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Re: Cool Books
Bulldog34 #30331 03/14/13 03:07 PM
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wagga Offline OP
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Gary, no, haven't read "Wake".

Project Gutenberg is your go-to for out of copyright works.

Two favourites are Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes and the ever-so-useful Farming with Dynamite



Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: Cool Books
tdtz #30332 03/14/13 05:04 PM
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Definitely with you there Tom. I've got both Kindle and Nook apps on my iPad, and about 100 books loaded (including, yes wagga, several free Project Gutenberg classics!), but I have a hard time enjoying the reading experience. It'll do in a pinch, and it's definitely easier on planes and other public places, but it's just not satisfying. I definitely love the touch-dictionary feature (really handy for Faulkner or Dickens, for instance) and the search/look-up functions, but I swear to God reading any author for any length of time on a screen puts me to sleep.

For me it's not only the feel and smell of handling a book, it's the visual effect of books on a bookshelf. Between my home office and our family room, we've got about 1500 books displayed. Nothing is more warm and inviting to me than a room filled with books. Just seeing those spines, titles, authors dozens of times per day puts a little pep in my step for a moment. There's a subtle, comforting aesthetic to books on a shelf. For me e-books will never replace that.

Even Bri, at 13 and possessing and living though every electronic device you can name, still prefers a physical book. She can spend hours with me at B&N, drinking her Starbucks lattes and browsing the aisles (and coming up to me every five minutes to ask if a title is age-appropriate!). I hope that's a lifelong habit.

Re: Cool Books
Bulldog34 #30333 03/14/13 05:28 PM
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wagga Offline OP
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When I was around Bri's age, I would ride the bike home from school, pick up yesterday's books, ride down to the library & get 2 more (the limit). Mostly exploration & stuff, but I did love Biggles. I think I read Kon Tiki 7-8 times.

Must have been fairly young, though, as I distinctly remember asking for Masters & Johnson & was refused...

Then there was the day when the library moved to the new building - you could take out 20-something books! Nirvana!


Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: Cool Books
wagga #30334 03/14/13 05:37 PM
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When I was a kid my two favorite books were:

Sinbad and Me by Kin Platt
and
Two Against the North by Farley Mowat

when I was my son's age (13) my dream was to go off into the canadian wilderness and live my life in the wild.

Last year, my wife found the books and gave them to me for my birthday.

Sinbad and Me was especially hard to find and ended up costing her $95. Those two books are probably the two best presents I have ever received.

Re: Cool Books
wagga #30335 03/14/13 05:44 PM
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Yup: Bee is a Geek. Last summer, I went on a classic Steinbeck bend, but I became distracted by....To Kill a Mockingbird! That book (TKAM) absolutely moves me every time I read it (even went out and rented the movie, again) I have a particular fondness for Arthur C. Clarke's The Deep RangeAND another obsession was/is Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time(and all of volumes that followed) Of course, I read Lion, Witch & Wardrobe (and all the following volumes)HA! I also read Battlefield Earth -- brain candy; it lacked the moral/ethical undertones that Asimov/Heinlein are known for.

BTW, most of the copies of these books are first edition, because the collection that I pull from was purchased as the books came out (Rich is TRULY the Geek that we all think we are; he has read EVERYthing mentioned here and probably thousands of other books. He has Kindle, IPad, and downloads many of the G-project books someone already mentioned. Rich is also known for reading as many as 5 books at a time!)



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Cool Books
Bee #30339 03/14/13 06:52 PM
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For me it started with the Hardy Boys series. By the time I had outgrown them I owned the first 40 or so, and had read each one at least twice. Of course, they've long since passed out of my possession. I remember stepping into the kids section at B&N years back (when that was Brianne's only option) and seeing all those blue, uniform, numbered volumes lined up. What a nostalgia rush! I had to exercise immense self-control to avoid scooping up every last one.

Then at about 12 I read Verne's Mysterious Island, and it was off to the races. The Lord of the Rings followed not long after, then I discovered Asimov and went into overdrive. Heinlein and Clarke became icons for me too. Somehow during a move many years ago I lost an entire book box full of vintage Clarke and Asimov. I was so pissed at the movers, but you better believe I replaced them PDQ.

No matter how hard or busy a day I may have, it never ends without me cracking a book to at least fall asleep. I've gone to bed many times planning to read a page or two and looked at the clock a few minutes later and 4 hours have gone by. I stayed up all night reading Stephen King's It. Even on an overnight BP there are always extra headlamp batteries for the express purpose of reading in the tent. I'll spend as much time deciding on which book to take on a trip as I will on some of the gear choices (for DV next week it's a toss-up between Philip Dick and Kurt Vonnegut - something disjointed and eerie to go with the DV landscape. I chose the tent, pad and bag in much less time).

I've found, though, that the mountaineering community is significantly more literate than the population at large. I don't think that's a statistical hiccup.

And wagga, Kon-Tiki was a favorite of mine when I was young as well!


Re: Cool Books
wagga #30340 03/14/13 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: wagga
Ulysses. Down to the last few sentences...


So . . . ? What did you think? It's often ranked in the top 5 on those "best novel" lists. Is it?

I've read some Joyce - Dubliners and Portrait - but not Ulysses or Wake. I want to re-read The Odyssey before I tackle Ulysses. Like I mentioned, I've dabbled with Wake, and even with the modern day version of Cliff Notes to assist it's a morass of incomprehensibility to me. Might as well be in Sanskrit. Hard to believe he worked on that solely for 16 years! It's often called the most difficult read in the English language, but I don't think it qualifies as English . . .

Re: Cool Books
Bulldog34 #30341 03/14/13 07:42 PM
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What a terrific collection. I, too, was a Hardy Boys fan. Read all 40 (?? That many!?!?). Could not get through Ulysses, however hard I tried. Moby Dick and all of Conrad ("the horror, the horror!"). Dumas Malone's Jefferson (no, really!).

Endurance. The Last Place on Earth.

SF: Ender's Game and the next two, but couldn't go beyond that. Snow Crash. All of LeGuin, especially Wizard of Earth Sea. McKillip: Harpist in the Wind series; Forgotten Beasts of Eld. And should we have a contest on who's read Lord of the Rings more?? (hint: > 30 -- it's lonely on the frontier...).

Oh. Iliad and Odyssey a couple of times each. And, of course, Huck Fin X 4 or 5. Truly the Great American Novel.

g.

PS: and the Aubrey/Maturin series by O'Brian (Master and Commander etc.) -- truly great.


None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.
Re: Cool Books
George #30342 03/14/13 08:02 PM
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George, you've got me on LOTR. I read it every year (usually in spring) between the ages of 15 and 35 - it was a seasonal ritual. I've only read it once in the past 20 years, and that was prompted by the first movie. Call it 25 total.

I love Stephenson as well. Hiro Protagonist had to be the best character name ever penned. I've consumed Diamond Age, Anathem (tough read, but I finished it) and Cryptonomicon too. I've had these huge, daunting hardback editions of Confusion/Quicksilver/System on my shelf for years, and tackled the first one not that long ago. After a week I was only through about 250 pages (each is 800-1000), and decided discretion was the better part of valor.

Shackleton - the greatest story ever IMHO, fiction included. Un-freaking-believable. I've bought every book I know of on the subject and have watched the A&E DVD maybe a dozen times. The determination, courage, honor and endurance of those men - especially Shackleton - is breathtaking. You can't make this stuff up.

Love Twain too. The Library of America catalog I mentioned earlier has all of his writings collected in several super high-quality volumes. Slowly but surely through Amazon at $22 a pop . . .

The Hardy Boys: we thought 40 was a lot. Check this out. Frank and Joe have not let any grass grow under their feet all these years.

Re: Cool Books
Bulldog34 #30344 03/14/13 08:36 PM
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Ender's Game + one or two that followed -- Yup! (Drones, anyone??)

I read (and re-read) all of the Hardy Boys AND Nancy Drew. (is it true that they were written by the same author using a pen name??)

I am looking at the leather bound collection of Jack London (which I re-read regularly)(totally unrelated, but the movie that I have watched-watched & re-watched is Jeremiah Johnson...first DVD I ever bought)

I love to bring 'themed' books when I travel, so I read the collection of the Tony Hillerman: Leaphorn & Chee mysteries when I was on the Navajo Reservation. (One of the best nights in my life was spent in the middle of the desert with all of those crazy desert critter sounds -- owls that trill -- and reading about characters who were in the same setting.)


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Cool Books
Bee #30368 03/16/13 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bee

I read (and re-read) all of the Hardy Boys AND Nancy Drew. (is it true that they were written by the same author using a pen name??)


Sort of. Edward Stratemeyer wrote a lot himself, but mostly hired and guided other authors under a whole bunch of names.

The Stratemeyer Syndicate was the producer of a number of mystery series for children, including Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, the various Tom Swift series, the Bobbsey Twins, the Rover Boys, and others.


Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!
Re: Cool Books
Bee #30596 03/26/13 06:36 PM
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During the past week's trip to Death Valley I read The Fixer by Bernard Malamud. OK, but not sure why it won the Pulitzer. At the airport and on the flight back I re-read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Still very, very scary. Just cracked E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime, and looking forward to it.

Re: Cool Books
Bulldog34 #30597 03/26/13 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
During the past week's trip to Death Valley I read The Fixer by Bernard Malamud. OK, but not sure why it won the Pulitzer. At the airport and on the flight back I re-read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Still very, very scary. Just cracked E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime, and looking forward to it.


In some ways, it pleases me that you were left to wonder about The Fixer, as it indicates that you are far enough away -- generations -- from the topic of the book as it relates. Remember in 1966, there were huge HUGE numbers of WWII survivors, immigrants, and largely, a varied group of ethnic Jews with scarred memories of their own and their parents harrowing escapes/tortures/miseries (the Dryfuss Affair has the same affect on the this group of people). This novel spoke to them all. Many of the aforementioned group were in the voting circles that bestowed those awards for The Fixer.


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Cool Books
Bee #30599 03/26/13 07:19 PM
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I suppose that makes sense, Bee. It was a worthwhile book, though dark and depressing. Made me damn angry, but it just didn't seem to have that pop you normally expect from a Pulitzer winner. Schindler's Ark left me much more impressed, probably due to the scope of the story versus poor Yakov's plight and circumstances. It was tough sledding reading about his seemingly endless days in solitary for most of the book. But then again, that has a lot to do with me and how I respond to cerebral tales.

Re: Cool Books
Bulldog34 #30600 03/26/13 07:26 PM
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The book has a lot of Yiddish tones to it, so I am not surprised that it would leave a reader without that 'proper' (DARK) background to bond with it. It's amusing to read the reviews of the time (and present) beecause you can tell who is Jewish, and who is not. (those who are pre-infused with a certain pessimism embrace the ill-fated character and feel a bizarre sort of kinship.)Hard to explain.


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Cool Books
Bee #30601 03/26/13 07:33 PM
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Which is why WASPs like me need to read books like this!

Actually, I'm one-eighth Cherokee, but it's not enough to get me a casino cut, dammit.

Re: Cool Books
Bulldog34 #30602 03/26/13 07:39 PM
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Bee Offline
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No, no -- you are not a pessimist and I appreciate it SOOO much!


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Cool Books
Bee #30606 03/27/13 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bee
No, no -- you are not a pessimist and I appreciate it SOOO much!


I might be if I read enough Roth . . .

Re: Cool Books
Bulldog34 #30608 03/27/13 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bulldog34

I might be if I read enough Roth . . .


He was sort of required reading in our house. Beecause he just celebrated his 80th birthday, there have been a lot of excellent interviews with him, lately. He is not nearly as cynical in real life as he comes across in his books (remembering that he comes from that same generation infused with pessimism that I spoke of above)


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Cool Books
Bee #30619 03/27/13 03:05 PM
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Nature wars by Jim Sterba, 2012

Lots if opposite conclusions from what you might expect : foresting, deforestation, deer, turkeys, bear, roadkill, suburbs, bambi syndrome , NDD- nature deprivation disorder, (humans), hunting and culling, etc.

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