And would you recommend it to anyone else? This topic by suggestion...
I'm finishing Tom Clancy's "Dead or Alive": it's thick as a brick! I have a handful of Robert Ludlum related books to consider next, among them: the Amber Warning and another, the Bourne Deception, written by Eric Lustbader with Ludlum's name prominently printed on top of the cover. I see another Bourne movie is coming out this summer, without Matt Damon.
in the line of duty for my gig as a book reviewer for Common Sense Media (a parental advisory site) I am having occasion to read a lot of kids' and teen books. Which is actually fine with me because one thing about books written at that level is that they tend to have less gratuitous BS in them... Many of them are presentable enough but nothing to write home about, often marred by the author's tendency to interject a lot of his/her own clever handwaving to divert the reader from the fact that there's not really much going on, or a tendency to grind his/her particular axe (a great hazard when adult-level writers go Hey! Let's Do A Book For Kids!). Two books that escape this curse admirably that have come along in the last year, both aimed chiefly at teen girls but which certainly would not insult the adult reader's intelligence: The Apothecary, by Maile Meloy, concerning a 14-year-old girl who has to flee to London from Hollywood in the dead of night in the '50s because her parents are blacklisted writers, and is soon caught up in magic, international intrigue, and lots more. The other, which just came out last week, is Tokyo Heist, by Diana Renn, concerning a manga-loving Seattle teen who's suddenly spending the summer in Tokyo with her artist dad, whose clients have just been ripped off by art thieves who are now blackmailing them. Yakuza! Art! Fun stuff!
Yeah, wellll -- Hemingway! Not like I read a lot of his books but I went to Key West this year and was interested to hear his famous take on the "conchs" (term for those who were born or live on Key West for very long). Good book but I don't know why he didn't get ragged on for being pretentious and inserting his own brand of macho.
in the course of the aforementioned duties, I was obliged, some months back, to read The Old Man and the Sea, which I'd managed to avoid assiduously all my life despite grad school in comparative literature... I read other Hemingway, but let's just say this particular opus was a byword in my family from the kids who had to read it in school. SEVERELY mixed feelings. It's partly great, and partly seriously self-parodistic on the macho thing.
by Patti Smith. It's just good. Enjoy!
I just enjoyed reading Talk Show by Dick Cavett (2010) and Somebody to Love? by Grace Slick (1998).
Liver: A Fictional Organ with a Surface Anatomy of Four Lobes by Will Self. a collection of short stories by Will Self. described by the author as "...a collection of two novellas and two longer short stories, all on a liverish theme. Each story features different people suffering from different forms of liver damage." more vicious satire from the psychogeographer. by the way, Hemmingway takes time....
Galileo's Dream -- just finished, historical novel mashed up with time-and-space travel. Main character, Galileo Galilei, the maestro himself. 2312 -- currently reading. What started as a space thriller with a major whodunit? driving the plot has, at this point in my reading, veered into an attempt to "terraform" an eco-devasted Earth. There's still time to solve the crime, but the re-seeding of Earth with then-extinct fauna was an unexpected and seemingly unrelated subplot. We'll see how things tie together, I expect. I tend to jump back-and-forth between science fiction and general fiction (Jonathan Franzen's Freedom is in my on-deck circle), am in a definite sci-fi frame of mind right now. I did have to read Old Man and the Sea in school. For Whom the Bell Tolls as well. Hemingway never really did it for me, but it's been decades since I even took a look.
I loved the bits about baseball. I'm not old enough to remember the teams the old man knows, but I'm old enough to remember their immediate successors and that whole culture.
Donna Leon's Drawing Conclusions, which I loved. Not that Donna Leon has ever written a bad one, of course, but this one's really nice, and the Commissario and Signorina Elettra are in fine form.
I've been meandering through William James' The Varieties of the Religious Experience over the past few months, but right now, I'm mostly rereading the textbook that I'm using in an English composition course I'm teaching this summer, plus the essays that my students will be writing over the next five weeks. I wish I had the time to read a novel, but ever since I started reading for a living, it seems I read less and less of the things that led me down this path in the first place.
which was many years ago, I loved William James and thought that book was about the most sensible thing I had ever read. I also got fond of his bro Henry later in life. And bringing the discussion around, in Donna Leon, the Commissario's wife, a professor, is much in love with Henry James.
make sure the little darlings get Strunk & White. And internalize the principle Omit Needless Words.
Oh yeah, been #1 on my recommended list for a long time, whether or not the recommendee is considering being a "writer," per se. Followed closely by the OED and Roget, just because everyone ought to have a linguistic Swiss Army Knife.
from my first interview with Hunter: lose the passive voice! and watch out for excess adjectives!
Sorry, but I'm not assigning The Elements of Style; it would just be one more text that my students wouldn't read. But I do teach it's principles, and especially "Omit Needless Words", which I heard a story about years ago that goes like this. E. B. White was a student of William Strunk's, and Strunk was a notorious word-miser. How miserly, you might well ask. According to White, Strunk thought "Omit Needless Words" was so important that he would wrote those three words on the blackboard three times in rapid succession to make his point, or so the story goes.
Arthurian Romances, Tales and Lyric Poetry, the Complete Works of Hartmann von Aue. Which, if you're not a German medievalist, will not matter to you at all, but I am just in heaven. Not least because I do not have to slog through this in Middle High German any more. Yes, it's nice that I sorta can, but still. Since I left grad school, a time when no translations existed, a number of academics seem to have gotten on the case, and now everything Hartmann wrote is in English. Yippee! I am really fond of Hartmann and have been these many decades. He was an unusually bright guy apparently educated way beyond his station in life, given to both deep thinking and great storytelling. He lived at one of those Everything Is Changing/Everything You Know Is Wrong moments and the stories are wildly creative efforts (especially for the 12th century) efforts to harmonize opposites. with great sweetness. It struck me at the time I was studying him how like the '60s his era was, and apparently to judge by German literature it all went to bleep even faster back then... But for this one brief moment it was right and proper that anything was possible. Anyway, I'm really tickled to have found the book (Penn State Press).
"Both general readers and specialist critics often complain about my own use of English – not only in my books, but also in my newspaper articles and even in radio talks such as these. “I have to look them up in a dictionary”, they complain – as if this were some kind of torture." - Will Self. interesting piece "A Point Of View: In Defense Of Words" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17777556 "the risk that people seem most reluctant taking is not a physical but a mental one: just as the concrete in children's playgrounds has been covered with rubber, so the hard truth about the effort needed for intellectual attainment is being softened by a sort of semantic padding." quite so.
A magazine that comes out several times a year which is also a website containing blogs and campaigns and articles, There is no advertizing in this periodical Their intent is pretty well summed up here: "We are a global network of culture jammers and creatives working to change the way information flows, the way corporations wield power, and the way meaning is produced in our society." I love it! I'm currently writing an article I hope to have published there. I think the Grateful Dead culture, through the medium of music, served a function parallel to theirs -- though it almost never was by conscious design.
another wonderful ad-free, reader supported magazine. Sy Safransky, the founder, editor and publisher, states it best: "this is a magazine that celebrates beauty without ignoring the destructive forces around us; a monthly, 48 page journal of memoirs, essays,short stories, interviews, poems and photographs with some of the most radically intimate and socially concious writing being published today. Month after month, we come together to celebrate the glory and heartache of being human". My favorite section is one called "readers write". published letters from readers who have written in about a single,specific monthly topic ( upcoming topics include: trying too hard, going home, eyes, winging it, skin) and usually covers 8-10 pages. these letters are written from every angle imaginable. reading these letters is a lot like reading the wonderful posts on this site, it helps to remind me that many, many people out there are going through the same daily "thing" that i am (we all are!) and it can be a real mood booster, eye opener and produce those ever so precious - i -never- thought- of- it -that- way - moments. just like so many of the wonderful lyrics and music from that one band..........what was their name?
Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston was seven years old when her family was rounded up and shipped off to the Manzanar internment camp in California for the duration of WWII. This fall semester, I'll be teaching this text in a developmental writing class, along with March to Freedom by Edith Singer, who was sixteen years old when her family was rounded up and shipped off to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during WWII.
Manzanar, very important book.
I guess you could say my New Year's resolution was to finish all the books I've started and put down over the years. Somehow I'm able to pick up a book after not reading it for an extended period of time and instantly recall everything that's gone on. Anyway, my current task is finishing "The Iliad," which I put down back in '05. It's a hefty read, though, and has been tough to get through as my time to read is limited (my wife and I are expecting our first little bundle of joy and future Deadhead). As for whether or not I'd recommend "The Iliad," that's a definite YES. While it's extremely dated as a topical story, it's a mesmerizing read and is thoroughly captivating to the imagination. My only regret is not having the time to sit down and finish it all in one sitting.
Tom Clancy in all his slow-paced, ascerbic bestas Jack Harris.
into some things, and perhaps not enough into others. And altogether too many street signs. Wish I had time for books, too.
"Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail"- by Cheryl Strayed.I really loved this memoir of a young woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trial alone. She's not a Deadhead, but maybe similar in spirit. She does mention hearing of Jerry's passing during the hike and attending a memorial. And to think I have a backpack in my closet I only used once about 10 years ago.....:(
Most people know this is Kesey's most critically acclaimed, seminal work. It is my holiday read but looks as if I'll finish it as quickly as the author of the forward did. A passage: "Look... Reality is greater than the sum of it's parts, also a damn site holier. And the lives of such stuff as dreams are made of may be rounded with a sleep but they are not tied neatly with a red bow. Truth doesn't run on time like a commuter train, though time may run on truth. And The Scenes Gone By an The Scenes To Come flow blending together in the sea-green deep while Now spreads in circles on the surface. So don't sweat it. For focus simply move a few inches back or forward. And once more...look" Awesome! Kesey wrote this in 1964, well after experimenting with acid. He didn't write another thing for 20 years and never achieved the greatness of this book. A cliche, I know, but this is one of the most important works of an American author in that century.
"Sometimes I live in the country,Sometimes I live in the town; Sometimes I get a great notion To jump in the river ... an' drown." Good Night Irene --- Ledbetter & Lomax (Performed once by the Grateful Dead, 12/31/83) This quote from a song begins Kesey's classic and provides the title of his book. The central character in the work could be said to be the river the Wakonda Auga that flows down from the Cascades to meet the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. The setting is 1950s Oregon in a small logging town on the coast. It is said we write best about things we know and this is what Kesey knew best -- perhaps not this little fictional logging town but others like it and the detail he goes into makes this very evident, from the descriptions of native flora and fauna to the endless rain of Oregon winters to the honking of great masses of Canadian geese migrating south so loud they allow no sleep. Then again the central character could be Hank Stamper, Lee Stamper or the father of the whole Stamper brood, Henry. Or perhaps just the damn Stampers in general who have put the whole town out of the logging business with a strike-breaking contract that is to be fulfilled with only the Stamper clan. I first read this book when I was 18 and have just reread it at the age of 53. It is amazing what the perspective of age can bring to a work of this breadth and magnitude. Back then I knew this was a great work but I couldn't really appreciate what it was about. Now I have more of a handle but not one hundred percent comprehension. I think that would come from a college professor or serious NY Times literary critic. By no means is it a perfect work. It was only Kesey's second book and one wonders how the editors at Viking could have left such devices as Kesey's blatant recapping of the plot in the middle of the book,in case the reader has missed his very subtle hints of an incestuous relationship. Another annoying literary device is his switching between his characters first person point-of-view without even a double spacing between paragraphs. Yet these things do not take away from the greatness of this work. They merely lend it eccentric hints. There are several plot lines going on here. The one that makes this an American classic of the 1900s is that of the rugged individualist (Henry Stamper) and his "Never Give An Inch" attitude toward life. He works hard and plays hard and is larger than life and knows his business of logging, a very dangerous profession. This time period of the 1950s is when unions were perhaps at their peak strength and were striking for a six hour work day for eight hours of pay. Henry Stamper sees his opening and signs a contract to provide logs to the main West Coast timber industry corporation, fictionally named Wakonda Pacific instead of the great robber barron timber corporations that raped that part of the world. Anyone who has, as I have in Mendocino County, walked through a clear-cut knows how the land is trashed. This has the effect of putting all his neighbors and friends out of work and is creating some really harsh conditions for his family. His son Hank, the All-America athlete in everything in high school (and the strongest son-of-a-bitch in the county) sums up the the family attitude to a union official who challenges him on his ethics and relationships and loyalties to his friends and neighbors: "Listen... listen to me Mister. I'm just as concerned as the next guy, just as loyal. But if...the Woodworker's Union or anybody-- gets into it with me, then I'm for me! When the chips are down, I'm my own patriot. I don't give a goddam the other guy is my own brother..." Draeger (the union official) smiled sadly. "And what of self-sacrifice. If you really believed what you say about yourself... you would be in for some pretty selfish loyalty--" "Call it whatever you want, that's the way I intend to play it. You can tell my good friends and neighbors Hank Stamper is as heartless as a stone if you want. You can tell them I care just as much about them as they did about me..." This is a timeless theme and central to the core of our hearts and souls and Kesey has his finger right on the pulse of it all in this book. Another theme is brother against brother. Lee is the wayward son who left with his elitist mother who wanted no part of the Stamper mentality and wanted her son to be educated at an Ivy league school. As a child Lee has seen his mother being diddled by his half-brother Hank through a knothole between their rooms and has carried around his rage all these years. When the Stampers need another of their own to fulfill the contract they ask him to come help out. With thoughts of revenge, he readily accepts and works hard and eventually ends up diddling Hank's wife while his brother watches from a knothole in the adjacent room, the same one he used to use. So these are the three central themes. The suspense builds as various dramas leave the Stampers shorthanded and working against the winter rains to fulfill their contract. There are of course many other side characters of small-town life along the way and Kesey paints them in eloquently with his words. All through this drama the Wakonda Auga river runs through it. This is a great work of fiction by an American author who wrote too few books, much as Jerry Garcia sang too few songs. Put it on your list of books to read. You'll be glad you did.
Here's a link to a recent article in The Atlantic about the pursuit of happiness, power, and meaning, that explains a lot of what's wrong with the world today, I think: http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/theres-more-to-life-tha…
As strange as this may seem, I've been reading more since my daughter was born this past September than I have in probably two years...or more. So far I've managed to finish reading "The Iliad" (which I mentioned previously) and "The Hobbit" and have a little over a hundred pages left of Frank Herbert's "Dune." Not sure what to follow up with, but I have plenty to choose from. Probably going to move on to some Sherlock Holmes, then perhaps "The Odyssey." There's just so many great books to read!
since you're going for the classics, I would also recommend Asimov's Foundation Trilogy and Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, if you haven't read 'em already.
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm always open to new books to read. The only problem I have is there not being enough hours in the day to get all the reading I want done!
Oh My Baby, Little One By -KATHI APPELT Pictures by -JANE DYER A blessing to anyone wanting a book to describe the unfailing, infinite and darling love a parent has for their young child. A Mother's love, comfort and assured place in her heart is a guaranteed by this story's end. A perfect gift, to be sure. A bit from the middle... "It might hide inside my desk drawer or slip inside my shoe, but still, it's always with me- it stays the whole day through. It curls around my coffee cup and perches on my chair. It doesn't matter where I go, this love is everywhere."
THE STORY of FERDINAND by MUNRO LEAF Drawings by ROBERT LAWSON One for the all the children this day, xo! A perfect little story, xo!
I've still got my childhood copy. Sitting under the cork trees and smelling the flowers, words to live by.
The Barnes & Noble Classics edition, that is. 893 pages packed with many of the wild and crazy adventure of the wild and crazy detective. The little one seems to enjoy the stories, or perhaps it's the emphasis and enthusiasm with which I read them. It's hard to tell with a 6-month-old.
THE MAN WHO DIDN'T WASH HIS DISHES BY PHYLLIS KRASILOVSKY ILLUSTRATED BY BARBARA COONEY Copyright 1950 by Phyllis Krasilovsky All rights reserved Lithographed in the United States of America For KATHY JEAN LUBART and all the other children A viable tale today. Priceless simplicity, with many things... comparable, to be sure.
Finally read Roughing It. What a book. Serious road trip. Twain and his brother lit out in 1862, after the Civil War wrecked the steamship trade on the Mississippi. Rode the stagecoaches across the wilderness to Nevada. Twain spends a page on the jackrabbit and two pages on the coyote. He got into silver mining in Virginia City, lost his shirt more than once, headed to San Francisco to write, eventually got to Hawai'i, which was still a kingdom. Pages on Kilauea erupting. Mark Twain could write.
I've always liked fantasy; in many cases, I've liked it better than reality. MacDonald was a Scottish writer in the 1800's. C.S. Lewis was inspired by his fantasy writings to do some of his own [Chronicles of Narnia, etc]. Charles Williams, a contemporary of Lewis, also wrote a series of fantasy novels. Cockburn's song, "Wondering Where the Lions Are", was partially inspired by one of Williams' tales. I highly recommend Phantastes, Lilith, At the Back of the North Wind, Sir Gibbie, the Light Princess and others by GMacD.
A Fraggle Rock Book Starring Jim Henson's Muppets The Cave of the Lost Fraggle By Michael Teitelbaum Pictures By Peter Elwell Copyright 1985 by Henson Associates, Inc. Printed in the United States of America Muppet Press Holt, Rinehart and Winston NEW YORK A tale with a dare and a bunch of other very good things. Jim Henson was so brilliant and incredibly awesome, I find it hard to fathom, some times. Other books in this series: Sprocket's Christmas Tale The Doozer Disaster What's a Fraggle? If I Were King of the Universe What Do Doozers Do? The Legend of the Doozer Who Didn't Best Friends
...The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. It's a book about the great migration of African Americans from the Jim Crow south in the middle part of last century. My last 6 books have all been non-fiction, 187 Things You Should Know about the War of 1812 by Donald Hickey, No Easy Day by Mark Owen, Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational and Scientific by Martin Lee (very enlightening), 20 West by Mac Nelson and SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden by Chuck Pfarrer.
i just found a copy of 'the dead book' by hank harrison. pub 1973, w/ the neal cassady raps record. pretty cool, but i don't think im gonna play the record....
i just found a copy of 'the dead book' by hank harrison. pub 1973, w/ the neal cassady raps record. pretty cool, but i don't think im gonna play the record....
NORMAN THE DOORMAN Written and Illustrated By Don Freeman THE VIKING PRESS NEW YORK Copyright 1959 by Don Freeman ALL RIGHTS RESERVED PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Selected by the American Library Association as a Notable Book for Children It's a tale of great and small sculptures in the Masterpiece show and who wins 1st prize. This book is delightful, hope you might find a copy. It touches the heart and mind of both child and adult sher-ing it. Other Viking Seafarere Books by Don Freeman are Corduroy Beady Bear Dandelion Fly High, Fly Low Mop Top Hattie the Backstage Bat Good tales and fun for kids.
On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt and The Art of the Dead edited by Philip Cushway
There is no one who does satire of the American culture like Wolfe. This one is about Miami. He has done it so much he is close to becoming tedious. But if you've never read anything else by him except for "The Electric Kool-Aid..." then he is always worth another read.
Tom Clancy writes great cloak and dagger spy thrillers. This one is 990 pages long and is in small print. Jack Ryan (Sr) is with the CIA and about to get involved with some unknown clandestine activity on a small island in the south Pacific.Meanwhile, in the desert, field agent tough guys, Chavez and Clark, are chasing a Somali warlord. I hope to have it read by December....
one thing about Tom Clancy, he doesn't shortchange you on the page count! And he keeps you turning them, too.