The Beethoven Reference Site Forums  

Go Back   The Beethoven Reference Site Forums > General > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 02-17-2014, 06:50 PM   #1
Peter
Administrator
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 9,576
Lightbulb What are you reading now?

Just finished 'Hide and seek' by Stephen Walker - the remarkable true story of the Irish priest Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty who helped save allied soldiers and Jews whilst based at the vatican in WWII. The film 'Scarlet and the Black' (with Gregory Peck) also tells this story.
__________________
'Man know thyself'
Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 12:10 AM   #2
Enrique
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Buenos Aires
Posts: 1,282
The Blue Nile, by Alan Moorehead. It is in part a geographic description of the Nile, in the style of a tour guide. And it also narrates the great adventures and events that took part in the past. Napoleon expedition to Egypt, for instance. He first wrote The White Nile.
Enrique is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 02:26 AM   #3
Rocco
Senior Member
 
Rocco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Detroit area
Posts: 113
The book of Psalms. I think I'm around Psalm 68 or so.
__________________
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16
Rocco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 03:22 AM   #4
AeolianHarp
Senior Member
 
AeolianHarp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Where it endlessly rains
Posts: 2,087
I've quite a few books on the Maestro to finish reading, but am a bit of an internet junkie these days. Reading about black olives! They are super good for you, full of iron, vitamin E and A. That jar in the cupboard may well be opened tomorrow. Mmmmmm...
__________________
Ludwig van Beethoven
Den Sie wenn Sie wollten
Doch nicht vergessen sollten
AeolianHarp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 07:58 AM   #5
Peter
Administrator
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 9,576
Thomas Merton -'The seven storey Mountain.'
__________________
'Man know thyself'
Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 01:07 PM   #6
Megan
Senior Member
 
Megan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Land of Hope and Glory
Posts: 1,770
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.
by Professor Thomas E. Woods.
__________________
🎹
Megan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 12:31 AM   #7
Sorrano
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Posts: 4,377
Quote:
Originally Posted by AeolianHarp View Post
I've quite a few books on the Maestro to finish reading, but am a bit of an internet junkie these days. Reading about black olives! They are super good for you, full of iron, vitamin E and A. That jar in the cupboard may well be opened tomorrow. Mmmmmm...
Good to know! And funny, I've been craving olives today.
Sorrano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 12:49 AM   #8
AeolianHarp
Senior Member
 
AeolianHarp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Where it endlessly rains
Posts: 2,087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrano View Post
Good to know! And funny, I've been craving olives today.

LOL...I am craving them almost every day! Had some of those black olives earlier- the rest are being tapanaded tommorrow! Been a bit squiffy with IBS this weekend, so not ate that much, feeling better now though.
__________________
Ludwig van Beethoven
Den Sie wenn Sie wollten
Doch nicht vergessen sollten
AeolianHarp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 09:11 AM   #9
Hollywood
Senior Member
 
Hollywood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Beethoven's Heiligenstadt.
Posts: 322
You all know how I am on finding books about my ancestors. So now I am reading two books on two of my ancestors who were also canonized as saints by the Vatican. One book is "The Life and Wisdom of Margaret of Scotland" which is about Queen (and Saint) Margaret of Scotland (my 29 times great grandmother). The other book is "The Babenburgs" which includes Margrave (and Saint) Leopold III Babenburg of Austria, my 26 times great grandfather).
__________________
"God knows why it is that my pianoforte music always makes the worst impression on me, especially when it is played badly." -Beethoven 1804.
Hollywood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 01:48 PM   #10
AeolianHarp
Senior Member
 
AeolianHarp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Where it endlessly rains
Posts: 2,087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
You all know how I am on finding books about my ancestors. So now I am reading two books on two of my ancestors who were also canonized as saints by the Vatican. One book is "The Life and Wisdom of Margaret of Scotland" which is about Queen (and Saint) Margaret of Scotland (my 29 times great grandmother). The other book is "The Babenburgs" which includes Margrave (and Saint) Leopold III Babenburg of Austria, my 26 times great grandfather).
Nothing that exciting for me- I come from peasant stock!
__________________
Ludwig van Beethoven
Den Sie wenn Sie wollten
Doch nicht vergessen sollten
AeolianHarp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 04:17 PM   #11
Hollywood
Senior Member
 
Hollywood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Beethoven's Heiligenstadt.
Posts: 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by AeolianHarp View Post
Nothing that exciting for me- I come from peasant stock!
Just a few years ago I too thought the same about myself. It wasn't until I started to research my maternal grandmother's family that I discovered that one key ancestor who opened the European royal castle door to me, and that is my 10 times great grandfather Sir Oliver Cromwell (not the Lord Protector, but his uncle and name sake). Who knew?
__________________
"God knows why it is that my pianoforte music always makes the worst impression on me, especially when it is played badly." -Beethoven 1804.
Hollywood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 07:05 AM   #12
Peter
Administrator
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 9,576
Just started Eliot Gardiner's Bach biography - "Music in the Castle of heaven"
__________________
'Man know thyself'
Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2014, 04:14 AM   #13
Harvey
Senior Member
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Metro Detroit Area
Posts: 580
A fascinating and very informative book:
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2014, 07:04 AM   #14
Peter
Administrator
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 9,576
Great cover Harvey - love the design!
__________________
'Man know thyself'
Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2014, 05:50 PM   #15
Megan
Senior Member
 
Megan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Land of Hope and Glory
Posts: 1,770
Thumbs up

Click image for larger version

Name:	014w&p.jpg
Views:	203
Size:	90.0 KB
ID:	213



Michael and I were discussing elsewhere what the best edition of War & Peace would be.
I have finally decided on the fairly recent translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky . It is a very sympathetic and natural translation.
Pevear is very good at cultural equivanlences, that is at understanding what say a Russian expression really means and then not literally translating it which in English would probaby be gobbeldygook, but find the cultural equivalence of the expression in English. This is translation of a very high order. There are very good notes also.

1,260 odd pages. That should keep me quiet for quite sometime.

Last edited by Megan; 12-08-2014 at 07:39 PM.
Megan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2014, 06:36 PM   #16
Peter
Administrator
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 9,576
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan View Post
Attachment 213



Michael and I were discussing elsewhere what the best edition of War & Peace.
I have finally decided on the fairly recent translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky . It is a very sympathetic and natural translation.
Pevear is very good at cultural equivanlences, that is at understanding what say a Russian expression really means and then not literally tranlating it which in English would probalby be gobbeldygook, but find the cultural equivalence of the expression in English. This is translation of a very high order. There is very good notes also.

1,260 odd pages. That should keep me quiet for quite sometime.
I'm not sure which is best, I have a translation by Louise and Aylmer Maude which I read about 10 years ago. I also have the Sergei Bondarchuk film which is excellent particularly for the battle scenes - I think it was the most expensive Soviet film made and quite amazing for the time. Andrew Davies (he of 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Middlemarch') is adapting 'War and Peace' for tv and I think it's due for release next year.
__________________
'Man know thyself'
Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2014, 07:50 PM   #17
Megan
Senior Member
 
Megan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Land of Hope and Glory
Posts: 1,770
Thanks Peter,
The older translations have never lost their value and have a charm all of their own.
The set pieces are particularly good, but translation is like anything else and it moves on in the same way that culture does. There are different ways of translating a text. Umberto Eco, has some of the most profound things to say about how we go about translating a text. Basically, he says when you have a foreign language and want to translate it into your own. There are really only two ways of doing it. One is to modernize the text, that is to make sure the meaning is accessable to modern readers. The other way is to archaize, and that means to try to preserve the idiom of the time in order to try to attempt to get as close as possible to understanding the text in the way the original readers did. This is not such a big thing with Tolstoy because it's only one hundred or so years old. But it becomes a real issue with classical languages, which are effectively dead. That said, it is a bit of an issue with war and peace, because Tolstoy is writing about a period one hundred years before himself, and so it is something that a good translator has got to give a lot of thought to.
I have heard of bad translations of Tolstoy where they almost comically try to anglicize converstions and sound like cockneys speaking hundred years ago. This would even have been wrong.
Thanks for the info about the forthcoming film or War & Peace, I shall look forward to that.
Megan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2014, 07:17 AM   #18
Peter
Administrator
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 9,576
Interesting Megan - the idea of modernising is slightly worrying when you consider the average number of words in use is shrinking and also the lingo of the internet - inevitably much is lost or even distorted. When Tolstoy wrote 'War and Peace' the historical events were within living memory at just over 50 years, not a century and he undertook a great deal of research.
__________________
'Man know thyself'
Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2014, 09:44 AM   #19
Enrique
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Buenos Aires
Posts: 1,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
I'm not sure which is best, I have a translation by Louise and Aylmer Maude which I read about 10 years ago. I also have the Sergei Bondarchuk film which is excellent particularly for the battle scenes - I think it was the most expensive Soviet film made and quite amazing for the time. Andrew Davies (he of 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Middlemarch') is adapting 'War and Peace' for tv and I think it's due for release next year.
I once saw a Russian film version of War and Peace which I liked very much, but it cannot be Bondarchuk's one for it was released in the 1970's. Wikipedia has a huge article on Bondarchuk's picture which is interesting reading material.
Enrique is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2014, 12:51 PM   #20
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
The book I most recently read, or rather reread, with the greatest relevance to this community is Roland Gelatt's "The Fabulous Phonograph, 1877-1977", published the year its narrative ends. It's an interesting, enjoyable read, and to my delight classical music centric for much of its length.

Since then I completed a book lent me by my brother, the autobiography of a "pro" wrestler. Now, I'm not much in to either pro wrestling or celebrity. But such books can provide harmless entertainment, as this one did. In any case, it gives me something to talk about with my brother, who has no use for classical music.

Prior to the Gelatt, I attempted the third volume in a recently published continuation of one of my favorite fantasy series. The author's two earlier trilogies centered on this same character are what initially turned me on to the fantasy genre during the mid 1980s. I've read those early trilogies eight times. After the second trilogy, the author took a break of over twenty years before returning to the subject. I've found the new books a great disappointment. I struggled through volume one, took several attempts and maybe four years to finish volume two, and threw in the towel on volume three (of four) after over one-hundred pages. In fact I bought volume three only because I found it used in hardback dirt cheap. I do, however, hope to finish it at some point.

Having just finished the wrestler autobiography, I'm not sure what to tackle next. I'm leaning toward a book purchased just recently at Barnes and Noble, "The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason" by Charles Freeman.

Last edited by Decrepit Poster; 12-09-2014 at 12:54 PM.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2014, 01:20 PM   #21
RobertH
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 29
Hi DP. I am a great of Closing of the Western Mind.
I wrote the following article a while ago for a magazine.
Hope you find it interesting.






In the tide and course of human affairs, at epiphany-like moments, rare books appear that shine a light so dazzling on the falsehoods on which our modern world is founded that we are momentarily blinded. The late Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind was, is, such a book. To this reviewer it is, with the Warren Commission Report, the most important document to appear in the last 50 years. It was published in 1987 but, even today, it’s unclear whether we have the book, whose importance has only increased over the years, entirely in focus. Its appearance was a defining moment in our collapsing culture. It was hailed by what might be called all true libertarians as THE book of the times, a mighty, coruscating attack on the aetiology and epidemiology of cultural Marxism. The comparison with the Warren Commission is not fanciful. That report, of course, chronicled, in oceanic depth, the Marxist pathways and pathology of one Lee Harvey Oswald whose cry “I’m just a patsy!” (endlessly misinterpreted) accurately codes for “I’m just a patsy of the capitalist system!” The ‘liberal’ Left, predictably, came not to praise Bloom, but to bury him, employing every abusive term in the socialist lexicon against both book and man. Condemned, you could say, by bell, book and candle. But what received insufficient attention at the time, and which time has only confirmed the accuracy of, is Bloom’s remarkable analysis of Nietzsche and the crucial significance of the whole concept of values and validation. I would like to say just a few words on this which hopefully may contribute to a deeper appreciation of Bloom’s insights and the campaign to save our culture (and accepting, as I think we must, that all conflict is theological).

Bloom was the first to understand and to apply, in contemporary terms, the importance of what Nietzsche said on the subject of values. As we all know, Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God. However, Nietzsche was no triumphalist. He was, firstly, one of the greatest of all Greek scholars. He understood, at a profound level, the importance of belief in any, viable, culture. You simply had to have beliefs in something. If you didn’t believe in something, to paraphrase Chesterton, you ended up believing in anything because Nature abhors a vacuum. Crucially, reason was not a belief. It was an attribute or function of the mind and intellect. That, effectively, scuppered the Enlightenment which, anyway, had forgotten the importance of the insight of Hume:


“Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions.” (A Treatise of Human Nature)

Not ‘passions’, it must be added, in the sense of concupiscence, but, more, sentiment and desire, and with the proviso that the passions themselves are of a calm and mild nature. This was what Adam Smith called, ‘the great demi-god within the breast, the great judge and arbiter of conduct’ (The Theory of Moral Sentiments). These were ‘selfish’ interests in that all civilized people felt better, were better, when they were kind and generous towards others. This was what civilization was all about. It had little to do with altruism, being humble and lowering one’s sense of selfhood. It took an atheist, Hume, to recall us to the importance of belief.

With the French Revolution organized religion, and with it, the unitary sense of western culture, essentially, collapsed. Nietzsche, inhabiting the world of ancient Greeks, identified the unhooking of reason from belief as the culprit, then as now. A belief is a value. Man chooses values, what is good and what is bad, through an exercise of the will. The problem is we can choose ‘bad’ goods just as easily as we chose ‘good’ goods. The ancient world had always discussed the good life in terms of the knowledge and the virtues appropriate to it. To make good choices you first need to know what is right. This was where, Nietzsche said, something had gone terribly wrong. Because religion had declined, man had elevated reason in its place but the deep lessons of the Enlightenment, that belief is irreplaceable, had not been absorbed. Instead, man had pursued ‘material’ and empirical conceptions about nature and earthly Utopias that reduced human beings to automata. (William F. Buckley Jr. amusingly referred to this as a process to ‘immanentize the eschaton’). A huge and terrifying revolution now gathered pace. Darwin and, even more devastatingly, Marx enthroned materialism as the only religion for the ‘new’ man and woman (or should that be person?). Everything else was old hat, trash.

Marx professed to have discovered the ‘scientific’ laws of human development and triumphantly declared that these were material and dialectic. Man’s consciousness, the super-structure of belief, was a product of, and determined by, the structure of the mode of production of any given society. Being determined consciousness. Who you were in the capitalist pecking order determined what you were, your beliefs and values, your selfhood. Revolution would right all wrongs and usher in the communist society where we would all be free to do just what we liked when we liked. Anything goes. Here was a new religion. A religion of man. Philosophy joyously embraced the new creed. What was now important was not to understand anything. All that mattered was to change it.

True, the revolution, when it came, did not occur in the decadent west but in the peasant societies of Russia and China. Then, the workers had horribly succumbed to nationalism in two world wars and had actually fought one another. After 1945, conditions had even improved, the workers were better off materially than they had ever been. This was a huge source of anguish for the Left. Had Marx been wrong? The Frankfurt School re-examined the propositions of Marx in the light of recent history (it is, perhaps, significant that the Frankfurt School thought there was something worth saving). Marcuse, in particular, noticed something astonishing (Eros and Civilization,1955).



Part II to follow as I was unable to post a long article in one go.
RobertH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2014, 01:21 PM   #22
RobertH
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 29
Closing of the Western Mind, part II

Closing of the Western Mind, Part II .


Freud, who, of course, was unknown to Marx, proclaimed that he had discovered a phenomenon he called the subconscious. Like an iceberg where nine-tenths projects below the surface, we are all secretly guided, he said, for good or ill, by the deep and huge reservoir of our inner feelings, impulses, desires but which we dare not acknowledge. Marx had said that corrupt capitalist society had contaminated man. In a clever insight Marcuse proposed a ‘marriage’ of Marx and Freud. Why could Freud’s ‘discovery’ not be hitched up to classical Marxism? Then, the theory of the subconscious could be applied to every area of our (capitalist) life. What if even, or more especially, our subconscious, our whole personality, has been corrupted by capitalism to such an extent that we all now stand in need of liberation? Bloom saw that this was the revolution to end all revolutions, the end-point of the gloomy prognostications of Nietzsche. The whole notion of values, so important for the maintenance of anything that resembles civilized society, was detonated by Marcuse’s critique. Marcuse saw things in Marx and Freud that no one else had seen. Bloom saw things in Marcuse that no-one else saw or perhaps wanted to see.

The human subconscious, at its deepest level, requires liberation. This was the clarion blast of Marcuse. So, any behaviour is permissible. Violence is simply the cry of the oppressed. Drugs can help in the process of finding oneself (how Aldous Huxley must, one trusts, have regretted his early experiments if he could have lived to see the result). Promiscuity is mandatory. Abolish the family. Father’s only half-abuse their daughters, they can be more thoroughly abused by the State. Western civilization was based on ‘psychical’ oppression. Overthrow the oppressors. Here is an endless revolution, a revolution for the ages. And it avoids all of those problematic changes to the institutions that had so bedevilled Marxist thinking. Who cares about Congress, parliaments, the courts? Here is the new Marxist man and woman who has been purged from the inside. Institutions can even play a useful role in the revolution. Stuff them full of Marxist appointees, require then to promulgate socialist ideology, then we have a ‘virtuous’ cycle of propaganda which radicalizes the masses who, in turn, incite further change. The old sign posts will remain in place. But the commissariat will ensure they point nowhere, give misleading information, in a world inhabited by the new Marxist creation. Like the lost hikers on the mountain top who shout ‘We are here,’ the whole world will be filled to the uttermost with meaningless statements (texting, anyone?).

The greatness of Bloom’s book, if it only stopped there, would have ensured its place in the fast vanishing canon of great books of the west (Bloom has some wise words on the whole notion of the canon of great western books). But Bloom’s work is no mere exercise in horripilation. He provides a wonderful and hopeful corrective to the bottomless mendacity of the Left. Bloom explained that Marcuse was mistaken, dreadfully mistaken, because he had not understood another important German thinker, Max Weber. For Weber, like Nietzsche, had identified values to be key to any society. There must be a notion of right and wrong. Weber saw the rise of Capitalism, which filled Marx with such loathing, as the triumph of what he called the ‘protestant ethic.’ A particular group of Christians applying the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude (each of which has a significant emotional component) had changed the face of the earth. Marcuse simply thought Weber was condemning religion, in the same (wrong) way Marxists thought Nietzsche had. But Weber was making a very profound point. Weber was referring to the ascendancy of spirit over matter. Man creates his culture. In every important respect, men and women are free. This is nothing less than a huge, devastating rebuttal of Marxism. More complete than the collapse of the Berlin Wall, which we now see had been merely the fall of bricks and mortar.

Ethics are the key to the de-marxification and de-toxification of our society.

The question we have to consider was put by Socrates.

‘If virtue is knowledge, will
RobertH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2014, 07:16 PM   #23
Michael
Senior Member
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Killarney, Ireland
Posts: 3,590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
Just finished 'Hide and seek' by Stephen Walker - the remarkable true story of the Irish priest Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty who helped save allied soldiers and Jews whilst based at the vatican in WWII. The film 'Scarlet and the Black' (with Gregory Peck) also tells this story.
I keep forgetting about this section of the forum!
Regarding Hugh O'Flaherty, he lived in my home town from a very early age and there is a dynamic statue (in a walking pose) of this extraordinary man in the town centre.


http://www.radiokerry.ie/wp-content/...-Killarney.jpg
Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2014, 04:27 PM   #24
Quijote
Senior Member
 
Quijote's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,499
I've just given the book away to a friend, so I don't have the correct bibliography, but it was a book about the Stalingrad battle launched by madman Hitler that went seriously awry. All I can say is that if Hitler and his cohorts had not meddled in the affairs of professional soldiers, the German army may well have routed Stalin.
Anyway, the part that really got to me was the lack of logistical support (food and warm clothing) provided by the lunatics back in Berlin. A curse on their houses! Such freezing temeratures! How can any army fight in those conditions!

Last edited by Quijote; 12-12-2014 at 04:37 PM.
Quijote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2014, 06:45 PM   #25
Peter
Administrator
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 9,576
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quijote View Post
I've just given the book away to a friend, so I don't have the correct bibliography, but it was a book about the Stalingrad battle launched by madman Hitler that went seriously awry. All I can say is that if Hitler and his cohorts had not meddled in the affairs of professional soldiers, the German army may well have routed Stalin.
Anyway, the part that really got to me was the lack of logistical support (food and warm clothing) provided by the lunatics back in Berlin. A curse on their houses! Such freezing temeratures! How can any army fight in those conditions!
Yes and Napoleon had already been there and paid the price!
__________________
'Man know thyself'
Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2014, 07:12 PM   #26
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quijote View Post
I've just given the book away to a friend, so I don't have the correct bibliography, but it was a book about the Stalingrad battle launched by madman Hitler that went seriously awry. All I can say is that if Hitler and his cohorts had not meddled in the affairs of professional soldiers, the German army may well have routed Stalin.
Anyway, the part that really got to me was the lack of logistical support (food and warm clothing) provided by the lunatics back in Berlin. A curse on their houses! Such freezing temeratures! How can any army fight in those conditions!
I own a lengthy, informative and enjoyable book on the Battle of Stalingrad. Or I thought I did. I searched for it after reading your post. It's no longer on my library shelves. No idea what became of it. I must have loaned it to someone many years ago and totally forgot to reclaim it. Come to think on it, I don't believe I've read the book since the mid or late 1970s. Yes, we're fortunate that, in the end, Hitler proved incompetent. The shame is that his failings did not manifest themselves sooner.

As for me, I decided to postpone "The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason" and relax with a fantasy novel be Elizabeth Moon.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2014, 12:32 AM   #27
AeolianHarp
Senior Member
 
AeolianHarp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Where it endlessly rains
Posts: 2,087
I'm on the sofa right now reading this with a hot cup of coffee and the 4th on the laptop. Great way to spend an evening!

__________________
Ludwig van Beethoven
Den Sie wenn Sie wollten
Doch nicht vergessen sollten
AeolianHarp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2015, 11:40 AM   #28
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
I intended to write a summary of reading highlights and lowlights from 2014 and post it here early January. Me being me it slipped my mind...until now.

I read thirty-seven novel length books last year. Seven, including two unsolicited loans from my brother, were first reads. The rest were rereads. The majority were fantasies. Six related to some aspect of classical music. Four were histories from the American Civil War era. The two loans concerned "pro" wrestling, a field I would not on my own single out for in-depth study. (That said, I found one of the two well written, informative and enjoyable. The other was fluff, but an easy read.)

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Award for the most read books of 2014 goes to David Eddings' "Belgariad" and "Malloreon" series, individual titles having received their eighth or ninth readings. Honorable mention goes to Stephan Donaldson's first two Thomas Covenant Chronicles, individual volumes getting seventh or eighth readings.
  • Award for most disappointing reads of 2014 goes to Stephan Donaldson's "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant". Much as I consider the first two sets of Chronicles some of the best modern fantasy ever published, so do I consider the much later written "Last Chronicles" a dismal failure.
  • Award for best rereads of 2014 goes to Stephan Donaldson's first and second "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever". These are the books that turned me on to the possibilities of the fantasy genre during the 1980s. I've maintained a special love for them ever since.
  • Award for best new read of 2014 goes to Jan Swafford's newly published "Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph".
  • Award for best read of 2014: "Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph".

Thus far this year (2015) I have read:
  • Elizabeth Moon's "Limits of Power". (fantasy)
  • Robert Harris' "Pompeii". (historical fiction)
  • Brandon Sanderson's "The Way of Kings". (fantasy)
All are first reads.

I currently read "Words of Radiance", follow up to Way of Kings. At around 1000 pages each, these Sanderson titles are quite a time sink for a slow reader like me.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2015, 02:35 PM   #29
Sorrano
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Posts: 4,377
DC, good to know on the Donaldson series. I've read the first two and often wondered if I should take the time to read the last set; however, always felt good about the way the second series ended.
Sorrano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2015, 12:59 AM   #30
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
I have fallen behind again. I finished "Words of Radiance" some weeks ago and am now on page 311 of Barbara W. Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century". This is my fourth reading of the book, the first concluding 2 June 1979, the most recent 29 July 2007.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2015, 08:52 AM   #31
Peter
Administrator
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 9,576
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decrepit Poster View Post
I intended to write a summary of reading highlights and lowlights from 2014 and post it here early January. Me being me it slipped my mind...until now.

I read thirty-seven novel length books last year. Seven, including two unsolicited loans from my brother, were first reads. The rest were rereads. The majority were fantasies. Six related to some aspect of classical music. Four were histories from the American Civil War era. The two loans concerned "pro" wrestling, a field I would not on my own single out for in-depth study. (That said, I found one of the two well written, informative and enjoyable. The other was fluff, but an easy read.)

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Award for the most read books of 2014 goes to David Eddings' "Belgariad" and "Malloreon" series, individual titles having received their eighth or ninth readings. Honorable mention goes to Stephan Donaldson's first two Thomas Covenant Chronicles, individual volumes getting seventh or eighth readings.
  • Award for most disappointing reads of 2014 goes to Stephan Donaldson's "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant". Much as I consider the first two sets of Chronicles some of the best modern fantasy ever published, so do I consider the much later written "Last Chronicles" a dismal failure.
  • Award for best rereads of 2014 goes to Stephan Donaldson's first and second "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever". These are the books that turned me on to the possibilities of the fantasy genre during the 1980s. I've maintained a special love for them ever since.
  • Award for best new read of 2014 goes to Jan Swafford's newly published "Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph".
  • Award for best read of 2014: "Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph".

Thus far this year (2015) I have read:
  • Elizabeth Moon's "Limits of Power". (fantasy)
  • Robert Harris' "Pompeii". (historical fiction)
  • Brandon Sanderson's "The Way of Kings". (fantasy)
All are first reads.

I currently read "Words of Radiance", follow up to Way of Kings. At around 1000 pages each, these Sanderson titles are quite a time sink for a slow reader like me.
I'm amazed at your precision Decrepit - You know the exact date when you finish a novel so you must either keep a journal or have the most extraordinary memory! I've also read Harris' Pompeii (though I can't tell you when other than in the past 4 years!) and it is a great read that really brings the events of AD 79 to life.
__________________
'Man know thyself'
Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2015, 11:22 AM   #32
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
At 0426 this morning, 2 April 2015, I completed for the fourth time Barbara W. Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century". Took me over a month to finish, despite being an enjoyable, easy read. I haven't the slightest idea what I'll tackle next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
I'm amazed at your precision Decrepit - You know the exact date when you finish a novel so you must either keep a journal or have the most extraordinary memory! I've also read Harris' Pompeii (though I can't tell you when other than in the past 4 years!) and it is a great read that really brings the events of AD 79 to life.
Your first assumption is the correct one. I scribble completion times and dates inside the front cover of each novel-length book I read, assuming I own it. I began doing so piecemeal in the mid 1970s and made it an ironclad practice in the early-mid 80s. By the mid nineties I had begun transcribing these records to computer files.

I do so because as an avid rereader I need a physical reminder of when I last read a book so as not to read the same few titles over and over again.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2015, 12:00 AM   #33
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
During supper tonight, 2 April 2015, I started in on Richard Monaco's "Parsival, or A Knight's Tale". This will be my fifth documented reading of the book, the first ending 20 April 1991, the most recent 3 April 2007. I read it at least one time prior to 1991. Unfortunately I loaned my original copy to a "friend" whose dog shredded it. It was out of print by then. I didn't find another copy (at a used book store in southern California) until my 1991 reading. I own Monaco's two follow ups, and just learned that he recently returned to Parsival with two further novels.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2015, 11:18 AM   #34
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
At 0447 this morning I completed Richard Monaco's "Parsival, or A Knight's Tale" and by day's end will begin its sequel, "The Grail War". This will be its fourth reading, the first having ended at 1924 on the evening of 27 October 1985. This almost assuredly solves the riddle as to when I first read "Parsival", which can't have been much prior to then as I didn't become addicted to modern fantasy literature until the mid '80s.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2015, 09:11 PM   #35
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
At 1452 this afternoon I completed my fourth reading of Richard Monaco's "The Grail War" and will likely move on to book three, "The Final Quest", before bedtime.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 12:53 AM   #36
AeolianHarp
Senior Member
 
AeolianHarp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Where it endlessly rains
Posts: 2,087
Percy Bysshe Shelley



__________________
Ludwig van Beethoven
Den Sie wenn Sie wollten
Doch nicht vergessen sollten
AeolianHarp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2015, 05:21 PM   #37
Megan
Senior Member
 
Megan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Land of Hope and Glory
Posts: 1,770
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Orwell-Huxle...der_1291951555

I am reading a new book called , Orwell, Huxley and the Fallacies of Futurity.
By Robert Neville.

For part of the book he imagines a conversation between these two great writers just after 1984 came out, and therefore just before Orwell's own untimely death.
The other bits look at the themes in the book and some of the main ideas.
What I liked about it was that it does not buy into the standard line we seem to get nowadays, that their two great novels are prophetic. Instead, Neville perceptively sees both men agreeing that they are more warnings than anything else. Obviously I can see the writer has done a lot of research, but its engaging and though provoking to read with many, many ideas in it. I bought it on Amazon.

Last edited by Megan; 06-11-2015 at 05:27 PM.
Megan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2015, 11:00 AM   #38
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
Books finished since my previous update:

At 2020 on 16 May 2015 I completed my fourth reading of Richard Monaco's "The Final Quest", third and final installment of his saga of Parsival. After a lapse of many years Monaco recently added two further titles to the series. I do not own them. As to "The Final Quest", I have the distinct impression that I think more highly of it this time round than during previous readings.

At 1700 on 27 May 2015 I completed "I am Cain" by Gen-Lind Kolarik and Wayne Klatt. This was an unexpected read. I have next to no interest in the true-crime genre. During the morning of 20 May I underwent a heart-cath and spent the rest of that day and much of the next recuperating at my brother's house. I was soon bored beyond endurance. (He has no internet. I have no use for American cable TV.) I noticed "Cain" resting on an end table and began reading it. It proved an enjoyable change of pace.

At 0450 on 4 June 2015 I finished David Howarth's "The Voyage of the Armada". This was a second reading. The first occurred back in 1981. I recall nothing of that first reading except a vague impression that I had not been overly impressed at that time. To my delight I found myself highly taken with it this reading, and consider it an easy recommendation for anyone interested in that particular historic event.

I currently read "With Fire and Sword", volume one of a trio of books now known as "The Trilogy", written by Henryk Sienkiewicz during the latter days of the nineteenth century and considered by many as Poland's literary epic. There are several English translations. Mine is by W.S. Kuniczak. I am quite favorably impressed by the little I've read thus far. The books are HUGE. Volume one is over 1,100 pages. (I'm on page 161.) It's full of dramatic events and colorful, sometimes over-the-top characters. A page-turner. I do not yet own volumes two and three. I suspect I'll remedy that soon.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 07:52 PM   #39
Decrepit Poster
Senior Member
 
Decrepit Poster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mid-South USA
Posts: 349
At 1312 this afternoon I finished Thomas B. Costain's "The Conquering Family", book one of his A History of the Plantagenets. This was its sixth reading, the first having ended 4 Oct 1978. I will almost certainly begin book two, "The Magnificent Century", by day's end.

I did not give up on Henryk Sienkiewicz' "With Fire and Sword" and in fact reached page 996 during today's lunch, with over a hundred pages left to go. The sad thing here is that Amazon does not show an inexpensive edition of its follow up, the two volume "Deluge", in the W.S. Kuniczak translation I prefer. Admittedly listings are confusing, with it often not clear whether the asking price is for one or both volumes.

It is extraordinarily rare for me to read two novel-length books at the same time. But I do the bulk of my reading abed. "With Fire and Sword" is so heavy and unwieldy it is very awkward to read while lying in bed. I therefore read it almost exclusively during lunches and suppers. That being the case I need an alternative for bed.
Decrepit Poster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2015, 11:59 AM   #40
Peter
Administrator
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 9,576
The Freedom Line - Peter Eisner.

The remarkable story of the 'Comet' escape line for pilots in the 2nd world war. The courage of those who risked everything to help pilots shot down over Belguim to get safely across occupied France, through Spain to Gibraltar is truly inspiring.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_line
__________________
'Man know thyself'
Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.