So, What Are You Reading?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Ted Heiks, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    Yessir, Cervantes'. It's entertaining enough. I am stuck at about 70% through (bogged down by studies the last couple of weeks), hopefully I can pick it back up next week. Anyway, it really reminds me of Voltaire's Candide. And Coelho's The Alchemist. Wonder if anyone here has read Quixote and either of the two I just mentioned, and felt similarities.

    There's another I read in the last year, that strikes me as having a similar feel. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Marquez. Actually, I'm not sure I finished it. Will have to go back and check.
  2. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    Interesting. I just looked it up, thinking it was going to be from the 80's. Seems like a good cast at least. Will have to put it on my list.
  3. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I'm half way through Jimmy Carter: The White House Years. It's a 900 page treatise on Jimmy Carter's Presidency, written by his domestic policy advisor Stuart Eizenstat, who religiously kept hundreds of yellow legal pads and took notes, in addition to 350 interviews of those mentioned in the book to reflect years later.

    He explicitly acknowledges it as somewhat revisionist on the existing historical record (of which I know nothing), intending to highlight Carter's accomplishments that had been previously ignored or discounted. At the same time, he paints a vivid picture of a man who stumbled into as many situations through will or genius as he did through total inexperience and even incompetence, and I'm definitely getting a picture of a very complex man and his 4 years in office.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Read Alexandra Lee Levin's This Awful Drama: General Edwin Gray Lee, C.S.A., and His Family.
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Read Elizabeth George's The Remarkable Women of the Bible.
  6. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Read James H. Bissland's Blood, Tears, and Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War.
  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Read Herman Hattaway's General Stephen Lee.
  8. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    Confessions by Saint Augustine of Hippo
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  9. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I just finished Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies (2007). It was a series of short essays. It's a quick read (151 pages with a size 14 or 16 font), and it was light on solutions, despite the title. The thesis boils down to: American foreign policy causes resentment by Muslims overseas, a very small number of whom radicalize and attack the US, provoking anti-Muslim sentiment in the US, which the establishment (Bush being in the White House at the time) responded to with more hostile foreign policy in a vicious circle.

    I'd never heard the name Daniel Pipes, but I would say at least half of the 18 essays mentioned him by name as Islamophobic. A good reminder to be judicious in who we cite and why.
    SpoonyNix and Maniac Craniac like this.
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    While I realize situations like this are too complicated to fit into soundbites, that's a pretty decent summary of my view, to be honest.
    Dustin likes this.
  11. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    Ahhh, since Islam was brought up, I'll mention that I am also reading Why I Am Not A Muslim by Ibn Warraq. Just on pg 64 of 360. I very much like the book, just really need to get a couple of longer reads done before I pick it back up.
  12. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I'm reading 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson.

    While I often find Peterson's interviews, debates and lectures intriguing, this book has thus far failed to capture my interest 25% of the way in. I'm debating with myself as to whether I should drop it and pick up another book.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think it's likely a case of someone who is a very engaging speaker just not having the same chops as a writer. You may indeed do better by continuing to hear / watch him and reading someone else.

    Sometimes the reverse happens. The most excruciating readings of their own works I ever heard were from three fine writers - J.R. R. Tolkien and poets T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. (I found the late actor, Richard Burton's recordings of Dylan Thomas' work much better than the author's own. Thomas' voice was authentically Welsh, of course, but with none of the other Welshman's - Burton's resonance.)
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It may also be that because Dr. Peterson is a professor, his writing style might simply be more geared to academia. That's fine, of course, but it may not bring much excitement to your living room. Just a guess - never read him.
  15. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    Yes. I'm like you. Love the interviews and lectures. Got about 20% into 12 Rules, then opted to skim the rest. Decent rules, but really this material would have been better as a 40-page booklet.
  16. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris. Helps to understand political adversaries. Really!!
  17. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    A very sobering book...

    War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust- Doris Bergen
  18. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future by Robert Reich. Written in 2010 in the aftermath of the Great Recession, it makes the case that the "basic bargain" with the middle class has been broken: wages have stagnated since the 1970s and so they can no longer afford to buy enough to keep the US economy humming (75% of our economy is now based on consumption.)

    Fixes include:
    • Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
    • Increasing marginal tax rates
    • Introducing a carbon tax
    • Wage insurance (to cover the gap between their old and new incomes)
    • Severance tax paid by employers (equal to half of the salary of a laid-off employee)
    • Progressive school vouchers (a poor student's school would receive $10,000 while an affluent one would receive $2,000, ensuring a more diverse mix of students at all schools)
    • Abolishing tuition and replacing it with income-based repayment
    Not sure I agree with all of these things but it's an interesting read.
  19. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Got a gift from one of my kids.
    "Be Water, My Friend"
    The teachings of BRUCE LEE

    By Shannon Lee

    Page after page is filled with the most beautiful teachings Bruce Lee has passed down.

    This mirror is reminding me many things reflecting on my self, especially how I lost discipline I used to have.
    But it helps to rediscover your true self.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Honestly, that's a lot less bad than I'd have expected from Robert Reich, given how often his commentaries on Marketplace made me shout back at the radio. In terms of the employment rate expanding the EITC would be better than raising the minimum wage, although a severance tax risks undoing that. I could live with a carbon tax if it were well designed (although I expect it wouldn't be). And that sort of K-12 voucher is better than none at all, maybe a lot better.

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