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Just read "Lincoln in the Bardo" by George Saunders. "Bardo" is a Buddhist term roughly parallel to purgatory. Unique, thought-provoking, poignant. Warning: though called a novel (& there are plot & characters), the format is reminiscent of earlier forms like Greek drama, & epic poetry - sprinkled with snippets of historical letters & diaries, delivered Greek-chorus style - w/a little Spoon River Anthology thrown in. The setting is 1862, the triggering event Lincoln's sudden loss of young son at a time when he is sending many sons off to die. But here, that's a springboard for a meditation on death & life, love & loss.
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
I just finished "Clock Dance" by Anne Tyler. I absolutely loved it. However, maybe I get why some of you were saying Anne Tyler writes dark books. I don't like "dark," but people do die and get sick and divorced, all things that happen in normal life. Perhaps some take this as being dark. She doesn't focus on those areas, so I just think she is being real. I love how she draws me into her characters. Each book she writes, I am so engrossed that I don't want the book to end - and in fact I am a little sad when it does end. I highly recommend it.


On your recommendation, I will try her soon. Thanks!
 
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Originally posted by Geoff:
Halfway through a biograply of Tesla. Damn, I'm dull... Frown


What's the title, Geoff? Did you enjoy it? Some biographies are so thought-provoking and inspiring. I wouldn't necessarily think that a book on Tesla would be dull! So, that means you aren't!
 
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Originally posted by BobHale:
With the full cast dramas I find it can be very variable and it depends not just on the actors but on other factors - chiefly on the writing and the music.

A good writer for audio productions can keep a good level of clarity but someone who is used to writing for TV or film will often clutter things up by having characters excessively describing their surroundings. But the best ones are really very good.

As for the music it needs to be far more deftly done for audio productions as the slightest misstep can swamp the whole thing. Fortunately for us Doctor Who fans there as some excellent writers at Big Finish so the good productions far outnumber the bad ones.


I have been reading some of these posts again, and I came upon this one and a few others where we were discussing this. I was thinking how I don't like full productions usually and that many movies I can't take because of the music and noise level. For me, in most cases, subtler is better. Background noise can interfere with being able to hear the dialogue. Also, in nonfiction books, there is usually only one voice speaking in audio renditions. So, it seems important for that voice to be pleasing. I think authors don't always realize that they should have someone else read their books for the audio version.

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-- all the Daniel Silva novels - Israeli Secret Service in action. Gabriel Allon is also a world-class art-restorer. Another (#18 in the series) is coming out later this month.
-- a bunch of David Baldacci novels, generally the Will Robie series (world-class assassins, but with a conscience) and the Memory Man series (football player turned cop after head trauma gave him an eidetic memory and synesthia and maybe Asberger's Syndrome).
-- a bunch of Andrea Camilleri mysteries, involving Inspector Salva Montalbano of the Sicilian police. A true Italian gentleman. (Vaguely reminiscent of Elliott Paul's writing, now that I think of it - see the Mysterious Mickey Finn and Hugger-Mugger in the Louvre, among others.)
-- Malka Older: Infomocracy and Null States - books one and two of the Centenal Cycle. Book Three is due out in a week or two. Malka happens to be a friend and classmate of my son, as is Dara Horn, author of All Other Nights, which I particularly recommend.

PS. Infomocracy is particularly relevant after the 2016 election.
 
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So, many books to read!

Here's a list I found:

List
 
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Originally posted by sattva:
So, many books to read!

Here's a list I found:
List

Of the hundred books on that list I've only read 33.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Wow, those are some good books. Hab, Infomocracy sounds intriguing. I may read it, though I have a lot of books on my waiting list.

How many books to all of you read? I was at a family reunion this weekend, and one person there reads 190 (or so) books a year. I just wouldn't have the time.
 
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I have no idea. I usually listen to anywhere from 1 to 5 or 6 books a week. Sometimes, like now, I have several books going at once, but that is more often with non-fiction books. If I am reading a fiction book that I like, I often can't stop it until it is finished.

It might be fun to know how you all got the reading bug and if you prefer certain kinds of books. I think that, on the whole, the fiction I read isn't that deep, but the nonfiction can be. I turn to fiction when I want entertained and nonfiction when I want knowledge.

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Picture of bethree5
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Sattva, if you like (or think you might like) Scandinavian noir mysteries, I buy them for my vacation auto trips. I've found takers in past thro my choral rummage sales, but lately they get scattered/ lost. It would be nice to have someone to send them to when I'm done. PM me w/yr mailing addy if interested.
 
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Picture of bethree5
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Originally posted by sattva:

It might be fun to know how you all got the reading bug and if you prefer certain kinds of books.

I credit my Mom with my 'reading bug.' When I was very little, she read me Beatrix Potter stories. Because she was interested in languages [her grandpa was a classics prof & polyglot], she also read me Latin & German translations of 'Peter Rabbit', so I probably got my for-lang bug from her too. And she must have been reading me Oz stories from early on (rom the family collection she inherited), because those are the books I remember reading/ re-reading from age 8 on. They were particularly good for developing reading skills. They were written w/an adult vocabulary, but the plots were so engaging you just had to figure the meaning in context & keep going.

There were also some gifted [used] books from her cousins & I remember them still vividly, especially the Louisa May Alcotts. Perhaps by osmosis [& also because of interest/gift for art], a love of old books in general, & old classics w/color plates in particular, was part of it for me. I ended up when adult collecting classics illustrated by Potter, John R Neill, Harrison Cady, Jesse Wilcox Smith, & NC Wyeth.

I must have run out of Mom's books by 10, because from that age on I could be found at our town libraries whenever not at home. (Even did that as a grownup in Ann Arbor & NYC). Remember loving volunteering at jr-high school library, reading every sci-fi novel they had, between shelving books etc.

Obviously I'm a fiction-lover. Studied lit/ lit analysis [Fr & Sp] in college. I still have tough time finishing a non-fiction book, but I do read lots of NYT articles, & current events online if that counts.
 
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I enjoyed reading your post, Bethree5
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Me, too, Sattva.

Those stories are so interesting. I remember my Better Homes and Gardens storybook, and I still have it. I learned those stories by heart and read them to my kids and now to my granddaughter (she loves The Little Red Hen), though my daughter won't let me read Little Black Sambo to her. Frankly, I don't see it as a racist book, but I have to respect my daughter's views. That book, and all the little golden books, were about the only ones I had as a girl, but I loved them dearly. Then of course school introduced me to other classics, though there were many in the Better Homes and Gardens Storybook.

Actually, my Nurse Nancy Golden Book (with the free bandaid!) was probably a reason I wanted to be a nurse.
 
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I just listened to a science fiction book, ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS by Elan Mastri. I really liked it. It seemed fairly familiar at the beginning and couldn't remember if I had been told about it, or if I had listened to a preview, or what.

I am still reading the Agatha Raisin series when they become available. I should say listening to, not reading. I listened to one the other day where the voice of the narrator was so off-putting that I almost returned it after listening to the beginning. My favorite voice for Agatha is Penelope Keith. She did quite a few, but hasn't been doing the recent titles.

Oh Bob Hale, can you tell me what a church fate is in England? I am assuming it is "fate". That is how it sounds in the audio book. One of the last Agatha Raisin books I listened to mentioned that someone had taken photos at a church fate.
 
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Picture of BobHale
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It's fête,

It's a kind of garden party to raise money for a church where there are stalls selling things like home-baked pies and usually a few games and amusements.

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Thanks, Bob.
 
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Picture of BobHale
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What would you call it in the USA?
 
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Originally posted by BobHale:
What would you call it in the USA?


After reading your description, I wanted to learn more about British fetes before I replied. First of all, there are a few things that we do here that are similar, but not exactly. There are different terms used. Some are interchangeable. Some are not. Also, I can't speak about different areas of this country.

Some of our terms for something similar are: festival, fair, bazaar, show (as in craft show), flea market, sale (craft, bake, yard, or garage sale), and carnival (less used). From my stand point, it seems to me that festival, fair, or carnival involve more activities than selling crafts and baked goods. There might be children's rides or face painting, contests, and entertainment. These often involve vendors who may come from different areas of the country. They often involve a city, county, or historical area. The money doesn't always go to charity, but the town and the businesses may make money from all the people who come in for the festival.

Craft shows, bazaars, etc., may be held at schools, churches, and places like our local hospital. Our hospital has a craft and bake sale coming up near the end of this month. They will have hand-made jewelry, crafts for Autumn and Christmas, caramel apples, candy, and other baked goods. Churches might have a craft or bake sale, too and also have a white elephant sale at the same time. Money may go to charities. Our hospital raises money for a fund that goes to helping patients who may need financial help paying their bill, or some equipment that they can't afford. There is a volunteer fire department that raises money by having something like this. They also sell tips, if you know what they are during their sale (I keep thinking there is another word that they use for these, but I can't recall it.), and they have a dinner that you can buy.

Anyway, here are two links for you to look at. The one has events in Maryland that you can learn more about what they have at these different events.

On the second link, which is local, check out November 2 & 9.
Events

Nov 2 & 9
 
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I think this shows the quintessential Englishness of the whole thing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIKqCDf3OA8
 
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I always think of ice cream socials for churches as well. At Synagogues, you pay upon joining, which of course isn't the same at churches, so they don't have as many money-making festivals. I do think the former is more honest, as they seem to beg for money so much at churches. I remember our priest coming out to our home when I was a girl (I was raised as a Catholic, but converted to Judaism when I married), begging my dad for money. He was a farmer with 5 kids and couldn't give much - but felt very guilty. On the other hand, I hate the thought that some Jewish people may not have enough money to join a Synagogue and therefore can't attend the high holiday celebrations. So I am torn about which is right.
 
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With the recent shooting in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh, it was mentioned that Fred Rogers studio was nearby. I sometimes think I enjoyed him as much, if not more, than my son, nieces, and nephews did. So, I found some of his quotes which were wonderful, and then went on to listen to a book by him, and then a biography about him. I highly recommend them both for his quiet energy and insight. This is especially true if you have children, grandchildren, or like me, great nieces and nephews. I bought a compilation of his show, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood for my great-nephew, Owen, for Christmas. I wanted him to have some of the slower, gentler, energy that is not very available for children anymore.
 
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Picture of bethree5
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Just read The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese author of Cutting for Stone et al). A unique book: tennis, medicine/ hospital mentoring- internship, & opioid addiction. It's a memoir of part of Verghese's life, centered around his friendship with an intern he mentored who mentored him in tennis. Engrossing.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Sattva, I always loved Mr. Rogers Neighborhood too. he was very special.

Bethree, that sounds intriguing. I'll have to read it.

My daughter has recommended "The Believers" and "The Sociopath Next Door." Has anyone read them?
 
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I haven't read either book, Kalleh. This week, the books I have listened to are Janet Evanovich's new Stephanie Plum book, and three books by Elizabeth Gilbert. The last one was her new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. This is a great book!!! I know several people who are reading this book right now and recommended it to me. I plan on going back and listening to this, again, and pondering it more deeply. We talked about a book club. If anyone wants to use this as one of the books, I think it would be great.
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
"The Sociopath Next Door."
You live next to Trump?
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
"The Sociopath Next Door."
You live next to Trump?


LOL
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I received "A Man Called Ove," for Hanukkah and just finished it - loved it and would highly recommend it. It was a tender story of a curmudgeon, who really wasn't a curmudgeon. Written by a Swede (Fredrik Backman), there were a lot of word questions that I had, which I'll be posting in the next few weeks.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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You live next to Trump?

He's probably not a sociopath, but there are recent questions by psychiatrists that he may be becoming psychotic. Recently he has been counting things when he speaks, which is apparently highly suspect. Honestly, he is a little scary. Shutting down the government? Pulling out of Syria against all advice? Listening to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh instead of his advisors? Firing just about everyone he hires?

I try to keep my political views to Twitter, but every so often they flow over to WC. I am sorry.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I am back to WWII - "We Were the Lucky Ones," which came highly recommended by colleagues. I just started it, but so far, so good!
 
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Having finished Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre I'm now halfway through Wuthering Heights.

I have the feeling I should have read them in the opposite order.
 
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What made you go to those classics? Interesting choices.
 
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To keep up my French, I'm reading another Michel Bussi noir, my 4th & reputedly his best. It's called "Nymphéas Noirs," available in Eng as "Black Water Lilies." His French is complex and contemporary so always good practice. He is big on setting; I learned lots about NW France & Réunion in previous books. The setting here is Giverny, & Monet's life, work, & gardens play a role. So far very clever & puzzle-like, I think it's a winner.
 
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That's a great way to keep up a language. I should try that with Spanish.
 
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Bethree5, it does sound wonderful and how smart of you to keep up with your French. I took two years of Spanish, but never became remotely fluent. I have forgotten most of the little I learned. After reading Eat, Pray, Love, I wonder about learning Italian. Do any of you think, as the author did, that Italian is the most beautiful language?
 
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Picture of BobHale
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Klingon. Definitely Klingon.

Here is the famous speech from Hamlet in the original Klingon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiRMGYQfXrs
 
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Even though I love the Star Trek series, definitely NOT Klingon! LOL
 
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Has anyone read John Simpson's (from the OED) 2016 "Word Detective?? Ken bought it this weekend and is really enjoying it.
 
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Hey, I just read about a book recommended on National Public Radio. I looked on two library sites to see if they have it. They don't. I thought you all might this book and another one he has written.

Here is where I heard about the book. You can listen to the whole podcasts on all the books they were recommending in this segment.
Landmarks
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Sounds good.

I am reading another WWII book, "We were the Lucky Ones." So far, so good, though like many from WWII, sad.
 
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I heard that was good, Kalleh. I just read James Comey's book, A Higher Loyalty. I found it interesting.
 
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I found it interesting but didn't think it was well written. On the other hand it is much much better written than Michael Wolff's book which is one of the worst written books I have ever read.

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What was interesting to me is understanding how he came to certain decisions, the inward and outer mechanisms at play.
 
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Did you read Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury? If you didn't, don't bother. It's terrible. I have no time for Donald Trump but that book is such a second rate hatchet job and so poorly written that I'd have had some sympathy for him if not for one thing. The only reason it sold so well was because of all the free publicity Trump himself gave it in his vocal condemnations,
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I won't read it, though I hadn't planned to anyway. I am looking forward to Mueller's report though. Wink
 
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Originally posted by BobHale:
Did you read Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury? If you didn't, don't bother. It's terrible. I have no time for Donald Trump but that book is such a second rate hatchet job and so poorly written that I'd have had some sympathy for him if not for one thing. The only reason it sold so well was because of all the free publicity Trump himself gave it in his vocal condemnations,


I didn't read it. I had heard that it wasn't very good.
 
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Originally posted by sattva:
I had heard that it wasn't very good.


You have probably heard the expression "damning with faint praise". This is the opposite - praising with faint damnation. The book is quite truly awful.
 
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THE SHALLOWS: WHAT THE INTERNET IS DOING TO OUR BRAINS by Nicholas Carr

THE SHALLOWS

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Famous Father Girl, by Jamie Bernstein, daughter of Leonard Bernstein. Interesting reading, though a bit heavy-handed with name-dropping. (On the other hand, she's entitled, if anybody is...) It's also a bit voyeuristic. When all is said and done, I'm not sure I like her.
 
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Much Obliged, Jeeves...

I know this will be contentious if our membership includes many of his ardent admirers but how precisely did P.G. Wodehouse get away with writing what amounts to exactly the same story over and over again?
 
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Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin - a litttle jewelbox time capsule of late '70's era-- rescued from its too-privileged culture by sharply-drawn, interesting characters & timeless insight into relationship.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (soon to be a movie) by SNL & Arrested Devpt comedy-writer turned novelist Maria Semple. Satirical send-up of Silicon Valley: addictive epistolatory format, realistic characters in over-the-top plot-- reading enjoyment akin to eating a banana split.
 
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