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Thread: Watcha Reading?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Watcha Reading?

    An ongoing thread where people say what they are reading might be useful. Some of the books that get mentioned on this Literature area I have not heard of and it's interesting to read what people say about them - but you have to keep opening and closing threads. So a thread where people say what they are reading and a little bit about it might be more user friendly to me - and maybe a few others.


    I have been reading the autobiography of the Emperor Napoleon. Not that he ever wrote a full one, but he did write or dictate an awful lot about himself which a guy with the weird name of Somerset de Chair put together and published in 1992 as 'Napoleon on Napoleon'.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not reading it for any other motive but interest and have no desire to conquer anywhere - but as a character he's always interested me and I saw this coffee table sized book and decided to get it.

    The man liked himself a lot which is fairly obvious from the word go. One thing you notice very quickly is that he is always right; always the centre of attention, and always the hero of the hour. I get the idea that he is the victim of his own propaganda. A few years ago I read Hitler's table talk - Goebbels had a guy take down in shorthand every word that the Fuhrer said at dinner - a virtual monologue. He knew everything about everything and the strange thing is that Napoleon struck me in exactly the same way.

    It's not a very interesting book I have to say, unless you are seriously into bigheads bigging themselves up.
    One thing though that I found very interesting is what he missed out.
    He hardly mentions Trafalgar; but Waterloo and the Duke of Wellington get no mention at all. Clearly the memory was inconvenient.

    So I do not recommend it as a read - I found it a bit of a slog and finished it only because I made myself.

    I think I'll read some fiction now for light relief.


    Watcha reading?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Beechville, Nova Scotia
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    Default

    Book: How the Scots Invented the Modern World
    Subtitle: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It
    Author: Arthur Herman, Ph.D in History from John Hopkins University
    Book has:-
    - Occasional footnotes
    - Sources and Guide for Further Reading (431-450)
    - Acknowledgements (451-452)
    - Index: (453-472)
    Originally Published: 2001

    It was a gift, a year or two ago, from my youngest daughter at university in Montreal.
    Prior to reading the book, I had watched a series of university-level lectures on 'Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition' and 'Great Ideas of Philosophy.' The foregoing made the references to Lord Kames, Adam Smith, David Hume and other participants in the 'Scottish Enlightment' a bit easier to understand in their context.
    Early in the book, there is reference to the Scottish attempt to build the Panama canal, starting with the Darien Company around 1695 - Scotland was probably the first trading nation to recognise the potential of a canal and its best location. This was long before the French, English or others had taken any steps in this regard. The plan went bust, thanks in part to some 'interference,' and the country of Scotland almost went bankrupt in the attempt.
    I have some friends (now in their early 40's) from Panama who had never heard of the early Scots adventures when they were taught 'history' at their Panamanian schools!

    I'm less than halfway through the book, but, for someone who has only recently "discovered" reading, I am enjoying it, and expect to complete it in maybe a couple of weeks. I'm reserving judgement on the book's title and subtitle until later.

  3. #3

    Default Heavy stuff!!!

    Hey you guys you are both into some heavy reading!!! I have just finished The Shack by Wm Paul Young it is about a man called MacKenzie who's daughter is murdered she is found in an abandoned shack and some years later MacKenzie is invited back to the shack for one weekend by God,there MacKenzie finds the answer to the qusetion WHY.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Thurso
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moureen View Post
    Hey you guys you are both into some heavy reading!!! I have just finished The Shack by Wm Paul Young it is about a man called MacKenzie who's daughter is murdered she is found in an abandoned shack and some years later MacKenzie is invited back to the shack for one weekend by God,there MacKenzie finds the answer to the qusetion WHY.
    Well, I would recommend poking your eyeballs out with a cocktail stick and serving them with a generous helping of gin before reading that book. Absolute nonsense.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Thurso - and the Fantasy City of Darkhaven...
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    Default

    The beauty with the Amazon Kindle - You can read several books at the same time and not get lost -

    Just Finished - A Princess of Mars - By Edgar Rice Burroughs - Written in 1912 - I read this to get a glimpse into the new Disney movie "John Carter" that is getting released next spring!

    John Carter a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War, goes prospecting in Arizona immediately after the war's end. Having struck a rich vein of gold, he runs afoul of the Apaches. While attempting to evade pursuit by hiding in a sacred cave, he is mysteriously transported to Mars, called "Barsoom" by its inhabitants. Carter finds that he has great strength and superhuman agility in this new environment as a result of its lesser gravity.
    I had all 11 of these Carter Novels on the kindle and will work my way thro them all...Very entertaining considering they were penned 100yrs ago!

    Started Reading - The Dragon and the Unicorn - A.A.Attanasio - A fantastic retelling of the King Arthur story from the point of view of the Norse and Celtic Gods and the Eternal Dragon that slumbers within the molten core of the earth. Very poetic and the first book in a series.

    Also reading - Resurrection - W.A.Harbinson - Set in modern day Jerusalem - The rising troubles between the palestinians and the zelot jews brings the country to the point of civil war and a tremendous Quake destroys the Temple Mount - revealing a mysterious black cube...very interesting book.

    lol - Also reading - What Dreams May Come - Richard Matheson - I took up this book after remembering a movie by Robin Williams a while back - something about a guy killed and his wife commits suicide...and his exploits in the afterlife and an attempt to rescue her soul...The Book is different but interesting.

    Lastly - The Fragment - Warren Fahy - A survey ship passes a remote south seas island and picks up a distress signal - They discover an eco-system unlike anywhere on earth where life is a constant fight for survival and mankind are NOT top of the food chain! Science mixed with adventure well worth a look.

    Back to me books lol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Beechville, Nova Scotia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    Book: How the Scots Invented the Modern World
    Subtitle: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It
    Author: Arthur Herman, Ph.D in History from John Hopkins University
    Book has:-
    - Occasional footnotes
    - Sources and Guide for Further Reading (431-450)
    - Acknowledgements (451-452)
    - Index: (453-472)
    Originally Published: 2001
    WARNING WARNING
    I thought the title and subtitle might include some overstatements.
    Well, I hear there are a lot of books "How the (fill in preferred country name) did something stupendous"
    The book about the Scots seems well researched, but, again, I may have just been "sucked in."
    I hope not.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2005
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    Your nightmares!
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    Default Sacrifice.

    Sacrifice by S J Bolton.
    Not the usual thing I read as I'm more interested in English and Scottish kings, queens and history but in the library with limited time one day I just picked it up.

    Not too far into it but it seems quite compelling thus far.
    Story of a body that a woman finds in her back garden (whilst digging a grave for her horse ) on the Shetland Islands.
    The body is female, had her heart ripped out apparently before death and showing signs of having given birth soon before her death.
    From where the story is going at the moment it's looking like some kind of ritualistic storyline mixed in with Viking Runes and some kind of adoption racket going on on the isles.
    Intriguing!
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

  8. #8
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    Dec 2006
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    Edinburgh
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    Default

    I'm about half way through 'The Man from Beijing' by Henning Mankell.

    I've enjoyed all his Wallander novels but I'm finding this one quite hard going with several shifts in time and place.

    Maybe all the different strands will come together for a satisfying conclusion ... I'm hoping so anyway.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    6,747

    Default Crickey I feel dumb

    My taste is primarily Science Fiction. Currently reading a trilogy by an English author Peter F Hamilton, The Night's Dawn Trilogy, very exciting. A future where the technology is based on bioengineering and nanonics (the networking of humans directly into Technology and Bitek). A universe where the dead repossess the living, where Al Capone and Elvis can be found on the same planet (doing different things). Wow!

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