So, What Are You Reading? v. 2020

Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Nacional Tijuana

    Nacional Tijuana BigSoccer Supporter

    May 6, 2003
    San Diego, Calif.
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wow. I never really roam around BigSoccer too much. Hi, everybody!

    I'm not a big reader, but I am a fire/rescue buff, and quite enjoyed "The Ambulance: A History", by Ryan Corbett Bell. Some rather scary, and amazing, info, from the middle-ages, through the 70's, and then the more modern 80's/90's, etc.

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    https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Ambulance.html?id=-YtlthqHmHsC

     
  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Fratelli Tutti an encyclical by Pope Francis, which is wigging out right wingers around the world for it's radical idea that we're all in this together.
     
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  3. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Found something necessarily fun in my wife's stack of books. It's Zorro's backstory as imagined by Isabel Allende.

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    It begins and ends in California, but takes place mostly in Barcelona and other parts of northern Spain where the young Diego has been sent for an education. The funnest parts are where he and his "milk brother" Bernardo (sidekick in other films, he's an equal here and becomes a second Zorro, with the same skills and disguise so they can maintain the illusion better - there's even a third person in on it) develop the skills they'll later need. It's what I needed; Allende's famously evocative, complex prose is perhaps better suited to other genres than adventure novels, but if you're familiar with it/her, you'll settle into a welcome groove soon enough.
     
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  4. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    [​IMG]

    The original Japanese version was divided into three volumes. In the English version, all three volumes were sold as a single novel dividing into three book sections. It is about 823 pages. In book one, nothing really happened. It was easier to understand, but the story remained very mysterious. Murakami did not give the reader much clue about the story. The plot finally became clearer in book 2, but I struggled to read it through. I nearly gave up on Page 573. Finally, the story came alive in Book 3. I sat down and read nearly 300 pages in a single day.
     
  5. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    You're not really selling it TBH.
     
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  6. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    [​IMG]

    Old dude goes mental. Everybody dies.
     
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  7. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Oh well, Murakami was building up the story. I finsihed Book One easily and quickly. It probably meant that I like it.
     
  8. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    [​IMG]

    In terms of defining (maybe unintentionally) the basis for ethnographic studies, Freire has no peer.

    In terms of understanding leaders who loved the people they ruled over, he routinely quotes Guevarra, Castro, Mao, Marx, and Lenin, so he was a buffoon.

    In terms of understanding the constructivist model of learning, he had a solid grasp but somehow failed to either understand, or at least address, that fields with specific knowledge that needs to be learned no matter what (medicine, etc) exist.

    In terms of terms, someone needed to buy this man a thesaurus and teach him how to use it. I'm not kidding when I say the 120 pages or so that is actually his text likely includes between 750-1000 instances of the word praxis. I knew what he was saying 99% of the time and still had to read in small chunks. Also, the catastrophizing of everything that happens to a person as violence was a precursor to the mush brained little trollops that can't deal with the real world when they get to college these days.

    In terms of human nature, I would ask him one question if he was still alive. If all of human history is littered groups that rise in power above everyone else, and then try to keep it that way, why does he think a fully realized humanity is one of common dialogue and working together?
     
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  9. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
  10. Quango

    Quango BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 25, 2003
    Colorado
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Was just thinking about getting back into this as we dusted off the old Kindle it is stored on. I made it through Book 1, but stopped there several years ago. Not sure I need to reread that section, as I've read plenty of Murakami in the interim, and his themes don't vary too much. Not sure the Kindle can hold a charge, though, and I'm not sure I can read the next 600 pgs on my phone.
     
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  11. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    [​IMG]

    It doesn't have the wibbly wobbly timey wimey aspect of Winter's Tale, but Helprin is a master storyteller and his imagery just resonates with me. A good read that was part of why the other book I just finished took so long. Now off to read this month's chapter or two from Walden and start both Charles Duhigg books.
     
  12. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life an interesting and accessible book about the philosopher (and, we often forget these days, groundbreaking psychologist) whose books and lectures are still worth reading, by a youngish American philosopher named John Kaag whose other books (American Philosophy: a Love Story and Hiking With Nietsche are so good he's probably hated by most academic philosophers from the rank of Associate Professors down to part-time adjuncts. I know I would be jealous a.f., if I had a Ph.D in philosophy.
     
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  13. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    [​IMG]

    They used different words, of course, but it's all there: quarantine, supply chain breakdowns, contact tracing, social distancing, selfish defiance of public health officials, corpses, so many corpses.

    History doesn't repeat but it sure as hell reflects.
     
  14. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 5, 2004
    La Norte
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Vanuatu
    I bet after a few weeks of social media work I could get a good number of Americans believing that miasmas are the cause of the epidemic.
     
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  15. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Wut kind of Mooslim is THAT?
     
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  16. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    You can really confuse those folks with the Treaty of Tripoli 1797. Not only does it say the US government is not Christian, but it uses the words Mussulmen for Muslim. Their heads explode when they see it.
     
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  17. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I recently re-read an old favorite, one that has always filled me with hope for what humanity can be: Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead. I read it every couple of years when the uplifting message is needed in my life, and if that isn't 2020 to a T, then I don't know what else is. I read Card say somewhere that he was inspired in part by James Blish's A Case of Conscience which I had never read, and which I since acquired and read.

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    (I prefer to post an image of the cover of the version I read, and in this case there were about twenty different ones.)

    Rather than hopeful, it's quite bleak. But I can see what Card liked about it in the anthropology of studying the alien race at the heart of the story, and in the role of faith communities in it. Blish's protagonist is a Jesuit scientist, who comes up against the mainstream church for heresy; a subplot of Card's book contrasts a future version of the Jesuits (not called such but akin to them) with the mainstream church. This is an interesting inclusion in a future-set sci-fi book and I appreciated it in both.
     
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  18. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Interesting. I read Ender's Game years ago, but nothing else. I did pick up the Ender Quartet this year. That has Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind in it. Guess I'll sprinkle in all 4 on next year's reading list.
     
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  19. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Basically, Murakami repeated the storyline again and again in book 2 and 3. As mentioned, the original Japanese version was published in three volumes. I do not know if trilogy was a correct word to describe it. Some people probably skipped book 1 or 2, and bought book 3 directly from the bookstore. Murakami kept going back to the storyline. I got bored on Page 580 something. I nearly gave up, but I wanted to find the ending after reading over half of the book. I spent over a week from Page 580 to 585. Then, it took me about two days to finish the last 250 pages.
     
  20. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't re-read Xenocide or Children of the Mind in the same way, though I liked them. I do revisit Ender's Game from time to time.
     
  21. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad, an interesting account of the role of American culture in "public diplomacy" since the Cold War, at which time the US government pretty much stopped supporting public diplomacy and just let the media (Hollywood, TV) go it alone for fun and profit: as a result, much of the world has a pretty screwy idea of what life in the US is life (I mean, seriously... who actually lived like people do on Friends or Sex in the City). Though for me, that part isn't that interesting; what is most illuminating are the author's discussions with cultural creators from other countries all around the world and how American TV and movies influenced them... often in ways that aren't the least bit predictable. And to her credit, Martha Bayles hears them out.
     
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  22. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've not been reading... I've found through this pandemic that, for me and how I get involved in a story, that I need to not have emotionally strong stories in my life. Every time I sit to read I quickly get quite annoyed and unhappy. I just need to focus on simple and short distractions. Yes, that feels weak, etc... but it's where I'm at.

    Oh, I long for a return to something resembling The Before Time.
     
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  23. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    I've sprinkled in a lot more nonfiction, long form magazine reading, and short stories (The Murderer by Ray Bradbury being my favorite so far). I'm 7-8 books behind my goal for the year, and I think that's largely due to the pandemic and the lack of differentiation in work/home life.
     
  24. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I just recorded a lecture on popular culture and soft power for our online course on "The Contemporary Muslim World." It may surprise you that the country that has become very good at this is Turkey. The Guardian wrote about it here and there's an article in Foreign Policy about it too (paywalled though). I will check the local library for this book.
     
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  25. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    If I'm remembering correctly, Turkey made the movie Valley of the Wolf: America in Iraq, which one Turkish commentator told her is "by far the most Anti-American movie ever made outside America."

    The material on talk shows from Muslim lands in interesting, too.
     

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