Whatcha Readin'?

For books, music, movies, TV shows, etc.
Cath B
Posts: 12938
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:34 am
Location: North of the Forth

Post by Cath B » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:50 am

[quote=""Cath B""]I haven't read enough of he book yet to judge how well its detailed descriptions can hold my attention in an era of superb wildlife documentaries on TV.[/quote]

So far it's doing pretty well:-
The puffin is probably the heaviet bird in proportion to his size I have handled and the most powerfully muscled. One cannot imagine a structural body more perfectly evolved and adapted to its several environments in its five dimensions under and on the sea, under and on the ground, and in the air. Yet a viscious flip of a gull's webs and this perfect mechanism, product of hundreds of thousands of years of trial and error, able to withstand the terrible buffetings of winter seas, was destroyed in a second. Rolling up his warm inch-thick cushion of tiny breast feathers, I could not bring myself to believe that this perfect creature, his spotless beauty unmarred by blood or shot, no longer possessed the elusive life force that had animated him so vitally a minute previously.

Cath B
Posts: 12938
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:34 am
Location: North of the Forth

Post by Cath B » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:00 pm

One thing which seemed odd at first is that a fit young man was allowed to while away his time observing puffins and razorbills on an offshore island in 1940 while a war was raging.

But I'm guessing that his keen eyes were also being used as a military look-out, and that the stealth required for ornithology might have enabled him to keep hidden and possibly pass out information if there had been an enemy landing and the more obvious targets of lighthouse men captured.

User avatar
ruby sparks
Posts: 7781
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:51 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Post by ruby sparks » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:20 pm

I have just finished, and enjoyed very much:

Image

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1849 ... UTF8&psc=1

User avatar
Michael T
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:11 am
Location: Plymouth UK

Post by Michael T » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:24 pm

I've just finished reading John Williams' Stoner and it was excellent. :thumbup:

Image

Now I'm reading John Updike's Rabbit Run. :)

Image


As for non fiction, I'm reading Peter Watson's A Terrible Beauty - The people and ideas that shaped the modern mind.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough - Awesome read! :cool:

Image
Last edited by Michael T on Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:50 pm, edited 7 times in total.

User avatar
Silly Sausage
Posts: 6460
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:06 am
Location: Planet Earth, sometimes.

Post by Silly Sausage » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:57 pm

I'm reading these for my current OU module:

Image
Image

I don't have to read all of the anthology, just the bits I need for my course.

And I'm reading this for my next OU module (starts in October):

Image

I'm starting now as its rather long!

And I'm reading these for fun:

Image
Image
Image

I tend to dip in and out of these due to my other commitments, so I won't be getting to the end of them in a hurry.
"Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet" - Professor Stephen Hawking

Cath B
Posts: 12938
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:34 am
Location: North of the Forth

Post by Cath B » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:51 pm

I'm still reading books from David's collection.

I'm currently reading one I gave him, Richard Mabey's Flora Britannica, a guide to the native and naturalised plants of Britain and our love/hate relationship wih them.

A botanical feast.

Cath B
Posts: 12938
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:34 am
Location: North of the Forth

Post by Cath B » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:55 pm

Years ago David, sister Eleanor and I were all very impressed with Hermann Hesse.

T tried to reread Siddhartha and Steppenwolf recently but found myself getting fed up with the protagonists' self-absorbtion and didn't finish either of them.

I wonder whether or not I'll ever give them another go.

User avatar
Old Woman in Purple
Posts: 12010
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:19 pm
Location: Hoffman Estates, IL

Post by Old Woman in Purple » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:04 pm

I'd like to expand my collection of audiobooks on CD to listen to while quilting, but am rather limited by my budget.

I had accumulated a small number of books on cassette tapes, but wore most of them out from repeated playings, thus my current preference for CDs, tho they are more pricey.

I tend towards Science Fiction/Fantasy, and historical stuff.

Cath B
Posts: 12938
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:34 am
Location: North of the Forth

Post by Cath B » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:11 am

[quote=""Cath B""]Years ago David, sister Eleanor and I were all very impressed with Hermann Hesse.

T tried to reread Siddhartha and Steppenwolf recently but found myself getting fed up with the protagonists' self-absorbtion and didn't finish either of them.

I wonder whether or not I'll ever give them another go.[/quote]

Looking now at David's copies of Narziss and Goldmund and The Glass Bead Game. I don't think he'd looked at them in years.

Shall I hoard them in case I try reading them again or let them go? :d unno:

I'm wondering that about so many books here!

I am so indecisive!

I suspect "If in doubt, chuck it out" is the most sensible approach, but when have I ever been sensible about such things? :d unno:

User avatar
subsymbolic
Posts: 13371
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:29 pm
Location: under the gnomon

Post by subsymbolic » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:48 pm

[quote=""Cath B""]Years ago David, sister Eleanor and I were all very impressed with Hermann Hesse.

T tried to reread Siddhartha and Steppenwolf recently but found myself getting fed up with the protagonists' self-absorbtion and didn't finish either of them.

I wonder whether or not I'll ever give them another go.[/quote]

I have precisely that problem, but I love The Glass Bead Game. In fact, for extra fun read that then follow it up with Bank's The Player Of Games, because Banks is a real smart arse.

User avatar
subsymbolic
Posts: 13371
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:29 pm
Location: under the gnomon

Post by subsymbolic » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:49 pm

Anyway, I'm just finishing this:

http://maclehosepress.com/book/Look-Who ... 0w6p_ldWWk

Which is as thought provoking as it is amusing.

User avatar
Samnell
Posts: 3843
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:45 am
Location: Northeastern Lower Michigan, USA

Post by Samnell » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:44 am

Read Robert E. May's The Southern Dream of a Caribbean Empire, which is I think the standard history of filibustering in the antebellum era. It's forty years old and limited, a fact May acknowledges in the afterwards and forwards put in later editions. (Mine is the 2002 copy.) So naturally I went right into his Manifest Destiny's Underground: Filibustering in Antebellum America. Because I am that guy. I even ordered them together.

I might have done better to read something else in between. The content is fine, and it's got plenty of new insights, but I am reading the same person writing about the same subject matter in much the same way. Should've done Foner's book on Lincoln and slavery in between, maybe, or gone back and finished Alan Taylor's American Colonies.

Or read some fiction.
I have a blog about nineteenth century America. It's theoretically educational!

User avatar
Roo St. Gallus
Posts: 8148
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:32 pm
Location: Cascadia

Post by Roo St. Gallus » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:12 pm

Image

and

Image
IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!

bored poster
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 7:01 am

Post by bored poster » Wed May 14, 2014 8:12 am

I'm reading Stephen Mitchell's translation of the epic of Gilgamesh. This version does a pretty good job of presenting the epic as a cohesive work of literature versus the fragmented takes I've usually come across.

User avatar
Pendaric
Posts: 8508
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:05 pm

Post by Pendaric » Sat May 17, 2014 1:47 pm

Just finished listening to the audio book of 'The Kite Runner', written and read by Khaled Hosseini. Wow. There's a reason why it won so many awards.

I've been to the library today and picked up the audiobook of the other novel he's known for, 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'.

I've also been reading a bit of sci-fi, specifically Philip K Dick - got through 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' and 'A Scanner Darkly'.

After not using it for decades, I've rejoined my local library. In a quest to stop books taking up all usable space in my house I have resolved not to buy a physical book again - they will either be Kindle purchases or library borrows. Now I've just got to decide what to do about the thousands of books already here...
fear is the mind killer

sohy
Posts: 10981
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:32 pm
Location: Georgia, USA

Post by sohy » Sat May 17, 2014 2:04 pm

I don't usually post on this thread but I just finished reading Narrative of a Slave by Frederick Douglas, for the second time. It's a very short but extremely well written book, amazing considering Douglas was a slave who after learning to read, taught other slaves how to read as well. I wish everyone would read this book, especially our current crop of far right Americans who don't seem to have a good understanding of what slavery actually entailed.

The other thing I love about books like his, is that they illustrate both the depths of despair and the rise above oppression that are often a part of the human experience.

User avatar
Rie
Posts: 12272
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:02 am
Location: Australia

Post by Rie » Fri May 23, 2014 12:35 am

Claire Seeber's second book "Bad Friends"

There was an eerie synchronicity to re-reading her book titled "Fragile Minds" which was set around the Royal Academy of Dance with characters easily recognisable from the dance scene and to our sorrow we heard that Gailene Stock had died from a brain tumour after a 2 year battle. She taught Dancing Daughter.
"You understand?" said Ponder
"No. I was just hoping that if I didn't say anything you'd stop trying to explain things to me." - Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero

Cath B
Posts: 12938
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:34 am
Location: North of the Forth

Post by Cath B » Fri May 23, 2014 7:32 am

I've been doing more reading over the last few weeks since loosing regular internet access (now available again). The books came from David B's bookshelves.

I recently reread The Left Hand of Darkness, taking it at a slower pace than the last time I dashed though I and thereby enjoying it all the more.

I found myself reflecting on the way my responses to a book can vary, perhaps in part in line with what I perceive as parallels with my own experiences. The last time I read this book I became impatient with the long treck through the snow and ice towards the end and skimmed though it. This time I savoured it and was very struck with Estraven's response to a beautiful mountain scene observed at his and the narrator's time of struggle:-
“Estraven stood there in harness beside me looking at that magnificent and unspeakable desolation. ‘I am glad I have lived to see this,’ he said.
http://ekostories.com/2013/12/26/left-h ... ure-other/
Last edited by Cath B on Fri May 23, 2014 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
DMB
Posts: 41484
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: Mostly Switzerland

Post by DMB » Fri May 23, 2014 9:26 am

[quote=""Pendaric""]Just finished listening to the audio book of 'The Kite Runner', written and read by Khaled Hosseini. Wow. There's a reason why it won so many awards.

I've been to the library today and picked up the audiobook of the other novel he's known for, 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'.

I've also been reading a bit of sci-fi, specifically Philip K Dick - got through 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' and 'A Scanner Darkly'.

After not using it for decades, I've rejoined my local library. In a quest to stop books taking up all usable space in my house I have resolved not to buy a physical book again - they will either be Kindle purchases or library borrows. Now I've just got to decide what to do about the thousands of books already here...[/quote]

I gave thousands away some 3+ years ago. Now I do my best to stick to kindle. Mr DMB and I use the same kindle account, so we can share books. That's because he's much too lazy ever to manage a kindle account. We have enough interests in common to make it feasible.

User avatar
DMB
Posts: 41484
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: Mostly Switzerland

Post by DMB » Fri May 23, 2014 9:41 am

Recent kindle reads:
  • A Delicate Truth by John Le Carré;
  • rereading some of Nancy Mitford's novels, having bought the incredibly cheap The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford;
  • Living with Chronic Pain by Jennifer P Schneider;
  • Danger to Elizabeth: The Catholics Under Elizabeth I by Alison Plowden;
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence In History And Its Causes by Steven Pinker;
  • George Sand by Belinda Jack;
  • Un hiver à Majorque by George Sand

Valheru
Posts: 6995
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 7:46 am

Post by Valheru » Fri May 23, 2014 10:15 am

I'm hitting LOTR again. Last time I read it was over 20 years ago, in my teens.

I'm enjoying it much much more this time round.

Cath B
Posts: 12938
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:34 am
Location: North of the Forth

Post by Cath B » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:14 pm

I recently read David Starkey's Henry - Virtuous Prince which I found enjoyably vivid though I was a bit irritated by Starkey's habit of ending each short section with what struck me as a contrived minor cliff-hanger.

I then caught up with a backlog of British Trust for Ornithology Garden Birdwatch mags which I can now offer to my next door neighbours who are fond of the feathered folk.

I've just started Judy Dench's autobiography but while I'm finding the content reasonably interesting I'm rather disappointed in the writing style so not sure whether I'll finish it.

Both the above books were picked up cheap in charity shops. I'll hang onto Henry for now but will hand Judy back once I've finished with her.

User avatar
Zorn's Lemon
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:40 pm
Location: The Euclidean Plane

Post by Zorn's Lemon » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:41 am

I am being very dull and am reading this:

Image

It is extremely interesting.

Valheru
Posts: 6995
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 7:46 am

Post by Valheru » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:10 am

Being all common and chavvy myself:

Image Image

bored poster
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 7:01 am

Post by bored poster » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:11 pm

I'm on a fantasy kick myself:
Image
Image

Post Reply