What'cha Readin'?

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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4521  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 29, 2020 11:24 am


ATLAS SHRUGGED / AYN RAND [ 97 / I00 ]

A truly epic novel that examines the resilience of the human condition in raw uncompromising brutality
The characters may not bear any resemblance to actual people but that in no way diminshes the story
The psychological exploration of the three main ones is probably without parallel in modern literature


THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO / ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN [ 97 / I00 ]

Pulitzer Prize winner that like Atlas also depicts the resilience of the human condition in extremis
Compulsory reading for Russian children and it should be for Western ones too despite its brutality


DHALGREN / SAMUEL DELANY [ 3I / I00 ]

A dystopian novel that is quite cumbersome with no real plot but simply meanders along aimlessly
Harlan Ellison had to give up less than half way through and I can understand why [ I did finish it ]


ALEISTER CROWLEY THE BIOGRAPHY / TOBIAS CHURTON [ 3I / I00 ]

Disappointing bio about one of the most misunderstood men of modern times
Does not probe his psyche anywhere deep enough though is still a useful intro for those who know nothing about him
While it might be a reasoned attempt at objectivity it just made me want to read the better ones that are out there


INVERTED WORLD / CHRISTOPHER PRIEST [ I3 / I00 ]

Good plot but very poorly executed when there was plenty of scope for a much deeper novel
One of the worst ones I have ever read and so will probably never read anything by him again
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4522  Postby don't get me started » Apr 29, 2020 12:35 pm

crazyfitter wrote:
5DF37B8D-EA3B-49BB-9FDD-2213A217A4DB.jpeg


I’m about halfway through this and I’m amazed at what I didn’t know and I mean on a big scale as well as the small nitty gritty. What staggers me is the amount of polity that went on over the dining table. I believe that breakfast, lunch and dinner were invented purely to discuss diplomatic policy and war. Why couldn’t everyone stay at home and make themselves beans on toast?

Another shock was the age of some of the people involved. Some of them were dying of cancer. Some generals on the battlefield died of heart attacks. The shear incompetence of politicians and battlefield managers was staggering.

It’s put me in a dark place reading this, I might just go and drink some bleach.
No not really.


I noticed the well thumbed copy of 'Use of Weapons' there.
My favorite Iain M. Banks Culture novel. My copy is similarly dog-eared.
I'll be due for a re-read of some Banks sometime soon I reckon.

( Oh, the image didn't show up in the quote panel...)
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4523  Postby Macdoc » Apr 29, 2020 2:14 pm

The irony is hilarious that the rabid religious right have taken Rand on as St Ayn
....aetheist, feminist, chain smoker and product of her escape from Stalin.

Try Fountainhead as that is based on Frank Lloyd Wright and explores individual rights vs "committees". I like her polemic style and championing the rights of the individual over the state. It's dated and you have to put yourself in the shoes of a writer who crawled under barbed wire to escape to the west and the forces at play in the 50s.
•••

Banks is a treasure.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4524  Postby crazyfitter » Apr 29, 2020 2:39 pm

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Yes, Use Of Weapons is a great book but I think the first of the culture series Consider Phlebas is my favourite. Currently doing a reread of Complicity. Banks without the M.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4525  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 29, 2020 2:39 pm

Last year I re read Excession by Iain Banks after originally reading it when it came out in 96
It made no impression on me at the time but on second reading I rated it as one of the best space operas I had ever read
But by complete contrast Consider Phlebas also by him was not as good the second time round when I re read that again
So this is why it is always a good idea to re read novels because the reaction will not necessarily be the same every time

Apparently you cannot like Ayn Rand unless you are a libertarian but I like her and am not a libertarian so go figure
There is Ayn Rand the novelist and Ayn Rand the philosopher but her novels are her philosophy in fictionalised form
and so the distinction is somewhat academic
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4526  Postby crazyfitter » Apr 29, 2020 2:54 pm

I might have read an Ayn Rand novel a long time ago but can’t remember the name. It was about an American decision to find a Mr Average and make him President and all further decisions were decided on the same line. It resulted in the destruction of humanity. Then a pack of evolved dogs arrived and the assumption was they were going to take over the world. ?
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4527  Postby aufbahrung » Apr 29, 2020 3:31 pm

We have the wind and we have the ghosts. Spin and weave, weave and spin.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4528  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 29, 2020 3:57 pm

There is an excellent online site called wordery . com that boasts a phenomenal I0 000 000 titles in its collection
As Waterstones dont always have every book you want then it is an excellent place to go with a stock of that size
These are the books that I have or will order from it in due course and the majority of them are absolute classics

Ulysses - James Joyce

Papillon - Henri Charriere

The Road - Cormac Mccarty

Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

War And Peace - Leo Tolstoy

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

The Ice Age - Margaret Drabble

In The Penal Colony - Franz Kafka

Foucaults Pendulum - Umberto Eco

The Great Gatsby - Scott Fitzgerald

Gravitys Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon

The History Man - Malcolm Bradbury

The Foundation Trilogy - Isaac Asimov

The Feminine Mystique - Betty Fredian

Mans Search For Meaning - Victor Frankl

The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Old Man And The Sea - Ernest Hemingway

Churchills Secret War - Madhushree Mukherjee

I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream - Harlan Ellison

The Myth Of Sisyphus And Other Essays - Albert Camus

Perdurabo The Life Of Aleister Crowley - Richard Kaczynski

An Impeccable Spy Richard Sorge Stalins Master Agent - Owen Matthews
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4529  Postby Fallible » Apr 29, 2020 4:55 pm

We get a lot of our stuff from Wordery. Very good.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4530  Postby MattHunX » Apr 29, 2020 5:00 pm

After reading the first METRO novel (2033) on my PC, the second (2034) on my phone and then got a tablet, I comfortably read the the third (2035), every night before sleep. A habit I could finally get into and get cracking on the dozens of PDFs I have.

Currently reading:

Image

Apart from expanding my vocabulary and reading some neat, clever, poetic phrases and such, it helps me sleep. My eyes get tired and I can actually fall asleep a lot faster, like, in 15-30 minutes. It used to be an hour or more. I should've started doing it 10 years ago. But, better late than never. :cheers:
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4531  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 29, 2020 6:06 pm

Wordery is a truly excellent site even though I had never heard of it before despite its size
I would not use Amazon because you have to stay in for their deliveries but Wordery uses the
Royal Mail so it goes to the sorting office if you are not in and then you go collect it from there

I really do not like waiting in for deliveries as I literally have to sit on the stairs until they actually arrive
I cannot just get on with something in the meantime as my mind simply refuses to focus on anything else
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4532  Postby Macdoc » Apr 29, 2020 6:13 pm

Windup is brilliant and unique.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4533  Postby Fallible » Apr 29, 2020 6:52 pm

MattHunX wrote:After reading the first METRO novel (2033) on my PC, the second (2034) on my phone and then got a tablet, I comfortably read the the third (2035), every night before sleep. A habit I could finally get into and get cracking on the dozens of PDFs I have.

Currently reading:

Image

Apart from expanding my vocabulary and reading some neat, clever, poetic phrases and such, it helps me sleep. My eyes get tired and I can actually fall asleep a lot faster, like, in 15-30 minutes. It used to be an hour or more. I should've started doing it 10 years ago. But, better late than never. :cheers:


I enjoyed it, but I don’t remember much about it a couple of years on. Mind you, my memory is atrocious these days. Whenever I see the title, I immediately think of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. For whatever reason, I have much better recall of that, and I would highly recommend it.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4534  Postby Fallible » Apr 29, 2020 6:55 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:Wordery is a truly excellent site even though I had never heard of it before despite its size
I would not use Amazon because you have to stay in for their deliveries but Wordery uses the
Royal Mail so it goes to the sorting office if you are not in and then you go collect it from there

I really do not like waiting in for deliveries as I literally have to sit on the stairs until they actually arrive
I cannot just get on with something in the meantime as my mind simply refuses to focus on anything else


I don’t sit on the stairs until things arrive, but I am notoriously impatient when waiting for a delivery. That’s why I do use Amazon, because we now have same-day delivery on a lot of items. I dislike the fact that my impatience overrides my principles at times, but I do admit I’m addicted to books. I’m about 80% serious when I say that as well. You should see this place.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4535  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 29, 2020 8:48 pm

I have about enough shelf space for I35 more books and when that is filled up then I will probably not be buying any more
Much as I love books I do not want them taking up every single available space in the house
So I am making a concerted effort to buy as many absolutely essential ones as I possibly can

I also like you have a rather unreliable memory although when it comes to re reading that is actually an advantage
I anticipate reading another 400 / 500 books before I die and the total amount available will be between 300 / 400
Therefore with re reads it can be done - I deliberately take my time because reading is not something to be rushed

I regard reading as a form of meditation because like meditation it too requires space and calm and focus
I read at all times including night time which is the best time to read as there is minimal background noise

I have a new rule which is to always finish a book regardless of how boring or bad it actually is
I rarely fail to finish any but now I have no option but to finish them all whatever they may be

I recently saw the five most unfinished novels on Amazon which were [ lol I can only remember four ]
Catch 22 - Ulysses - Atlas Shrugged - Lord Of The Rings [ I think that the other one was Moby Dick ]

Four of them are quite long and so that is understandable but there really is no excuse for not finishing Catch
Although when someone buys a book they know how long it is then why buy it if you are not going to finish it ?

I understand that Finnegans Wake is essentially unreadable by those in the know so I will definitely be giving that a miss
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4536  Postby Fallible » Apr 29, 2020 9:36 pm

I am a terrible rusher, I read like my life depends on it. Probably why I forget a lot of what I’ve read. Some things I’ll never forget though, like the first time I read The Master and Margarita.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4537  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 29, 2020 10:43 pm

I always had you down as a slow methodical reader probably because some books you once posted were in pristine condition
I though take less care because they are designed for wear and tear and so a bit of rough handling is absolutely fine with me
Books like shoes have to be worn in so one respects the truth that they contain rather than the packaging that they come in
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4538  Postby Fallible » Apr 29, 2020 11:06 pm

No, I don’t think I posted that, that doesn’t sound like me at all. I ruin books. Not proud of it. I was taught to look after them, but I can’t seem to manage it. I turn down corners, get them water damaged, crease the covers. Once I’ve got the info out of them, I’ve a bad habit of just chucking ‘em to one side wherever I am, literally. Bathroom floor, down the side of the bed, down the side of the sofa. Sloth is the careful reader. He manages to read them without even cracking the spine.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4539  Postby UncertainSloth » Apr 29, 2020 11:11 pm

if you like wordery, it's also worth exploring the book depository website....even more magnificent is abesbooks, which searches through all the second hand sites for you and lists them in terms of price and condition....

and, yes, fallible massacres books like they're herod's innocent babes
i guess i could be a quiet hero
no one knows the good i've done

e
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4540  Postby don't get me started » Apr 30, 2020 12:54 am

Reading about people's reading styles and proceedures is very entertaining.

I don't have access to large English language bookshops. Some of the bigger bookshops downtown have an English language section, but they are usually not that extensive. Consequently, I have to rely on on-line shopping for most of my purchases.
As part of my job I am given a research budget which can be used for a variety of purposes, including book buying.
The procedure, as with many things in Japan, is complex and bureaucratic.
Here is what I have to do if i want to buy a book using the research funds:

Go to Amazon and look for the book.
Once I have found the book I want, I have to check that I can pay using the 'Convenience Store Payment' method.
No credit card payment is allowed. (!) Only this method is acceptable to the uni.
I then order the book.
I receive a mail from Amazon telling me the payment code.
I go to the local convenience store (Only Lawason will do. Not 7/11, Family Mart of any of the other major convenience store chains, even though the Amazon payment system allows payment at all of these...No, only Lawson will do according to the uni.)
I go to the payment point (looks like an ATM, but isn't.)
Navigate a few screens in Japanese (No English option available).
When I get to the correct screen I scan a bar code from the mail on my phone. The machine then spits out an invoice.
I take this to the counter and present it to the staff. They scan it and tell me how much to pay. I pay. (Must be cash.)

Once I have paid they enter 'paid' into their cash register. This prompts a printer behind the counter to print out a receipt.
The staff then has to stamp this with the official shop stamp. (Don't forget the stamp! Nothing in Japan works without the stamp.)
I then take this receipt to the university. But before I hand this in, I have to go to the Amazon site again.
Go to the 'My orders' page and navigate to the order status. It has all the details of the book, and the status of the order as 'paid'.
I print this page out, and highlight the paid section and write 'paid' in Japanese next to it, just for the staff who don't read English, or something.

I then take the two documents, the store print-out and the Amazon print-out and hand them in to the department office.
Oh, I forgot to mention- the book MUST be delivered to the university address. I am NOT allowed to have it delivered to my home.
Then I just wait for the book to show up in my department staff room pigeonhole.
Simples !

Oh, one more thing, if the book is less than 10,000 yen it is mine to keep. If it is over 10,000 yen it is the property of the university and will have to go in the library collection when I leave/retire. So when an expensive books arrives, I have to take it to the department office. They send it to the library who stamp it and put the reference info on the spine. Then it comes back to me.

It makes me laugh when I hear foreigners who are under the impression that Japan is some futuristic, high-tech, super efficient place. Nah. Kafka would find plenty of material for his next novel here. Don't forget the stamp. For god's sake.

One good thing about the present situation. Because a lot of conferences have been cancelled, the money that I would have used for going to them can be re-directed to books. Looks like a big order spree is upcoming!

I find it hard to read a lot at home. Basically, I have to wait until the kids have gone to bed, or face repeated interruptions. My commute in to uni is quite long so I get a lot of reading done on the train.

The house is pretty full of books and don't get her started has ordered a 'one in - one out' policy. So, all books that I buy now end up in my office...typical professor's office with wall to wall bookshelves. A fair bit of space there for new purchases. I love to keep a neat bookshelf and I make sure I keep some kind of order so i can quickly locate books I need to reference.
(I also read a lot of journal articles connected to linguistics...I print them out as I don't like reading on a screen. The system breaks down here and that part of the office is a mess!)

Sorry for the long rambling post. (maybe better suited to the Rant thread...)
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