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What books are you reading right now?

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In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 8:52:09 PM PDT
Eutychus says:
Piso, for the sake of completeness I should mention that now I see the film was 1992, not 1997.

Such attention to fine print is simply evidence of temporary limitations on more significant topics than Oscar years. If Oscar were a dog, it'd be easier to keep track of the chronology.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2012 1:55:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 2, 2012 2:15:57 AM PDT
Gregory G. says:
Hello Senor,
Just back from the hospital.I loved you post!
I have never done anything like that,just a weeks walk in our Blue Mountains,but they...whilst wild and rugged are mere foothills to what you are descibing.I have never been to wild snow country,I have heard the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful!Well done!Who would have thought Igloo leaking from the inside!
Greg.P.S..I will be rather tired over the next few days,,,but will catch up with the forum!.

Posted on May 2, 2012 2:01:48 AM PDT

here is a nifty short film based on the great frost section of 'orlando'.
yeah, it looks like somebody videoed it off a TV, but you get the idea,

There might be a better version somewhere.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2012 3:09:42 AM PDT
Dear Greg,

Glad to know you are out, and am sending very best wishes to you.

I myself am from what one would call snow country, way further north in Maine here from where I currently am living. Six and seven foot snowstorms were not unusual growing up. It sucked as my older brother and I used to have to shovel it after our dad passed when we were 12 and 10 years. Additionally, we walked to school every day 4.5 miles one way for a daily total of 9, be it snow, wind, freezing rain, etc. I remember walking backwards with scarf and mittens over my face so I could breathe when the wind was at it's worst! It was still dark mornings, and nearly dark did not dally on the way home and when you got home you quickly changed into fresh warm clothing! I could sure tell you some stories from the (not so good, really) old days!

I suggest you put on some mozart string works and just relax with something light to read...

My best,
Greg F

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2012 6:35:45 AM PDT
Re: Viriginia Woolf

My favorite novel of all time is >>The WAVES<<, but everything else I have read by her I have found boring (well, okay... I guess >>Mrs. Dalloway<< wasn't half bad...). >>The Waves<< is a very poetic novel without much action or plot. There are 6 or 8 (I forget the exact number) friends whose lyrical monologues are intertwined in the novel - they are taking turn telling their life stories the way a life story really is: without a plot. I have to read it again sometime soon...

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2012 7:34:24 AM PDT
Edgar Self says:
Greg, glad you're back from hospital and can rest up at home. Sailors (except those who walk on taut sails), cowboys, and bus drivers aren't known for great walkers, but you've done well.

The theory of igloos is that they won't be colder than freeze point inside, and heat up from body warmth, but must be ventilated against condensation, which was our mistake. The joys of snowfields and glaciers are sometimes best enjoyed in retrosspect. The UV glare and sunburn are intense, and reflection off the snow burns skin in odd places like eyelids and nostrils. More zinc oxide!

The side of Mt. Shasta that we went up is just steep snow, but the north side has five small glaciers near the top. I climbed that side with my wife, fighting ice, wind, glare, and mild high-altitude hysteria, which does funny things to people. Mt. Rainier, which I also climbed, has much more serious glaciers, including a circular one inside the volcanic cone on the summit. We walked the rim of it, melted bare and smoking sulphur.

Mt. Lyell in Yosemite has a beautiful glacier on which I found quartz crystals in a crevasse, just like the chamois hunters in the Alpine history books. Lyell is not volcanic or even granite, but blue-grey metamorphosed sedimentary rock older than the 400-mile Sierra block of granite that rose later around it. I slept on top of Lyell at 13,000 feet to see the sunrise, which was a big disappointment, just PLOP!, and that was it. An uncomfortable night.

Posted on May 2, 2012 9:45:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 2, 2012 10:47:14 AM PDT
Flavius says:
Just placed an order for the DVD Orlando. Thank you to Bonnie Buduhn, March for the recommendations. Apparently the film version and the novel don't quite coincide, but so be it. And Eutychus--glad to hear you are at home enjoying a better cuisine.

And Rasmus: it must be a feat to read a language not your own with your ears. Woolf has to be read aurally, the sound of her words and cadences creating the ambience for thought. The sound pleasure makes up for the lack of dramatic tension. Perhaps it isn't that life has no plot, but that there are several, disjointed plots, some unfinished business picking up years later, disrupting the happenings at hand.

Don Piso--as a teenager I spent many an afternoon wandering over the countryside with a miner's pick looking for minerals, and once had quite a collection (re your discovering quartz crystals in Yosemite). A lot of old, abandoned gold mines in this area, and several rare minerals. I still feel an occasional urge to resume my fascination with crystals, buy a pick, and again explore a nearby, extinct volcano that has deposits of needle zeolite.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2012 12:33:49 PM PDT
Dexter says:
>>it must be a feat to read a language not your own with your ears. Woolf has to be read aurally, the sound of her words and cadences creating the ambience for thought. The sound pleasure makes up for the lack of dramatic tension.<<
Actually I never thought about this aspect with respect to prose - I always try to get my English and American poets on CD and I love to listen to Dylan Thomas and Allen Ginsberg. I even have a Naxos two-fer with somebody reading who has a very British accent - it's great! Of course this also applies to prose which certainly has a music of its own - especially prose as poetic as Woolf's...

Good point about several, disjointed plots - better than no plots.

I think I will try the Orlando movie too - the book didn't really catch my interest and I don't even think I finished it.

Posted on May 2, 2012 1:09:03 PM PDT
Flavius says:
Rasmus: good! We'll see what we think of the Orlando movie. I'm looking forward to it: hope the spoken and written word coincide. English can really be quite beautiful.

Posted on May 2, 2012 3:08:26 PM PDT
Lez Lee says:
The Orlando film is wonderful, I haven't read the book. I did enjoy Mrs. Dalloway though.
A friend of mine spent a day with Tilda Swinton (a business venture), was completely starstruck and could hardly speak. Couldn't stop staring at her cheekbones!

Posted on May 2, 2012 4:55:38 PM PDT
Lez Lee says:
Rasmus, when I was at school we read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and had a recording of Anthony Quayle reading some in Chaucerian English. It was beautiful and quite mesmerising, though of course there's no way of knowing how realistic it was.

Posted on May 2, 2012 9:25:53 PM PDT
I have just started Jeffry Wert's "A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee's Triumph, 1862-1863," an exploration of the Army of Northern Virginia's success from 1862 to 1863.

Posted on May 2, 2012 11:37:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 2, 2012 11:52:00 PM PDT
Gregory G. says:
Hello Grerald..that is the very book I was reading whilst having my chemo today!My thanks to you all for your best wishes.Basically the system works like this.I get admitted to the hospital on Tuesday night then they do my bloods and make me comfortable.The following morning the Chemo kicks off and goes for about 3 hours.Afterwoods they wait an hour do some more bloods and if everything os O.K they take me home on the Hosptal bus.Basically you get very tired and your brains turn to mush,but you usually bounce back the following afternoon.Oh..well...3 more treaments in this session to go!THis is the price we paid for running around under the blazing sun semi-naked as kids.No-one knew that there was a jolly great big hole in the ozone layer above Australia and that we were being micro waved.Consequently Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer (Melanoma)in the world!
I visited your beautiful country for 3 months but i wish i could have seen much more...your mountains,your wilderness and lakes..ah well next time!
But if the good lord ever granted me one wish it would be this;to be standing on the starboard side of the quarterdeck of the 'Constitution",next to the binnacle and saying"Mr Mohado,MrChurchill and Mr Foster make all preparations to get her underweigh for sea if you please!"
There you are, dreams don't come much better than that!

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2012 2:25:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 3, 2012 3:15:35 PM PDT
Edgar Self says:
Aye, aye, sir, Mr. Pomfret, and damned be he who first cries, "Enough!"

Posted on May 3, 2012 2:48:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 3, 2012 2:50:00 PM PDT
Flavius says:
Don Piso, we had a famous Mexican welterweight, Payaso I think it was, who won his fights through a number of years. But at last, time taking its toll, he found himself in the ring with a younger, less humorous fighter. After having been floored several times, and sufficiently battered, he turned to the referee and said, emphatically and decisively, and with dignity, 'Basta!...enough, already!' And left the ring. There was a communal sigh of relief, after the gasp of surprise: no one really wanted him to get hurt. It wasn't cowardice, but common sense. Everyone knew he'd been a great fighter, and not necessarily a fool.

Posted on May 3, 2012 3:16:01 PM PDT
Edgar Self says:
Don Dexter -- I like your story, and that fighter. Thank you.

Posted on May 5, 2012 2:38:33 PM PDT
Edgar Self says:
Charles Timbrell's book "French Pianism" (Amadeus Press, 1999), trying to keep up with the fast crowd on MRS's new thread about "French Pianists". Timbrell is professor of piano and coordinator of keyboard stdies at Harvard University, where I think Charles Rosen may still be teaching, oddly enough French Literature.

Posted on May 5, 2012 3:04:31 PM PDT
Thomas E. says:
Finished The Tin Drum by Günther Grass. I adored it. It just struck all the right chords.

Next, no idea. The bookshelf is bulging with unread books: Don DeLillo: Underworld, Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera, Nabokov: Lolita, David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas, Oscar Wilde: the complete works, George Eliot: Middlemarch, Haruki Murakami: 1Q84, Mikhail Sjisjkin: Venushair, Cartarescu: the Orbitor trilogy, Ballard: Cocaine Nights, Burroughs: Naked Lunch, Bolano: 2666, Akutagawa: Rashomon and other stories, Kapuscinski: Ebony, McCarthy: Blood Meridian, Hesse: The Glass Bead Game, Gross: Psychology, Hussain Al-Haddawy: Sindbad and other stories from the Arabian Nights, Hilary Mantel: Wolf Night, Audrey Niffenegger: The Time-Traveller's Wife, Pushkin: collected stories, Eco: The Prague Cemetary, Updike: the Rabbit quadrilogy... and on and on. I should probably get one of those 20-sided dice, assign a number to each book, and roll. And perhaps, probably, possibly, I should stop buying more books for a while.

Posted on May 5, 2012 5:33:44 PM PDT
Lez Lee says:
Thomas, have you read Don DeLillo's White Noise? I really enjoyed it and can recommend it.

Posted on May 5, 2012 6:11:43 PM PDT
Edgar Self says:
A new arrival today, Hermann Kurzke's 1999 biography "Thomas Mann: Life as a Work of Art", English translation Princeton University Press, 2002. I've laid aside Timbrell's book on French pianists to start this from page one, not reading backward from the index as usual. I hadn't heard of this book until a Mann enthusiast mentioned it.

Kurzke is a German academic at the University of Mainz, and has edited Mann's complete essays. I think it's good that a German, and an academic, has written this new biography.

Posted on May 5, 2012 11:54:47 PM PDT
Gregory G. says:
Hello Everyone,
Just finished jeffery Werts;"a Glorious Army....."I shall leave my co-reviewer Gerald,to fill you in on the details...a little light in parts...some hagiography...evident.What do you think Gerald?
Now..Don Piso about i million posts ago on the movies thread you said something to the effect of you would not see a re-make of "A Night to Remember! unless they changed the ending'
Well I lent my copy to an old friend,who sat around with his family to watch it.His(English) grandmother knitted furiously away whilst repeating in an increasingly agitated manner..."It is not going to is not!This time it will be saved!Lovely story.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 5:18:50 AM PDT
Thomas E. says:
Lez Lee: Yes, I have read White Noise. It was my first DeLillo-book, and I bought Underworld right after.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 9:31:51 AM PDT
To use an American expression, you have said a mouthful. I have nothing to add to what you have said. Robert E. Lee was a great general, but this book makes him sound to good to be true. In addition, the book could have become more of a history of the Army of Northern Virginia and more fully described the army's history from 1862 to 1865. It is a pity because the book is fairly well researched. A missed opportunity.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 10:00:49 AM PDT
Edgar Self says:
Is it true that Robert E. Lee had five daughters, none of whom ever married. They all stayed home to help take care of Papa, who only lived for five years after the end of The War.

Greg, I smiled over your story of the English grandmother.

It reminds me of the Southern belle going to see "Gone With The Wind" for the elevent time. "If the South don't win this time, I'm just goin' to D-I-E."

That same belle was out sparking with her beau. "Look how beautiful the moon is," he ventured. "Oh, Beauregard, you should have seen it befoah the Waah."

Posted on May 6, 2012 10:18:28 AM PDT
I have started reading Martin Middlebrook's "The Berlin Raids: R.A.F. Bomber Command, Winter 1943-44."
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
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Initial post:  Mar 18, 2009
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