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Author Topic: What is everyone reading?  (Read 361308 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #810 on: October 18, 2008, 06:37:33 AM »

Current reading:
The Loom of History, Herbert J. Muller.
This one takes some personal explanation. I remember my father slowly consuming this book back in 1965...and I do mean slowly consuming, taking weeks to digest this not overly heavy tome. In my youth I just assumed it was some elementary introduction to history in the Will Durant genre of popular digests and not a serious or deep exploration. In 1985, my father included his paperback copy in a box of books he UPS'ed me (as he does with his books a couple of times a year even now). It just sat on my shelf, gathering dust, my arrogant preconception still in force. Then a couple of weeks ago I picked it out for lunch reading at work - the book is literally falling apart now and I must read it in folio fashion with each page separated for the spine (to be repaired). What a dolt I was/am! This is a fabulous study of ancient Anatolia covering the Hittites, Trojans, Armenians, Cimmerians, Carians, Cappadocians, Lydians, Persians and nearly all the Ionian Greek colonies with special emphasis on the Greek colonies of western Asia Minor, along with my ancestral area of Trapezus/Trapezounta. Now I am the one slowly digesting this book.

The above will be followed by another book also with a "Dad story":

Francis Dvornik's The Slavs in European History and Civilization, Rutgers Byzantine Series.
The tome also sits on my father's book shelf even today. For the last 20 years I have implored him to read it so that I might then have it to continue my acquisition and reading of the entire series. He has yet to read his copy and so last week I went to biblio.com and found a new/unused copy for only $6.44 delivered; thus I now own my own copy and almost cannot wait to start it. I'm snow ready now.
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« Reply #811 on: October 18, 2008, 07:55:16 AM »

I am currently reading The Solzhenitsyn Reader edited by Edward Ericson and Daniel Mahoney, The Friend of the Bridegroom by Sergius Bulgakov, and Through a Glass, Darkly by Donna Leon.

Is this novel - "Through a Glass, Darkly" - the plot that Ingmar Bergman used for his early 1960's film with the same title?

It's probably my most favorite Bregman movie of all. I never read the book though.
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« Reply #812 on: October 18, 2008, 10:45:22 AM »

Heorhij,

No.  Donna Leon is the author of the Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries, which take place in Venice (of which this book is one).
If I remember correctly, the literal English translation of Ingmar Bergman's movie is "As in a Mirror" although it was translated into English as "Through a Glass Darkly".  And yes, I agree that this is my favorite Bergman film also.

CR
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« Reply #813 on: October 24, 2008, 01:05:06 AM »

My wife really enjoyed this book, which I just started tonight:

Let Us Attend: A Journey Through the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, by Fr. Lawrence Farley
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« Reply #814 on: October 27, 2008, 07:37:47 PM »

Current reading:
The Loom of History, Herbert J. Muller.
This one takes some personal explanation. I remember my father slowly consuming this book back in 1965...and I do mean slowly consuming, taking weeks to digest this not overly heavy tome. In my youth I just assumed it was some elementary introduction to history in the Will Durant genre of popular digests and not a serious or deep exploration. In 1985, my father included his paperback copy in a box of books he UPS'ed me (as he does with his books a couple of times a year even now). It just sat on my shelf, gathering dust, my arrogant preconception still in force. Then a couple of weeks ago I picked it out for lunch reading at work - the book is literally falling apart now and I must read it in folio fashion with each page separated for the spine (to be repaired). What a dolt I was/am! This is a fabulous study of ancient Anatolia covering the Hittites, Trojans, Armenians, Cimmerians, Carians, Cappadocians, Lydians, Persians and nearly all the Ionian Greek colonies with special emphasis on the Greek colonies of western Asia Minor, along with my ancestral area of Trapezus/Trapezounta. Now I am the one slowly digesting this book.
Thanks Aristokles. I will keep an eye out for it in second hand bookshops here (I'm limiting my online purchases until the Aussie dollar recovers a little!

Currently reading "The Emptied Soul: On the Nature of the Psychopath" by Adolph Guggenbuhl-Craig.
I really don't recommend this as a light, bed-time read!
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« Reply #815 on: November 02, 2008, 02:29:34 AM »

Started The Way of a Pilgrim again tonight. I've read this twice before. The first time left a great impression on me. The second time I read it I was apathetic for some reason--must have been one of the dry times in my spiritual life. This time around it seems great again.
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« Reply #816 on: November 02, 2008, 03:14:16 AM »

De Bello Gallico, the Anabasis, The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays (Auberon Herbert), A Brief Greek Syntax (Louis Bevier).
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« Reply #817 on: November 02, 2008, 04:26:54 AM »

Xenophon, huh? OK (tipping hat). I'm starting Homer with Pharr.
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« Reply #818 on: November 02, 2008, 11:56:29 AM »

Xenophon, huh? OK (tipping hat). I'm starting Homer with Pharr.

I am a big fan of Pharr.  Another book I wish I had had when starting out is Seymours's Introduction to the language and verse of Homer (at Google Books), which is extremely detailed, useful and user-friendly.  I had been doing Homer for some time, but switched to Xenophon in a nostalgic fit.  I have just finished the first book with the greatest pleasure.  I will resist the urge to return to Homer until it becomes irresistible.  There simply is not time to read Homer, Xenophon, Caesar and Cicero every day.  Any time you want to compare notes on Homer, let me know.  DanM
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« Reply #819 on: November 03, 2008, 03:17:20 AM »

Making God Real in the Orthodox Christian Home, by Anthony M. Coniaris. The title is pretty self-explanatory. This is sort of an older book for the subject (1977), but it's been an engaging enough read so far.

Liturgy and Tradition: Theological Reflections of Alexander Schmemann, ed. Thomas Fisch. To be honest I've never wild about Fr. Alexander, but my wife brought this book home from the Church library today, so I figured I might as well give it a shot. I also reread The Liturgical Theology of Father A. Schmemann by Father Michael Pomazansky tonight.

Toward an American Orthodox Church: The Establishment of an Autocephalous Orthodox Church, by Alexander Bogolepov. I've really enjoyed this book thus far. Lots of discussion of canons and ecclesiastical history in this one.
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« Reply #820 on: November 03, 2008, 08:46:47 AM »

All Cloudless Glory, a two-volume biography of George Washington.  Well written and quite engaging, I loved the story the first time I read them about 12-14 years ago.
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« Reply #821 on: November 03, 2008, 01:15:55 PM »

"The Well and the Shadows" - G.K. Chersteron. Any fans of Chesterton here?

"Mary and the Fathers of the Church"

"Summa Contra Gentiles" - Thomas Aquinas

Hopefully my next big read will be Aquinas' Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics.
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« Reply #822 on: November 03, 2008, 01:42:26 PM »

Chesterton fan here! Here in Massachusetts you can, in lieu of political party, put down your political views on your voter registration. Instead of Democratic or Republican, I planned to put down "Distributist."  Smiley

-

I'm currently reading A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, Religious Vocation: An Unnecessary Mystery, The Lord of the Rings (my annual ritual, much delayed), and The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript.

After I polish off a couple of the above, I plan to begin Brideshead Revisited.
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« Reply #823 on: November 03, 2008, 01:42:27 PM »

Atlas Shrugged.
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« Reply #824 on: November 03, 2008, 07:24:06 PM »

Chesterton fan here as well, though I've only read 4 of his books. I'd say in addition to that, though, that my favorite biography that I've read is about him as well (which contained various bits of his writings like his poetry).
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« Reply #825 on: November 03, 2008, 07:32:20 PM »

Still in a fantasy mood. Just read;

The Game, Castle in the Air, House of Many Ways, by Diana Wynne Jones.

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein,

Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice,

Re-reading at present, Dracula, by Bram Stoker.
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« Reply #826 on: November 05, 2008, 01:42:47 PM »

The text for this semester's class which is PoliSci on Comparative Governments.  Last week was on the Russian governmental structure. This week is Hungary.

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« Reply #827 on: November 05, 2008, 01:50:34 PM »

The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft.
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« Reply #828 on: November 05, 2008, 02:54:16 PM »

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.
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« Reply #829 on: November 06, 2008, 01:19:43 AM »

I've enjoyed some of Chesterton's more erm peculiar fiction such as The Man Who Was Thursday and The Napoleon of Notting Hill and short stories like the "Father Brown" ones, The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond and The Club of Queer Trades among others.  Then there is some of his poetry.

I read Brideshead Revisited for the first time recently.  I don't see how it is such a superior work as some say that it is, though.
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« Reply #830 on: November 11, 2008, 05:02:55 AM »

All three books borrowed from the parish library...

A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, by St. Nicholas Cabasilas. My second time reading this one, and I'm glad I reread it. This has 53 "chapters" in it, and would be a good one to read once a week and reflect on on Sundays. There are some interesting liturgical issues in it as well, such as St. Nicholas mentioning how they kneel on Sunday, how they take the eucharist in their hands, etc. Overall a very good little book to read about the liturgy, and theology generally.

The Philokalia: Volume One, ed. by Palmer, Sherrard, Met. Kallistos. Also my 2nd time reading this one. I guess it needs no introduction. I was reading Way of a Pilgrim and he kept mentioning the book, so I had to get it again. My favorite work in it is probably On Those Who Think That They Are Made Righteous By Works by St. Mark the Ascetic.

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography, by Fr. John McGuckin. Again, maintaining the theme, this is the 2nd time I'm reading this book. This was one of my favorite books after my first read through, so I expect that I'll enjoy it this time around as well. He does get a bit too much into the psychoanalysis for my taste, but overall I find the book to be very enjoyable and engaging. Then again, I love Gregory the Theologian, so that's maybe to be expected.

A couple lengthy/complex books this time, that should do me for at least a couple weeks. Let's hope, anyway!
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« Reply #831 on: November 11, 2008, 04:15:43 PM »

Chesterton fan here! Here in Massachusetts you can, in lieu of political party, put down your political views on your voter registration. Instead of Democratic or Republican, I planned to put down "Distributist."  Smiley

 The Lord of the Rings (my annual ritual, much delayed),

After I polish off a couple of the above, I plan to begin Brideshead Revisited.
I want to be a distributist as well!!! LOL.
As for The Lord of the Rings, It is my annual ritual along with the bible. LOL
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« Reply #832 on: November 11, 2008, 10:25:03 PM »

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.

Really good book.


Right now I'm reading Elder Arsenios the Cave-Dweller - Fellow Ascetic of Elder Joseph the Hesychast. I've also recently finished reading Elder Paisios' Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters which I have to say now ranks with one of my favorite books. If anyone hasn't read it, I highly suggest you do.
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« Reply #833 on: November 11, 2008, 10:52:42 PM »

More of the text for class. This week it was the governmental structure of Hungary. Tomorrow we start on China. 

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« Reply #834 on: November 12, 2008, 09:26:43 AM »

Current reading:
Byzantium - Greatness and Decline, Charles Diehl. Rutgers Byzantine Series.


Also: Henry David Thoreau, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience".
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« Reply #835 on: November 23, 2008, 06:02:55 PM »

I've read The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics: A Contribution to the Dialogue Concerning the "Orthodoxy" of the Non-Chalcedonians a few times now, though I'm still not sure that I understand every charge that they are making. Most of the charges can be summed up in this paragraph on p. 17-18 though: "Severos distinguishes between essence and nature, equates nature with hypostasis, understands the hypostatic union differently from the Holy Fathers, distinguishes between hypostasis and person, ascribes will and energy to the person and not to the nature, and finally, does not have an Orthodox understanding of how the assumed Humanity of Christ is Deified." There is also an attempt to link the non-chalcedonian position with iconoclasm, that Severos is a monoenergist, to say that the Oriental Orthodox do not follow St. Cyril fully, that the Theopaschite addition to the Trisagion was a bad innovation, and so forth.

Unfortunately there isn't a lot of depth to the study, presumably because of lack of materials to be used and examined by them from the Oriental Orthodox side. Generally the charges against Severos are based on one (or perhaps two) quotes alone. These quotes are then compared with one or two quotes from Orthodox Fathers, almost always at least one by St. John of Damascus. The booklet is a very interesting read, but remains largely unconvincing, because it needs to be fleshed out more. It's definitely recommended if you're wondering what christological objections orthodox traditionalists have against the talks with Oriental Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #836 on: November 24, 2008, 02:40:35 PM »

This week, I'm reading about the governmental structure of Egypt and I started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

edited to correct the book title
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« Reply #837 on: November 24, 2008, 02:54:34 PM »

I'm reading "Tolkien and the Great War" by John Garth. 

Quote from: Ebor
I started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

I've started that book twice now and can't really get into it.  It's a shame because it appears to be right up my alley. Sad
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« Reply #838 on: November 24, 2008, 08:44:53 PM »

I started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell


I loved that book!  It's a little slow-moving but the story is interesting.
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« Reply #839 on: November 24, 2008, 09:15:11 PM »

The Council of Chalcedon and the Armenian Church - Korekin I
On Wealth and Poverty - St. John Chrysostom
On The Unity of Christ - St Cyril of Alexandria
Η ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ - O Θεος και οι αποστολοι
The Ante-Nicene Fathers - various
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« Reply #840 on: November 25, 2008, 04:27:02 PM »

Just started The City of God by St. Augustine. Absolutely amazing work.
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« Reply #841 on: November 25, 2008, 08:50:39 PM »

I'm reading the Northern Thebaid: Monastic Saints of the Russian North. I've had the book for a while and I don't know why it took me so long to start reading it. It's a really great book.
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« Reply #842 on: November 25, 2008, 09:45:18 PM »

Religion and Social Formation in Korea: Minjung and Millenarianism by Sang Taek Lee

Living the Liturgy by Stanley S. Harakas
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« Reply #843 on: November 26, 2008, 11:20:17 AM »

I'm reading "Tolkien and the Great War" by John Garth. 

Quote from: Ebor
I started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

I've started that book twice now and can't really get into it.  It's a shame because it appears to be right up my alley. Sad

I'd like to read Tolkien and the Great War some time.  This is, I think, the third time I started Strange/Norrell and I've managed to get about a third of the way in.  There's a book of shorter stories set in the same 'world' The Ladies of Grace Adieu which I'd gotten from the library after my last attempt and I enjoyed it. It might have helped ease the way in to the big novel, as it were.  It also might have been useful that I'm reading it from a 3 book set, so it's easier to carry about instead of a Tome.  Wink

Ebor
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« Reply #844 on: November 26, 2008, 11:21:14 AM »

I started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell


I loved that book!  It's a little slow-moving but the story is interesting.

I quite agree with you on that.  Have you read the short stories that I mentioned to Schultz?
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« Reply #845 on: November 26, 2008, 06:38:20 PM »

I started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell


I loved that book!  It's a little slow-moving but the story is interesting.

I quite agree with you on that.  Have you read the short stories that I mentioned to Schultz?

No, I didn't realize they existed.  I'll have to check them out.  FWIW, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell gets a lot more exciting in the last third of the book.  It seems like she takes a long time to build up the characters and history behind them and then she starts tying up loose ends suddenly.  Wasn't this her first novel?
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« Reply #846 on: November 26, 2008, 10:58:28 PM »

I started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell


I loved that book!  It's a little slow-moving but the story is interesting.

I quite agree with you on that.  Have you read the short stories that I mentioned to Schultz?

No, I didn't realize they existed.  I'll have to check them out.  FWIW, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell gets a lot more exciting in the last third of the book.  It seems like she takes a long time to build up the characters and history behind them and then she starts tying up loose ends suddenly.  Wasn't this her first novel?

My father, a United Methodist man of the cloth, loves the book.  He claims it is an elaborate satire on Methodism. 
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« Reply #847 on: November 28, 2008, 11:51:03 AM »

I started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell


I loved that book!  It's a little slow-moving but the story is interesting.

I quite agree with you on that.  Have you read the short stories that I mentioned to Schultz?

No, I didn't realize they existed.  I'll have to check them out.  FWIW, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell gets a lot more exciting in the last third of the book.  It seems like she takes a long time to build up the characters and history behind them and then she starts tying up loose ends suddenly.  Wasn't this her first novel?

My father, a United Methodist man of the cloth, loves the book.  He claims it is an elaborate satire on Methodism. 
DanM

That sounds rather like something that would have fit in the time and setting of the book and it intrigues me.  Would you please explain a bit about your father's idea?  This could be a good literary discussion, I think.

Ebor
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« Reply #848 on: November 28, 2008, 04:16:27 PM »

DIXI  My father, a United Methodist man of the cloth, loves the book.  He claims it is an elaborate satire on Methodism. 

EBOR DIXIT  That sounds rather like something that would have fit in the time and setting of the book and it intrigues me.  Would you please explain a bit about your father's idea?  This could be a good literary discussion, I think.

DICO  1st, note that the author is the daughter of a Methodist clergyman.  Then observe that you find in the beginning of the book a meeting of magicians who do no magic, but like to talk about its history:  he felt that mirrored his Methodist seminary.  The title characters were eccentric because they actually did magic:  one apparently does find the occasional believer, even in the faculty of a seminary.  This reminds me of a conversation I had with an English pastor who recalled classmates at Cambridge who would from time to time ask their seminary professors if they actually believed what they were teaching, and the retort was, "No, of course we don't."
Two comparable authors deserve mention:  Tolkien's crypto-Catholic Middle Earth and Calvinist Rowling's Harry (It's your destiny) Potter.

DanM


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« Reply #849 on: December 03, 2008, 01:12:12 PM »

Truth and Tolerance, Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict
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« Reply #850 on: December 03, 2008, 02:21:05 PM »

DIXI  My father, a United Methodist man of the cloth, loves the book.  He claims it is an elaborate satire on Methodism. 

EBOR DIXIT  That sounds rather like something that would have fit in the time and setting of the book and it intrigues me.  Would you please explain a bit about your father's idea?  This could be a good literary discussion, I think.

DICO  1st, note that the author is the daughter of a Methodist clergyman.  Then observe that you find in the beginning of the book a meeting of magicians who do no magic, but like to talk about its history:  he felt that mirrored his Methodist seminary.  The title characters were eccentric because they actually did magic:  one apparently does find the occasional believer, even in the faculty of a seminary.  This reminds me of a conversation I had with an English pastor who recalled classmates at Cambridge who would from time to time ask their seminary professors if they actually believed what they were teaching, and the retort was, "No, of course we don't."
Two comparable authors deserve mention:  Tolkien's crypto-Catholic Middle Earth and Calvinist Rowling's Harry (It's your destiny) Potter.

DanM


DanM

Interesting indeed!
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« Reply #851 on: December 04, 2008, 06:26:52 PM »

No, I didn't realize they existed.  I'll have to check them out.  FWIW, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell gets a lot more exciting in the last third of the book.  It seems like she takes a long time to build up the characters and history behind them and then she starts tying up loose ends suddenly.  Wasn't this her first novel?

Liz has the Ladies of Grace Adieu. . . but likely it's all packed away, so it does you no good whatsoever.

I tried to read Jonathan Strange, but couldn't get into it at all. I recently picked up the hardcover for $1, and it is resting upon my reading shelf as we speak. Perhaps someday I'll get back to trying it again. Cheesy
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« Reply #852 on: December 08, 2008, 06:49:22 PM »

Working on yet another reading of Runciman's The Fall of Constantinople.
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« Reply #853 on: December 08, 2008, 08:56:27 PM »

Currently reading :

The latest issue of Smithsonian
The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie (this is for work.  sort of.)
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« Reply #854 on: December 08, 2008, 09:04:12 PM »

The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie (this is for work.  sort of.)

That's my kind of work!
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"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
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