What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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d0gerz
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by d0gerz » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:33 pm

Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World by Lisa Randall. This book is mainly about theoretical particle physics, and reviews suggested it would be accessible to a layperson like me. Disappointingly I grasped maybe 10% tops. Incredibly dense and can't recall ever wanting a book to end as much as this one. Good introduction to the Large Hadron Collider (book was written before the discovery of the Higgs Boson), beyond that can't say much as most of it went over my head.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by hudson » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:21 am

The Ghosts of the Green Grass… The Journey of the Second Battalion Seventh Cavalry….into the Hell of the Ia Drang Valley in 1965.

The book was written by a communications branch lieutenant, Bud Alley, who was fully involved in the action. The action took place the next day after the battle described in the book, "We Were Soldiers Once and Young."

From my notes:

The unit sailed to Vietnam on the USS Rose in 1965. I sailed on that same (WW2 Era) troop ship to Germany in 1964.
The commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Div...Harry W O Kinnard, was the operations officer for Colonel McAuliffe ("Nuts") during the Battle of Bastogne in WW2.

The author loved beanie weenies, but hated the ham (and limas) C-Rations.

Lt. Col Edward Shy Meyer was the Brigade Executive Officer; I remember General Meyer later from Fort Bragg.

Lt. Alley described much of his work as a battalion commo officer. He discussed the 292 antenna and his work insuring good communications. He ended up doing his share of infantry combat. In the beginning, he didn't pay much attention to which weapon or how much ammo he carried; after the battle, he said, "You can never have too much ammo."

Artful Dodger
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Artful Dodger » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:30 pm

Rat F**ked by David Daley

Fascinating book on the Republican REDMAP (Redistricting Majority Project) program leading up to the 2010 elections. The program focused on winning state legislative races in order to win majorities in certain close states, then move on to redrawing the congressional district lines after the 2010 census.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:30 am

White Trash - The 400-year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

Yep. From it's founding America has had classes.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mancich » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:26 pm

Stretch by Scott Sonenshein. It appeals to me as a Boglehead in that it emphasizes making resources "stretch" further, rather than constantly chasing more resources.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:11 pm

ruralavalon wrote:The Lost City of the Monkey God, by Douglas Preston.

The compelling true story of archeology in an uninhabited, jungle covered, mountain valley of Honduras in 2015-16.

+1. Fascinating recent true story combining Indiana Jones type archeology hunt in remote and uninhabited area of Honduras but using helicopters and laser earth mapping equipment combined with biting insects, poisonous snakes and parasitic tropical diseases. Only problem is now have occasional nightmares of stepping on fer-de-lance while walking in woods. You may need to read the book to understand.

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

Post by Nicolas » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:02 pm

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, translated into English by Edith Grossman. Reputed to be the greatest novel of all time, in any language, and this is supposed to be one of the best English translations. (I'm studying Spanish but am not proficient enough to read it in the original, and certainly not in early 17th century Spanish).
I was actually about a third of the way into this volume several years ago but I became distracted and set it down. Now I'm starting again from the beginning. https://www.amazon.com/Don-Quixote-Migu ... e+grossman
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:33 pm

Nicolas wrote:Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, translated into English by Edith Grossman. Reputed to be the greatest novel of all time, in any language, and this is supposed to be one of the best English translations. (I'm studying Spanish but am not proficient enough to read it in the original, and certainly not in 17th century Spanish).
I was actually about a third of the way into this volume several years ago but I became distracted and set it down. Now I'm starting again from the beginning. https://www.amazon.com/Don-Quixote-Migu ... e+grossman


Some coincidence here. Bertilak also posted here recently that he had returned to the novel, this time to the Grossman translation, and I, who also had read only part of the novel before stopping many years ago, then bought that translation and am now reading it with delight. Wonder if we'll all make it through this time. :happy
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dantes » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:52 am

The Possessed. Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman. Basically a collection of essays about her experiences as a graduate student in Russian Lit at Stanford with sojourns abroad - Samarkand, Turkey, etc. Funny, absurd, but also real. In spite of the humor and occasional absurdity of situation there is a lot to think about in this book; its filled with a love of literature.

Cover is by Roz Chast, who does great cartoons for the New Yorker.

She has a new book out, The Idiot, a novel about a Freshman at Harvard, which I will definitely seek out.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by rakornacki1 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:00 am

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis.

A terrific read into a discovery on how two psychologists seamlessly integrated the use of statistics into value-based judgements and predictions. It also demonstrated why 'regret' is so powerful when making decisions.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:19 am

If the Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr. Continuation of the Bernie Gunther series.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:11 am

Fallible wrote:
Nicolas wrote:Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, translated into English by Edith Grossman. Reputed to be the greatest novel of all time, in any language, and this is supposed to be one of the best English translations. (I'm studying Spanish but am not proficient enough to read it in the original, and certainly not in 17th century Spanish).
I was actually about a third of the way into this volume several years ago but I became distracted and set it down. Now I'm starting again from the beginning. https://www.amazon.com/Don-Quixote-Migu ... e+grossman


Some coincidence here. Bertilak also posted here recently that he had returned to the novel, this time to the Grossman translation, and I, who also had read only part of the novel before stopping many years ago, then bought that translation and am now reading it with delight. Wonder if we'll all make it through this time. :happy


Interesting Fallible, thanks. Yes I saw Berti's post too. Now that I'm retired and have a lot of time on my hands, I fully intend to finish it! I read all the prefaces, prologues, notes, and introductions, and now I'm through the sonnets section where some very famous knights, ladies, and one squire (and a horse) congratulate the great Quixote and Panza (!) and I'm ready to start Book 1.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:00 am

Fallible wrote:
Nicolas wrote:Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, translated into English by Edith Grossman. Reputed to be the greatest novel of all time, in any language, and this is supposed to be one of the best English translations. (I'm studying Spanish but am not proficient enough to read it in the original, and certainly not in 17th century Spanish).
I was actually about a third of the way into this volume several years ago but I became distracted and set it down. Now I'm starting again from the beginning. https://www.amazon.com/Don-Quixote-Migu ... e+grossman


Some coincidence here. Bertilak also posted here recently that he had returned to the novel, this time to the Grossman translation, and I, who also had read only part of the novel before stopping many years ago, then bought that translation and am now reading it with delight. Wonder if we'll all make it through this time. :happy

This is an excellent choice for some enjoyable reading, young or old, proficient in Spanish or not.

When younger my Spanish was good enough to read in that language, and I read parts in Spanish then. I have now read the entire novel in English.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:06 am

Nicolas wrote:
Fallible wrote:
Nicolas wrote:Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, translated into English by Edith Grossman. Reputed to be the greatest novel of all time, in any language, and this is supposed to be one of the best English translations. (I'm studying Spanish but am not proficient enough to read it in the original, and certainly not in 17th century Spanish).
I was actually about a third of the way into this volume several years ago but I became distracted and set it down. Now I'm starting again from the beginning. https://www.amazon.com/Don-Quixote-Migu ... e+grossman


Some coincidence here. Bertilak also posted here recently that he had returned to the novel, this time to the Grossman translation, and I, who also had read only part of the novel before stopping many years ago, then bought that translation and am now reading it with delight. Wonder if we'll all make it through this time. :happy


Interesting Fallible, thanks. Yes I saw Berti's post too. Now that I'm retired and have a lot of time on my hands, I fully intend to finish it! I read all the prefaces, prologues, notes, and introductions, and now I'm through the sonnets section where some very famous knights, ladies, and one squire (and a horse) congratulate the great Quixote and Panza (!) and I'm ready to start Book 1.

Hi all.

I'm about 2/3 the way through Grossman's Don Quixote which puts me well into Part II. I continue to appreciate this translation. As is usual, I got distracted by other books (and other life events) so stalled out on DQ. DQ itself interrupted another book I am well into (Peter Green's 2015 translation of The Iliad).Two other distractions in the stack: John LeCarre's Pigeon Tunnel (reminiscences at age 84) and Peter Hopkirk's Setting the East Ablaze (Central Asia during WW I). I am easily distracted but will eventually get to them all. As Homer Simpson says: "Oh look! A blue car!"
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:12 am

ruralavalon wrote:When younger my Spanish was good enough to read in that language, and I read parts in Spanish then. I have now read the entire novel in English.

Do you remember which translation? How well does it hold up in translation. I always feel I am experiencing translated works through a gauze. That's why I often read multiple translations of works that make an impression on me; if I get enough different views perhaps that overcomes the haze.
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Pocanutin » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:11 am

Another vote for SAPIENS...this is my second reading and still learning!

Also his newest book (and follow-up) HOMO DEUS. A fascinating read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by FreeAtLast » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:30 pm

bertilak wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:When younger my Spanish was good enough to read in that language, and I read parts in Spanish then. I have now read the entire novel in English.

Do you remember which translation? How well does it hold up in translation. I always feel I am experiencing translated works through a gauze. That's why I often read multiple translations of works that make an impression on me; if I get enough different views perhaps that overcomes the haze.


I took Spanish Literature in college (freshman year) and Don Quixote was on the reading list. I seem to remember that in the text we were given, the Spanish was "archaic" in many instances, and the editor provided a virtual torrent of explanatory footnotes. Did anyone else have this experience?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:18 pm

FreeAtLast wrote:
bertilak wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:When younger my Spanish was good enough to read in that language, and I read parts in Spanish then. I have now read the entire novel in English.

Do you remember which translation? How well does it hold up in translation. I always feel I am experiencing translated works through a gauze. That's why I often read multiple translations of works that make an impression on me; if I get enough different views perhaps that overcomes the haze.


I took Spanish Literature in college (freshman year) and Don Quixote was on the reading list. I seem to remember that in the text we were given, the Spanish was "archaic" in many instances, and the editor provided a virtual torrent of explanatory footnotes. Did anyone else have this experience?

Years ago, when I first tried to get through DQ I bumped into a Spanish teacher and asked about learning Spanish in order to red DQ in the original. He sad don't bother -- it would be a lot like trying to read Middle English: close but still needing translation.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by SGM » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:36 am

Far from the Madding Crowd and The Return of the Native by Hardy were read in the last month. The main character in The Return of the Native was not the most interesting character of the novel. Hardy has terrific insight that I find lacking in a lot of modern authors. I can immediately care about his characters.

Prior to that I read Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler based on the Taming of the Shrew. Where else does this occur except in Baltimore. I much prefer to read Anne Tyler books based on Shakespeare than to go to a modern interpretation of Shakespeare by our "illustrious" Shakespeare Company. We are no longer season ticket holders.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:13 pm

bertilak wrote: ...
Hi all.
I'm about 2/3 the way through Grossman's Don Quixote which puts me well into Part II. I continue to appreciate this translation. As is usual, I got distracted by other books (and other life events) so stalled out on DQ. DQ itself interrupted another book I am well into (Peter Green's 2015 translation of The Iliad).Two other distractions in the stack: John LeCarre's Pigeon Tunnel (reminiscences at age 84) and Peter Hopkirk's Setting the East Ablaze (Central Asia during WW I). I am easily distracted but will eventually get to them all. As Homer Simpson says: "Oh look! A blue car!"


Yes, I've had my usual distractions, too, but was spurred on, so to speak, to continue reading DQ after coming across what must be one of the greatest says-it-all quotes in the book: "What giants?"
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:34 am

Just finished the 700 page "Mississippi Blood" by Greg Isles. This is the third in the trilogy dealing with black and white families in Natchez Ms and the violence involved in the 1960s thru a KKK splinter group called the Double Eagles and the effects of that hatred decades later.

These three books were great. Isles is one of my favorite authors and he took on race, hatred, and the Deep South in three well written and received books. The book centers around Cage Penn, the Mayor of Natchez (and a former prosecutor in Houston) and his father, a local physcian who had an affair with his black nurse in the 1960s. She comes home to die (of cancer) and that return escalates into murder and violence as the Double Eagles (made up of nasty old men by now) vow to keep her (and others) silent.

Couldnt stop reading it.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:26 am

Hallowe'en Party, by Agatha Christie.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:47 am

I read Tana French's In the Woods last year. It's a Dublin (Ireland) Murder Squad story set in the early 2000s. I liked it.

I'm midway in her 2nd Murder Squad book, The Likeness. Some of the same characters, but a very different mileau. A woman is found murdered out in the country. She looks exactly like the detective from the 1st book who's moved on to a less fulfilling role in Domestic Violence. Will she accept an assignment to go undercover as the dead woman to try to determine who murdered her? Perhaps improbable in concept, but a good read so far. Plus there are other novels in the series.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:51 am

I have read all the Tana French novels. Each one introduces a new character who becomes the main character in the next novel. In that respect, they are best read in sequence.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:16 pm

The Lost City of Z, by David Grann.

The story of English explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett's obsession with a lost civilization in the Amazon, where he disappeared in the 1920's, and the attempts to learn what happened to him. This story is very interesting.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:24 pm

bertilak wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:When younger my Spanish was good enough to read in that language, and I read parts in Spanish then. I have now read the entire novel in English.

Do you remember which translation? How well does it hold up in translation. I always feel I am experiencing translated works through a gauze. That's why I often read multiple translations of works that make an impression on me; if I get enough different views perhaps that overcomes the haze.

This was a 2003 translation by Edith Grossman. I am not qualified to say how good the translation is.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:42 pm

I just finished Pacific by Simon Winchester--nonfiction, by the author of The Professor and the Madman--and it's great, sensational, read it in about four days, couldn't stop, etc. etc.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:19 pm

jdb wrote:The Hidden Life of Trees-What They Feel, How They Communicate, Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben. Recently translated from German, the book is fascinating, after reading it one will look at trees with a different perspective. The author does anthropomorphize trees to a significant extent but that to me was part of the charm. Highly recommmend for all wannabe foresters. Edit: thanks galectin for the recommendation. I couldn't recall where I had first heard of the book, and of course it was on this site a few weeks ago.


Add me to the readers of the book. In the initial chapters I had trouble concentrating on the subject matter because the anthromorphisms were a bit fanciful, and I wondered if there was science behind this book. It didn't take long to find out that YES, the science is indeed solid. I felt like I earned a double PhD in forestry and ecology and had fun doing it.

The anthromorphisms got better and better throughout the book and covered such topics as Social Security, housing projects, street kids, frugality vs spendthriftness (of Boglehead interest), and so on.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by market timer » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:41 am

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.

Amazon blurb:
From the actor who somehow lived through it all, a “sharply detailed…funny book about a cinematic comedy of errors” (The New York Times): the making of the cult film phenomenon The Room.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:13 am

Czech step by step, book 1, Lessons 7 to 12.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:00 am

Hebrew from Scratch. Part 1. Lessons 23-28.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:39 pm

"Behind Her Eyes" by Sarah Pinborough.

It wasnt quite as good for me as the hype.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Tue May 02, 2017 6:22 pm

Song of the Lion, by Anne Hillerman.

A car bomb in the parking lot at a basketball game in Tuba City, and old child neglect offenses intertwine with controversy-laden public hearings about a proposed hotel on Navajo land near the Grand Canyon.

This is Anne Hillerman's third book continuing her father Tony Hillerman's series of mysteries involving Navajo Tribal Police.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas » Tue May 02, 2017 7:55 pm

Fallible wrote:
bertilak wrote: ...
Hi all.
I'm about 2/3 the way through Grossman's Don Quixote which puts me well into Part II. I continue to appreciate this translation. As is usual, I got distracted by other books (and other life events) so stalled out on DQ. DQ itself interrupted another book I am well into (Peter Green's 2015 translation of The Iliad).Two other distractions in the stack: John LeCarre's Pigeon Tunnel (reminiscences at age 84) and Peter Hopkirk's Setting the East Ablaze (Central Asia during WW I). I am easily distracted but will eventually get to them all. As Homer Simpson says: "Oh look! A blue car!"


Yes, I've had my usual distractions, too, but was spurred on, so to speak, to continue reading DQ after coming across what must be one of the greatest says-it-all quotes in the book: "What giants?"


Yes, I appreciated Sancho Panza's statement here too. A little later the narrator states that Sancho was a true believer in Don Quixote, in fact he believed every word, except concerning his lady Dulcinea of Toboso. He had his doubts about her because he lived close to Toboso and he had never heard of her.

His motive for following Don Quixote was due to his greed. He'd been promised the governorship of an ínsula, as soon as DQ conquers one, that is. For this he left his wife and kids, and then in the next few days he was stomped on and almost poisoned tor his trouble. He's a pretty funny guy.

I appreciate the translator's footnotes regarding the chivalric texts, allusions to ancient literature, and the wordplay in the original Spanish, without which I would be ignorant.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Tue May 02, 2017 9:08 pm

Nicolas wrote:His motive for following Don Quixote was due to his greed. He'd been promised the governorship of an ínsula, as soon as DQ conquers one, that is.


As Sancho says to another squire as they compare the payment expected (if not yet received) from their respective knights errant:

    “I,” replied Sancho, “have already told my master that I’ll be content with the governorship of an insula, and he is so noble and generous that he’s promised it to me on many different occasions.”

Another choice bit of dialog, this one between DQ and SP, just after DQ is surprised a somewhat lucid comment from SP:

    “Every day, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “you are becoming less simple and more intelligent.”

    “Yes, some of your grace’s intelligence has to stick to me, “ replied Sancho, “for lands that are barren and dry on their own can produce good fruits if you spread manure on them …”
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue May 02, 2017 10:06 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fallible wrote:
bertilak wrote: ...
Hi all.
I'm about 2/3 the way through Grossman's Don Quixote which puts me well into Part II. I continue to appreciate this translation. As is usual, I got distracted by other books (and other life events) so stalled out on DQ. DQ itself interrupted another book I am well into (Peter Green's 2015 translation of The Iliad).Two other distractions in the stack: John LeCarre's Pigeon Tunnel (reminiscences at age 84) and Peter Hopkirk's Setting the East Ablaze (Central Asia during WW I). I am easily distracted but will eventually get to them all. As Homer Simpson says: "Oh look! A blue car!"


Yes, I've had my usual distractions, too, but was spurred on, so to speak, to continue reading DQ after coming across what must be one of the greatest says-it-all quotes in the book: "What giants?"


Yes, I appreciated Sancho Panza's statement here too. A little later the narrator states that Sancho was a true believer in Don Quixote...


Sancho's question about giants was the first time I realized he wasn't quite as crazy, or crazy in the same way, as DQ. Until then, I don't think Cervantes provided much reason for his joining our knight errant.

Have you heard the song, "I Really Like Him," that the character Sancho sings in the play Man of La Mancha?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue May 02, 2017 10:41 pm

bertilak wrote:
Nicolas wrote:His motive for following Don Quixote was due to his greed. He'd been promised the governorship of an ínsula, as soon as DQ conquers one, that is.


As Sancho says to another squire as they compare the payment expected (if not yet received) from their respective knights errant:

    “I,” replied Sancho, “have already told my master that I’ll be content with the governorship of an insula, and he is so noble and generous that he’s promised it to me on many different occasions.”

Another choice bit of dialog, this one between DQ and SP, just after DQ is surprised a somewhat lucid comment from SP:

    “Every day, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “you are becoming less simple and more intelligent.”

    “Yes, some of your grace’s intelligence has to stick to me, “ replied Sancho, “for lands that are barren and dry on their own can produce good fruits if you spread manure on them …”


Ah yes, and how about the hilarious exchanges between Sancho and DQ discussing Dulcinea (Chapter XXXI):

DQ: "When you arrived, what was that queen of beauty doing? Surely you found her stringing pearls, or embroidering some heraldic device in gold thread for this her captive knight."

Sancho: "I didn't find her doing anything...except winnowing two fanegas of wheat in a corral of her house."

DQ: "Well, you may be sure...that, touched by her hands, the grains of wheat were pearls. And did you notice, my friend, if it was white wheat or ordinary spring wheat?"

Sancho: "It was just buckwheat."

DQ: "Well, I assure you...that winnowed by her hands, it undoubtedly made the finest white bread. But go on: when you gave her my letter, did she kiss it? Did she place it on her head? Did she engage in some ceremony worthy of such a letter? What did she do?"

Sancho: "When I was about to give it to her...she was in the middle of shaking a good part of the wheat that she had in the sieve and she said to me: 'Friend, put the letter on that sack; I can't read it until I finish sifting everything I have here.'"

And, of course, as you know, it goes on and on.

I finished the first part and am now on break with some short stories, after which I'll tackle the second part.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas » Tue May 02, 2017 10:42 pm

Fallible wrote:
Nicolas wrote:
Fallible wrote:
bertilak wrote: ...
Hi all.
I'm about 2/3 the way through Grossman's Don Quixote which puts me well into Part II. I continue to appreciate this translation. As is usual, I got distracted by other books (and other life events) so stalled out on DQ. DQ itself interrupted another book I am well into (Peter Green's 2015 translation of The Iliad).Two other distractions in the stack: John LeCarre's Pigeon Tunnel (reminiscences at age 84) and Peter Hopkirk's Setting the East Ablaze (Central Asia during WW I). I am easily distracted but will eventually get to them all. As Homer Simpson says: "Oh look! A blue car!"


Yes, I've had my usual distractions, too, but was spurred on, so to speak, to continue reading DQ after coming across what must be one of the greatest says-it-all quotes in the book: "What giants?"


Yes, I appreciated Sancho Panza's statement here too. A little later the narrator states that Sancho was a true believer in Don Quixote...


Sancho's question about giants was the first time I realized he wasn't quite as crazy, or crazy in the same way, as DQ. Until then, I don't think Cervantes provided much reason for his joining our knight errant.

Have you heard the song, "I Really Like Him," that the character Sancho sings in the play Man of La Mancha?


Yes there's sort of a contradiction with Sancho pointing out to his master that he's not seeing reality quite right, yet still believing completely in him, and his cause. Maybe his greed has something to do with it.

And actually, when we are first introduced to Sancho in chapter VII, Cervantes gives the reason for his abandoning his family to follow him:

During this time, Don Quixote approached a farmer who was a neighbor of his, a good man--if that title can be given to someone who is poor--but without much in the way of brains. In short, he told him so much, and persuaded and promised him so much, that the poor peasant resolved to go off with him and serve as his squire. Among other things, Don Quixote said that he should prepare to go with him gladly, because it might happen that one day he would have an adventure that would gain him, in the blink of an eye, an ínsula, and he would make him its governor. With these promises and others like them, Sancho Panza, for that was the farmer's name, left his wife and children and agreed to be his neighbor's squire.

No I don't recall that song. Have you seen the movie with Peter O'Toole as DQ and Sophia Loren (!) as Dulcinea? I saw it maybe ten years ago and I have a copy somewhere, I'm going to watch it again. I love both those actors.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas » Tue May 02, 2017 10:47 pm

bertilak wrote:
Nicolas wrote:His motive for following Don Quixote was due to his greed. He'd been promised the governorship of an ínsula, as soon as DQ conquers one, that is.


As Sancho says to another squire as they compare the payment expected (if not yet received) from their respective knights errant:

    “I,” replied Sancho, “have already told my master that I’ll be content with the governorship of an insula, and he is so noble and generous that he’s promised it to me on many different occasions.”

Another choice bit of dialog, this one between DQ and SP, just after DQ is surprised a somewhat lucid comment from SP:

    “Every day, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “you are becoming less simple and more intelligent.”

    “Yes, some of your grace’s intelligence has to stick to me, “ replied Sancho, “for lands that are barren and dry on their own can produce good fruits if you spread manure on them …”


The exchanges between the knight and his squire are priceless. I'm enjoying the book immensely.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue May 02, 2017 11:37 pm

Nicolas wrote: ...

Yes there's sort of a contradiction with Sancho pointing out to DQ that he's not seeing reality quite right, yet still believing completely in him, and his cause. Maybe his greed has something to do with it. No I don't recall that song. Have you seen the movie with Peter O'Toole as DQ and Sophia Loren (!) as Dulcinea? I saw it maybe ten years ago and I have a copy somewhere, I'm going to watch it again. I love both those actors.


I forgot there was a movie so thanks for mentioning it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Tue May 02, 2017 11:47 pm

Not Don Quixote, but... :wink:

Merchants in the Temple:
Inside Pope Francis's Secret Battle Against Corruption in the Vatican
by Gianluigi Nuzzi

Just finished this investigative account into the fraud, profiteering and waste within the Vatican. Nuzzi, an Italian journalist, received a data dump from a Vatican whistleblower which allowed a look at the Vatican's books as well as the war that developed between the Pope and the old guard. Among the latter's dirty tricks were a midnight break-in of Vatican offices (to steal documents) and wiretapping of offices.

Francis comes off as a well-mannered, likeable guy, but he is resolute in his commitment to reform. This is guided by his desire to turn the Church into a place for the poor and needy rather than a den of privledge and profit for the hierarchy. The book ends in 2015 with the future of Francis's reforms a question mark.

I did a bit of googling after finishing the book and found that both the author and the whistleblower were arrested and brought to trial. Only the whistleblower was sent to prison. The court ruled that the Vatican didn't have authority over Italian journalists.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Wed May 03, 2017 8:39 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fallible wrote:...
Sancho's question about giants was the first time I realized he wasn't quite as crazy, or crazy in the same way, as DQ. Until then, I don't think Cervantes provided much reason for his joining our knight errant. ...

And actually, when we are first introduced to Sancho in chapter VII, Cervantes gives the reason for his abandoning his family to follow him:

During this time, Don Quixote approached a farmer who was a neighbor of his, a good man--if that title can be given to someone who is poor--but without much in the way of brains. In short, he told him so much, and persuaded and promised him so much, that the poor peasant resolved to go off with him and serve as his squire. Among other things, Don Quixote said that he should prepare to go with him gladly, because it might happen that one day he would have an adventure that would gain him, in the blink of an eye, an ínsula, and he would make him its governor. With these promises and others like them, Sancho Panza, for that was the farmer's name, left his wife and children and agreed to be his neighbor's squire. ...


Right, I'd forgotten (already!) some of this so thanks for pointing it out. I really was wondering whether Sancho believed in the chivalric and knight errant fantasies of Don Quixote, whether he might be as mad as his master. Then he asked, "What giants?" :-)
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nymeria.stark » Wed May 03, 2017 8:56 pm

jebmke wrote:I have read all the Tana French novels. Each one introduces a new character who becomes the main character in the next novel. In that respect, they are best read in sequence.


Agreed! Though I think The Likeness is still my favorite.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Sammismom » Fri May 05, 2017 3:20 pm

Recently revisited 2 books by Alain de Botton via Audible.com: "How Proust Can Change Your Life" and "The Consolations Of Philosophy".

Amazon describes the former as "...literary biography and self help manual".

Wikipedia says of the latter: " de Botton attempts to demonstrate how the teachings of philosophers such as Epicurus, Montaigne, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Seneca, and Socrates can be applied to modern everyday woes. The book has been both praised and criticized for its therapeutic approach to philosophy."

I found these books to be quite educational in regards to the writer Proust and the philosophers as listed above.

I also found the author's ideas on how to relate these folks teachings/lives to our modern lives totally refreshing and amusing.

The author also has numerous YouTube entries. I find him to be an entertaining and interesting speaker. His presentation on the news and how to process the overwhelming amount of information available to us these days has provided me insight that may help quell the anxiety it sometimes engenders.

Any other de Botton fans out there?

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by rgardne70 » Sat May 06, 2017 8:44 pm

Am part way through Norman Mailer's book Oswald's Tale - An American Mystery. Tis the story of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Twas one of those $1.99 specials from Amazon or the Apple Store.

Tis absolutely fascinating and hard to put down along with being an easy read even though the physical book is about 800 pages long.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Calygos » Sat May 06, 2017 9:04 pm

I just finished A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System. It's actually a very entertaining and enlightening read about just how complicated the USA's tax system is and how it could be simplified and improved (mainly through BBLR and VAT) by looking at other countries and tax models. One horrifying chapter discussed the "convoluted and pernicious strategies" that companies like Caterpillar, Apple, Microsoft, and others have created to avoid paying corporate taxes. One of the most maddening and disgusting is Google's use of a "Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich". The author even says Google's use of it is "complicated to the point of being difficult to pin down precisely". Ironically, just google the term for details, it's even too complicated to explain briefly here. :?

EDIT: Ah, here it is, the ironic Subsection IX of subpart (ii) of Section 7803(c)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code, i.e. "anti-complexity clause"!

I've also just started The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. I've never read any of his stuff directly, just by way of its impact on other stories and media (I loved playing a modern shadow priest in WoW), but I'm excited to finally be surrendering to madness. Kek. Rez pls...oh wait... :D
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Sat May 06, 2017 9:16 pm

Just finished Simon Winchester's Pacific. It's great.

Halfway through Simon Winchester's The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible. It's great.

A third of the way through Bill Bryson's Made in america: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States. It's great.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Wed May 10, 2017 10:12 am

Ice Ghosts, by Paul Watson.

The book tells the story of the searches for the Sir John Franklin expedition lost in the Arctic in 1846 when his ships, Erebus and Terror, were trapped in the ice. There were numerous search efforts launched in the 1840s and 1850s by the British, the U.S. and private individuals including Franklin's widow. The wrecks were found by Canadians in 2014 and 2016, largely relying on oral history from Inuits from the area.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Texanbybirth » Wed May 10, 2017 10:26 am

Just finished reading "A Canticle for Leibowitz"; and am now reading a commentary on The Confessions of St. Augustine, one of the world's first auto-biographies.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by book lover » Wed May 10, 2017 2:14 pm

Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen which David Milch is reportedly turning into a series for HBO and The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

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