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Author Topic: books: what are you currently reading?  (Read 318662 times)
Caleb
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« Reply #1020 on: August 07, 2011, 05:42:47 AM »

I have an old Windows Mobile phone with a fairly small screen - reading GK Chesterson's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" about 2 'normal' pages a day and it's kind of a hassle because of how small the screen is.

I read 'Treasure Island' and 'Robinson Crusoe' on an old Compaq iPaq long before Amazon ever came out with the Kindle.  The Nook Color has Wifi and web browsing so I can keep up with work e-mail when I'm on work trips, without taking a laptop or a bunch of heavy books.  I'm probably going to start a rerun with Dickens; "Pickwick Papers" should do it!
I'm a fan of Chesterton.  There is a great TV show dedicated to him on the EWTN.  If you get that channel I highly recommend you checking it out.  I read Treasure Island a couple years ago for the first time. Seemed like one of those stories everyone should read at least once.  I've read Robinson Crusoe every year for the last few years.  Speaking of Chesterton, he thought Pickwick was Dickens' best book. There's a festival here in Texas each Christmas season dedicated to Dickens.  I'm planning on going this year. http://www.galvestonhistory.org/Dickens_Overview.asp  
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LawDogStrgsAttach
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« Reply #1021 on: August 10, 2011, 02:57:23 AM »

I got stuck reading Jean Auel's "Children of the Earth" (aka Clan of the Cave Bear) series.  Have not read non-literature fiction in well over a decade, and it is quite the sugar rush.  Also Calvin's Institutes, and planning on reading the KJV with my dad in honor of the 400th anniversary.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1022 on: August 10, 2011, 09:52:19 PM »

I got stuck reading Jean Auel's "Children of the Earth" (aka Clan of the Cave Bear) series.  Have not read non-literature fiction in well over a decade, and it is quite the sugar rush.  Also Calvin's Institutes, and planning on reading the KJV with my dad in honor of the 400th anniversary.
I keep a KJV by the bed.  The Psalms in the old language are great reading prior to drifting off to sleep.  I've been reading the New Testament in Latin of late. 
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ryler
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« Reply #1023 on: August 11, 2011, 12:24:25 AM »

In Latin?  Wow.  That's a language I wished I had learned, but am not motivated enough to learn it on my own now.  Great for one's vocabulary.  Did you teach yourself Latin or learn it in school?

I'm now reading Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.  So far, so good.  Any book that I look forward to picking up when I'm in the middle of it gets a thumbs up rating from me.  Two thumbs up has to involve some depth of meaning as well as entertainment value.  Don't yet know if this one will get double thumbs.

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LawDogStrgsAttach
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« Reply #1024 on: August 11, 2011, 02:32:43 AM »

In Latin?  Wow.  That's a language I wished I had learned, but am not motivated enough to learn it on my own now.  Great for one's vocabulary.  Did you teach yourself Latin or learn it in school?

I'm now reading Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.  So far, so good.  Any book that I look forward to picking up when I'm in the middle of it gets a thumbs up rating from me.  Two thumbs up has to involve some depth of meaning as well as entertainment value.  Don't yet know if this one will get double thumbs.



There are great Latin self-teaching primers available for adults.  Check Canon Press, among others.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1025 on: August 11, 2011, 02:02:19 PM »

In Latin?  Wow.  That's a language I wished I had learned, but am not motivated enough to learn it on my own now.  Great for one's vocabulary.  Did you teach yourself Latin or learn it in school?

Don’t mistake me for a scholar, as I’m quite the novice; but I am learning and having a good time with Latin.  This is the course I used.  I’m not sure if it’s a great one or not, but I know it worked well for me.  I scored it for $5 at Half Price Books.  

The lessons are broken down in 20 weeks. When complete, you at least begin to read the Latin New Testament (which was my motive for learning the language), as well as classical Latin poetry.  I highly recommend at least dabbling in Latin; it opens up many doors to understanding the fundamentals of language.  
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Randy_R
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« Reply #1026 on: August 11, 2011, 02:51:47 PM »

Reading the Tom Clancy novels I hadn't read previously. Read Patriot Games last week and finished Without Remourse today.

I met Tom Clancy about 25 years ago while living in Maryland. He gave a talk nearby that I attended. Seemed to be a decent guy.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #1027 on: August 11, 2011, 04:24:30 PM »

Hmmm, here I thought the King James version making the bible available to everyone in their own language (as long as one spoke English) was a great stride forward for freedom and all that. Can you tell us the advantage of reading it in Latin, considering the O.T. was in Hebrew and the N.T. mostly in Greek? Or is it just more fun? 
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Caleb
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« Reply #1028 on: August 11, 2011, 05:05:47 PM »

Hmmm, here I thought the King James version making the bible available to everyone in their own language (as long as one spoke English) was a great stride forward for freedom and all that. Can you tell us the advantage of reading it in Latin, considering the O.T. was in Hebrew and the N.T. mostly in Greek? Or is it just more fun?  
Latin is just something I've wanted to learn.  It was a part of classical education for generations and only in somewhat recent history has been dropped in favor of modern techniques.  I think a quick look around the world will show the folly of modern education and the wisdom of the older ways (another thread).  About all I learned how to do in school was read and write, and neither of those very well.  My own education has been through books as an adult; and the more old books I read, the more references I kept seeing to Latin, French, and Greek. I've studied French for three years, though not very disciplined, have started reading Latin this year, and plan to start Greek as a personal project next year.  

But regarding reading the NT in Latin, you're correct: it was written in Greek and translated later into Latin.  I can tell you it's more beautiful in Latin, and it's already given me a much deeper meaning of the text, if for no other reason that I have to slow down so much and chew on each word.  Lightbulbs go off all over the place in everyday life when you begin Latin; there are references everywhere (street names, businesses, root words, etc.).  It's great fun.  
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LawDogStrgsAttach
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« Reply #1029 on: August 12, 2011, 02:33:30 AM »

Hmmm, here I thought the King James version making the bible available to everyone in their own language (as long as one spoke English) was a great stride forward for freedom and all that. Can you tell us the advantage of reading it in Latin, considering the O.T. was in Hebrew and the N.T. mostly in Greek? Or is it just more fun? 

That would have been Wycliffe's idea (and his translation into English) years before the KJV.  He burned for a such a "heretical" idea...

The first successful "vulgar" translations into English would be the Bishop's Bible and the Geneva (favored by the Puritans even after the KJV came along).
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« Reply #1030 on: August 12, 2011, 03:05:56 PM »

   I am reading "The Pearl", by Steinbeck of course.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1031 on: August 12, 2011, 04:55:18 PM »

   I am reading "The Pearl", by Steinbeck of course.
"Kino was a machine..."  One of my favorite lines for some reason.  The description of Kino during that fight in the mountains gives me chills. 
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Danny
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« Reply #1032 on: August 15, 2011, 06:10:08 PM »

"Kino was a machine..."  One of my favorite lines for some reason.  The description of Kino during that fight in the mountains gives me chills.  
 I finished the short book last night. I just had too many activities to finish it in one sitting, though that could be done easily.
    This is a "powerful" story, written very well and haunts you after reading it. It would be R rated at least, for violence and gritty, graphic, descriptions of the foul conditions of many situations and characters in the book.

     Most disappointing to me , was Kino's treatment of his wife when she went to throw the Pearl back in the sea.

One more note is this region of Mexico as depicted by Steinbeck is an area we have explored. Loreto is north of La Paz on the Baja peninsula and the "gulf" referred to must mean the Sea of Cortez. It made it all the more real to me.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1033 on: August 15, 2011, 08:35:28 PM »

 I finished the short book last night. I just had too many activities to finish it in one sitting, though that could be done easily.
    This is a "powerful" story, written very well and haunts you after reading it. It would be R rated at least, for violence and gritty, graphic, descriptions of the foul conditions of many situations and characters in the book.

     Most disappointing to me , was Kino's treatment of his wife when she went to throw the Pearl back in the sea.

One more note is this region of Mexico as depicted by Steinbeck is an area we have explored. Loreto is north of La Paz on the Baja peninsula and the "gulf" referred to must mean the Sea of Cortez. It made it all the more real to me.
That's a good description of the book. Another chilling moment is when Kino hears his wife's cry from the mountain.  Steinbeck calls it "the cry of death."  That line in context is like a punch in the gut.  I actually felt the woman's agony during the reading.  This, in my view, is one of the things that makes Steinbeck a genius with the pen.  This story has a powerful element of 'be careful what you wish for' and the disappointing nature of riches.  I need to read it again, along with Travels with Charley. 
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Danny
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« Reply #1034 on: August 15, 2011, 11:11:04 PM »

  Of course I was saddened as well with the loss and the return to their village was quite a dramatic end. Travels with Charley is sunshine and lollipops compared to this tragedy.
  But the principles laid out are timeless.
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« Reply #1035 on: August 16, 2011, 01:31:07 AM »

Enjoyed some Seth Godin books recently:  Poke the Box, The Big Moo, and The Big Red Fez.  Currently reading "An Anthropologist on Mars" by Oliver Sacks.  Downloaded a boatload of classics onto my Nook Color for take-it-with-me reading.  Finished reading G.K. Chesterson's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" on my windows mobile phone.  Last book I'll read that way.
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« Reply #1036 on: August 23, 2011, 08:40:38 PM »

I'm in the middle of Matterhorn, a big, fat novel about Vietnam.  It is so good I can't believe it.  Might be a tough read if you are a vet from that war.  Highly recommended.  I wonder where I heard of that book.  Was it this thread?  Anyway, it truly makes me grateful for what our soldiers go through and what they sacrifice.

I did end up liking Prodigal Summer very much.  I mentioned it in my last book post.  I was afraid it might be environmentally pedantic, making caricatures of those not on the "go-green" page, but no.  It delivered a deliberate education on the role of many plant/animal species in the context of entertainment.  It did have a subtext, but not one that felt condescending, and it left me appreciating the natural world we live in.  ...And maybe I won't use Round Up as blithely.
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« Reply #1037 on: August 23, 2011, 08:51:04 PM »

Reading some Rex Stout short stories on my Nook Color in between other paper-based books....
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Caleb
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« Reply #1038 on: August 24, 2011, 04:59:22 PM »

Just finished up ‘Pride and Prejudice’:  it’s one of my wife’s favorite stories, and I basically read it for her, to better understand and appreciate something dear to her.  Plus it gives us one more thing to talk in depth about now.  That stuff is good for a marriage.  The characters in the story are the strongpoint for me, and much of the writing is as beautiful as I’ve ever read.  I am amazed at what Jane Austen could do with words.  

Currently reading ‘Hannah Coulter’ by Wendell Berry.  I’ve heard Berry’s name dropped several times in the
circles I lurk in, so I’m giving this book a shot.  So far, so good.  I’m in chapter five right now and find the story pulling me right along with it.  From what I can gather it’s a story that takes place in Kentucky about a girl raised by her grandmother, coming of age, and marrying a fellow who dies in WWII.  I’m not sure where it will go from there.  But I tend to like books like this, ones that read more like a journal entry than a story.  
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« Reply #1039 on: August 24, 2011, 07:43:26 PM »

I'm a big fan of Wendell Berry's non-fiction (mostly essays) and some of his poetry as well.  A mind that runs counter to most of mainstream, modern society . . . Berry's essays are wry, thoughtful, often provocative.  He's brilliant at calling into question many bedrock assumptions we have which we're not even aware of.  He's a real gem . . . can't think of too many other voices like his.  Curiously, I haven't read any of his novels.
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