What book are you reading?

Discussion in 'Music, TV, Movies & other Media' started by Panzerkampfwagen, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Donor

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    Over the course of the past year I've been reading history books on some of the larger countries in the world whose pasts I'm not terribly familiar with - India, Russia and now China - and I just finished reading Paul Bushkovitch's A Concise History of Russia:

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    https://www.amazon.com/Concise-Hist...concise+history&qid=1561056094&s=books&sr=1-2

    While one must always temper their expectations with single-volume histories covering an enormous amount of time and events, I found this book a little disappointing. While it's understandable that the book would begin with the formation of Kiev-Rus in the late 9th Century AD, I was hoping it would cover some of the history that preceded it. My biggest disappointment, however, was that it was too fair towards the USSR, from the suppression of its own people to the oppression of the people of Eastern and Central Europe following WWII, and there's mention of the Holodomor in Ukraine at all, which is unforgivable IMO. Even though Bushkovitch is a decent historian and writer I don't know that I can recommend this book despite the efficient job he does covering the expanse of history leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution.

    Having finished that, I'm now reading John Keay's China: A History:

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    https://www.amazon.com/China-History-John-Keay/dp/0465025188

    and I'm reminded what a fine historian and even better writer he is. I've read his India: A History, which is a marvelous (and massive) single-volume history of India that I highly recommend (see Post #410), and it looks like this equally lengthy single-volume history China should be just as good. Hopefully, I'll be finished with it by the end of summer. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  2. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Donor

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    If you see this I'd like to know what you think of that book, Todd.

    I've read Dostoevsky's Demons and it's both a fine and disturbing work. The parallels to our own time are striking.
     
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  3. ToddWB

    ToddWB Well-Known Member Donor

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    Dittos on the "parallels of our life times" but then the main subject is human nature. A lot of very well fleshed out characters, and interesting comparisons of it in the main comparing the main characters.. the brother's, their father and the household.. Truth is .. it was good for putting me to sleep and dragged on .. especial during the murder trial, forever.
    But then I usually read books like "the Brother Karamov" for the intellectual reason; such as the bio on Obama I'm on now. It's over a 1000 pages..but does move along fairly quick.. even tho' I'm anticipating the action further along.

    I' read a little action fiction, but binge consume it like candy

    One more note.. I chose the "Brothers Karamov because of the "reading list " of Dr. Davis Patterson.. he has a series of lecture on .. uh.. psychology.. but mostly I'd call those lecture on human nature too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  4. ToddWB

    ToddWB Well-Known Member Donor

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    Dittos on the "The parallels to our own time are striking." He fleshes out a lot of characters.. very well.. the Brothers Karamov is a study of human nature, specific examples compared and contrasted with the households and their relationships of the the Brothers Karamov themselves. I read this because it was on the reading list of Dr. Jordan Peterson, the psychologist.. he as a lot of lectures on youtube with seem to study "human nature", and as an intellectual exercise.. I do that, but I did find it tedioius and slow leading up to, and during the trial.. plus I just wanted to slap the stupidity out of some of the characters. ..
    I consume action fiction like candy,(latest sub genre I call, "Swords and Sandals" based on Biblical characters)….. and at least this, the Brothers Karamov, and the 1000 page Obama bio I working on now, take a little time.
     
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  5. ToddWB

    ToddWB Well-Known Member Donor

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    Who the writes them!? the ones featuring the son and his sister just have some stupid plots lines.. they do stupid things (and miraculously !! survive being stupid .. over and over.. I guess the villains are even more stupid.)
     
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  6. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Donor

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    Thanks, Todd. :beer:

    You might like Demons - it's a semi-fictional story about the rise of Nihilism in pre-revolutionary Russia and you can see how similar destructive movements operated in the same way in revolutionary France, civil war era Spain and now here in America:

    It's not a 1000 page elephant, either.

    While I'm on the subject of Russian novels, you also might want to give reading Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak some consideration. It's nothing like David Lean's film (and it's MUCH better) and you can see why Pasternak's criticism of the Bolshevik revolution and the communists in Zhivago got him in so much trouble with the Soviet authorities who banned his book. If he hadn't managed to smuggle the manuscript out of the USSR there's no telling if it would have ever seen the light of day. A fair warning though, it's a very long and dense book that took me months to read, but it was well worth the effort. Make sure you get the original Hayward/Harari/Bayley translation, too:

    https://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Zhivago-Everymans-Library-Pasternak/dp/0679407596

    Pasternak's niece said the new translation is awful and I agree with her.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  7. Liberty Monkey

    Liberty Monkey Well-Known Member

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  8. Gorgeous George

    Gorgeous George Well-Known Member

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    this is another reason to hate nepotism.
     
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  9. ToddWB

    ToddWB Well-Known Member Donor

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    Just about finished the Garrow book "Rising Star" a well annotated bio on Obama. Quickly, two things that stand out... He promised to "work across the aisle", to "bring the country together" and utterly failed, Remember, "we won?" and some of the other things he said that definitely weren't "reaching across the aisle? The other thing was his criticism of the Patriot Act and it's possible misuse, and then his Administration abused that in the coup d'tat continuing attempt on Trump (and spying on other campaigns in the last election cycle)
     
  10. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    The Family by Jeff Sharlet. an eye opening expose of how Christian evangelism is no longer anything but a Christian version of ISIS
     
  11. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    I think the books are being computer generated by now. They are possibly the most abysmally BAD books I have ever seen, yet he has made millions of dollars off of them.

    I think the secret is the scenery. He tends to set them in exotic places and appears to know these places well. He also has an iconic car in each and it is often one he actually owns ( and often puts a picture of on the back cover)
     
  12. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru Well-Known Member

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    12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B. Peterson.
     
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  13. ToddWB

    ToddWB Well-Known Member Donor

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    I read that! Watched many of his lectures on YouTube.. especially relevant in re; the number of mass murders in the USA; are his lectures on what makes a sociopath.
     
  14. ToddWB

    ToddWB Well-Known Member Donor

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    That no kidding.. most of them are based around some object being way out of place (Aztec in the middle of the Az desert, Civil War Iron clad in the middle of the Sahara, sailing ship being miles and miles inland,... etc.. throw in the iconic cars and a few others eccentricities; and an algorhythim (sp) to write the books writes ITSELF.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  15. ToddWB

    ToddWB Well-Known Member Donor

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    Rereading parts of the "Camalud Chronicles", an historical fiction based on the Roman evacuation of Britain and the rise of the Arthurian Myths.
    I've long wanted to flesh out an historical fiction on the place I live.. I wonder how these people survived with all the hostile tribes (including the Spanish and the Americans) that moved in and around the area. Hint.. I know the Americans were absorbed into th e local populace.
     
  16. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    Right now that would be the latest of Webber's Safehold novels
     
  17. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    Oh you like fantasy to do you?
     
  18. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Donor

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    [​IMG]

    Beautifully illustrated book with lots of great photos. The history itself is a broad overview, not an in-depth account of Ancient Greece, but that's not why I purchased this book.

    I wish I could find a similar book on the Minoans and their architecture and artwork but I have been unable to do so. The loss of their civilization is one of the greatest tragedies in human history...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019

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