Here it is... the book thread!

Started by scatcat, November 30, 2007, 03:55:17

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SueC

I'm nearly done with the above book, but have today managed to add three more novels to my towering tsundoku.  One is the next in the Irish detective series by the prize-winning ex-Irish Perth author, Dervla McTiernan; and another is something I wish to re-read because I really enjoyed it several years ago:  Haruki Murakami's Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage.  I wasn't going to have a third, but then laughing Brett read out to me the starting sentence of the novelisation of Dr Who: The Romans (an episode we finished yesterday)...

@Ulrich, do you remember The Withering Letter?  This is very like:

"Dear Sir

I am in reluctant receipt of your insufferable scroll - written, I must remark, on papyrus of so inferior a quality that I can only suppose it to have been selected especially to suit the style of your grammatical construction and the insolence of your tone."

You can't go wrong with an opener like that... :lol:

Anyone else reading anything interesting?

...and I too am still stuck halfway through that Very Short Introduction book on music (but will definitely finish it; it's on an e-reader and therefore a non-partner-disturbing insomnia standby)... and partway in The Soul of an Octopus, and This Changes Everything, and even the bloody Shipping News still, grrrr, I do wish to finish all these...
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

A while ago I had a look around in a bookstore... I saw a book, a "classic", of which I thought "one day I might get this". Now I decided I didn't wanna live anymore without having read Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", so I went and bought it!  :cool
It's never enough...

MeltingMan

I'm a hard copy as well! 😄

Hoch lebe der Herbst!
(Sören Kierkegaard)

L'homme paye après sa mort, le peuple toujours de son vivant: cherchez pourquoi sont tombés les empires? par l'injustice.
(Le livre du sceptre: politique p. 126)

SueC

Fabulous clip, @MeltingMan, thankyou - isn't she just lovely, and her book collection too!  I love readers and how their brains are switched on.  So, another person with complex PTSD, and I can see she's had to work through very similar things, which is such an education!  Excellent that she talks about it.  :smth023

Last week I started and finished Tara Westover's Educated, on the recommendation of a recent guest, and I highly recommend it in turn.  It's the autobiography of a young woman who grew up with religious nutcase survivalist parents who kept her out of school to allegedly keep her from being brainwashed by socialists etc.  Instead, she worked in the family scrapyard, which regularly produced horrific injuries for her and her siblings, and was tormented by her sociopath brother, who was elevated to "holy man" status in her family while she was scapegoated for telling the truth about his vicious abuse of a number of women, herself included.  Out of the brood of seven siblings, three and a half escaped the brainwash - and three of those through DIY study for college entrance, which their father tried to sabotage at every turn.  Tara Westover ended up going to college a year younger than her peers (one of the parallels in our stories) and at the time of writing this book, was finishing a PhD at Cambridge, UK, a long way from her native US, and good on her.

At age 29, when she wrote this, she was still putting a lot of the puzzle together, while struggling with bad childhood "programming" bleeding through into her behaviour / ability to stand up to others, but has already come miles and miles from the limitations imposed on her in childhood.  I'd love to read a follow-up from her in 5, 10, 15 years from now - as this kind of thing is such a steep learning curve.  I'm so glad she got out - well done - and that her extra capable brain got to immerse itself in all sorts of interesting things that were previously "verboten"!  :cool

Great reading for those who've been through a rough childhood themselves, and for those who want to learn about what that's like.  Tara Westover has been critiqued by a few nasty people for allegedly excessive disclosure, but if you don't tell it how it was, in all its horrible detail, it's not nearly as useful for furthering the understanding of the community on this stuff - and people do need to understand how this goes, and for that, they need to have a complete and detailed picture.  As Cherilyn Clough, another person whose parents didn't let her go to school and who DIYd to get into college, says on her educational website littleredsurvivor, if people want to be remembered better, perhaps they ought to have treated others better - and everyone has the right to tell their own story.
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

I've been trying the first book of the "Max Wolfe" series by Tony Parsons (ok so far, not sure yet whether I will want more of them):

https://www.lovelybooks.de/autor/Tony-Parsons/reihe/Max-Wolfe-in-Reihenfolge-1136039208/
It's never enough...

SueC

I've got several books on the go - and have finally reached the last two pages of Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything - that was very dense and at times very depressing, but excellent and well worth the time and the sadness - a book every Westerner should read... the Silent Spring of modern times.

Brett was laughing a lot recently while reading an e-book, so I asked him what it was.  He told me it was Becoming Superman, a biography of someone with complex PTSD and that if I read it, I'd be going, "Yep.  Tick.  Yep.  Tick." - and classifying the various behaviours exhibited by his atrocious birth family, and doing lots of exclaiming.  He was right, that's exactly what I did.  Interesting story by the way, foreword by Neil Gaiman, written by Joe Straczynski, a now 60-something writer of all sorts of things, including animation stories and lots of science fiction.  His childhood story is beyond horrific; it's extraordinary that he gets so many laughs out of us in-between our gasps of horror.  Super fabulous that he actively chose not to be like his family, and that art and kindness saved him. ♥

I'm still reading ornithologist Tim Low's Where Song Began - superb book for dipping into, and it's already amazed me dozens of times even though I'm a highly trained biologist.   :smth023   I'm also sort of still reading The Shipping News but it kind of fell off the train.  I've not ejected it from the tsundoku though!   :)

Thanks to Brett's highly bookish workmates, we keep getting a stream of great novels coming through the house; I've just started yet another JP Delaney (have mentioned his other books here before), Believe Me - I'm 20 pages in and already hooked.  This will be a fast read, for sure...  :cool
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

I went looking through a bookshop in a town not far from here (I always think it's a good idea to sometimes not just look in my local bookstore - especially if I'm looking for a gift for someone who goes to that same bookstore), there I found this and bought it (for me):

http://www.unionsverlag.com/info/title.asp?title_id=3520

Garry Disher: Bitter Wash Road

QuoteIn der Nähe von Tiverton, einer Kleinstadt in Australiens Nirgendwo, wird ein Mädchen tot am Straßenrand gefunden. Constable Paul Hirschhausen, genannt Hirsch, übernimmt den Fall. Er glaubt nicht an einen Unfall mit Fahrerflucht. Einsam und isoliert durchquert der Constable die unwirtliche Landschaft, vorbei an mageren Schafen, schäbigen Höfen, stellt unbeirrt seine Fragen und lernt eine Kleinstadt kennen, unter deren Oberfläche Enttäuschung und Wut, Rassismus und Sexismus brodeln.
It's never enough...

SueC

Imagine a German person having to introduce an Australian to a celebrated Australian crime writer!  :1f62e:

It sounds pretty spot on - social realism etc.

Look what I found:

https://garrydisher.com/

https://www.booktopia.com.au/bitter-wash-road-garry-disher/book/9781922268402.html

Interesting that he's more acclaimed in Germany than here even.  But then, have you ever read the German crime writer Simon Beckett?  Kalte Asche etc?  He's very good, specialises in gory descriptions of corporeal disintegration, astute character studies, and plot twists.  Picked that one up at a book swap while on holiday in Tasmania once.   :beaming-face

Looks like I have to check out our library for this guy!

And the setting described sounds so much like the one for Rain Shadow, a very dark mini-series shot in South Australia...


That's The Audreys doing the soundtrack, by the way!  Perfect fit.   :smth023
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Now imagine a German person having to tell an Australian person that Simon Beckett is indeed an Englishman...  :1f633:

(Oh, the wonders of the internet world!)  :lol:

"Rain Shadow" looks good, I hope "arte" will show it (sometimes they do buy series from "down under").
It's never enough...

SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on November 24, 2020, 13:36:07Now imagine a German person having to tell an Australian person that Simon Beckett is indeed an Englishman...  :1f633:

Bwahaha!  :lol:  That's hilarious!  Turns out I thought he was German because the book I picked up in Tasmania was written in German. :yum:  It was such well-written German too!   :rofl   It said nothing obvious about a translator, and that was in the days before I needed glasses... (or maybe I needed them already???)

I do remember thinking, "His name is so English, I wonder if his parents migrated to Germany..."  :lol:

Also wondering if he was any distant relation to Samuel Beckett...

Thank you for ridding me of a long-standing misconception.  :cool  (How many more to go?  ;))

PS:  Brett says, "I never thought he was German, but I thought, 'Oh well, Sue should know.'"  :rofl
SueC is time travelling

MeltingMan

This year I've spent a lot of money on books - new and used. Chic volumes in leather
but also 'print on demand' brochures. I can't keep up with reading.😉 I now have around
300 copies. This one will come out next year. Maybe it's very interesting. I am currently
reading Péladan's Traité des antinomies.

Hoch lebe der Herbst!
(Sören Kierkegaard)

L'homme paye après sa mort, le peuple toujours de son vivant: cherchez pourquoi sont tombés les empires? par l'injustice.
(Le livre du sceptre: politique p. 126)

SueC

That is a gorgeous cover, @MeltingMan:cool

It's a real problem.  So many books to read, and only fourscore years and ten (if we're lucky) to read them in, and considering how many excellent books are still being written, with all my best efforts I will, at the end of my life, only have got my little toe wet in that ocean.

Do you like the smell of books?  I must confess I do.  I love the smell of paper and ink.  One of the problems with electronic books is that they just don't smell good...

And you've got leather-bound books - those tend to smell extra good!  :)
SueC is time travelling

MeltingMan

Quote from: SueC on November 25, 2020, 14:20:59Do you like the smell of books?  I must confess I do.  I love the smell of paper and ink.  One of the problems with electronic books is that they just don't smell good...

Yes, especially if the pages are already tanned. That's the case with older books. Sometimes there are references to the previous owner and how he used the book e.g. remnants of biscuits or bread (!). But I have more unread copies, and it can happen that it is not cut open. I have a special knife for this. With a normal knife, you break it. Old brochures have a particularly intense smell. 😵
Hoch lebe der Herbst!
(Sören Kierkegaard)

L'homme paye après sa mort, le peuple toujours de son vivant: cherchez pourquoi sont tombés les empires? par l'injustice.
(Le livre du sceptre: politique p. 126)

SueC

Quote from: MeltingMan on November 25, 2020, 17:45:10Yes, especially if the pages are already tanned. That's the case with older books.

Yes, to me older books do usually have a better smell than new-off-the-press books, although both are very good!   :smth023

With the exception of mouldy old books, which can smell like a mausoleum... these are the only kinds of books I've burnt or composted, because I didn't want them infecting the rest of our collection.   :1f631:  (Sometimes one is given such a book, or there's one like that in a batch you might buy at an auction.)


Quote from: MeltingMan on November 25, 2020, 17:45:10Sometimes there are references to the previous owner and how he used the book e.g. remnants of biscuits or bread (!).

Hahaha.  :lol:  Brett and I both confess to frequently reading at the dinner table - you can't talk with your mouth full, so you may as well read - and we've done so from little.  I got in trouble for it as a kid, but it didn't deter me much; Brett's whole family are bookworms and they all read at the dinner table, although they did have the rule that the person(s) who did the cooking had to be consulted, out of politeness (it was really just a formality).

We don't tend to get food on our books nowadays (and I usually don't read while eating Spaghetti Bolognese because that's deadly for what it does to books...).  However, my books from childhood are a rich source of forensic data on the food I ate while reading.  Sometimes it's biscuit crumbs, which can be shaken out; more often though, it's chocolate, which is a bit more difficult to shift, or main courses, of which sauce spots are particularly permanent...

Sometimes I find a squashed housefly in the pages of one of these old books!   :1f635:


Quote from: MeltingMan on November 25, 2020, 17:45:10But I have more unread copies, and it can happen that it is not cut open. I have a special knife for this. With a normal knife, you break it. Old brochures have a particularly intense smell. 😵

A good smell, or not?  (Do you remember the smell of the old spirit duplicator copies with the purple print that was used in German schools in the 1970s?  That made all of us youngsters sniff the paper - it was a smell as pleasant as freshly baked bread...)

That's very interesting about a special knife to cut those still-stuck pages!  :cool
SueC is time travelling

MeltingMan

Quote from: SueCA good smell, or not?

I have a print from 1920, really rare, where I have to assume it came from a 'messie' household. The person was probably sick - never left the house, etc. Now it's in the bedroom next to other old books. And the strong smell will fade over the years - hopefully. The air circulates and it's not so exposed to light (enemy number one). Unfortunately, I also have one that is falling apart. It lies separately in a shoe box. The back is broken and the first two sides are loose. It's so fragile - you don't like to pick it up. When it came out (1887), nobody thought that it could be over 100 years old. Nice transition ...😉

Quote from: SueCold spirit duplicator copies

No, I don't. Never heard of that. 😕

Hoch lebe der Herbst!
(Sören Kierkegaard)

L'homme paye après sa mort, le peuple toujours de son vivant: cherchez pourquoi sont tombés les empires? par l'injustice.
(Le livre du sceptre: politique p. 126)