about massive coronaries, would've enjoyed watching his health and exercise-oriented son temporarily felled by a stroke.
     
  16. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One of my students this year transferred from Mumbai to Idaho to finish a pair of degrees and better position herself for a master's at U British Columbia. It took all sorts of advising gymnastics and additional teaching to get her through one in that year (international recruiters often overpromise). As a parting gift, she left me a copy of a famous Indian novel titled Train to Pakistan, published in 1956 and written by Khushwant Singh, set in a small village on the India-Pakistan border during the violence and chaos which accompanied the partition in 1947.

    [​IMG]

    I've read novels set in many horrific historical situations, and the partition of India is remarkable for how "even" the responsibility for the violence is. The book is a searing portrait of how easily even a harmonious place like the main village could devolve with the right nudges. That the last train gets to Pakistan unmolested is the stroke of hope that Singh leaves, as the "badmash" and the crooked government official step up when others fail.

    It is a welcome gift. It also sent me all over the web looking at photos of Margaret Bourke-White, an American photographer whose pictures of the partition-era are amazing. So was she more generally. Check her out if you haven't before.
     
  17. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner. Maybe not an "instant classic" baseball book, but a readable and entertaining account. Of course, the chapters on the knuckleball and the spitball are the most interesting.
     
  18. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would presume those were the best two chapters!

    A few weeks ago I was at the library and looking for lighter books without having researched any such thing. I came across three titles that struck me as worth pursuing: Your Duck Is My Duck by Deborah Eisenberg, Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCraken, and My Grandfather's Finger by Edward Swift.

    [​IMG]

    I probably should have been familiar with Eisenberg (a MacArthur Fellow, PEN-Faulkner winner, and much more) but I wasn't, and I would have known the funny title did not portend a light-hearted book. But the stories were engaging, and I enjoyed the various portraits of people searching for their identity in a modern context.

    [​IMG]

    Bowlaway entranced me early, less so as the book went on - but reading up on it after the fact, I see I am in the minority. McCracken's novel centers on love and candlepin bowing in New England over about a hundred years, and I guess I just liked the initial set of folks best. It's unique.

    [​IMG]

    My Grandfather's Finger is a memoir that I enjoyed wholeheartedly. I am unfamiliar with Swift's novels, but I am definitely looking them up after this. He was born and grew up in the Big Thicket region of East Texas, hardscrabble for sure, and his family and their small, utterly poor community is one that I could visualize. My only complaint is the size of the book itself, which contains some great black-and-white photographs I would love to have seen enlarged. But that would make for too few pages of text I imagine. It is as vivid a "sense of place" book as I've read in awhile.
     
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  19. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    My wife and I go to Gloucester, MA, once ir twice a year. Candlepin bowling has to happen, otherwise it just doesn't seem right.

    I'm not going to teach online classes this summer so I can get a bit more reading done.

    [​IMG]

    Open City a damn good novel set mostly in NYC but with side trips to Brussels and Lagos by a writer whose work I'm glad to have finally come across named Teju Cole.
     
  20. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is my first-ever summer on a nine-month contract (I have a supplemental contract for about 200 hours over the coming 12 weeks), so you bet I plan to read a lot more.
     
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  21. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Thank You For Coming To Hattiesburg: One Comedian's Tour of Not-Quite-The-Biggest-Cities In the World, an interesting travel book by low-key comic Todd Barry, interesting in part because most travel books don't go this far off the beaten path, but 2 weeks after opening a series of shows in front of 15,000 people at Madison Square Garden, Barry books gigs at a series of what booking agents call "secondary markets" and what the more spoiled comics call "shitholes." But he actually likes playing these kind of shows in front of 67 (his smallest crowd) to a couple hundred residents of college towns (the tititular Hattiesburg, South Bend, Iowa City, Athens GA, Madison, Missoula) and other places with small venues that put on the occasional comedy show. He usually has a local comedian open for him (and give him a ride from the airport). Other places include places like Bethelhem, PA, Wilmington, Del, and California towns I couldn't find on a map without help. One of the most interesting tjings: he met Mitch Hedburg after seeing him open for Ellen Degeneres in a 5000 seat venue. 5000 Ellen fans for the performe of Strategic Grill Locations? Hedburg apparently pulled it off.
     
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  22. Atouk

    Atouk BigSoccer Supporter

    DC United
    Apr 16, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    Queens Park Rangers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    [​IMG]

    Albert Murray -- The Spyglass Tree

    Now reading the second of Murray's four semi-autobiographical novels, this one set primarily during Scooter's college years with flashbacks to his earlier youth.
     
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  23. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Today I learned from a really pompous article in the Times Literary Supplement, that's called "auto-fiction" now.

    I hope the person who came up with that word is proud of themselves. It's more useless than "intertextuality," and I didn't think that was possible.
     
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  24. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Kennesaw Mountain: Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign – Earl J. Hess

    [​IMG]

    Interesting battle, but dry writing.
     
  25. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Some books are auto-fiction and auto fiction.

    [​IMG]
     
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