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What are you reading?


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#91 Hans

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 12:19 PM

I am working on Imperial Dancer, the bio of Mathilde Kschessinska. I find it quite a page-turner; I've been late to meet friends several times because I couldn't stop reading.

#92 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 12:49 PM

Dostoiewsky's "Crime and Punishment", for the 11 th time! :)

#93 Figurante

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 01:48 PM

I have just begun to read A Queer History of Ballet By Peter Stoneley. It, thus far, has mirrored my dance life to a tee!

#94 mjbelkin

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 12:06 AM

I'm currently reading "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins - fascinating.

#95 Hans

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 11:36 AM

Just finished Middlemarch by George Eliot.

#96 Azulynn

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 11:42 AM

By Night in Chile, by Roberto Bolaño - extremely powerful.

#97 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 03:15 PM

Thank you, cubanmiamiboy, for reviving this topic. I hope others will chime in. What is it that you especially admire about 'Crime and Punishment' >

I'm currently reading "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins - fascinating.


Atheists are starting to pipe up a little more vigorously, it seems - very healthy for public discourse, IMO.

What did you think of 'Middlemarch,' Hans? I still have it around the house but haven't looked at it for years. My experience with George Eliot is that I have to force myself to pick up a given book but when I finally do it's completely engrossing. (I can remember from college days a vigorous discussion over the question of Casaubon's impotence - is he or isn't he?)

#98 papeetepatrick

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 04:23 PM

Finally started DeLillo's Falling Man, one of the big new things. Read 3 pages thus far, it starts right in the dust and debris, and gives you a much better idea of what the nightmare on the ground must have looked like in some places not seen in the Daudet film. They wouldn't film the bodies of the people who had jumped, wanting to respect them in this way, but you could hear the horrifying sounds from time to time as they hit the concrete. Amazing to think that film was already available on VHS as far back as Spring, 2002.

#99 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 06:47 PM

Hi, dirac! :tiphat:
"What do i specially admire about Crime and Punishment"?...Mmm, let's see...without getting to deep in the subject of my personal points of view about how often do we liberally apply certain pre conceived so called "standards" to determine what is considered SANE or INSANE about human nature. Let's say that i've always felt extremely fascinated by this sort of cavernous, dark and outcasted characters in life :dunno: . If not my "idol", i would say that Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is somebody that i would love to meet and try to get to know as much as i could...See, I'm VERY curious!!
:thumbsup:

#100 bart

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 02:03 PM

Crime and Punishment may deserve renewed attention in our own time. In the world today, not unlike Tsarist Russia in the 19th century, the perpetrators of terrorism -- individuials, politicala groups, even governmetns -- seek to justify horrible acts of violence in the name of a greater good.

Raskolnikov's story starts with an arbitrary act of double murder. It carries us along through his emotional breakdown, spiritual conversion with the support and love of a prostitute, surrender to the police, imprisonment in a Siberian prison camp, and the slow, painful process of personal redemption. It's great stuff if you take it slowly and savor it. And much of it as contemporary as the headlines in today's papers.

Those looking for a gentler and more charming introduction (or re-introduction) to Dostoevsky might consider The Idiot , It's been turned into a ballet by Boris Eifman. Alla Osipenko danced the original Sonya (the prostitute with a heart of gold).

Then there's always the novella The Gambler for those who like to track the downward spiral of a character caught in the grasp of obsession and self-destruction. Prokofiev used it for an opera.

Thanks, cubanmiamiboy, for getting me to pick up C&P again. The underlinings and marginal notes in my old Everyman's Llibrary copy (75 cents, used) date back to graduate school in the 60s. It's fascinating and a trifle wierd to come face to face with the thoughts and concerns of my youthful self!

Maybe we should start a new thread about returning occasionally to the classics: which ones do we keep promising ourselves to read? which ones are we reading now? what do they mean to us today?

P.S. Mjbelkin and dirac -- If you've read Dawkins' The God Delusion, may I recommend Michael Shermer's Why Darwin Matters. Also, Anthony Gottlieb has an essay discussing (critically, but fairly) Dawkins, Sam Harris' The End of Faith, and Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great. It's in The New Yorker, May 21, 2007. I've read Harris, a great debater who takes just one side of the debate. I haven't read the Hitchens. I still can't forgive him for his arrogant, strident, and (IMO) delusional claims to be an expert on Iraq and Middle East expert earlier in this decade.

#101 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 03:58 PM

P.S. Mjbelkin and dirac -- If you've read Dawkins' The God Delusion, may I recommend Michael Shermer's Why Darwin Matters.


I haven't actually read any of the recent polemics, being quite comfortable with my own view of matters and unworried as to whether I’m right or not. But I think it’s nice that there’s a livelier discussion going on. I enjoyed Shermer’s book ‘ Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time.’ He’s a very useful fellow to have around.

It’s odd, but I rarely underline anything or make marginal comments, even when I was in school – it either stays in my head or it doesn’t.......

Finally started DeLillo's Falling Man, one of the big new things. Read 3 pages thus far, it starts right in the dust and debris, and gives you a much better idea of what the nightmare on the ground must have looked like in some places not seen in the Daudet film.


I have to start reading DeLillo again. I read several of his early books and began losing touch around, I think it was Underworld. But then I have been reading very little fiction in recent years. I’m trying to remedy this – I just bought Gary Shteyngart’s Russian Debutante’s Handbook and really do intend to get to it shortly.

#102 vipa

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 06:01 PM

I read mostly biographies and right now I am two-thirds of the way through Doris Kearns Goodwin "A Team of Rivals" on the presidency of Lincoln.---it is eye-opening to read of his Cabinet---(most of them did not agree with him)---it is a pleasure sometimes to sink back into the past.....


Not to mention the adroit way Lincoln disposed of the dangerous ones. Gore Vidal gives a nice account of the goings on in his novel, "Lincoln."

I understand that the popularity of biographies has been rising and they are now the most popular form of historical non-fiction. Also recall reading BTW that many men prefer reading non-fiction and some read no fiction at all -- it's a major difference in the reading habits of the sexes, apparently.


Wonderful book

#103 vipa

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 06:05 PM

I'm reading Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. You might remember the murder of the Dutch film director, Theo Van Gogh. Ali wrote the screenplay of the movie that brought about the death of Van Gogh. The book is a very interesting story and thought provoking.

Has anyone else read it?

#104 mjbelkin

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 10:51 PM

P.S. Mjbelkin and dirac -- If you've read Dawkins' The God Delusion, may I recommend Michael Shermer's Why Darwin Matters. Also, Anthony Gottlieb has an essay discussing (critically, but fairly) Dawkins, Sam Harris' The End of Faith, and Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great. It's in The New Yorker, May 21, 2007. I've read Harris, a great debater who takes just one side of the debate. I haven't read the Hitchens. I still can't forgive him for his arrogant, strident, and (IMO) delusional claims to be an expert on Iraq and Middle East expert earlier in this decade.


I think when I finish reading it, I shall be heading towards something a bit lighter.

#105 Giannina

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 11:30 PM

I came in late to this thread and I have to admit I haven't read all the posts. At the moment I'm re-reading "A Beautiful Mind". Read it several years ago and loved it, then saw the movie and was amazed that it didn't have anything to do with the book! Recently saw the movie again and decided to re-read the book. The 2 are still worlds apart, and the book is still wonderful.

Recently read a book by Christopher Hibbert on the Medici family; loved that too. As a result I've been buying used copies of his books and have a stash awaiting me.

Started "The Ballet Companion" and was enjoying every single word, but then "A Beautiful Mind" entered the picture. I'll get back to "ABC" next.

Giannina


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