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Picture of Kalleh
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What is your summer reading list? I am reading "A Whole New Mind" for work, to gain some ideas on how to be innovative. However, I am looking for fun books.

Here is Christopher Borrelli's Top 5 summer reading books:

1. "The Leopard" by Giuseppe di Lampedusa

2. "The Oxford American Book of Great Music Writing"

3. "The Complete Game" by Ron Darling

4. "RAbbit at Rest" by John Updike (Shu has started it, but isn't impressed)

5. "The Food of a Younger Land" by Mark Kurlansky

What are yours?
 
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With the exception of John Updike, I confess I've never heard of any of those books, or their authors. I have also never heard of Christopher Borrelli.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I'm not a flag-waver (in fact, when I was drafted, my mother called me "The Reluctant Patriot")and I generally don't like biographies about war. But I have to highly recommend "Flags of OUr Fathers" by James Bradley. It's the book on which the Clint Eastwood movie was based and it is gripping. Bradley's father was not one of those TV-made heroes who made lots of money from his "bravery." He came home and never told anyone about the horrors he'd witnessed or the courage he exhibited during the fighting on Iwo Jima. It's a great and well-told story about a man who in this horrible fight never carried a weapon.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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"The Leopard" by Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Made into a movie, starring Burt Lancaster, directed by Luchino Visconti.

My current book stack includes:


  • Clark Hopkins (1979) The Discovery of Dura Europos.
  • David W Anthony (2007) The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-age Riders From the Eurasian Steps Shaped the Modern World.
  • Trevor R. Bryce (1999) The Kingdom of the Hittites.
  • Terence Parr (2007) The Definitive ANTLR Reference: Building Domain-specific Languages.
  • Jacques Ellul (1964) The Technological Society.


I am almost done with Hopkins; it is a good yarn about the excavation of a Roman/Parthian city in Mesopotamia. Anthony and Bryce are good reads, too. I've read most of Parr in bits and pieces now; it's well-written and funny. I haven't started Ellul's yet, but it's supposed to be a classic.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I don't have any of these books yet, but I'd like to read them this summer

Adam Roberts Yellow Blue Tibia
Terry Pratchett Nation
Enki Bilal Animal'z
Alexandro Jodorowsky, Charest & Janjetov Les Armes du Méta-Baron
Calvert Watkins How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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I've just encountered a first line in a non-fiction book that, for some reason, made me LOL: "I am standing in the magnificent lobby of the Hotel Metropole in Brussels, watching three Nobel laureates struggle with the elevator."

From "13 Things That Don't Make Sense" by Michael Brooks.
 
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Yesterday we drove up to the area gold was discovered in back in 1849. I grabbed a book of the library shelf: Alice Harris and Lyle Campbell Historical Syntax in Cross-Linguistic Perspective (1995, link). Got up to chapter 4 before we had to head home. It was scrumpsh.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I was out of reading as I was about to head from Durban to Chicago, and I picked up "The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga. I am enjoying it tremendously. It's fiction, and provides a satirical eye toward India's poor. I especially am enjoying the humor.
 
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Originally posted by goofy:
Adam Roberts Yellow Blue Tibia


I just read this. Stalin commissions some science fiction writers to write a story of alien invasion that will inspire the Russian people. It has to be so convincing that everyone in Russia will believe it. Then 40 years later, the surviving writers discover that their story is coming true. It's like the X Files episode Jose Chung from Outer Space set in the USSR. The title is a cross-linguistic pun, it sounds like the Russian for "I love you" (я люблю тебя ja ljublju tebja).
 
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Here's one which I haven't yet read but will at the first opportunity. At first, I thought it was my family history.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
"The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga. I am enjoying it tremendously. It's fiction, and provides a satirical eye toward India's poor. I especially am enjoying the humor.


Snap, Kalleh! This is the very book that inspired the Bangalore limerick game. I listened to it on CD, which I can recommend for the flawless narration and superb accents. Interestingly, the local pronunciation of Bangalore, I discovered, is BANG-law - they reduce it to 2 syls and almost completely lose the final "r".
 
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And this would be winter reading for you, eh Stella?

;-)

WM
 
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I am currently enjoying (for a book group), "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," by Mark Haddon. It is a mystery about a 15-year old boy with autism, or more likely, Asperger's syndrome. Particularly if you're a maths (as they call it) whiz (which I am not), you'll enjoy it. There is also plenty about words, etymology, and the use of metaphors, similes, and the like. We're going to be taking a "deep dive" into it, though I am still reading it at this point.
 
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And this would be winter reading for you, eh Stella?

;-)

WM


Yes, indeed, wordmatic - the wild, stormy weekend we just had was perfect reading weather! Smile

Now I'm on to my next Indian Booker winner (those British do love the Indian novel) The Inheritance Of Loss by Kiran Desai, also excellent, not in the satirical style of The White Tiger , but another humorous, engaging and beautifully written book.
 
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Snap, Kalleh and Stella! Just finished "White Tiger" for book club (we did Inheritance of Loss a while back..)

For those who enjoyed (or plan to enjoy) Lampedusa's "The Leopard"-- after a suitable breather (required, I feel after such a compact subtle work)-- you will also not be sorry to get this under your belt: "The Day of the Owl" by Leonardo Sciascia.
 
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I just finished "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," by Hadden for a book group. While I did enjoy the book (about a boy with Asperger's, from his point of view), I thought it a little simplistic for a book group. I did like it being from the kid's point of view though, as it reminded me of one of my favorite classic books, "The Sound and the Fury" by Faulkner.

Interestingly, I just picked up "White Tiger" in an airport and had known nothing about it. What a pleasant surprise!

BTW, if any of you more serious readers would like to join us, a few of us are considering reading one of the four greatest classical novels from China, "A Dream of Red Mansions" (sometimes translated as "Dream of the Red Chamber"). As you can see from the thread, the translation by Hawkes and Minford seems to be the best. In reading z's post there again, he says that's the Penguin version. I am still having trouble locating the books (they come in 5 volumes). Anyway we'd love some company in reading this huge classic!

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Apparently animals figure greatly in the titles of books on the summer reading list. (See Kalleh's last)
I'll try to peruse her aforementioned tomes as soon as I finish my summer "animal" read: "The Cat In The Hat."


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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I'd have thought "Cat on A Hot Tin Roof" was more your style, Proof. Yeah, OK, it's a play, but you can still read it.
 
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Here's a new book which some may find fascinating.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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My summer reading went like this...

Most interesting: The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño. My book club is reading the highly-regarded translation by Natasha Wimmer that came out last year. Scroll down from Amazon's book listing to "Editorial Reviews" for an interesting interview http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Detectives-Novel-Roberto-Bolano/dp/0374191484 with the translator, which touches on some of the issues of translation. Despite the title this is not a detective story but rather a literary romp and tour de force widely regarded as the first novel to get out from under the late '60's Latin American "Boom" writers (Garcia Marquez, Paz, Llosa) and establish a direction for subsequent generations. It is as much as anything an outspoken rebellion against that generation of writers, whose "revolutionary" ideals must be re-examined in the light of decades of protection by murderous government elites.

Along the same lines, for any of you that enjoy reading in Spanish, I am continuing a series of detective novels by Paco Ignacio Taibo II with Cosa Fácil. Of course Mexican Taibo II is no more a detective novelist than Bolaño. Taibo's family fled Franco's Spain in '58; he was a student activist and witness to the Tlatelalco massacre in '68. He adopts Raymond Chandler's 'noir' tone to spin rueful, cynical tales which are as much a commentary on the increasingly degenerate police state as they are nostalgic visits to the days when Mexico City was a hotbed of idealistic intelligentsia.

I took a big breather after "Savage Detectives" (500+ pages of literary romping is wearing Wink) with a couple of Lee Child page-turners, and two classics by Elmore Leonard (LaBrava and Road Dogs)
 
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I received a PM from bethree asking me about my reading of "A Dream of Red Mansions." I had looked in bookstores and online, but I hadn't gotten it. Therefore, I just went to Amazon and ordered Volumes I and V from the Penguin series, as all reviews (including my colleague's) say that that series has the better translation. I'll let you know how they are! Thanks for the nudge, bethree!
 
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I received my 2 books (Volumes I and V) from Amazon. Does anyone want to join me?
 
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Does anyone want to join me?

OK, I guess I'll try to get a copy of volume one.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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This will be Asa's next read: http://www.slate.com/id/2218650/pagenum/all/
 
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My Chinese friend is thrilled that I'll be reading it. Of the book, she said "Many of the struggles apply to what happens in our daily lives now." I've not started it because I am into something else, but I've scanned some of the poems. I wondered if it rhymes in Chinese. I'll have to ask my friend.
 
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I wondered if it rhymes in Chinese.

Some Chinese poems use rhyme and others do not. Your friend may opine differently.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Yes, I will ask her. It really doesn't matter to me if poetry rhymes or not, but I just wondered. I remember Shu telling me that he saw a Marx Brothers movie in French and it was amazing because, as in English, there were similar puns that were consistent with the action.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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I feel compelled to show the latest additions to the library at The Home for The Terminally Odd:
http://www.abebooks.com/books/...rdbX-_-image07#howto
 
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I stopped at "Critter Cuisine!" Yuck!
 
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I noticed "The Waterless Toilet." Is that only for dry heaves?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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quote:
Originally posted by Proofreader:
I noticed "The Waterless Toilet." Is that only for dry heaves?

Not sure, but it would have worked well for me yesterday. I commemorated 9/11 by having a colonoscopy. I had to purge my innards of anything and everything, so a toilet to me was analogous to someone playing "air guitar."

Some of us have all the fun! Roll Eyes
 
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Any ideas for books for this summer? I've been reading The Help, and it is wonderful...a real page-turner. I got into a cab on my way to the airport in Las Vegas, reading it, and my cab driver said, "I see you brought that big book to Las Vegas. Most people don't read while in Las Vegas." I had to snicker a bit. Smile

For Wordcrafters, it's a very interesting use of language. Chapters are told by different characters with different accents.
 
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I've been listening to the audio tape of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Washington Post review, and reading Tevye, the Milkman and Motl the Cantor's Son by Sholem Aleichem (Sholem Rabinowitz), 2009 translation by Aliza Shevrin.
 
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If you like stories told in multiple voices I've always been rather fond of George McDonald Fraser's "Black Ajax". It's not part of his Flashman series although one of Flashman's ancestors makes an appearance.
 
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Currently reading The Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh, Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" by David Bianculli, The Discovery of Language: Linguistic Science in the Nineteenth Century by Holger Pedersen, Defining Creole by John McWhorter, Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada, and A Linguist's Life by Otto Jespersen (a 1995 translation of his 1938 autobiography).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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If you like stories told in multiple voices I've always been rather fond of George McDonald Fraser's "Black Ajax".
I'll have to try it, Bob. One of my favorite books along those lines is Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury.

I am always reading several books at once, too, z. Sometimes I find it hard to keep them straight. Do you finish one and then start the next, or do you read them all at once?
 
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Do you finish one and then start the next, or do you read them all at once?

I read them all mixed together at once. I forgot to mention that I'm also reading Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk Killer" by David Cesarani.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Wow, the last one sounds good.
 
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Just finished The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts by Israel Finkelstein and just starting The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-de-Siècle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror by John Merriman.
 
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My book club just read "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian" by Marina Lewycka. I loved it & highly recommend it. Before that it was "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery; a tad intellectual (so French!) but it grew and grew on me. Wish I'd read it in French; someone heard the translation was not great. Am now reaching way back with Joyce Carol Oates' 'Childwold.'
 
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I like the idea of reaching back, Bethree. I am never disappointed when I do that. I'm about to start Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." I am not sure that I'll like it, though, even though it has been quite popular.
 
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I read The Help last year and loved it! I've recommended it to many people, and I'm glad you've enjoyed it, Kalleh!

I have listened to Neil Gaiman's American Gods at Simon's insistence and it was ok. I like Gaiman's writing a lot but the story isn't quite my cuppa. For Summer I most enjoy fluffy romances and cozy mysteries. We listened to a couple of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books and a couple of Lawrence Block's Burglar series while on vacation and we all enjoyed them very much.


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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I have a question...what do you do, CW, when a book isn't your "cuppa?" Do you finish it anyway? I struggle with that.
 
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Originally posted by Caterwauller:
I have listened to Neil Gaiman's American Gods at Simon's insistence and it was ok. I like Gaiman's writing a lot but the story isn't quite my cuppa.


Just goes to show how different people like different things. It's one of my favourite books. When I get round to it I have the expanded author's preferred text edition to read.
 
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So true, Bob. I loved "The White Tiger," whereas my daughter thought it was boring. It made me mad, really, that she'd think that because I liked it so much!
 
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Hey Kalleh my book club did Girl with the Dragon Tatoo a few months ago. I enjoyed it. I was impatient, & went so far as to order the audio-CD-books of parts 2 & 3 from the UK-- wonderfully read by a Swedish actor with fluent English. Nice to finally hear the flow of all those Swedish placenames (awfully bumpy in my imagination!). Wish the author had managed to sandwich in a few more trilogies before departing the scene...
 
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Ooh, Ooh, Kalleh, I loved The White Tiger too! (boring??) My book club, comprising about 1/3 expats, tends to read foreign writers, & we have done India/Pakistan to death in the last few yrs. I agree completely with this snippet of Publisher's Weekly's review (quoted at Amazon): "Balram is a clever and resourceful narrator with a witty and sarcastic edge that endears him to readers, even as he rails about corruption, allows himself to be defiled by his bosses, spews coarse invective and eventually profits from moral ambiguity and outright criminality. It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India."
 
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I almost felt bad that I liked Balram because I felt I shouldn't. But I was always rooting for him, it seemed. Great book!

I only picked up the Larsson book because everyone was raving about it. However, were I to choose a book from reading about it, that probably wouldn't have been one of my choices. We'll see.
 
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I've just finished reading The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum. Here's an article she wrote. I'm about 2/3 of the way through an audio tape of Richard Rhode's Deadly Feasts, the story of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs): kuru, scrapie, CJD, BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, AKA mad cow disease) and others.

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I've been reading "The Secret Life of Bees" for a reading group, and it reminds me of "The Help" because it also takes place in the '60s and racial issues are examined. Both of these books make me want to read more about racial relations in the '60s, particularly in the South...as well as a biography of Martin Luther King. Any ideas?
 
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