What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Locked
reggiesimpson
Posts: 1610
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by reggiesimpson » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:07 pm

pinecrest wrote:I just finished Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. Not my usual type of fare but I found it absorbing. While it was essentially a spiritual journey and we follow Siddhartha from his arrogant youth into old age, it was fascinating to watch him zig zag through different doctrines and "aha" truths, almost like investors go from one investment scheme to another until, finally, they despair, go back to basics, and use a little common sense. Only with Siddhartha, every time you think he has finally attained wisdom...wrong. :D ... He has more lessons to learn. Watching the transformations of Siddhartha and the other key characters as they went from youth to old age was sort of sad/bittersweet. It was like reading an epic, and yet it was a slim book.
This brings back some serious memories of my youth. I happened to take the book with me on a 2 month backpacking trip to Asia/India back in the 70s. Pulled out Siddhartha on a beach in Goa (Palolem). Sitting on an almost deserted idyllic beach with a few hippies, stunning sunsets and Siddhartha one didnt need additional "stimulation" to get lost in the moment. Thanks for the memories.

User avatar
Ged
Posts: 3635
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 1:48 pm
Location: Roke

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Ged » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:40 pm

I am reading the Culture series by Iain M Banks. I found out about it from news about the author's death and with my recent retirement the time became available.

I found "Matter" at the local B&N, and since have collected the entire series through Amazon marketplace. So far I've completed:

Consider Phlebas
Matter
Player of Games
Use of Weapons

currently reading:
Excession

I find the Culture universe pretty creative and interesting.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 37053
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:17 pm

I guess it's just a novella but I just finished E. M. Forster's The Machine Stops. Can't believe I never read it before. I found it amazing--and given that it was written in 1909, some parts of it were, I thought, stunningly prescient, particularly the first pages about Vashti's life. (It is your typical dystopian novel--set the scene by showing ordinary life, and then bring in the rebel who does not accept it...) Given that this was written before broadcast radio, let alone television or the Internet... did he project all of this just from his observations of social use of the telephone?

The shortened attention span--Vashti is resultant to talk to her son for even five minutes because she is so busy with, let's say Internettish things. After the five minutes she needs to catch up with her pile of incoming, let's say email. "To most of these questions she replied with irritation - a growing quality in that accelerated age." Her "lecture" on Australian music lasts ten minutes.

She of course, delivers her lecture by audiovisual networking. "The clumsy system of public gatherings had been long since abandoned; neither Vashti nor her audience stirred from their rooms. Seated in her armchair she spoke, while they in their armchairs heard her, fairly well, and saw her, fairly well." (He makes a point about that "fairly well." Her son wants to have, shall we say face time with her: "The Machine is much, but it is not everything. I see something like you in this plate, but I do not see you. I hear something like you through this telephone, but I do not hear you. That is why I want you to come. Pay me a visit, so that we can meet face to face."
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

jginseattle
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:33 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by jginseattle » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:13 pm

Under Western Eyes, by Joseph Conrad.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 14254
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:52 am

The Hinge of Fate, by Winston Churchill. The fourth volume of his history of World War Two. Covers the first half of 1942, the fall of Hong Kong and Singapore, the Battle of the Atlantic, Burma, the carrier battles at the Coral Sea and Midway, convoys to Murmansk, battle of Stalingrad, battles in Libya, and the Invasion of French North Africa.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
Dutch
Posts: 1277
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Dutch » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:48 pm

sperry8 wrote:
Dutch wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:I should admit at this point I am rereading the Lois McMaster Bujold 'Barryar'/ 'Miles Naismith Vorkosigan' series.
I quite enjoy good science fiction and even some fantasy.

But, I stopped reading the Vorkosigan series four books in. The writing is just too "simplistic" (for want of a better word) for my taste. I have the same issue with writers like Terry Brooks or David Eddings.
I totally agree with you... Eddings and Brooks, so simplistic! Would love some recommendations. Im a big fan of Dune, Asimov (Foundation and others), David Brin (Uplift Series) Robert Jordan... any other SF/Fantasy books you'd recommend more in line with the latter - rather than the Eddings/Brooks types?
It's all a matter of personal taste, but I quite enjoyed the following:

Science Fiction:
-Richard Morgan
-John Scalzi
-Neal Stephenson

Fantasy:
-Roger Zelazny
-Patrick Rothfuss

pinecrest
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:51 pm

.....

Post by pinecrest » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:51 pm

.....
Last edited by pinecrest on Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
retiredbuthappy
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:24 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by retiredbuthappy » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:57 pm

somehow have rediscovered science fiction....what a trea!
great north road by preter f hamilton

Fallible
Posts: 6565
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Fallible » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:22 pm

Having much fun reading Fantasia Mathematica (thanks to a Nisiprius post), a1958 collection by Clifton Fadiman of math-based (sort of) stories, poems, etc. Actually, the first story, “Young Archimedes,” was tragic, a beautifully written piece by Aldous Huxley about a young boy with natural talent in both math and music that will never be developed. But then there is “No-Sided Professor” by Martin Gardner, which opens with the nude professor crashing from above into a striptease act; Arthur C. Clarke’s “Superiority” with a super ending; “Inflexible Logic” by Russell Maloney about chimps writing all the books in the British Museum; and “The Mathematical Voodoo,” about a "naturally dumb" student who keeps flunking algebra until a voodoo doll is made for him by his math prof (good dialogue, especially the opening about the slave in "Socrates and the Slave" not being "just any old slave.")

As Fadiman notes, readers won’t learn much math from this book, “but they may lead readers like myself, curious but unlearned, to create a better image of a few mathematical ideas.”
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

Geist
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:36 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Geist » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:59 pm

For the last year or so, I've been working my way through all of John Grisham's books. On 30 Nov, I finished my previous book ("Runaway Jury"), so on 1 Dec I open up my Kindle to see what's next on my list... Lo and behold, the title: "Skipping Christmas" ..... I about busted out laughing. The irony of starting a book called "Skipping Christmas" on the day that I (personally) consider to be the REAL start of the Christmas season was outrageously comical to me.

Also, the book itself (though quite short) is actually quite funny on its own. I'm only about 25% through it so far, but the utter cynicism by the main character for Christmas is simply hilarious. Definitely enjoying this one, especially given the time of year. :mrgreen: ho ho ho

joelly
Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:22 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by joelly » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:25 am

Geist wrote:For the last year or so, I've been working my way through all of John Grisham's books. On 30 Nov, I finished my previous book ("Runaway Jury"), so on 1 Dec I open up my Kindle to see what's next on my list... Lo and behold, the title: "Skipping Christmas" ..... I about busted out laughing. The irony of starting a book called "Skipping Christmas" on the day that I (personally) consider to be the REAL start of the Christmas season was outrageously comical to me.

Also, the book itself (though quite short) is actually quite funny on its own. I'm only about 25% through it so far, but the utter cynicism by the main character for Christmas is simply hilarious. Definitely enjoying this one, especially given the time of year. :mrgreen: ho ho ho
OMGosh! You're in for THE treat!! That book is hilariously funny. I'll never forget it. I read it in Christmas of 2001. Barbara and Marvin, my American parents, recommended it to me. She knew it will cheer me up because that was stressful time of my life. Little did I know there will be more than one stressful time. She has left us since but I'll never forget her kindness and love to us, her foreign children. To this day, I still practice her way in whenever time is tough, I laugh for a while then I carry on. Forward and forward I go.

Bungo
Posts: 885
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:28 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Bungo » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:17 pm

Finally finished the magnificent The Path to Power, the first volume in Robert Caro's LBJ biography. Started volume 2, Means of Ascent, last night.

pinecrest
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:51 pm

.....

Post by pinecrest » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:55 pm

.....
Last edited by pinecrest on Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by gkaplan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:04 am

I currently am reading The Liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camps 1945: Eyewitness Accounts of the Liberators / edited by Brewster Chamberlin and Marcia Feldman ; with an introduction by Robert H. Abzug.

This is a publication of the proceedings of the first International Liberators Conference, which was held in October 1981 in Washington, D,C. Participants represented the United States, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia, the USSR, and the United Kingdom, as well as several who served in the Jewish Brigade under the British flag. Participants included war correspondents, historians, chaplains, as well as military personnel. For several days, they held roundtables and panel discussions to discuss their experiences and to express their concern about Holocaust denial.

{Edited to correct spelling.)
Last edited by gkaplan on Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gordon

Mr Grumpy
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 3:28 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Mr Grumpy » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:57 am

Just finished, Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History - by Kalee Thompson.
You gotta love those Coasties!

Stevee
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:11 am
Location: NJ

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Stevee » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:35 pm

I am reading The Mayor of MacDougal Street , A Memoir, Dave Van Ronk with Elijah Wald. Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002) was a big part of the folk music revival in Greenwich Village in the 1960's. I would usually prefer to listen to the music rather than read yet another book about a "music scene", but this book is worth reading for anyone interested in the genre (60's folk), because besides being so influential, Van Ronk (and Elijah Wald) tell good stories.

Incidentally, Van Ronk's life is the basis for the movie, Inside Llewyn Davis which is being released this month (December 2013).

User avatar
Sunny Sarkar
Posts: 2417
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:02 am
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Sunny Sarkar » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:22 pm

Started reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull at bedtime with my little Boglehead (on your right - she's 10 now).
"Cost matters". "Stay the course". "Press on, regardless". ― John C. Bogle

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 37053
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:33 pm

Stevee wrote:I am reading The Mayor of MacDougal Street , A Memoir, Dave Van Ronk with Elijah Wald. Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002) was a big part of the folk music revival in Greenwich Village in the 1960's. I would usually prefer to listen to the music rather than read yet another book about a "music scene", but this book is worth reading for anyone interested in the genre (60's folk), because besides being so influential, Van Ronk (and Elijah Wald) tell good stories.

Incidentally, Van Ronk's life is the basis for the movie, Inside Llewyn Davis which is being released this month (December 2013).
I don't think I want to read ABOUT Dave Van Ronk but I certainly enjoyed my LP record of Dave Van Ronk and his Ragtime Jug Stompers, which I have, of course, digitized and saved...

Of all the "pop music" versions of "Mac the Knife," his is the only one I really like.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

chaz
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by chaz » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:27 pm

"Sycamore Grove" by John Grisham.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 49176
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:58 pm

Sunny Sarkar wrote:Started reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull at bedtime with my little Boglehead (on your right - she's 10 now).
I read that when I was younger than 10. It made a lasting impression on me, which I remember to this day. The description of his flight maneuvers were one of the earliest inspirations I had to pursue engineering.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
bengal22
Posts: 1459
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by bengal22 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:44 pm

Reading BULLY PULPIT. Great so far.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

User avatar
steve roy
Posts: 1589
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:16 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by steve roy » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:03 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Stevee wrote:I am reading The Mayor of MacDougal Street , A Memoir, Dave Van Ronk with Elijah Wald. Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002) was a big part of the folk music revival in Greenwich Village in the 1960's. I would usually prefer to listen to the music rather than read yet another book about a "music scene", but this book is worth reading for anyone interested in the genre (60's folk), because besides being so influential, Van Ronk (and Elijah Wald) tell good stories.

Incidentally, Van Ronk's life is the basis for the movie, Inside Llewyn Davis which is being released this month (December 2013).
I don't think I want to read ABOUT Dave Van Ronk but I certainly enjoyed my LP record of Dave Van Ronk and his Ragtime Jug Stompers, which I have, of course, digitized and saved...

Of all the "pop music" versions of "Mac the Knife," his is the only one I really like.
Speaking of folk music ...

I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
... During the Trio's appearance at the first Newport Folk Festival, Al Grossman, organizer of the festival with George Wein, got into a shoving match with Frank Werber [the Kingston Trio's manager] because he didn't feel the Trio had any "right" to be there and didn't mind telling Werber so in the rudest of terms. A few years later, the Trio's publisher received a letter from Grossman imploring the group to record songs written by his new client, Bob Dylan. It was perfectly all right to submit material to the Kingston Trio to record and make you lots of money, but not to acknowledge the group as anything but illegitimate pariahs of folk music. ...

-- Bush, p .175

Fallible
Posts: 6565
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Fallible » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:03 pm

Sort of scanning The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. It was begun in the late 1800s, first published in 1906, and seems more satirical than devilish. To wit:

"Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding."

"Finance, n. The art or science of managing revenues and resources for the best advantage of the manager. The pronunciation of this word with the i long and the accent on the first syllable is one of America's most precious discoveries and possessions."

"Longevity, n. Uncommon extension of the fear of death."

"Money, n. A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it. An evidence of culture and a passport to polite society. Supportable property."

"Once, n. Enough."
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

Fallible
Posts: 6565
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Fallible » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:21 pm

steve roy wrote:...
Speaking of folk music ...

I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
...
I haven't read the book, but was in college in the '60s and although I liked their music, I always thought the trio lost some originality and quality when Dave Guard left. And when Peter, Paul and Mary came along, well, who even remembered the Kingston Trio?
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 49176
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:25 pm

Valuethinker wrote:I should admit at this point I am rereading the Lois McMaster Bujold 'Barryar'/ 'Miles Naismith Vorkosigan' series. Science Fiction space opera, but perhaps because it is written by a woman, and a mother, it has a dynamic all its own-- when Bujold kills off a character, you *feel* it. And her grasp of Machiavellian internecine politics (when the Barryarans are not scaring the Bejesus out of the rest of known space, they are always trying to kill each other) is excellent. And they can be quite funny.

Barryar is based on 19th century Czarist Russia, Cetaganda, its mortal enemy and former occupier, on Meiji Restoration Japan, and Beta, its sometime opponent, on a sort of linear extension of modern California-- the Betans are ardent pacifists who make their living exporting superweapons (but never quite as good superweapons as they have available to their own forces). Jacksons Whole is a Las Vegas with genetic technology.

Starts with

Cordelia's Honor (Shards of Honor/ Barryar) which are really the prequels, and in some ways are better read after some of the Miles Naismith Vorkosigan ones which come later

and then

The Warriors Apprentice
The Vor Game
Brothers in Arms
.....

And, once again, I find them unputdownable, read The Vor Game in 2 late evenings.
I'm now on the second book, Barryar. The appendix to Shards of Honor had a recommended reading order, which is roughly the one mentioned here: Miles Vorkosigan/Naismith: His Life And Times. I'll try to follow it.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Valuethinker
Posts: 36662
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:59 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:I should admit at this point I am rereading the Lois McMaster Bujold 'Barryar'/ 'Miles Naismith Vorkosigan' series. Science Fiction space opera, but perhaps because it is written by a woman, and a mother, it has a dynamic all its own-- when Bujold kills off a character, you *feel* it. And her grasp of Machiavellian internecine politics (when the Barryarans are not scaring the Bejesus out of the rest of known space, they are always trying to kill each other) is excellent. And they can be quite funny.

Barryar is based on 19th century Czarist Russia, Cetaganda, its mortal enemy and former occupier, on Meiji Restoration Japan, and Beta, its sometime opponent, on a sort of linear extension of modern California-- the Betans are ardent pacifists who make their living exporting superweapons (but never quite as good superweapons as they have available to their own forces). Jacksons Whole is a Las Vegas with genetic technology.

Starts with

Cordelia's Honor (Shards of Honor/ Barryar) which are really the prequels, and in some ways are better read after some of the Miles Naismith Vorkosigan ones which come later

and then

The Warriors Apprentice
The Vor Game
Brothers in Arms
.....

And, once again, I find them unputdownable, read The Vor Game in 2 late evenings.
I'm now on the second book, Barryar. The appendix to Shards of Honor had a recommended reading order, which is roughly the one mentioned here: Miles Vorkosigan/Naismith: His Life And Times. I'll try to follow it.
The disadvantage with doing it this way is you will know more than Miles does for the rest of the series. He suspects the truth about Bothari, etc. but he never has the full picture.

Shards of Honor/ Barryar (which are really one extended novel) are my favourites of the whole series, although The Warriors Apprentice is very readable. As are the short stories collected as 'Borders of Infinity'.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/loi ... finity.htm

When we get to 'Memory' things get, again, very dark. That's probably the darkest of the entire series.

Valuethinker
Posts: 36662
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:09 pm

gkaplan wrote:I currently am reading The Liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camps 1945: Eyewitness Accounts of the Liberators / edited by Brewster Chamberlin and Marcia Feldman ; with an introduction by Robert H. Abzug.

This is a publication of the proceedings of the first International Liberators Conference, which was held in October 1981 in Washington, D,C. Participants represented the United States, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia, the USSR, and the United Kingdom, as well as several who served in the Jewish Brigade under the British flag. Participants included war corespondents, historians, chaplains, as well as military personnel. For several days, they held roundtables and panel discussions to discuss their experiences and to express their concern about Holocaust denial.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloodlands-Euro ... 0099551799

You might 'enjoy' that (wrong word)-- find it stimulating and illuminating. I thought it was quite good on the Holocaust within the wider context of WW2.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hitlers-Empire- ... rk+mazower

has only one chapter on the Holocaust, but is a masterful synthesis of how the Nazis governed their empire. Blows out lots of myths/ stereotypes, particularly the ones about the effectiveness of the Resistance.

MP173
Posts: 1935
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:03 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by MP173 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:10 pm

Lee Child's "Persuader". Jack Reacher is one tough dude.

Ed

User avatar
steve roy
Posts: 1589
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:16 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by steve roy » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:11 pm

Fallible wrote:
steve roy wrote:...
Speaking of folk music ...

I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
...
I haven't read the book, but was in college in the '60s and although I liked their music, I always thought the trio lost some originality and quality when Dave Guard left. And when Peter, Paul and Mary came along, well, who even remembered the Kingston Trio?
Long after the fact, the consensus was: Dave Guard made a mistake in leaving. Bob Shane said that Guard could have gotten most of what he wanted (more sophisticated music, more complicated arrangements, electric instrumentation) if he'd been more diplomatic. But it got to a point where he was being outvoted, and he started belittling the other two members (Nick Reynolds and Shane), and by the Spring of '61 he'd pretty thoroughly alienated both of them. A shame, because the group was going in interesting musical directions when Guard departed.

Ah well. ... At least Peter, Paul and Mary showed up.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 37053
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:17 pm

Fallible wrote:
steve roy wrote:...
Speaking of folk music ... I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
...
I haven't read the book, but was in college in the '60s and although I liked their music, I always thought the trio lost some originality and quality when Dave Guard left. And when Peter, Paul and Mary came along, well, who even remembered the Kingston Trio?
When I was at MIT, the Boston folk music scene was in full flourish. I regret to say I wasn't personally involved, but the student radio station did live broadcasts from Club 47. I can't speak for the hard-core purists, but my recollection is that most of us who were into folk music loved Peter, Paul and Mary (who actually were thought to be a bit commercial) AND Joan Baez AND Jim Kweskin AND Arlo Guthrie--AND the Kingston Trio.

We had two copies of "Greenback Dollar" in the studio--one cut for release as a record, and one cut for radio airplay. The one cut for radio went:
"And I don't give a [GUITAR STRUM} 'bout a greenback-a-dollar..." Loud guitar strums bleeped out all occurrences of the taboo word "damn."

Who could ever forget "A Merry Little Minuet" ("They're rioting in Africa--tweedle-deedle-deedle-dee-dum--they're starving in Spain--twee-tweedle-deedle-dee?") On a quick check in my iTunes library, I count, yes, 50 songs by Peter, Paul & Mary, but still, 20 by the Kingston Trio is hardly unremembered.

When I think of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," the voices I hear in my head are those of the Kingston Trio, not Pete Seeger.

I don't think anyone with Boston connections will ever forget "M.T.A." either.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by gkaplan » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:24 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Fallible wrote:
steve roy wrote:...
Speaking of folk music ... I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
...
I haven't read the book, but was in college in the '60s and although I liked their music, I always thought the trio lost some originality and quality when Dave Guard left. And when Peter, Paul and Mary came along, well, who even remembered the Kingston Trio?
When I was at MIT, the Boston folk music scene was in full flourish. I regret to say I wasn't personally involved, but the student radio station did live broadcasts from Club 47. I can't speak for the hard-core purists, but my recollection is that most of us who were into folk music loved Peter, Paul and Mary (who actually were thought to be a bit commercial) AND Joan Baez AND Jim Kweskin AND Arlo Guthrie--AND the Kingston Trio.

We had two copies of "Greenback Dollar" in the studio--one cut for release as a record, and one cut for radio airplay. The one cut for radio went:
"And I don't give a [GUITAR STRUM} 'bout a greenback-a-dollar..." Loud guitar strums bleeped out all occurrences of the taboo word "damn."

Who could ever forget "A Merry Little Minuet" ("They're rioting in Africa--tweedle-deedle-deedle-dee-dum--they're starving in Spain--twee-tweedle-deedle-dee?") On a quick check in my iTunes library, I count, yes, 50 songs by Peter, Paul & Mary, but still, 20 by the Kingston Trio is hardly unremembered.

When I think of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," the voices I hear in my head are those of the Kingston Trio, not Pete Seeger.

"Try to Remember?" The Kingston Trio, NOT Jerry Orbach.

"It Was A Very Good Year?" The Kingston Trio, NOT Frank Sinatra.

I don't think anyone with Boston connections will ever forget "M.T.A." either.

You're making me feel very old, because I remember all this.
Gordon

chaz
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by chaz » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:01 pm

gkaplan wrote:
nisiprius wrote:
Fallible wrote:
steve roy wrote:...
Speaking of folk music ... I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
...
I haven't read the book, but was in college in the '60s and although I liked their music, I always thought the trio lost some originality and quality when Dave Guard left. And when Peter, Paul and Mary came along, well, who even remembered the Kingston Trio?
When I was at MIT, the Boston folk music scene was in full flourish. I regret to say I wasn't personally involved, but the student radio station did live broadcasts from Club 47. I can't speak for the hard-core purists, but my recollection is that most of us who were into folk music loved Peter, Paul and Mary (who actually were thought to be a bit commercial) AND Joan Baez AND Jim Kweskin AND Arlo Guthrie--AND the Kingston Trio.

We had two copies of "Greenback Dollar" in the studio--one cut for release as a record, and one cut for radio airplay. The one cut for radio went:
"And I don't give a [GUITAR STRUM} 'bout a greenback-a-dollar..." Loud guitar strums bleeped out all occurrences of the taboo word "damn."

Who could ever forget "A Merry Little Minuet" ("They're rioting in Africa--tweedle-deedle-deedle-dee-dum--they're starving in Spain--twee-tweedle-deedle-dee?") On a quick check in my iTunes library, I count, yes, 50 songs by Peter, Paul & Mary, but still, 20 by the Kingston Trio is hardly unremembered.

When I think of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," the voices I hear in my head are those of the Kingston Trio, not Pete Seeger.

"Try to Remember?" The Kingston Trio, NOT Jerry Orbach.

"It Was A Very Good Year?" The Kingston Trio, NOT Frank Sinatra.

I don't think anyone with Boston connections will ever forget "M.T.A." either.

You're making me feel very old, because I remember all this.
I am old, and I remember it all too Gordon.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Fallible
Posts: 6565
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Fallible » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:01 pm

steve roy wrote:
Fallible wrote:
steve roy wrote:...
Speaking of folk music ...

I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
...
I haven't read the book, but was in college in the '60s and although I liked their music, I always thought the trio lost some originality and quality when Dave Guard left. And when Peter, Paul and Mary came along, well, who even remembered the Kingston Trio?
Long after the fact, the consensus was: Dave Guard made a mistake in leaving. Bob Shane said that Guard could have gotten most of what he wanted (more sophisticated music, more complicated arrangements, electric instrumentation) if he'd been more diplomatic. But it got to a point where he was being outvoted, and he started belittling the other two members (Nick Reynolds and Shane), and by the Spring of '61 he'd pretty thoroughly alienated both of them. A shame, because the group was going in interesting musical directions when Guard departed.

Ah well. ... At least Peter, Paul and Mary showed up.
Thanks for adding that on Guard and interesting comment from Shane. I wonder what Guard thought about Peter, Paul and Mary and what would've happened if he'd prevailed. Whatever, I'll have to read the "Greenback" book.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

Fallible
Posts: 6565
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Fallible » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:13 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Fallible wrote:
steve roy wrote:...
Speaking of folk music ... I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
...
I haven't read the book, but was in college in the '60s and although I liked their music, I always thought the trio lost some originality and quality when Dave Guard left. And when Peter, Paul and Mary came along, well, who even remembered the Kingston Trio?


When I was at MIT, the Boston folk music scene was in full flourish. I regret to say I wasn't personally involved, but the student radio station did live broadcasts from Club 47. I can't speak for the hard-core purists, but my recollection is that most of us who were into folk music loved Peter, Paul and Mary (who actually were thought to be a bit commercial) AND Joan Baez AND Jim Kweskin AND Arlo Guthrie--AND the Kingston Trio.

We had two copies of "Greenback Dollar" in the studio--one cut for release as a record, and one cut for radio airplay. The one cut for radio went:
"And I don't give a [GUITAR STRUM} 'bout a greenback-a-dollar..." Loud guitar strums bleeped out all occurrences of the taboo word "damn."

Who could ever forget "A Merry Little Minuet" ("They're rioting in Africa--tweedle-deedle-deedle-dee-dum--they're starving in Spain--twee-tweedle-deedle-dee?") On a quick check in my iTunes library, I count, yes, 50 songs by Peter, Paul & Mary, but still, 20 by the Kingston Trio is hardly unremembered.

When I think of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," the voices I hear in my head are those of the Kingston Trio, not Pete Seeger.
...
It wasn't really a matter of forgetting the Kingston Trio when Peter, Paul and Mary arrived, but just no longer listening to them and sensing an irrelevance and moving on. As for "Flowers," I loved the song so much back then it mattered little who sang it. But I did think it was better as a solo, either Pete or Joan.

Has anybody read a book on Peter, Paul and Mary?
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

User avatar
BigFoot48
Posts: 2595
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:47 am
Location: Arizona

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by BigFoot48 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:10 am

Fallible wrote:And when Peter, Paul and Mary came along, well, who even remembered the Kingston Trio?
When I was a young man and at a restaurant with a piano player or group entertaining, I would always ask them to play "Scotch and Soda". Can't recall any of them knowing the song, but one of my favorites.

I just finished "The Martian" by Andy Weir. It's the story of a manned mission to Mars that goes horribly wrong and a crew member is left on the planet. How will he survive? Can he be rescued? An interesting story, a bit engineering oriented some of the time, but I admit to getting a little emotional at the end. It came out as an ebook but has been picked up for publishing in February.
Retired | Two-time in top-10 in Bogleheads S&P500 contest; 12-time loser

Stevee
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:11 am
Location: NJ

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Stevee » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:52 am

steve roy wrote: Speaking of folk music ...

I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
... During the Trio's appearance at the first Newport Folk Festival, Al Grossman, organizer of the festival with George Wein, got into a shoving match with Frank Werber [the Kingston Trio's manager] because he didn't feel the Trio had any "right" to be there and didn't mind telling Werber so in the rudest of terms. A few years later, the Trio's publisher received a letter from Grossman imploring the group to record songs written by his new client, Bob Dylan. It was perfectly all right to submit material to the Kingston Trio to record and make you lots of money, but not to acknowledge the group as anything but illegitimate pariahs of folk music. ...

-- Bush, p .175
I'll have to pick up a copy of Greenback Dollar (I see that the book is not inexpensive, at least on Amazon :moneybag ). Although I am just a bit too young to remember them, I am now a big fan of the Kingston Trio (the old incarnations). Great musicians (IMO) and performers, I especially like their live recordings (e,g, Live at the Hungry I).

User avatar
steve roy
Posts: 1589
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:16 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by steve roy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:36 pm

Stevee wrote:
steve roy wrote: Speaking of folk music ...

I recently read "Greenback Dollar" by William Bush, which recounts the rise of The Kingston Trio. They helped out Joan Baez early on when she was an unknown; three years later when she'd become a folk icon, she professed not to know them. The purists disdained the group, except when it came to making bucks:
... During the Trio's appearance at the first Newport Folk Festival, Al Grossman, organizer of the festival with George Wein, got into a shoving match with Frank Werber [the Kingston Trio's manager] because he didn't feel the Trio had any "right" to be there and didn't mind telling Werber so in the rudest of terms. A few years later, the Trio's publisher received a letter from Grossman imploring the group to record songs written by his new client, Bob Dylan. It was perfectly all right to submit material to the Kingston Trio to record and make you lots of money, but not to acknowledge the group as anything but illegitimate pariahs of folk music. ...

-- Bush, p .175
I'll have to pick up a copy of Greenback Dollar (I see that the book is not inexpensive, at least on Amazon :moneybag ). Although I am just a bit too young to remember them, I am now a big fan of the Kingston Trio (the old incarnations). Great musicians (IMO) and performers, I especially like their live recordings (e,g, Live at the Hungry I).
The Trio, long after the originals disbanded, became like the Grateful Dead with a bunch of live albums: While together -- "Live at the Hungy I" (1959), "Stereo Concert," (1959) "College Concert," (1962 -- with John Stewart) "Back in Town," (1964) "Once Upon a Time." ('69 release of a '66 concert at the Sahara Tahoe.)

Then a bunch of after-the-facts: "Snapshot," -- a 1965 University of Kentucky concert. "Flashback" -- a 1963 college concert. "Twice Upon a Time" -- alternate Sierra Tahoe concert. "Live From Newport" -- 1959 Newport Folk Festival concert. "Live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium" -- 1961 concert right before Guard left. Etcetera.

Never saw Guard in the lineup, although I did see him solo at the Ice House in Glendale in the mid-seventies. T

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by gkaplan » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:45 pm

The Ice House. Now I'm really feeling old.
Gordon

User avatar
steve roy
Posts: 1589
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:16 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by steve roy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:56 pm

I'll tap the tired horse again, re "It Was a Very Good Year."
"It was a Very Good Year" was written specifically for Bob Shane by composer/lyricist Ervin Drake in 1961 ... at the suggestion of the Trio's publisher. Drake ... mentioned how much he'd like to write a song for the Trio, to which Mogul [the publisher] responded, " I have a meeting with Bob Shane in about twenty minutes."

"Fine," Drake said. I'll write one now," completing "It Was a Very Good Year" just as Shane walked in.

Frank Sinatra covered the song four years after Shane, winning a Grammy for Best Male Vocal Performance in 1966.

-- William Bush, p. 221
And now you know the REST of the story.

pinecrest
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:51 pm

.....

Post by pinecrest » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:18 pm

.....
Last edited by pinecrest on Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by gkaplan » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:15 pm

I currently am reading Five skies by Ron Carlson. Like the two previous books I have read of his, Carlson places his novel in a western setting, this time Southern Idaho, with three outdoors men building a stunt ramp beside a cavernous void.
Gordon

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 6158
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by bertilak » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:34 pm

The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

The move is a favorite of mine. If you have a few early teens (boy or girl) you want to keep out of your hair for a while on a rainy day pop in the DVD and the next hour and a half are yours! Unless you yourself get hooked in the first 10 minutes.

So I decided to read the book. So far, it is as captivating as the movie. It will not take me too long to finish it.

The conceit of the book is that Goldman simply took an existing book (By S. Morgenstern) published many years ago (turn of the 20th century?) and eliminated all the boring historical and academic stuff leaving just the "good parts" -- Fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautiful ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts of all kinds, pain, death, brave men, coward men, strongest men, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles.

Goldman either wrote or had a hand in (among others) Marathon Man, No Way to Treat a Lady, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Hot Rock, The Great Waldo Pepper, Maverick, Heat.

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!"
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 37053
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:05 pm

Just finished A TIme to Kill, by John Grisham. It's OK. Leaves an awful lot of loose ends dangling.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

Joe Benjamin
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:36 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Joe Benjamin » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:12 pm

A few weeks ago I discovered my new favorite author, Mary Roach. She's written several non-fiction books but the three that I read recently are

(1) Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal,
(2) Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, and
(3) Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.

Those titles pretty well describe the subject of each book. What the titles don't tell you is that the books are all very well researched and each is written in a manner that
entertains as it informs. Each of those subjects has its own "ick" factor that ordinarily
might offend or disgust the reader. But Mrs. Roach turns the "ick" into a delight. Her
secret weapon? Humor. She is wickedly funny. Hardly a page goes by where she doesn't record a droll vignette about one of the researchers in those subjects, or introduce a sly observation, or highlight some off-the-wall factoid. If you're looking for chuckles and have even the remotest interest in the Gulp, Bonk, and Stiff aspects of the human condition, then these are the books for you.

User avatar
market timer
Posts: 5969
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:42 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by market timer » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:04 am

King Rat, by James Clavell

Semi-autobiographical novel about life in a WW2 prison camp in Singapore.

reggiesimpson
Posts: 1610
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:36 am

market timer wrote:King Rat, by James Clavell

Semi-autobiographical novel about life in a WW2 prison camp in Singapore.
Recently read the book and watched the movie. Both were excellent. I saw Clavell on a TV interview shortly before his death in which he rather blatantly revealed his hatred of the Japanese. The source being his imprisonment by the Japanese and subsequent treatment. He further revealed that his primary motive for writing his many books covering the Japanese and their history was to reveal to the West their inhuman nature. Interesting exposure of his prime motivation for writing his many bestsellers.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 37053
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:48 pm

Joe Benjamin wrote:A few weeks ago I discovered my new favorite author, Mary Roach. She's written several non-fiction books but the three that I read recently are

(1) Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal,
(2) Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, and
(3) Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.

Those titles pretty well describe the subject of each book. What the titles don't tell you is that the books are all very well researched and each is written in a manner that
entertains as it informs. Each of those subjects has its own "ick" factor that ordinarily
might offend or disgust the reader. But Mrs. Roach turns the "ick" into a delight. Her
secret weapon? Humor. She is wickedly funny. Hardly a page goes by where she doesn't record a droll vignette about one of the researchers in those subjects, or introduce a sly observation, or highlight some off-the-wall factoid. If you're looking for chuckles and have even the remotest interest in the Gulp, Bonk, and Stiff aspects of the human condition, then these are the books for you.
Packing for Mars. Breaks the single-word title tradition, but IMHO one of her best.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

Valuethinker
Posts: 36662
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:13 am

reggiesimpson wrote:
market timer wrote:King Rat, by James Clavell

Semi-autobiographical novel about life in a WW2 prison camp in Singapore.
Recently read the book and watched the movie. Both were excellent. I saw Clavell on a TV interview shortly before his death in which he rather blatantly revealed his hatred of the Japanese. The source being his imprisonment by the Japanese and subsequent treatment. He further revealed that his primary motive for writing his many books covering the Japanese and their history was to reveal to the West their inhuman nature. Interesting exposure of his prime motivation for writing his many bestsellers.
It's not so much they are inhuman, as they have a culture which is so different from our own-- it underlines just how different human societies are and how much how we are as human beings is dependent upon the societal values we ingest growing up. Whilst western allied POWs in Germany were treated within the rules of war, eastern European and Soviet prisoners were enslaved, murdered and deliberately starved to death-- as bad or worse than anything the Japanese did. So the same Germans, but with a different origin of prisoners. Similarly in various colonial contexts, western nations (Belgium, Britain, France etc.) perpetrated crimes against brown or black people that were of extraordinary inhumanity.

Japan has a totally unique culture, I suspect in many ways it is not even close to that of China or Korea. And it was ruled by a militaristic cabal intent on living out notions of Samurai honour (Bushido). They treated their own soldiers as essentially expendable in the cause of the glory of Japan and the Emperor. Japanese soldiers seldom surrendered as they expected a similar treatment from the Allies. Their own behaviour in China from 1937 exceeded anything they managed to do to westerners. In turn, when in power, Mao's people would perpetrate acts of tremendous brutality.

And so a madness descended on the nation. But similar acts of brutality were committed by the Soviets against their own people and people they were fighting, and by Germans (particularly on the Eastern Front, but with some pretty horrifying reprisals in Italy, France, Balkans, and, of course, the Wehrmacht (German Army)'s complicity in and contribution to the Holocaust.

User avatar
market timer
Posts: 5969
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:42 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by market timer » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:24 am

reggiesimpson wrote:
market timer wrote:King Rat, by James Clavell

Semi-autobiographical novel about life in a WW2 prison camp in Singapore.
Recently read the book and watched the movie. Both were excellent. I saw Clavell on a TV interview shortly before his death in which he rather blatantly revealed his hatred of the Japanese. The source being his imprisonment by the Japanese and subsequent treatment. He further revealed that his primary motive for writing his many books covering the Japanese and their history was to reveal to the West their inhuman nature. Interesting exposure of his prime motivation for writing his many bestsellers.
Interesting context, I'll keep that in mind. This is my first Clavell book, had never heard of him until a few days ago.

reggiesimpson
Posts: 1610
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by reggiesimpson » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:26 am

market timer wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
market timer wrote:King Rat, by James Clavell

Semi-autobiographical novel about life in a WW2 prison camp in Singapore.
Recently read the book and watched the movie. Both were excellent. I saw Clavell on a TV interview shortly before his death in which he rather blatantly revealed his hatred of the Japanese. The source being his imprisonment by the Japanese and subsequent treatment. He further revealed that his primary motive for writing his many books covering the Japanese and their history was to reveal to the West their inhuman nature. Interesting exposure of his prime motivation for writing his many bestsellers.
Interesting context, I'll keep that in mind. This is my first Clavell book, had never heard of him until a few days ago.
One of his most popular books was Shogun (also turned into a movie). It covered an early era of Japan and its opening up to the west. I happened to be taking a speed reading course at the time and i asked the instructor if it would be a good book to practice on? He immediately said no (rather emphatically). He went on to say that he was a Fulbright scholar of Japanese history and even he had no idea where Clavell got such accurate information on that era. It wasnt until i saw that TV interview years later that i understood the passion that drove Clavell to such lengths.

Locked