What are you reading?

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drmoss_ca
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by drmoss_ca »

A small deception - I'm not reading this, and it may not have been "in print" for a thousand years before the printing press was invented. Long time members will be familiar with the word "pogonotomy" as referring to shaving, but may not have heard of the treatise written by the Emperor Julian (yes, that Julian, whom we know of from Gore Vidal's splendid 1964 novel) called Misopogon - The Beard Hater.

In 1913, someone made a translation, and it includes such gems as:
For though nature did not make this any too handsome or well-favoured or give it the bloom of youth, I myself out of sheer perversity and ill-temper have added to it this long beard of mine, to punish it, as it would seem, for this very crime of not being handsome by nature. For the same reason I put up with the lice that scamper about in it as though it were a thicket for wild beasts.
And yet for this as for other purposes a beard is evidently troublesome, since it does not allow me to press shaven "lips to other lips more sweetly" -- because they are smooth, I suppose -- as has been said already by one of those who with the aid of Pan and Calliope composed poems in honour of Daphnis.
But as though the mere length of my beard were not enough, my head is dishevelled besides, and I seldom have my hair cut or my nails, while my fingers are nearly always black from using a pen. And if you would like to learn something that is usually a secret, my breast is shaggy, and covered with hair, like the breasts of lions who among wild beasts are monarchs like me, and I have never in my life made it smooth, so ill-conditioned and shabby am I, nor have I made any other part of my body smooth or soft.
But now I come to ponder the matter I find that I have committed yet other terrible sins. For though I was coming to a free city which cannot tolerate unkempt hair, I entered it unshaven and with a long beard, like men who are at a loss for a barber.
Throughout the whole city, then, you both uttered and listened to all the jests that were made about this miserable beard of mine, and about one who has never displayed to you nor ever will display among you the sort of life that you always live and desire to see also among those who govern you.
At least, as far as we know, his beard was not orange. Poor bugger managed to be emperor for three years, and is remembered for trying to get the old Roman pantheon of gods honoured again rather than the new death cult from Judea. Not such a great success there. Undoubtedly, he should have shaved.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by brothers »

I quite enjoyed reading this literary treasure. 8)
Last edited by brothers on Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by jww »

Decided to take on Adam Nicolson's Sea Room for the third or perhaps even fourth time. It's a great read, and one that I always enjoy. Nicolson has an interesting writing style, all of his own, and I find myself often pulled into his narrative. I only have 20 or so pages to go to the end ... but loving every word.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by fallingwickets »

days without end ...sebastian barry
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by brothers »

brothers wrote: Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:46 pm I quite enjoyed reading this literary treasure. 8)
Just to be clear - not the novel, just the post! :wink:
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by fallingwickets »

gary, fyi, theres a special thread for jokes :D :D :D

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Re: What are you reading?

Post by drmoss_ca »

Oh, how you deflate my ego!

Recently went through a couple of Richard Mitchell's (The Underground Grammarian) books - Less Than Words Can Say, and The Gift of Fire. He'd never get them published today, partly for some of the now sexist or racist examples he innocently used in the 1970's, but mostly because I don't think a publisher would consider them likely to sell. Much criticism of lazy grammar with no punches pulled with respect to the implications for the speaker's or writer's brainpower. Or dense (it's actually perversely simple, which amounts to much the same thing) Socratic philosophy shedding light on what he saw, even then, as the appalling failure of the educational system to serve it's purpose. He'd blow a fuse if he could see what has happened since. Anyone disappointed or disillusioned about teaching today would be amused to see all the seeds of the decline and fall of schools laid out forty years ago.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by EL Alamein »

Re-reading Diamonds are Forever by Ian Fleming.

Chris
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Barry »

Currently reading 3 books.

The Pioneers by David McCullough

Elevation by Stephen King (I'll finish that today, it's a short book and I put it down for a day or two).

How to Become a Federal Criminal : An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender by Mike Chase
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by fallingwickets »

13 hours into andrew roberts Napoleon. :D
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by jww »

I am back into some WWII history. This time it's William Craig's "Enemy at the Gate" - the story of the battle for Stalingrad. What an excellent tale. It is a bit on the gruesome side of things, but the story has to be told. Unbelievable that first off the Russians were successful in holding off the German army with the odds stacked against them in sheer numbers. Every victory of even a few feet across the street meant so much to the outcome of this particular conflict. It is interesting how this particular battle played such a key role in the overall history of the mid to late 20th century. I highly recommend it.

Next up, Duncton Woods, methinks. I've wanted to read that book since it first hit shelves in 1980, but never got around to it. For those of you who are into e-readers, you should be on BookBub - I have picked up some real gems for less than a couple of bucks (CAD that is!). My list of bargain buys on BookBub include the two referenced above, David McCullough's The Greater Journey, a couple of Ben MacIntyre's books and more. The odd time I have nabbed a less then good book, but for the price you pay, it's not breaking the bank. You learn to wait until the real good stuff comes up.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by brothers »

Wendell, thanks for the tip on the Stalingrad battle. Sounds interesting.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Kyle76 »

“A Good Life,” an autobiography by former Washington Post managing editor Ben Bradlee.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by John Rose »

Just started Caliban's War, (ePub) book 2 in the The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey. A good old space opera.
Image
There was a TV series adaptation of it, that went 36 episodes (so far).
Barry wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:18 amElevation by Stephen King (I'll finish that today, it's a short book and I put it down for a day or two).
How did I not hear about that one before now? I must get a copy.
.
brothers wrote: Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:55 pm Following my wife's lead, I've been buying my books on Kindle for about 5 years now. My daughter gave me the Kindle as a Christmas gift. I've told her several times the Kindle is one of my favorite and most useful gifts in a long time. We've got shelves of old books (pre-Kindle) gathering dust upstairs and one of these days I'll finally get around to boxing them up --- and --- ???

Same for the VCR carts and DVD discs.

What are your experiences and/or opinions in this regard?
I used to read a lot, then, for some reason, stopped reading novels and long documents altogether for a few years. It happened in the middle of Stephen King's Under the Dome. No idea why.
Then I got a Kobo Glo and started up again, often re-reading old favourites in ePub format. Finished Under the Dome on it too.
That one eventually had a mechanical failure in the USB port, so now I've got a "Kobo Aura Edition 2".
Much better than reading on a tablet or iPod, because you're not constantly switching to a browser to look stuff up.
AND they can go many days between charges, especially if you turn the edge lighting off.

As far as CDs and DVDs go, I still like to have them around.
CDs can be ripped to play on an iPod, and the DVDs often have the Extra Features videos, commentary sound tracks, etc.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Rufus »

“The Silk Roads- A New History of the World” by Peter Frankopan.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by John Rose »

I've put "Caliban's War" aside for now, in order to re-read "Gravity's Rainbow" by Thomas Pynchon.
Last time was something like 40 years ago.

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Re: What are you reading?

Post by fallingwickets »

silk roads is an excellent read...enjoy.

reading the edward snowden book....so far so good :D
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Kyle76 »

I have started “Gravity’s Rainbow” at least a half-dozen times and gotten into it as far as 250 pages and just couldn’t keep going. Maybe one day I’ll get all the way through it. I feel like I need a college-level course to do it, though.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by EL Alamein »

Still reading Diamonds Are Forever but have acquired "My Paris Kitchen" by David Lebowitz. Just reading a bit here and there as I look for new things to cook.

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Re: What are you reading?

Post by brothers »

Just finished Final Option by Clive Cussler and Brad Morrison. Lots of non-stop action. Yes, low brow to some, but who cares! :D I'm really glad we get to choose the books we read. I recall the dreary days when we were forced to pretend to read someone else's selections in order to be given a passing grade. I've always loved reading about things that make me happy and give me enjoyment. On the other hand, my chosen profession requires a tremendous amount of reading and studying written material, and also writing a voluminous never-ending series of documents based on my reading. Nowadays, I get to read only the stuff that gives me enjoyment and ignore the serious and tedious stuff.
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