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Thread: Read any good books lately?

  1. Top | #11
    Super Moderator Mediancat's Avatar
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    Making a point of reading about countries not my own at this point: I have two books dealing with the history of Ireland, and a biography of Simon Bolivar.

    Rob

  2. Top | #12
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Read any good books lately?
    Would interesting books do?

    DEAR READER, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il by Michael Malice I found interesting and informative. Malice visited North Korea and collected the materials that are used for teaching history in the schools in NK... so essentially what North Koreans believe about the world, their country, and about Kim Jong Il. It reveled a rather odd (sometimes fanciful or even magical) alternate reality North Koreans live in.

    One example:
    The Titanic sinking was a sign to the world from the heavens that the "Dear Leader" (Kim Jong Il) had been born.

    I wouldn't necessarily call it a good book but it was definitely an interesting book.
    Last edited by skepticalbip; 02-18-2021 at 04:49 AM.

  3. Top | #13
    Formerly Joedad
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    Because I became re-interested in the Shakespeare Authorship Question I read Looney's Shakespeare Identified and followed that up with Mark Anderson's Shakespeare by Another Name. Both made the case for the 17th Earl of Oxford being the primary composer of the Shakespeare Canon. Very interesting reading.

  4. Top | #14
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    If "World History" includes Prehistory, I have three books to recommend:

    (1) Memory Code by Lynne Kelly. (There are different editions of this work. The earlier one I read was less expensive than the Amazon price I see for this one.) Kelly's controversial idea — that preliterate societies were dependent on mnemonic devices — has changed the views of many top anthropologists. The memory device could be a portable board, still found in primitive African and Australian societies as in this photo:

    ... or much larger, like the monoliths and pavilions for music at Stonehenge.

    (2) Europe Between the Oceans (9000 BC to 1000 AD) by Barry Cunliffe. A good look at Europe's pre-history (although when he wrote the book, Cunliffe lacked modern understanding of the very important Indo-European expansion).

    (3) Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings by Jean Manco. This will fill in some of the picture Cunliffe misses, but will appeal most only to those interested in details of DNA evidence.

  5. Top | #15
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    We Survived (compiled by Eric H. Boehm) was published in 1949 and reissued in 2003. It collects the stories of 14 survivors of Nazi persecution. Boehm was a press officer with the occupation government, and in that position he sought out survivors with stories to tell. I have read the first three narratives, and they are riveting. The first chapter is the story of a Jewish lady who was given shelter by a courageous young woman who had only a small apartment to share with her, which put both of them in extreme peril. (They were in Berlin, and when the air raids began in earnest, their situation quickly got desperate.) The second chapter is by a man who joined a Communist youth group in the mid-30s and quickly drew the attention of the Gestapo. In April 1945, as the Reich was collapsing, he was ordered into a column of men who were designated to be shot by the SS... The third narrative concerns an art student who was assigned to the Luftwaffe's painters' unit -- he was to produce stirring propaganda art showing Germany's brave pilots. But he loathed the Nazis, and began to cultivate friendships with others who shared his views. Before long, he was denounced by men who had heard him spreading defeatist views.
    Well worth reading. I'm about 80 pages in (of 300+) and I think I'll finish it tomorrow.

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