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ER
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« Reply #1170 on: August 27, 2012, 01:47:21 PM »

The Diary of Ralph Josselin. Available online, this 17th century Puritan minister kept a diary for almost half a century.

A frequent theme:

Sunday August 12, 1649
"...the lord in mercy keep me in his fear continually..."

But he was also a first-person witness to several civil war battles:

Friday 29 March 1644
"Waller victorious over Hopton , near Alsford; and turned back the forces of Rupert that we feared would have come on after they had routed our forces at Newarke..."

It's a window on rural England 350 years ago, and an insight into the mind of a Puritan clergyman. Dry but filled with small bits of unique information.

Available in full at:
http://linux02.lib.cam.ac.uk/earlscolne/diary/index.htm
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indianasmith
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« Reply #1171 on: August 27, 2012, 11:11:35 PM »

Sounds interesting, but I am not sure I could wade through it.  At least not right now.
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ER
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« Reply #1172 on: September 04, 2012, 11:13:00 AM »

Amy, My Daughter by Mitch Winehouse.

Poor Amy...
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #1173 on: September 04, 2012, 04:12:34 PM »





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ER
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« Reply #1174 on: September 05, 2012, 07:00:35 PM »

Except for Ray Bradbury, a couple of the big name writers, a subscription I used to have to Asimov's, and the occasional dabbling in anthologies here and there, I don't read a lot of science fiction, but I often enjoy the little bit I do get into. I discovered Michael Swanwick 3-4 years ago and thought his work was absolutely great. Does anyone know of any sci-fi writers who are like Michael Swanwick? I feel the urge to get lost for a while in something escapist and any recommendations would be highly appreciated.
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indianasmith
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A good bad movie is like popcorn for the soul!


« Reply #1175 on: September 05, 2012, 11:16:17 PM »

Have you read any of the GAME OF THRONES series? (Technically it's called A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, but most folks know it by the title of the first book).  Very compelling read!

I've started re-reading my Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child collection.  Finished RELIC monday and am now reading CABINET OF CURIOSITIES (my copy of RELIQUARY somehow got ruined, I bought a replacement copy on EBay).  Great series.
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"Carpe diem!" - Seize the day!  "Carpe per diem!" - Seize the daily living allowance! "Carpe carp!" - Seize the fish!
"Carpe Ngo Diem!" - Seize the South Vietnamese Dictator!
ER
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« Reply #1176 on: September 06, 2012, 08:24:50 AM »

Yeah, I did read those, indy. I sort of picked up the first book and ended up reading right through all five last year. That was the first time since LOTR in eighth grade I'd read that genre. I thought the series, A Song of Fire and Ice, not LOTR, ranged from absolutely great to not bad at all, and I hope the writer lives long enough to finish the remaining books. It must have been sucky to have been a fan waiting for years between the release of each title, and I wish he'd hurry.
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Andrew
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« Reply #1177 on: September 06, 2012, 12:04:47 PM »

Currently reading "A Military History of the Western World Vol 2, from the Defeat of the Spanish Armada to the Battle of Waterloo."

Dreamcatcher by Stephen King. About halfway through, really, really good. Also reading 'Striking Thoughts' by Bruce Lee, which is very interesting.

So it is much better than the movie?  Obviously, the book seemed marketable enough to make into a movie, but being popular fiction is not equal to an enjoyable book.  I haven't read any new King books in a long time. 
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Andrew Borntreger
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« Reply #1178 on: September 08, 2012, 02:17:27 PM »

Ye-es!

Gary Krut's "City of Scoundrels : the 12 days of Disaster That Gve Birth to Modern Chicago."

Chicago figuratively and literally exploded the summer covered in the book, as a blimp flying over the city crashed into down, killing 13 and injuring dozens. The first civilian air disaster in American aviation history.

Then a few days later, the city once more exploded into fire and flame, as whites started attacking blacks and blacks started fighting back. Up to that time, the worst race riot of the 20th century and with 38 dead and 537 injured, still one of the worst race riots of the 20th century.

That was the worst divide in the city, but there were other divides, as Chicago was a bitterly divided city in 1919.

Democrats vs. Republicans

Ethnicity vs. Ethnicity
(As the animosties that gave rise to the recently concluded WWI continued to be played out in the streets of America.)

"Good government" vs. current government

Jews vs. Jews
(or the assimilatred, educated Jews of northern and western Europe vs. less assimiliated, less seducated Jews of eastern and southern Europe.)

Jews vs. Poles
(Continuing the pogroms then on going in Poland.)

Labor vs. Labor
(See Black vs. White)

Labor vs. Management
(or, inflation vs. a business downturn.)

Lithuanians vs. Poles
(See Ethnicity vs. Ethnicity)

Local officials vs. State officials


Police (both black and white) vs. rioters (both black and white)

Politicans vs. the Press barons

The poor and the middle class vs. the Rich

Republicans vs. Republicans
(See Local officials vs. State officials)

The book, besides pointing out all the differences in the city, made  several other points.

(1) History is not the simple subject, they tried to teach us in school.

(2) The more things change, the more they stay the same.

(3) Which means, when people complain, maybe they should look in the mirror, because people often bring their complaints down on themselves.

(4) Though, even though they brought it down upon themselves, they deserved better.

(5) Unfortunately, the honest proved incompetent at running the city, while the dishonest proved competent, they also proved themselves to be venal.

(6) If you want to hear the good, then you must hear the bad, but to see only the good is to miss the bad.

(7) And most importantly, the effects of history today, do not end the next day or the next week or the next month or even the next year. Indeed, the book has a chapter that shows how the events of that year reverberated into the next decade. But, if one knows one's history, one realizes that the events of 1919 continue to reverberate even today and will continue to reverberate till the earth is a blackened cinder orbiting a burnt out star.

One last point. If anything good can be said for Chicago in 1919, it was that year it was the home of some some of the most influential Americans of the 1st half of the 20th century.

Jane Addams -- Clarence Darrow -- Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis -- Ring Lardner -- Charles Macarthur -- Carl Sandburg -- Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

Next time: something from that other great American city New York City.
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Vik
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« Reply #1179 on: September 09, 2012, 09:19:16 AM »

Currently reading "A Military History of the Western World Vol 2, from the Defeat of the Spanish Armada to the Battle of Waterloo."

Dreamcatcher by Stephen King. About halfway through, really, really good. Also reading 'Striking Thoughts' by Bruce Lee, which is very interesting.

So it is much better than the movie?  Obviously, the book seemed marketable enough to make into a movie, but being popular fiction is not equal to an enjoyable book.  I haven't read any new King books in a long time. 
I haven't seen the movie, but the book's awesome. Finished it a couple of days ago. The first 300 pages are arguably better than the rest, and it's definitely not perfect, but I really enjoyed it. Recently read 'The Book: On the taboo against knowing who you are' by Alan Watts which was extremely interesting. Now reading 'Stick' by Elmore Leonard. Enjoyable crime novel.
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Andrew
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« Reply #1180 on: September 09, 2012, 06:36:27 PM »

Currently reading "A Military History of the Western World Vol 2, from the Defeat of the Spanish Armada to the Battle of Waterloo."

Dreamcatcher by Stephen King. About halfway through, really, really good. Also reading 'Striking Thoughts' by Bruce Lee, which is very interesting.

So it is much better than the movie?  Obviously, the book seemed marketable enough to make into a movie, but being popular fiction is not equal to an enjoyable book.  I haven't read any new King books in a long time. 
I haven't seen the movie, but the book's awesome. Finished it a couple of days ago. The first 300 pages are arguably better than the rest, and it's definitely not perfect, but I really enjoyed it. Recently read 'The Book: On the taboo against knowing who you are' by Alan Watts which was extremely interesting. Now reading 'Stick' by Elmore Leonard. Enjoyable crime novel.

Thanks, I'm going to put Dreamcatcher on my list of books to read.
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Andrew Borntreger
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« Reply #1181 on: September 19, 2012, 10:42:42 AM »


As I continue to work my way through the entire Doc Savage paperback collection from Bantam Books:



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"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone."
ER
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« Reply #1182 on: September 19, 2012, 12:26:56 PM »

Read today that the sequel to The Shining is to be released next September. Despite my better judgment I can't help but be excited about that.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1183 on: September 19, 2012, 04:16:36 PM »

Ye-es!

The story of a city that morphs into a story of a man and a city.

Richard Zacks' "Island of Vice : Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest to Stop Sin Loving New York."

The author's 5th non-fiction book and a native New Yorker, for only a native New Yorker could give you that feel for the city at the dawn of a new century--the 20th.

He also gives you a good feel for Theodore Roosevelt, who was a remarkable man with many remarkable strengths, especially for that time in American history.

a.) He was not a racist.
b.) He was not an antisemitic.
c.) He did not believe in the "double standard," when it came to marriage.
d.) And he hired one of the first women to work for the NYPD.

But, the author is fair enough to point out for all of Teddy's remarkable strengths, he also had a number of remarkable weaknesses.

a.) He could be condescending.
b.) He often wore blinders. If he did not see it, then it did not exist.
c.) If something went wrong, he blamed everyone but himself.
d.) He saw everything in shades of black and white, but never shades of gray or grey.
e.) He saw no contradiction in shutting down the working man's bar, but leaving open the upper class drinking clubs.
f.) He believed if a woman was virtuous enough, she would never fall into vice. We now know it is a little more complicated than that.
g.) You were either for him or agianst him. There was no middle ground.
h.) And he was an utopian in a job that required a realist.

Which is why he started off well, but in two short years alienated almost everyone in New York City.

The politicans. Both . . .
a.) Democrats and Republicans.
b.) Reformers and Tammany Hall.
The public
The press
The police
And his fellow police commissioners.

The author also gives you a good handle as to why Teddy did what he did, during that time. For example: his zealous pursuit of Demon Rum may have been due to the fact that his feloved younger brother died an alcoholic.

Where the author fails is giving you an handle on why Teddy's opponents, and they were many, did what they did.

Next time: continuing the historical vein, but this time something mysterious and fictional.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1184 on: September 30, 2012, 02:25:20 PM »

Ye-es!

If the invading Angles gave their name to England, then the fleeing Britons gave their name to the Breton area of France. Which makes that area linguistically interesting, as the local dialect spoken there is closer to the dialects spoken in certain areas of England, such as Cornwall, then the rest of the French dialects.

Peter Tremayne's "The Dove of Death : a Mystery of Ancient Ireland." 19th in the Sister Fidelma of Cashel series.

The subtitle is a bit of a misnomer, as the story like the last one, which I have not read takes place in France. The next one, which I have read and hope to review later, does take place in Ireland. But while it does not take place in Ireland, the author continues to delve in the linguistics, military tactics, politics, religion and social mores of the 670s A.D., but in that area of France.

Politically, it was a divided time. Not only did you have the continuing struggle between the Angles and the Britons, but in France you had the struggle between the Bretons and the Franks, and Ireland was divided between 5 kings. One of whom was the brother of the heroine of the story.

As for religion, while I knew about the split in the Christian church between East and West, I did not know that the Christian church in the West was split between the Church in Rome and the Celtic Church. The author being one of those who think the wrong side lost in that split.

Next time: a miscellaneous array of books
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