What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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VictoriaF
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:35 am

Fear of Dying: A Novel by Erica Jong.

Jong became famous after her book Fear of Flying about sexual fantasies and encounters of a 30-year old woman. Later she wrote Fear of Fifty about sexual insecurities and encounters of a woman nearing the age of 50. In Fear of Dying, the 60-year old protagonist is happily married, but her 80-year old husband does not satisfy her and she is looking elsewhere.

I do not read chick lit, and this is not one of them. Woody Allen agrees with me. From the back cover:
“How Erica is able to deal with all these sensitive issues and still make the book funny is amazing. I loved reading it.” —Woody Allen

Victoria
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby protagonist » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:23 am

VictoriaF wrote:Fear of Dying: A Novel by Erica Jong.

Jong became famous after her book Fear of Flying about sexual fantasies and encounters of a 30-year old woman. Later she wrote Fear of Fifty about sexual insecurities and encounters of a woman nearing the age of 50. In Fear of Dying, the 60-year old protagonist is happily married, but her 80-year old husband does not satisfy her and she is looking elsewhere.

I do not read chick lit, and this is not one of them. Woody Allen agrees with me. From the back cover:
“How Erica is able to deal with all these sensitive issues and still make the book funny is amazing. I loved reading it.” —Woody Allen

Victoria


I laughed aloud when I read that the "Fear of Flying" author is now writing "Fear of Dying". Erica is now 73, and I guess her priorities have changed, which is disappointing. Perhaps four marriages took their toll. I wonder if she will come full circle and write a "Fear of Flying Part Two" within the next 20 years.

Let me know if there is any reference to "The zipless heart monitor".

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:32 am

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Fear of Dying: A Novel by Erica Jong.

Jong became famous after her book Fear of Flying about sexual fantasies and encounters of a 30-year old woman. Later she wrote Fear of Fifty about sexual insecurities and encounters of a woman nearing the age of 50. In Fear of Dying, the 60-year old protagonist is happily married, but her 80-year old husband does not satisfy her and she is looking elsewhere.

I do not read chick lit, and this is not one of them. Woody Allen agrees with me. From the back cover:
“How Erica is able to deal with all these sensitive issues and still make the book funny is amazing. I loved reading it.” —Woody Allen

Victoria


I laughed aloud when I read that the "Fear of Flying" author is now writing "Fear of Dying". Erica is now 73, and I guess her priorities have changed, which is disappointing. Perhaps four marriages took their toll. I wonder if she will come full circle and write a "Fear of Flying Part Two" within the next 20 years.

Let me know if there is any reference to "The zipless heart monitor".


The protagonist (Jong's protagonist, not you) is using an online dating site Zipless.com. Zipless is exactly what you think it is.

Victoria
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby protagonist » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:36 am

VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Fear of Dying: A Novel by Erica Jong.

Jong became famous after her book Fear of Flying about sexual fantasies and encounters of a 30-year old woman. Later she wrote Fear of Fifty about sexual insecurities and encounters of a woman nearing the age of 50. In Fear of Dying, the 60-year old protagonist is happily married, but her 80-year old husband does not satisfy her and she is looking elsewhere.

I do not read chick lit, and this is not one of them. Woody Allen agrees with me. From the back cover:
“How Erica is able to deal with all these sensitive issues and still make the book funny is amazing. I loved reading it.” —Woody Allen

Victoria


I laughed aloud when I read that the "Fear of Flying" author is now writing "Fear of Dying". Erica is now 73, and I guess her priorities have changed, which is disappointing. Perhaps four marriages took their toll. I wonder if she will come full circle and write a "Fear of Flying Part Two" within the next 20 years.

Let me know if there is any reference to "The zipless heart monitor".


The protagonist (Jong's protagonist, not you) is using an online dating site Zipless.com. Zipless is exactly what you think it is.

Victoria


Thanks for clarifying. I don't want everybody here to think I use an online dating site Zipless.com (though it is possible.....)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby a » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:34 pm

The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

Re-reading this book after 7 or so years, I'm struck by the
ideas I realize I got from her. In the chapter on goals, she
explicitly says to the effect of "Goals/activities that are
fun are not going to be held, while goals with meaning to the
end result are."

She also lays out reasons why writing is so powerful.
Importantly, she lets the reader know that it's perfectly
sensible to try to lay out your entire life goals in writing.

Probably the reason I became interested in this sort of book
7 to 9 years ago
was being depressed in college and after. I read a lot of
these books.
Yet the fervor with which I implemented them is about 10% of
the fervor that my health crisis instigated.
Physical suffering with a tinge of death fear is different
from mental suffering, even though I had a little suicidal
thinking.

Possibly 90% of the "epiphanies" I've had in the recent
years derive from her book (and other sources, but she
covers many ideas).

--

It occurs to me though that the body's response in both
situations was appropriate. After experiencing depression,
I merely wanted to find a state of mind where I would be
proof against sudden surprising discouraging events or
realizations. So learning the psychology of happiness is
logical.

After experiencing physical suffering where I really
thought I might enter lasting debility, I sought to
find a steering of life that is proof against death or
permanent debility. Rather ambitious and the exertions to
which one rises to surmount that goal are commensurate.

Perhaps the reason people in ages past seemed to
accomplish more at early ages was that they
feared dying at 30. (<- probably also read somewhere
I forget)

Unrelated note in the vein of giving credit to preceders:
A later passage in Leviathan (first section still though)
he mentions that progress on a goal is exponential.
Well, he uses the analogy that a snowball accelerates
faster the bigger it gets as it rolls down a mountain.
(This was before Newton I guess.)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby snowshoes » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:32 pm

Against the Gods : "A Remarkable story of risk", by Peter Bernstein.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nhdblfan » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:21 am


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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bertilak » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:04 am

snowshoes wrote:Against the Gods : "A Remarkable story of risk", by Peter Bernstein.

I've read it twice! Went so far as to buy a used hard-cover edition. I have the paperback in a three-book boxed set. Other two are The Power of Gold and Capital Ideas. Both also good but I think Against the Gods is the most interesting of the three -- probably due to my technical/scientific background.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Ricola » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:24 pm

bertilak wrote:
snowshoes wrote:Against the Gods : "A Remarkable story of risk", by Peter Bernstein.

I've read it twice! Went so far as to buy a used hard-cover edition. I have the paperback in a three-book boxed set. Other two are The Power of Gold and Capital Ideas. Both also good but I think Against the Gods is the most interesting of the three -- probably due to my technical/scientific background.


I have this boxed set too. Anyone wanting to invest in gold should read "The Power of Gold". The history of this precious metal is fascinating; such as gold and silver inflation, just like fiat money inflation, gold based currencies have experienced inflation repeatedly in history.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bertilak » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:28 pm

Just finished Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables.

I have been recently interested in 19th century Gothic novels, of which this is a prime example. I think it sets the standard for state-side Gothics. The British have their own standards.

One thing about this and others of the same genre is that they are often more about atmosphere (dark!) than fast-moving or clever plots. The "atmosphere" is often in the characters themselves. This involves long descriptive passages, which are light on the sex and violence that might be more captivating to today's readers. You gotta be in the right mood and I happen to be in that mood!

Sample passage:
    A door has slammed above-stairs. A window, perhaps, has been left open, or else is driven open by an unruly gust. It is not to be conceived, beforehand, what wonderful wind-instruments are these old timber-mansions, and how haunted with the strangest noises, which immediately begin to sing, and sigh, and sob, and shriek -- and to smite with sledge-hammers, airy but ponderous, in some distant chamber -- and to tread along the entries as with stately footsteps, and rustle up and down the staircase, as with silks miraculously stiff -- whenever the gale catches the house with the window open, and gets fairly into it.
There is a whole chapter of this particular scene. It is during a storm at a key point in the story. The "money shot" if made into a movie (which it has been more than once but I have not seen any of them).
(Select with mouse to read spoiler: The above is described as a dead man sits in a chair with no sound other than his ticking watch.)

Recent reads include Anthony Trollope who shows a much lighter and dryly humorous side, but still is quite descriptive and deep into character study. 19th century but not Gothic. The atmosphere is much lighter than Hawthorne's. He at one point gives a little aside to the reader not to worry too much about an unpleasant situation promising that in the end all the characters would end up just as the reader wanted them to! Sit back and enjoy the ride! (my words) Hawthorne does talk to the reader but doesn't give away the plot.

Next up Wuthering Heights. A (the?) British standard.

P.S. Does the above sample passage remind you of anything? How about Snoopy's novel:
    It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly, a pirate ship appeared on the horizon ...
Snoopy's story moves much faster!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:15 pm

bertilak wrote:Just finished Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables.

I have been recently interested in 19th century Gothic novels, of which this is a prime example. I think it sets the standard for state-side Gothics. The British have their own standards.

One thing about this and others of the same genre is that they are often more about atmosphere (dark!) than fast-moving or clever plots. The "atmosphere" is often in the characters themselves. This involves long descriptive passages, which are light on the sex and violence that might be more captivating to today's readers. You gotta be in the right mood and I happen to be in that mood!

Sample passage:
    A door has slammed above-stairs. A window, perhaps, has been left open, or else is driven open by an unruly gust. It is not to be conceived, beforehand, what wonderful wind-instruments are these old timber-mansions, and how haunted with the strangest noises, which immediately begin to sing, and sigh, and sob, and shriek -- and to smite with sledge-hammers, airy but ponderous, in some distant chamber -- and to tread along the entries as with stately footsteps, and rustle up and down the staircase, as with silks miraculously stiff -- whenever the gale catches the house with the window open, and gets fairly into it.
There is a whole chapter of this particular scene. It is during a storm at a key point in the story. The "money shot" if made into a movie (which it has been more than once but I have not seen any of them).
(Select with mouse to read spoiler: The above is described as a dead man sits in a chair with no sound other than his ticking watch.)

Recent reads include Anthony Trollope who shows a much lighter and dryly humorous side, but still is quite descriptive and deep into character study. 19th century but not Gothic. The atmosphere is much lighter than Hawthorne's. He at one point gives a little aside to the reader not to worry too much about an unpleasant situation promising that in the end all the characters would end up just as the reader wanted them to! Sit back and enjoy the ride! (my words) Hawthorne does talk to the reader but doesn't give away the plot.

Next up Wuthering Heights. A (the?) British standard.

P.S. Does the above sample passage remind you of anything? How about Snoopy's novel:
    It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly, a pirate ship appeared on the horizon ...
Snoopy's story moves much faster!


You forgot the rest (actually, from another Snoopy dark-and-stormy strip) ... "While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up. Part II. A light snow was falling, and the little girl with the tattered shawl had not sold a violet all day. At that very moment, a young intern at City Hospital was making an important discovery. (last panel has Snoopy thinking...) I may have written myself into a corner.”

If you are another Snoopy fan, you might enjoy the book, "Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life." Includes essays by well-known writers and lots of Snoopy strips as he tries to write a novel. Another example: "Some nights were dark. Some nights were stormy. Some shots rang out. Some maids screamed. Some more editors sent rejection slips."

Enjoyed reading the Hawthorne passage and you are right, the atmosphere is in his characters. I haven't read him in a long time, but you're right again, gothic reading first requires a sort of gothic mood and you're either in it or not. If you want a little break between gothic novels, Hawthorne wrote a short story considered a classic, “The Ambitious Guest.”
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bertilak » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:17 pm

Fallible wrote:If you are another Snoopy fan, you might enjoy the book, "Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life." Includes essays by well-known writers and lots of Snoopy strips as he tries to write a novel. Another example: "Some nights were dark. Some nights were stormy. Some shots rang out. Some maids screamed. Some more editors sent rejection slips."

I have this one.

And I just ordered this one.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:01 pm

bertilak wrote:
Fallible wrote:If you are another Snoopy fan, you might enjoy the book, "Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life." Includes essays by well-known writers and lots of Snoopy strips as he tries to write a novel. Another example: "Some nights were dark. Some nights were stormy. Some shots rang out. Some maids screamed. Some more editors sent rejection slips."

I have this one.

And I just ordered this one.


You'll probably find some repetition, but the essays will be new and they're nicely written to tie into the strips.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby pezblanco » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:12 pm

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

The author which inspired(?) the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest ....

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:28 pm

pezblanco wrote:It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

The author which inspired(?) the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest ....


Are you asking who inspired the contest? I don't know, but Schulz first gave the line to Snoopy in '65.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Nicolas » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:33 pm

Cherry -- A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard by Sara Wheeler.

Cherry-Garrard was the author of The Worst Journey in the World which topped National Geographic's list of the 100 greatest adventure books of all time. It includes an account of Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated journey to the South Pole as part of the British Antarctic Expedition, of which the author was a member of the support team.
Last edited by Nicolas on Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby theunknowntech » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:38 pm

Speaking of dark and stormy nights, and the "how can we write a short story to pass off as Hemingway, at least to win a contest," the standard answer is to get off your butt and write your own damn book. To this end I would recommend Richard Rhodes' "How to Write". One of the greatest books on the craft ever put on paper. I wonder how he ever got it done, the job is so hateful.

Sublimate, sublimate.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby pezblanco » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:43 pm

Fallible wrote:
pezblanco wrote:It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

The author which inspired(?) the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest ....


Are you asking who inspired the contest? I don't know, but Schulz first gave the line to Snoopy in '65.


I'm sorry ... it was meant as a joke. The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest is a competition for "bad writing" inspired by the original sentence and work created by the eponymous author. This site gives the rules for the contest:

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

This years winner:

Seeing how the victim's body, or what remained of it, was wedged between the grill of the Peterbilt 389 and the bumper of the 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT, officer "Dirk" Dirksen wondered why reporters always used the phrase "sandwiched" to describe such a scene since there was nothing appetizing about it, but still, he thought, they might have a point because some of this would probably end up on the front of his shirt. —

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby BenBritt » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:22 pm

I am currently reading Dead Wake by Erik Larson. This is an excellent account of the sinking of the Lusitania.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:09 pm

pezblanco wrote:
Fallible wrote:
pezblanco wrote:It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

The author which inspired(?) the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest ....


Are you asking who inspired the contest? I don't know, but Schulz first gave the line to Snoopy in '65.


I'm sorry ... it was meant as a joke. The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest is a competition for "bad writing" inspired by the original sentence and work created by the eponymous author. This site gives the rules for the contest: ...


No apology needed and I enjoyed rhe dark and stormy joke.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby MP173 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:56 pm

"October 1964" by David Halberstam.

One of my favorite non fiction authors who took a very detailed look at the 1964 World Series between NY Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. Halberstam had previously written "Summer of '49" which examined the world in 1949 thru the lens of baseball. He repeated the formula with October, 1964 and one can see the changes and progress made by our nation, particularly in civil rights (primarily explained by blacks such as Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, and others).

Outstanding book for those who love baseball, history, and a good story.

On my short list for my personal "book of the year".

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:06 pm

Just finished Guy Gavriel Kay, Sailing to Sarantium. Quite good.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:47 pm

I have been reading Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. The play could easily have been titled The Tragedy of Marcus Brutus, since Caesar is slain early in Act III, and the rest of the play sees the tragic circumstances and events that lead to the downfall of Brutus and his co-conspirators.

The play is filled with many memorable lines, none more so than Antony's funeral speech with the opening lines, “Friends, Romans, countrymen; lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” Here, he is acknowledging the crowd as his peers and says he has no motives besides burying Caesar. In this pivotal scene, Antony performs a masterful feat: He manages to turn the crowd against the conspirators. Antony's words about Caesar and Rome move the crowd to such an emotional frenzy the downfall of the conspirators is clearly on the horizon.

Yet, in the final scene of the play, and in the wake of Brutus' suicide, Antony gives Brutus's eulogy: “This was the noblest Roman of them all....”
His previous doubts cast aside, Antony submits that Brutus' motives were pure, and that his concern was for the Roman Republic, unlike the other conspirators. He was a true statesman. Of all the conspirators, Brutus was the only one to believe Caesar's death was for the good of all; everyone else acted out of jealousy.

I enjoyed this play as much as any play of Shakespeare's plays I have read. As much I enjoyed reading the play, however, I thought throughout how much better it would be see the play performed live on stage, for this truly is a play to be performed.


(Edited for spelling.)
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby black jack » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:19 pm

Just finished "Hondo", Louis L'Amour's first novel, and my first Louis L'Amour novel (and probably my last): it was not bad, and a woman was a central character. The book goes along at a reflective pace, and then the last couple dozen pages rush by - maybe he ran out of energy or inspiration at the end and just wanted to be done with it.

Made me want to read more about the Indian Wars, so I got a couple of nonfiction books about that - but started with "Flashman and the Redskins." It's been a while since I read one of Fraser's Flashman novels; I'd forgotten just how good they are.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:27 pm

Dawn of Wonder, by Jonathan Renshaw. This is Book 1 of the The Wakening series. Except that Book 2 is not finished. I wish I'd waited for the 2nd book to be released, as I can't put this book down.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby smurth2000 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:53 pm

The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy - Douglas Adams.

My first experience with a Douglas Adams book. I am looking forward to more like these.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:51 pm

smurth2000 wrote:The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy - Douglas Adams.

My first experience with a Douglas Adams book. I am looking forward to more like these.


Wow, do I ever wish I were about to read Adams's "Hitchhiker's" for the first time. I remember reading just the first few pages and knowing I was in for one of the best reads of my life. When you're done, view some of the many threads on the book, especially those with great posts from Valuethinker.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby LadyGeek » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:37 pm

^^^ Guess which book was the inspiration for the opening line in: Getting started

I almost put a big red "Don't Panic" button at the top, but that seemed a bit excessive.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:50 pm

LadyGeek wrote:^^^ Guess which book was the inspiration for the opening line in: Getting started

I almost put a big red "Don't Panic" button at the top, but that seemed a bit excessive.

That's not just for galactic hitchhikers and index investors, it's also the first rule for life in general.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby seeshells » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:03 pm

Peter L. Bernstein's : Classics collection, Great read!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:05 pm

LadyGeek wrote:^^^ Guess which book was the inspiration for the opening line in: Getting started

I almost put a big red "Don't Panic" button at the top, but that seemed a bit excessive.

That's not just for galactic hitchhikers and index investors, it's also the first rule for life in general.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby market timer » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:26 pm

gkaplan wrote:I enjoyed this play as much as any play of Shakespeare's plays I have read. As much I enjoyed reading the play, however, I thought throughout how much better it would be see the play performed live on stage, for this truly is a play to be performed.

It's on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JInTNKLaEI4

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:28 pm

ruralavalon wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:^^^ Guess which book was the inspiration for the opening line in: Getting started

I almost put a big red "Don't Panic" button at the top, but that seemed a bit excessive.

That's not just for galactic hitchhikers and index investors, it's also the first rule for life in general.


Actually, I think we're allowed to panic, but just not do anything about it other than "stand there." Whatever, "Don't Panic!" is the perfect line for "Getting Started." :beer
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:26 pm

market timer wrote:
gkaplan wrote:I enjoyed this play as much as any play of Shakespeare's plays I have read. As much I enjoyed reading the play, however, I thought throughout how much better it would be see the play performed live on stage, for this truly is a play to be performed.

It's on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JInTNKLaEI4


I don't thinking watching a play on YouTube comes close to the experience of watching a play live in a theater.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:28 pm

I have been reading Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

I didn't realize Romeo and Juliet had a history going back some fifty years prior to Shakespeare's play, first in a 1530 narrative and then in a 1554 novella, both published in Italy. The latter was translated and adapted into French in 1559. The French adaption was translated into English in 1567. That formed the basis for the long narrative poem by Arthur Brooke, The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, published in 1562, Shakespeare's primary source for his play.

More than any other Shakespeare play I have read, Romeo and Juliet is replete with plays on words, malapropisms, innuendos, and double-entendres, many of which are spoken by Mercutio.

The Pelican edition notes of this play and others I have read, I think, are intrusive and not very useful. In contrast, I find that the Folger Shakespeare Library editions of the Shakespeare plays are useful and avoid being too intrusive.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:11 pm

A Splendid Exchange: how trade shaped the world, by William Bernstein. Describes changes in world trade over several millennia since the time of the Sumerians, and the arguments between free traders and protectionists over the centuries. Describes changes in trade routes and commodities, and their effect on cities, nations and populations. Very good book, on a subject that would ordinarily not interest me greatly.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:12 pm

The Girl in the Spiders Web, by David Lagercrantz. It's an attempt to continue the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson, who died a few years ago. As I recall his companion of many years was cut off, but his father and brother(?) have control of his estate. They hired Lagercrantz to write the same characters into a new novel. I'm half way through. The first chapters are good, the next several made me consider not reading any further, then it picked up again. It's a decent read if you like Swedish noir, Lisbeth Salander, etc. IMO it would have benefited by some editing of extraneous background to what's going on.

I mention possibly not finishing a book. In the past I always finished whatever I started. In recent years I'm less forgiving or more protective of my time. I recently started Dead Wake by Erik Larson. I've enjoyed some of his other work, especially Devil in the White City. I stopped reading more than 100 pages into Dead Wake. I was put off by the detail given to various characters' backgrounds even before the ship leaves New York. Based upon other mentions here, I'm in the minority on that one.

I find that more and more books are available to me in Kindle format through the library. We have condos in two different states and belong to the local library in each. I find with a little checking I can get on the list for almost any new e-book early on. I do prefer paper books, but accept the convenience of e-books especially when travelling.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby pezblanco » Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:41 pm

I just finished

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

From the Amazon blurb:

For almost 1,500 years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand––and mistakes and intentional changes abound in the competing manuscript versions. Religious and biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes.

In this compelling and fascinating book, Ehrman shows where and why changes were made in our earliest surviving manuscripts, explaining for the first time how the many variations of our cherished biblical stories came to be, and why only certain versions of the stories qualify for publication in the Bibles we read today. Ehrman frames his account with personal reflections on how his study of the Greek manuscripts made him abandon his once ultra–conservative views of the Bible.


Of course the New Testament is one of the if not the most important book to Western civilization. This book written by a Univ. of North Carolina scholar on bibical textual analysis was quite interesting to me. The author has several books in this field .... I would definitely consider reading another one by him.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby seeshells » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:44 pm

I must endorse this book also, :happy A Splendid Exchange: how trade shaped the world, by William Bernstein. :mrgreen: Simply marvelous historical read says it all.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby jdb » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:44 am

So I was at dinner party last night, gave them short book quiz. Said I had read two books, both with exact same title. Clues were that one is on current NYT non fiction best seller list. And other was a best seller when published 165 years ago. I stumped them even though one pulled up the best seller list. And I recommend both iterations of The Oregon Trail. The current best seller by Rinker Buck tells story of author and brother who recreated the journey from Missouri to Oregon by covered wagon, fascinating details, such as who would have guessed that the breeding stables of George Washington at Mount Vernon was progenitor of American mule industry, or that one of first mass production factories was covered wagon factory in Chicago in 1840s and 1850s. Would give book 4 stars on Amazon, too much family history and personal demons of author. Best part was when he discussed history of emigration. Which led to book which I had read and enjoyed many years ago and found hiding in dusty bookshelf. In 1846 a young Harvard graduate, Francis Parkman, and his cousin Quincy Shaw, both scions of Boston Brahmin families, decided to undertake hunting trip from Missouri to Rocky Mountains along Trail. Parkman wanted to become historian of American frontier (he succeeded) and wanted to study Indian tribes. Their journey overlapped with emigrant covered wagon trains, Mormon exodus, buffalo herds too large to even estimate size, restless Indians engaged in fighting each other and attacking emigrants when not hunting buffalo (Parkman spent lots of time living and travelling with Sioux tribe), trappers and mountain men, and General Kearney taking troops to Santa Fe for Mexican War. And I enjoyed book even more after reading current best seller. Almost becomes time travel to look at world from previous century through eyes of observant and intelligent and curious traveler who is also great writer. If Amazon allowed more than 5 stars would bestow them on this classic travelogue and adventure story. Cheers.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:59 pm

pezblanco wrote:I just finished

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

From the Amazon blurb:

For almost 1,500 years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand––and mistakes and intentional changes abound in the competing manuscript versions. Religious and biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes.

In this compelling and fascinating book, Ehrman shows where and why changes were made in our earliest surviving manuscripts, explaining for the first time how the many variations of our cherished biblical stories came to be, and why only certain versions of the stories qualify for publication in the Bibles we read today. Ehrman frames his account with personal reflections on how his study of the Greek manuscripts made him abandon his once ultra–conservative views of the Bible.


Of course the New Testament is one of the if not the most important book to Western civilization. This book written by a Univ. of North Carolina scholar on bibical textual analysis was quite interesting to me. The author has several books in this field .... I would definitely consider reading another one by him.


He has also done some courses with The Learning Company (The Great Courses). They often have sales, so you might keep an eye out for one of the sales. My experience of these (not his course in particular) has been excellent.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:01 pm

Fallible wrote:
smurth2000 wrote:The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy - Douglas Adams.

My first experience with a Douglas Adams book. I am looking forward to more like these.


Wow, do I ever wish I were about to read Adams's "Hitchhiker's" for the first time. I remember reading just the first few pages and knowing I was in for one of the best reads of my life. When you're done, view some of the many threads on the book, especially those with great posts from Valuethinker.


Thank you that is most kind.

Only locals would know:

- Hotblack Desiato is an estate agency in the part of London Douglas Adams lived (Islington). He lived on Duncan Terrace, N1. Those houses now go for £5-10m

- the whole stuff about planning and destruction in the first part is based on his partner's struggles with Islington Borough Council Planning Department

- Ford Prefect was a kind of car, popular in the 1960s (or 70s?)

There's probably 20 or 30 other in jokes, most of which I missed when I read the series. The British TV series was pretty good, and the original radio serial (on which the book was based) is to die for.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby abuss368 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:03 pm

Ralph Block "Investing in REITs".
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby stratton » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:07 pm

I'm reading Piketty's "Capital in the 21st Century."

It's a bit long winded if you have any economic knowledge. I also want to pull out Reinhart and Rogoff's "This Time it's Different" about financial disasters and look up stuff in it at the same time. Then there is the spreadsheets Piketty has links too.

I really don't have time to dig around in all this. :P

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:14 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Fallible wrote:
smurth2000 wrote:The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy - Douglas Adams.

My first experience with a Douglas Adams book. I am looking forward to more like these.


Wow, do I ever wish I were about to read Adams's "Hitchhiker's" for the first time. I remember reading just the first few pages and knowing I was in for one of the best reads of my life. When you're done, view some of the many threads on the book, especially those with great posts from Valuethinker.


Thank you that is most kind.

Only locals would know:

- Hotblack Desiato is an estate agency in the part of London Douglas Adams lived (Islington). He lived on Duncan Terrace, N1. Those houses now go for £5-10m

- the whole stuff about planning and destruction in the first part is based on his partner's struggles with Islington Borough Council Planning Department

- Ford Prefect was a kind of car, popular in the 1960s (or 70s?)

There's probably 20 or 30 other in jokes, most of which I missed when I read the series. The British TV series was pretty good, and the original radio serial (on which the book was based) is to die for.


Thanks again to you, Valuethinker. I think the first background you posted a few years ago was on the planning department, which explained why I kaughed so hard on reading that the highway bypass plans affecting Arthur were available to the public in a basement with no lighting, which was no problem because there were no stairs. As a cub news reporter in the '60s I had covered planning commissions and learned their ways, some of which were not far removed from the basement. I've sampled the radio series, but so far held off buying because I'm afraid they will ruin my happy imaginings.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby pezblanco » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:26 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
pezblanco wrote:I just finished

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

From the Amazon blurb:

He has also done some courses with The Learning Company (The Great Courses). They often have sales, so you might keep an eye out for one of the sales. My experience of these (not his course in particular) has been excellent.


Yes, I listened to his "New Testament" audiobook on The Great Courses. It is essentially the audio version of the above book. I agree with your assessment of the The Great Courses .... excellent companions on long drives!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby pezblanco » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:32 pm

Another recently completed book:

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr

From the Amazon Blurb:

Almost everyone swears, or worries about not swearing, from the two year-old who has just discovered the power of potty mouth to the grandma who wonders why every other word she hears is obscene. Whether they express anger or exhilaration, are meant to insult or to commend, swear words perform a crucial role in language. But swearing is also a uniquely well-suited lens through which to look at history, offering a fascinating record of what people care about on the deepest levels of a culture--what's divine, what's terrifying, and what's taboo.

Holy Sh*t tells the story of two kinds of swearing--obscenities and oaths--from ancient Rome and the Bible to today. With humor and insight, Melissa Mohr takes readers on a journey to discover how "swearing" has come to include both testifying with your hand on the Bible and calling someone a *#$&!* when they cut you off on the highway. She explores obscenities in ancient Rome--which were remarkably similar to our own--and unearths the history of religious oaths in the Middle Ages, when swearing (or not swearing) an oath was often a matter of life and death. Holy Sh*t also explains the advancement of civility and corresponding censorship of language in the 18th century, considers the rise of racial slurs after World War II, examines the physiological effects of swearing (increased heart rate and greater pain tolerance), and answers a question that preoccupies the FCC, the US Senate, and anyone who has recently overheard little kids at a playground: are we swearing more now than people did in the past?

A gem of lexicography and cultural history, Holy Sh*t is a serious exploration of obscenity--and it also just might expand your repertoire of words to choose from the next time you shut your finger in the car door.


An interesting book. The author does spend most of the time on the English language. The differences between American and British swearing and swear words are interesting. Many of our swear words have interesting etymologies. Recommended but a little too detailed at times .....

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Dimitri » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:12 pm

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:55 pm

\
gkaplan wrote:I have been reading Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. The play could easily have been titled The Tragedy of Marcus Brutus, since Caesar is slain early in Act III, and the rest of the play sees the tragic circumstances and events that lead to the downfall of Brutus and his co-conspirators. ...
I enjoyed this play as much as any play of Shakespeare's plays I have read. As much I enjoyed reading the play, however, I thought throughout how much better it would be see the play performed live on stage, for this truly is a play to be performed. ...


It's not always true that Shakespeare is better seen than read and that's not just my amateur opinion. Scholars like Harold Bloom write: "Charles Lamb, admirable critic, has been much denigrated ... for insistiing that it was better to read Shakespeare than to watch him acted. If one could be certain that Ralph Richardson or John Gielgud or Ian McKellen was to do the acting, then argument with Lamb would be possible. But to see Ralph Fiennes, under bad direction, play Hamlet as a poor little rich boy, or to sustain George C. Wolfe's skilled travesty of "The Tempest," is to reflect upon Lamb's wisdom. When you read, then you can direct, act, and interpret for yourself... In the theater, much of the interpreting is done for you, and you are victimized by the politic fashions of the moment."

And Bloom goes on about this in the book, which you might enjoy: "Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human." No one has more fully or deeply explained the Shakespeare I wanted to understand better than Bloom.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby pezblanco » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:21 pm

Fallible wrote:\
gkaplan wrote:I have been reading Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. The play could easily have been titled The Tragedy of Marcus Brutus, since Caesar is slain early in Act III, and the rest of the play sees the tragic circumstances and events that lead to the downfall of Brutus and his co-conspirators. ...
I enjoyed this play as much as any play of Shakespeare's plays I have read. As much I enjoyed reading the play, however, I thought throughout how much better it would be see the play performed live on stage, for this truly is a play to be performed. ...


It's not always true that Shakespeare is better seen than read and that's not just my amateur opinion. Scholars like Harold Bloom write: "Charles Lamb, admirable critic, has been much denigrated ... for insistiing that it was better to read Shakespeare than to watch him acted. If one could be certain that Ralph Richardson or John Gielgud or Ian McKellen was to do the acting, then argument with Lamb would be possible. But to see Ralph Fiennes, under bad direction, play Hamlet as a poor little rich boy, or to sustain George C. Wolfe's skilled travesty of "The Tempest," is to reflect upon Lamb's wisdom. When you read, then you can direct, act, and interpret for yourself... In the theater, much of the interpreting is done for you, and you are victimized by the politic fashions of the moment."

And Bloom goes on about this in the book, which you might enjoy: "Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human." No one has more fully or deeply explained the Shakespeare I wanted to understand better than Bloom.


Understanding a work by Shakespeare has to be at least a two part process doesn't it? You have to read/study the work first and then go to see it. Otherwise, due to the language, it is more or less incomprehensible. I've spent a couple of long evenings viewing Shakespeare without knowing the play beforehand .... a frustrating experience.

I forgot who it was that said something like ... people nowadays go to plays by Shakespeare mainly to listen for the (famous) quotes.


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