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Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2020.
Mark Twain -- The American Claimant
Also, my wife, our 12-year-old son, and I are reading these together. We finished Le Guin's Gifts yesterday and will start Voices today.
(This LOA collection of the three novels will be released in October everywhere and probably August or September through the LOA site).
After I finished reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, I went straight to The Fountainhead.
Why would you do that to yourself?
First post ever on bigsooccer? I'm guessing troll.
Yeah, in the book forum, no less. But its a pretty subtle trolling job, so some style points there.
Neuromancer by William Gibson
I'm glad my public library had this, as it's a tad pricey...
American Qur'an which I picked up because of the illustrator, who did versions of Dante's The Divine Comedy that I think are brilliant, right up there with Gustave Dore, by the name of Sandow Birk. Each Surah is represented with a scene of ordinary life in America: for example...
I like this for the same reason I like his Dante illustrations: he does a great job putting the sacred in the context of contemporary American life.
I was thinking of this post when I got this in the mail today:
Romeo and Juliet by Michael Rosen and Jane Ray
You talk about beautifully illustrated books, and this finally arrives. On the plus side, I didn't know I was ordering the hardcover version. We've discussed this before: some books are just sensuous to hold, and this is one of them.
This is a stunningly great adaptation of Romeo and Juliet that alternates between the words of Shakespeare (all the famous bits) and a prose simplification of the play. It's a brilliant introduction for a first time reader of the Bard.
Sadly, the book is out of print. I've given away half a dozen copies, so when I gave away my last copy a month ago, I had to go find them used. These are the copies I will give to my grandkids. And yes, I'm old enough to be stocking up copies of the books I loved, and that for the most part my kids loved, for eventual grandkids.
James Baldwin -- Nobody Knows My Name
Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman. A tale of a small town in 1980s North Dakota.
Made me think of the book “Flowers for Algernon” made into the movie “Charly”
One of the tests Charlie takes is to punctuate these words.
That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is.
In the movie Charlie gives one correct version.
That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is.
I finished The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel, which started life as a magazine story in . . . I can't recall, GQ or another men's magazine, and it reads to me like a 225 page long article. It's pretty easy reading and the subject - a hermit who spent 27 years in the Maine woods - is an intriguing one to a certain degree. There's nothing really profound about it, and Finkel seemed to have taken some advantage in pursuing the subject, but he's up front about that.
I am not sure I'd recommend it but it works as casual reading and is enjoyable in its own way. Loads of questions go unanswered but I am also happy Finkel didn't try to answer them or badger the subject until he answered them.
Atlantic did a short documentary on the North Pond Hermit:
And here's The Atlantic's review of said work: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/lessons-of-the-hermit/517770/
I dig hermit books. One of my favorites is a local history project from a Gloucester, MA author:
Ravenswood is a heavily wooded area near Gloucester which is really a pleasant place to walk. Though my wife and I got seriously lost there the first time we tried. I mean, it's only 2-3 square miles, but we never did figure out why the blue dots stopped appearing on trees and why all trails seemed to end at various parts of the same swamp.
This one is pretty good, too: explores the concept from the 4th century Christian desert hermits to 20th century versions. The 18th century trend of English country estates employing "ornamental hermits" was interesting . . . there were times in my life where a Myers-Briggs test would've listed that as an ideal occupation for me. Alas, once again, my ideal calling (ornamental hermit, bookstore clerk) was done in by changing economic circumstances beyond my control.
Ornamental Hermit. Great band name.
I finished this at 11 last night after a marathon read. Deon Meyer’s “Fever” a Murders mystery set in a post apocalyptic South Africa. 550 pagesWritten in 2016 and Translated from Afrikaans.
Even has a glossary of SA terms.
A new strain of coronavirus that developed from a chance interaction between an HIV-positive man and a sick bat has wiped out 95% of the Earth’s population in just a few months. In a brief, ominous prologue, narrator Nico Storm promises to reveal the truth about the murder of his father, Willem.
Willem Storm’s vision is to start a new colony for the scattered survivors just 5% left of of the population. (Of Almost 8 billion world wide)
A really good read as the writer weaves back and forth with some of the lead characters and the conflicts with gangs of killers who would rather steal for the moment than plan ahead.
Then the age old conflict with church and State as they try to form a fledgling republic.
Like I said. Good read, and what life could be like if Trump had it all its own way.
I love books like this. Definitely going to check this out. Thanks!
I picked this up from the local library (well, they brought it out to my car as part of their curbside service during the Covid era), and I enjoyed it quite a bit:
John G. Turner is a professor of American Religion at George Mason University, and this is his third of four books. It's an interesting "Christology" that takes various aspects of Mormon teachings about and worship of Jesus Christ and traces their (often) changing nature over time, always taking care to contextualize it with other contemporary Protestant thinking on the same subtopic. I have studied both the Great Awakening of the 1700s and this "little Great Awakening" of the early 1800s, and never learned about the Mormons in any religious context except "there was a religious fervor in the 1820s" and so I found this fascinating.
When I was in college, a friend of mine who dug history rounded a few of us up for a road trip to Nauvoo, Illinois. Seeing that temple was mind-boggling: like, "how did something like that wind up here?" Then you do the tour and find out that in the 1830s and '40s, Nauvoo's population was just barely behind Chicago. But it dropped off quite a bit after Joseph Smith was murdered and the Mormons went back on the road... though I'm sure you know that part...
. . . some of the government buildings in Springfield can match that, but they were built later: but in the context of the surroundings, it's pretty remarkable.
Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin. About the leadership qualities of 4 US Presidents.
I became interested on that topic after watching Chris Wallace's interview of Trump and Trump said that he may not accept the 2020 election results. "What can Trump do?" I asked myself. I found this book as a source from a news article about the topic. Basically, Prof. Lawrence Douglas presented several worst case scenarios. Some of them seemed far-fetched, but he gave a lot of historical examples and modern political commentary that many of his examples are believable. I do not know enough about the US Constitutional law as well as the political scenes to judge the book.
PS: The title actually does not really say what the book was about.
James Baldwin -- Going to Meet the Man
Well, I just finished reading The Stand to one of the residents in the transitional home I'm staffing during our pandemic. I've always loved the book, but it obviously took on a much more depressing turn this summer.