Read any good books recently?

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
Now having finsished The Quiet Girl by Peter Hoeg ( recommended)
now onto The Devil's Horn by Michael Segell; the history of the SDaxophone: its history and technical development from Adolphe Sax (who invented it c. 1840) to the end of the twentieth century. It includes extensive accounts of the instrument's history in jazz, rock and classical music as well as providing practical performance guides. Discussion of the repertoire and soloists from 1850 to the present day includes accessible descriptions of contemporary techniques and trends, and moves into the electronic age with midi wind instruments. There is a discussion of the function of the saxophone in the orchestra, in 'light music' and in rock and pop studios, as well as of the saxophone quartet as an important chamber music medium. The contributors to this volume are some of the finest performers and experts on the saxophone.

tootle tootle
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
Read "how big is your god" recently. I thought it would be catholic centered, but more religious/spirtual. Sort of reminds me of quite a few books by "Anthony de mello" The jesuits write quite a few spiritual books that are good.
 

Beto

Active Member
I'm still spending time in a GFFA (Galaxy Far Far Away) with the New Jedi Order series. Stuff is addictive. I figure I'll venture back into regular fiction at some point.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
Have been reading a bunch of Terry Pratchett's Disc World novels of late--Reaper Man, Mort, Feet of Clay, Witches Abroad. Currently reading The Fifth Elephant. Not great, but amusing, and smarter than generic pulp fiction.

Currently working on getting together the stamina and determination to either read The Man in the Iron Mask or The Brothers Karamazov, or to re-read (yet again) The Satanic Verses.
 

ChaChaMama

Well-Known Member
I can't believe I've never noticed this thread. I'm an English professor, so reading is a big part of my life.

Right now, I'm reading Life Class by Pat Barker (who won the Booker Prize for her Regeneration trilogy, set during WWI, and centering around the lives of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, among others.) This novel is about some art students of a variety of social classes in the year just prior to, during, and probably after WWI, though I'm not there yet! Barker stories are very involving and she captures social class and gender roles so well. Paul Tarrant (working-class, from the north) struggles with the fact that the slumlord Nan who left him the money that enabled him to go to art school would have considered art school absurd, while among his acquaintance are some who are to-the-manor-born and don't question this at all. Elinor struggles to maintain male-female friendships with men who want to go to bed with her. Very good so far.

Just prior to this, I read Diary of a Bad Year by J. M. Coetzee, which I LOVED! (Coetzee has won the Booker a couple times, most recently for Disgrace.) Very interesting style--rather postmodern--it has three separate narratives going on on each page. (Don't let that put you off, though; it's not hard to follow.) The basic story is that aging Senor C, a famous South African author now living in Australia, has been commissioned to contribute to a book of opinions. He falls in lust for a 30-ish woman in his building, and gets her to transcribe his tapes. She is a terrible transcriptionist, but he is doing it to get to spend time with her. The book is about their evolving relationship (which is not physical, but emotional and intellectual) and their relationship with her long-term live-in boyfriend Alan, who would like to stealthily, electronically borrow some of Senor C's substantial wealth to make money.

I am also reading student papers on Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in Great Works,teaching Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols in Great Works, and teaching Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace in my Woolf and Atwood seminar.

Peaches--I love Rushdie!

Ithink--I also really liked Atonement, and think it is McEwan's best. His most recent, On Chesil Beach, is interesting, but I felt like some of the historical details were a bit off.

I seem to be alone in not having cared for Life of Pi (which also won the Booker). I found it a little too reliant on its gimmick.

Sabor--You didn't like Love in a Time of Cholera? I did, but I could understand how someone could not. I think you have to buy in to the kind of excess that is common to magic realism, and I can see how that could be off-putting. My all-time favorite Marquez is One Hundred Years of Solitude. (I'm teaching that at the end of the semester in my Great Works course.) I wonder if you would like that better.

Becky
 

nucat78

Active Member
Yow! That dress is en fuego, CCM!

I continue to read the Aubrey/Maturin novels by O'Brian. Great if you love historical military fiction. I'm up to "The Far Side of the World" that they loosely patterned the Russell Crowe movie after. Probably will never make the Great Books list, but they're a lot of fun.
 

etp777

Active Member
Just finished up Michael Crichton's Airframe. That was a reread.

In process now of reading The Eye of the World, first of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, and Fatal Revenant (think that' sname), one of latest in Stephen R Donaldson's THomas Covenant series. Both good fantasy series, though definitely different
 
I'm rereading my favourite trilogy at the moment. It's an easy read (given its aimed at young adults/teens), but I just really enjoy it...it's the Old Kingdom Trilogy, by Garth Nix (an Australian author). I've just finished "Sabriel", am now reading "Lirael", and the final installment is "Abhorsen". I've read them so many times now that they're just good for a relaxing read (i've been reading them on and off since I was ten, so thats close to nine years...and I read them probably more than once a year...)
 
Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens

http: //www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881928542

I'd heard things here and there about native plants and how you should try and grow them...that it's "better" or something. But only after reading this book did I really understand WHY. In a nutshell, our native insects like to eat native plants. They're not as interested in exotic or "ornamental" plants because they don't know them (hence their popularity and being sold as "pest free"). But since our insects have fewer plants to feed off of, this results in fewer caterpillars, which results in fewer butterflies...it's a chain reaction....so then there is less food for our birds. And because the exotic plants are less susceptible to pests here, they thrive, become stronger, and then become invasive, sometimes literally strangling our native plants by blocking out their oxygen/sunlight.

Anyway, for gardeners interested in keeping up our insect/butterfly/bird populations, it's a good read.

[moderated by latingal - inactivated link to amazon, technically violates our commercial link policy...sorry - just being thorough/consistent!]
 

Beto

Active Member
Time to revive this thread :D

Finished the New Jedi Order and Dark Nest Crisis. Taking a small break from a Galaxy Far Far Away and have finally started on Jim Butcher's Small Favor, which I had picked up nearly 2 months ago but set aside.

Will either read Mario Acevedo's next book or Charlaine Harris' after I'm done with this one as they're both out in book stores.
 
I just finished Breakfast of Champions- I loved Vonnegut's economical use of language to send such strong messages- trippy illustrations, but it's definitely a book that will stick with me. I'm curious to read his other works.

Previous to reading that, I read Lolita- difficult subject matter, but one of the best novels I've ever read. How can someone write like that in a second language??? *bows down to Mr. Nabakov*

thinking of reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man next.
 

chachachacat

Well-Known Member
chachamama - I like Margaret Atwood, too.

dancesportgirl21 - I loved Kurt Vonnegut! I read all his old books in college in the 70's.
I have read some of his newer books too. He was an original voice. Rest in Peace, Kurt Vonnegut.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
I can't believe I've never noticed this thread. I'm an English professor, so reading is a big part of my life.

Right now, I'm reading Life Class by Pat Barker (who won the Booker Prize for her Regeneration trilogy, set during WWI, and centering around the lives of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, among others.) This novel is about some art students of a variety of social classes in the year just prior to, during, and probably after WWI, though I'm not there yet! Barker stories are very involving and she captures social class and gender roles so well. Paul Tarrant (working-class, from the north) struggles with the fact that the slumlord Nan who left him the money that enabled him to go to art school would have considered art school absurd, while among his acquaintance are some who are to-the-manor-born and don't question this at all. Elinor struggles to maintain male-female friendships with men who want to go to bed with her. Very good so far.

Just prior to this, I read Diary of a Bad Year by J. M. Coetzee, which I LOVED! (Coetzee has won the Booker a couple times, most recently for Disgrace.) Very interesting style--rather postmodern--it has three separate narratives going on on each page. (Don't let that put you off, though; it's not hard to follow.) The basic story is that aging Senor C, a famous South African author now living in Australia, has been commissioned to contribute to a book of opinions. He falls in lust for a 30-ish woman in his building, and gets her to transcribe his tapes. She is a terrible transcriptionist, but he is doing it to get to spend time with her. The book is about their evolving relationship (which is not physical, but emotional and intellectual) and their relationship with her long-term live-in boyfriend Alan, who would like to stealthily, electronically borrow some of Senor C's substantial wealth to make money.

I am also reading student papers on Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in Great Works,teaching Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols in Great Works, and teaching Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace in my Woolf and Atwood seminar.

Peaches--I love Rushdie!

Ithink--I also really liked Atonement, and think it is McEwan's best. His most recent, On Chesil Beach, is interesting, but I felt like some of the historical details were a bit off.

I seem to be alone in not having cared for Life of Pi (which also won the Booker). I found it a little too reliant on its gimmick.

Sabor--You didn't like Love in a Time of Cholera? I did, but I could understand how someone could not. I think you have to buy in to the kind of excess that is common to magic realism, and I can see how that could be off-putting. My all-time favorite Marquez is One Hundred Years of Solitude. (I'm teaching that at the end of the semester in my Great Works course.) I wonder if you would like that better.

Becky

I would enrol on your course -for all the wrong reasons ;)

I enjoyed a 100 years of Solitude but Chesil Beach which I heard as a radio play, left me cold.

Currently reading Schumacher's Small is Beautiful and Walden by Thoreau.
 

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