What are you currently reading?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
chiral3
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by chiral3 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:23 am

I liked it too. You should balance it with some of the opposing theories.
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:33 am

Well, it's already 20 years old, which is old enough for us to need to be wary of it - genome projects are probably the main things updating old theories at the moment (e.g. the wheat genome project has corrected, among other things, the Kurgan theory of the origins of the neolithic). Diamond's puzzlement about the lack of metallurgy in Australia looks to me like some failure to take into account Australian plate tectonics, but I've only read the intro so far.
Also there's possibly some self-contradiction with homegrown viruses - other people didn't have them because their populations weren't dense enough, yet Western viruses spread like wildfire without their populations being so dense? Might not add up, I'm not sure.
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doug
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by doug » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:52 pm

"The Whistler" John Grisham
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doug
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by doug » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:27 am

"Night School," by Lee Child. It's his latest "Jack Reacher" novel.
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tubeman
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by tubeman » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:29 am

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by doug » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:46 am

"By the Rivers of Babylon," by Nelson Demille
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:07 am

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Iain
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Iain » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:49 pm

Imagined communities
By Benedict Anderson.

doug
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by doug » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:28 am

"The Call of the Wild" Jack London
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Bododio
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Bododio » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:58 pm

Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, subtitled "A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair the Changed America."
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dory
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by dory » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:46 am

I am still reading Martin Walker. I am kind of obsessed at the moment. It is a long series and I will probably go through the whole thing.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Tubbers » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:11 am

Iberia----James Michener
Segovia-An Autobiography Of The Years 1893-1920 (Read 7 times so far)
When The Mob Ran Vegas-----Steve Fischer
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:14 am

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. Not getting anything out of it, though.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:01 pm

Andrew, I'll be interested in what you think about Wind Up Bird. I liked it, but it's an odd combination of magical realism (perhaps) and very plain prose style. (Marquez for example has a warm, rich prose style.)
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:34 pm

I've come to the conclusion that I don't buy into what I consider to be pseudo-genres such as "magical realism" or "gypsy jazz". For me, magical realism is just imitation Marquez, and gypsy jazz is just imitation Hot Club de France. I read one of Berniere's Latin American books and just thought it was second-hand Marquez. And for that matter, the second time I read Marquez's oeuvre I didn't enjoy it any more - I just found it too strained after effect and silly in places. But that was nose-to-tail in chronological order, the whole lot, so perhaps I should just tackle Cien Anos on its own some time. Same goes for Proust - when I get to the last volume, my mind is mush, so I'll have to read it as a stand-alone one day. So when I read in the blurb that Murakami writes about "urban alienation", I just think, for god's sake, if you live in a city and feel alienated, join a social club or something. Just adding pretend madness and surrealism like ingedients to a cake isn't going to convey an experience that Murakami doesn't even have himself. I went through the phase of reading existentialism when I was younger. Even today I have to look up existentialism in the dictionary because I still don't have any real idea what the hell it is supposed to be. The reason I'm reading the Wind-up Bird Chronicle is because this year I watched half a dozen old Japanese movies and was intrigued by how often wells feature in them, and a friend suggested I read the book, but I'm surprised at just how little emotional or mythical or symbolic content wells have for Murakami, at least in contrast to the movies. In fact his whole world is more American than Japanese, and the whole book is so slickly translated and so American, that it's only the Japanese names that remind us it's a Japanese novel. I'm not convinced Murakami is making any real point. Is his "urban alienation" to do with living in a cultureless Japan? It just doesn't come across that way for me. Murakami's narrator is in his comfort zone when listening to jazz, although somehow that morphs into Western classical music by about the halfway point. As far as aliens in cities go, I empathise more with Henry Miller, although I, regretfully, lack his ebullience. This isn't meant to be a coherent critique - I've just banged some thoughts down so I can review them later. I'm currently 343 pages in.
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