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Author Topic: books: what are you currently reading?  (Read 326180 times)
piscator
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« Reply #220 on: September 17, 2007, 07:25:27 PM »

Creature,

Good for you!  I think Kempis may have intended "Imitation" to be more devotional in tone than analogic.  As you do, I find that "Imitation" is a book to be absorbed more than read.

I discovered a copy of "Imitation" in the discount bin at a book barn.  A stitched, embossed, full leather bound, presentation edition that I got for $9.00 because the dealer figured 'who would want to read something like that?

If you want to explore in a spiritual vein I might respectfully suggest:

Any of Dostoevesky's novels, but especially "Idiot" and "Karamazov"

"Orthodox Spirituality" published 1978 by St Vladimirs Seminary Press

"The Icon" by Michel Quenot, Mowbray, 1992, a short but beautiful book about much more than art history

"Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism" Gershom Sholem, a classic

"This is My God" by novelist Herman Wouk (Judiasm) and "The Quest for God" by historian Paul Johnson (Catholic) make interesting companion works, (easy reads)

"Meditations: A Spiritual Journey Through the Parables" by Archbishop Anthony Bloom, Dimension Books, 1971, is concise and inspirational

Elie Wiesel's works can be dark, but "Messengers of God: Biblical Portraits and Legends" is "upbeat exegesis" on the 'major players'

Carl Jung's non-psychological essay on 'The Book of Job' is brilliant, although not absolutely faithful to the text.

Lastly, Penobscot books in Searsport, Maine is owned by a retired Episcopal priest.  His shop holds one of the largest collections of books on fine art and religion that I have ever seen.  A wonderful man whose name escapes me at the moment.  I have often called and asked for recomendations in an area of religious interest and never been disapointed.  www.penobscotbooks.com

That ought to keep you busy for a week or so :-) 
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« Reply #221 on: September 17, 2007, 10:32:02 PM »

Creature,

Good for you!  I think Kempis may have intended "Imitation" to be more devotional in tone than analogic.  As you do, I find that "Imitation" is a book to be absorbed more than read.

I discovered a copy of "Imitation" in the discount bin at a book barn.  A stitched, embossed, full leather bound, presentation edition that I got for $9.00 because the dealer figured 'who would want to read something like that?

If you want to explore in a spiritual vein I might respectfully suggest:

Any of Dostoevesky's novels, but especially "Idiot" and "Karamazov"

"Orthodox Spirituality" published 1978 by St Vladimirs Seminary Press

"The Icon" by Michel Quenot, Mowbray, 1992, a short but beautiful book about much more than art history

"Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism" Gershom Sholem, a classic

"This is My God" by novelist Herman Wouk (Judiasm) and "The Quest for God" by historian Paul Johnson (Catholic) make interesting companion works, (easy reads)

"Meditations: A Spiritual Journey Through the Parables" by Archbishop Anthony Bloom, Dimension Books, 1971, is concise and inspirational

Elie Wiesel's works can be dark, but "Messengers of God: Biblical Portraits and Legends" is "upbeat exegesis" on the 'major players'

Carl Jung's non-psychological essay on 'The Book of Job' is brilliant, although not absolutely faithful to the text.

Lastly, Penobscot books in Searsport, Maine is owned by a retired Episcopal priest.  His shop holds one of the largest collections of books on fine art and religion that I have ever seen.  A wonderful man whose name escapes me at the moment.  I have often called and asked for recomendations in an area of religious interest and never been disapointed.  www.penobscotbooks.com

That ought to keep you busy for a week or so :-) 

Wow, thank you for all the suggestions.  I may look into a few of those.  I've got so many on my "list" right now that it'll be hard for me to ever get to them all before it's all said and done.  I find that one good book leads to another, and one good author leads to another as well. My list changes a lot due to that.  I've got some great ideas from this thread as well.  IMO, this is probably the most interesting thread in the forum's history. 
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piscator
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« Reply #222 on: September 18, 2007, 04:04:35 AM »

Creature,

You're very welcome!

For me as well, one book, one author, or one theme leads me on and on.  Hope this isn't overly poetic, but sometimes the books seem like paths along a main trail, offering alternate routes, scenic diversions, or just points of interest.  A hint, a suggestion, or a fresh scent, may suddenly lead you in a captivating new direction. 

Recently I've taken to asking my more literate friends to lend me their favorite books.  It's opened up some fascinating paths.  I asked one friend who is a doctor and originally from Cuba, for her best book about anything Cuban.  She lent me some fascinating biographies of 'regular folk' who emigrated to the states.  It's given me a view of the Cuban experience that is probably quite different than if I had selected the books myself.

Lastly, a plug...  If you haven't already, read Dostoevesky!  READ Dostoevsky!  Somehow I overlooked him in earlier years and kick myself for it.  His novels are engaging, exciting , mysterious, spiritual, passionate -- magnificent.  Next to Shakespeare, he's at the top of my 'hit parade' ;-) 

Best wishes for your quest! 

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« Reply #223 on: September 18, 2007, 02:39:36 PM »


Lastly, a plug...  If you haven't already, read Dostoevesky!  READ Dostoevsky!  Somehow I overlooked him in earlier years and kick myself for it.  His novels are engaging, exciting , mysterious, spiritual, passionate -- magnificent.  Next to Shakespeare, he's at the top of my 'hit parade' ;-) 



I think he may be next on my list. I almost bought 'Crime and Punishment' before I started on the books I'm reading now


Working on "The Adventures of Augie March"  by Saul Bellow...A modern american classic. 

Fionn Regan mentions the book in a song on his new album "The End of History" - great album if you have an ear for Nick Drake.

Justin

I checked Fionn Regan out after your post. He is very talented and to me doesn't sound like he is trying conform to a lot of that emo/indie stuff coming out these days. He may be my favorite new artist.
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« Reply #224 on: September 22, 2007, 05:46:38 PM »

Just finished East of Eden.  I really got into and enjoyed that story.  A really amazing use of characters and a completely raw view of humanity at its best and worst.  It's one of the best books I've ever read and I'll be checking out more from Steinbeck. 

I just got "An Actor's Tale" by Sean Astin that I'll start in the next day or two.  I'm sure it'll be a fun read.

I'm about done with Robinson Crusoe and when that's done I'm going to go through the Lord of the Rings trilogy again. Slowly.  I find that having 2 or 3 books going at a time works pretty well for me. 
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #225 on: September 23, 2007, 04:13:38 AM »

Just finished East of Eden.  I really got into and enjoyed that story.  A really amazing use of characters and a completely raw view of humanity at its best and worst.  It's one of the best books I've ever read and I'll be checking out more from Steinbeck. 


I finished it a couple nights ago. One of the best books I've read, too.
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« Reply #226 on: September 24, 2007, 09:12:51 AM »

The Fatal Voyage: Captain Cook's Last Great Journey.  a good read of cook's 3rd and last venture which was to seek out the northwest pacific passage to the atlantic which he discovered didn't exist but he did discover the hawaiian islands accidentally where he met his tragic demise.

To End All Wars.  Ernest Gordon's account of his experience as a POW of the Japaneses during WWII which included working on the bridge on the river kwai. despite disgusting and horrific treatment he found the will to love his captors.  the movie of the same name loosely follows the book.
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« Reply #227 on: September 24, 2007, 03:15:48 PM »

"Heart of the Country" by Greg Matthews
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #228 on: September 25, 2007, 05:13:58 AM »

Just finished East of Eden.  I really got into and enjoyed that story.  A really amazing use of characters and a completely raw view of humanity at its best and worst.  It's one of the best books I've ever read and I'll be checking out more from Steinbeck. 

I


creature
All this talk about Steinbeck in recent posts got me to thinking.  I remembered buying a box of used books at a book sale a few years ago to raise money for our local public library to get some new stuff on the shelves.  I read "East of Eden"  right away but kinda forgot about the rest until this thread came along.
Went back to the bookshelf where I'd stored the books and found a my other Steinbeck. "Tortilla Flat"  is also set in the same general area (Monterey this time) and appears to be a first edition from 1935.  It's pages are getting yellowed and it's spine has seen better days but I'm really enjoying getting to know this strange set of characters he created.  His prose just seems to flow so effortlessly.
I think I'll go ahead and just read all the rest when I'm through with this one.  "Of Mice and Men" probaby is worth a re-read anyhow.
Did you think you'd get over 200 posts when you started this thing ?  This will probably go on forever unless everyone stops reading.

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Caleb
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« Reply #229 on: September 25, 2007, 07:47:25 AM »


creature
All this talk about Steinbeck in recent posts got me to thinking.  I remembered buying a box of used books at a book sale a few years ago to raise money for our local public library to get some new stuff on the shelves.  I read "East of Eden"  right away but kinda forgot about the rest until this thread came along.
Went back to the bookshelf where I'd stored the books and found a my other Steinbeck. "Tortilla Flat"  is also set in the same general area (Monterey this time) and appears to be a first edition from 1935.  It's pages are getting yellowed and it's spine has seen better days but I'm really enjoying getting to know this strange set of characters he created.  His prose just seems to flow so effortlessly.
I think I'll go ahead and just read all the rest when I'm through with this one.  "Of Mice and Men" probaby is worth a re-read anyhow.
Did you think you'd get over 200 posts when you started this thing ?  This will probably go on forever unless everyone stops reading.

tuffythepug
tuff ---  That's a cool story about the Steinbeck books.  Honestly, reading East of Eden really impacted me.  I've thought about it many times since finishing it and can't seem to get the characters out of my head.  I'm sure that's what Steinbeck (or any author) would have wanted, but the book just really did a job on me for some reason....hard to explain, but I'm sure you understand.  I'm having a hard time switching gears to Tolkien, but I'm dug in pretty deep to The Fellowship of the Ring again at this point. 

This has turned out to be a really good thread and I hope we can keep it going. 

 

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piscator
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« Reply #230 on: September 29, 2007, 02:00:30 AM »

Well if you're all in a Steinbeck mood it seems to me that "Travels with Charlie" might be appealing for this pipe smoking, geetar loving, crowd. 

If you don't know the book, it's Steinbeck's contribution to the 'across America' genre that is so often repeated.  Steinbeck packs up his dog, shotgun and fishin' rod and heads out across the backroads.  Steinbeck's insights are marvelous and the retrospective view of America is fascinating.  It's comparably light reading and might surprise some who are only familiar with Steinbecks' 'great works'.

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« Reply #231 on: October 05, 2007, 02:43:45 AM »

I just got finished reading All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers. It was an older book (1989) about culture and how things have taken shape. Pretty interesting stuff, but I'm just not really in much of a philosophical mood of late. I'm finding myself way more into good fiction these days.

I'm about to wrap up The Fellowship of the Ring and for kicks I started the entire Narnia series this week as well.  I've got all the Narnia books in one volume which makes it really fun to breeze through them.  These books are like brain candy to me. Just really fun stuff.

I think after I'm done with this Tolkien/Lewis phase I'll dive pretty hard into more Steinbeck. 

 
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eor
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« Reply #232 on: October 08, 2007, 09:15:29 PM »

ok, finished the room, by hubert selby jr.  there really aren't any words to describe that one.  i can only say that:

a. he's even more my most favoritest author
b. don't ever read that book

just ordered "a confederacy of dunces", because eor's heard a lot of talk about it.  can't wait to see what the fuss is about.  go half.com!

love,
eor
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Caleb
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« Reply #233 on: October 08, 2007, 10:31:10 PM »

ok, finished the room, by hubert selby jr.  there really aren't any words to describe that one.  i can only say that:

a. he's even more my most favoritest author
b. don't ever read that book


I don't get it?  Why don't you recommend it? 
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eor
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« Reply #234 on: October 10, 2007, 05:53:38 AM »

because it is, quite literally, one of the darkest and most insane books ever written.  it took 12 years before the author could go back and read it again-- its that bad.  his work, as a whole, is very... viceral, but this is a million times worse.  at best, it is something you could only go through once, assuming you get that far.

as a point of reference, selby also wrote last exit to brooklyn and requiem for a dream, both of which were made into movies.  never seen the former, but it is reportedly much different than the book, for reasons you'd understand if you read it.  the latter however, is incredible.

love,
eor
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« Reply #235 on: October 10, 2007, 04:27:53 PM »

Hmmm, I don't think I will read this book.
Some of your verbage could be used to describe some events of my teenage years like the "Prom Date That Would Never End." I could only go through that once.
Seriously, I haven't heard any "spoilers" on The Room. It must be a rough ride.
--Fred
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Caleb
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« Reply #236 on: October 10, 2007, 04:45:10 PM »

ok, finished the room, by hubert selby jr.  there really aren't any words to describe that one.  i can only say that:

a. he's even more my most favoritest author
b. don't ever read that book

just ordered "a confederacy of dunces", because eor's heard a lot of talk about it.  can't wait to see what the fuss is about.  go half.com!

love,
eor
Ok, I understand a bit better now and I think I'll skip it, per your recommendation.  I guess I'm a bit simplistic, but I really like happy stories, or at least stories with some redemptive value.  Not all the books I read are necessarily happy or light, but I do enjoy being able to pull something pleasant out of them.  I don't deal well with hopelessness on any level. 
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« Reply #237 on: October 10, 2007, 05:57:15 PM »

Oh Steinbeck! The Russians! Great stuff. Fortunately, for me, I read all that stuff years ago and now just read for fun. ;)
Recently I've got into Harry Turtledove's alternative realities. Light but fun reading indeed. The WWII with aliens series is a hoot!   
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« Reply #238 on: October 23, 2007, 10:59:37 PM »

I'm still on a Steinbeck kick and just finished The Red Pony and Of Mice and Men and am about to finish up The Pearl. Waiting in the wings are Cannery Row and Tortilla flat. 

While in the library this week I noticed that Thomas Steinbeck (son of John) is also an author. Anyone read any of his work?  Worth checking out?  Talk about a helluva shadow to stand in.... 

I'm also about the start the Return of the King in the next day or two.  It's been great fun to go through the LOTR trilogy again. 
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« Reply #239 on: October 23, 2007, 11:10:08 PM »

I'm reading Beowulf again; I needed something short to read while I wait on 'Crime and Punishment' and 'Augie March' that I ordered. The movie thats coming out (Beowulf) doesn't look too good; it sucks that movies with a lot of action usually are shallow formula films for the simple man. Btw, Beowulf and Nietzsche are really boring compared to 'East of Eden' that I recently read.
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