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Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Huntn, Jan 14, 2011.
Looks interesting, but sadly, I can't find it in English.
Been reading some free books lately
Just finished The Island of Doctor Moreau
Currently reading Robinson Crusoe
I read so much, it gets expensive
So I have decided this year to read some of the classics since they are available for free
I may know the basic plot of the books, but many I have never actually read
Have a number of others queued up already, but open to suggestions
Unfortunately dos Santos is not translated into English.
His historical fiction books are unique, though I must say that the one mentioned in my post turned out to be not the best one. Like his latest novels, the historical trilogy. Nevertheless, I have all his books.
I just ordered The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant.
My local store said they had it in stock but not when I arrived. So, it’s coming Monday via Amazon.
Yes, I was on Amazon's website. Thanks for the link.
Man I hope someone gave a copy of that to... well I'm not going to finish that sentence, wrong thread.
I'm re-reading Stephen Kinzer's Reset: Iran, Turkey and America's Future. The world does not hold still and a lot has certainly happened in that neck of the woods since this book was published in 2010. It's valuable (and readable) in terms of historical relationships among the subtitled countries. The author's forward-looking views seem overoptimistic in light of assorted recent developments. Still, both seismic shifts and gradual "resets" are a ever a fact of life since before any historian or journalist first remarked on how things were and suggested how they might develop in future.
You should sign up at Tor.com for their newsletter. They usually offer a free SciFi ebook every month for subscribers. I've downloaded a few really good ones from them. They offer them in both major formats, so you can read them in Books or on a Kindle.
You just made your local bookstore's "fair weather friend" list...
hahaha! Yeah, each page just screams out that Pres.... well you know, should read, comprehend and apply what this book has to offer... but like you said, wrong thread.
For starters, he would have to be able to read and understand the words.
I thought I had forgotten how to laugh, with the events of the past fortnight.
Thank you; that has put a smile on my face, and a grin on my features.
Started and finished this novella today. It was mediocre at best I think. I gave it 3 out 5 stars.
George R.R. Martin
Yes, I can well believe this: In my experience, not everything written by writers who subsequently become well known or exceptionally popular is as good as the works that have made them so well known, especially their earlier (and often deservedly less well known) works.
A poem: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray.
Timeless. Classic. Brilliant. And still awesome.
My mother told me that this was one of her mother's favourite poems.
These along with Fallen Leaves came yesterday. Heros of History (100 centuries of human achievement) is now on its way.
Michael Lewis' book The Fifth Risk. Good book and probably a good time to be reading it. I picked it up earlier, liked what I was reading of it but got distracted and it landed in the "finish later" pile, not an uncommon if temporary fate for books that come my way.
I do always enjoy Lewis' writing. He has a keen eye for detail in either ordinary or arcane matters, and either way showing how it matters in the larger picture.
Ah will check it out then! I love Michael Lewis!
Heh you might not care for all of it (nor do I) but we'd have to take the discussion out of this forum and over to PRSI...
Another book I'm reading at the moment sheds light on the constant strife and (justifiable) paranoia of England in the times of Elizabeth I. We often think of Shakespeare and the music and dance of that era, but in truth the times were fraught with political uncertainties, visceral religious hatreds and threats from competing powers abroad and elsewhere in the British Isles, as well as from within England itself.
Stephen Alford's The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I details the surveillance, conspiracies, double and triple agency of counter-terrorism efforts and grisly persecution of both Catholics and Protestants under successive rule of the three children of Henry VIII.
Alford is a historian focused on the Tudors and the book is history, but he opens with a scenario of a fictionally successful plot to take Elizabeth's life, in order to bring the reader closer to the perpetually frantic understandings of Walsingham and her other close advisors: her enemies were always close at hand, her reign never assured, the country never safe and not least because there was no clear succession to the throne from the rule of the Virgin Queen.
Ah just check what it discusses. As a gov't employee, I will definitely read it. Hopefully it's a good research on the inner and long-term problems that afflicted gov't (and bureaucracy) for a while and is not centered only on the last two years. Will PM you after I read it
Just started a steampunk, alt history book called "Big Stick". So far it's OK, but not compelling reading. Clean writing, but I'm waiting for the backstory to pick up.
And, re marriage, Elizabeth was no fool.
She had seen how her father had arranged to have her mother killed (executed may be the preferred verb) on what were undoubtedly trumped up charges (Anne Boleyn may have been guilty of many things, but not of what she was charged with), and also observed the disastrous consequences of her cousin's - Mary (Queen of Scots) - like herself, a reigning queen - ill-fated marriage.
Even the gentleman she was reportedly and reputedly very fond of (the Earl of Leicester - Lord Robert Dudley, who most certainly returned her regard) suffered the death of a spouse in questionable, dubious, or at least, convenient - if not somewhat controversial - circumstances.
Whether this misfortunate event (the lady tragically tumbled down a flight of stairs, breaking her neck), was accident, suicide, murder - this domestic tragedy is almost irrelevant beside the fact that, firstly, it made any thought of marriage between Elizabeth and Leicester impossible, and secondly, seriously, could Elizabeth - in an age where violent death may have been regretted but was not by any means unknown - even for crowned monarchs - ever have seriously contemplated marriage with such a man - a man whose spouses did not die sadly in their four poster beds?
She was an extraordinarily able - and - in that age of febrile religious belief and passionate politics - an unusually intelligent and sane and balanced monarch.
Indeed. All things considered it's amazing that Elizabeth I managed to stay alive, attain the throne at all, reign alone for so long in such times and die in her own bed of nothing more taxing than severe depression, apparently.
I had always wanted to read more about her security advisor Walsingham, but not necessarily just in a biography. I did not realize that this book would also shed much light on not only his complicated surveillance tasking, but the elaborate spiery by so many other parties in those times. Also there is much about the concerted actions of the Pope and of English Catholics in exile or in hiding during Elizabeth's reign, meaning to rid England of a queen the Pope had already excommunicated as a heretic for re-establishing what had become the formalized Protestantism of the Church of England during the brief reign of her late brother.
One soon begins to realize in reading this book that the conventional historical presentation of Elizabethan times is more often focused on threats to the monarch and country at the direction of foreign heads of state. This one delves into how her government violently resisted the threats most difficult to keep track of, the ones made from inside a country that still had its Catholic loyalists resentful of Elizabeth's accession after Mary's death, people reaching out for assistance from the Pope and from a network of exiled Catholics.
Rationalizations offered up by the English government then are fascinating, served along with their warrants for torture of priests and other Catholics: carefully argued claims that the government did not persecute Catholics for their faith, but solely for the means by which Roman Catholics were assumed intending to dethrone the Queen for the sake of restoring their religion to England -- via sedition, treason, and ultimately invasion.
Yet by law one could hang (or far worse) merely for being a Catholic priest found on dry land in England during the 1580s. (EDIT, I had that first as the 1850s, sorry)..
In theory and public assurance it was about one's intentions towards the crown. By law though, it became a matter of religion and an assumption of intention. That history can remind one of religion-based political assumptions today about presumed loyalties and intentions. Old habits die hard and horrific ways of reaction to religious differences still do get passed on.
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box
I'll be more than interested to read was you have to say about this.
Some time ago, chiefly on your recommendation, I recall reading Susan Cain's book "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" and finding it fascinating.
Incidentally, her equally impressive husband, Ken Cain, wrote (actually co-wrote) an extraordinary book with an unfortunate title - "Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories From A War Zone," - unfortunate, because it gives the impression that the book is just a series of zany, self-indulgent tales, which it isn't, as it is far better than that - which is also well worth reading.