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  #76  
Old 08-24-2023, 10:48 AM
borborygmus borborygmus is offline
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Some fine recommendations in this thread; thank you for the inspiration. Great to be reminded of Herman Wouk, who I probably last read over 40 years ago.

The best book I have read recently is Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci; slightly out there in comparison to other books on this thread. Otherwise, Trust by Hernan Diaz, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, and Chip War by Chris Miller, a slightly scary book about global semiconductor supply.

If anyone uses Goodreads, I am happy to hook up there: https://www.goodreads.com/borborygmus

Peter
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  #77  
Old 09-15-2023, 06:23 AM
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Last night I finished re-readng First Light: The True Story of the Boy Who Became a Man in the War-Torn Skies above Britain, by Geoffrey "Boy" Wellum, the youngest pilot to fight in the Battle. The book contains the memoirs, very interesting in that he rather vulnerably reveals not only his actions but the inner struggle of a fighter pilot in the early part of the war. Besides two tours in the Battle, he also participated in operation Pedestal, leading a group of ten Spitfires from the HMS Furious on a long ferry flight to Malta, where he was then posted. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and promoted to lieutenant.

By the way, happy Battle of Britain Day, eighty-three years on. Today was the day of peak air activity during the Battle.

Bob
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  #78  
Old 09-21-2023, 08:25 PM
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  #79  
Old 09-22-2023, 07:25 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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My wife and I just finished reading Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." It was a slog. The publisher suggested that this may be the finest fiction book ever written. We didn't think so. We would have abandoned the book earlier, but we kept thinking that we would eventually get something out of the book.

We did learn a fair amount about Russian society in the 1870s.

One of the things we enjoy about reading is well written prose. This was not all that well written because it was based on a translation from Russian.

- Glenn
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Last edited by Glennwillow; 09-23-2023 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 09-23-2023, 05:04 AM
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I'm doing another re-read as I take another break from plodding through Churchill's The Second World War. This one is Duel of Eagles by Peter Townsend.



I can't wait to get past the historical introduction from 50,000 feet because that is exactly what you get Churchill. However, there is some interesting background into the personalities involved in the dirty little intrigues going on behind the scenes in the RAF during the Battle.

Bob
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  #81  
Old 09-23-2023, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
My wife and I just finished reading Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." It was a slog. The publisher suggested that this may be the finish fiction book ever written. We didn't think so. We would have abandoned the book earlier, but we kept thinking that we would eventually get something out of the book.

We did learn a fair amount about Russian society in the 1870s.

One of the things we enjoy about reading is well written prose. This was not all that well written because it was based on a translation from Russian.

- Glenn
I had the same reaction to that one Glenn, which has been my experience with dozens of books on the implied "required reading" list.

Audiobooks make "reading" books like AK a lot easier (for me) with free downloads from the library via Libby app on my phone. When a book fails to grab me by the face, I can still multi-task - weld art, run errands, water arborvitae, ride my bike or load the dishwasher while I listen. Then once I finish something like Anna Karenina, I tell myself, "Okay, that satisfies my curiosity about that one."

All audiobooks sound slow to me, so I typically crank the speed up to 1.25x or even 1.5x, which does not raise the pitch (ala Alvin & the Chipmunks). Having listened now to 700-800 books in 7-8 years (500 of which were excellent), I'm feeling less and less self-imposed guilt whenever I pre-emptively hit "Return to Library" and start the next one waiting in my queue.

Last edited by tinnitus; 09-23-2023 at 09:38 AM.
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  #82  
Old 09-23-2023, 10:06 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I had the same reaction to that one Glenn, which has been my experience with dozens of books on the implied "required reading" list.

Audiobooks make "reading" books like AK a lot easier (for me) with free downloads from the library via Libby app on my phone. When a book fails to grab me by the face, I can still multi-task - weld art, run errands, water arborvitae, ride my bike or load the dishwasher while I listen. Then once I finish something like Anna Karenina, I tell myself, "Okay, that satisfies my curiosity about that one."

All audiobooks sound slow to me, so I typically crank the speed up to 1.25x or even 1.5x, which does not raise the pitch (ala Alvin & the Chipmunks). Having listened now to 700-800 books in 7-8 years (500 of which were excellent), I'm feeling less and less self-imposed guilt whenever I pre-emptively hit "Return to Library" and start the next one waiting in my queue.
Interesting thoughts. For some reason I don't do well with books read to me by someone else. Maybe at heart I'm just not a good listener, although I do pretty well listening to my wife read. She has one of those beautiful alto radio voices. I found (and my wife did, too) that I don't like the voices of many people reading. I seem to be extremely sensitive to voice quality for some reason, but then listening to my wife read, I have gotten spoiled.

I have also learned to really enjoy reading out loud to my wife. It's a skill that requires some practice, I think.

- Glenn
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  #83  
Old 09-23-2023, 11:02 AM
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Interesting thoughts. For some reason I don't do well with books read to me by someone else. Maybe at heart I'm just not a good listener, although I do pretty well listening to my wife read. She has one of those beautiful alto radio voices. I found (and my wife did, too) that I don't like the voices of many people reading. I seem to be extremely sensitive to voice quality for some reason, but then listening to my wife read, I have gotten spoiled.

I have also learned to really enjoy reading out loud to my wife. It's a skill that requires some practice, I think.

- Glenn
It does require skill to read out loud. I speak well in public, but reciting the written word in a natural and pleasing cadence is another matter altogether.

It only figures that the narrator can make or break a book for me. Some (though not enough IMHO) feature multiple voices, often male and female to mirror the characters.

Lou Diamond Phillips narrated something I enjoyed a lot with numerous male/female roles and multiple accents. There were moments when I found myself paying attention to his vocal skills just as much at the plot!
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  #84  
Old 09-23-2023, 11:08 AM
Joe Beamish Joe Beamish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
My wife and I just finished reading Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." It was a slog. The publisher suggested that this may be the finest fiction book ever written. We didn't think so. We would have abandoned the book earlier, but we kept thinking that we would eventually get something out of the book.

We did learn a fair amount about Russian society in the 1870s.

One of the things we enjoy about reading is well written prose. This was not all that well written because it was based on a translation from Russian.

- Glenn

A wonderful book, full of lively short chapters and scenes. I would stick with the Constance Garnett translation in favor of the more recent ones.
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  #85  
Old 09-24-2023, 10:02 AM
Matthew Sarad Matthew Sarad is offline
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Three Body Problem
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  #86  
Old 09-24-2023, 10:29 AM
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Three Body Problem
Fascinating book, I first heard about it here on AGF.
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  #87  
Old 09-24-2023, 02:11 PM
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Re-sisters the Lives and Recordings of Delia Derbyshire, Margery Kempe and Cosey Fanni Tutti

This is a little disappointing. Cosey isn't a great writer or researcher but some of the subject matter is very interesting. Derbyshire is a personal hero of mine.

The Book of Margery Kempe

Margery Kempe is a very interesting historical figure and her book is a towering and unique literary monument.

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  #88  
Old 09-27-2023, 08:53 PM
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I agree with thefsb. Kempe is a fascinating read.

The Book of Margery Kempe

Margery Kempe is a very interesting historical figure and her book is a towering and unique literary monument.

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  #89  
Old 09-30-2023, 03:27 PM
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A new novel by one of my favorite contemporary authors:

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  #90  
Old 10-01-2023, 07:16 PM
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