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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 135625 times)
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #1325 on: June 12, 2015, 01:43:31 am »
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a good read for anyone on the Left: Class, Culture and Conflict in Barcelona, 1898-1937

https://www.academia.edu/7379675/Class_Culture_and_Conflict_in_Barcelona_1898-1937_London_Routledge_2005
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I wanna contribute to the chaos
I don't wanna watch and then complain,
'cause I am through finding blame
that is the decision that I have made
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« Reply #1326 on: June 12, 2015, 03:43:19 pm »
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Well, since I finished university for the year I've had a lot of spare time for reading so I've already finished 4 books:

The Fall of the House of Dixie by Bruce Levine - This was a very interesting look at the collapse of slavery in the south. Especially depressing was the point that even comparatively benign slave owners were still utterly brutal, and correspondingly amusing, was the shocked revelation to them that even (and often especially) their favoured slaves were the first to run off. Also entertaining was the hypocrisy of the planter elite when it came to actually fighting the war they started, not so much not fighting in the army as refusing to use their money and slaves for the war effort.

Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves - A very interesting memoir of the years around and including the first world war. I gathered after reading it that some of the facts were somewhat dodgy but even so. Mainly it further emphasised to me that public schools are utterly bizarre and the first world war was both horrific and incredibly bloody, the amount of characters in the book who died was pretty shocking.

The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov - A brilliant satire on Stalinism, among other things. In parts very funny and very moving. I especially enjoyed the seance and (if enjoyed is the right word) the interrogation dream, but probably liked the pontius pilate's the most.

The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J Evans - A very capable and well done history of how the nazis came to power and their very early days in control. Obviously given the subject matter it's pretty depressing, especially knowing what came next, but it's especially interesting just how quickly every potential opponent of the nazis gave up (making the rare counter examples given like Otto Wels in his speech on the enabling act)  all the more inspiring. Obviously those of us who live in easier times can't make a sweeping judgement of people who didn't speak out, knowing the consequences, but it does seem that Bulgakov was right that cowardice is the most terrible of all vices.
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« Reply #1327 on: June 14, 2015, 06:32:51 pm »
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I've finally started The Sea of Fertility. I'm a little more than halfway through Spring Snow.

What is there to say about a story as absolutely gorgeous yet morally repelling as this?

I will say that Mishima made me root for Kiyoaki and Satoko even though I knew from the get-go that their relationship was doomed (as in the back cover of my copy of the book calls it 'doomed'); that he kind of screwed this up with the way he narrated their first time having sex, which is one example among several so far of the way he makes Kiyoaki break character in an attempt to have him conform to a sexually dominant gender role that the rest of his personality doesn't justify (particularly in light of the 'tumor of arrogance' line earlier on); that Honda is an interesting character of whom I look forward to seeing more in subsequent books; and that 'undoubtedly authentic and totally unpredictable', from the courtroom scene two chapters after the sex scene, is a wonderful turn of phrase and I think I'm going to be using it as a variant of GUBU. Also I've been underlining every single simile in the book because they're all absolutely incredible.

I also read Kitchen and liked it, and might have more to say about it later than I feel like saying right now.
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I didn't really read it, tbh.
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« Reply #1328 on: June 18, 2015, 10:26:59 pm »
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A book called Scar Night, looked decent enough for a library check out.

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« Reply #1329 on: June 25, 2015, 01:32:38 am »
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So why, exactly, did I like The River Ki better than Spring Snow, despite recognizing that Spring Snow is by most 'objective' (ha!) measures the better book? Is it because I preferred The River Ki's focus on women, or because I have a formal preference for traditional straightforward generational sagas? Is it because the characters in The River Ki are presented in a more sympathetic and, frankly, more humane manner than those in Spring Snow, even when they're behaving in comparably repulsive ways? It's probably all of the above. They're both books that are going to stick with me for a long time, but I know which one I'd rather reread.

I'm committed to The Sea of Fertility for the long haul, though. I'll be starting Runaway Horses some time soon.
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A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

I didn't really read it, tbh.
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« Reply #1330 on: June 25, 2015, 07:31:52 am »
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Antony Beevor's The Battle for Spain and Max Boot's Invisible Armies. Enjoying Beevor so far.
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« Reply #1331 on: June 25, 2015, 10:28:01 pm »
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Picked up "Social Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship" by Barrington Moore Jr. a few weeks ago. More than halfway through, but I've been distracted, and it's due back about July 7th, I think. If I wanted, I could probably plow through it by then, but I'm not predicting it'll be so easy.
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L.D. Smith, Bay Area Conservadem
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« Reply #1332 on: June 25, 2015, 11:13:59 pm »
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Taking a break from Scar Night to browse As You Wish, which is Cary Elwes experience in the making of The Princess Bride
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« Reply #1333 on: June 26, 2015, 03:17:59 am »
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No idea how I haven't read this-absolutely loved it purely because I didn't realize the GOP establishment  begged Christie, Daniels, Barbour and Bush to enter the race just to push Romney off.

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« Reply #1334 on: June 27, 2015, 12:43:23 am »
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Binge read both of these over the last two weeks. Both were very well written, even if Agulhon has a habit of overusing exclamation marks. Of course they overlapped quite a bit in discussing French socialism and communism post 1900. Smiley
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« Reply #1335 on: June 27, 2015, 07:50:24 am »
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Ah, yes. The Sassoon book is really very, very good.
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« Reply #1336 on: June 27, 2015, 10:26:49 am »
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17:40   oakvale   the people are bad and shouldn't be allowed vote whenever possible
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« Reply #1337 on: June 27, 2015, 11:57:53 am »
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Reading Rick Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge.

Entertaining.
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« Reply #1338 on: June 27, 2015, 12:01:47 pm »
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Problems of Everyday Life by Leon Trotsky
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« Reply #1339 on: June 27, 2015, 02:26:49 pm »
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Friday Night Lights
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Obama High's debate team:

"Now let me be clear...I...I...um...uh...now let me be clear.  I strongly condemn the affirmative in the strongest possible terms, and I am closely monitoring their arguments.  Let me be clear on this."
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« Reply #1340 on: June 28, 2015, 06:19:44 pm »
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I'm giving Spring Snow some time to sink in before I start Runaway Horses so right now I'm reading one of Noor Inayat Khan's Jataka stories every night before I go to sleep. They're very very short and very light. Khan was a children's book writer and artist and the daughter of a Sufi leader who during World War II became an Allied spy and was eventually captured and executed in Dachau; she's a personal hero of mine.
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A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

I didn't really read it, tbh.
L.D. Smith, Bay Area Conservadem
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« Reply #1341 on: June 29, 2015, 01:57:06 am »
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Just One More Thing, which is Peter Falk's (aka Columbo) memoir
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