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What are you reading right now ?

Discussion in 'History & Literature' started by TLC, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Adam

    Adam Registered User

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    Finished LOTR a few weeks back now and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was surprised how much I liked it especially the later chapters of ROTK which I assumed would be deadly. It's by far the longest book I've ever read but once you get into the swing of it then it's actually quite easy, but I think if I hadn't seen the movies beforehand it would have been much more difficult. Knowing who is who and having a mental image of things helps a lot.
     
  2. Minty

    Minty Carpe Diem

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    Making my way through Rafael Nadal's book. Reading Pele and Iniesta's books after that.
     
    Adam likes this.
  3. Mowgli

    Mowgli Registered User

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    I read it in the early 1980's and loved it, i had the strange idea that Hobbits were half child and half bear cub and Sam was a typical farmer for some reason :laugh: The films have f*cked that up as i tried reading it again a few years ago and couldn't get the actors faces out of my mind when reading it so it wasn't as enjoyable so i gave up.
     
  4. Dirk

    Dirk Moin Volkspark!

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    Interesting.
    I'm more with @Mowgli here. I need to build up the figures in my fantasy when I read a book. If I already have seen a tv series or movie related to it then it's somehow "****ed up" for me as the character from the film are normally totally different from the one of my imagination by reading the books.

    It's not so worse, though, when I see a tv series or movie of a book that I've already read although normally I am nearly always disappointed about how they selected the characters, like in Game of Thrones (although there are exceptions here like the excellent choices of Sean Bean in Season 1 and Diana Rigg or the dwarf) or "The last Kingdom" after the novels of Bernard Cornwell about the Saxon Stories. The lead character, Uthred, is so fundamental different in books and tv series mainly in looks that it was first very difficult for me to follow the tv series. Later I got accustomed to it, though.

    *************************************

    Actually I read a history book about the rise and fall of Prussia.
    It's written by Christopher Clark, an Australian Professor, teaching at Cambridge.
    Saw this guy often appearing in documentary series in German TV and thought I should give his books a look.

    Preußen - Aufstieg und Niedergang 1600-1947 by Christopher Clark
    (Prussia - Rise and Fall 1600-1947)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Mowgli

    Mowgli Registered User

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    I've never got used to the casting of Uhtred he was all wrong, in the books he had long blonde hair and beard and looked like a Dane which got him out of many difficult situations and he was over 6 foot tall, the actor who plays him is too thin,has dark hair and a pitiful beard but i've still watched every series.
    Cornwall hasn't finished writing the series yet, he's done 12 with another to come at least but he needs to stop now as Uhtred must be at least mid 70's by my reckoning.
     
  6. Sandsy

    Sandsy Formerly known as manojob

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    A few months back I mentioned I would share the book reviews I put on FB on here but then completely forgot about it. Time for a book dump.

    2020 Book 5 - Stand up Straight: 10 Life Lessons from Sandhurst by Major General Paul Nanson.

    I love reading stories of soldiers about the training they went through, their experiences in battles and the lessons they learned from it all. I remember reading stories about training in the Australian SAS a few years back, and for the US Marines last year, but I have never read too much about the British Armed Forces training schedule before.

    I found the book informative in terms of the lessons it taught, and it was a short read so wasn't difficult to get through. 7/10

    Book 6 - The Rules of Thinking by Richard Templar

    I remember reading his book The Rules of Work when I was younger and found a lot of good advice there, and this book is the same. 100 pieces of advice that I think would serve people well in their day-to-day lives, especially in an age where misinformation and carefully selected and presented 'facts' are spread by everyone from political spin doctors and media moguls to Barbara from Preston.

    I think this book is required reading for the vast majority of people who use social media for sharing their opinions on everything under the sun. 8.5/10

    2020 Book 7 - The Ten Types of Human by Dexter Dias.

    9.5/10

    Despite the size of this book and the difficult and often complicated things it talks about, I found this book surprisingly easy to read whenever I picked it up.

    In the book he often starts new chapters with a hypothetical scenario and asks what you would do if in that position. Some of these exercises really affected me, and I could feel myself responding in certain ways (raised heart beat, frustration, sadness, genuine anger at times).
    He then goes on to explain how are brains are almost wired like a computer program after thousands of years of evolution to respond in certain ways (although this isn't a one shoe fits all kind of program) and give real stories of people he has met while researching for this book.

    I found it eye-opening what still goes on in parts of the world, or even some of the difficulties unfortunate people, even in places like Britain have to go through and how they respond to it.

    I would say this book is easily in my top 3 out of the 20 or so I have read since last year, and I would say my favourite one so far despite the length. If you have the patience for a long read I highly recommend it.

    2020 Book 8 - Doing Good Better by William MacAskill

    I can't really review or rate this book fairly as I expected something completely different based on the little I'd heard about it before buying it (my fault of course). This book is about how to be more effective in how you give to charity and the ways you do so. The main thing I can say about this book is that the first half of it felt like it could have been compressed into 20 pages rather than 120. If you give regularly to charity, or want to start to, then I would recommend reading this book.

    Book 9 - The Art of the Good Life by Rolf Dobelli

    I find I like this kind of book because they offer advice and ideas that I could spend another 20-30 years coming to realise for myself, and by reading a more experienced persons viewpoint it gives me the chance to try these ideas out and if I don't like them I can scrap them, rather than possibly wasting all that time on a one-track path.

    There were a few things in this book that I found interesting and I'll share in future. I will give this an 8/10

    2020 Book 10 - The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great by Ben Shapiro

    6.5/10

    I felt the theme/title was an interesting topic to explore, and he made some good points throughout the book but a lot of the time I felt he wasn't being very objective in his arguments or fairly portraying both sides (although he did give some people/ideas a fairer description).

    Whenever I watch the author's podcast or interviews, he always strikes me as somebody who is clearly passionate about his beliefs and he brings up many points I find interesting, but at the same time I can't help but feel I wouldn't want to be stuck in a room with him for a long time. His writing style unfortunately gave me the feeling of being stuck in a room with him for large portions of the book which is why I gave it a low score.

    2020 Book 11 - The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

    I enjoyed the book. Many of the arguments he put forward are ideas I have already come to think about/ realise during the past 16 or so years, but there was also a lot of stuff I hadn't considered before and I enjoyed him breaking down the different arguments to believe in God or religion isn't a bad thing and explaining that it can still be a big problem.

    Generally I am pretty relaxed about religion and don't care about people's beliefs so long as they don't try to shove it down my throat or act in ways that I believe are not moral, and I don't think reading this book will make me change that too much.
    8/10.

    2020 Book 12 - Don't Burn This Book by Dave Rubin

    I have seen the odd interview with Rubin before and a few clips from his podcast so I came into this knowing his name but not much else outside of that.

    If I were to rate this book on it's main message alone, that critical thinking is important and that protecting free speech from issues we are seeing today is essential to a democracy, I would give this a 10/10. But I had a few issues with the book that altered my perception of it.

    Firstly, it reads more as a manifesto than anything else. There is no in depth look at issues. Very little looking at an issue from both sides and drawing conclusions from it. It felt more of a blueprint for what the author felt was a good balance for people to have when thinking about issues and dealing with online drama. Despite agreeing with most of what Rubin said in this regard, it still wasn't the book I expected or wanted to read.

    Secondly, this book is short (it only took me a week to read), and if I had checked the page count and format more carefully before buying, I would have realised it was probably too short to be what I was expecting. I paid the equivalent of about $25 for this book, so maybe 20 quid in the UK. I have no idea if that price is normal in America, but personally I wouldn't have paid more than a tenner for this book in the UK.

    Thirdly, the author goes off on tangents barely related or completely unrelated to the issues he was supposed to be discussing, and at parts it became more of a self-help, how-to-live-a-good-life kind of book. I enjoyed some of the messages in these parts, but it still added to the manifesto feel and seemed to just be adding a few extra pages to it.

    Rating this book is difficult. As mentioned earlier, if it was for the message alone, 10/10. If I rated it as a serious look into the issues of the left turning away from being progressive and tolerant, 3/10.

    I still enjoyed the book to a degree. There was good advice, humor, and a human touch to it that academic books often lack in my experience. Overall I would rate it a 7/10, but probably higher if I went into it expecting less.
     
  7. lendal

    lendal Registered User

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    Bit niche, but just finished reading 'Barclay Fox's Journal'..today out wandering in deepest Essex and stopping for a char in a churchyard ( driest place!) - first grave was a Patrick Barclay...whose family is related to the
    Fox's !![​IMG]


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  8. lendal

    lendal Registered User

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    Ps..Fox brother of the more famous Caroline Fox, both part of wealthy and influential Cornish & Welsh 19th Century Quaker non- conformists...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  9. johnnyT

    johnnyT Registered User

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    Any decent stuff from the 1930s or 40s era around.

    Cheers
     
  10. Habbinalan

    Habbinalan Registered User

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    I'm dipping into "There's A Carnival Today," by Indira Bahadur Rai, to wind down most evenings.

    It's a bit later, set in Darjeeling in the early 50s but, apart from the politics, nothing much changed in families and attitudes in that neck of the woods for aeons. Brexit and Partition seemed to have resonance so I thought I'd give it a go.

    I've not yet got to the end but

    "..Janak, a prominent businessman and local leader, stares at professional, political and moral ruin. His store is failing and he has been sued by Jayabilas—a Marwari trader, once his friend and business partner, to whom he owes money. Bhudev—Janak’s partner at the party which is working to organize workers—has triumphed over him in a bitter struggle for leadership. Janak’s son Ravi, of whom he expected better, has become a schoolteacher and is involved in party work in the tea estates—Janak is convinced that Bhudev is using Ravi to further undermine him. And, despite being in a blissful marriage with Sita, Janak is drawn to the charms of Yamuna, the wife of an ailing friend.

    Then, tea-estate workers protesting the arrest of their comrades spontaneously march into town. They are joined by others along the way and the march quickly grows in size. But after the rally ends in a massacre by the police, Janak must find a way out of his morass to stand up and be counted once more.

    Capacious and prescient, There’s a Carnival Today is as much a panoramic view of post-Independence Darjeeling as it is of the sharply observed, flesh-and-blood characters who people it. It is also a foreshadowing of the issues of identity which still shape politics and attitudes in the region. Brilliantly translated by Manjushree Thapa, this seminal work by one of the tallest figures in contemporary Nepali literature is a modern classic."


    Captures my expectations of 2021 perfectly.
     
  11. Huxley

    Huxley Active Member

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    For Whom The Bell Tolls.

    Really struggle with Hemmingway. But it's okay.
     
  12. Mowgli

    Mowgli Registered User

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    Shieldwall by Justin Hill.
    The first of 2 novels about Godwin Wulfnothson who was part of the army who fought the Danes in the early part of the 11th century.
     
  13. Mowgli

    Mowgli Registered User

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    Legionary by Gordon Doherty.
    The first of 8 novels about Numerius Vitellius Pavo who signs for 25 years in The Roman army and is sent to the far eastern border of the empire in the 4th century AD.
     
  14. Hashtag55

    Hashtag55 Aka Andy-gers1
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    Ant Middleton book
     
  15. MrLeeLemon

    MrLeeLemon hour. back. GET IT?

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    Reading The End Of The Party by Andrew Rawnsley, it is about The Blair/Brown years within the Labour Party and then the collapse of it all in 2010.

    A good book to pick up every now and then and just find a time period you fancy digging into. Brown certainly doesn't come across well....
     
  16. Huxley

    Huxley Active Member

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    The map and the territory - Houellebecq.
     
  17. Mowgli

    Mowgli Registered User

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    Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell.
    A superb novel on the battle that destroyed The French knights in 1415 thanks mainly to the English archers and their longbows.
     
  18. Mowgli

    Mowgli Registered User

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    Spartacus The Gladiator by Ben Kane.
    The first of 2 novels about the gladiator that led the slave rebellion against Rome in the late 1st century BC.
     
  19. StretfordEnd

    StretfordEnd Pfizer'd
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    I understood the French got bogged down in a muddy field and were sitting ducks for the English archers, unable to either advance or retreat?
     
  20. Mowgli

    Mowgli Registered User

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    Correct the battlefield was a mudbath after torrential rain, the knights in the first attack were pushed from behind by the second force straight onto the English knights lances while the archers decimated them from the sides. With their numbers without the rain the French would have won and captured or killed Henry V for sure.
     

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