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Book thread: what are you reading?


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7 hours ago, ckn said:

For Kindle readers: Did you know that if you go to this Amazon link it'll review your Kindle books and see if there are linked audio books?  You can often get audio books for about 1/10th of their normal prices and usually get them for way below their normal Audible price, even under the Audible membership discounts.

Well that's just brilliant.

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The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock'n'Roll by Preston Lauterbach - A history of the southern club circuit that spawned some of the greatest musical icons of the 20th century such as BB King, Little Richard, Ray Charles and James Brown. It mainly covers the period from the 30s to the mid 50s and portrays as much as the musicians the promoters such as Denver Ferguson, Sunbeam Mitchell and the scarifying Don Robey, who appear to have generally not been far off gangsters. There are portrayals of the main centres of Houston, Macon and, of course, Memphis, as well as rather more surprisingly Indianapolis.

It is always interesting what is left out: not much on New Orleans - in fact more on the great Dave Bartholomew than his most famous employer Fats Domino. Bizarrely little on Ray Charles too - in the notes the author says his story is too well known to go over again!

At times I found the author's style a bit dry and overly chronological, but he cuts loose with an essay at the end of the book, which covers the marvellous Hi Records, the almost hidden from mainstream eyes modern circuit of artists such as Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush and the destruction of Afro-American downtowns such as Beale Street after de-segregation in the name of urban renewal.

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Paul Theroux - Sunrise with Seamonsters. An anthology of odds'n'sods, mostly travel-related, but also touching on literature and art.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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1 hour ago, Jeff Stein said:

Recently read Paul Theroux's Deep South - highly recommended

I love his factual writing, but his fiction really repels me. There's a mean-spirited, misanthropic streak in those books that always surfaces at some point. I'd make a exception (with reservations) for 'The Mosquito Coast' because it is a good story, but even then, there's nastiness.

Edited by Futtocks

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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Common Sense by Thomas Paine  Magic Voice from the past.

Mayflower - The Voyage From Hell - Kevin Jackson even more scary than you'd think as a journey.

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds - Charles MacKay (this is a re-read, a blast from the past. and is among Amazons freebies for kindle as are the two above) but this one seems particularly apt right now given Trump and Brexit :laugh:

2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

 

 

 

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Taking a short break from Paul Theroux to enjoy Inside the magic Rectangle - the second compilation of TV reviews by Victor Lewis-Smith, which came in the post yesterday.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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  • 2 weeks later...

1971: Never a Dull Moment by David Hepworth. Went to the launch of his latest book at some trendy pub in Islington but got this instead at it. Always enjoyed his commentary so this did not disappoint, albeit at the back of my mind I thought there was a bit of facts being made to fit a theory. Basically that is 1971 is the greatest year in recorded popular music and everything in the music industry since originates from that year. A few interesting opinions that I would necessary have expected in it too ie Rod Stewart great; Marc Bolan a bit pants.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Stein said:

1971: Never a Dull Moment by David Hepworth. Went to the launch of his latest book at some trendy pub in Islington but got this instead at it. Always enjoyed his commentary so this did not disappoint, albeit at the back of my mind I thought there was a bit of facts being made to fit a theory. Basically that is 1971 is the greatest year in recorded popular music and everything in the music industry since originates from that year. A few interesting opinions that I would necessary have expected in it too ie Rod Stewart great; Marc Bolan a bit pants.

That book is a great read. Really entertaining and packed with detail.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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On 11/08/2017 at 1:13 PM, Bearman said:

Homo Deus, A brief history of tomorrow.

Yuval Noah Harari.

The follow up to Sapiens, Again very thought proving.

I can't get around this idea that human beings will develop and evolve as we seem the most unlikely group to be capable of moving on to something better without cocking it up completely and deciding on the most disastrous of all the options. Or maybe I'm just thinking about the forum responses to RL expansion!

Sorry books ......

I don't know if I've mentioned this one or not: Jerusalem The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore big volume that I keep going back to full of interesting little facts like the Philistines being a very cultured group in complete contrast to the modern usage of the noun, and the term Gits coming from another group King David fought called the Gath. Who'd a thought it?

 

Edited by Oxford

2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

 

 

 

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Just finished A Yorkshire Tragedy. 

The Rise and fall of a Sporting Powerhouse

author. Anthony Clavane

Covers Rugby League,Football,Cricket

An attempt to explain the fall of Yorkshires sporting prowess

Linking in to the political and economic influences over the last 40 Yrs.

well worth reading.

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I haven't had much time to read any books as of late due to work,I have however,sated my thirst on various longform journalism articles. Sites like epicmagazine.com and longform.org give you access to well written true life articles from various sources like the Atlantic,rolling stone etc. these sites are great for short reads, my personal favourites being"pippino,the gentleman thief" and "Argo"

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On 27/07/2017 at 1:53 PM, Tongs ya bas said:

ust this minute finished ' To Die In Spring' by Ralf Rothmann. Elements of All Quiet On The Western Front and Heimatt.

I'm reading Cris by Laurent Gaude  &  Le Grand Meaulnes  by Alain Fournier

Cris is about WW1 and has all the elements of AQOTWF and more. Amazing read!

2 hours ago, JDINTHEHIZZOUSE said:

I haven't had much time to read any books as of late due to work,I have however,sated my thirst on various longform journalism articles. Sites like epicmagazine.com and longform.org give you access to well written true life articles from various sources like the Atlantic,rolling stone etc. these sites are great for short reads, my personal favourites being"pippino,the gentleman thief" and "Argo"

Thanks for that I'm going to look these up .......

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2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Oxford said:

I'm reading Cris by Laurent Gaude  &  Le Grand Meaulnes  by Alain Fournier

Cris is about WW1 and has all the elements of AQOTWF and more. Amazing read!

Thanks for that I'm going to look these up .......

To Die in spring is set in the final months of world war two. Two young farm hands, barely out of school are persuaded to join the waffen as. It moves between then and the 1980s and tells us how experience can effect not just ourselves but those who come after us. I can strongly relate to this.

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6 hours ago, JDINTHEHIZZOUSE said:

I haven't had much time to read any books as of late due to work,I have however,sated my thirst on various longform journalism articles. Sites like epicmagazine.com and longform.org give you access to well written true life articles from various sources like the Atlantic,rolling stone etc. these sites are great for short reads, my personal favourites being"pippino,the gentleman thief" and "Argo"

Using these regularly now and had some real insights into Trump and tangentially Brexit through articles from the New Yorker - Thanks once again.

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2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

 

 

 

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For the Nth time The Magus by John Fowles, which strangely enough has several themes which also appear in Le Grand Meaulnes.

 

"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality" - Mikhail Bakunin

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After reading a few other books (mainly revisiting some John O'Grady titles), I have returned to Paul Theroux's anthology Sunrise with Seamonsters. Still excellent writing.

Edited by Futtocks

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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12 hours ago, Phil said:

For the Nth time The Magus by John Fowles, which strangely enough has several themes which also appear in Le Grand Meaulnes.

 

I loved the Magus but what do those two have in common?

And It's amazing how often you can return to a book like it's an old friend - one that's always in when you call round, obviously.

2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

 

 

 

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