Saturday, December 8, 2012


So, what book are you reading? I'm SICK of politics. Tell us about the book and do you recommend it? Thanks! Z


Jen Nifer said...

"How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer"
by Sarah Bakewell.
I would highly recommend this one. It's been fun and inspirational.

Also, "Double Lives: American Writers' Friendships" by Richard Lingeman
This book is interesting, easy reading.

"Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth- Century French Thought" by Martin Jay
It's pretty specific. I'm only reading it because a friend in grad school told me I'd love it. Not so sure about that... :-)

Finally, "The Alchemist". by Paul Coelho.
I'm not sure what to think of this one. It's easy to read, and light on the mind.
We'll see how it goes!

I love to find out about good books, Z. Great topic!

Always On Watch said...

I have recently discovered Sharyn McCrumb's ballad novels. I've almost finished The Ballad of Tom Dooley and highly recommend it. I listened to the audio version, BTW. Gotta ameliorate sitting in the pre-Christmas traffic jams here in Northern Virginia!

Next on my list of novels to read: One Breath Away.

Last year, I read Stephen King's novel 11/22/63. I know that a lot of people steer clear of King's work, but 11/22/63 isn't "typical King," and I highly recommend this particular novel. A real gem! I plan to read it again over the summer. The book was that excellent!

I do read a lot of nonfiction, too. I just finished reading Oliver Sacks's Hallucinations. Not nearly as good as his The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Musicophilia, though.

Linda said...

Give me a good political thriller any day. I just read Brad Thor's Black List. I think he is really good.

I'm tired of politics, too, but I think they will be with us for a long time!

Rita said...

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Saw Lincoln last weekend and I went home and purchased it on my Nook.

Ed Bonderenka said...

By the time I'm done reading news, opinions and blogs and comments, I don't have time for much else except a gun magazine or practical reading, Bible included.
I am reading A Man's Guide to the Spiritual Disciplines.

Ducky's here said...

Berlin Alexanderplatz --- Alfred Doblin

Weimar Germany has always been an historic period that fascinates me. Doblin's belief that Franz Biberkopf could reform turned out to be too optimistic.

Owes a lot to "The Threepenny Opera".

One of the world's great novels.

sue hanes said...

Z - They are not recent books - but I finally read John Adams by David McCullough and am now working on Washington - A Life by Ron Chernow. Both are very good - especially if you are a John Adams fan - as I am.

The Washington book gives insight to the Father of our Country that most people don't know about.

Pris said...

I have that Stephen King book (11/22/63 waiting for me. I'm not reading a book at this time.

In fact with all I've had to take care of this year since I lost my Mr. Pris, I haven't had the patience or the inclination to read a book.

AOW, I'm glad to hear that book was so good, but then I'm a Stephen King fan anyway.

I have to get back into that groove now that things are somewhat easing off.

Pris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fredd said...

'Alex Cross,' by James Patterson. Gotta get the real skinny before I pop for movie tickets.

Ducky's here said...

Warning Fredd, the film is terrible.

Stick with the book.

Anonymous said...

Just finished "Agenda 21" and it is one of the best sci-fiction books in years. I am reading "Light of the World" interview of Pope Benedict XVI which is very good.

FreeThinke said...

Since becoming a partially-sighted person nine years ago, I have been unable to read conventional print books -- a great loss to me, because that is what I had intended to do in my old age -- read book after book after book.

So, my reading has been confined strictly to the many thing available on the computer. because I can magnify the type to 18 points -- and even change the type face at will -- I have access to a lot.

These days, however, I read almost exclusively for pleasure. I believe there is more truth and wisdom in enduring works of fiction than there is in most expository or polemical writing.

The last books I read, believe it or not were The Pickwick Papers and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows -- the latter, ostensibly a children's book but one that captures a thrilling, charming, encouraging, thoroughly engaging atmosphere that nourishes the imagination and cheers the heart of people of all ages.

The works of Arthur Conan Doyle and G. K Chesterton never fail to help pass the time agreeably.

I return periodically to the novels of Jane Austen, George Eliot, the Bronte sisters and Dickens, and always find more to enjoy and admire with each repetition.

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and The house of Mirth by Edith Wharton remain two of the moving experiences of my reading life.

There's more of course, but that gives you a good idea of were I am these days in the practice of reading books.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

FT, have you tried audible books?

The selection is extensive.

Thersites said...

I love audio books. Great for car travel. ;)

Kid said...

1984 - George Orwell. Yes.
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut. Yes.
Cat in the Hat, Dr Seuss. Yes !

Marine4ever said...

The Bible and the Marine Corps Guidebook.

Anonymous said...


Great choices all.

Z said...

FT..Ducky's right; I had the same thought. Maybe books on tape would be enjoyable for you?

Z said...

now I have to go wash my mouth out with soap.


Z said...

Jen, thanks! your Lingeman book's premises is fascinating to me...

FreeThinke said...

Thanks so much for suggesting audio books. Very thoughtful of you. This may sound strange, but for me it would be too passive just to sit and listen to hours of recorded words. Maybe if someone of the caliber of Judith Anderson, Alec Guiness, Laurence Olivier, Rosalind Russell, Derek Jacobi -- or Greer Garson -- were reading into the microphone, but it would have to that good.

Why Greer Garson? Because I will never forget the time -- ages ago -- when that beautiful lady occupied a featured spot on the Ed Sullivan Show of all places, and simply read the famous letter to little Virginia O'Hanlon affirming the existence of Santa Claus. It remains one of the most moving experiences of my entire life -- never to be forgotten -- always to be cherished. It wasn't the words -- anyone with a decent elementary school education could read them accurately -- it was the beautiful music in her lovely, cultivated voice, and the obvious sincerity of her understanding of the wonderful implications she found in the work, and projected so convincingly -- inner qualities born of insight, instinct, possibly generations of good breeding, an indefinable magic that can't be taught, bought, weighed or measured in the physical world.

To enjoy "talking books" thoroughly I would probably have to be in transit. Since I can no longer drive any distance -- and never for pleasure anymore -- I would have no use for them.

There is so much treasure available via the internet -- if you know what to look for -- there's no excuse for feeling lonely, bored or cut off from Civilization.

What's missing, of course, is access to the contemporary works of fiction and non-fiction many here have mentioned, but because I write verse almost on a daily basis, share material on our blogs, and start each day practicing the piano -- and I do mean practicingnot just strumming the keys -- for about two hours -- a regimen I've observed for over sixty years -- with a few interruptions for various "crises," of course, my life is amazingly full, despite being partially sighted and living alone.

It may sound trite, but I make it a habit to count my blessings, and to maintain faith in God. I admit to expressing anger and contempt and to feeling depressed about the condition of the temporal (political) world, which as you know, I find deplorable, BUT internally I feel oddly secure -- a feeling for which I'm very grateful. Over all the plusses far outweigh the minuses.

I think they do for all of us, if we dig deeply into ourselves and stop giving way to anxiety and fretfulness.

Nevertheless, I will look into the business of find ways to bring "talking books" into my life. It's idiotic not to take advantage of a resource like that.

I used to read aloud to the blind, myself, and to patients in nursing homes. It started after my father lost his eyesight from complications following a long series of cardio-vascular 'incidents." Apparently, I have a knack for doing this pretty well. I attracted a loyal following at one of the nursing homes, and the blind people I visited always seemed very grateful for what I tried to give them.

Ironic that I should come to need such a service, myself, isn't it?

"Gather ye rosebuds, while ye may ..." has always been excellent advice.

~ FT

Z said...

FT....just a suggestion; I hope it works for you! It's better than NOT reading, but if you can still hold a book and get by, I hope you do;. And I hope that continues for years, that your eyesight deteriorates no more.

Thersites said...

I have an Ap for my IPad called Audiobooks... the selection is extensive, but in many cases, the poor narrations are a deterrent to my using it. :(

Bob said...

I am listening to John Grisham's book, "The Racketeer". I love listening to books while working around the house, or driving across town. Plus, I just bought the latest Tom Clancey book, "Threat Vector" to read on my Kindle.

However, most of my reading time is spent in technical volumes about web programming. I just finished a course at the local tech college in JavaScript and jQuery, and I am now into a book on a technology that uses web page technology to produce phone apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows8 phone.

Blogging has taken a back seat, but will pick up on the next few weeks as I produce a set of blogs on my business site. This is something I have been planning, and have now accumulated a good bit of material for the effort. I plan on publishing about 20 to 25 blogs on web site planning, visualizing, and constructing.

I hope I have time for that. Personal blogging is still on the menu, but here lately, time has been pretty short.

Rita said...

FT. Not sure exactly how big the font must be before you can see it, but have you looked at a Nook? You can adjust the font setting with a setting that can be quite large.

I have also downloaded the app on my Ipad and the font can be even larger. If that is large enough you should most of the literary world at your fingertips.

Anonymous said...

We just reread All The King's Men, Robert Penn Warren's extraordinary 1946 novel about the rise and fall of a corrupt populist, a subject apropos of the current political reality.
An excerpt: “And it is your right that every child shall have a complete education. That no person aged or infirm shall want or beg for bread. That the man who produces something shall be able to carry it to market without miring to the hub, without toll. That no poor man’s house or land shall be taxed. That the rich man and the great companies that draw wealth from the state shall pay this state a fair share. That you shall not be deprived of hope!” (Willie Stark, “The Boss.”)