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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. Top | #591
    Member Tharmas's Avatar
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    I’ve just finished (Kindle) The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Hershel Shanks. Shanks is a traditional scholar who gives a good overview of the scholarly consensus regarding the scrolls, as of about twenty years ago. Some of the questions he leaves open were answered by the 50 minute DVD The Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which I watched at the same time.

    Then I read (also Kindle) Elements of Pantheism by Paul Harrison, an overview of the different types of Pantheism and how they look at the world, and how they differ from other related philosophies such as Atheism or Zen Buddhism, etc. A bit simplistic, but then the subject isn’t a complicated one.

    I’m still working on (dead tree editions) Bart D Ehrman’s The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World, a good and detailed history of the first few centuries of Christianity, and also The Beat Hotel by Barry Miles, a thorough but entertaining history of some Beat writers (primarily Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Gregory Corso, but including many lesser-knowns as well) who lived in or hung out at a comically decrepit Paris hotel in the late fifties/early sixties. The story picks up right after Ginsberg’s “Howl” had made him famous, and Kerouac’s On the Road had brought the Beats to the attention of Time and Life and the general public. Burrough's Naked Lunch came out during this period. Interestingly, both Howl and Naked Lunch were the subject of obscenity trials in the US. How times have changed.

  2. Top | #592
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    A few weeks back I ended up taking a book on Dinosaur Paleobiology out of the library, and quite enjoyed it. Enough so that I reckon it's going to usher in a period of reading about biology (which is my original background in university). I was finding it pretty fascinating to re-visit some of those old subjects over ten years, and hundreds of books later.

    So on that note, I'd been wanting to find a good book on Ornithology (birds, for the unwashed) for a few years now, and ended up taking out Ornithology: Foundation, Analysis, and Application today. Nearly one thousand pages of goodness on the subject, published in 2018. Mainly, I want to read about bird vocalization, in which it contains about 60 pages of text. That might be about the most fun I have all year.

  3. Top | #593
    My Brane Hertz spikepipsqueak's Avatar
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    In the middle of That Glimpse of Truth: 100 of the finest short stories ever written David Miller.

    ... which is a big ask and the book doesn't fulfil the promise, IMO, but a niceish read, and I didn't previously know that Roald Dahl wrote the screenplays for You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, so that's something.
    My Brane Hertz

  4. Top | #594
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    Went on a bit of a buying spree this weekend:

    Curtains by Kenneth Tynan. Found a cheap copy on Amazon Canada, on it's way in the mail.

    The Complete Georg Trakl. Poetry recommended to me by the owner of a local bookstore who's deep into literature, also on it's way in the mail.

    On the Nature of the Universe by Lucretius. I visited a bookstore outside of London I hadn't heard of before on Friday, and the owner had recently bought the collection of a man who had accumulated different copies of this book (including some dating back to the early 16th century, but mine was from Indigo). The work itself is by an early atheistic Roman, who wrote a kind of natural philosophy. Started reading it, and actually pretty interesting.

    Living by Zen by D.T. Suzuki. Also picked this up at bookstore outside of London. Not my most desired by Suzuki, but for 6.50 CDN why not?

    New Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. At local bookstore on Thursday. I don't like it as much as Trakl, but worth a look.

  5. Top | #595
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    On the Nature of the Universe by Lucretius. I visited a bookstore outside of London I hadn't heard of before on Friday, and the owner had recently bought the collection of a man who had accumulated different copies of this book (including some dating back to the early 16th century, but mine was from Indigo). The work itself is by an early atheistic Roman, who wrote a kind of natural philosophy. Started reading it, and actually pretty interesting.
    “The sum of things is ever being renewed, and mortals live dependent one upon another. Some nations increase, others diminish, and in a short space the generations of living creatures are changed and like runners pass on the torch of life..”

  6. Top | #596
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    The Complete Georg Trakl. Poetry recommended to me by the owner of a local bookstore who's deep into literature, also on it's way in the mail.
    Got this in the mail last night, really enjoying it. Seems like Trakl was a bit of a depressive, not getting many hints of happiness in his poetry. And he died (probably suicide) at 27, so it doesn't seem like he made it passed his youthful angst.

    But there's something about his writing I've never seen before, and quite enjoy, a few Amazon reviews sum it up well.

    Twenty Poems of Georg Trakl

  7. Top | #597
    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Spied two books I’d like to read:

    The Huntress by Kate Quinn - Historical fiction about Russian “witch pilot”

    In Regalia by Erin McCormack - Contemporary interplay between white eastern woman and native nieces she needs to go care for

  8. Top | #598
    Shrunken Member WAB's Avatar
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    Am currently reading The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding. Am frankly surprised that it's as good as it is told to be, as novel writing was still relatively new at that time (1749). Beats Defoe.

    The only supernatural agents which can in any manner be allowed to us moderns, are ghosts; but of these I would advise an author to be extremely sparing. These are indeed, like arsenic, and other dangerous drugs in physic, to be used with the utmost caution; nor would I advise the introduction of them at all in those works, or by those authors, to which, or to whom, a horse-laugh in the reader would be any great prejudice or mortification.

    Henry Fielding. History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (Kindle Locations 5545-5548).
    If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library. - Frank Zappa

  9. Top | #599
    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    Am currently reading The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding. Am frankly surprised that it's as good as it is told to be, as novel writing was still relatively new at that time (1749). Beats Defoe.

    The only supernatural agents which can in any manner be allowed to us moderns, are ghosts; but of these I would advise an author to be extremely sparing. These are indeed, like arsenic, and other dangerous drugs in physic, to be used with the utmost caution; nor would I advise the introduction of them at all in those works, or by those authors, to which, or to whom, a horse-laugh in the reader would be any great prejudice or mortification.

    Henry Fielding. History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (Kindle Locations 5545-5548).
    That is a great quote!

  10. Top | #600
    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Currently reading "In Regalia" by Erin McCormack. I'm about 1/2 way through and really enjoying her subtle but detailed characters with very genuine story lines.

    Basic Premise - a sister is called upon to provide help for the twin children of her estranged sister, who passed away the year before. They don't want her to take the kids, just provide help navigating a serious allergy problem while their other aunt, and main caregiver, is about to give birth.

    It is keeping me hooked while not being ENDOFTHEWORLD! kind of story line with someone in imminent risk of dying. It's real, believable and very interesting.

    In contemporary New England, forty-year old Helene Roy Bradford has worked hard to leave her troubled family history behind – her parents’ early deaths, a brother adrift, and an estranged younger sister in chronic addiction. Into her comfortable, well-ordered life comes a summons to assist her now deceased sister’s young twins by her Native American husband, serving time for charges related to his activism. But what kind of help? Conflict arises when the resources that Helene can offer don’t match the needs and values of the Native community, leading to crisis and change while discovering what is best for the children and for herself. A story in three voices: Helene's narrative; the journal pages of sister Renee; and blog posts on contemporary Indian life from brother-in-law Izzy; each is bound by family ties and the need to understand and to heal.

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