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Books I've just read.

Discussion in 'The Library' started by po3try, 29 Apr 2012.

  1. luibkk

    luibkk Well-Known Member

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    If you love sailing and single-handed sailing especially, I highly recommend Tristan Jones' books because of his unique, humorous style.

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    In a daring six-year voyage by sail, Tristan Jones traveled from the Dead Sea, the lowest body of water in the world, to the Andes Mountains and Lake Titicac, the highest -- an epic and singular journey of exploration and discovery.
    Along the way he was thrown in jail, attacked by Arabs, rescued by Ethiopians, nearly killed by a rat, saved by a crocodile. He found a desolate island off Colombia, full of political prisoners. In Cartagena, it was drug dealers, in Zanzibar assassins...and thieves almost everywhere.

    "Lusty, rough, full of comic interludes as well as harrowing ones...high tales...exotic scenes...historical insights...a unique chronicle." (The Wall Street Journal)

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  2. Meanjin

    Meanjin Active Member

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    You're not supposed to read it from beginning to end, but that's what I did, too. :smile2:
    There are some pretty good stories and character studies in the Bible (the Joseph story, Ruth, Job) and some fine reflections (Ecclesiastes). Amos is pretty stirring stuff, too. I much prefer the Old Testament (Hebrew bible, Tanakh) to the New.

    I've read some core religious texts right through (Bible, Qur'an, Book of Mormon, the major Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita). The Qur'an didn't do anything for me; I think I need to read it again. The Upanishads and Gita are a major inspiration for me. Surprisingly, perhaps, the Book of Mormon impressed me for the stylistic variety of its various books.

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    Slamb, get hold of a copy of Jack Miles's God: A Biography and Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God. These books (start with the former) are a cracking good read and will give you another perspective on the biblical corpus.

    Miles, a Harvard PhD in Near Eastern Languages, approaches the Bible as a work of literature in which the central character is God, but which features many secondary characters who vary widely in degrees of sanity and morality.

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    I sometimes like to read popular and adolescent/young adult fiction (the Millennium series, The Hunger Games, etc.). I even read the first volume of the Fifty Shades trilogy (one was enough!). Recently, following a recommendation from my granddaughter, I read the Tomorrow series, of which there are six volumes.

    These were real page turners and I highly recommend them. Fast moving, plenty of action and violence (kids love blood and guts), a bit of sex and the angst that can go with it, loss and grief, the importance of friendship. The plots are a bit far fetched, but who cares?

    The author, John Marsden is principal of an alternative independent school north of Melbourne.

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  3. Jilrob

    Jilrob Member

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    One of the great opening lines. I too am reading this at the moment and enjoying it. I'm no Bryson, I realise that is patently obvious, but have a line about my hometown, "Kaikohe; A good place to be from."

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    Dirk Gently. The only books that have had me laughing out loud on public transport.
     
  4. chrgrims

    chrgrims Member

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    Some good books i have read lately:

    Bible and sword (about the wars between christians and muslims from a historical perspective)

    Rotting in the bangkok hilton (about a farang in thai prison)

    Legacy of ashes (history of cia)
     
  5. crew

    crew Faber College Member

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    seems interesting. is it as one-sided as the titles suggests? (bible = good, sword = bad ???)

    i've read the damage done three times. how does this compare?

    cool. would love to get my hands on that one.
     
  6. chrgrims

    chrgrims Member

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    i havent finished bible and sword yet. but its a bit one-sided for sure, so far. but i dont think it pretends to be anything else. its from a christian point of view. but still it gives some very good historical background, e.g. including richard lionheart.

    bangkok hilton isnt a very good book. i think several of the conclusions are simply wrong. but the subject matter is so interesting that its still a worthy read, if that makes any sense. e.g. there is a story about a poker game in the prison thats very compelling.

    legacy of ashes is a very good book. it completely destroys the cia, to the point where one wonders if they ever did anything right. i might even read it a second time, just cause its so fact-heavy and long.
     
  7. ramses

    ramses Well-Known Member

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    that is a bit unfortunate.
     
  8. chrgrims

    chrgrims Member

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    yes, but at the same time im not sure its possible for a westerner to write a "neutral" book about this. but i would love to read one, if it exists. and it would be great to see a book by a muslim that tries to explain the same time-periods from their perspective without making it propaganda. there are two (at least) ways of being biased: one is propaganda (no care for truth). the other is scientific (i care about truth, but know i cant reach it, but i will try to get close).
     
  9. crew

    crew Faber College Member

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    if you've not read it, pick up, confessions of an economic hit man. fan-facking-tastic.

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    had to chuckle at this one, but then again, i'm pretty suspect of any history told from a christian's POV. :smile2:

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  10. ramses

    ramses Well-Known Member

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    Dr. Reza Aslan's 'Zealot' is about Jesus of Nazareth and tries to distinguish him from the biblical person purported to be born in Bethlehem. It is interesting, and patently offensive to any Christian. I'm not sure he checked all his facts, but I think the book was intentionally provocative.

    I would reckon that history told from any religious POV would suffer from a similar lack of credibility...
     
  11. chrgrims

    chrgrims Member

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    will def check out that perkins book.

    yes, "its from a christian point of view. but still it gives some very good historical background," looks like a contradiction, but as i was trying to explain in the other post to ramses, every historical description contains a POV, and hence is not neutral. im not saying this to excuse a christian perspective on history, just that i believe that we can get closer to the "truth" if we admit we all come from and cannot avoid a POV.

    edit:
    this discussion makes me point to another very good book i read many years ago about social constructionism. its called the social construction of reality by thomas luckman. recommened if you want an introduction to a huge field of post-modern writings.
     
  12. Meanjin

    Meanjin Active Member

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    Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann. :thaiwai:
     
  13. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

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    Eric Lomax: The Railway Man

    Autobiographical account of Lomax's brutal captivity at the hands of The Japanese during the Second World War; very close to home as he ended up in Ban Pong and Kanchanaburi working on the Burma railway. He's also a Scot so we share similar antecedents. Readers know in advance that Lomax eventually meets one of his former captors in the early 2000s in Kanchanaburi - it's a really powerful, compelling story so good in fact that I read it from cover to cover in a day.
     
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  14. crew

    crew Faber College Member

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    ^ sounds like just the type of book i like to read. thanks.
     
  15. dave111

    dave111 teacher

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    Thanks guys. downloaded some mobi versions on my kindle of some of the books.

    I'm into:

    autobiography of a yogi (like it)
    mad frank (british autobiography of gangster's life) not that good
    the guv'nor (lenny mc lean autobio) awesome

    looking for some better bio's.. open for suggestions.. thanks a million
     

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