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#19989 - 01/06/12 08:18 AM Books to read
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
It's time to start another thread, rather than put more book recommendations into the movie thread. So, here goes ...

In the afterword to his 11/22/63, Stephen King makes reference to and pays homage to Jack Finney and his Time and Again (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970; ISBN 0-671-24705-0 / 0-671-24295-4 pbk).
Beautifully conceived and equally beautifully literate — a worthy and worth-while read, no matter what your literary predilections.

In case it's not obvious, King's 11/22/63 is required reading.

And if Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain [see movie thread] moved you, add to that all of Richard Adams's work:
Watership Down (1972),
Shardik (1974), and especially
The Plague Dogs (1977)


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#19995 - 01/06/12 10:18 AM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
To add my 2¢, I highly recommend The Hemlock Cup by Bettany Hughes. It is extremely well written, exhaustively researched, and a fascinating look at Athens in the so-called Golden Age.
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#19996 - 01/06/12 10:55 AM Re: Books to read [Re: jchuzi]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Different in focus but describing the same era, I liked John Hale's Lords of the Sea, the epic story of the Athenian navy and the birth of democracy.

For an entirely different kind of reading fodder, I can recommend Stieg Larsson's Millenium novels, even if you've seen any of the movies (and particularly the current US version of the first book). Be warned, though: you may postpone several of your other to-do items...


Edited by alternaut (01/06/12 11:36 AM)
Edit Reason: added some 'balance'
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#20000 - 01/06/12 03:30 PM Re: Books to read [Re: alternaut]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: alternaut
For an entirely different kind of reading fodder, I can recommend Stieg Larsson's Millenium novels, even if you've seen any of the movies (and particularly the current US version of the first book). Be warned, though: you may postpone several of your other to-do items...

You may find — as did I — that getting into the first novel is slightly tough slogging. But once you're in, you're hooked, and alternaut's warning definitely comes into play.

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#21256 - 03/27/12 01:51 PM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
I just finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin Books: Chapel Hill, NC, 2006; ISBN 978-1-56512-560-5 [PB]), having come to it 6 years too late.
An absolute gem. If the ending isn't the best I've ever read, then I've forgotten what is ... which tells you how and why I might identify with the 'hero' of the tale.

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#22496 - 07/11/12 12:07 PM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
If you aren't (or are) a veterinarian, you should read this:

Zoobiquity : What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing (Barbara Natterson-Horowitz & Kathryn Bowers, 2012).

If your tastes are eclectic and far-reaching, you should read this:

A Universe from Nothing : Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing (Lawrence M. Krauss, 2012).

If you're shiftless and work doesn't become you and reading hurts your head, you should read Dilbert every day.

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#35905 - 09/06/15 04:23 PM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Another must-read:

Beyond Words : What Animals Think and Feel
by Carl Safina (New York: Henry Holt & Co, 2015; ISBN 978-0-8050-9888-4; 461 pages)

Four sections: elephants, wolves, (mostly) dogs, killer whales. The last may make you wish you were a different species.

When dolphins were the planet's brain leaders, the world didn't have any political, religious, ethnic, or environmental problems. Creating problems seems to be one of the things that "make us human."

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#35908 - 09/06/15 11:45 PM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
I just finished The Girl in the Road, by Monica Byrne.

Most science fiction is middle-class Western white dudes. If you watch any episode of Star Trek, you'll see what I mean. Even the "aliens" are basically middle-class Western white people; Japanese society is far more alien than any Star Trek alien.

So I like the fact that The Girl in the Road breaks out of that mold. It's near future science fiction, but it takes place entirely in India and Africa and the main characters are both women.

It's also a rather grim and at times disturbing story, told from the point of view of two characters who are quite damaged and are unreliable narrators. That makes it a challenging read (it's a good idea to read it twice), so naturally, Amazon's reviews are mostly either five stars or one star.
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#35923 - 09/08/15 02:07 PM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
A while back this superb satire appeared:
Er ist wieder da by Timur Vermes (Köln: Eichborn Verlag, 2012; ISBN 978-3-8479-0517-2. 396 Seiten)

It's now available in an excellent English translation (by Jamie Bulloch):
Look Who's Back (London: MacLehose Press, 2014; ISBN 978-0-85705-292-6. 375 pages)

I can't wait until the movie is made.

At the end of the day ...
»Es war nicht alles schlecht.« ("It wasn't all bad.")

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#35957 - 09/11/15 04:19 AM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
dboh Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
John Vaillant's "The Tiger" tells you what tigers think, and it's more than a little chilling.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Tiger-Vengeance-Survival-Departures/dp/0307389049

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#35963 - 09/11/15 07:01 AM Re: Books to read [Re: dboh]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: dboh
John Vaillant's "The Tiger" tells you what tigers think, and it's more than a little chilling.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Tiger-Vengeance-Survival-Departures/dp/0307389049

A fabulous book. Carl Safina references it in his Beyond Words. The tiger's memory is an awesome thing.

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#36047 - 09/21/15 01:35 AM Re: Books to read [Re: alternaut]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: alternaut
For an entirely different kind of reading fodder, I can recommend Stieg Larsson's Millennium novels, even if you've seen any of the movies (and particularly the current US version of the first book). Be warned, though: you may postpone several of your other to-do items...

And the Millennium series continues with David Lagercrantz nailing the deceased Larsson's style. Note too that with one exception it's not a girl ...

Stieg Larsson:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Original/Swedish Title: Män som hatar kvinnor (Men who hate women)

The Girl Who Played with Fire
Original/Swedish Title: Flickan som lekte med elden (The girl who played with [the] fire)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest
Original/Swedish Title: Luftslottet som sprängdes (The air castle that was blown up)

David Lagercrantz:

The Girl in the Spider's Web
Original/Swedish Title: Det som inte dödar oss (That which doesn't kill us)

As for the movie versions, the US take doesn't hold a candle to the 3 Swedish films (based on the first 3 books).

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#36205 - 10/01/15 12:02 PM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Lagercrantz's continuation is a definite Yeah!. smile
I can't (but clearly must) wait until the next one.

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#36207 - 10/01/15 02:07 PM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
MacManiac Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
I totally agree...got the e-book and devoured it immediately.

The characters and story continuity were very well delivered and maintained the original integrity developed in the first three books.

I heartily endorse it as a great read.
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#36231 - 10/03/15 08:09 AM Re: Books to read [Re: MacManiac]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
The characters and story continuity were very well delivered and maintained the original integrity developed in the first three books.
I heartily endorse it as a great read.

A star fell outside in the night sky.

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#36233 - 10/03/15 08:26 AM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
MacManiac Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Stardust?

Another good read in my opinion.
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#36236 - 10/03/15 11:33 AM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: grelber
And the Millennium series continues with David Lagercrantz nailing the deceased Larsson's style.

I may be opening a can of worms with this post, but I think Sophie Gilbert (The Atlantic) provides an interesting take on Lagercrantz’s continuation of the Larsson novels, and in general on the continuation of popular book series or characters by authors other than the original ones: Lisbeth Salander: The Girl Who Survived Her Creator. Gilbert starts her piece by mentioning a 2010 Slate article by Michael Newman, The Girl Who Deserves To Escape Her Author, who is quite vocal in criticizing Larsson’s writing. Newman allows for the effect of translation on his impressions, but suspects that doesn’t explain his issues with the novels: to him it’s most likely Larsson’s writing that sucks. While I (think I) see his point, I have to disagree with it in the aggregate, and posit that—for me at least—translation has to incorporate not just the correct meaning and style, but also the linguistic ’touch and feel’ of the story, warts and all.

Unfortunately, I can’t judge that in this case, having read Larsson only in (English) translation. But in other cases I could, having read the original as well as a translation. Specifically, the English translations of Larsson’s novels remind me—albeit in different ways—of certain stories originally written in German or Dutch, western germanic relatives of the northern germanic Swedish. Most translation readers rarely experience it, but the sound of a story in the original language can carry an important part of its texture. For instance, if you have read Kafka in German, you can’t escape the estranging effect of the language used. Heck, any halfway decent translation conveys that effect. But if anything, hearing it in German hammers that home irrevocally and inimitably. IMO, if that’s lost in translation, an essential part of the story’s ‘soul’ is lost as well. Incorporating such language texture in translation is hard to do, and the difficulty varies by language, but it’s possible, if perhaps only in approximation.

Anyway, regardless of Larsson’s language use being functional or delinquent, I wolfed down his Millennium series and will definitely have a go at Lagercrantz’s novel.
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#36240 - 10/03/15 04:53 PM Re: Books to read [Re: alternaut]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Michiko Kakutani's review of Lagercrantz's novel in Books of The [New York] Times provides another take.

Larsson's Millennium trilogy was admirably translated by Reg Keeland (pseudonym of Steven T. Murray), as was Lagercrantz's follow-up by George Goulding.

I do have a couple nits to pick with the latter:
• Even though it was published in the USA, its style is strictly British. This is particular annoying when straight off an NSA email message/quote written by an American uses the term "no-one" instead of "no one", and this sort of thing persists throughout the book.
• Add to that the use of British slang most likely to be unfamiliar to North American audiences — for example, stroppy 'bad-tempered and argumentative'. [And yes, I prefer the British grammatical usage of placing the punctuation (eg, period or full stop, semicolon) outside the quote marks at the end of a sentence/phrase if it's not part of the quoted passage.]
The editor(s) responsible should have caught such faux pas.

On a similar note I would remark that Timur Vermes's Er ist wieder da was superbly translated by Jamie Bulloch with the title Look Who's Back — see Post #35923 above. I read both cover to cover (and in that order) and the translation was true to the original, while being amenable to the English-speaking psyche.

All of these passed through the doors of MacLehose Press.

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#36387 - 10/09/15 11:17 AM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Quote:
In the afterword to his 11/22/63, Stephen King makes reference to and pays homage to Jack Finney and his Time and Again (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970; ISBN 0-671-24705-0 / 0-671-24295-4 pbk.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FHNzV8iiwxA
"Time travel is a bi#ch."

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#36625 - 10/24/15 01:54 AM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Not exactly a book, but definitely worth a read: Reinventing the Library

A superb op-ed piece by Alberto Manguel (an Argentine-born Canadian writer, translator and editor) in today's New York Times pointing up that "If we change the role of libraries and librarians, we must be careful to preserve the centrality of the book."

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#36632 - 10/24/15 07:56 AM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
"…change the role of librarians…": see these librarians! smirk
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#36634 - 10/24/15 08:33 AM Re: Books to read [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The op-ed piece grelber referred to is thought provoking and well worth a read. My nephew is a librarian in a growing mid sized community in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and rather than closing libraries and/or reducing operating hours, they are building new and additional buildings. But the space for shelving printed books is getting smaller and smaller to make way for more computers and various electronic devices. A graduate student friend tells me none of her textbooks are available in print form but are downloaded into each student's iPad. This makes it possible to revise the textbooks during any given semester sometimes more than once.

I agree with the concept of preserving the centrality of the book, but these trends suggest a necessity to re-define the concept of what a book is and, as suggested by the op-ed piece, re-thinking what a library is or should be.
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#36640 - 10/24/15 11:49 AM Re: Books to read [Re: Ira L]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Ira L
"…change the role of librarians…": see these librarians! smirk

‘Librarians’ with guns and assorted other weaponry? Great role models, only in the US! crazy
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#36680 - 10/26/15 06:39 AM Re: Books to read [Re: alternaut]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: alternaut
‘Librarians’ with guns and assorted other weaponry? Great role models, only in the US! crazy

Librarians got it easy, save your pity for the unfortunate staff at the museum
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#36682 - 10/26/15 09:17 AM Re: Books to read [Re: Virtual1]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
Funny that you should bring that up. I actually worked ‘there’ in the 80’s cool, and I sure couldn’t agree on the basis of that experience. But of course, that was before that Night at the Museum… smirk
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