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Author Topic: What is everyone reading?  (Read 388170 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #675 on: May 16, 2008, 09:01:38 PM »

I think I'll have to teach myself to read again after Caitlin's older.  The last thing I read was H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness a couple of months ago.

When I first read Lovecraft, I could only handle one book every few months.  Let me tell you, reading him alone in a big Philly row-house and having the phone ring waaaaay in the back where it's dark can be a bit nerve-wracking.  Wink

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« Reply #676 on: May 16, 2008, 09:04:10 PM »

^Oh, definitely!  I made the mistake of reading the book I mentioned when our daughter was still waking up to eat every two hours at night and the story was so good I couldn't help read it... even at 3 am in a quiet, dark house.  I can't count the times I had to cross myself walking down our the hallway back to bed!
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« Reply #677 on: May 16, 2008, 09:21:37 PM »

^Oh, definitely!  I made the mistake of reading the book I mentioned when our daughter was still waking up to eat every two hours at night and the story was so good I couldn't help read it... even at 3 am in a quiet, dark house.  I can't count the times I had to cross myself walking down our the hallway back to bed!

I remember making the mistake of reading Bram Stoker's "Dracula" one night while on a train heading for London. At that time, station guards had a habit of pounding on a random carriage to alert the driver that all passengers had boarded and he could take off. The guard just happened to pick my carriage to pound on, where I was alone with my book. I nearly died of shock! But that book is still one of my favourites.
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« Reply #678 on: May 16, 2008, 09:28:53 PM »

Oh wow!  I would have had a heart attack!   laugh
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« Reply #679 on: May 16, 2008, 09:56:33 PM »

Let me tell you; it was a close call!  Grin
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« Reply #680 on: May 16, 2008, 10:57:32 PM »

^Oh, definitely!  I made the mistake of reading the book I mentioned when our daughter was still waking up to eat every two hours at night and the story was so good I couldn't help read it... even at 3 am in a quiet, dark house.  I can't count the times I had to cross myself walking down our the hallway back to bed!

Lovecraft had a amazing way of setting up eldritch situations and nameless horrors, didn't he? 

Did you know that he was also very fond of cats?  Here is a link to an essay he wrote:
http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/catsdogs.htm

I love the line

"I have no active dislike for dogs, any more than I have for monkeys, human beings, tradesmen, cows, sheep, or pterodactyls; but for the cat I have entertained a particular respect and affection ever since the earliest days of my infancy."

Ebor
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« Reply #681 on: May 16, 2008, 11:08:36 PM »

^Yay on cat fans!  The one thing I don't much like in Lovecraft's works is that he needed a thesaurus.  He kept using "nameless" way too much and after a few chapters, that feels like getting too lazy to describe things properly.  Otherwise, he's a very imaginative writer.  And much like Stephen King, I would hate to see the inside of his mind. 
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« Reply #682 on: May 16, 2008, 11:20:29 PM »

^Yay on cat fans!  The one thing I don't much like in Lovecraft's works is that he needed a thesaurus.  He kept using "nameless" way too much and after a few chapters, that feels like getting too lazy to describe things properly.  Otherwise, he's a very imaginative writer.  And much like Stephen King, I would hate to see the inside of his mind. 

When someone is coming up with things like Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth (sp?) there may have been times when he couldn't bear another named horror. Cheesy  Then again, long ago a friend described a bit of Lovecraft as "I beheld an indescribable horror... which I will now describe for 3 pages." 

Ebor
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« Reply #683 on: May 17, 2008, 12:58:06 AM »

Any Steinbeck fans out there?  He's probably my favorite American author.
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« Reply #684 on: May 17, 2008, 02:05:57 AM »

Yes
Any Steinbeck fans out there?  He's probably my favorite American author.
. Yes, here. But Hemingway is probably mine.
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« Reply #685 on: May 17, 2008, 02:40:38 AM »

Any Steinbeck fans out there?  He's probably my favorite American author.

I like Steinbeck very much, although reading his dialect ridden dialogues are a bit of a chore.
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« Reply #686 on: May 17, 2008, 02:43:24 AM »

Yes. Yes, here. But Hemingway is probably mine.

I love Hemingway's terse narrative. I loved "Fairwell to Arms"...... not quite sure why.  Huh
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« Reply #687 on: May 17, 2008, 12:00:45 PM »

Any Steinbeck fans out there?  He's probably my favorite American author.

Really now? I remember reading East of Eden in High School and thinking, "will this book ever end?" LOL. I am sure I would have a greater appreciation for it now if I read it.  Smiley
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« Reply #688 on: May 18, 2008, 11:29:34 PM »

I like Steinbeck very much, although reading his dialect ridden dialogues are a bit of a chore.
Probably one of the reasons I love his works;  It reminds me of my grandparents and older kinfolk.  People still talk like that here in the Ozarks if you know where to look.  It's the lyrical, twangy, honest, salt-of-the-earth speech of rural folks and I love it.
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« Reply #689 on: May 18, 2008, 11:38:29 PM »

Yes. Yes, here. But Hemingway is probably mine.

I love Hemingway's terse narrative. I loved "Fairwell to Arms"...... not quite sure why.  Huh

I liked Hemingway, but his terseness and narrative style always seems anxious, uptight, and impatient.  Kinda reminds me of a big city person visiting a small town; rush, rush, rush 'cause my way's faster and better.
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« Reply #690 on: May 18, 2008, 11:47:53 PM »

Probably one of the reasons I love his works;  It reminds me of my grandparents and older kinfolk.  People still talk like that here in the Ozarks if you know where to look.  It's the lyrical, twangy, honest, salt-of-the-earth speech of rural folks and I love it.

I have to admit, it's sort of foreign to me.  Cheesy
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« Reply #691 on: May 18, 2008, 11:51:44 PM »

I liked Hemingway, but his terseness and narrative style always seems anxious, uptight, and impatient.  Kinda reminds me of a big city person visiting a small town; rush, rush, rush 'cause my way's faster and better.

Yes, that is so true. Something funny; I once bought "For Whom the Bell Tolls" in a second-hand bookstore and when I got home I was infuriated that that particular version had replaced every expletive with "unrepeatable word" or something similar. Grrrrrrrrrrr  Angry That totally ruined the story for me and I didn't finish it. I hired the film, instead!  laugh
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« Reply #692 on: May 19, 2008, 12:09:15 AM »

I have to admit, it's sort of foreign to me.  Cheesy
Don' worry yaself none.  Ah reckin we Ozarkians sound a might bit foreign to the rest of the country some tahms. Cheesy  Here's a might fine article that tells about it.  Scroll on down to where it talks about the Ozarks.
Southern American English.
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« Reply #693 on: May 19, 2008, 12:13:16 AM »

Don' worry yaself none.  Ah reckin we Ozarkians sound a might bit foreign to the rest of the country some tahms. Cheesy  Here's a might fine article that tells about it.  Scroll on down to where it talks about the Ozarks.
Southern American English.

And you have the nerve to call that English!!!  laugh
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« Reply #694 on: May 19, 2008, 12:18:48 AM »

And you have the nerve to call that English!!!  laugh
LOL! Cheesy Not me, I proudly call it Hillbilly.
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« Reply #695 on: May 19, 2008, 01:12:36 AM »

LOL! Cheesy Not me, I proudly call it Hillbilly.

LOL - why do I have the "banjo duel" playing in my mind?
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« Reply #696 on: May 19, 2008, 01:37:36 AM »

I liked Hemingway, but his terseness and narrative style always seems anxious, uptight, and impatient.  Kinda reminds me of a big city person visiting a small town; rush, rush, rush 'cause my way's faster and better.

Funny...that's the way I feel about Faulkner, not Hemingway.
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« Reply #697 on: May 19, 2008, 01:47:51 AM »

LOL - why do I have the "banjo duel" playing in my mind?
Ha ha. Cheesy You're thinking of some backwoods, Georgia Appalachian boys.  (And no offense to any backwoods, Georgia Appalachian boys.) Grin
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« Reply #698 on: May 19, 2008, 01:52:33 AM »

Funny...that's the way I feel about Faulkner, not Hemingway.
Faulkner?  Impatient?  He's slower than a glass of molasses on in January.
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« Reply #699 on: May 19, 2008, 01:57:05 AM »

Ha ha. Cheesy You're thinking of some backwoods, Georgia Appalachian boys.  (And no offense to any backwoods, Georgia Appalachian boys.) Grin

Oh dear, it's all the same to my untrained ear!  laugh
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« Reply #700 on: May 19, 2008, 02:34:33 AM »

Then there's Saul Bellow...never understood the the fascination some had with him.
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« Reply #701 on: May 19, 2008, 10:23:50 AM »

Faulkner?  Impatient?  He's slower than a glass of molasses on in January.

Agreed.  I attempted to read Absalom, Absalom in college and made it through the first paragraph.  Which extended into page three.   Shocked
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« Reply #702 on: May 19, 2008, 12:22:03 PM »

My favorite Steinbeck work is Cannery Row.  His characters are described so richly and descriptively that it's easy to 'see' them.  He understands the human condition very well and I think most people can identify with at least parts of his characters or at least his narrative.   
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« Reply #703 on: May 19, 2008, 10:08:41 PM »

Agreed.  I attempted to read Absalom, Absalom in college and made it through the first paragraph.  Which extended into page three.   Shocked

My goodness, that's worse than Dickens!  Grin
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« Reply #704 on: May 20, 2008, 03:55:37 AM »

Hey, I like Dickens. But I thought our tangent was on American authors.
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« Reply #705 on: May 20, 2008, 04:05:08 AM »

Hey, I like Dickens. But I thought our tangent was on American authors.

OOOPS  Embarrassed (Of course, I could have inadvertantly ended the American author tangent and started a English author one?)
 
BTW, I love Dickens.  Grin
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« Reply #706 on: May 22, 2008, 06:25:19 PM »

I just finished Why Christianity Must Change or Die by Bp. Spong. I found the book to be largely unconvincing, though that might have come partially from an unfamiliarity with the concept of God that he was trying to argue for. I think if I had read more of authors such as Paul Tillich, I would have better understood exactly where Bp. Spong was going in this book. Even then, though, there seemed to be a streak of pessimism in the book that I found off-putting. For example, Bp. Spong says that Christians use terms like "divine" and "almighty" as an attempt to flatter God and get something out of it (p. 139). Surely most Christians use such terms because they believe it proper to reverence God. I also just started another book by Bp. Spong, Resuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, though it's too early to form any opinions about this one. As to why 2 books by this particular author: I had for years heard bad things about him, and had perhaps even myself said a bad thing or two about him, so I figured I owed him a fair hearing.

I also recently started The Existence of God by John Hick. This is a book I first read 8 years ago, when I was in a similar spiritual place. I recalled it helping me then, so I figured I'd give it another shot. Basically the book gives the arguments for the existence of God, and then allows different authors to offer commentary and opposing views. Hick believes that you cannot argue someone into believing in God through these proofs (which I would agree with, eventually there must be a place for faith), but still considers it an important topic.
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« Reply #707 on: May 22, 2008, 06:38:32 PM »

I also recently started The Existence of God by John Hick.
There is a recent book on this subject which is not too bad:There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese

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« Reply #708 on: May 22, 2008, 06:51:20 PM »

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Quote
There is a recent book on this subject which is not too bad:There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese

Yeah, I have that one on the Christmas list, though it'll probably get bought sometime this summer. I look forward to hearing what the man has to say.
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« Reply #709 on: May 22, 2008, 09:22:34 PM »

I'm reading The Thought War a study of Japanese Propaganda in the "Fifteen Years War/WWII" era, Empire of Ivory the fourth "Temeraire" book by Naomi Novik, Japanese Tales translated by Royall Tyler, Hogfather by Terry Pratchett.

I'm also gearing up to read the first three chapters of my text book for the Summer Session of "ENG 102" which used to be, when I was young, "Freshman Comp" but now they don't call it that.  Since I was first in college the rules have changed and everyone must take it. No testing out, no CLEPing out. I'd never had it so I'm stuck. So I decided to take it in the somewhat compressed form of a 2 month or so Summer class rather then in a regular term.  Ah well, it's more credits and another step to a degree.

Ebor
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« Reply #710 on: May 22, 2008, 11:54:26 PM »

I'm thinking of reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  Currently, I'm reading A Hole in the Heart of the World by Jonathan Kaufman.  It's about 'the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe after WWII'.  Also, a great reference book from my library is The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity.  Amazing book.
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« Reply #711 on: May 25, 2008, 12:01:27 AM »

Auralia's Colors (a new Christian fantasy story)
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« Reply #712 on: May 25, 2008, 01:40:59 AM »

The Ragamuffin Gospel - Brennan Manning
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« Reply #713 on: May 25, 2008, 02:41:47 AM »

Social Problems: Identifying and understanding problems in society 5th edition.

Yeah, its another boring school book for another sociology class.  Tongue
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« Reply #714 on: May 25, 2008, 06:40:54 AM »

Just finished Manuel II Palaeologus 1391-1425: A Study in Late Byzantine Statesmanship  John W. Barker. Rutgers Byzantine Series; Rutgers University Press, 1969

Next up (I'd started before this):
Arab Historians of the Crusades - Francesco Gabrieli
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« Reply #715 on: May 25, 2008, 10:35:17 AM »

I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I was interrupted last year by the beginning of school, and between the classes I teach and the ones I'm taking, during the school year I never get a good enough window for fiction or even any books unrelated to school. So I welcome summer fiction season and all the joy it will bring.
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« Reply #716 on: May 25, 2008, 06:43:04 PM »

"Roksolana" by a Ukrainian writer, Pavlo Zahrebel'nyj. (In Ukrainian.) It's a very well-written historical novel about a young woman from Podillya (southwestern Ukraine - then part of the Polish Kingdom), who was captured and sold into slavery by Crimean Tatars, but in 1524 became the beloved wife of the Ottoman sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Her real name was Anastasia Lisovs'ka. The Turks called her Hurrem ("the merry one") or Hasseki. She was not a picture-perfect beauty - rather, a tomboy: very short, thin, with red hair, green eyes and a funny shaped "pig nose." However, she was enormously intelligent, strong-willed, humorous, and a great diplomat. Between 1524 and 1528 she actually prevented several wars between the Ottoman Empire and the Polish kingdom, acting through her trusted Yenicheri commander Hassan Agasi-Efendi and a Polish ambassador Jan of Trenchyn. Very intriguing story line, and a lot of most intense and educational material about the 16-th century Europe.
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« Reply #717 on: May 27, 2008, 04:51:16 PM »

Just started two new books recently: Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels, and The Debate About the Bible: Inerrancy Versus Infallibility by Stephen T. Davis. I read the second book years ago, when I was still a Protestant. Basically Mr. Davis argues that the Bible is infallible but not inerrant (ie. that there are errors and contradictions here and there in the Bible, but that these errors don't compromise the truthfulness of the Bible when it comes to matters of faith and practice).
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« Reply #718 on: May 27, 2008, 05:09:42 PM »


Next up (I'd started before this):
Arab Historians of the Crusades - Francesco Gabrieli

You may like Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs
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« Reply #719 on: May 27, 2008, 05:17:32 PM »

I'm a little more than halfway through Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict and am about to start Frankenstein: a cultural history by Susan Tyler Hitchcock.  My wife found it very dry but I like that sort of writing.

I must say that I find Pope Benedict's writing style, even in translation, to be very engaging.  I'm learning alot from this book and look forward to reading more of his works in the future.
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