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Old 02-24-18, 07:17 PM   #1
bkentr
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What Books have you read that you would reread or recommend?

Have any favorites? Any you would recommend to be read ? Fiction, Non-fiction, Documentary, Coffee table
picture books ?

To start off I'd like to list a few names, without publishing info.
If there is any interest in this thread, Book names with enough info to find them would be helpful.

Non Fiction:
King of the Road. The story of bicycle, from early bone shakers to around 1070.

Time-Life "Seafarers" series , The Clipper Ships, The Windjammers, The Luxury Liners, The Racing Yachts.

The Nature of Boats, Dave Gerr . Insights and Esoterica for the Nautically Obsessed.

Bizarre Ships of the Nineteenth Century, John Guthrie. Wild, crazy, and unbelievable ships.

Fiction:
Way too many to list. In past years have gone through many different interests.

Cowboy days: Louie L lamor, Max Brand, Zane Grey + , The older sometimes better than the newer.

Enjoy Clive Cussler, even with the sometimes predictable un believeable.

Christian Fiction:
My wife reads a lot more than me. She has too many on hand to list. Some are worth reading. I have had enough
of the Beverly Lewis Amish stories.

Did enjoy C.S.Lewis, also Frank Peretti.

Like to end on one last Trilogy: This is one I would recommend, and reread.

"Trophy Chase Trilogy" by George Bryan Polivka. Published 2007. Has nearly everything combined into one story.
Love, Faith, Hope, Trickery, Deception, Betrayal, Action, and fantastic stories within the story. Happy ending.
1.The Legend of the Firefish.
2.The Hand that bears the Sword.
3.The Battle for Vast Dominion.
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Old 02-24-18, 09:07 PM   #2
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Patrick O'Brian's "Aubrey/Martin" series of 21 novels based on Royal Navy battles during the early 1800s, the best historical fiction ever written.
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Old 02-24-18, 11:33 PM   #3
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There are many books I revisit, but these are a few of my favorites.

"Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco. I've read it about six times since it was first published. Each time I get something new from it. It's either an epic tale or a rambling book that can seem like a collection of anecdotes that may be only loosely related. During some readings it seemed to be a cautionary tale about spiritual fervor. At other times, more political. At other times more about anthropology and geographic determinism. Sometimes it's a drama, other times a thriller, other times a black comedy. It's all of those things. Depends on which era and political/cultural tide was in at the moment.

***

"Let the Right One In" by John Ajvide Lindqvist (English translations, book and movie). I think I read the book twice, saw the movie (screenplay by the author) half a dozen times. Possibly the most complex and fascinating story in the entire vampire genre. It flips most tropes on their heads and introduces some very uncomfortable stuff that's often more horrifying than the obvious stuff usually associated with vampire fiction.

***

"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" by Ron Hansen. When I first read it I thought it was one of the greatest works of American literature, alongside the best of Hawthorne, Melville, Hemingway and the usual suspects. Now, after several listenings to the audiobook version and watching the movie, I've upgraded it.

Now I believe it's the single best example of American literature. Everything anyone wants to know about America and why it is the way it is... it's in the novel. If a time traveler or alien appeared and needed a crash course in American culture, this is the story I'd recommend.

***

"The Book of J" by Harold Bloom and David Rosenberg. It's a sort of analysis, meta-study and deconstruction of the "J", or Yahwist, thread of the bible, mostly Genesis and Exodus.

The theory has been around for decades about the Yahwist, Deuteronomist, Priestly and Elohist threads, woven together over centuries by various scribes, rabbis and scholars -- often under political pressure -- to form the bible now regarded as more or less canonical.

But Rosenberg, a poet and Hebrew scholar, restores the Yahwist strands to a hypothetical version of the poetry it would originally have had in Hebrew in the oral tradition, while Bloom, a noteworthy scholar, provides the analysis. In their imagining of the Yahwist fabric, it was part of an oral tradition told by a woman of Solomon's court to keep alive the oral traditions she had grown up with, while couching her stories to a hypothetical audience in a wryly ironic fashion, sly political commentary couched as religious and cultural history and instruction.

Fascinating stuff for anyone interested in biblical lore, not only for believers but for anyone who appreciates the art of the oral tradition, esoterica (such as interpreting the meanings of the Rose of Sharon, the evolution of the deity from Yahweh -- one of many gods of the Semitic peoples -- to the pluralistic Elohim to the monotheistic concept that came later) etc.), and its influence of successive generations.

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Old 02-25-18, 05:37 AM   #4
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Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

LaRose by Louise Erdrich

Anything by Nabokov, Twain, Thomas Hardy, Steinbeck, Dos Passos, Anais Nin, Hemingway.
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Old 02-25-18, 06:15 PM   #5
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Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series
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Old 02-25-18, 09:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for your replies.
The Patric O'Brian Aubrey/Martin series sounds just like the kind of series I want to find.

Still in print?

Wooden Ships-Iron Men make for some great stories.
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Old 02-25-18, 10:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for your replies.
The Patric O'Brian Aubrey/Martin series sounds just like the kind of series I want to find.

Still in print?
https://www.amazon.com/Patrick O'Brian/e/B002BLL3ZC/

Also all are available as audiobooks from Overdrive; check with your local library.
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Old 02-25-18, 11:45 PM   #8
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I tend not to reread books since there are so many fabulous things out there to read but here's a list of some I have reread. Most of them are fiction.

Inland by Gerald Murnane, Quiet meditation on childhood and love with some Geography thrown in. Sometimes slow reading but always thought-provoking.

Blow-Up and Other Stories by Julio Cortazar, Short stories with imaginative twists.

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace, Insightful, well-written non-fiction (only read if you can handle footnotes

Bulletproof Vest: The Ballad of an Outlaw and His Daughter by Maria Venegas, Fabulous non-fiction story.

The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz, Magical realism meets Kafka.

The Lives of Rocks by Rick Bass, Short stories centered around nature.
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Old 02-26-18, 04:35 PM   #9
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Have the movie "Master and Commander-far side of the World" -- Great visual effects of old sailing ships.
Good story line. The Aubrey/Maturin series does sound interesting.

Looking into buying a set.
i will not be buying anything else "online", but know some who do, if needed.
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Old 02-26-18, 05:31 PM   #10
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Excellent!
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Old 02-27-18, 08:13 AM   #11
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I usually re-read Lonesome Dove every couple of years.
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Old 02-28-18, 09:50 AM   #12
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I usually re-read Lonesome Dove every couple of years.
That's one of my favorites as well.
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Old 02-28-18, 09:51 AM   #13
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I've reread Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October as well.
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Old 03-03-18, 10:12 AM   #14
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Everyone should read Cities and the Wealth of Nations. There is no math in it, Jane Jacobs talks about the way the world works. It was considered a classic the day it was published, and it's a thin book.

https://www.amazon.com/Cities-Wealth...lth+of+nations
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Old 03-05-18, 09:56 AM   #15
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There are many books I revisit, but these are a few of my favorites.

"Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco. I've read it about six times since it was first published. Each time I get something new from it. It's either an epic tale or a rambling book that can seem like a collection of anecdotes that may be only loosely related. During some readings it seemed to be a cautionary tale about spiritual fervor. At other times, more political. At other times more about anthropology and geographic determinism. Sometimes it's a drama, other times a thriller, other times a black comedy. It's all of those things. Depends on which era and political/cultural tide was in at the moment.
And always ironic and playful. One of the great novels of quite a long era. I don't reread much, usually just books that have a great rythm or flow but offer little to contemplate, but this one was certainly worth making an exception.
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Old 03-05-18, 01:27 PM   #16
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"Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco. I've read it about six times since it was first published. Each time I get something new from it. It's either an epic tale or a rambling book that can seem like a collection of anecdotes that may be only loosely related. During some readings it seemed to be a cautionary tale about spiritual fervor. At other times, more political. At other times more about anthropology and geographic determinism. Sometimes it's a drama, other times a thriller, other times a black comedy. It's all of those things. Depends on which era and political/cultural tide was in at the moment.
Interesting. I found it a chore just getting through the book once. From a similar "What Are You Reading Now?" thread on The Paceline forum in 2011 when I (finally) finished Foucault's Pendulum, I wrote:

>>Eco's writing seems almost conspicuously erudite to the point of being forced; I feel like I need a dictionary and a French/Italian/English rosetta stone to completely grok almost any given sentence.<<
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Old 03-05-18, 01:32 PM   #17
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Any of Daniel Dennett's books have rewarded (and, arguably, demanded) revisiting. But especially Consciousness Explained. I've probably read that 6 or 7 times, and every time it reveals something new, and inspires me all over again.
I just recently started re-reading his Darwin's Dangerous Idea for the third time.


In the fiction realm, Tom Robbins' Jitterbug Perfume and Carl Sagan's Contact have remained engaging on the second or third time through.
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Old 03-05-18, 01:56 PM   #18
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Interesting. I found it a chore just getting through the book once. From a similar "What Are You Reading Now?" thread on The Paceline forum in 2011 when I (finally) finished Foucault's Pendulum, I wrote:

>>Eco's writing seems almost conspicuously erudite to the point of being forced; I feel like I need a dictionary and a French/Italian/English rosetta stone to completely grok almost any given sentence.<<
That's a perfectly valid critique. Like Victor Hugo, Eco can go off on tangents and minutiae. I still haven't finished reading "The Man Who Laughs". Some chapters go on forever with excruciatingly detailed descriptions of the hidden hazards of harbors and coastlines and boats, none of which seems particularly pertinent to the central story.

But the authors must consider these crucial to dragging the reader along on the same journey as the protagonists, so you feel what they feel.

For example in Foucault's Pendulum, Casaubon's journey to Brazil with his lover Amparo doesn't seem particularly relevant to the story back in Italy. But it reveals the complexities of how culture -- and, somewhat controversially, race and geographic determinism -- influence belief systems to the point that beliefs are inextricably intertwined with the very being of a person from a particular culture, no matter how much they struggle to extricate themselves. They're either fighting against it, or pulled back into the web, but they can't ignore it.

The subtext, perhaps not conscious in the author, reveals Eco's own limited view of women. But that's a whole nuther analysis that's already been done by Rocco Capozzi in the Eco anthology he edited.

It's also linked to the kabbalah system that Eco uses as a framework for constructing the book. The entire Brazil journey with Amparo is under the segment titled "Hesed", the concept of loving-kindness, comparable to the Christian concept of agape love as Paul described it in the Greek language.

Eco's entire conceit is a classic allegorical journey filled with meta-references. It's not great writing in the sense of a good fiction novel. There's way too much Platonic explication done through improbable conversations between characters. But if the reader can ignore that conceit it's worth the journey.
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Old 03-05-18, 08:47 PM   #19
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Old 03-07-18, 09:17 AM   #20
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>>Eco's writing seems almost conspicuously erudite to the point of being forced; I feel like I need a dictionary and a French/Italian/English rosetta stone to completely grok almost any given sentence.<<
I believe that's part of the irony, the playfulness with erudition is not limited to the characters. He's always messing with the reader.
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Old 04-03-18, 03:18 PM   #21
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My two favorite novels in that order. Whatever his faults Celine was influential on a generation of authors whom some of you might be more familiar with such as: Henry Miller, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Joseph Heller, Anthony Burgess, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and even Jim Morrison of the "Doors".





Before I read those two novels this guy remained my favorite author of fiction and he's still my favorite short story author. My favorite from the above excellent collection (no longer in print as pictured) are: "To Build a Fire" and "Lost Face". I've probably read everything the guy wrote that's been printed including war correspondence (The Russo-Japanese war and the military expedition going after Pancho Villa) and sports reporting.


Jack London has to be the most misunderstood boxing pundit ever. Jack Johnson had no bigger fan than Jack London (who did exhibit some racism in some of his "South Sea Tales). London's call for a "Great White Hope" was all about the gate, believe me. The problem was that London had no rights over newspaper editing and they simply cut the best and purposely mischaracterized him. They hated Johnson and hated what London wrote about him. Here's a great book about Jack London. You can check out chapter 5 on the net somewhere to verify what I just said.

Amazon.com: Jack London's Racial Lives: A Critical Biography (9780820337814): Jeanne Reesman: Books Amazon.com: Jack London's Racial Lives: A Critical Biography (9780820337814): Jeanne Reesman: Books




Below is his reporting on the Jack Johnson vs Tommy Burns World Heavyweight Championship title fight on Dec. 26, 1908 in Rushcutter's Bay Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales Australia upon Johnson finally getting his title shot. You tell me he ain't a fan:


Special Cable Australia, Saturday.— The fight; there was no. fight. No Armenian massacre could compare with the hopeless slaughter that. took place in the Sydney stadium today. It was not a case of "Too Much Johnson," but of all Johnson. A golden smile tells the story; and the golden smile, was Johnson's. The fight, if fight it might be called, was like unto that between a colossus and a toy automaton. It had all the seeming of a playful Ethiopian at loggerheads with a small and futile white man— of a grown man cuffing a naughty child; of a monologue by one Johnson, who made a noise with his fists like a lullaby, tucking one Burns into his little, crib in Sleepy hollow; of a funeral, with Burns for the late deceased, Johnson for undertaker, grave digger and sexton. Twenty thousand men were at the ringside and twice 20,000 lingered on the side. Johnson, first in the ring, showed magnificent condition. When he smiled, a dazzling flash of gold filled the wide aperture between his open lips, and he smiled all the time. He had no trouble in the world. "When asked ;- what he was going to do after the fight, he said he was going to the races. It was a happy prophesy. He was immediately followed into the ring by Burns, who had no smile whatever. He looked pale and sallow, as if he had not slept all night, or as if he had just pulled through a bout with fever. He receired a heartier greeting than Johnson and seemed a favorite with the crowd. It promised to be a bitter fight. There was no chivalry nor good will in it, and Johnson, despite his carefree pose, had an eye to the instant need of things. He sent his seconds intently into Burns' corner to watch the putting on of the gloves for fear a casual horseshoe might stray in. He examined personally Burns' belt and announced flatly that he would not fight if Burns did not remove a tape from his skinned elbow's. 'Nothing doing till he takes 'em off," quoth Johnson. The crowd hooted, . but Johnson smiled his happy, golden smile and dreamed with Ethiopian stolidity in his corner. Burns took off the offending tapes and was applauded uproariously;-, Johnson stood up and was hooted. 'He merely smiled. That is the fight epitomized— Johnson's smile. The gong sounded and the fight and monologue began all right. "Tahmy, said Johnson, with an exaggerated English accent, and thereafter he talked throughout the fight — when, he was not smiling: - Scarcely had they mixed when he caught his antagonist with a fierce uppercut turning him completely over in the air and landine him on his back. There is no use giving details. There was no doubt from the moment of the opening of the first round. The affair was too one. sided. There iwas never so one sided: a world's championship fight in the history of the ring, It was not a case of a man being put out by a clever or a lucky punch. In the first or second round it was a case of a plucky, determined fighter who had no chance at any moment throughout the fight; It was hopeless.. He was a glutton for punishment, and he bored in all the time, but a dewdrop" in Sheol had more chance than he with the giant Ethiopian.

In all justice it must be urged that Burns had no opportunity to show what he had in him. Johnson was too big, too able, too clever, too superb. He was impregnable. His long arms, his height, his cool, seeing eyes, his timing and distancing, his footwork and his splendid outsparring and equally "splendid infighting, kept Burns in trouble all the time. At no stage of the fight was either man ever extended. Johnson was just as inaccessible as Mount Blanc, and against such a mountain, what possible chance had Burns to extend himself? He was smothered all the time. As for Johnson, he did not have to extend. He cuffed and smiled and smiled and. scuffed, and in the clinches whirled his opponent around so as to be able to , assume beatific and angelic facial expressions for the benefit of the cinematograph machines:. Not Burns, but Johnson, did. the fighting. In fact, the major portion of the punishment he delivered was in clinches. At times he would hold tip his arms to show that he was no party to the clinch. ' Again he would deliberately, and by apparently no exertion of strength, thrust Burns away and get clear of him, and yet again he would thrust Burns, partly clear with one hand and uppercut him to the face with the other, and when Burns instantly fell forward into another clinch he would thrust him partly clear and repeat the uppercut. Once he did this. five times in succession, as fast as a man could count, each uppercut connecting and connecting savagely, but principally in the clinches Johnson rested and smiled and dreamed. This dreaming expression was fascinating. It seemed almost a trance. It was certainly deceptive, for suddenly the lines, of the face would harden, the eyes would glint viciously and Burns-would be frightfully hooked, swung and uppercut for a bad half minute, when the smile and dreamy trance would return as Burns effected another clinch. At times, too, when both men were set, Johnson would deliberately assume the fierce, vicious, intent expression, only apparently for the purpose of suddenly letting, his teeth flash forth like the rise of a harvest moon.while his face beamed with, all the happy, care free Innocence ol a little child, Johnson play acted; all the time, and he played with Burns from, the gong of the opening round to, the 'finish qf the fight. Burns, was a toy in his hands. For Johnson it was a kindergarten romp. "Hit here. Tahmy," he would say, exposing the right side of his unprotected stomach, and when " Burns struck, Johnson would neither wince nor coyer up. Instead' he would receive the blow with a happy, careless smile, directed-at the spectators,- turn the left side of his unprotected stomach and say,"Now here, Tahmy." and while ▀urns hit as directed Johnson would continue to grin and chuckle and'smile his golden smile. One criticism, and only one, can be passed upon Johnson. In the thirteenth found he made the mistake of his life. He should have put Burns out. He could have put him out. It would have been child's play. Instead of which he, smiled and deliberately let" Burns live until the gong sounded, and in the fourteenth round the police stopped the fight and Johnson lost the credit of a knockout."'

(end of excerpt)


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Old 04-03-18, 03:51 PM   #22
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Two fine sports figure biographies about Joe Gans, the first Black American boxing champion. He was the third Black champion (Jack Johnson was the fourth and only first Black Heavyweight champion). The first was Canadian George Dixon who held the featherweight title from 1891 to 1897. The second was the original Joe Walcott aka Barbados Joe Walcott who held the welterweight title from 1901 to 1906. Joe Gans was lightweight champion from 1904 to 1908.

The first pictured by Colleen Aycock and Mark Scott is the more comprehensive with many fascinating revelations of the attitudes of the era including those in the popular culture of the day. The second by William Gildea is the more readable and likely to appeal to sports fans with the account of the first Joe Gans vs Battling Nelson fight in Goldfield Nevada in 1906.



Won by Gans via disqualification in the 42nd round........That's right, the 42nd round.

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Old 04-03-18, 06:49 PM   #23
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one summer I read every cycling book at my local library. that was fun
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Old 04-04-18, 08:29 PM   #24
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Old 04-05-18, 08:05 AM   #25
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Curtain by Agatha Christie may be the only mystery I would read again.
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