We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, December 29. 2012
The books from the people who know my reading tastes and tendencies but are always trying to nudge me towards a slightly higher fiction ratio. Having been rid of TV for the past few months, my reading rate has not increased at all because I never turned the thing on anyway. Who has time for TV when there is life to be lived, and a website to be edited?
I prefer dead-tree books to digital. Precious things. This is all great stuff to nourish brain and soul:
Mark Helprin: In Sunlight and in Shadow
Leonardo Sciasia: The Wine Dark Sea
Tom Reiss: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
Guiseppi di Lampedusa: The Leopard (I can't believe I've never read this classic, but Mrs. BD decided it was time that I did)
Andrew Motion: Silver: Return to Treasure Island
Giles Foden: Turbulence
Orhan Pamuk: Snow
Sandra Benjamin: Sicily: Three Thousand Years of Human History
Louise Dickinson Rich: We Took To The Woods
Frank Oppell (ed): Tales of Old New England (Who knew that Boston used to export ice to India?)
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"prefer dead-tree books to digital."
So do I; and I do miss the used book stores where you never knew what you would find. Web surfing amazon is simply not the same as browsing the stacks in such a place.
Such stores are now a thing of the past - sigh.
Charles, if you ever have the opportunity to visit Huntsville, Alabama there's a great used book store called Booklegger on Jordan Lane and Holmes Avenue
All I seem to find in bookstores are a bunch of women's fiction. I used to buy a lot of stuff out of the "classics" section. And you can always come to Portland, OR for Powells. Portland seems to have a fair number of used book stores. I still wind up shopping Amazon for most of my used books.
I like my Kindle Fire and I really like the Kindle Fire HD in the 9 inch tablet. It's a great way to read light material.
However, you're right in that there is nothing like holding a real book so I save those dead tree books for serious stuff that I might be interested in.
Nice selection by the way - I've read a couple of those and they all look good from their description.
By the by, I knew there was something that I liked about this place - I don't watch much TV at all. I will certainly watch the LSU/Clemson football game on New Years Eve, but other than that, I've got 450 channels of repetitive crap.
Wow! That's a lot of emphasis on Sicily! I am of Sicilian heritage, so I have heard of, and read several of these.
Like you I have a huge television thing in the corner which, to all intents and purposes, is just there because it's there.
I buy a large number of books and wish that I could read them all at once but life gets in the way.
Just though I'd share.
" King of Paris, by Guy Endore tells the story of General Dumas. Until just now, I didn't know it was a novel. I always thought it was a biography although I read it many years ago.
If you look in the recent archives at Pajamas Media, there's a book review of a new work which straightens out the three generation confusion of the saga of Alexander Dumas. Don't recall the title of the column, but do remember that the reference is apparent, because i had meant to come back to it, and knew i could find it by title of column.
Anyhoo, re the General, you're not the only one who makes the errors --seems most everybody do.
I've read none of those works, fault mine. But, the illustration... I could never treat a book that way. Sacred instruments all, no matter how cheap or cheesy, they deserve respect. Gutenberg should be much higher in the pantheon that he is, much higher. Digital may rule, soon, and for that I rue. Can't be easily passed on, like a printed page, as subject to revisions, deletions, lack of a proper application to read them. I like paper, good black ink, forceful stamps of our journey.
I think that's a painting. Kinda Cezanne - looking, in technique and color if not subject matter.
I guess it makes no diff --a picture of stressed books is a picture of stressed books. But OTOH, a photo means, 'them right there! are being stressed', so i guess it could be argued either way.
Well, yes, I did get a little hyperbolic. But not insincere.
I'm attempting to get through de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" at the moment. Despite the breezy writing style the book is dense with thought. Still, I slog on.
E-readers are fine in a pinch (have used my smartphone on occasion) I still prefer paper. No need to fiddle with backlighting or worry about battery loss. Works anywhere, anytime.
KellyM - where did you find de Toqueville? I have tried to obtain a copy without much success. Might have to give up and read it on a Kindle.
Bird Dog - You are going to like Louise Dickenson Rich's book "We Took To the Woods". Found my copy in a furniture shop acting as a prop in a bookcase. Great book!
Believe it or not, I got it through the public library system here in SF. Regardless of all else in this wacky city, San Franciscans are absolutely devoted to their public library neighborhood branches. Among other things the branch I utilize keeps Sunday hours, a well-stocked Children's Room and special tables set aside to accommodate tutoring on weekday afternoons.
After getting through only 1/4 of "Democracy in America" I recently requested some 'lighter reading' as an antidote: a novel by de Balzac. LOL
Those recommendations all sound so tempting that I'm struggling with an inclination to let even more books pile up on both my downstairs reading table and my upstairs reading table.
This is a must read for those who would feed on "critical political thought". While you don't (by definition) have a true democracy...you're a Republic...Revel's books would stoke your fires of enlightenment.
Should they be able to obtain a copy, I would love to hear both buddy's and Capt Tom's thoughts. It's been 20 yrs since I read a borrowed copy. Time to seek out my own copy to add to the pile in my library.
I've read his "Anti-Americanism" which seems like the same concept and theories as "How-Democracies-Perish". As it happens, the University of South Carolina library has a copy and I've ordered it through our library here in Lexington so I should have it by Wednesday - thanks for the tip.
The interesting part is it's a European perspective and translated from the original French publication (1983). I have yet to read "Anti-Americanism" which I understand is a good read and supportive of the US.
Made of wood, so warm to the touch. Great small-furniture. Stacking blocks, use your how-to carpenter books as stackers to hold 1x6 boards to double your desk margin holding capacity. put your religion and humanism books on the highest shelf, so you have to look up at them. Scatter your self-help and personal journey have a good attitude books around the floor, so you slip, trip, stub toes and trip over them --a good test of the advice inside. Fiction books go in the under drawers drawers, need i say why. Books you need, reference n such, keep off in those hard-to-reach places, because you know you'll make the effort to get to them, and you have to keep something in the space. Books you'll never read, keep 'em right in front of you at all times, even if you have to balance breakfast on them. You need them handy, for when pigs fly.