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Thread: The Book Thread

  1. #841

    Re: The Book Thread

    I'm going to check out Gutenberg.org. Thanks MJ.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  2. #842
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    Re: The Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Warning. Useless rant ahead.
    ---0---
    I will be traveling in a few days so I decided that I needed to go buy at least one book for the trip. I have lately noticed that in several of my readings, Jorge Luis Borges is being mentioned. And I realized that it is a literary hole that I have. I have never read anything by the man.
    So I decided to go get me a couple of books by him and went to the local bookstore (yes, we still have bookstores in Colombia).
    I found almost all his writings and wanted to take a couple. And then I saw the prices.
    For his COMPLETE SHORT STORIES, the price was COP 42,000 (US$ 14). This is a paperback, non-quality paper, non-descriptive cover edition. And what enrages me is the price. I know that for the majority of people in the world, $14 will not break the bank. But it will for the average Colombian. The minimum wage in Colombia stands at COP 740,000. You do the math and you see that buying one book is about 5% of your income! How on earth do they then expect to have people being able to read? To get a culture? To improve themselves in the verifiable way that only books help you to?
    When people then elect a Trump or a Chavez or a Morales or some other illiterate chimpanzee (a couple of years ago I remember Evo Morales boasting that he had never read a book in his life. Yes, boasting), who and what do you blame? A system in which trying to acquire a minimum of culture is almost impossible simply because of the economics will self destroy when the general level of culture remains stagnant or even drops because pursuing the simple pleasure of reading is un-affordable to the vast majority.
    Or simply then don't complain when people download pirated literature. This just simply put me over that line. You want to read a book, you can't afford it but you can get it for free on line? By all means, borrow my WiFi.

    Sorry. End of rant.
    The book publishing industry is suffering, though, so maybe at this point, such a small number of people buy new physical books that demand is less susceptible to price increases? Perhaps that's still not true for Colombia as a whole, but maybe your parts of Bogota?

    But, yeah, when I was in Colombia, I went into a bookstore expecting to load up on some books in Spanish, since they're really expensive here, but the prices weren't cheap at all. I think Mexico was more affordable.

    I read physical books (although sometimes I get audiobooks) but I buy most of my books used.


  3. #843

    Re: The Book Thread

    I'm about halfway through Maria's book. It's a pleasant surprise. She's able to elicit a good deal of sympathy (presumably a secondary reason for the book's existence after $$$) through her telling of her humble, almost desperate upbringing. It's a great deal better than Serena's vapid On the Line or Tracy Austin's train wreck that David Foster Wallace hilariously critiqued, but not in the same ballpark as Agassi's or Days of Grace. It lives somewhere near Sampras's occasionally insightful memoir
    Last edited by munchin; 11-07-2017 at 10:51 AM.

  4. #844

    Re: The Book Thread

    I finished that Borges book above. That cultural hole has been filled.
    And really, it could have been left hollow and nothing would have happened. A great reminder of why I almost never read fiction anymore.
    Starry starry night

  5. #845

    Re: The Book Thread

    Has anyone read the Inspector Lynley mystery series? I just finished book 7 and I'm pretty shaken by the events and the why of it all.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  6. #846

    Re: The Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Has anyone read the Inspector Lynley mystery series? I just finished book 7 and I'm pretty shaken by the events and the why of it all.
    I've wanted to for years. My librarian hero Nancy Pearl is a HUGE proponent of them. Recommend?
    Avatar: Munchin's Favorite Matches - #10 - Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras - 2000 Australian Open SF

    "If I didn't play tennis, I would probably have to go see a psychiatrist" - Arthur Ashe

  7. #847

    Re: The Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by munchin View Post
    I'm about halfway through Maria's book. It's a pleasant surprise. She's able to elicit a good deal of sympathy (presumably a secondary reason for the book's existence after $$$) through her telling of her humble, almost desperate upbringing. It's a great deal better than Serena's vapid On the Line or Tracy Austin's train wreck that David Foster Wallace hilariously critiqued, but not in the same ballpark as Agassi's or Days of Grace. It lives somewhere near Sampras's occasionally insightful memoir
    Yeah, the 2nd half of Sharapova's book was significantly weaker (Unstoppable is not an apt title. It was plenty stoppable). She actually shares a few personal stories about Serena that I found to be pretty inappropriate, to be honest. There's one about catching Serena sobbing privately in the locker room after the Wimbledon final that Maria won. It doesn't provide any of the context of Serena recently losing her sister and the pressure she was putting on herself to win a kind of tribute Slam, of course. Maria kinda makes it sound like Serena was devastated that this kid beat her. It was not classy. And the other story was about a little secret Serena was foolish enough to share with Maria. Maria clearly states that is was shared in hushed, private tones, so obviously she's chosen to shout it from the rooftops in her book. It's almost like she wants to play little mind games with Serena through the publication of this book.

    And her section on the meldonium suspension is just trash. She states "I take full responsibility" before launching into about 30 pages on why it was in no way her fault and how she's totally innocent. It's really poor form. But the first half of it is pretty good. And it kind of answers all of my questions I've ever had about Maria like, "Geez, why is she like this?" and "what's wrong with her?" Her childhood was a mess and she copes and has an interesting perspective on it. Maybe in 30 years, she can write about the drug suspension with the perspective she gains over time. And maybe she can own that Serena is just significantly better (she kind of implies that Serena keeps beating her time after time basically out of spite, which is...dumb). Anyway, I look forward to that book.
    Avatar: Munchin's Favorite Matches - #10 - Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras - 2000 Australian Open SF

    "If I didn't play tennis, I would probably have to go see a psychiatrist" - Arthur Ashe

  8. #848

    Re: The Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by munchin View Post
    I've wanted to for years. My librarian hero Nancy Pearl is a HUGE proponent of them. Recommend?
    I do with reservations. George's writing style isn't for everyone and I found myself getting frustrated with all the verbiage. In the end though all those words were needed.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  9. #849

    Re: The Book Thread

    President Barack Obama released his summer reading list to his FB account:

    One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon. This summer I've been absorbed by new novels, revisited an old classic, and reaffirmed my faith in our ability to move forward together when we seek the truth. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

    Tara Westover’s Educated is a remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.

    Set after WWII, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje is a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family.

    With the recent passing of V.S. Naipaul, I reread A House for Mr Biswas, the Nobel Prize winner's first great novel about growing up in Trinidad and the challenge of post-colonial identity.

    An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.

    Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  10. #850
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    Re: The Book Thread

    I wish one of these lists would say things like, "BLAH BLAH is a novel about BLAH BLAH. I was looking forward to reading it due to the interesting premise, but the writing really sucked, so I couldn't finish it. I now really hate Joe Biden for recommending it, what a waste of time."


  11. #851

    Re: The Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    President Barack Obama released his summer reading list to his FB account:
    Disappointed he didn't go for:

    Hope.jpg

    "Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in this high-stakes thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes with the laugh-out-loud bromantic chemistry of Lethal Weapon’s Murtaugh and Riggs.

    Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.

    Part noir thriller and part bromance, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs."
    from: https://www.amazon.com/Hope-Never-Di.../dp/1683690397

    I bet it's pretty ridiculously dumb but the cover cracks me up every time I see it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Avatar: Munchin's Favorite Matches - #10 - Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras - 2000 Australian Open SF

    "If I didn't play tennis, I would probably have to go see a psychiatrist" - Arthur Ashe

  12. #852

    Re: The Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    President Barack Obama released his summer reading list to his FB account:
    Show off.
    And now: how many people on the right are telling their children: "Reading is bad. Do not believe what you read! it is the devil's work!"
    Starry starry night

  13. #853

    Re: The Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Show off.
    And now: how many people on the right are telling their children: "Reading is bad. Do not believe what you read! it is the devil's work!"
    As if they haven't been doing that for decades.

  14. #854

    Re: The Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Show off.
    And now: how many people on the right are telling their children: "Reading is bad. Do not believe what you read! it is the devil's work!"
    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan View Post
    As if they haven't been doing that for decades.
    There are plenty of political threads - please don't turn the book thread into one of them.
    My Happy Place

  15. #855

    Re: The Book Thread

    the library haunter �� �� ❄
    ‏@SketchesbyBoze

    you want some good news from 2018? I bet you do

    • book sales are up this year over last year
    • sales of physical books have grown every year since 2013
    • indie bookstores have increased by 35 percent in the past decade

    reading isn’t dying, it’s *thriving.* happy new year.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




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