The Book Thread 2021

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#141  Postby UncertainSloth » May 20, 2021 8:07 am

That sounds utterly fascinating and plops straight into my wishlist...
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#142  Postby Blip » May 22, 2021 9:29 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
18. Front Page News by Sadie Gordon Richmond
19. The Split by Sharon Bolton
20. Outline by Rachel Cusk
21. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
22. The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota

Stunningly good novel focusing on the experiences of several Indian migrants, legal and otherwise, in contemporary England. There but for fortune... It was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2015: reading it, I was amazed it hadn't won until I checked and saw A Brief History of Seven Killings was the winner that year. One for your lists.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#143  Postby don't get me started » May 25, 2021 2:12 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
13. HHhH - Laurent Binet (Translated from the French by Sam Taylor)
14. Impoliteness: Using Language to Cause Offense – Jonathan Culpeper
15. Ethosyntax: Explorations in Grammar and Culture – N. J. Enfield (Ed.)
16. Second Language Speech Fluency: From Research to Practice – Parvaneh Tavakoli & Clare Wright.
17. At Day's Close: Night in Times Past – A. Roger Ekirch

18. Language Shock: Understanding the Culture of Conversation – Michael Agar

288 pp.

I hadn’t realized it when I bought this, but it was originally published in 1994 and some parts seem a little dated now. The underlying theme of the book is that when you learn a foreign language, getting to grips with the vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation are only the first step. The ways that different cultures organize speaking at the level of discourse, the kinds of speech acts that are appropriate or inappropriate at any given time and with any given audience are often going to be subtly (or often not so subtly) different from the way things are done in your own frame of reference.

Agar outlines the ways that some people react to this, labelling them as ‘number one’ types. In the case of these people, they may encounter some difference in the way things are done and apply the deficit explanation for the difference. ‘They don’t do it the way I do it, so there must be something lacking in them.’ It is good that he points out that this is not some melanin deficiency related thing particular to Anglos, but a feature to be found in people from whatever culture, nation, religion etc.

Not only do frames differ according to native language or nationality or culture with a capital C, there are also frame differences between generations, genders, regions, and even at the micro-level of individuals. The author provides ample anecdotage from his own travels and researches, both within his home country of the US and in other countries.

One notion that the author referred to that struck a chord with me was the idea of ‘high density’ languaculture. He referred to his work with heroin addicts and notes that being a heroin addict is high density. ‘It means that much of your life is organized around junkie ways of talking and junkie frames.’ (p. 233). Being a hobby scuba diver (for example) is low density. That is, most of your life is not really organized around this identity. Agar expands on this notion by mentioning people for whom some aspect of their identity is omnirelevant (i.e. high density) and who bring this to all interactions. This becomes irksome for others who do not align with their monomania. “When you communicate, you communicate with a person, at least some of the time. I’ve mentioned persons who just parrot an identity, but I don’t recommend you spend a lot of time with them unless you have to. Once you’ve learned the social identity, you’ve learned the person. Life is too short.’ (p. 238.) Yeah, I come across these people from time to time. My friends and I had a shorthand term for them – professional American/Brit/Canadian/Japanese/Christian/Moslem/Jewish/Black/White/Asian person.

Another thing that the author mentioned that I thought was interesting was the notion that we are all immigrants. By this he means that the opportunities for travel and communication, and encounters with the other that have become commonplace (and more so since the book was written) has meant that we all have to adapt to new frames all the time. Some run for cover in the old certainties (which no longer really exist in recognizable form) whilst others try to deal with and understand the new realities. ‘Even if you never move from the house you were born in, the structure of the world has changed so that different languacultures arrive at your door.

And interesting book with some useful insights. From the perspective of 2021, his 1994 worldview seems both oddly prescient and at the same time touchingly naïve.

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#144  Postby NamelessFaceless » May 25, 2021 2:47 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
12. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Dafoe
13. Swann's Way - Marcel Proust
14. Fear of Flying - Erica Jong
15. The Wave - Todd Strasser
16. Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson
17. This Side of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#145  Postby UncertainSloth » May 27, 2021 6:55 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 -
15. martin edwards - the coffin trail - 6/10
16. laird hunt - neverhome - 8/10
17. jesmyn ward - sing, unburied, sing - 8/10
18. edward parnell - ghostland: in search of a haunted country - 10/10 - really enjoyed this - helps that he is pretty much exactly my age and has grown up immersed in mr james, bbc ghost stories, the wicker man, alan garner, susan cooper etc etc...a search for the 'sequestered' places of england...

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#146  Postby Blip » May 30, 2021 6:40 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
18. Front Page News by Sadie Gordon Richmond
19. The Split by Sharon Bolton
20. Outline by Rachel Cusk
21. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
22. The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
23. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Starting with a search for a missing girl from a Peak District village, this highly original novel with a unique narrative style becomes a dispassionate reflection on passing time, human frailty and loss. It's much-praised, and rightly so.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#147  Postby Blip » Jun 05, 2021 8:39 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
18. Front Page News by Sadie Gordon Richmond
19. The Split by Sharon Bolton
20. Outline by Rachel Cusk
21. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
22. The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
23. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
24. The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

A sleuthing mystery set in 1920s Bombay with a female protagonist, the pacy storytelling is lifted above the ordinary by the insights into women's lives at that time. Different, and good.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#148  Postby NamelessFaceless » Jun 05, 2021 10:27 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
12. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Dafoe
13. Swann's Way - Marcel Proust
14. Fear of Flying - Erica Jong
15. The Wave - Todd Strasser
16. Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson
17. This Side of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald
18. The Piazza Tales - Herman Melville
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#149  Postby UncertainSloth » Jun 09, 2021 7:34 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 -
15. martin edwards - the coffin trail - 6/10
16. laird hunt - neverhome - 8/10
17. jesmyn ward - sing, unburied, sing - 8/10
18. edward parnell - ghostland: in search of a haunted country - 10/10
19. james brogden - the plague stones - 8/10 - solid, decent folk horror..i'm a big fan of the way he combines tradition, history of place and the present day

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#150  Postby Blip » Jun 10, 2021 7:05 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
18. Front Page News by Sadie Gordon Richmond
19. The Split by Sharon Bolton
20. Outline by Rachel Cusk
21. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
22. The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
23. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
24. The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
25. The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey

I enjoyed the first of this series so much that I read the next straight away.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#151  Postby don't get me started » Jun 12, 2021 4:58 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
13. HHhH - Laurent Binet (Translated from the French by Sam Taylor)
14. Impoliteness: Using Language to Cause Offense – Jonathan Culpeper
15. Ethosyntax: Explorations in Grammar and Culture – N. J. Enfield (Ed.)
16. Second Language Speech Fluency: From Research to Practice – Parvaneh Tavakoli & Clare Wright.
17. At Day's Close: Night in Times Past – A. Roger Ekirch
18. Language Shock: Understanding the Culture of Conversation – Michael Agar
19. Possessives in English: An Exploration in Cognitive Grammar - John R. Taylor

As will be noted from the more than three week gap since my last entry on this list, this book was quite a challenging read.
I like Taylor's work and have read several of his other books, but this one was right at the edge of my ability to understand.

The book opens with a nice overview of some of the basic notions of the field of cognitive grammar. There was much that was familiar here, but also some new stuff.

The later chapters were a mix of 'clinging on by my fingernails to understand' and 'completely out of my depth.' Nice to challenge myself with some heavy duty material, and also sobering to come up against the limits of my ability to understand really, really technical and abstract linguistic material.
Not for the layman.

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#152  Postby UncertainSloth » Jun 12, 2021 2:40 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 -
15. martin edwards - the coffin trail - 6/10
16. laird hunt - neverhome - 8/10
17. jesmyn ward - sing, unburied, sing - 8/10
18. edward parnell - ghostland: in search of a haunted country - 10/10
19. james brogden - the plague stones - 8/10
20. jonathan coe - the dwarves of death - 7/10 - not entirely my sort of book but i bought a load of his for fallible and i'm damned if books are leaving this house unread...

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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#153  Postby Blip » Jun 12, 2021 3:00 pm

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
18. Front Page News by Sadie Gordon Richmond
19. The Split by Sharon Bolton
20. Outline by Rachel Cusk
21. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
22. The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
23. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
24. The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
25. The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey
26. Battles at Thrush Green by Miss Read

I needed some inconsequential stuff at the moment and this gentle tale fitted the bill.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#154  Postby Blip » Jun 15, 2021 9:50 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
18. Front Page News by Sadie Gordon Richmond
19. The Split by Sharon Bolton
20. Outline by Rachel Cusk
21. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
22. The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
23. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
24. The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
25. The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey
26. Battles at Thrush Green by Miss Read
27. China Room by Sunjeev Sahota

The two protagonists of this beautifully-written novel are a young man in the throes of heroin addiction, who spends the summer before university in rural Punjab, and a woman of similar age in the same place in the 1920s.

It's about alienation, captivity, misogyny and racism, among other matters. It's heartbreaking and it's very, very good.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#155  Postby NamelessFaceless » Jun 15, 2021 2:03 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
12. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Dafoe
13. Swann's Way - Marcel Proust
14. Fear of Flying - Erica Jong
15. The Wave - Todd Strasser
16. Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson
17. This Side of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald
18. The Piazza Tales - Herman Melville
19. Unspeakable Things - Jess Lourey
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#156  Postby Blip » Jun 17, 2021 9:20 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
18. Front Page News by Sadie Gordon Richmond
19. The Split by Sharon Bolton
20. Outline by Rachel Cusk
21. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
22. The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
23. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
24. The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
25. The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey
26. Battles at Thrush Green by Miss Read
27. China Room by Sunjeev Sahota
28. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor

I enjoyed Reservoir 13, but this one didn't work for me.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#157  Postby UncertainSloth » Jun 19, 2021 2:33 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 -
15. martin edwards - the coffin trail - 6/10
16. laird hunt - neverhome - 8/10
17. jesmyn ward - sing, unburied, sing - 8/10
18. edward parnell - ghostland: in search of a haunted country - 10/10
19. james brogden - the plague stones - 8/10
20. jonathan coe - the dwarves of death - 7/10
21. catherine burns - the visitors - 8/10...fairly dark & grim, reminded me of adam nevill

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Tolkein
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#158  Postby UncertainSloth » Jun 19, 2021 2:35 pm

Blip wrote:

I enjoyed Reservoir 13, but this one didn't work for me.


i have to admit i was less taken with reservoir 13 than i hoped to be...he's very highly rated but not an author i'd rush back to
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#159  Postby Coastal » Jun 19, 2021 3:45 pm

The last few book I read:

The Saints of Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton
The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie
Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson
N.K. Jemisin - The Broken Earth Trilogy
Salvation Lost (Salvation Sequence Series, n. 2) by Peter F. Hamilton

Currently reading the Machineries of Empire trilogy by Yoon Ha Lee

I've seen a few people comment on The Broken Earth Trilogy and I also really enjoyed it. Imagining I'm a Stone Eater is a terrific way to fall asleep at night.
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Re: The Book Thread 2021

#160  Postby don't get me started » Jun 22, 2021 12:55 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
13. HHhH - Laurent Binet (Translated from the French by Sam Taylor)
14. Impoliteness: Using Language to Cause Offense – Jonathan Culpeper
15. Ethosyntax: Explorations in Grammar and Culture – N. J. Enfield (Ed.)
16. Second Language Speech Fluency: From Research to Practice – Parvaneh Tavakoli & Clare Wright.
17. At Day's Close: Night in Times Past – A. Roger Ekirch
18. Language Shock: Understanding the Culture of Conversation – Michael Agar
19. Possessives in English: An Exploration in Cognitive Grammar - John R. Taylor

20. I saw the Dog: How Language Works – Alexandra Aikhenvald.

184. pp.

This was a lovely book giving a quick overview of some of the ways in which languages go about the business of expressing meaning. Aikhenvald is a very well-known author in the field of linguistic typology and has spent a lot of her career documenting languages in out of the way places like deep Amazonia and highland Papua New Guinea. Her knowledge of these languages gives her a nuanced view that supersedes a lot of more mainstream views of language which are heavily tilted towards the ‘big’ languages.

The point is repeatedly stated here that there is no such thing as a ‘primitive language’. People who live materially simple lives (by the standards of industrialized cultures) most definitely do not have ‘simple’ or ‘primitive’ languages. In fact, it is the opposite. The languages of these tribal communities often have complexity and nuance built into their languages that is just head-spinning for those of us accustomed to more familiar languages. ‘Small tribal languages offer ways of saying things absent from the languages of Europe.’ (p.28.)

Aikhenvald details things like the evidentiality system of Tariana (spoken in Amazonia on the border of Columbia and Brazil.) In this language any propositional statement must be marked to show how it is that the speaker knows it- did you see it yourself, or did someone tell you about it, or did you deduce it from the situation and so on? (p.62-63.) (It is interesting that if the background to the statement is based on multiple sources, then, ‘Vision takes preference over all other senses and other ways of knowing things.’ (p.66)). Aikhenvald states that a quarter of the world’s languages used evidentiality markers. It seems so strange to us speakers of Indo-European languages because it is just not a feature of the languages with which we are familiar.

This causes some differentials in the way people judge the other. ‘In many South American countries, Indians are considered the lowest of the low. Indians reciprocate: White people have enviable resources and riches. But they are not to be relied upon, because of the way they speak.’ (p.69.) The lack of evidential marking in Portuguese and Spanish means that Tariana speakers think that these people are at best incompetents and at worst habitual liars.

(This reminds me of linguist Daniel Everett who went to do missionary work in the Amazon. His attempts to preach were met with bemusement when he couldn't mark out how he knew that Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday. The Pirana tribespeople just wandered away amused at such a tale. Eventually Everett adapted so well to the environment that he abandoned his Christianity, seeing it for the unsubstantiated fable it really is.)

Chapter four made for depressing reading…the rate of language extinction is picking up and many of the smaller languages are now only spoken by aged tribal people and the younger people are not learning them anymore. This is a parallel to loss of biodiversity. Efforts to revive tribal languages are meeting with mixed success, but at least the awareness is starting to take hold.

Altogether an informative and lively read. Anyone interested in linguistic typology would find this a nice introductory book.

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