ghost of miles

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Dawn Powell's My Home is Far Away is surprisingly downbeat.  There are some moments of humor, but basically the three sisters end up in very tough circumstances.  Saying more would be to spoil things, so I'll just leave it at that.

Partway through Auster's Leviathan.  A lot of his work sort of runs together, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've read this particular novel.

I have Judas and Light Years out from the library, so they'll be next.

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On 10/17/2019 at 10:16 AM, Matthew said:

Henry David Thoreau: A Life by Laura Dassow Walls. A very good, and well written biography of Thoreau, enjoying this one immensely! Highly recommended if you're interested in Thoreau.

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Due to our blackout (Saturday to today!) I had plenty of time to finish this book on my iPad and it was a great read. I came away with a new appreciation of Thoreau and especially of his life, much more involved in Concord and people than other biographies led me to believe. But a strangely isolated man also, one who, I think, looked at the world from a very different angle than others, but did have deep friendships. I had forgotten how involved he and the Thoreau family were in the Underground Railroad, and a very interesting section on Thoreau and John Brown, and his reaction to Harper's Ferry -- Walls claims his voice in support of Brown was the first in the country. Saddened when I finished the last page, an unique and moving life all together.

Which has inspired to read Thoreau's Journal. It's massive, will take at least a year to read, but probably worth it.

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The opening of Oz's Judas is solid.  I hope the rest of the book is at the same level.

Have a lot of things I'm looking forward to this fall, including Powell's The Locusts Have No King, but probably by the tail end of fall or early winter, I'll read some of Rushdie's latest novels, including The Golden House and Quichotte.

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On 10/25/2019 at 6:31 PM, Brad said:

The new LeCarre book. 
 

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It’s  evident that he’s still writing at a high level and there is some good bits in here but it’s also a commentary or almost a screed on Trump and Brexit, both of which he obviously detests. The plot is less interesting than the current state of spydom and the UK, which he draws exquisitely. 

Edited by Brad

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New book by Aaron Cohen, former DownBeat contributor, author of the 33 1/3 volume about Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace, and annotator of Mosaic’s Bee Hive set:

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On 2019-11-01 at 9:23 PM, ejp626 said:

The opening of Oz's Judas is solid.  I hope the rest of the book is at the same level.

By the last third, I felt there was too much repetitiveness, including what must have been the 10th time that the old man warned the younger man not to fall in love with the middle-aged woman (who once upon a time was his daughter-in-law).  I also found the ending to be a bit of a damp squib.  But it is thought-provoking, both about the history of Israel and the role of Judas in the crucifixion (though Borges got here first).

On to Salter's Light Years.

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A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk's True Life, The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 3: 1952 - 1960. The pivotal volume of the Journals of Merton, as it records his increasing dissatisfaction with what is going on at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gesthsemani. What he sees is a shallowness in thought and religious life, and he decides he wants out -- badly. In 1959 he tries to get official permission to leave, and finally, on December 17, 1959, he gets his answer: NO!

It's a devastating answer, and one that, to my mind, he never recovers from. In the last eight years of his life, he seems to remove himself more and more from that original vision of religious life that he had when he entered in 1941, which leads to a lack of focus, a sense of something not right, to his life. It's interesting however, that the Merton most people are interested in is from these eight years, where his attention is turned to Eastern religion, civil right and non-violence. Strange how things work out, Merton spent so much time and energy thinking about about getting away from Gethsemani, then files to Asia in 1968 to give conferences, dies there (almost nine years to the day of the rejection of his request to Rome, December 10, 1968), and is now buried at Gethsemani, the one place he so badly wanted to escape. 

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I liked Salter's Light Years (which I found thematically similar to Updike's Rabbit saga, but more poetic).  I do feel the hype can be a bit over the top for this novel (at least amongst some reviewers), and it didn't quite live up to the hype, but it was fine overall.

Now working through Eiseley's The Night Country, which is good but not at the same level as The Invisible Pyramid.

Maxwell's The Folded Leaf next and then Powell's The Locusts Have No King!  (Hope the Powell lives up to the hype...)

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Figures for an Apocalypse by Thomas Merton

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16 hours ago, kinuta said:

Image result for olive again by elizabeth strout"

On my "short" list. Is it good?

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7 hours ago, jlhoots said:

On my "short" list. Is it good?

Yes, it's great. I read the first half in one sitting.

If you like her previous books ; Olive Kitteridge, My Name Is Lucy Barton and Anything Is Possible then you'll love it.

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Unusual book about an Israeli harpist sho returns home to see if her mother will move into a retirement home and to pass the time she becomes an extra in movies and tv. However, is she an extra in her family’s life, an extra to her ex-husband or even an extra to the symphony in the Netherlands she plays for.  

Edited by Brad

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2 hours ago, kinuta said:

Yes, it's great. I read the first half in one sitting.

If you like her previous books ; Olive Kitteridge, My Name Is Lucy Barton and Anything Is Possible then you'll love it.

Ordered!!

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3 hours ago, Brad said:

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Unusual book about an Israeli harpist sho returns home to see if her mother will move into a retirement home and to pass the time she becomes an extra in movies and tv. However, is she an extra in her family’s life, an extra to her ex-husband or even an extra to the symphony in the Netherlands she plays for.  

Unusual for sure. I liked it a lot.

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Just now, Larry Kart said:

Unusual for sure. I liked it a lot.

It took me about a third of the book to appreciate it. Then I couldn’t put it down. 

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Preaching in Hitler's Shadow: Sermons of Resistance in the Third Reich edited by Dean G. Stroud. Fascinating book.

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