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Author Topic: books: what are you currently reading?  (Read 325841 times)
ducktrapper
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« Reply #1000 on: July 05, 2011, 03:39:42 PM »

A tip for history buffs. I just finished Antony Beevor's Stalingrad and am reading The Fall of Berlin 1945 by the same author. War was never more brutal at a scale so large than at the Eastern front from 1942 to 1945. This defines the concept of "total war". Unbelievable suffering on both sides. One maniac, Hitler, who was absolutely ruthless to "the other" and, of course, anyone who dared oppose him versus another maniac, Stalin, who was utterly ruthless towards, well, everyone including those he suspected  might eventually oppose him or be in position to theoretically oppose him. Mass murder and slave labour were the orders of the day on both sides.
I just read scenes where the Red army fights its way across the Oder and enters Germany proper. Russian soldiers are amazed and furiously angry that people with such comfortable and rich lives (compared to the USSR) would invade their poor country and invite their own destruction. They were determined to make Berlin look like Stalingrad and make every German, soldier, civilian, man or woman suffer like they had suffered. And they did. Terrible.
In the end, it's very difficult to muster much sympathy for the Germans. Except for the youngest and the farm animals and the few who dared oppose the Nazis. They loved their Fuhrer. They knew exactly what was going on. Hitler had told them all his plans.
Except for the mass raping, murdering and looting, the Russian soldier is somewhat more sympathetic. They were attacked. They were actually more terrified of their leaders than the enemy. Then again Stalin and Hitler were allies and had carved Poland up between them. Stalin and the soviets also held on to eastern europe for another 50 years after WWII ended. After all, the second world war was the disaster that happened when thieves conspired to pull off the greatest theft of all. The Eastern front was a result of thieves having a falling out.
Peace through strength!

     
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broKen
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« Reply #1001 on: July 05, 2011, 06:44:37 PM »

Thanks for the reminder of the not so distant past sir. You know it's very true that if a man is free, he has an enemy. Also, he likely owes someone his life for that freedom. It also boggles my mind that the desires of one man can be translated into war of that magnitude. (with a little help from the propaganda machine. TV and radio have made that very easy.) People truly are sheep, and those who refuse to be corralled are in the crosshairs of the strong.
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« Reply #1002 on: July 06, 2011, 02:29:53 AM »

To anyone interested in how your brain interacts with your senses - I encourage you to read any of Oliver Sacks' books.  Seems I've read through about half of his work so far and I can say that I haven't been disappointed yet.
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« Reply #1003 on: July 09, 2011, 06:03:54 AM »

"THE AMERICAN SOLDIER: COMBAT AND ITS AFTERMATH" Volume II  by S.A. STOUFFER et al

...the results of one of the largest social science projects ever undertaken.



   If I make it thru this one I'll tackle the previous Volume. This was done about WW II.
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #1004 on: August 02, 2011, 02:01:49 AM »

That's it.  

Just finished NOTES FROM THE TILT-A-WHIRL by N.D. Wilson.  Excellent theological/philosophical book about wonder in the world around us (and a bit about the one to come).  Highly recommend if you're burned out on the flavor-of-the-weekers like Rob Bell, et al. 


Great recommendation.  Just finished it.  Do you keep an Amazon reading list?  I have one on LinkedIn - I'd like to watch your list if you have one.  PM me if interested.  I have lots of GKC books in my phone - many are freebies.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1005 on: August 02, 2011, 11:58:37 AM »

Great recommendation.  Just finished it.  Do you keep an Amazon reading list?  I have one on LinkedIn - I'd like to watch your list if you have one.  PM me if interested.  I have lots of GKC books in my phone - many are freebies.
I keep a reading list on paper and log all the books I read throughout the year.  I'm not familiar with the lists on Amazon or Linkedin (bag over head).  What did you think of Tilt-A-Whirl? 
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #1006 on: August 02, 2011, 01:13:55 PM »

I keep a reading list on paper and log all the books I read throughout the year.  I'm not familiar with the lists on Amazon or Linkedin (bag over head).  What did you think of Tilt-A-Whirl? 

Absolutely loved it.  Some Christians will be offended by the occasional 4-letter word.  I'm hoping they appreciate the beauty above the noise.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1007 on: August 02, 2011, 02:11:40 PM »

Absolutely loved it.  Some Christians will be offended by the occasional 4-letter word.  I'm hoping they appreciate the beauty above the noise.
I also recommend reading Wilson's fiction.  I've read LEEPIKE RIDGE and am in the process of going through his 100 CUPBOARDS series.  His four letter wording did throw me a bit.  I have to admit, I think I spit out coffee when I stumlbed across the word s___ storm.  It kind of came out of nowhere.  
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Grifftology
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« Reply #1008 on: August 03, 2011, 04:24:46 AM »

Currently Reading:
                             
  • Tales of H.P. Lovecraft: Selected by Joyce Carol Oates
  • The Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper
  • People's History of the USA 1492 to Present by Howard Zinn
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #1009 on: August 03, 2011, 05:18:21 AM »

I've put it off long enough.    Finally started 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
just finished Red Hook Road and The Help
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Caleb
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« Reply #1010 on: August 03, 2011, 11:59:51 AM »

GILEAD was an excellent read.  I just started PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger.  It's been on the list a while.  I'm about 4 chapters in and have been struck numb a few times already by the sheer beauty of the wording. 
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ryler
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« Reply #1011 on: August 03, 2011, 01:03:53 PM »

Good luck, Tuffy, with 100 Years of Solitude.  I tried it reading the Spanish language version, Cien Anos de Soledad.  Note the word tried!  Macondo...let me know if I should give it another go en ingles.

I am toward the end of A Separate Peace by John Knowles.  Outstanding fiction.  Highly recommended.  Alongside that I'm reading The Life of Jesus:  The Gospel In Brief by Leo Tolstoy.  Tolstoy had huge issues with the authenticity of the Bible, believing that the teachings of Jesus "had undergone eighteen hundred years of false interpretation."  He set out to boil down the essence of the direct words of Jesus as he understood them.  Interesting read if you can tolerate the idea that the bible, as written, may be fraught with error.  Possibly offensive if you feel aligned with those clerics he seems to impugn. Definitely controversial.

I hope outlining the above doesn't cross the no religion discussion boundary.
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ryler
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« Reply #1012 on: August 03, 2011, 01:05:25 PM »

GILEAD was an excellent read.  I just started PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger.  It's been on the list a while.  I'm about 4 chapters in and have been struck numb a few times already by the sheer beauty of the wording. 

Peace Like A River--an all time favorite. 
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #1013 on: August 03, 2011, 03:29:11 PM »

Good luck, Tuffy, with 100 Years of Solitude.  I tried it reading the Spanish language version, Cien Anos de Soledad.  Note the word tried!  Macondo...let me know if I should give it another go en ingles.
 


Well, so far, so good.    I'm only 30 or 40 pages into it.   I hope I can stick with it.   I have to admit that I tried to read another of his books "Love in the Time of Cholera" a few years ago and just couldn't stay with it.  Hats off to you for even attempting to read it in the original spanish language. 


Peace Like a River and Gilead were both well worth the time 

Just as an aside..   I really like the  Dave Eggers books that I've read.   "What Is The What ? "  is one of the most recent ones that I've read and I would recommend it.
"You Shall know Us By Our Velocity" is another good one.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1014 on: August 03, 2011, 05:08:37 PM »

A few words on GILEAD:  I really struggled to "get" this book till I was well half-way through it.  Sure, it was pleasant enough reading, and a sentence every now and then would pop out as brilliantly put together.  But I found myself sort of sighing as I went back to it each time.  But then suddenly I seemed to know those people very well in the story, and it all became powerful, sort of out of nowhere.  Like Robinson threw cold water on me from a bucket as I was strolling along absent minded.  And I ended up being very, very moved by it all in the end.  I'm not sure if I've ever experienced that in a book.  At least not exactly like that.  Well worth the investment of time.  
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #1015 on: August 03, 2011, 05:34:58 PM »

Oddly, "what I'm currently reading" is .... this thread?

Q. Can you spell Antidisestablishmentaryanism? Spell it! 
A. i-t. 
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« Reply #1016 on: August 03, 2011, 05:44:05 PM »

Hi Lynn,

I've put it off long enough.    Finally started 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
...

Give it time ... well worth the effort.
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #1017 on: August 05, 2011, 01:05:26 AM »

Putting together some birthday money from the family and dove into the e-reader pool with a purchase of a Nook Color refurb last night.  Classic literature, here I come. 
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« Reply #1018 on: August 05, 2011, 05:01:50 PM »

  Classic literature, here I come. 

Right on!  What an amazing time we are living in.  All the classic literature of the ages at our fingertips, and for the most part it's available to read for free in electronic format.  I sometimes imagine what self-starters like Ben Franklin and others from history would have done with such opportunities for personal growth and learning.  Sadly though, much of the culture will miss such opportunities and will remain pacified by the daily news and Facebook. 

Currently making my way through Jane Austen's PRIDE & PREJUDICE via audiobook. The solo reading on Librivox is wonderful stuff.  My wife finally got me to watch the A&E version of the film recently; afterwards I knew I'd want to experience the book. 
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #1019 on: August 05, 2011, 07:35:19 PM »


Right on!  What an amazing time we are living in.  All the classic literature of the ages at our fingertips, and for the most part it's available to read for free in electronic format.  I sometimes imagine what self-starters like Ben Franklin and others from history would have done with such opportunities for personal growth and learning.  Sadly though, much of the culture will miss such opportunities and will remain pacified by the daily news and Facebook. 

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!
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