The Book Thread 2022

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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#41  Postby Blip » Feb 15, 2022 8:13 am

Kaleid wrote:1. The Five - Hallie Rubenhold
2. The Time Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain - Ian Mortimer
3. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

Two years of dipping in and out, and I've finally finished this, well, phenomenon, I suppose. Undeniably great, but I don't think I'll be giving it a re-read Any. Time. Soon.


Somehow I feel congratulations are in order. :dance:
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#42  Postby Evolving » Feb 15, 2022 9:47 am

It really is a great read, but you need some time. Not as much as for Proust, I'll give you that (not that I've read him, he's still waiting on my bookshelves...). I've restarted W&P a few times, last year I got as far as where Pierre is initiated into the Freemasons (sorry about the spoiler, anyone reading), but an actual complete re-read is a rare success and hasn't occurred for many years.

I have the DVD set of a young Anthony Hopkins as Pierre in the 1970s BBC series. Very good indeed (and not quite so time-consuming).
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#43  Postby Evolving » Feb 15, 2022 9:49 am

Similar: Zauberberg by Thomas Mann. Also a great read (in German, anyway; can't speak to the translations); but you do need time.

Many years since I got as far as Mynheer Peeperkorn.
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#44  Postby don't get me started » Feb 15, 2022 11:41 am

Kaleid wrote:1. The Five - Hallie Rubenhold
2. The Time Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain - Ian Mortimer
3. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

Two years of dipping in and out, and I've finally finished this, well, phenomenon, I suppose. Undeniably great, but I don't think I'll be giving it a re-read Any. Time. Soon.


Chapeau :cheers: :clap:

It is indeed an achievement. I read it one mad summer when I was in my early 20's.
Turning over the first page with that great doorstep of pages between thumb and fingers of my right hand...I knew I had set myself a real task.
Like you, I don't reckon it will be on my re-read list anytime soon.

I also remember watching the Russian film version (something like 500 minutes) directed by Sergei Bondarchuk when I was a lad.
Later bought the VHS. Beautiful and moving, epic and spectacular. (The idea of some aristocrat showing up at the battle of Borodino in a whte top hat, just to have a look....!)

Here is a moment from the film that was pure Tolstoy in visual format.


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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#45  Postby don't get me started » Feb 15, 2022 12:24 pm

Evolving wrote:Similar: Zauberberg by Thomas Mann. Also a great read (in German, anyway; can't speak to the translations); but you do need time.

Many years since I got as far as Mynheer Peeperkorn.


Agreed. I read it in English translation. I've read a few short stories, novellas, plays and some poetry in German, but my language proficiency is not really up to the task of Zauberberg, Das Schloß or Simplicissimus.

I do remember being absolutely gripped by the scene where young Hans Castorp arrives at the sanatorium and gets a bit boozed up. The evocation of being drunk and wandering around was superbly captured in the English translation.

Mind you, the version I read (Penguin) has a climactic encounter between Hans and Claudia Chauchat as it was originally written by Mann - IN FRENCH!!
If you are going to translate a book, then translate it consistently into the target language.
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#46  Postby Evolving » Feb 15, 2022 5:32 pm

Hans and Clawdia often switch between German and French: it's not really obvious why, since she's supposed to be Russian and evidently speaks excellent German. So the English translation that you read didn't translate the French exchanges, but left them unchanged? Makes sense.

It would make sense in the Tolstoy too (where there's a lot more French).
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#47  Postby don't get me started » Feb 16, 2022 7:35 am

1. Cognitive Discourse Analysis: An introduction - Thora Tenbrink
2. Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender And Identity- And Why This Harms Everybody – Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
3. A History of the World in 12 Maps – Jerry Brotton
4. Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language – Patricia T. O’Connor & Stewart Kellerman

5. Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning - Jenefer Philip, Rebecca Adams & Noriko Iwashita

231. pp

An interesting dicussion on the theme of how learners learn from each other, not just the teacher. The authors detail the research that deals with how classroom practices are organized so as to give learners the opportunity to actually use the language they are studying.... it is something that is sorely missing in many language classes here in Japan. Students become habituated to speaking only on demand, in response to a teacher or textbook question and the answer is understood to be primarily subject to evaluation of the lexical/grammatical components. (Based on the standards of the written form of the language). Even so-called communicative' classrooms often pay lip service to the notion of enabling students to have something to say in the target language and are basically chalk and talk sessions...

>>>Rant concluded

Anyways, this book looked at all of the issues surrounding peer interactions in language learning classrooms - age differences, prior educational experiences, goal (as stated or understood) of the speaking activity and so on. I was in agreement with a lot of the author's points about the importance and usefulness of peer interaction. I had some quibbles with the - to my mind- somewhat superficial definitions of fluency, and the rather brief treatment given to the notion of interactional competence, but these are mainly academic hairsplitting and boundary disputes between hardly distinguishable sub-fields of applied linguistics.

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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#48  Postby Blip » Feb 16, 2022 2:16 pm

1. A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
2. The Expectation Effect by David Robson
3. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
4. Road Ends by Mary Lawson
5. A Brief History of Earth by Andrew H Knoll
6. Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Lois Roth
7. The Man Who Went Up in Smoke by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Joan Tate
8. The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson
9. The Man on the Balcony by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Alan Blair
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#49  Postby NamelessFaceless » Feb 17, 2022 3:47 pm

1. Hope of Heaven - John O'Hara
2. Pal Joey - John O'Hara
3. Invitation to a Beheading - Vladimir Nabokov
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#50  Postby Macdoc » Feb 17, 2022 5:36 pm

A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson


bit of cultural appropriation there...not sure Neville Shute would approve of the word play
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#51  Postby felltoearth » Feb 17, 2022 6:03 pm

Macdoc wrote:
A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson


bit of cultural appropriation there...not sure Neville Shute would approve of the word play

I hope you’re joking


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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#52  Postby scott1328 » Feb 18, 2022 1:21 am

1. Caliban's War, James S A Corey Book 2 in the Expanse Series.
2. Time’s Eye, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
3. Sun Storm, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. Sequel to Time's Eye.
4. The Firtstborn, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
5. Abaddon’s Gate, James S A Corey, Book 3 in the Expanse Series.

6. Cibola Burn, James S A Coery, Book 4 in the Expanse Series.
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#53  Postby Macdoc » Feb 18, 2022 6:48 pm

Listening to Book 8 in The Expanse and reading this

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Just brilliant
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#54  Postby don't get me started » Feb 19, 2022 4:09 am

1. Cognitive Discourse Analysis: An introduction - Thora Tenbrink
2. Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender And Identity- And Why This Harms Everybody – Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
3. A History of the World in 12 Maps – Jerry Brotton
4. Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language – Patricia T. O’Connor & Stewart Kellerman
5. Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning - Jenefer Philip, Rebecca Adams & Noriko Iwashita

6. Eugene Onegin - Alexander Pushkin

Inspired by Kaleid's heroics I decided to fish out my old and battered copy of Pushkin's masterpiece and immerse myself once more. This is perhaps my fourth re-read. I am a very different person from the young fella who first read this all those years ago, but our Evgeny and his dear Tatiana still have not aged a day. The tone varies from sardonic, parodic, humorous and ironic, and the descriptions of the Russian countryside are evocative and soulful. There are wry character sketches, an abundance of literary allusions, digressions and digressions on the subject of digressions. And at the center, the love story...

I would also recommend the 1999 film version with Ralph Fiennes as Onegin and Liv Tyler perfectly cast as Tatiana.

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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#55  Postby Blip » Feb 19, 2022 4:26 pm

1. A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
2. The Expectation Effect by David Robson
3. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
4. Road Ends by Mary Lawson
5. A Brief History of Earth by Andrew H Knoll
6. Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Lois Roth
7. The Man Who Went Up in Smoke by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Joan Tate
8. The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson
9. The Man on the Balcony by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Alan Blair
10. Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes

I enjoyed the story, about a drug addict confronting her problem(s), and the author has something to say; there was a chick lit seam running through the narrative that I liked much less.
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#56  Postby Terry Higgenz » Feb 20, 2022 9:06 am

I must have read Crow Lake about 10 times. Great read.
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#57  Postby UncertainSloth » Feb 21, 2022 1:52 am

1. the long take - robin robertson - 8/10
2. the gatekeeper - russ kane - 5/10
3. dr potter's medicine show - eric scott fischl - 8/10
4. just one damn thing after another - jodi taylor - 8/10 -
5. trinity - louisa hall - 8/10 - seven different fictional perspectives on oppenheimer...not my usual sort of read but i like her other books, 'twas good

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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#58  Postby don't get me started » Feb 21, 2022 6:41 am

1. Cognitive Discourse Analysis: An introduction - Thora Tenbrink
2. Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender And Identity- And Why This Harms Everybody – Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
3. A History of the World in 12 Maps – Jerry Brotton
4. Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language – Patricia T. O’Connor & Stewart Kellerman
5. Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning - Jenefer Philip, Rebecca Adams & Noriko Iwashita
6. Eugene Onegin - Alexander Pushkin

Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World - Nataly Kelly & Jost Zetzche

270 pp.

This was a really pleasant and amusing read. The authors relate an abundance of anecdotes and insights from the world of professional translators and interpreters. The vital importance of this work is often overlooked. Not only international summits, The United Nations, and high-level diplomatic and academic environments rely on these often invisible workers, there are also more mundane fields of daily life that depend on the ability of skilled humans to change content from one language to another. Washing machine instruction booklets, airline manifest documents, invoices for containers full of socks and underwear - even porn site search terms (!) all need to be translated.

Among the many enjoyable anecdotes was the section where the translator of the Harry Potter books into Hindi decided to go with Sanskrit-base vocabulary for the Latin-sounding spells of the original. There was also a nice section on the ways translators deal with humor, including a Finnish translator of the Simpsons who received a nice letter from a Finnish fan of the series. Despite his fluency in English, he found that when he traveled to the US and watched the show without Finnish subtitles he just couldn't get a lot of the humour and he realized what a good job the translator had done in producing funny subtitles.

There was section on machine translation at the end and it is clear that despite heroic efforts by programmers and technicians, we are still a long way from having really accurate machine translation. ( I use Google Translate and DeepL a fair amount...just for getting the gist of longer work-related documents that would take me a while to wade through before I could decide whether it is something I need to do something about. The ability to finger write Kanji on the screen of my smart phone was a major upgrade in my quality of life here!)

Nice read, whether you live and work across language boundaries or not.

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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#59  Postby scott1328 » Feb 21, 2022 1:53 pm

1. Caliban's War, James S A Corey Book 2 in the Expanse Series.
2. Time’s Eye, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
3. Sun Storm, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. Sequel to Time's Eye.
4. The Firtstborn, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
5. Abaddon’s Gate, James S A Corey, Book 3 in the Expanse Series.
6. Cibola Burn, James S A Coery, Book 4 in the Expanse Series.

7. Nemesis Games, James S A Corey, Book 5 in the Expanse Series.
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Re: The Book Thread 2022

#60  Postby Blip » Feb 22, 2022 8:30 am

1. A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
2. The Expectation Effect by David Robson
3. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
4. Road Ends by Mary Lawson
5. A Brief History of Earth by Andrew H Knoll
6. Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Lois Roth
7. The Man Who Went Up in Smoke by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Joan Tate
8. The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson
9. The Man on the Balcony by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Alan Blair
10. Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes
11. The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Alan Blair
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