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Author Topic: Daughter of What are you reading continued
Michelle
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posted 09 June 2007 04:13 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gir Draxon:
I'm also into Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student right now.


(Yeah, my reading this summer is dictated by a syllabus)


My reading for three years straight was dictated by a syllabus, since I took courses in the summers as well.

It got so that for about two years after I left university, I couldn't read anything. I just couldn't read and concentrate. I've never had that happen to me before. I'm back in the saddle now, but that was a seriously disturbing thing to have happen to a formerly voracious reader.

P.S. Farmpunk, you're doing what we could never organize on babble very well in the past - actually going out and reading the books suggested here! I think a couple of times we tried to do a book club, but they kind of petered out.

(Continued from here.)


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 09 June 2007 08:58 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I've gone through stages where I just can't seem to get into reading. Sometimes for quite a while. I think my mind just gets too busy with work and family stuff.

I recall at the end of a school year after my final exam treating myself to an off-course novel. I bought a reclining lawn chair, a cooler full of beer and sat out in the garden in front of the residence at Glendon College at York. It was absolutely delicious. The book was Scott's Ivanhoe.

Right now I'm reading Timeline by Michael Crichten. Meh, it's a book. It's good for people like me who took medieval history, but I'm not too sure how those who may not care for that ethos would like it. Time travel and stuff.

edited to add:

For anyone who finds themselves with the opportunity to engage in time travel, stay away from the medieval; not very nice. If you must go, then set aside whatever personal convictions you might have and bring a gun. Really.

[ 09 June 2007: Message edited by: oldgoat ]


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bohajal
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posted 10 June 2007 03:45 PM      Profile for bohajal   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It got so that for about two years after I left university, I couldn't read anything. I just couldn't read and concentrate. I've never had that happen to me before. I'm back in the saddle now, but that was a seriously disturbing thing to have happen to a formerly voracious reader. -Michelle

Scares me, though I have the feeling that it will happen. I am going back for a few courses and my thesis after I left university for more than a decade.

Any advice Michelle ?

[ 10 June 2007: Message edited by: bohajal ]


From: planet earth, I believe | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 10 June 2007 04:55 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I basically stopped beating myself up about it, and tried to read things that I could. Shorter magazine articles, then longer ones, then pulp fiction (that helped a lot!) and then some popular non-fiction (nothing too heavy, but on subjects I was interested in). Even now I don't read the way I used to, but at least I can read a few chapters of something without losing my concentration on the fifth paragraph.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
zak4amnesty
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posted 11 June 2007 08:23 AM      Profile for zak4amnesty   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nature of Love

Gibran


From: Chemical Valley | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jerry West
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posted 12 June 2007 04:25 PM      Profile for Jerry West   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Worth a read for anyone interested in the environment:

quote:

Winner of the 2006 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, Phi Beta Kappa Book Award
Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum:
How Humans Took Control of Climate

William F. Ruddiman

Paper | December 2007 | $17.95 / £11.95 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-13398-0
Cloth | 2005 | $24.95 / £15.95 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-12164-2
224 pp. | 6 x 9 | 16 halftones. 14 line illus. 4 tables. 7 maps.

The impact on climate from 200 years of industrial development is an everyday fact of life, but did humankind's active involvement in climate change really begin with the industrial revolution, as commonly believed? William Ruddiman's provocative new book argues that humans have actually been changing the climate for some 8,000 years--as a result of the earlier discovery of agriculture.

The "Ruddiman Hypothesis" will spark intense debate. We learn that the impact of farming on greenhouse-gas levels, thousands of years before the industrial revolution, kept our planet notably warmer than if natural climate cycles had prevailed--quite possibly forestalling a new ice age.

Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum is the first book to trace the full historical sweep of human interaction with Earth's climate. Ruddiman takes us through three broad stages of human history: when nature was in control; when humans began to take control, discovering agriculture and affecting climate through carbon dioxide and methane emissions; and, finally, the more recent human impact on climate change. Along the way he raises the fascinating possibility that plagues, by depleting human populations, also affected reforestation and thus climate--as suggested by dips in greenhouse gases when major pandemics have occurred. The book concludes by looking to the future and critiquing the impact of special interest money on the global warming debate.

Eminently readable and far-reaching in argument, Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum shows us that even as civilization developed, we were already changing the climate in which we lived....

Link to publisher and more info



From: Gold River, BC | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Naci_Sey
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posted 16 June 2007 03:37 PM      Profile for Naci_Sey   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1998).

Borrowed the book from the library on short-term loan; couldn't get it for longer as other library patrons have requested it too. Had it not been necessary to return the book to the library, I'd have read it a second time.

From the back cover:

quote:
a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy.



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sgm
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posted 16 June 2007 07:24 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Current and recent reads:

Intent for a Nation, by Michael Byers.

Holding the Bully's Coat, by Linda McQuaig.

French Kiss, by Chantal Hebert.

[ 16 June 2007: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 17 June 2007 05:50 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
On the go The Morning Riverby Michael Gear.

quote:
Michael Gear mixes an anthropologist's insight, a historian's precision, and a novelist's vision to transport us to the great Missouri - the Morning River - in 1825, when the American interior was about to be opened and many native peoples stood on the brink of holocaust.

Just finished
It Wakes in Me by Kathleen O'Neal Gear

quote:
According to the tradition of the Black Falcon People, each person has three souls: the eye soul, which stays with the body forever, the shadow-soul, where all evil is leeched and shed at death, and the reflection-soul, which lives on among the Blessed in the Land of the Dead, pure and clean.

Just prior to that I read People of the Moon by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

quote:
The Anasazi believed their destiny was charted in the paths of the moon, sun, and stars. The moon had reached its maximum three times since the Chacoans conquered the First Moon People. The Chaco matrons had built their Great House high atop First Moon Mountain, and their red-shirted warriors stalked arrogantly through the villages, taking what they pleased. But the gods can only stand so much human arrogance.

These books are chocked full fo First Nations histories, oral and artifactual.


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 17 June 2007 06:19 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm reading Twelth Planet by Zachary Sitchin. The easiest I could describe it would be like Da Vinci code for Jewish people. It's about his ancient astronaut hypothesis. I don't take it too seriously but kind of fun.

I also am eager to start Making Globalization Work by Joseph Stiglitz.


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
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posted 17 June 2007 07:10 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk
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jrose
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posted 18 June 2007 05:31 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just picked up How Sassy Changed My Life.

Has anyone had the chance to flip through it at all?


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zak4amnesty
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posted 18 June 2007 01:33 PM      Profile for zak4amnesty   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gibran again;

I comprehended the secret of her protest against the society which persecutes those who rebel against confining laws and customs before determining the cause for the rebellion.

Spirits Rebellious


From: Chemical Valley | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 21 June 2007 02:56 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a library right around the corner from me now that I've moved. I seriously need to start getting in the library habit again.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
zak4amnesty
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posted 21 June 2007 10:47 AM      Profile for zak4amnesty   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The library is somewhere I can go and people know my name........ how comforting.

I visit the library half a dozen times a week.

I love the library.


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Richard MacKinnon
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posted 24 June 2007 10:04 AM      Profile for Richard MacKinnon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Holding the Bully's Coat, by Linda McQuaig.
Collapse, by Jared Diamond
The Unfinished Canadian, by Andrew Cohen
and
The Great War for Civilization, by Robert Fisk.

That should hold me until September but something will probably show up on the radar that will put 1 or 2 of these on the back-burner.


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jrose
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posted 25 June 2007 08:30 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In 30 hours I read all of Little Children, from cover to cover this weekend, as part of a work book club. Anyone read it, or seen the movie?
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Farmpunk
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posted 29 June 2007 02:51 AM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
First a note to Mayakovsky. I tried to read "The Rent Collector" and failed. I'm going to give it another go in the winter. Seems a little too much like an essay in jewish religion mixed with characters. I would have liked more character and less hard info, because the characters seemed very interesting. But, like I say, I'm going to give it another try at some point.

Currently reading "Dark Age Ahead", by Jane Jacobs. Strangely, I had expected Jacobs to be very urban centric, but her lengthy intro chapter deals very heavily, almost every page, with agriculture. I wonder if that will continue.


From: SW Ontario | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
zak4amnesty
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posted 05 July 2007 12:30 PM      Profile for zak4amnesty   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ireland's Master Storyteller

The Collected Stories of Eamon Kelly

I says to the train, May God take you out ole smokey hole!


From: Chemical Valley | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
M.Gregus
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posted 27 July 2007 07:03 AM      Profile for M.Gregus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It got so that for about two years after I left university, I couldn't read anything. I just couldn't read and concentrate. I've never had that happen to me before. I'm back in the saddle now, but that was a seriously disturbing thing to have happen to a formerly voracious reader. -Michelle

Scares me, though I have the feeling that it will happen. I am going back for a few courses and my thesis after I left university for more than a decade.


Gah! This sounds exactly like what I've been going through for the last several years ever since I returned to school. Although I suspected all along that it was associated with my heavy reading program I also thought it was some kind of freakish problem, possibly some sort of cognitive deficit due to aging or something. I'm both relieved and horrified that other people have experienced pretty much the same thing. Horrified because it may not ever go away, as suggested by Michelle:

quote:
Even now I don't read the way I used to, but at least I can read a few chapters of something without losing my concentration on the fifth paragraph.

What is it about academic reading and the inability to concentrate? Why does it impair the ability to read anything else?


From: capital region | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
jrose
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posted 27 July 2007 07:31 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
What is it about academic reading and the inability to concentrate? Why does it impair the ability to read anything else?

I understand completely. I am/was the same way. I missed out on so much quality reading time, while I felt buried alive by academic reading. And when I did take the time to read, it would be something with fluffier content, because after filling my mind with concepts and ideas from classroom readings, I felt there was hardly room for more in my leisure time. Since I've graduated, it has gotten better, but even still after reading for 8 hours a day at my job, most nights the last thing I want to do is go home and crack a book. I'm trying though!


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N.Beltov
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posted 27 July 2007 08:44 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
M.Gregus: What is it about academic reading and the inability to concentrate? Why does it impair the ability to read anything else?

It's somebody else's curriculum. We have our own built-in learning needs or curriculum, and if we follow that then interest never wanes. Academia chops off topics just when they get interesting and the natural progression to pursue or investigate a topic until the questions in your mind are answered is truncated by the requirements, time constraints, exams, whatever. Reading becomes a source of frustration instead of liberation. So, it would make sense that we would lose the ability to concentrate or even enjoy reading anything at all.

[ 27 July 2007: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


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Catchfire
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posted 27 July 2007 10:11 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Has anyone read Cormac McCarthy before? I want to read his detective and western stuff, but I had a gift certificate and the selection was weak. I picked up The Road which is new, well-reviewed, and Oprah-certified. Anyone know anything about him?
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 27 July 2007 10:47 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hah! Oprah-certified. Compliment, right?
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M.Gregus
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posted 28 July 2007 08:52 AM      Profile for M.Gregus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:

It's somebody else's curriculum. We have our own built-in learning needs or curriculum, and if we follow that then interest never wanes. Academia chops off topics just when they get interesting and the natural progression to pursue or investigate a topic until the questions in your mind are answered is truncated by the requirements, time constraints, exams, whatever. Reading becomes a source of frustration instead of liberation. So, it would make sense that we would lose the ability to concentrate or even enjoy reading anything at all.

[ 27 July 2007: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


Yeah, I hear what you and jrose are saying. On top of over-filling your mind with academic concepts and truncating your interests, there's also the stress of evaluation that awaits after the assigned reading is done. It's interesting though, that most people don't seem to have this experience until university; in high school english/literature I enjoyed the books and short stories we were assigned even within imposed time limits and evaluation. Some of the books that we read in Canadian and Black Literature classes served as an introduction to authors I love.


From: capital region | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 28 July 2007 10:19 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
jrose, is that Little Children the book that was made into the movie?

quote:
On the go The Morning Riverby Michael Gear.

Remind, this looks great. I'll have to pick it up.

Right now I'm reading Revolutionary Girl - Utena Vol 1. (Anime graphic novel) and I just picked up Kathy Acker's Empire of the Senseless and Ha Jin's The Crazed, both authors I adore.


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
jrose
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posted 28 July 2007 11:23 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is...I rented the movie last weekend, and it was good. The book turned out to be a quick, decent read. It's a dark look at life in suburbia, so it's nothing revolutionary, that's for sure. I wouldn't put it on top of my list of books that I'd recommend to people, but it was very well written and enjoyable.
From: Ottawa | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 28 July 2007 12:03 PM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Excellent thanks. I liked the movie as well and thought the storyline was really good. I dislike books based upon movies but generally find books that are turned into movies excellent reads.
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 28 July 2007 12:38 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm going through Making Globalization Work by Joseph Stiglitz. It's the sequel to Globalization and its Discontents. I highly recommend it. Stiglitz is a center-left macroeconomist; he has a lot to say from his experiences as a Clinton secretary and as a World Bank VP.

I'm through the first third of the book now and he's outlined why the Doha-Seattle-Cancun round of trade liberalization failed. He demonstrates that a lot of the liberalization was largely one-way, with the west keeping its protections through non-tarrif barriers.

Another book I want to read soon is Dune 8, Sandworms of Dune, it comes out in a few weeks. I really enjoyed Dune 7, and I can't wait to see what happens.


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 July 2007 05:06 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Your Money Or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. It's not completely perfect, but as self-help books go, it's pretty good, in that it at least helps you be more thoughtful about your finances.

Where it falls down is that I think they have ways of being frugal that I disagree with (e.g. making price point absolute criteria, so therefore shopping at discount retailers - think Walmart, although they don't specifically give names - and they also suggest that people clip coupons, which to me encourages retailers to destroy the environment by sending out flyers).

But it's a pretty excellent book otherwise - I find it very helpful when I feel like my spending is out of control, or my budget is extremely constrained, which it has been lately.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 29 July 2007 04:12 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
Hah! Oprah-certified. Compliment, right?

I admit, I was being slightly facetious, but really, is hatred of Oprah's book club that justified? In some cases, certainly. I object to the "branding" of literature and the make-easy bottlenecking that goes with it, which contributes to a society that has stopped thinking seriously about art (or maybe they never did, and I'm a sucker). But I remember a professor of mine complaining when Oprah put her sticker on three or four William Faulkner books, including the incredibly dense The Sound and the Fury. Why should Oprah's audience be deprived of his art? She even asked some great critics and writers (including Toni Morrison!) to help with the reading of these difficult novels. If more people discover the magic (stodginess? masturbatory elitism?) of Faulkner, isn't that a sum good thing? (cf also Oprah's quarrel with Jonathan Franzen and The Corrections)

Oh, and in case any one cared, McCarthy's The Road was okay, had some great moments and some punishing ones, but I could do better. I tells you, if there's an apocalypse, I hope I die in it.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 30 July 2007 02:53 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I've never understood the hatred of the Oprah book club either. I figure that anything that gets people reading is fine with me. From what I understand (I don't get to see Oprah since it's on during the day, and I never tape anything to watch later), she's picked some good ones. I'll never know, though, because none of the bookstores I go to have "Oprah" tables like Crapters and Indiblow.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jrose
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posted 30 July 2007 04:55 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's interesting though, that most people don't seem to have this experience until university; in high school english/literature I enjoyed the books and short stories we were assigned even within imposed time limits and evaluation. Some of the books that we read in Canadian and Black Literature classes served as an introduction to authors I love.

I'm the same way. High School English introduced me to much of the Canadian Lit that I still enjoy today. And you're right, it seemed so easy back then to be assigned a book, read it, dissect it, and still enjoy it by the end – even with the time limits. I think the love for reading never goes away as high school becomes university/college or entering the work force, it's just the million other forces that seem to be pulling at our time, and it gets increasingly harder to make the time to pick up a good book.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 30 July 2007 07:03 AM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Dharmmapada, a recent, buddhist-approved translation.

Because it was summer, I was at a cottage, and it was there too.


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jrose
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posted 30 July 2007 07:18 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Yeah, I've never understood the hatred of the Oprah book club either. I figure that anything that gets people reading is fine with me. From what I understand (I don't get to see Oprah since it's on during the day, and I never tape anything to watch later), she's picked some good ones. I'll never know, though, because none of the bookstores I go to have "Oprah" tables like Crapters and Indiblow.

I have read two or three of Oprah’s picks now, and I’ve got to agree, that I think it’s amazing the steps she has taken to get people reading. And heck, all of her choices might not be the most revolutionary books ever written, but if she’s convinced just a few people (and I’m sure she’s convinced thousands!) to put down their Shopaholic books (or whatever trendy series everyone is reading these days) and pick up a book like Sidney Poitier’s biography, or Fall on Your Knees or Icy Sparks or She’s Come Undone, then more power to her! These are just a few of them that I have read, and some were better than others, but I like to think it’s broadening the range of what people are reading, and giving some great authors exposure that they never could have imagined.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 30 July 2007 08:40 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jrose:

I'm the same way. High School English introduced me to much of the Canadian Lit that I still enjoy today. And you're right, it seemed so easy back then to be assigned a book, read it, dissect it, and still enjoy it by the end – even with the time limits. I think the love for reading never goes away as high school becomes university/college or entering the work force, it's just the million other forces that seem to be pulling at our time, and it gets increasingly harder to make the time to pick up a good book.


I think high school reading turns as many people off as on. In my experience, while there were some interesting books like 1984 or Lord of the Flies; there were also a lot of boring ones like The Great Gatsby. They'd made us read the books the teachers found interesting when they were young. I liked the CEGEP English books better.

One time, in the boys class, we were debating which Shakespeare to read, Julius Caeser or Romeo and Juliet. There was more interest on the former, but people voted for the latter as it meant the possibility of being able to copy off the girls.


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
jrose
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posted 30 July 2007 09:29 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think high school reading turns as many people off as on.

That's true too. It wasn't the case for me, but I can understand it. I can relate to that especially in the case of Margaret Atwood. I've never picked up another one of her books because Grade 12 English and reading the Handmaid's Tale destroyed her for me. It was probably actually a good book, but my teacher at the time didn't do it justice and I remember just absolutely dreading it. The rest of my high school English required readings were a far higher success for me!


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Caissa
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posted 30 July 2007 09:52 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I loved my high school reading experience. My exposure to Atwood was The Edible Woman in a grade 12 Can Lit course. I think it has lead to me reading all of her novels.
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Michelle
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posted 30 July 2007 10:02 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Really? They had the Edible Woman in a high school course? I'm surprised, considering that there are sex scenes in it.

That said, The Edible Woman has always been my very favorite Atwood book. In fact, I think it's one of my all-time favorite books period.


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jrose
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posted 30 July 2007 10:06 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well maybe that is the one I should check out then, for my reintroduction to Margaret Atwood! I own a few of her others, that have sat on my shelf for years and years. I can’t even pinpoint why. But I hereby commit to dusting one of them off, and enjoying some Atwood in the very near future.
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Caissa
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posted 30 July 2007 10:09 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michelle wrote: Really? They had the Edible Woman in a high school course? I'm surprised, considering that there are sex scenes in it.

Had a fairly cantankerous progressive teacher for the time 1981. Of course, we had to buy our own copies of the book, couldn't expect the school board to pay for that smut.


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Michelle
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posted 30 July 2007 10:14 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's amazing, Caissa. Nice to hear. We occasionally had rebel teachers too, but not very often!

jrose, yeah, definitely read The Edible Woman. There are so many parts of it that are still laugh-out-loud funny to me every time I read it. One of my favorite parts is where Marian is tossing food to Duncan and gets caught by the host, Trevor, who is absurdly proud of his gourmet cooking while a piece of meat is mid-flight. You have to read it to get the funny - it's just Atwood's dry humour that kills me. Everyone character in the book is a stereotype and a parody, but they're so well done that they work.

I just love that book. And don't even get me started on Richler's Duddy Kravitz.


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jrose
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posted 30 July 2007 10:16 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd love to hear a rant on Duddy Kravitz! I haven't revisited that one since high school either!
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Caissa
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posted 30 July 2007 10:16 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Duddy Kravitz was also on the curriculum in the course. Being young, I didn't get many of the jokes and did not know enough about Judaism to understand many of the allusions. Read it a decade later and split a gut laughing.
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500_Apples
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posted 30 July 2007 10:20 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I got the Edible Woman as a birthday present, a friend got me that and a Rachel Ray cookbook. It's two or three books down the pile right now.
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Michelle
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posted 30 July 2007 10:22 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
I have a library right around the corner from me now that I've moved. I seriously need to start getting in the library habit again.

Oh yeah, so about that? A month after I moved in, they closed that library for renovations, and who knows when it'll open again. So annoying.

At the last place I lived, which was near Dufferin and Bloor, the nearest library (Bloor/Gladstone) closed for renovations months ago and it's still closed. So just last month I moved to about Dufferin and St. Clair, where there is the Dufferin/St. Clair library, and I thought, great! Awesome!

And now it's closed as soon as I move here. I think I might be cursed or something.

But I'm also kind of peeved about it - there are a ton of libraries in Toronto - why on earth would they close down two libraries in the same neighbourhood at the same time for renovations?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 30 July 2007 10:26 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Caissa:
Duddy Kravitz was also on the curriculum in the course. Being young, I didn't get many of the jokes and did not know enough about Judaism to understand many of the allusions. Read it a decade later and split a gut laughing.

Yeah, exactly! I read it in grade 13 - that's why I have the book. I think I was amused by it, but like you, didn't get a lot of the jokes and Jewish/Yiddish references. Now I re-read it about once a year or so and just about die laughing every time. I would consider it also to be one of my all-time favorites.

Jessica, you've GOT to re-read the book again sometime. The bar-mitzvah movie screening is the funniest thing I've ever read. Since high school, I don't think I've ever read it and not ended up in a fit of giggles.

[ 30 July 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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jrose
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posted 30 July 2007 10:56 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, you’ll be so mad at me, Michelle! I was on College Street yesterday and came across a bargain bin at a used bookstore, and they had it for a dollar, but typical me, I didn’t have any change on me, so I didn’t pick it up. I enjoyed it in High School, but I second the not-understanding it completely part. Alright, this thread is trouble, in only an hour I’ve added two more books to my reading list!
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Farmpunk
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posted 30 July 2007 05:44 PM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Duddy Kravitz is good, but St Urbain's Horseman is better. Joshua Then And Now, almost as good.

Re-reading stuff. Try re-reading some of Robertson Davies more university-centric novels, sometime after graduating university. Lyre of Orpheus. Rebel Angles. Funny stuff in that the humour applies across the times.


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Catchfire
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posted 31 July 2007 05:12 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Barney's Version I thnk is the epitome of Richler's career. Kravitz and others make hilarious cameos, and the plot is one of his best.

Also, is the Great Gatsby boring? It's one of the most economical novels in history. Beautifully written, funny, smart and probing. My only problem is that I don't really care how conflicted the filthy rich are.


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M.Gregus
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posted 01 August 2007 06:19 AM      Profile for M.Gregus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm finally getting around to reading A Short History of Progress, though it's more like listening to Ronald Wright tell me a historical story than reading. With my impaired reading these days, it's perfect!

I'm also eking my way through Stanley Park, which is slow going because I'm not really liking the narrator and so avoid "spending time" with him. Conveniently, I forgot the book in another province for the last few weeks. Oops!


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N.Beltov
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posted 04 August 2007 04:34 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Has anyone read the new autobiography by Billy Bragg and, if so, what do they think of it?

I bought a copy of Critical Mass instead, and Philip Ball's conservative philosophical approach is harming what would otherwise be a very outstanding book. Why is it when I buy a book I feel I must read it?


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RosaL
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posted 04 August 2007 12:41 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm reading, "The Terror" by David Andress. (It's about the French Revolution.)

But I'm reading a lot of other things too. I always read too many books at the same time. It's not a good idea. Two or three are ok - a person needs some variety - but I'm in way too deep at present


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BitWhys
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posted 05 August 2007 12:48 PM      Profile for BitWhys     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just finished reading The Real World of Democracy, from the 1965 Massey Lecture Series by C. B. MacPherson. Thought I'd stick my head in long enough to recommend it.

Dated by the fall of the USSR, but if you keep in mind that China is still at it in their own charming way, its insights are still of the essence. Especially since its short, the perspective alone is well worth the read.


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Michelle
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posted 06 August 2007 06:32 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jrose:
Oh, you’ll be so mad at me, Michelle! I was on College Street yesterday and came across a bargain bin at a used bookstore, and they had it for a dollar, but typical me, I didn’t have any change on me, so I didn’t pick it up.

Well, you could see that as a bad thing or a good thing. I'm reading Your Money Or Your Life (well, not really reading it now - I've re-read it, but I'm trying to actually DO it) and I'm trying to cut back on compulsive purchases like that. I'm trying to tell myself when I walk past a bin of $1 books that I can get them from the library for free. But I have to admit, if it's a book that I know I'll love and re-read, I'll buy it if it's only a buck.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
1234567
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posted 02 September 2007 09:36 AM      Profile for 1234567     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am reading " The End of Ignorance" by John Mighton. It's a book about children and learning and with the message that each child has the potential to be successful in every subject in school. I've just started it.
From: speak up, even if your voice shakes | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 02 September 2007 10:34 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just started reading Al Franken's The Truth "with jokes". It's supposed to be funny. It's depressing the hell out of me.
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M.Gregus
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posted 05 September 2007 05:27 AM      Profile for M.Gregus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I finally picked up Margaret Cho's I'm the One That I Want, and finished it a couple of weeks ago. It's a perceptive, funny, heart-piercing read. I'll definitely be tracking down her second book.
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oldgoat
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posted 15 September 2007 01:25 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Fionavar Tapestry , for at least the third time. A most pleasant little self indulgence.
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Stephen Gordon
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posted 15 September 2007 01:58 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Brideshead Revisited, for the umpteenth time. It's almost like reading science fiction. For example, how in the world can a university-dropout-turned-painter jump straight into the Army as a captain? AFAICT, Charles Ryder's only claim to that rank is a lifetime of ordering people around. And yet it seems to be enough.
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unionist
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posted 15 September 2007 02:07 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Custodian of Paradise, by Wayne Johnston. It's a sequel to - though not as enthralling as - The Colony of Unrequited Dreams.


[ 15 September 2007: Message edited by: unionist ]


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