What Books Are You Reading Right Now?

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by TraditionalMedicinal, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. The Amazing Virginian

    The Amazing Virginian Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    I used to read like a maniac, but for the past 26 years I read at work all day long and so when I'm not working, I don't have much appetite for reading books anymore. But I am slowly trying to make my way through "The Nature and Destiny of Man," by Reinhold Niebuhr.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Piso Mojado

    Piso Mojado Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    [​IMG]
    In 1720, Europe's last outbreak of bubonic plague began in Marseilles. It killed 100 thousand but spread no farther than the south of France. Of course, at the time no one knew it would be the last or that it would spread no farther. In 1722 Daniel Defoe published A Journal of the Plague Year, a carefully researched book about the Great London Plague of 1665. For a generation, readers mistook it for a real historical journal; when Defoe's authorship got out, it was mistaken for a novel. It is neither. It is fictionalized journalism like John Hersey's Hiroshima and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, which we call "New Journalism." In 1722, all journalism was new.

    We think Defoe based his Journal on the diary of his uncle Henry Foe, who was trapped in London in 1665 because he dithered over whether to leave until it was too late to rent a horse. Henry could have packed a tent, walked a day or two out of London to a post station and rented a horse there. Instead, he accepted his indecision as fate and said "it is God's will." Does he remind you of anyone you know?

    Reading this at age 18 after Robinson Crusoe, I thought it was an unpleasant book about something important, and I remember hoping I would never be caught in a pandemic plague.

    Best line in the book so far, this time around in 2020:
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  3. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    Finished reading Grendal and Druids.

    Now starting Beowulf.
     
    Prester John and Cutfinger like this.
  4. The Amazing Virginian

    The Amazing Virginian Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    I want to read this!! A few months ago I actually binge-watched on Amazon Prime a twelve hour documentary on "The Black Death" by a history professsor from Purdue. My family thought I was totally insane. They're probably correct.
     
    Cutfinger likes this.
  5. Cutfinger

    Cutfinger Gold Member Platinum Member Gold Member

    885
    Aug 3, 2017

    Beowulf is the oldest book mentioned so far. I found it a fun read.
     
  6. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    I am enjoying the translation I have (Seamus Heaney). His preface helps set the stage and aptitude to unpack seventh century language.

    It is a slow read, as it takes time to digest the writing due to the unusual cadence and wording of the poem. It is also relatively short, so it is not too much trouble to re-read it multiple times to fill out the storytelling.
     
    Prester John and Cutfinger like this.
  7. Piso Mojado

    Piso Mojado Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    You can download a free copy of Defoe's Journal from Project Gutenburg in EPUB or Kindle format (with and without images) and Plain Text. The only images are the original publication's title page and the finis graphic at the foot of the last text page.

    Finis_graphic.jpg

    The text is without footnotes or endnotes, edited to conform with 19th century British spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and use of italics. That is how I read it in 1964.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/376

    If you want something printed and scholarly, the Norton Critical Edition is a deluxe college textbook with 190+ pages of notes, critical commentary, chronology, bibliography, and historical documentation. It preserves the original edition's English usage and much of its typography, omitting only the long "s" gratias Deo. The rationale is that the 1722 edition is the only one Defoe lived to see. He walked it through the publication process, corrected the printer's galleys, and presumably this is how he wanted it read. If you have never read an 18th century book, it is annoying at first but you'll soon adjust and ignore it. The publisher's list price is $16.50, don't pay more. ISBN-13: 978-0393961881

    For an scholarly edition less encyclopedic than Norton's and cheaper, try Oxford World's Classics. ISBN-13: 978-0199572830

    The Dover Thrift Edition is $4.99. It's the same text you could download from Project Gutenberg, but Dover's typography is better. ISBN-13: 978-0486419190
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  8. DocT

    DocT

    Mar 25, 2012
  9. 2manyknives

    2manyknives

    703
    Aug 9, 2006
    The Raiders by Anna Miani. Third in a post apocalyptic series. Some credible Bowie knife action.
     
  10. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    The distance between us and Beowulf is almost the same as from Beowulf back to this c 1800 years

    [​IMG]

    The Iliad a bloody read :eek::D
     
    Cutfinger likes this.
  12. Cutfinger

    Cutfinger Gold Member Platinum Member Gold Member

    885
    Aug 3, 2017
    We can go back nearly the same amount of time, to the epic of Gilgamesh, a very interesting read.

    I am going to get a copy of the Iliad. I don't remember ever having read it.
     
    Will Power likes this.
  13. Arnestion

    Arnestion

    5
    Oct 15, 2020
    By the way, thank you a lot!
    Wow, I've never heard of her at all. It looks just amazing! Now I really want to find and read it somewhere. Thank you very much for sharing its existence!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020 at 10:44 AM
    Cutfinger likes this.
  14. Brigantin

    Brigantin

    5
    Nov 18, 2020
    I just finished Thin Air by Richard Morgan, a kinda-sorta sequel to the utterly brilliant dystopian post-cyberpunk novel Th1rte3n (well, not a direct sequel, but set in the same universe about a hundred years later).

    Like Th1rte3n, I found it smart, engaging, and well-crafted, and like Th1rte3n, it starts kind of in the middle of things and gradually comes together in the end.

    I’ve just started Morgan’s Market Forces, and I gotta say, so far it’s not grabbing me.
     

Share This Page