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Old 09-01-2019, 08:30 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,794 posts, read 2,798,999 times
Reputation: 4925

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Sharp's Fortress & Sharpe's Trafalgar - Continuing the story of Richard Sharpe, & his improbable rise in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. Excellent military fiction, interacting with real people & invented characters. Sharpe is a rogue, but an excellent soldier @ heart.
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Fiorina "Fury" 161
3,527 posts, read 3,731,599 times
Reputation: 6601
Quote:
Originally Posted by movinon View Post

I have read that there are a number of translations out there, some better than others. The one which I have is by Burton Raffel whose version has been acclaimed for its accuracy and dedication to translating the original Spanish with all its subtle nuances. I found it extremely readable and I never bogged down which I can't say about translations I've read of other books. But I don't have another version of Don Quixote with which to compare so there's that. I'll read it again some day - I liked it that much.
I first read it as part of a school assignment. I have the 2001 Signet Classic version, complete and unabridged, translated by Walter Starkie with Pablo Picasso's "Don Quixote" painting on the cover. It's short and compact with small print, but I have always been fond of having a copy of the work in such portable (paper) form. It has sat studiously on my shelf ever since, my neglect of its completion not withstanding.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Middle of the valley
48,518 posts, read 34,833,342 times
Reputation: 73739
What Alice Forgot just came in from the library and so far I like it a lot.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:11 PM
 
Location: East Coast
4,249 posts, read 3,722,015 times
Reputation: 6482
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
What Alice Forgot just came in from the library and so far I like it a lot.
That was an enjoyable read -- nothing life changing, but enjoyable and entertaining.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:30 PM
 
13,496 posts, read 18,187,651 times
Reputation: 37885
Dubliners by James Joyce. I read it in my late twenties, and now at age eighty-one I am reading the same copy again. Much different book this time, despite the being written more than a century ago, this time around each story - so far - has managed to have some personal reverberation. No doubt as I have lived so many more years there is now more in my life for the stories to resonate with. I often read in a cafe on the corner, and it is a bit strange to finish a story, look up feeling such a strong sense of emotional involvement that all the usual conversation and banging of dishes and glasses going on around me seems like it is happening at a distance, on a TV screen perhaps.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
3,836 posts, read 1,783,960 times
Reputation: 5007
The Paris Orphan novel by Natasha Lester debuted today so looking forward to that.
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:44 AM
 
Location: Europe
4,692 posts, read 1,164,657 times
Reputation: 924
Thomas Mark Macquarrie, Kevin Maurer “liquidator. Revelation operator combat drone”
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Middle of the valley
48,518 posts, read 34,833,342 times
Reputation: 73739
Darn library, Machines Like Me came in, so I'll need to read in double time.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Fiorina "Fury" 161
3,527 posts, read 3,731,599 times
Reputation: 6601
Finished "Welcome to Utopia: Notes from a Small Town." Finding a town without popular culture would have been a difficult task even in the 2000s, and that proves to be the case here as well. I was expecting more romanticism and charm, I suppose, with some ties to the history of the town, the beauty of the landscape, and what life was truly like in regard to the entire premise for the book -- the absence of pop culture -- but the author never seems to take much interest in any of that. There were too many tropes for my taste: the "old-timers" being resistant to change (socially, demographically, geographic/expansion/town size), while the seemingly aimless youth she follows have MySpace accounts, attend rock concerts, play video games, or drive many miles out of town see the latest movie releases. The rest of their days are spent, of course, dreaming about their escape from small-town life. Since much of the book has this underlying theme, it gets to be a drag, not a boon.

Audiobooks:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Free-R View Post
While not an immediate listen, I started the audiobook "Last Chance to See" by Douglas Adams of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" fame. I have previously read neither of these works. I chose this one by random after I was finished with "Autobiography."
Completed this. With the benefit of hindsight, we know now that some of the endangered species they went to observe, or attempted to observe, did not make it. Last chance to see, indeed.

I also finished David Spade's "Almost Interesting," narrated by the man himself. Although his self-deprecation lacked more confidence than I think was warranted, I thought he was a great narrator for his story. This was something light and easy to listen to in my car.

---

Now for my focus to become singular, and a little less light, in a good way, as it is off to La Mancha.

Last edited by Free-R; 09-04-2019 at 10:36 AM..
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:07 PM
 
Location: New York Area
35,045 posts, read 16,987,357 times
Reputation: 30168
Default Wanderings - By Chaim Potok

I just minutes ago finished reading Wanderings by Chaim Potok.

This book was a history of the Jews, from Ur (Abraham's birthplace) to Entebbe. I gave the book three stars despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and found large parts of it worthwhile. Several reasons:

1) The treatment of the last 170 years of Jewish history was overly compressed;
2) Very short shrift was given American Jewish history;
3) The treatment of Islam focused on its "golden era" in Spain, not the far more representative periods of extreme violence and bloodshed. Think September 11; and
4) The author thoroughly trashes the period of history known as The Enlightenment.

The book, as it must, focuses heavily on the ups and downs of pre-Diaspora life in the Levant. That portion of the book was extremely good. Potok seems to take the point of view that Jewish life, at that point, transferred to Europe, and at that point Jewish life died at first a slow, than an accelerating death. He views the Enlightenment era as a disaster.

That is problematic. The pre-Enlightenment period was horrific. And when the Enlightenment first spread to England and then America, the results were extremely positive for the Jewish people. There is no question in my mind that the European interlude was a barely mitigated tragedy and disaster. He does give very good, even humorous examples of the totally crazed nature of Catholic religious belief and other fringe Christian beliefs of the Middle Ages.

Inexplicably, he barely mentions the Protestant Reformation and does not at all mention the Gutenberg Press. Overall, the book was well worth the month I spent in reading it. Was it perfect; hardly.

Last edited by jbgusa; 09-04-2019 at 06:26 PM..
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