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Author Topic: books: what are you currently reading?  (Read 310211 times)
cke
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« Reply #1220 on: May 12, 2012, 06:45:36 AM »

Just finished something old;   The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler and now I've started something new;   "My Cross To Bear" the Gregg Allman autobiography
Love Chandler  +1 +1 Especially that one.
I have finished the Larsson "Girl..." trilogy and now reading a Jonathan Kellerman mystery "Over the Edge". Love his guitar book "With Strings Attached"
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Chris
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« Reply #1221 on: May 12, 2012, 01:06:34 PM »

I just bought Stephen King's new "The Wind Through the Keyhole" book. Just released a couple of weeks ago. It's a Dark Tower novel that falls somewhere in the middle of his epic 7 book opus. Looking forward to reading this one!
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Danny
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« Reply #1222 on: May 12, 2012, 02:43:00 PM »

Strong Men Armed by Robert Leckie. He is one of the best at giving the truth about war in the Pacific and making it intriguing.
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Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
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« Reply #1223 on: May 13, 2012, 06:16:23 AM »

creature,

I just couldn't get into that book either.  I didn't care.  I picked it up because I heard it was "more accessible" (read, "easier") than War and Peace.  But I completely failed to care about plot or characters.


I might put it down. Sometimes I find myself reading classic stuff because I think I should. Did that with Moby Dick and didn't enjoy it at all.
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ryler
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« Reply #1224 on: May 13, 2012, 01:07:19 PM »

I couldn't make myself slog through Moby Dick, either.  I remember the first chapter having some true humor in it, so I was optimistic for entertainment plus erudition, but ah, such a deceptive first chapter.  I bailed on Mr. Melville. 
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Caleb
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« Reply #1225 on: May 13, 2012, 01:43:35 PM »

I couldn't make myself slog through Moby Dick, either.  I remember the first chapter having some true humor in it, so I was optimistic for entertainment plus erudition, but ah, such a deceptive first chapter.  I bailed on Mr. Melville. 
I made it through but not without a lot of work. I always feel like a dummy for not connecting with the classics though.
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« Reply #1226 on: May 13, 2012, 02:11:29 PM »

I made it through but not without a lot of work. I always feel like a dummy for not connecting with the classics though.

My incomplete long classics started but not finished list:

The Brothers Karamazov - Tolstoy
Middlemarch - Eliot


My long book finished but disappointed I did list:
London - Rutherfurd

Starting and finishing a rather long book can be like dating, or sorting out whether a new acquaintance may be a future loyal friend in disguise.   Sometimes it also takes a bit of experience under one's belt to appreciate the power of a great story.  I remember when my dad tried to get me to read The Hobbit and LOTR trilogy when I was in 7th grade or so.  I remember thinking that it was going to be a whole bunch of work to make it through - that thought was constantly present in my mind.  I also remember not wanting to get characterized as one of those weird kids that lives in a fantasy world playing dungeons and dragons and what not.  I didn't even finish The Hobbit.

Fast forward 7 or 8 years, after I had tasted just a tad of what good and evil really are; had tasted that power can corrupt in some small way - and BANG the truths under girding The Hobbit and LOTR leapt off the page, gripping me inside and turning the pages for me. 

I dated perhaps 7-10 girls before I met my wife.  I think that my 'really long book' list will probably be as short.
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« Reply #1227 on: May 13, 2012, 02:16:46 PM »

Now reading the fantasy series, from Robert Jordan called Wheel of Time.  just started book 3 and its great.  I always read fiction mixed with my fantasy, or at least a decent piece of nonfiction, but fantasy just keeps the pages turning whereas most other works can be well, work. 
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cke
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« Reply #1228 on: May 13, 2012, 04:14:08 PM »

I couldn't make myself slog through Moby Dick, either.  I remember the first chapter having some true humor in it, so I was optimistic for entertainment plus erudition, but ah, such a deceptive first chapter.  I bailed on Mr. Melville. 
I might put it down. Sometimes I find myself reading classic stuff because I think I should. Did that with Moby Dick and didn't enjoy it at all.
Wow! I loved Moby Dick even as a high school Junior. I  think it is a great read once you accept the florid 19th century style. I unabashedly and unapologetically think it is the greatest novel written by an American even to our time. 
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Chris
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« Reply #1229 on: May 13, 2012, 04:44:15 PM »

Wow! I loved Moby Dick even as a high school Junior. I  think it is a great read once you accept the florid 19th century style. I unabashedly and unapologetically think it is the greatest novel written by an American even to our time.  
A lot of folks consider it the best work in American lit. I just didn't connect with it. Maybe 20 years from now I might like it. Maybe not? I read lots of books from the 19th century, so the style wasn't the issue with me. Just didn't like the story and found it a beating to get through.
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GA-ME
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« Reply #1230 on: May 13, 2012, 06:08:18 PM »

The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto and Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People by Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein are both presently occupying my reading time.
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ryler
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« Reply #1231 on: May 13, 2012, 11:15:37 PM »

My incomplete long classics started but not finished list:

The Brothers Karamazov - Tolstoy
Middlemarch - Eliot

Funny, I loved, loved, loved The Brothers Karamazov.  The translation may have made the difference.  It was one that came out with great acclaim.  I did not, however, finish Middlemarch.  Stuffy, dull.


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Caleb
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« Reply #1232 on: May 14, 2012, 03:46:16 AM »

My incomplete long classics started but not finished list:

The Brothers Karamazov - Tolstoy
Middlemarch - Eliot


My long book finished but disappointed I did list:
London - Rutherfurd

Starting and finishing a rather long book can be like dating, or sorting out whether a new acquaintance may be a future loyal friend in disguise.   Sometimes it also takes a bit of experience under one's belt to appreciate the power of a great story.  I remember when my dad tried to get me to read The Hobbit and LOTR trilogy when I was in 7th grade or so.  I remember thinking that it was going to be a whole bunch of work to make it through - that thought was constantly present in my mind.  I also remember not wanting to get characterized as one of those weird kids that lives in a fantasy world playing dungeons and dragons and what not.  I didn't even finish The Hobbit.

Fast forward 7 or 8 years, after I had tasted just a tad of what good and evil really are; had tasted that power can corrupt in some small way - and BANG the truths under girding The Hobbit and LOTR leapt off the page, gripping me inside and turning the pages for me. 

I dated perhaps 7-10 girls before I met my wife.  I think that my 'really long book' list will probably be as short.

I can't imagine reading LOTR in seventh grade. I never would've made it.  But then again I wasn't a reader till my thirties.

Side note: this has been one of my best book-years to date. I've read some great stuff so far, some very good surprises too.
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« Reply #1233 on: May 14, 2012, 01:22:36 PM »

I can't imagine reading LOTR in seventh grade. I never would've made it. 

Probably another influence that made a difference for my reading was having visited Europe and seeing truly ancient things.  Here in the US, unless you visit the southwest, there are almost no remnants of ancient society that one can see on a daily basis.

At least in my head, this made the study of history and history itself seem dull and lifeless.  Seeing ancient ruins in Europe, like along the 'Burgstrasse' in Germany, changed that in my head.  Rather than just fantasy stories, the idea of different kingdoms existing within a few day's walk came alive to me.

It's changed my view of history altogether.  I can now, at least in part, put myself in a character's shoes from ancient times when I read.  I simply couldn't do that before.
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« Reply #1234 on: May 14, 2012, 02:15:05 PM »

Probably another influence that made a difference for my reading was having visited Europe and seeing truly ancient things.  Here in the US, unless you visit the southwest, there are almost no remnants of ancient society that one can see on a daily basis.

At least in my head, this made the study of history and history itself seem dull and lifeless.  Seeing ancient ruins in Europe, like along the 'Burgstrasse' in Germany, changed that in my head.  Rather than just fantasy stories, the idea of different kingdoms existing within a few day's walk came alive to me.

It's changed my view of history altogether.  I can now, at least in part, put myself in a character's shoes from ancient times when I read.  I simply couldn't do that before.
You know, I've never thought of things like that before but it makes sense.  My daily life is surrounded by modern sites and sounds and I can see how it would be hard for some to use the imagination for stories like LOTR. 
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GA-ME
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« Reply #1235 on: May 14, 2012, 04:27:55 PM »

there are almost no remnants of ancient society that one can see on a daily basis.

These types of remnants are to be found all through the Appalachians. While, with the exception of a few scattered Native American sites, the remnants are not "ancient" they indeed have stories to tell. One of my greatest joys in hiking the Appalachian Trail was the wonderful moments of stumbling onto a small rock wall, portion of a foundation, hearths and fireplaces, decayed farms and homesteads, that had been nearly completely reclaimed and swallowed by forest and time. Often times for days after stumbling onto one of these sites, I'd occupy my mind, as I walked my 20 or so miles for the the day, with the stories that might have accompanied the dreams and promise that built these markers and of the sorrows and heartbreaks that may have lead to their reclamation.
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« Reply #1236 on: May 14, 2012, 06:09:15 PM »

These types of remnants are to be found all through the Appalachians. While, with the exception of a few scattered Native American sites, the remnants are not "ancient" they indeed have stories to tell. One of my greatest joys in hiking the Appalachian Trail was the wonderful moments of stumbling onto a small rock wall, portion of a foundation, hearths and fireplaces, decayed farms and homesteads, that had been nearly completely reclaimed and swallowed by forest and time. Often times for days after stumbling onto one of these sites, I'd occupy my mind, as I walked my 20 or so miles for the the day, with the stories that might have accompanied the dreams and promise that built these markers and of the sorrows and heartbreaks that may have lead to their reclamation.

GA-ME, do you know that there are some linguists who posit that the english spoken in the hills of Appalachia comes closest to what might have been spoken in Shakespearean era England?  To sum up their theory, their claim is that this is the location in the world where pronunciation of english would have had the least amount of outside influence going back 2-300 years.

You are right in that there are remnants of homesteads in the Appalachian mountains.  Here in CO, there are many ghost towns dating back 100-200 years.  What I'm referring to however, is seeing castles and fortresses going back 1000 years and more in some cases.

Here's an example, in Aachen, Germany - one can rest against pillars of a Roman era Aqueduct as one has an ice cream in the pedestrian zone portion of the city.  Completely normal and expected in Europe.  Aachen is at least one of the cities where Charlemagne/Charles the Great/Karl der Große had set up shop.

In northern Europe, these types of remnants are also more rare, as public works architecture often was made from wood rather than stone and concrete.  There are plenty of places, however, in Sweden where one can see standing stones with runes inscribed, just along the side of the road in various places.  Just not as many huge structures there as in the rest of Europe.

-Scott

Here, our ancient cultural architecture is much more fragile in nature and much more rare. 
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« Reply #1237 on: May 17, 2012, 06:48:01 PM »

Had to bail on Tolstoy's ANNA. 

Currently reading KING SOLOMON'S MINES by H. Rider Haggard.  Having a blast with it.  I read his SHE a while back and loved it. I missed all this as a boy but am having fun with it now.  Nothing like a good adveture story. 
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« Reply #1238 on: May 21, 2012, 03:53:33 AM »

Reading 'Kings Cross' by Timothy Keller, about 2/3 through.  He's one of my pastor's favorite authors and I can understand why.  I'll definitely be reading more by him.

BTW - for those of you that are somewhat social media savvy - there's a community at www.goodreads.com that does basically what this thread has been doing.  You can report on what books you are reading, have read, write reviews, find like-minded readers, etc.

I have really appreciated this thread that the creature started way back when.  In fact, I found one of my favorite books of the last several years through one of his recommendations in this thread.  If any of you have picked up one of the books I've recommended and want to 'friend' me on goodreads, send me a PM and we'll connect.  I'll do the same.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1239 on: May 23, 2012, 01:51:58 PM »

King Solomon's Mines was a blast.  I'll be reading a lot more H. Rider Haggard. 

Currently reading:
Black Ivory by R.M. Ballantyne.  Historical fiction about the east African slave trade. 
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