The Book Thread 2022

Books are a uniquely portable magic...

Discuss books here.

Moderators: kiore, The_Metatron, Blip

Re: The Book Thread 2022

#261  Postby don't get me started » Aug 02, 2022 3:10 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
7. Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World - Nataly Kelly & Jost Zetzche
8. English Words: A Linguistic Introduction - Heidi Harley
9. Questions: Formal, Functional and Interactional Perspectives Jan P. de Ruiter (Ed.)
10. Persepolis Rising - James S.A. Corey
11. English Prepositions: Their meanings and uses - R.M.W. Dixon
12. Draußen vor der Tür - Wolfgang Borchert
13. Metonymy: Hidden Shortcuts in Language, Thought and Communication - Jeannette Liitlemore
14. Tiamat's Wrath - James S.A. Corey
15. Leviathan Falls - James S.A. Corey
16. The Horse, the Wheel and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World - David W. Anthony
17. The Unfortunate Traveler and Other Works - Thomas Nashe
18. A Qualitative Approach to the Validation of Oral Language Tests (Studies in Language Testing, Series Number 14) - Anne Lazarton
19. Are Some Languages Better than Others? - R.M.W. Dixon.
20. The Expedition of Humphry Clinker - Tobias Smollet
21. Body Part Terms in Conceptualization and Language Usage - Iwona Kraska-Szlenk (Ed.)
22.Think Least of Death: Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die - Steven Nadler
23. Vuelta Skelter: Riding the Remarkable 1941 Tour of Spain - Tim Moore
24. Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction - David Lee

25. Space in Language and Cognition: Explorations in Cognitive Diversity - Stephen C. Levinson

389. pp

The author is one of the giants of contemporary linguistics, with a publication list as long as your arm. This book looks at the ways that speakers of different languages go about the business of describing spatial relations. There are three systems that humans can draw on to describe where something is at.
1) Relative- based on the planes of the human body (left/right, front/back, up down). Thus we say, 'the man is standing to the left of the tree'. Meaning left from the viewer's perspective.
2) Intrinsic - this exploits the features of an object. The man is standing in front of the car. He'll get run over if it moves.

(The problem here is that not all objects have fronts and back and sides. Cars- yes, trees -no. Classrooms- yes, living rooms -no)
So there can be confusion when saying something like, 'The man is standing in front of the ca'r. This could mean at the car's intrinsic front, or between the viewer and the car.

3) Absolute - this is often (not always) based around the cardinal directions, north, south, east and west.

This third system is available to westerners, but only at larger scales. 'Mount Fuji is west of Tokyo. Los Angeles is Noth of San Diego etc. For smaller scale descriptions this option is not available. The cup is north of the bottle sounds a bit odd to describe table top locations. However, some languages do exactly this. Drawing on extensive field work with speakers of the Aboriginal language Guugu Yiminthirr, Levinson shows how these speakers are able to keep track of cardinal directions on a moment-by-moment basis. 'George was sitting north of me at the campfire', or 'Hey, budge a bit south to let me pass' are completely normal for speakers of this language. (Unfortunately this, like many Australian languages is an endangered language and younger speakers are moving towards the relative system which is the default for English speakers).

Another language, Tzeltal, spoken in Mexico also has an absolute system, but in his case the directions reflect local topography. The land on which these speakers live is gradually sloping upward towards the north. So in this case speakers say things like 'The bottle is uphill of the cup'. Even at night and away from their home territory, Tzeltal speakers orient to this system. (In a hotel in an unfamiliar town, at night and indoors a speaker asks another speaker 'Does hot water come out of the uphill or downhill tap?')

There are interesting implications for ideas of cognitive universals, and Levinson basically concludes for a weak version of the Sapir Whorff hypothesis. Language and thought interact in complex ways and some patterns may come to predominate, leading to a lesser reliance and indeed difficulty in applying other systems. (Do you know where north is right now? Within 10 degrees of arc. A speaker of Guugu Yiminthirr most definitely would, with a high degree of accuracy, even indoors, at night and after rotation.)

An interesting and highly academic book. No 25 on this year's list so I'm gonna have to pick up the pace if I wanna reach 50...

Image
don't get me started
 
Posts: 1335

Country: Japan
Japan (jp)
Print view this post

Re: The Book Thread 2022

#262  Postby NamelessFaceless » Aug 03, 2022 8:50 pm

Audiobooks in Italics

1. Hope of Heaven - John O'Hara
2. Pal Joey - John O'Hara
3. Invitation to a Beheading - Vladimir Nabokov
4. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever - Bill O'Reilly
5. Haroun and the Sea of Stories - Salman Rushdie
6. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
7. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie
8. The Innocence of Father Brown - G.K. Chesterton
9. The Lost World - Arthur Conan Doyle
10 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
11. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

12. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
13. The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevsky
14. A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle

15. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (a re-read, this time listened)
16. Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Vernes (I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this!)
17. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (another re-read, this time listened)

18. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde (another one I previously read and have now listened)
19. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
20. The Greatest Show on Earth - Richard Dawkins
21. The Forward Collection: The Last Conversation (Paul Tremblay); Emergency Skin (N.K. Jemisin); Summer Frost (Blake Crouch); Ark (Veronica Roth); Randomize (Andy Weir); You Have Arrived at Your Destination (Amor Towles)
22. Beyond Good and Evil - Friedrich Nietzsche
23. Sarah - J.T. LeRoy
24. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
25. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson
26. The Arabian Nights - Andrew Lang
27. The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli
28. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

29. The Europeans - Henry James
30. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - Benjamin Franklin
31. Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories - Shirley Jackson
32. Hush Collection: Snowflakes (Ruth Ware); Treasure (Oyinkan Braithwaite); Slow Burner (Laura Lippman); Buried (Jeffrey Deaver); The Gift (Alison Gaylin); Let Her Be (Lisa Unger)
33. Rachel Ray - Anthony Trollope
34. Battlefield Earth - L. Ron Hubbard
35. Summer - Edith Wharton
36. Disorder Collection: The Best Girls (Min Jin Lee); Loam (Scott Heim); Ungirls (Lauren Beukes); Anonymous (Uzodinma Iweala); The Beckoning Fair One (Dan Chaon); Will Williams (Namwali Serpell)
User avatar
NamelessFaceless
 
Posts: 6268
Female

Country: USA (Pensacola, FL)
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: The Book Thread 2022

#263  Postby don't get me started » Aug 06, 2022 5:52 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
7. Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World - Nataly Kelly & Jost Zetzche
8. English Words: A Linguistic Introduction - Heidi Harley
9. Questions: Formal, Functional and Interactional Perspectives Jan P. de Ruiter (Ed.)
10. Persepolis Rising - James S.A. Corey
11. English Prepositions: Their meanings and uses - R.M.W. Dixon
12. Draußen vor der Tür - Wolfgang Borchert
13. Metonymy: Hidden Shortcuts in Language, Thought and Communication - Jeannette Liitlemore
14. Tiamat's Wrath - James S.A. Corey
15. Leviathan Falls - James S.A. Corey
16. The Horse, the Wheel and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World - David W. Anthony
17. The Unfortunate Traveler and Other Works - Thomas Nashe
18. A Qualitative Approach to the Validation of Oral Language Tests (Studies in Language Testing, Series Number 14) - Anne Lazarton
19. Are Some Languages Better than Others? - R.M.W. Dixon.
20. The Expedition of Humphry Clinker - Tobias Smollet
21. Body Part Terms in Conceptualization and Language Usage - Iwona Kraska-Szlenk (Ed.)
22.Think Least of Death: Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die - Steven Nadler
23. Vuelta Skelter: Riding the Remarkable 1941 Tour of Spain - Tim Moore
24. Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction - David Lee
25. Space in Language and Cognition: Explorations in Cognitive Diversity - Stephen C. Levinson

26. An Immigrant's Love Letter to the West - Konstantin Kisin

210 pp.

This author appeared in a video posted by Cito on the Ukraine thread. The speaker sounded interesting and I thought I'd pick up his book. It was interesting but not exactly what I thought it would be.

Kisin is an immigrant from Russia into the UK and he is very clear in his assertion that by every objective (and also by his confessedly subjective) criteria, Britain is a much better country in which to live. (The book was going to publication just as Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine - Kishin refrains from 'I told you so', but paints the criminal aggression as merely par for the course.)

He labels himself as a 'centrist' and points out the values that underpin the much of life in the west - a free press, freedom of speech, a flawed but still kind of functioning democratic system, tolerance, a commitment to rationalism and empiricism and the other things that we in the west often take for granted. He is clear that we very often fall woefully short of living up to our ideals, but there is some residual sense that these are ideals that are worth at least trying lo live up to - in stark contrast to the totalitarian states, theological nightmares, despotic political systems and general shithousery found in other places. Kishin laments the trend in some quarters to seeing a kind of negative exceptionalism regarding the west, the notion that somehow it is the very worst of humanity, and its record of colonialism, slavery, murder and mayhem is an outlier pathology with no parallel elsewhere in history.

I have to confess that some of his discourse on some topics strayed a bit too close to the Fox news/Daily mail worldview than I was comfortable with. (As a professional comedian who has had his ability to work because of cancellation, he has some skin in the game, but I still, don't like giving the 'cancel culture' mouthpieces of the right any ammunition.) But overall, it was a worthwhile read.

I'm also an immigrant (NOT an expat) and many of the things he talks about with regard to the facts of being an immigrant rang true.

Image
don't get me started
 
Posts: 1335

Country: Japan
Japan (jp)
Print view this post

Re: The Book Thread 2022

#264  Postby Blip » Aug 07, 2022 7:01 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
12. Monsieur Ka by Vesna Goldsworthy
13. The Fire Engine That Disappeared by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Joan Tate
14. Gorski by Vesna Goldsworthy
15. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
16. Murder at the Savoy by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Joan Tate
17. The Abominable Man by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Joan Tate
18. The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
19. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl part translated by Ilse Lasch
20. The Locked Room by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Paul Britten Austin
21. Cop Killer by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Thomas Teal
22. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
23. The Terrorists by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö translated by Joan Tate
24. The Other Name: Septology I-II by Jon Fosse translated by Damion Searls
25. I Is Another: Septology III-V by Jon Fosse translated by Damion Searls
26. A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse translated by Damion Searls
27. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
28. A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch
29. The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
30. Ruth & Pen by Emilie Pine
31. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
*My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood
32. The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
33. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
34. On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks
35. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
36. Treacle Walker by Alan Garner
37. Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
38. After Sappho by Selby Wynn Schwartz
39. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka

The Sri Lankan civil war from the perspective of a gay photojournalist's ghost, as he navigates an unfamiliar afterlife. It's rather splendid: my favourite on the longlist so far.
Evolving wrote:Blip, intrepid pilot of light aircraft and wrangler with alligators.
User avatar
Blip
Moderator
 
Posts: 21258
Female

Country: This septic isle...
Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Previous

Return to Books

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest