What are you currently reading?

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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Jeffrey Armbruster » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:20 pm

Erik: yeah, isn't it great? Eco's early book called Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages is also a terrific read and goes nicely with "the Name"
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Erik Zurcher
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Erik Zurcher » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:25 pm

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:Erik: yeah, isn't it great? Eco's early book called Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages is also a terrific read and goes nicely with "the Name"


Haven't read that one. Thanks for the recommendation!
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby bear » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:53 pm

It's been decades since I've had the time to read for pleasure. I had a large collection of books on tape that I would listen too but It's not the same. I just finished an Arthur Conan Doyle collection of Sherlock Holmes. Now, it's Len Deighton. I finished the Ipcress File and plan to start Horse Under Water. The problem as always is time. There always seems to be something else that demands my attention i.e. today, the washing machine broke.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Andrew Fryer » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:34 am

Erik Zurcher wrote:
Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:Erik: yeah, isn't it great? Eco's early book called Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages is also a terrific read and goes nicely with "the Name"

Haven't read that one. Thanks for the recommendation!

I think I read that, but if so, all I can remember of it is that Eco says "never enjamb" which is a bit OTT, I feel.

I've read the Rose twice, and I still have a copy ready for a third read, but I need to read Aristotle's poetics and Richard Janko on Aristotle and Comedy first. I never did work out what Eco was saying about Aristotle and the monasteries. The reception of comedy varied from monkish sect to monkish sect, so I don't know if Eco is bitching about one sect or tarring them all with the same brush or trying to say something deep and philosophical.
I treat the Rose as something better than an Agatha Christie, but no more than that, sorry!
bear wrote:It's been decades since I've had the time to read for pleasure.

I feel that way. I can't remember where I last complained about it, but I find that the only time I could ever really concentrate was when I was commuting. I read Proust twice on the bus. Now that I'm retired, there are too many distractions. E.g. what I'm doing now.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby bear » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:43 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:I feel that way. I can't remember where I last complained about it, but I find that the only time I could ever really concentrate was when I was commuting. I read Proust twice on the bus. Now that I'm retired, there are too many distractions. E.g. what I'm doing now.


There's a situation in my house and it began when my wife and I were dating. She and I can be sitting in the same room for hours without speaking a word, just relaxing or involved in our own occupations and as soon as I pick up a book to read, she will have a thousand topics to discuss. It's not planned it just never fails to happen. Now my wife is a voracious reader, the subject matter is not important. She will read almost anything and when she first retired, it was a book a day.
I've tried to read at the same time as her but she will start to discuss the book she's reading. I can't win. By the time I get to the last chapter of a book, I've forgotten who most of the characters were.
I like mysteries, spy books (i.e. Forsyth, Ludlum, Deighton, etc.) especially British. The same with TV, "Midsommer Murders", "Inspector Morse et. al." and even "Father Brown". American versions, not as much, because you usually can pick out the bad guy in the first scene or chapter.
With Agatha Christie, you always knew the bad guy was not going to be the American. This wasn't because she thought Americans were good but rather too simple minded to be diabolical.
I think I'll set up a chess board and secretly try to read.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Andrew Fryer » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:12 pm

bear wrote:She and I can be sitting in the same room for hours without speaking a word, just relaxing or involved in our own occupations and as soon as I pick up a book to read, she will have a thousand topics to discuss.
It's the same with me and mine, except that she plays solitaire on her tablet all day (while watching TV), and as soon as I pick up a book, she complains! It was the same with her husband who was a doctor. How she thought he ever became a doctor without reading, I don't know!

Father Brown is great - the last thing I watched was the first 4 seasons on 13 discs.(I didn't get much reading done while I was doing that, lol!)

American versions, not as much, because you usually can pick out the bad guy in the first scene or chapter.

Yeah, in Columbo it's always the first person he meets on the day of the murder! But I suppose when the programme slot is finite, it may be a way to use the given space wisely, if done well.
Last edited by Andrew Fryer on Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby JohnB » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:51 pm

[quote="bear"I like mysteries, spy books (i.e. Forsyth, Ludlum, Deighton, etc.) especially British. The same with TV, "Midsommer Murders", "Inspector Morse et. al." and even "Father Brown". American versions, not as much, because you usually can pick out the bad guy in the first scene or chapter.
With Agatha Christie, you always knew the bad guy was not going to be the American. This wasn't because she thought Americans were good but rather too simple minded to be diabolical. [/quote]

I have a penchant for quirky British detective novels:

Margery Allingham's Campion novels (One of the "Golden Age" mystery writers)
I'm very fond of these classic mysteries: "richly written" as Christopher Fowler has said. This link is to an article by Christopher Fowler (see below) who for years wrote a weekly newspaper column called "Invisible Ink" about authors who have fallen from popularity. http://www.christopherfowler.co.uk/blog ... allingham/

Edmind Crispin (literary alto-ego of composer Bruce Montgomery)
Very much a favourite of mine. His "Gervase Fen" mystery novels are humorous, sometimes mad-cap and slightly surreal, often with literary or musical allusions, and total delight to read.

Christopher Fowler's "Bryant and May" novels
The novels often describe the quirky and hidden aspects of London with the two very idiosyncratic elderly detectives.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby bear » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:20 pm

JohnB wrote:[quote="bear"I like mysteries, spy books (i.e. Forsyth, Ludlum, Deighton, etc.) especially British. The same with TV, "Midsommer Murders", "Inspector Morse et. al." and even "Father Brown". American versions, not as much, because you usually can pick out the bad guy in the first scene or chapter.
With Agatha Christie, you always knew the bad guy was not going to be the American. This wasn't because she thought Americans were good but rather too simple minded to be diabolical.


I have a penchant for quirky British detective novels:

Margery Allingham's Campion novels (One of the "Golden Age" mystery writers)
I'm very fond of these classic mysteries: "richly written" as Christopher Fowler has said. This link is to an article by Christopher Fowler (see below) who for years wrote a weekly newspaper column called "Invisible Ink" about authors who have fallen from popularity. http://www.christopherfowler.co.uk/blog ... allingham/

Edmind Crispin (literary alto-ego of composer Bruce Montgomery)
Very much a favourite of mine. His "Gervase Fen" mystery novels are humorous, sometimes mad-cap and slightly surreal, often with literary or musical allusions, and total delight to read.

Christopher Fowler's "Bryant and May" novels
The novels often describe the quirky and hidden aspects of London with the two very idiosyncratic elderly detectives.[/quote]


Thanks for the references, Crispin, rings a bell but I'm not familiar with the others. I'm going to have to apply for another lifetime, this one has kept me too busy.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:36 pm

Andrew, you seem to have a complicated relation with Eco's work: ' I possibly read Art and Beauty, probably not but if I did I think I only remember one off topic remark he makes that's so wrong. So a big thumbs down. Also, I've read Name of the Rose twice and have a copy on hand to read again, but he's just a scootch better than Agatha Chistie, so, meh.."
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Peter Lovett » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:50 am

Andrew Fryer wrote:Just finished Horace's satires. Will probably next be reading Tacitus' Annals and Catullus and then Horace's satires again.


Andrew, I am truely gobsmacked at your reading because while I read widely I very much doubt I could tackle your level. :chaud: Did you by any chance do classics at school or university? 8)
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby rojarosguitar » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:18 am

Started to read: Howard Zinn "A People's History of the United States". What a fascinating book!
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Andrew Fryer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:51 am

Peter Lovett wrote:
Andrew Fryer wrote:Just finished Horace's satires. Will probably next be reading Tacitus' Annals and Catullus and then Horace's satires again.


Andrew, I am truely gobsmacked at your reading because while I read widely I very much doubt I could tackle your level. :chaud: Did you by any chance do classics at school or university? 8)
It's a two-edged sword. I graduated in Classics about 12 years ago. I want to learn Greek and Latin so well that I can read them fluently, then I can put them to bed and have done with them. But it means a considerable amount of servitude in the meantime. I am a slow learner. I wish I had started when I was 11, but I went to the only grammar school in Britain that didn't teach Latin!
Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:Andrew, you seem to have a complicated relation with Eco's work: ' I possibly read Art and Beauty, probably not but if I did I think I only remember one off topic remark he makes that's so wrong. So a big thumbs down. Also, I've read Name of the Rose twice and have a copy on hand to read again, but he's just a scootch better than Agatha Chistie, so, meh.."

Not quite sure what your point is. I'll elaborate just in case there's been a misunderstanding.
I wouldn't want someone to quote your paraphrases rather than my views.
Art and poetry: if it's the book I definitely read, then I have no recollection of its contents - so meh, it can't have had a big impact - other than the "never enjamb", which struck me as too absolute.
I don't like Agatha Christie.
I do like the Rose, as a mystery novel, a la Christie.
If it is meant as a deeply philosophical (or semiotic) novel, then the surface didn't attract me enough to want to dig deeply into it.
If I had read Foucault's Pendulum, I assume I'd have a better idea about what Eco intended. I suspect I should do it before I read the Rose again. Maybe in the next life if I am reborn as a speed-reader.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:39 pm

"Not quite sure what your point is."

I didn't have a point at all! I was just kidding around. You always have a remarkable reading list and I'm always curious to see what you're up to.

I didn't take Rose to be deeply philosophical at all, just a good read.

I personally hated Foucault's Pendulum and couldn't finish it.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Andrew Fryer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:02 pm

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:"Not quite sure what your point is."

I didn't have a point at all! I was just kidding around.

I don't have any problem with that, so I hope we are still friends. The only trouble is sometimes forum audiences don't understand what's going on and can mistakenly quote and misconstrue a deliberately wrong paraphrase (even if it's a friendly one) rather than the original.

Oh, and last night I started reading: Hinduism, A Very Short Introduction, by Kim Knott.
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Re: What are you currently reading?

Postby Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:16 pm

Your point is well taken. I certainly didn't mean to attack you--but looking at it I can see how my post could come off that way. On the internet things aren't always clear (there's no tone of voice.) Sometimes I'm too quick to post something without thinking. I certainly don't mind if you don't like some book that I'm reading--that makes things more interesting. So yeah I hope we're still friends too!
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