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News: 2020 Election day live thread: https://talkelections.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=409870.0

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  What Book Are You Currently Reading?
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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 355671 times)
Old School Republican
Computer89
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« Reply #1150 on: December 16, 2014, 12:24:51 AM »

The NAtional Debt by Robert Kelly
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Gustaf
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« Reply #1151 on: December 20, 2014, 10:25:56 AM »

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. After that I'll be working through a big stack of books that I accumulated as birthday presents recently.

What did you think? I'm a big Rushdie fan but that wasn't one of my favourites.
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Murica!
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« Reply #1152 on: December 22, 2014, 11:25:10 PM »

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Earnest Hemingway. And Yes I somehow haven't read it yet.
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Third-rate mob consigliere Rudy Giuliani
Nathan
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« Reply #1153 on: December 26, 2014, 07:45:00 AM »

I've just started Froth on the Daydream by Boris Vian, one of my Christmas presents. It sure is...something. 'The kitchen mice liked to dance to the sounds made by the rays of the sun as they bounced off the taps, and then run after the little bubbles that the rays burst into when they hit the ground like sprays of golden mercury.' 'He decorated the centre of the table with a pharmaceutical jar in which a pair of embryonic chickens seemed to be dancing Nijinsky's choreography for The Spectre of the Rose.' 'But you know I never read anything but Jean Pulse Heartre.' (Biographical note: Apparently the author's wife cheated on him with Sartre.) Those sentences happened. And I'm only in the first chapter!
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TNF
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« Reply #1154 on: December 26, 2014, 09:33:04 AM »

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Libertarian Socialist Dem
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« Reply #1155 on: December 27, 2014, 07:49:44 PM »

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
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politicus
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« Reply #1156 on: December 28, 2014, 10:37:15 AM »


Good one. Do you enjoy it?
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anvi
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« Reply #1157 on: December 28, 2014, 11:23:21 AM »


I loved this book too.  Hilarious and revealing.  I didn't like the follow-up 'Tis very much, but, especially given what I do for a living, really appreciated Teacher Man that came next.
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checkers
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« Reply #1158 on: December 29, 2014, 04:00:14 AM »
« Edited: December 29, 2014, 04:07:29 AM by beatrice »

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. After that I'll be working through a big stack of books that I accumulated as birthday presents recently.

What did you think? I'm a big Rushdie fan but that wasn't one of my favourites.

Loved it. It was my first of his books though, so I imagine that a lot of what I liked so much about it - the prose, the imaginativeness of the magic realism and how that integrated with the politics of the region - are general Rushdie, so maybe it would have been more disappointing had I come to it after reading his other works. What didn't you like about it?
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Mopolis
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« Reply #1159 on: December 30, 2014, 12:07:26 PM »

I recently picked up a translation of P. Boissonnade's Life and Work in Medieval Europe from a Salvation Army store (it seemed interesting enough to invest $.65 in). Has anyone here read it?
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« Reply #1160 on: December 30, 2014, 02:27:38 PM »

I bought Halperin and Heilemann's Double Down book on the 2012 election a few weeks ago, and I'm really enjoying it so far. Game Change was excellent in 2008, so I definitely wanted to read their latest one.
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Libertarian Socialist Dem
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« Reply #1161 on: December 30, 2014, 03:52:52 PM »


Loving every page of it, it's a classic tragicomedy.
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TNF
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« Reply #1162 on: December 31, 2014, 11:19:28 AM »

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afleitch
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« Reply #1163 on: January 02, 2015, 04:44:40 PM »

Just read the very short Ginga Tetsudō no Yoru by Kenji Miyazawa.
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Third-rate mob consigliere Rudy Giuliani
Nathan
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« Reply #1164 on: January 02, 2015, 04:50:22 PM »

Just read the very short Ginga Tetsudō no Yoru by Kenji Miyazawa.

!!!!!!!

What did you think? Miyazawa is one of my favorites.
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National Progressive
General Mung Beans
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« Reply #1165 on: January 02, 2015, 05:21:56 PM »

Speaking of Japanese literature currently reading Botchan by Umeji Soseki.
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Third-rate mob consigliere Rudy Giuliani
Nathan
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« Reply #1166 on: January 02, 2015, 05:37:32 PM »

Speaking of Japanese literature currently reading Botchan by Umeji Soseki.

Nastume Soseki. Umeji Sasaki is the translator. (Botchan's an absolute delight. If you like it maybe also try Wagahai wa neko de aru.)
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Vega
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« Reply #1167 on: January 02, 2015, 05:40:01 PM »

Thanks to Mikado, I'm reading Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain by John Darwin.
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afleitch
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« Reply #1168 on: January 02, 2015, 05:46:02 PM »

Just read the very short Ginga Tetsudō no Yoru by Kenji Miyazawa.

!!!!!!!

What did you think? Miyazawa is one of my favorites.

It was lovely. I was sent it by e-mail; it's a 'good' translation as I don't know Japanese and I trust the opinion of the person who sent it to me!

I didn't read it to discern what are obviously multiple syncretic metaphors. That takes the fun out of reading the story. So I read it at face value, then read it again. I think there are a number of different  ways to look at the story and I think that's wonderful. I suppose I do get a bit of free thought and humanism from it and I suppose I should outline why.

Campanella (which must surely be a nod to the Campanella who 'inadvertently' (wink wink) made one of the greatest cases for free thought of his era) is beautifully written, even if there's very little we know about him other than his immense kindness. Given the name, we seem to be looking at two sides of the same person in Campanella and Giovanni. I see a bit of 'free thinking' within Giovanni, especially when he is awed by the fossil hunter. The 'Christians' seem to depart the train at the 'Northern Cross' and the Southern Cross which is interesting because the Southern Cross was imposed as a sign by a Christian west and Cygnus has at various times been co-opted but deep down is linked to the story of Phaethon and Cycnus; the themes of drowning and brotherly devotion coming through there. That might just be me though.

The exchange between Giovanni and Kaoru on the nature of god is very curt. I laughed as it's essentially a shortened but word for word version of what I talked about on the forum a few weeks ago. Giovanni seems more interested in the journey rather than what each stop is, but he was sorry to say goodbye to them. Campanella does not have the same ticket, but he never get's off the train. He never takes any of the stops. He's happy for the company and he vanishes, blissfully it seems in the 'nothingness' of the coal sack. Every end, every happiness, every 'duty' is on that train and it keeps going.

So it is what it is. And it was beautiful.
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National Progressive
General Mung Beans
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« Reply #1169 on: January 03, 2015, 04:20:54 AM »

Speaking of Japanese literature currently reading Botchan by Umeji Soseki.

Nastume Soseki. Umeji Sasaki is the translator. (Botchan's an absolute delight. If you like it maybe also try Wagahai wa neko de aru.)

Excuse me for my gross error. I do hope to read some more East Asian literature over the next few months.
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Third-rate mob consigliere Rudy Giuliani
Nathan
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« Reply #1170 on: January 04, 2015, 04:02:32 PM »

afleitch, I think you'd enjoy some of Miyazawa's poetry. It's circumspectly spiritual in a way that can't really be called religious as such (although Miyazawa personally was devoutly Buddhist) and shows a firm and actually really beautiful grounding in an understanding of the natural sciences--particularly agricultural science, which was Miyazawa's day job.
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anvi
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« Reply #1171 on: January 05, 2015, 09:24:01 PM »

At the moment I'm reading through Seven Elements that Changed the World by John Browne.  With the exception of a few parts so far that are a little hoaky, it's an interesting read.  Unexpected to find a book by a former BP exec who believes in anthropogenic climate change and thinks multiple things should be done to address its challenges.

In coming months I'd like to get to two other books, Becoming Richard Pryor by Scott Saul, a bio of the early years of one of my favorite comedians, and Circling Around the Midnight Sun by James Raffan, which is about the peoples who live around the Arctic Circle.
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Representative Joe Mad
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« Reply #1172 on: January 05, 2015, 11:15:44 PM »

Reading A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign (quite a mouthful) by Edward J. Larson.  Rooney recommended it as a good book that took place in early US history, and so far it hasn't disappointed.  It is making me realize how little I know about the early history of my nation.  Hamilton's and Adams' monarchical sympathies, Jefferson's fears of encroaching tyranny, outrage at standing armies and the Alien and Sedition Acts.  Some good stuff here.
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TNF
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« Reply #1173 on: January 06, 2015, 10:25:38 PM »



Reading in anticipation of a talk I'm attending on Marxism and Anarchism this weekend.
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Foucaulf
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« Reply #1174 on: January 07, 2015, 12:58:02 AM »

Before I came back to school, I finally looked through Jacobs's The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Good book, too literary/long-winded, and in IRC I made the following points:

1) It turns out Robert Lucas, famous economist, took her idea of growth through diversity and formalized it, and the way she keeps referring to this idea of "people have their own preferences" is the most econ thing of all.

2) I thought it was amusing how she throws out discrimination against Blacks in mortgages and housing casually, and in fifty years' time that's lost, rediscovered and lights up the internet. This is news to the people on my private college, awed at long-form essays by Ta-Nehisi Coates et al., many of which, of course, grew up in homogeneous suburbs.

3) The "unslumming procedure" described by Jacobs, focused on strategic placement of services to increase diversity in depopulated poor neighbourhoods, has rarely been seen in real life. Instead, we have gentrification. Gentrification is all about entry of certain types of people, and it's too bad if urban planning bet too much of its agenda on classifying those types.


On the side I flipped through an introductory guide to Saul Kripke's philosophy, which is a trip! The organizing principles of what I read were the formalization of modal logic through possible worlds, and the existence of rigid designators across them. The results are strikingly beautiful, and I wish I had time to read on his theory of reference.
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