The Book Thread! What are you reading?

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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby TotallyUncool » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:13 pm

Spoiler: show
To me, other people's religious views are basically a matter of live and let live -- for one thing, I consistently find that a person's character - and whether I like and am socially/emotionally compatible with that person - have just about nothing to do with his or her religious beliefs. (And that pretty much goes for politics and character/personal compatibility as well, whether or not I always want to admit it. XD )
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby DSQueenie » Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:15 am

I just finished (finally) Empress Dowager Cixi: The Woman Who Launched Modern China.

Very bias but very good. I think Jung Chang's only issue is that the people of today aren't very good understanding how normal political murder was back then.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby CaptainBerryzGiraffe » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:03 pm

This is a thread?
Well,
I just finished reading
The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie today... damn, there's a lot of subtext I clearly didn't understand. xD
but it was amazing.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby erilaz » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:25 pm

I just finished In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture, by Alister McGrath. There's a bit more repetition in the text than I thought was necessary, but all in all it was a very informative book. The bits I found most interesting were (not surprisingly) those that had to do with the historical development of the English language. For example:

1. The translators of the King James Version (KJV) were instructed to follow the text of the so-called "Bishops' Bible" of 1568, "as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit." The wording of other specific 16th-century translations was also permitted to be followed, where these accorded more closely to the original text than the Bishops' Bible. As a result, the language of the KJV was already somewhat old-fashioned when it was published in 1611. The 3rd person singular present tense verbal ending -eth (as in maketh, leadeth) was already on its way out.

2. A fair number of idioms that we use today are actually literal translations of Hebrew and Greek turns of phrase that were introduced into English by the KJV. Among these are "to fall flat on his face" (Numbers 22:31), "from time to time" (Ezekiel 4:10), "the skin of my teeth" (Job 19:20), and "the powers that be" (Romans 13:1).

3. This one I found particularly interesting: How many times does the possessive pronoun its occur in the text of the KJV?
Spoiler: show
Only once: "That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap…" (Leviticus 25:5). The reason for this is that in earlier English the word his was used for both the masculine and neuter possessive. The neuter usage of his was dying out at the beginning of the 17th century but still appears in a few places in the KJV, such as Matthew 5:13 ("but if the salt have lost his savour"). In general, the translators avoided using this moribund form, but they also avoided using the newfangled word its. Instead of these, they mainly employed a paraphrase with thereof, as in Exodus 30:2: "A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof…."
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby Moh » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:29 pm

Stuck between The City (Dean Koontz) and Mistress (James Patterson). Will probably finish the latter first; will probably start over on the former.

I really need to find out how much it is to transfer my ID so I can get a library card and stop bumming books off of my dad. :mikihead:
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby erilaz » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:45 pm

Recently finished:

Trigger Warning — A collection of short fiction and poems by Neil Gaiman. I've already marked a couple of pieces to read aloud at the Bay Area chapter of the Mythopoeic Society's annual "Reading and Eating Meeting" in December.

Tezuka: The Marvel of Manga — Catalogue of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, containing several informative essays. I saw the exhibition when it traveled to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in the summer of 2007.

Currently reading:

Radio Free Albemuth — Philip K. Dick's posthumously published final novel, set in a totalitarian alternate-history America. One of the main characters is Dick himself, the other is his friend Nicholas Brady, who receives subliminal messages from an extraterrestrial intelligence. In the early chapters of the book, Brady is a record store clerk on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, so the "been there, done that" factor was my primary motivation for reading this book.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby TotallyUncool » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:50 pm

And of course, Philip K. Dick had been a record store clerk in Berkeley back in the early 50s -- I only got part of the way through Radio Free Albemuth (I think that Valis kind of wore me out, and I felt like I wasn't ready for another round), but it sounds like Brady may be at least a partial stand-in for Dick, the way that Horselover Fat was in Valis. I should read it when I get some time.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby erilaz » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:23 pm

I certainly got the feeling from his descriptions that he knew the business from the inside.

The shop that he describes, University Music, was a real store, in the building that now houses Rasputin Music. Here's a blog post about that. The blogger is incorrect when he says that it changed over while Dick was still living in Marin, though. Rasputin didn't move into that particular location until 1996. I don't know how many businesses may have been there in the interim, but I do remember a Miller's Outpost clothing store being there in the mid to late '80s.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby TotallyUncool » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:39 am

There's some kind of remarkable (and strange) pop-culture continuity in that!

I rmember going int Rasputin not too long after it opened, and now that I think about it, I must have gone into University Music at least once or twice (if it lasted at least a couple of decades after he worked there), since I used to stick my head into just about every store on Telegraph whenever I'd go there as a teenager.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby TotallyUncool » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:13 pm

I've actually found time to read some fiction (in small doses, but still) -- Cassandra Khaw's Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef is utterly wonderful and funny, in an insane-fantasy-horror sort of way!
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby erilaz » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:32 pm

^ That sounds like fun!

Today I started reading Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves. Published in 2015, this story becomes more relevant every day. As Reeves writes in his introduction:

I finally decided to write this book when I saw that my country, not for the first time, began turning on immigrants, blaming them for the American troubles of the day. Seventy years ago, it was American Japanese, most of them loyal to their new country; now it is Muslims and Hispanics.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby TotallyUncool » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:27 am

A FB friend just posted a link to this: Talk Like a Californian: A Hella Fresh Guide to Golden State Speak. I'm hella tempted to buy it. XD
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby erilaz » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:57 pm

^ I bought a copy of the Berkeley High School Slang Dictionary from 2004 at an estate sale a few months ago.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby erilaz » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:57 pm

I just finished reading Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys, a memoir by Viv Albertine, who was the guitarist for the Slits, one of my favorite punk bands. Very interesting stuff.

I've read several music-related memoirs in the past year: Wonderful Tonight by Pattie Boyd (ex-wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton), I'm a Believer by Micky Dolenz (Monkees), Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), Reckless by Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders). Sitting here, waiting to be read: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney).
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby Moh » Thu May 11, 2017 10:55 am

Finished: Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch (Stephen King)
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby erilaz » Fri May 19, 2017 4:58 pm

I just finished reading The Princess Diarist by the late, great Carrie Fisher. It's definitely a must-read for Star Wars fans. The book consists of three parts: (1) memories of her experiences while filming Star Wars, including her previously undisclosed affair with then-married Harrison Ford; (2) extracts from the diary she kept at that time and only recently rediscovered; and (3) meditations on her post-Star Wars fame and interactions with Star Wars fans. The least interesting part for me was the diary itself; there was virtually no narrative there, just angsty teenage musings and poetry.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby erilaz » Sat May 20, 2017 5:56 pm

mi kama sona e toki pona kepeken pu. toki pona ni li jo e nimi ale mute taso. mi kama sona e toki pona kepeken ilo lipu lon tenpo pini. taso sona mute li tawa weka.

Translation: I'm learning Toki Pona by reading Toki Pona: The Language of Good by Sonja Lang. This simple language has only 120 words. I learned Toki Pona online in the past, but I've forgotten a lot.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby Zunu » Wed May 24, 2017 5:29 am

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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby Moh » Wed May 24, 2017 12:36 pm

Working on: One Door Away from Heaven (Dean Koontz)
Was trying to get through Terminal (Robin Cook), but it just didn't grab my attention at all. I usually like his stuff, too.
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Re: The Book Thread! What are you reading?

Postby erilaz » Wed May 24, 2017 7:14 pm

Zunu wrote:^ 010110010110111101110101001000000111001101101000011011110111010101101100011001000010000001110011011101000110000101110010011101000010000001110111011010010111010001101000001000000110001001101001011011100110000101110010011110010010111000100000010010010111010000100111011100110010000001100101011000010111001101101001011001010111001000101110

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