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Author Topic: books: what are you currently reading?  (Read 324817 times)
Caleb
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« Reply #140 on: June 22, 2007, 03:43:13 PM »

The only problem is that I can't find any books from that time period that deal with 20th-century history.   


True enough. 
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #141 on: June 23, 2007, 03:28:05 AM »

.  I find that most historical or political commentaries from the past 50 years to be pretty shallow and slanted for the most part.  Somewhere along the way truth took a backseat to scoring one for the team.  As a matter of fact, when I want to read something about world history, or even older American history, I normally look for something written before the 20th century.  Not only were there more well-written books then, you don't get all the social engineering from the "experts" or our day and from recent history. 

Let me get this straight;  You truly believe that writers of 50 years ago or prior to the turn of the century were not influenced by either personal bias, prejudice or political allegiances ?   While I agree that the writing styles and structure in most cases is quite different today than in those days I don't believe for one minute that their accounts of what happened were any purer than todays writers.   You seem to me to be an intelligent person with strong opinions.  Should we discount what you have to say because you didn't say it 100 years ago ?

Everyone who has ever picked up pen and paper (or quill and parchment) or keyboard for that matter has brought their own life experiences and belief systems to their writing and documenting of the world around them.     One account is not necessarily right or wrong,  truth or fiction, but rather one version of events that have transpired.  Always has been ;  always will be.

Remember: Its entirely possible for two opposiing views to both be wrong.
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Caleb
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« Reply #142 on: June 23, 2007, 05:02:01 AM »

Let me get this straight;  You truly believe that writers of 50 years ago or prior to the turn of the century were not influenced by either personal bias, prejudice or political allegiances ?   
Influence is not the same as the absolute mindless adherance that we see from today's writers to their cause. 
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SlowFingers
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« Reply #143 on: June 23, 2007, 06:10:52 AM »

You guys read stuff that requires way too much thinking on the reader's part. 

I go for entertaining and light. I am presently reading the books in John Sanford's Prey series.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #144 on: June 23, 2007, 06:47:29 AM »

You guys read stuff that requires way too much thinking on the reader's part. 

I go for entertaining and light. I am presently reading the books in John Sanford's Prey series.

Slowfingers
I'm suprised that you describe John Sanford's "Prey" series as "light".     Entertaining ? yes, absoultely.  I'm sure you were being sarcastic about the light part.     I've read several of these although I haven't read the latest two or three;   I've got to get back into those.  They're great.    If you like John Sanford you would probably like Micahael Connelly also. Have you read any of his Harry Bosch series ?  Also, the Master as far as I'm concerned is Elmore Leonard for "lighthearted" crime novels.

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Tycho
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« Reply #145 on: June 23, 2007, 04:48:08 PM »

For some reason I can only do "light" when I'm on vacation.  Normally, when I'm not reading about music and guitars, I like to read about politics and current events.

But when I'm on vacation, I devour John Grisham novels in a day and Scott Turow novels in two-and-a-half.  I read Grisham's The King of Torts when I was in the middle of defending a big class action, and even though it was sort of a cartoon version of that world, it was surprisingly accurate about a lot of things.

As for why I would read law novels when I'm on vacation, I guess a shrink could explain that.

Incidentally, if you're ever interested in very readable pulp with a music theme, I recommend Ace Atkins's crime novels.  There's nothing elevated about them, and they can get a bit over-the-top violent, but they've always got a blues/R'n'B theme that makes them lots of fun.

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tuffythepug
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« Reply #146 on: June 23, 2007, 07:01:31 PM »

For some reason I can only do "light" when I'm on vacation.  Normally, when I'm not reading about music and guitars, I like to read about politics and current events.

But when I'm on vacation, I devour John Grisham novels in a day and Scott Turow novels in two-and-a-half.  I read Grisham's The King of Torts when I was in the middle of defending a big class action, and even though it was sort of a cartoon version of that world, it was surprisingly accurate about a lot of things.

As for why I would read law novels when I'm on vacation, I guess a shrink could explain that.

Incidentally, if you're ever interested in very readable pulp with a music theme, I recommend Ace Atkins's crime novels.  There's nothing elevated about them, and they can get a bit over-the-top violent, but they've always got a blues/R'n'B theme that makes them lots of fun.



Yes vacation time is the time I can read for pure pleasure with no time restraints or more pressing obligations.  In fact I just got back from a week at the ocean where I devoured " A Thousand Splendid Suns" .  Great story, by the way.  I would recommend it.   Next up is E.L. Doctorow's latest historical novel "The March" which is set against the 1864 march to the Sea by General Sherman.  I guess I'll be getting a little bit of history as well as a yarn spun from the mind of Doctorow.    I will definitely check out Ace Atkins on your recommendation.  Thanks.
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Tycho
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« Reply #147 on: June 23, 2007, 07:24:24 PM »

Quote
I will definitely check out Ace Atkins on your recommendation.  Thanks.

He's definitely more Grisham than Doctorow, but still fun all the same.
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« Reply #148 on: June 27, 2007, 01:46:35 AM »

Anyone ever read "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", by Robert Heinlen, any other sci-fi buffs?

SciFi fan here.  Read tons and tons of it.  I blame it on finding Asimov's Foundation Trilogy in a house I bought (for $10K back in '72).  I was hooked.  Heinlen is one of the mainstays. 

I have a really bad memory so if i remember a book it made quiet an impression.

I remember Watchers At The Pond, about, you guessed it, about the wildlife of a pond.  Hard to find book read ages ago.
I remember Jack of Shadows, Roger Zelazny, a world that's half light and science and half darkness and magic.
I remember Tale of Two Cities, which I feared I couldn't force my way through but got caught up and couldn't put it down.
I remember Lord of Light and Rendezvous with Rama,  and Bereserker Wars, and Fly Boys, and 1984, and how disappointed I am that my gray matter won't let me recall more of these places I've visited.   But I reread them and sometimes forget the surprise parts!

Anyhow that enough BS for my first post here!  I should go read something to take my mind off the FedEx tracking page that shows my D-03R crawling it's way to PA from Notable.  A watched FedEx truck never moves!  And I'm not even a guitar player! (yet)

Brent
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robv
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« Reply #149 on: June 27, 2007, 11:05:32 PM »

I used to read a lot of Sci fi when I was in my teens and twenties. Now it's really a mixed bag. I did come accross the Hyperion series ~5-6 books (don't remember) by Dan Simmons and was very entertained by his imaginative and skillful writing, Highly recommended. Recently been rereading 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Vienna Blood by Frank Tallis and on deck The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur.
Cheers'
Rob
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Caleb
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« Reply #150 on: July 26, 2007, 01:15:44 AM »

May as well keep a good thread going......

Just got done with:

The Old Man and the Sea - Hemingway
Don't Waste Your Life - John Piper
Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
The Hobbit - Tolkien

Currently reading:

Amusing Ourselves To Death - Neil Postman
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Luther's Commentary on Galatians
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Blue in VT
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« Reply #151 on: July 26, 2007, 01:35:12 PM »

 

Well....I'll go ahead and admit it...I'm a super Dork!!!!  I'm 2/3s of the way through vol 7 of Harry Potter....and I love it!!!  just great so far....what a blast to read...can't wait to see what the end of this epic is like!!

 

Blue
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Denis
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« Reply #152 on: July 26, 2007, 04:53:16 PM »

May as well keep a good thread going......

Just got done with:

The Old Man and the Sea - Hemingway
Don't Waste Your Life - John Piper
Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
The Hobbit - Tolkien

Currently reading:

Amusing Ourselves To Death - Neil Postman
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Luther's Commentary on Galatians

The Hobbit is one you can read more than once.  Great book  and a great introduction to the Lord of the Rings.

To Kill a Mockingbird...wow, that takes me back to 9th grade.  Far and away, the best book I read in high school.  The movie was good too but no movie is ever as good as the book. 
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #153 on: July 26, 2007, 05:00:18 PM »

I would give the makers of the film "Being There" full marks for making a great movie out of an good book. Peter Sellers, in his greatest role, is the key to that perhaps.
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Caleb
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« Reply #154 on: July 26, 2007, 05:15:41 PM »

The Hobbit is one you can read more than once.  Great book  and a great introduction to the Lord of the Rings.

To Kill a Mockingbird...wow, that takes me back to 9th grade.  Far and away, the best book I read in high school.  The movie was good too but no movie is ever as good as the book. 
That was my third go round on the Hobbit (I think). That stroy just never gets old.   It's been since High School since I went through TKAM, but for some reason I just wanted to revisted it.  Nostalgia? 
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #155 on: July 26, 2007, 08:10:13 PM »

Recently finished:       
E.L. Doctorow's   "The March"     
Peter Nichols'  "A Voyage For Madmen"

Also, I would highly recommend the Alexander McCall Smith series of "The #1 Ladies Detective Agency" books.  I believe there are 8 at last count.   If you haven't heard of these or read them they are set in present-day Botswana and are just terrific little books about a "Traditionally built" Botswanan woman Mma Romatswe, who opens a detective agency and eventually marries   Mr. JLB Matekoni the finest automobile mechanic in all of Botswana.  These are little morality plays that will leave you wishing you too lived in Botswana and knew these folks.   The use of language and the customs of these people will charm your socks off.

Next up for me is a re-read of "Sometimes a Great Notion" by Ken Kesey.

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ducktrapper
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« Reply #156 on: July 26, 2007, 09:26:18 PM »

How did you like The March? I wished it was a lot longer.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #157 on: July 27, 2007, 01:56:09 AM »

How did you like The March? I wished it was a lot longer.

It could have been fleshed out a bit more.    It certainly is not another Gone With The Wind.   I liked most of his characters but they could have been developed a lot more.   When you say you wish it was a lot longer do you mean you wish it covered a wider slice of history ?   More of the events leading up to the March, perhaps ?
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #158 on: July 27, 2007, 03:08:11 PM »

I really liked the characters, the plot and I'm a history buff. I thought it was a book that could have easily been twice as long without being bloated. Doctorow's ability to shine a light into those times is fascinating to me. I liked the way it tied into Ragtime. Almost like a prequel. Can we expect more from Mr. Walker?

BTW, has anyone read Orson Scott Card's Empire? It's created quite a stir over on Amazon. Reviewers love Card and the Ender series but hate Empire because of the politics in it, to the point where some refuse to believe OSC actually wrote it. Check out these reviews. Whatever the case, it's making want to read it. I'll be careful and borrow it from the library though.

http://www.amazon.com/Empire-Orson-Scott-Card/dp/0765316110 

Another book I'll be looking for is E B Sledge's With The Old Breed. Looks like a great read for history buffs. 

http://victorhanson.com/articles/hanson072507.html
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Denis
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« Reply #159 on: July 27, 2007, 03:49:09 PM »

I would give the makers of the film "Being There" full marks for making a great movie out of an good book. Peter Sellers, in his greatest role, is the key to that perhaps.

I always thought Peter Sellers greatest role(s) was(were) in Dr Strangelove, one of my all time favorite movies but then Being There, that was definitely a great film.
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