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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:12 am 
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I've read all the Hornblower books, and watched the A&E series on TV, and liked them both. Frankly, I think O'Brian is derivative of Forester in concept, but O'Brian just takes it all to another level of breadth and depth. Too much, maybe, for all but the real enthusiast. With Hornblower you don't need to have separate volumes of gazetteer and glossary at hand to fully absorb the nuances of the story.

I'd guess the problem with making historical naval fiction movies really well is the paucity of suitable ships. (a ship called The Rose was used in Master and Commander for the exterior shots) People just won't tolerate soundstage type sets in the movies anymore for exterior scenes, and those are the foundation of a naval story. You either have to have real ships, or do some kind of Lord of the Rings magic, which is incredibly expensive. With TV you can get away with more.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:43 pm 
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I'll re-read Catcher in the Rye this weekend for the forum.

I just purchased Neal Stephenson's Anathem. It will likely sit on a shelf for a few years, as Cryptonomicon did, before I get up the courage to start it. 900+ pages of serious reading.


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:37 pm 
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Luther's Small Catechism because I am teaching a confirmation class at church. I wish there was a chapter on how to make 8th grade boys listen and participate. :angry:


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:06 pm 
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Currently, Le Carre's *Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy*--which is calling me right now!

I'm also going to be re-reading Simon Raven's *Alms to Oblivion* series this autumn, which I'd recommend to anyone on this board--wonderful stuff!


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:51 pm 
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Tucker wrote:
I'll re-read Catcher in the Rye this weekend for the forum.
Yeah, no kidding?

I am re-reading The Catcher In The Rye, as well. Greatest novel!


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:14 am 
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I started Catcher in the Rye last night. I know I "read" this in high school, and remembered the general idea of it, but I did not remember many of the incidents I've read so far.

I am enjoying it very much. I am avoiding the book discussion thread until I finish.


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:22 pm 
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Re-reading A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. One of the funniest novels in the English language.

Toole wrote the book at some ridiculously young age (20s, I believe) and when he couldn't get it published he committed suicide. Following his death his mother spent years making the rounds and finally found Walker Percy. Percy was instrumental in getting the book published, 20 years after the author's death. Now regarded as a modern classic.

Trust me, the book is funnier. :)


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:22 pm 
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Revisiting the works of Frank O'Hara on one end and "Black Postcards" by Dean Wareham on the other.


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:23 am 
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A Confederacy of Dunces was absolutely craziest book I have ever read. The ending was incredible. Like a Rube Goldberg machine....

It's a bit of work to get into the book, but the payoff is worth it.

...very tragic story about the author...

I worked on the first Jack Aubrey book: Master and Commander for a while (about 60 pages or so), but have given up for now (the book is overdue back to the library). I have been caught up in the baseball playoffs, so I haven't had a good amount of time to sit and read the book at night and it is freighted with lots of seafaring lingo to decipher. I have zero background in boats of any kind so it took a bit of concentration to stay with it. I did enjoy the book so far, Jack Aubrey seems like a good character.

I would probably do better with this book later in the winter or in the summer when I have larger blocks of time to read and really get into a more challenging book....


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:55 pm 
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I should say: "Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Teaching Writing" for my Composition for Teachers class
and
"Introduction to World Religions" for my World Religion class

But I am not reading those...oops.

Right now I'm 3/4 of the way through Lord of the Rings for the third time,

and I'm crawling through Sengoidelc: Old Irish for Beginners

Conor

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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:27 am 
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Having finished The Catcher in the Rye which I truly enjoyed very much after all these years (will there be another book coming soon for all to read?), in a silly moment I accidentally turned on the television and saw three political commercials in a row. Most unpleasant.

So I'm doing, if a bit late, what I often do every four years or so, which is to re-read a good book that reminds me that things do not much change under the sun and also to pick up a current (or sort of new, anyway) book that gives an alternate and hopefully entertaining view of recent history. So, between now and Tuesday evening I shall read:

The Twelve Caesars by Seutonius, and

Washington, D.C., by Gore Vidal.

Since the history between the first book and today's reality will be distant and extremely close simultaneously, after these two I'll probably fall back to something more bracing like Marcus Aurelius or really get silly and read something by Stephen King. I also may be on a plane trip next week and may get really silly and pickup the first paperback I see in the airport bookstore. (That's about all the gambling my constitution can handle.)

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"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." — Mark Twain, notebook entry.


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:54 am 
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Hobbit/Lord of the Rings is great. I read it every 5 years or so. I can't wait until I can read it with my kids (boy, 5 and girl, 7). We read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, and they seemed to enjoy them, though I edited a bit of the scary stuff on the fly. LOTR seems a bit hairier (orcses) than those, I feel.

I am now reading Jeffrey Archer: The Fourth Estate. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for such fictional corporate empire/battle books like James Clavell's Tai Pan series and Wilbur Smith's Courtney Family saga et als. I also enjoyed Archer's As the Crow Flies, a saga of a British department store titan.


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:55 am 
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AQ -- I have never read any Gore Vidal. Have you read this one before, or anything else by him?

I am on a very big Cheever kick right now, reading The Collected Stories:

"These stories seem at times to be stories of a long-lost world when the city of New York was still filled with a river light, when you heard the Benny Goodman quartets from a radio in the corner stationery store, and when almost everybody wore a hat. Here is the last of that generation of chain smokers who woke the world in the morning with their coughing, who used to get stoned at cocktail parties and perform obsolete dance steps like "the Cleveland Chicken," sail for Europe on ships, who were truly nostalgic for love and happiness, and whose gods were as ancient as yours and mine, whoever you are. The constants that I look for in this sometimes dated paraphernalia are a love of light and a determination to trace some moral chain of being. Calvin played no part at all in my religious education, but his presence seemed to abide in the barns of my childhood and to have left me with some undue bitterness."

tjs


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:04 pm 
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Sartre wrote:
AQ -- I have never read any Gore Vidal. Have you read this one before, or anything else by him?....
Sartre,

I'm a fan of Vidal's American historical novels, usually referred to as The American Chronicle Series that goes (in historical order, not the order he wrote them): Burr, Lincoln, 1876, Empire, Hollywood, Washington, D.C. and finally The Golden Age.

I've read them out of sequence and finished The Golden Age several months ago. If you like historical fiction (especially when it involves seemingly juicy details about what really goes on in our governing class) I'd suggest finding a copy of Empire and starting there. It takes place from about 1898-1907 and chronicles the rise of modern America.

When Vidal is on his game he's quite engaging and funny and I think he does a great job of it in this series.

Also, thanks for the Cheever quote. I'm a great fan of his works.

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"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." — Mark Twain, notebook entry.


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 Post subject: Re:What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:56 pm 
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I recently ran across a brilliant essay by Rick Moody* on Cheever's "The Jewels of the Cabots," my favorite of his stories.

http://www.conjunctions.com/archives/c29-rm.htm

Also, any Cheever fan (or aspiring Cheever fan) should have a copy of the Caedmon CD set of Cheever readings. Includes Edw Hermann, Blythe Danner, Meryl Streep, Peter Gallagher (greatest voice of all time), Geo Plimpton (2nd greatest voice of all time), and, best of all, two rare readings by Cheever himself. This set is a really incredible listen.

* If you haven't read any Rick Moody, definitely pick up a copy of The Ice Storm.


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