ghost of miles

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Restless Pilgrim: The Spiritual Journey of Bob Dylan by Scott M. Marshall with Marcia Ford

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I finally conquered The Federalist Papers, or they conquered me, not sure which.  Quite dense stuff, especially one of the last papers (83) written by Hamilton on why trial by jury wasn't in the Constitution proper (though it was added only 4 years later as part of the Bill of Rights).

In a few months, I expect to tackle Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, but I need some lighter stuff in the meantime.

I'm just starting Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, which I never read in high school (unlike so many other Americans).

After that, probably Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh.

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On November 6, 2016 at 3:40 AM, BillF said:

I'm not a Dickens fan either, but that was my university Dickens text and certain passages and images, though read more than 50 years ago, have never left me.

Yes, there are some marvelous characters and scenes. 

Perhaps if one took Dickens mixed with a bit of Genet, one might come up with Nelson Algren. Just finished reading his story of small-time bums and crooks in Chicago in the aftermath of WWII, in particular the central character of Frankie Machine, card dealer and junkie. Wonderful lyricism on Algren's part, but in contrast with today's underworld, it seems a bit quaint. 

ap019-man-with-the-golden-arm-nelson-alg

 

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Image result for fears of henry iv

Not exactly England's best known monarch - I don't think I remembered anything about him apart from his deposing Richard II. Got curious watching the Shakespeare plays earlier in the year and then followed up from an earlier, more general book on the Plantagenets up to RII. 

Excellent bio - Mortimer his really done his research from Henry's accounts (though at times there's a bit too much listing of everything in those accounts!). The rivalry of Henry and Richard as kids and into adulthood is very well portrayed. Richard's increasingly arbitrary rule rang bells with current events in Britain. Then 15 years or so of endless revolts, clinging onto the crown for dear life. A much more interesting period than I'd imagined.   

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American Philosophy: A Love Story by John Kaag

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Edited by Matthew

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On 11/7/2016 at 4:42 PM, Leeway said:

Yes, there are some marvelous characters and scenes. 

Perhaps if one took Dickens mixed with a bit of Genet, one might come up with Nelson Algren. Just finished reading his story of small-time bums and crooks in Chicago in the aftermath of WWII, in particular the central character of Frankie Machine, card dealer and junkie. Wonderful lyricism on Algren's part, but in contrast with today's underworld, it seems a bit quaint. 

ap019-man-with-the-golden-arm-nelson-alg

 

I read three Nelson Algren books four or five years ago - this, Walk on the Wild Side and Never Come Morning. I think it was Walk on the Wild Side I enjoyed most, though I agree, they are a touch quaint. Hubert Selby's books are distinctly more unpleasant, for example.

I think someone out of "Walk on the Wild Side" said something along the lines of "You can't be too mean to some people, but you can be too nice", which has always stuck with me.

Edited by rdavenport

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Just finished Martin Amis' "Dead Babies".

I make that four Martin Amis books I have read, three of which have fairly unpleasant or downtrodden characters, named Keith (one was actually a woman named Keithette, but you get the gist). I wonder why? 

There was also a very short, but pointed to reference to J G Ballard's "Crash" in this one (binnacles and semen)

Edited by rdavenport

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Colin Dexter: The Wench Is Dead

One of the better Morse mysteries. The conceit here is that Morse solves a 130 year old mystery, mostly from his hospital bed. A bit far fetched, but well done, nonetheless.

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da4da8_3016568d31d44d39833d1ef275a4af3a.

Finally caught up to this modern classic. Despite some faults, it still has some great characters and scenes. 

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Currently reading Dr. Zhivago. I'm not finding it an easy read. 

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Bruce DeSilva: The Dread Line

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On November 15, 2016 at 3:09 PM, paul secor said:

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Gerald Durrell: My Family and Other Animals

Don't know if you've sen it, but PBS is currently broadcasting the miniseries, "The Durrells in Corfu," which is quite entertaining and depicts (among other aspects) Gerald's budding efforts as a naturalist. Coincidentally, I'm reading Justine, the first volume in the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. 

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4 hours ago, Leeway said:

Don't know if you've sen it, but PBS is currently broadcasting the miniseries, "The Durrells in Corfu," which is quite entertaining and depicts (among other aspects) Gerald's budding efforts as a naturalist. Coincidentally, I'm reading Justine, the first volume in the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. 

I actually began reading this after seeing the PBS series. The miniseries is very entertaining. It concentrates on the members of the Durrell family and friends and family (as it almost has to). I find the book fascinating because there is at least as much, if not more, concentration on the natural world - which I have to admit I wouldn't have thought would interest me much until I read it. I have the second volume of the Corfu trilogy on order from a friend's bookstore. Unfortunately, the third volume, The Garden of the Gods, is out of print and seems to be available only at high prices - plus our library system doesn't have a copy. Perhaps the success of the PBS series will bring it back into print.

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We love that series here as well.
Didn't realize until now that it is
told from the point of view of the child. 

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13 hours ago, Leeway said:

Don't know if you've sen it, but PBS is currently broadcasting the miniseries, "The Durrells in Corfu," which is quite entertaining and depicts (among other aspects) Gerald's budding efforts as a naturalist. Coincidentally, I'm reading Justine, the first volume in the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. 

MF&OA was a set text for elementary level students when I was teaching literature. Perhaps that's why I never liked it. ^_^ Have much better memories of Justine and the rest of the Alexandria Quartet.

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4 hours ago, BillF said:

MF&OA was a set text for elementary level students when I was teaching literature. Perhaps that's why I never liked it. ^_^ Have much better memories of Justine and the rest of the Alexandria Quartet.

I really liked The Alexandria Quartet and do mean to reread it one of these days.  I haven't gotten terribly far with any other of Durrell's novels, even though many of them are short.

I'm nearly done with The Cure for Death by Lightning and am halfway through To Kill a Mockingbird.  Both involve small rural communities and the rumors and gossip that can lead to serious consequences.  Both could be considered coming of age novels, though Scout is quite a bit younger than Beth Weeks, the narrator of Cure for Death.  Both also feature racism quite prominently, either against Blacks or First Nations people.  The main difference is that To Kill a Mockingbird is a quasi fairy tale where Atticus is essentially a prince in disguise, whereas Beth's father is the monster that must be slayed.

 

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19 hours ago, ejp626 said:

 

I'm nearly done with The Cure for Death by Lightning and am halfway through To Kill a Mockingbird...

 

I had to read Mockingbird in school, it was assigned reading. I think most kids did. I liked it so much I read it twice, and would not hesitate to do so again. Very good book. I'd like to check out her 'new' one, but there was conflicting reports of her willingness to even have it published, not sure if that was ever cleared up. 

 

Lately I've just been reading Devin Townsend's autobiography, as I'm a huge fan. Very good read!

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Emerson: The Mind on Fire by Robert Richardson.  Great book that I'm visiting again, inspired by the reading of American Philosophy: A Love Story, where Emerson is an important part of the main character's outlook on life.  Richardson is one of my favorite biographers, and his bio's on William James and Henry David Thoreau are also well worth reading.

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Edited by Matthew

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2 hours ago, Matthew said:

Emerson: The Mind on Fire by Robert Richardson.  Great book that I'm visiting again, inspired by the reading of American Philosophy: A Love Story, where Emerson is an important part of the main character's outlook on life.  Richardson is one of my favorite biographers, and his bio's on William James and Henry David Thoreau are also well worth reading.

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Very little is heard about Emerson in this country, so I'm pleased to have read him (and Thoreau) as part of an American Literature course I took in my youth. Fascinating ideas and, in the case of Thoreau, beautiful prose writing.

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9 hours ago, Use3D said:

I had to read Mockingbird in school, it was assigned reading. I think most kids did.

I grew up in rural Georgia in the seventies.  Instead of assigning To Kill a Mockingbird, we saw Gone with the Wind.   I wish this was a joke.

Edited by Jazzmoose

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9 hours ago, BillF said:

Very little is heard about Emerson in this country, so I'm pleased to have read him (and Thoreau) as part of an American Literature course I took in my youth. Fascinating ideas and, in the case of Thoreau, beautiful prose writing.

That Richardson bio is a good one.  I'm a devotee of the Transcendentalists, and I should delve into them again. 

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Jonathan Safran Foer: Here I Am

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First of the Alexandria Quartet by Durrell, a novel of sensibility. If I had a criticism to make, it would be that Durrell occasionally lays on the exotica too thickly, but nevertheless a compelling novel. 

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