Read any good books?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jay_too, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CA
    Last September several posters suggested a couple of books as good reads, The Isles and Europe both by Norman Davies. Well, I ordered them, and after a couple of thousand pages, I have finished them and would appreciate suggestions for other works.

    I did a search on 20th Century European Cultural and Intellectual History on Amazon and came up with only the "Hitler File." I does have some text, but it is largely posters and pictures of Nazi Germany. I would like some insight into the cultural forces that ripped apart Europe.

    My insomnia and I would appreciate a few good reommendations.

    Thanks, jay
     
  2. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    Messages:
    5,402
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I'm about to start teaching freshman English; of course I've been reading some good books! However, the good books that I have been reading are those required for the 13 - 14 year-olds in my class: Lord of the Rings, A Separate Peace, Lord of the Flies, Romeo and Juliet, The Canterbury Tales, Civil Disobedience, Leaves of Grass. Great books, no question, but probably not the kind of read you're seeking.
     
  3. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    Javierdude22: Sorry I cant help ya there Jay...I dont know much about what history books are good sources.

    I dont have much time to read anything unrelated to my thesis. Its saddening in a way. I bought this book called - Ojo por Ojo - (An eye for an eye). It is a rather political book about what really happened between Alberto Fujimori and his right hand Vladimir Montesinos, and the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso (Path of light or so) in Peru.

    It was said and thought SEndero killed 25,000 Peruvians...they didnt know (or forgot to mention) Fujimori killed 35,000 Peruvians...because of a suspected alliance with Sendero.

    But I have yet to read it...
     
  4. jonb

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    8,308
    Likes Received:
    2
    And let's not forget the forced sterilizations. An unlikely alliance of Catholics, feminists, and Indians were all highly critical of Fujimori for just that reason. (There have been a lot of forced sterilizations of Indian women here in the States as well: The women in my family are all still adamant about having at least one family member present any time they go under.)
     
  5. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    headbang8: Origins of the Second World War and Europe: Grandeur and Decline, both by A.J.P. Taylor. You might need to search amazon.co.uk for the latter.

    Beautifully written--elegant, balanced prose.

    For European history from a slightly different perspective, try Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie. It was an airport papaerback bestseller, but still remained remarkably detailed and rich. The Russian roiyal family was related to almost every other in Europe, and their story tells a lot about the unification of GErmany and the first world war, which, of course, sowed the seeds for the second.

    hb8
     
  6. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    83,922
    Likes Received:
    34
    [quote author=headbang8 link=board=99;num=1076894918;start=0#4 date=02/16/04 at 05:54:31]For European history from a slightly different perspective, try Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie.[/quote]

    I can attest for the excellence of this book. I read it in the mid-1970's and was so impressed with it, I named my second daughter after one of the royal family.

    Pecker

    Confusion say: Man who jump through screen door, strain reality.
     
  7. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    28,016
    Likes Received:
    726
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    the pain behind your eyes
    I've gone through a few in my time. To top the list were,
    FRANKENSTEIN, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, AND ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST I'm currently working on CATCH-22, and plan on working on FIRST BLOOD
     
  8. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    Javierdude22: [quote author=jonb link=board=99;num=1076894918;start=0#3 date=02/15/04 at 23:12:57]And let's not forget the forced sterilizations. An unlikely alliance of Catholics, feminists, and Indians were all highly critical of Fujimori for just that reason. [/quote]

    I didnt know that. Theres so much hidden under the table from this guy. All I knew back in Holland was that Fujimori was corrupt. I had hardly heard about SEndero, as I was app. 16 when they wrapped the group up.

    Theres this exposition in Lima called -Comision de la Verdad- Comision of truth, which horrifyingly tells about what réally happened. With pictures and all.

    I went to look for the place but I didnt have good directions. I asked this soldier standing outside some big government building uif he knew...he wasnt too happy with my question, as the comision blames the military for tens of thousands of killings.

    When I hit Lima again I will definately visit it.
     
  9. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    SpeedoGuy: Didn't Alberto Fujimori flee to Japan for some time while he was under indictment in Peru? And isn't he back in Peru now plotting a comeback?


    As for books...

    I recomend: "The Rules of the Game" by Andrew Gordon. This is a fascinating and detailed look at the gradual deterioration and bureaucratization of the command structure in Britain's Royal Navy during the 100 years between the victory at Trafalgar and the disappointing of the fiasco at Jutland. Good stuff.

    SG
     
  10. Ralexx

    Ralexx Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Central Europe

    I'm glad, Jay, that you managed to read the two books I suggested, concerning Europe. I hoped you liked them.

    My last books :
    Literature
    Marcel Proust - Le Temps retrouvé and Sodome et Gommorhe
    Frédérique Hébrard - Le Mari de l'Ambassadeur (The Ambassador's Husband)[also tv series, 1993] and Le Château des Oliviers
    Jean d'Ormesson - Dieu, sa vie, son oeuvre God, his life and work, Le Vent du soir The Evening's Wind

    Politics and world affairs
    Thierry de Montbrial - 1989-2003. 15 ans qui ont ébranlé le monde
    I'm still into Frenchness concerning literature.

    ...some books on the history of Roumania... other books regarding Catholicism... a military non-fiction (Total War 2006)... err...

    Jay... I'll think about your question (« I would like some insight into the cultural forces that ripped apart Europe ») and I hope being able to come back with an answer for you.
     
  11. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CA
    Raal Lexx..

    I did enjoy the books. I only wish Europe had covered the rise and fall of the empires in Central Europe in greater detail. The European history that I had in college largely dealt with the western European nations (and Russia) that were the early settlers of the North American continent. From tv I know that there were Roumanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Polish empires. So I would have liked a few more pages on the rise and fall of these empires. Yea, yea...instead of being 1000 pages, Europe would have been 2000 pages. If someone decides to order Europe, get the hard copy; I got the paperback and had to read it sitting at a table because it is so cumbersome.

    I liked the Isles because it reinfoced my observation about the proper flag and the proper name for the moment; i.e., U.K., Great Britain, or U.K. of Great Britain, Scotland, England, or Wales. When I was nine, I spent a year in a British school and never did get the terminology right. Davis makes the point the Brits don't either. I particularly liked the beginning and the end of the work. In fact this summer I plan to reread the last 200 pages again.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    jay
     
  12. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CA
    I recommend Alexander McCall Smith's mystery series that begins with The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. The series has no hot sex, uncovers no multinational plan to take over the world, and minimal violence. It is a charming look at life in Botswana through the eyes of Precious Ramotswe, proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Mma. Ramotswe is an African Miss Marple.

    Mingella [The English Patient] has bought the film/tv rights to the series.

    jay
     
  13. jonb

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    8,308
    Likes Received:
    2
    You're right; he fled to Japan. The US was also very fond of Fujimori; in fact, like just about every other dictator in the world today, he was put in power by the US.
     
  14. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CA
    DMW..

    I went to the bookstore this afternoon to pickup Leaves of Grass and ran into a couple of friends. He had just picked up Lincoln and Whitman by Daniel Mark Epstein. This new book has supposedly gotten great reviews.

    I agree with your selections [I am not familiar with Civil Disobedience]. To me Canterbury Tales is the premier work in English. I probably enjoyed Tolkien's Hobbit more than the Ring trilogy.

    jay
     
  15. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    Javierdude22: Fujimori has a site now, to promote his comeback. Some people actually want him back. But at the same time, Alan Garcia (the president that dipped Peru in financial crisi and international isolation in 1985-1990) is running too, and many people are gonna vote for him.

    Heard something new today. Remember the hostage taking of the Japanese embasy, so called by Sendero Luminoso? Well, supposedly it was the military in guerilla uniform. The hostage holding ended in the death of all -guerilla- and no military or hostages. Nobody ever saw the guerillas bodies. It is aid he staged the hostage taking to regain his fading popularity and international prestige.

    Sorry to have this going through the thread.

    Uhm...I also recommend Harry Potter??? ;D..
     
  16. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    Messages:
    5,402
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisiana
    [quote author=jay_too link=board=99;num=1076894918;start=0#13 date=02/16/04 at 17:46:00]He had just picked up Lincoln and Whitman by Daniel Mark Epstein.[/quote]

    Excellent read. I would recommond it.

    No? Its full name is actually On the Duty of Civil Disobedience and is probably the most famous essay in the English language. It is by Henry David Thoreau and is often published together with his Walden in a single volume. Civil Disobedience is required reading, but my students will have the option of reading and being tested on Walden for extra credit.
     
  17. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    Doubtless_Mouse: While they are not near as long as On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, I would recommend a few short essays (if you haven't read them yet) by some I consider to be great writers;

    The Abstractions of Beasts - Carl Sagan
    Letter to President Pierce, 1855 - Chief Seattle
    On Dumspter Diving - Lars Eighner
    The Eureka Phenomenon - Issac Asimov
    Black Men and Public Space - Brent Staples
    Their Malcom, My Problem - Gerald Early
    Politics and the English Language - George Orwell
    The Gettysburg Address - Abraham Lincoln
    Advice to Youth - Samuel L. Clemens
    Shooting an Elephant - George Orwell
    Democracy - E.B White
    Letter From a Birmingham Jail - Martin Luther King Jr.
    The Alegory of the Cave - Plato
    The Declaration of Independence - Thomas Jefferson and others
    Notes on Punctuation - Lewis Thomas
    Nobel Prize Award Speech - William Faulkner

    These have been some of the best essays I have ever read and I like to think they have influenced my writing. In case you are wondering they can all be found in an Anthology of Expository Prose called the Norton Reader, used my freshmen year at college a few years ago. I have long since stopped taking writing courses, but almost weekly I open this book up and re-read at least one or two of the essays listed above. Enjoy. If I can find some of my better pieces will try to post them in the Ect. Ect section for comments and suggestions.
     
  18. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CA
    I have just finished an exceptional book. Testament by N. Ricci. It is a novel about Jesus. It is the author's search for a Jesus without miracles.

    It is not for those who believe that the New Testament was dictated by God. The book definitely makes you ponder and rethink Christian beliefs. One of the guys at the gym that I talk with is a retired minister. After a short conversation, he went out and picked up the book and stopped by to show me. He is halfway through and has recommended it to a couple of other ministers or so they have told me in the gym.
     
  19. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    Doubtless_Mouse: Norman Mailer (sp) has a book about Jesus written in the first person (as if Jesus wrote it) very well written book. If i can find the name will post, good read.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted