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Thread: What books are you currently reading?

  1. #5821
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    A Wonderful Book About Science at the Edge of Certainty: Kermit Pattison's Fossil Men, The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind. See my review in the Groups in Book Chat or in Talk Science.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Dec-29-2020 at 00:03.

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  3. #5822
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
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    Shakespeare - Romeo & Juliett

    Finding it a bit slow. I'm half-way through and Tony hasn't even been mentioned yet.

  4. #5823
    Senior Member DaveM's Avatar
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    Inspired to read this since George Blake just passed away at 98 in Russia, lauded by Putin as a national hero:

    6139BACF-1EAD-42B4-AB93-35F5FE577F25.jpeg

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  6. #5824
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    My favorite things I read this year:

    Tolstoy - The Death of Ivan Ilych
    Eliot - Middlemarch
    Conrad - Nostromo
    James - The Portrait of a Lady
    Dostoevsky - The Idiot
    Shusako Endo - Silence
    Annie Dillard - Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
    Shakespeare - The Tempest, Othello, Love’s Labour’s Lost
    Sara Baume - Spill Simmer Falter Wither (a very recent novel by an extremely talented young writer, highly recommended)
    Lots of poetry and short fiction

    And music-related:
    Alex Ross - The Rest is Noise
    Harold C. Schonberg - The Lives of the Great Composers
    John Eliot Gardiner - Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven
    James R. Gaines - Evening in the Palace of Reason
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

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  8. #5825
    Junior Member Ad Astra's Avatar
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    More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth & Belief - Bernardo Kastrup

  9. #5826
    Junior Member WNvXXT's Avatar
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  11. #5827
    Junior Member Fazioli's Avatar
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    Very detailed and informative.


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  13. #5828
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    I was reading nonstop all December and read some great books, mostly short. Some highlights include a few by Haruki Murakami: Men Without Women, Norwegian Wood, Hear the Wind Sing, and Pinball, 1973. He's a new discovery for me, though I have read his longform Ozawa interview book called Absolutely On Music, which I also enjoyed. I find much to relate to in Murakami and I find him an interesting writer.

    Outside of that, I read the first few Sherlock Holmes novels and some of the short stories, for the first time; all good fun reading, nothing too serious. I reread some great books: The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, neither of which I had read since high school or early college. I read a few great plays by Henrik Ibsen: Hedda Gabler and The Master Builder, both of which were absolutely phenomenal.

    Most recently, I've started Honoré de Balzac's Père Goriot, which I'm about halfway through. So far, so good.

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  15. #5829
    Member ToneDeaf&Senile's Avatar
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    I surprised myself by completing forty-five novel-length books during 2020. I suspect I'll never come close to that total again, let alone surpass it, this lifetime. The vast majority were Fantasy, a few non-fiction. I even read several 'classics', rare for me. I have a two-way tie for Best Re-read of the Year: Guy Gavriel Kay's "The Lions of Al-Rassan" (fantasy) and Bruce Catton's three-volume "The Army of the Potomac" (non-fiction, chronicling the Union's premier army during the US civil War). I ended up picking "The Witcher" series (fantasy) as Best Initial Read(s) of the Year, though I'm not as fond of it as many young BookTubers seem to be. Unlike some years, I had no great dissapointments, so no 2020 Worst Read of the Year. I'm currently reading "The Breaking of Northwall", first book of Paul O. Williams' "Pebar Cycle". I don't yet know if I'll continue on with Pelbar or start digging into a too-high iniital read TBR stack.

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  17. #5830
    Junior Member Ad Astra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazioli View Post
    Very detailed and informative.

    Loved it!

    As for me just here looking for new books.

  18. #5831
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Four Princes by John Julius Norwich. Rather good history book about four contemporary powerful rulers. Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V and Suleiman the Magnificent.
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

    ‘When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!‘

    ‘I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous!’

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  20. #5832
    Senior Member senza sordino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToneDeaf&Senile View Post
    I surprised myself by completing forty-five novel-length books during 2020. I suspect I'll never come close to that total again, let alone surpass it, this lifetime. The vast majority were Fantasy, a few non-fiction. I even read several 'classics', rare for me. I have a two-way tie for Best Re-read of the Year: Guy Gavriel Kay's "The Lions of Al-Rassan" (fantasy) and Bruce Catton's three-volume "The Army of the Potomac" (non-fiction, chronicling the Union's premier army during the US Civil War). I ended up picking "The Witcher" series (fantasy) as Best Initial Read(s) of the Year, though I'm not as fond of it as many young BookTubers seem to be. Unlike some years, I had no great disappointments, so no 2020 Worst Read of the Year. I'm currently reading "The Breaking of Northwall", the first book of Paul O. Williams' "Pebar Cycle". I don't yet know if I'll continue on with Pelbar or start digging into a too-high initial read TBR stack.

    Good for you for reading forty-five novel-length books, that's impressive. I don't know any of the books or authors you mentioned.

    I read a mere fourteen books, not quite a record for me, but it's been years since I read that many. I usually set a goal of reading twelve books a year, and never meet that goal. In 2020 I surpassed that goal by two books. My favorites were Watership Down by Richard Adams and the two Stephen Fry Greek mythology books: Mythos and Heroes.

    I'm currently reading A Promised Land by Obama, on my new Kindle. It's a lot easier holding a Kindle than a 700 plus page hardcover book. Now that I have a Kindle, I'll probably read some more new hardcover books.

  21. #5833
    Junior Member WNvXXT's Avatar
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  22. #5834
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
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    Just finished Roget's Thesaurus. I thought it was rubbish, dross, garbage, refuse, pointless, superfluous, redundant .....
    My new year's resolution is to buy less new music and listen more to the absolutely STUPID amount of music I already have.

  23. #5835
    Member ToneDeaf&Senile's Avatar
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    At 2035 last night, 13 Jan 2021, I completed a fourth read of Paul O. Williams' The Breaking of Northwall, book one of his Pelbar Cycle. It's another of those sagas set long after 'our' civilization was utterly destroyed due to nuclear conflict. Remnants of survivors exist as hostile tribes (for lack of a better term). Book one's chief protagonist belongs to a peaceful, woman-run, tribe who remain safely isolated within their several well-built fortress-cities. Through his many adventures/misadventures, he manages to instill a fledgling union with several formerly adversarial tribes, capped at book's end by those tribes coming together to defeat a new, cruel, technologically advanced enemy bend on capturing Northwall, one of the Pelbar strongholds. The book is overall well done, with an especially strong closing battle.

    My originally intent was to not continue the series but instead move on to something in my initial-read TBR pile. I'm reevaluating that.

    Quote Originally Posted by senza sordino View Post
    Good for you for reading forty-five novel-length books, that's impressive. I don't know any of the books or authors you mentioned.

    I read a mere fourteen books, not quite a record for me, but it's been years since I read that many. I usually set a goal of reading twelve books a year, and never meet that goal. In 2020 I surpassed that goal by two books. My favorites were Watership Down by Richard Adams and the two Stephen Fry Greek mythology books: Mythos and Heroes.

    I'm currently reading A Promised Land by Obama, on my new Kindle. It's a lot easier holding a Kindle than a 700 plus page hardcover book. Now that I have a Kindle, I'll probably read some more new hardcover books.
    I'm passing familiar with Watership Down. I believe I read it on-borrow from a friend decades ago. Those books on Greek mythology sound appealing, both subject matter and author (who is known to me, but not as a writer).

    The Kay (Al Rassan) is a strong recommendation from me if you enjoy well written fantasy. To be fair, Kay's books or more 'historic fiction (well researched) with supernatural elements thrown in' than pure modern fantasy. Except his first publication, Fionavar Tapestry, a Tolkienesque epic fantasy. Al Rassan is the better choice to sample, IMO. If you don't care for that, you probably won't enjoy the rest of Kay's output.

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