The Book Thread 2021

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#101  Postby UncertainSloth » Mar 26, 2021 8:23 pm

1. james brogden - the narrows - 8/10
2. nora roberts - of blood and bone - 8/10
3. nora roberts - the rise of magicks - 8/10
4. karen thompsn walker - the dreamers - 7/10
5. sophie draper - cuckoo - 7/10
6. laura carlin - the wicked cometh - 7/10
7. vikram palakar - the night theatre - 7/10
8. m r carey - the trials of koli - 9/10
9. bridget collins - the binding - 9/10
10. jac jemc - the grip of it - 7/10
11. carolyn jess-cooke - the boy who could see demons - 9/10
12. daisy johnson - everything under - 7/10
13. paraic o'donnell - house on vesper sands - 7/10 - promised more in its opening chapters than it managed to deliver

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#102  Postby crazyfitter » Mar 27, 2021 6:48 pm

1. A Game of Thrones - George RR Martin
2. A Clash of Kings - George RR Martin. I’m enjoying this series more than LotR
3. A Storm of Swords - George RR Martin
4. Master and Commander - Patrick O’Brian
5. A Feast for Crows - George RR Martin.
6. Extraterrestrial - Avi Loab
7. A Dance with Dragons - George RR Martin
8. we are bellingcat - Elliot Higgins
9. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
10. Gridlinked - Neal Asher
The slap in the face that is offered by anti-rationalist, pseudo-scientists and anti-intellectuals that infest much of public discourse is a sad coda to what has been achieved these centuries past by the scientific method - don’t get me started
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#103  Postby UncertainSloth » Mar 27, 2021 7:28 pm

how was the midnight library?
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#104  Postby crazyfitter » Mar 28, 2021 2:18 pm

It’s easy enough to read and we get vignettes of what her life would be like if she had married this or that boyfriend and followed this or that career. I can understand why it’s popular but not for me. Im really going to have to communicate with my wife more as I just finished it as the paperback came in the post. I’ve never read a Bronte either. It was also interesting to read the comments about Never Let Me Go as my daughter owns that book and I’ve had it in my hand several times and put it back on the shelf. I must be a philistine!
The slap in the face that is offered by anti-rationalist, pseudo-scientists and anti-intellectuals that infest much of public discourse is a sad coda to what has been achieved these centuries past by the scientific method - don’t get me started
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#105  Postby Blip » Mar 29, 2021 8:05 am

crazyfitter wrote:[...] It was also interesting to read the comments about Never Let Me Go as my daughter owns that book and I’ve had it in my hand several times and put it back on the shelf. I must be a philistine!


Anything by Ishiguro is worth your while. One of our greatest novelists, I think.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#106  Postby UncertainSloth » Mar 29, 2021 12:32 pm

Blip wrote:
crazyfitter wrote:[...] It was also interesting to read the comments about Never Let Me Go as my daughter owns that book and I’ve had it in my hand several times and put it back on the shelf. I must be a philistine!


Anything by Ishiguro is worth your while. One of our greatest novelists, I think.


agreed - i see there's a new one out as well, 'klara and the sun'...
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#107  Postby crazyfitter » Mar 29, 2021 1:01 pm

Ok. I’ll get hold of it as soon as I can :)
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#108  Postby Blip » Mar 30, 2021 9:37 am

UncertainSloth wrote:
Blip wrote:
crazyfitter wrote:[...] It was also interesting to read the comments about Never Let Me Go as my daughter owns that book and I’ve had it in my hand several times and put it back on the shelf. I must be a philistine!


Anything by Ishiguro is worth your while. One of our greatest novelists, I think.


agreed - i see there's a new one out as well, 'klara and the sun'...


Yes and I'll soon be letting you know what I think! It's next on my list after my current read. :book:
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#109  Postby UncertainSloth » Mar 30, 2021 10:31 pm

awesome - interested to know what you think
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#110  Postby Beatrice » Mar 31, 2021 12:03 am

1. The Obelisk Gate - N.K. Jemisin (10/10)
2. Bullshit Jobs - David Graeber
3. The Mothers - Brit Bennett
4. Caste - Isabel Wilkerson (10/10)
5. Into the Darkest Corner - Elizabeth Haynes
6. Emma - Jane Austen
7. The Best Science Fiction of the Year- Volume Two (2016) Edited by Neil Clarke

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Some great work in there. As usual Ken Liu is outstanding.
Phew... for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself.....
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#111  Postby Blip » Mar 31, 2021 6:22 am

1. The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh
2. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
3. Thrush Green by Miss Read
4. A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
5. Winter in Thrush Green by Miss Read
The Shortest Day by Colm Tóibín
6. The Binding by Bridget Collins
7. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu translated by Ken Liu
8. The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu translated by Joel Martinsen
9. Death's End by Cixin Liu translated by Ken Liu
10. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
11. The Ebony Tower by John Fowles
12. The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) by Henri Alain-Fournier translated by Robin Buss
13. Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan
14. The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
15. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
16. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende translated by Margaret Sayers Peden

It took me a while to get into this and, although I found the descriptions of early San Francisco fairly interesting, I found the characters unbelievable and the narrative disjointed, not in a good way.

I have come to the sad conclusion that Allende is not for me.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#112  Postby NamelessFaceless » Apr 03, 2021 4:07 pm

Audiobooks in Italics

1. Lying Next To Me - Gregg Olsen
2. I Can't Make This Up - Kevin Hart
3. Beloved - Toni Morrison
4. In Our Time - Ernest Hemingway
5. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
6. Hollywood - Charles Bukowski
7. The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
8. A Simple Favor - Darcey Bell
9. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
10. The Sorrows of Young Werther - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#113  Postby Challenger007 » Apr 05, 2021 9:24 am

And I can't listen to audiobooks. I perceive the plot very badly by ear. And so it would be possible to have time to get acquainted with a much larger number of books.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#114  Postby don't get me started » Apr 06, 2021 4:49 am

1. Pragmatic Meaning and Cognition – Sophia S.A. Marmaridou
2. Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany and Japan - Randall Hansen
3. Cognitive Exploration of Language and Linguistics – René Dirven and Marjolijn Verspoor (Eds.)
4. Age of Static: How TV Explains Modern Britain – Phil Harrison
5. The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating our Species and Making us Smarter – Joseph Henrich
6. Heroic Failure and the British - Stephanie Barczewski
7. Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain - Maryanne Wolf
8. Language Soup: A Taste of How Diverse People Around the World Communicate - Kathryn A. T. Knox
9. A Place for everything: The curious History of Alphabetical order – Judith Flanders
10. Contrastive Analysis - Carl James
11. Impossible Languages- Andrea Moro


12. Languages in the World: How History, Culture and Politics Shape Language – Jukie tetel Andresen and Phillip M. Carter

377.pp

I dislike writing or making marks in books, so when I read these academic books, I usually use transparent post-its to highlight sections that I want to find later. In this case I ran out of post-its. There was so much of interest to me in these pages, I just wish I had a better memory. One of the things I liked about this book was that the authors didn’t shy away from the pernicious effects of European colonialism on the languages and cultures of the colonized, but neither do they intimate that colonialism and oppression is some kind of affliction limited to white Europeans. Plenty of other cultures have some splainin’ to do…

Moving on. On page 269 the authors drew my attention to an interesting point of language and cognition that I had not come across before – the semantic congruity effect. “When asked to compare two large animals, such as a cow and an elephant, adult humans are much quicker to respond when the question is “Which is larger?” rather than “Which is smaller?” When asked to compare two small animals such as an ant and a rat, they are much quicker to respond when the question is “Which is smaller rather?” rather than “Which is larger?”
I followed this up with some reading of papers published in academia, and the effect is widely observed in other domains – floating balloons versus hanging yoyos for example. Fascinating stuff.

This ties in with something I noticed about English. The transformation that yields high-height, wide-width, long-length, broad- breadth, deep-depth only works for the larger of the pairs of antonyms. Low-lowness, not lowth. Narrow-narrowness, not narrowth etc. This is oddly systematic.

On page 279, the authors note that once linguists started to seriously investigate languages spoken in so-called undeveloped societies “It was noted that some so-called primitive peoples spoke languages with amazingly intricate structures.” This contrasts with English which, occupying a position as a (the) hyper-central language, (p.335) is actually a kind of pared-back uncomplicated language, having shed the gender distinctions that are a feature of Indo-European languages (Der, Die, Das) disposed of most case marking (apart from pronouns; the dative ‘whom’ is a dying fragment of an older system) simplified its plurals (eyen is now eyes, kneen is now knees and kine is now cows.)

The authors dismiss the older, pejorative views of materially simple societies as psychologically simple as well with the observation that “Races are gerrymandered results of variable attitudes to visible characteristics.” (p.270)

At the end of each chapter there is a brief overview of a selected language. The languages profiled here are some that may be less familiar to Western readers – Kurdish, Tibetan, Tamil, !Xóõ, Mongolian and Hawai’ian. There was a mass of interesting points about how these languages work.

Altogether a very satisfying book, incorporating insights from history, politics, anthropology, linguistics, genetics, evolutionary science, psychology and so on to give a multi-dimensional overview of where we are linguistically speaking, and how we got here.

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#115  Postby crazyfitter » Apr 07, 2021 6:56 pm

Blip wrote:

It took me a while to get into this and, although I found the descriptions of early San Francisco fairly interesting, I found the characters unbelievable and the narrative disjointed, not in a good way.

I have come to the sad conclusion that Allende is not for me.


Sorry you didn’t like it Blip
The slap in the face that is offered by anti-rationalist, pseudo-scientists and anti-intellectuals that infest much of public discourse is a sad coda to what has been achieved these centuries past by the scientific method - don’t get me started
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#116  Postby crazyfitter » Apr 07, 2021 6:58 pm

1. A Game of Thrones - George RR Martin
2. A Clash of Kings - George RR Martin. I’m enjoying this series more than LotR
3. A Storm of Swords - George RR Martin
4. Master and Commander - Patrick O’Brian
5. A Feast for Crows - George RR Martin.
6. Extraterrestrial - Avi Loab
7. A Dance with Dragons - George RR Martin
8. we are bellingcat - Elliot Higgins
9. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
10. Gridlinked - Neal Asher
11. Empireland - Sathnam Sanghera
The slap in the face that is offered by anti-rationalist, pseudo-scientists and anti-intellectuals that infest much of public discourse is a sad coda to what has been achieved these centuries past by the scientific method - don’t get me started
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#117  Postby Blip » Apr 08, 2021 9:33 am

1. The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh
2. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
3. Thrush Green by Miss Read
4. A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
5. Winter in Thrush Green by Miss Read
The Shortest Day by Colm Tóibín
6. The Binding by Bridget Collins
7. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu translated by Ken Liu
8. The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu translated by Joel Martinsen
9. Death's End by Cixin Liu translated by Ken Liu
10. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
11. The Ebony Tower by John Fowles
12. The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) by Henri Alain-Fournier translated by Robin Buss
13. Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan
14. The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
15. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
16. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende translated by Margaret Sayers Peden
17. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

We're back in Never Let Me Go territory here, in that the narrator is a sentient robot adopted as a companion for a sick teenager. This is about loyalty and moral obligations towards sentient beings, with a hefty helping of superstitious beliefs and selfishness.

The narrative flagged slightly in the middle, but started and ended exceptionally well. I recommend it.

crazyfitter wrote:
Blip wrote:
[...]
I have come to the sad conclusion that Allende is not for me.

Sorry you didn’t like it Blip


Heck, you can't win 'em all! :cheers:
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#118  Postby UncertainSloth » Apr 09, 2021 7:28 pm

1. james brogden - the narrows - 8/10
2. nora roberts - of blood and bone - 8/10
3. nora roberts - the rise of magicks - 8/10
4. karen thompsn walker - the dreamers - 7/10
5. sophie draper - cuckoo - 7/10
6. laura carlin - the wicked cometh - 7/10
7. vikram palakar - the night theatre - 7/10
8. m r carey - the trials of koli - 9/10
9. bridget collins - the binding - 9/10
10. jac jemc - the grip of it - 7/10
11. carolyn jess-cooke - the boy who could see demons - 9/10
12. daisy johnson - everything under - 7/10
13. paraic o'donnell - house on vesper sands - 7/10
14. claire north - the gameshouse - 8/10 - started really well and, for the most part, held a steady 9/10...just felt that the fact it started life as 3 novellas showed a little bit in the end, with the third being the weakest

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#119  Postby Animavore » Apr 13, 2021 12:44 pm

1. Entangled Life - Merlin Sheldrake.
2. Reading Music Made Easy - Jake Jackson.
3. CCNA 200-301 - Wendall Odom.

Pretty much the only book I've been reading the last 6 weeks. Can't wait to get back to reading for fun again.

And yes. I passed this morning.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#120  Postby NamelessFaceless » Apr 13, 2021 1:22 pm

Audiobooks in Italics

1. Lying Next To Me - Gregg Olsen
2. I Can't Make This Up - Kevin Hart
3. Beloved - Toni Morrison
4. In Our Time - Ernest Hemingway
5. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
6. Hollywood - Charles Bukowski
7. The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
8. A Simple Favor - Darcey Bell
9. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
10. The Sorrows of Young Werther - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

11. The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo
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