You Are So Reading What? v. 2019

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

  1. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Faroe Islands
    McTeague, A Story of San Francisco - Frank Norris

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    “No people have a keener eye for the amenities than those whose social position is not assured.”
     
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  2. Quango

    Quango BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 25, 2003
    Colorado
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
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    Kafka on the Shore ~ Haruki Murakami

    The protagonist is more of a heel than usual for Murakami, but the Mr. Nakata half of the book is really enjoyable.
     
  3. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Newman's Unquiet Grave: The Reluctant Saint about the man James Joyce considered the finest stylist of the 19th century by John Cornwall.
     
  4. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Yeah, I probably won't be posting in this thread for a while.
     
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  5. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Mexico City Blues (242 Choruses), a collection of linked improvised poems and sketches by Jack Kerouac, who, I found out just before I finished, passed from this railroad earth on 21 October, 1969. Strangely enough, he lived from 1922 to 1969, as did Judy Garland, whose cause of death was remarkably similar to Kerouac's (fame and addiction issues)
     
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  6. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Faroe Islands
    Sapphira and the Slave Girl - Willa Cather

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    Far from Cather's best, but still a good read.
     
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  7. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography (whatever that is) featuring about 14 essays about walking and thinking, including an interesting one about how walking can patients with dementia, esp. if you take them to a place they remember from childhood, regardless of how much it may have changed, edited by Tina Richardson.
     
  8. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Faroe Islands
    Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston

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    This is very good, though it drags in a few places
     
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  9. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Townie: A Memoir by the son and of one of my favorite writer of short stories by Andre Dubus III. Damn fine memoir. Lots more violence than I was expecting, but after his parents split, he became one of four children raised by a hardworking single mom, and that wasn't easy.
     
  10. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
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    This book unintentionally feels like a history book about history books. It's a hyper-real simulacrum of a David McCullough book.

    It's 2019 and they just don't make books about heroic cisgendered white males conquering nature and brown people without even a passing glance at the consequences. It's not a bad book, I'm enjoying it actually, but it feels like it was written 50 years ago even though it wasn't.
     
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  11. Atouk

    Atouk BigSoccer Supporter

    DC United
    Apr 16, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    Queens Park Rangers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm alternating between these two at the moment.

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    Anton Chekhov-- The Complete Short Novels


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    Penelope Fitzgerald -- The Bookshop, The Gate of Angels, The Blue Flower

    I have finished Chekhov's Three Years, Fitzgerald's The Bookshop, and Chekhov's The Story of an Unknown Man, and am now reading Fitzgerald's The Gate of Angels.
     
  12. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Year of the Monkey an odd memoir that blurs distinctions between dreams and reality, or vice versa, or maybe "obliterates" is a better word, as author Patti Smith writes about aging (turning 70) and loss (longtime friends, bandmates, and --20 years previous-- her husband guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith. Maybe not as "good" as Just Kids or M Train, it's still compelling. She's a pretty decent writer.
     
  13. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. It's a slim volume vand a welcome change from my slog through Russian literature.
     
  14. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    The Cosmic Serpant: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, an interesting book by Swiss anthropologist Jeremy Narby based on his field work in the Amazon with Ayauscaros which is fascinating and which I'm not even going to begin to try to describe.
     
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  15. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Shadow of What We Were by Luis Sepulveda. It's about a group of aging Chilean revolutionaries.
     
  16. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief by James M. McPherson. McPherson is no Confederate fanboy, but it looks like a fair portrait of Davis.
     
  17. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Intelligence in Nature: An Inquiry Into Knowledge which could be further subtitled "and the various way it is manifested in creatures unlike ourselves," in which anthropologist Jeremy Narby follows up on The Cosmic Serpent and travels the world meeting up with researchers who study various creatures (ants, crows, apes, bees, butterflies and "true slime mold" -- which apparently needs that qualifier). There is some debate whether some creatures are involved in something like "calculation" rather than something that could be called "knowledge," a distinction I wouldn't've paid much attention to had the behavior our current president not raised similar epistemological questions, but it was an interesting, and surprisingly quick read. The chapters themselves are fast-moving narratives recounting his visits to, and discussions with, various researchers, with the more plodding (and still often interesting) issue placed in the "Notes" section at the back of the book. Said section is about half the book, incidentally.
     
  18. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    The Spirit of Black Hawk: A Mystery of Africans and Indians, another quick read about the roll of the Sauk Indian Chief and NHL hockey-franchise nicknamesake Black Hawk in the Spiritualist churches of New Orleans from the 1920s to the present (which was 199? when author Jason Berry published this interesting book.
     
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  19. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Faroe Islands
    The Belton Estate - Anthony Trollope

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    "When we console ourselves by our own arguments, we are not apt to examine their accuracy with much strictness."
     
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  20. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am way behind in this thread and so will be posting a bunch in the coming days. My apologies for the overload. I'll start with the most recently finished and go backward:

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    Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan. I notice the subtitle changed at some point, though I can't tell if it was before or after the one listed here. There are covers with the subtitle "A Year with the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants" which the book isn't really about. Yes, Sullivan does use the alleway and its rats as a narrative hook, and yes he goes there many times to observe (probably), but the percentage of the book focused on that/this is comparatively brief. It's a good hook into what the subtitle I had indicates: history and habitat of the rat, mostly in New York City. It's a fun, interesting read.
     
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  21. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    My wife teaches this book in her Nature Writing classes. Did you notice the parallels with Thoreau's Walden? Like, chapter titles that are identical, and various echoes in the text? That's partly why. The other reason is that nature is everywhere, even NYC. Anyway...

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    What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir which is pretty self explanatory and interesting, but I'll keep my long distance activity at a slower pace, thank you very much, because that seems to work for me, a fact which author Haruki Murakami would have no problem with.
     
  22. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    Walking through the library and I found this:

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    It was published in 1898 and is dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt, who wouldn't become president for a few years. I don't have the faintest idea why it's still in circulation, probably an oversight that should have been rectified, like, 50 years ago. I'll tell the librarian when I'm done with it.
     
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  23. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Cool! I think TR was still Secretary of the Navy then, so the dedication would make some sense. That would be a fun find.
     
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  24. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I ducked into a strange discount chain store today on my 5 hour walk to use the bathroom and, on my way out, saw they had a book section. It was mostly not interesting to me, but I came across The Collected Poems of Galway Kinnell who, while not my favorite poet, was a nice guy when we took him out for dinner a couple decades back, and who remembered a visit to my college the day after he won the National Book Award. It was $3.99.

    Q-bert wins, but still....
     
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  25. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This summer we were downsizing when I came across a bunch of old books - a whole box of Louis L'Amour novels (middle school largely), and another of books in the Hardy Boys series (elementary school largely) - that I had been saving in case a child of mine was interested. Which wasn't the case. The L'Amour books were in very bad shape (read too many times after being purchased from various used book stores 35 years ago); the Hardy Boys books were hardbacks (which was the only way they were sold back then I think) and still in good shape. But it turns out there aren't many places which need Hardy Boys books; they are sort of like the Scholastic Books of their day - too common to be wanted. So the L'Amours were recycled but the Boys weren't.

    But I wanted to read one of each before they went away. So:

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    The Mysterious Caravan "by" "F.W. Dixon" (a catch-all name for a lot of people). And:

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    Hondo, by Louis L'Amour.

    I can see what young me was going for. Enjoyable, both.
     

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