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| | | |-+  What Book Are You Currently Reading?
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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 112976 times)
Antonio V
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« Reply #1250 on: March 09, 2015, 06:25:04 am »
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I've picked up a novel from Henning Mankell's Wallander series. About halfway through.

Oh, Sweden pride. Tongue There are better Swedish novels though, even better crime novels.

Well, I'm still really liking it. It's The Fifth Woman FTR. The case in itself is absolutely thrilling, very emotionally gripping and keeps the right balance between what to tell and what to leave in mystery. I like that it delves into gender issues, and it's done pretty well by having some passage be told from the murderer's perspective. It's paced a bit slowly at times, but I guess that was intentional in order to make it feel more like a real police inquiry. I was pretty disappointed by the social commentary, which really seems to boil down to "everything was better back in the days", but I take it as being Wallander's specific point of view as a grumpy, frustrated, aging cop who hasn't been very successful in his personal life.

If you have recommendations, I'd like to have a look at them. Smiley
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« Reply #1251 on: March 09, 2015, 03:04:09 pm »
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Just finished A People's Tragedy by Orlando Figes (He of the Amazon fame)

It was beautifully written and incredibly informative but also, perhaps inevitably given it's subject was the russian revolution, deeply depressing. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #1252 on: March 09, 2015, 06:57:32 pm »
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I've picked up a novel from Henning Mankell's Wallander series. About halfway through.

Oh, Sweden pride. Tongue There are better Swedish novels though, even better crime novels.

Well, I'm still really liking it. It's The Fifth Woman FTR. The case in itself is absolutely thrilling, very emotionally gripping and keeps the right balance between what to tell and what to leave in mystery. I like that it delves into gender issues, and it's done pretty well by having some passage be told from the murderer's perspective. It's paced a bit slowly at times, but I guess that was intentional in order to make it feel more like a real police inquiry. I was pretty disappointed by the social commentary, which really seems to boil down to "everything was better back in the days", but I take it as being Wallander's specific point of view as a grumpy, frustrated, aging cop who hasn't been very successful in his personal life.

If you have recommendations, I'd like to have a look at them. Smiley

"everything was better back in the days" is the core principle of all Swedish leftism. And I'm only being very slightly hyperbolic about that.

The best for any Atlasian would of course be the books by Bo Baldersson but I sort of doubt that they're translated. They're political satire in the form of detective novels about an utterly incompetent cabinet member. They were written by a pen name and to this day it's a classic speculation on who may have written them.

I liked Åke Edwardsson's detective stuff as a kid. Sjöwall & Wahlöö are ok at least initially as are the Hamilton books. Both of those go insane at some point though.

Outside the realm of detective novels the best Swedish author is Selma Lagerlöf, but there are plenty of other good ones.
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Charlotte Hebdo
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« Reply #1253 on: March 09, 2015, 07:17:51 pm »
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Try Arne Dahl and Håkan Nesser for crime fiction, especially Dahl.

The Bo Balderson books were translated into German, Danish and Norwegian, but I am not sure they are available in French or English.

German posters should try them out.
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« Reply #1254 on: March 09, 2015, 07:40:29 pm »
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I've read a lot lately, but The Tokyo Zodiac Murders and Notre-Dame de Paris are my favorites.
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anvi
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« Reply #1255 on: March 12, 2015, 02:45:10 pm »
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Floating Clouds (Ukigumo) by Hayashi Fumiko, translated by Lane Dunlap.

!!!!!!!

What do you think?

I finally finished Floating Clouds.  A lot in there, including people's differing roles in Japanese presence in French Indochina, the despair and meaningless people felt after the war (so moving, having lived in Tokyo, to imagine all those neighborhoods I'd spent a lot of time in destroyed), and sharp critique both of "New Religions" in Japan as well as people's own aimlessness and permanent uncertainty.  Despite her flaws, one pities Yukiko at the end of the story, and absolutely despises Tomioka and his carelessness about destroying everyone around him.  Will be interesting to discuss this book in class.  But it leaves me with feelings that I myself left Japan with after moving back to the Sates, wistfulness, ambivalence, sympathy and sadness.  A superficially simple book that is actually dense with important themes.  Hayashi was truly a great author. 
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« Reply #1256 on: March 15, 2015, 03:00:56 pm »
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highly recommended for everybody, but I suspect Nathan especially would enjoy it.

Rowan Williams - "Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction"
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“They cheated us again and again, made decisions behind our back, presenting us with completed facts. That’s the way it was with the expansion of NATO in the East, with the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They always told us the same thing: 'Well, this doesn't concern you.'" -Vladimir Putin
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« Reply #1257 on: March 15, 2015, 03:39:57 pm »
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highly recommended for everybody, but I suspect Nathan especially would enjoy it.

Rowan Williams - "Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction"


I have it upstairs but have yet to read it. Any particular takeaways I should be on the lookout for when I do?
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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 #1258 on: March 15, 2015, 04:20:53 pm »
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no, though he does (implicitly) expect you to be readily able to recall scenes from the four major works (Underground Man, Idiot, C&P, Karamazov).  personally it hasn't been a problem for me though some complain about it.
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“They cheated us again and again, made decisions behind our back, presenting us with completed facts. That’s the way it was with the expansion of NATO in the East, with the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They always told us the same thing: 'Well, this doesn't concern you.'" -Vladimir Putin
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« Reply #1259 on: March 15, 2015, 04:40:14 pm »
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no, though he does (implicitly) expect you to be readily able to recall scenes from the four major works (Underground Man, Idiot, C&P, Karamazov).  personally it hasn't been a problem for me though some complain about it.

The only one of those that might be a problem for me is C&P. Thanks for the warning.
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I didn't really read it, tbh.
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« Reply #1260 on: March 16, 2015, 05:39:09 pm »
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Fatal Colours: Towton 1461 by George Goodwin.

Great, love his writing. He even includes a "dramatis personae" for the general reader where he explains who is who. I don't like historical fiction precisely because it's fiction; rather, I like real history with primary source references told like a story. Goodwin does just that. He goes into relevant matters that led up to the battle. And yeah, Edward IV dealt with those thuggish Courtenays (of Devon) in the aftermath.

15th century England is a gigantic ball of yarn, and considering that, Goodwin uses important episodes to illustrate the machinations and events behind England's bloodiest battle, Towton, or "Bloody Palm Sunday." Good read.
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« Reply #1261 on: March 18, 2015, 12:20:38 am »
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« Reply #1262 on: March 18, 2015, 04:04:55 pm »
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A few days ago I read The Final Solution by Michael Chabon. It's far from Chabon's best, but I think a lot of the criticism of it misses the main thematic point of the story (that [SPOILERS] Sherlock Holmes represents a more genteel, kindlier era in the Western world that never actually existed and is in any case incapable of understanding or addressing the enormity of the Holocaust [/SPOILERS]). Today I reread Smith of Wootton Major as part of my ongoing project of seeing if I remembered correctly how sad Tolkien's late work is (the answer so far is 'yes' and 'crushingly so').
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A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

I didn't really read it, tbh.
DeadPrez
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« Reply #1263 on: March 18, 2015, 04:39:18 pm »
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Books for personal enrichment:
Principles of Economics, Carl Menger
Man Economy, and State, Murray Rothbard


Books for School:
The Bet, Paul Sabin
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
Rights of Minority Cultures, Will Kymlicka


Hopefully by this summer I will be able to start my philosophy reading list
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« Reply #1264 on: March 18, 2015, 05:58:36 pm »
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Two small books worth reading:

Alan Blinder's Central Banking in Theory and Practice. Blinder is a renowned economist and former Federal Reserve vice chair during part of the Greenspan tenure. This book is astonishingly clear - it basically lays out all the heuristics and procedures a top central banker considers in maintaining the bank's objectives. And it quite literally can be read in an hour. Since so much of monetary policy post-crisis is unconventional, Blinder's framework is worth a second look.

Albert Hirschman's National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade. Book is out of print, but a scanned copy may be available on a university press website. Read the first 40-50 pages; it is an astonishingly clear explanation of how trade between nations can lead to coercion and compellence. It's unclear to me why political economists like Hirschman are less recognised against pap like Polanyi or Graeber.
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Charlotte Hebdo
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« Reply #1265 on: March 18, 2015, 06:16:59 pm »
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Two small books worth reading:

Alan Blinder's Central Banking in Theory and Practice. Blinder is a renowned economist and former Federal Reserve vice chair during part of the Greenspan tenure. This book is astonishingly clear - it basically lays out all the heuristics and procedures a top central banker considers in maintaining the bank's objectives. And it quite literally can be read in an hour. Since so much of monetary policy post-crisis is unconventional, Blinder's framework is worth a second look.


How "US-centric" is it?
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angus
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« Reply #1266 on: March 18, 2015, 06:46:16 pm »
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Just started Idiot today.  My son had a piano practice at 6pm and I usually bring my NGM to read but I finished it this morning while I shat, and I don't have any other interesting magazines, so I walked over to the big library just after lunch thinking of getting a book.  I went to the sub-subbasement where the M-Z section of the general collection is kept in compact shelves was somehow drawn to the slavic (PG) book section.  Maybe it was because I had checked out Crime and Punishment a year ago and my subconscious mind was taking me to the same spot.  Man, I hate compact shelves.  Anyway, I noticed a dusty old tome, rebound forest green, with only IDIOT stamped on it and became intrigued so I borrowed it.

I'm only on page 11 yet--I get distracted listening to the music and the instruction so I never really get much reading in there--but it is very interesting so far.
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« Reply #1267 on: March 18, 2015, 07:59:07 pm »
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"Divide, American injustice in the age of the wealth gap" Matt Taibbi
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Foucaulf
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« Reply #1268 on: March 18, 2015, 08:04:41 pm »
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How "US-centric" is it?

I may as well say "very." Blinder talks exclusively about his experience at the Fed, and he's very evidently working in what some will call a "neoclassical framework." It's not a book about the central bank as an institutional feature of global capitalism by any means.

I'd recommend it more to the forum libertarians than the leftists as a way to change their minds about central banking (especially lecture 3).
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MalaspinaGold
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« Reply #1269 on: March 22, 2015, 05:51:00 pm »
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Just finished:

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Gustaf
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« Reply #1270 on: March 26, 2015, 08:32:48 am »
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Most recent reads:

Palm Sunday by Kurt Vonnegut. A very great novel by an American genius, according to the first sentence of the introduction, written by Vonnegut himself. Cheesy Classic Vonnegut, mad collection of nonsense but contains a lot of moving and thought-provoking gems. I liked it a lot.

The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck. Didn't like it initially but it grew on me and I learnt that it was quite historically significant as an inspiration for resistance movements across Europe during WW2 so I ended up liking it anyway.

The Passport by Romanian Nobel Laureate Hertha Müller. I might have been too dumb for this book. Didn't quite like the style it was in, random sex scenes and I did not engage with the characters. Interesting basic theme though, so there was that.
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« Reply #1271 on: March 26, 2015, 08:40:13 am »
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I'm reading Thinking Fast and Slow at the moment. I resent that the title sounds like something Malcolm Gladwell would write.
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« Reply #1272 on: March 26, 2015, 08:52:57 am »
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I'm reading Thinking Fast and Slow at the moment. I resent that the title sounds like something Malcolm Gladwell would write.

...and the cover art doesn't help. I can only assume that it was meant to demonstrate the power of the affect heuristic.
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« Reply #1273 on: Today at 12:57:34 am »
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« Reply #1274 on: Today at 08:18:51 am »
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Anyone read Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?
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