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  • What are you reading now?

    Okay, we had the thread on the number of hours read. But what exactly are you reading?

    I am reading Rex Stout's "Death of a Doxy", a Nero Wolfe mystery and
    the DK "World War I".

    By the way, I had a good idea what it meant but I looked it up to be sure.

    –noun . 1. an immoral woman; prostitute.
    2. Archaic. a mistress.

    [Origin: 1520–30; of obscure orig.]

  • #2
    History Lessons: How Textbooks from Around the World Portray US History. The title kind of says it all. What are they teaching folks in other countries about events in our history. Nice to get the Canadian take on the Revolutionary war, or Cuban and Filipino take on the Spanish American war, or the Nigerian take on slavery, or the Chinese take on the Boxer Rebellion, for instance. They are quoting directly from what appear to be high school textbooks, so it is sometimes a tad dry, but there have been more than a few eye openers. ... F8&s=books


    • #3
      That sounds very interesting. I will put it on my list.
      I once advised an Eastern European student at the U of O for one year only to take history instead of math. Math is the same all over the world. Of course, history is in the eye of the beholder.


      • #4
        What's a "DK"?


        • #5
          I'm (re)reading Bill Bryson's Made in America (A History of the English Language in the United States)

          If you're an information junkie, this is one of the great books of all time. As with so much of Bryson's stuff, it's history, geography, civics, myth-busting, trivia, etc., etc., all wrapped up in very entertaining style. And you learn so much. Omigod! I can't recommend it too highly. Oh yeah, and its main thrust is that it's a book about words.


          • #6
            DK is Dorling Kindersley Publishing. They publish those great travel books with all the pictures. This is a big picture book - with (surprise) a lot of fabulous pictures. I also have the WWII book.

            I absolutely loved Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson (that gh told me about). I am definitely putting Made in America (A History of the English Language in the United States) on my list.


            • #7
              Read both those books by Bryson and they were both very good. His most recent book which is sort of a book on all knowledge was also fairly good.

              Currently reading a pre-publication pre-print of a new bio on Jesse Owens. Pretty good so far.

              I also continue to read a lot of historical stuff on the Revolutionary War era in the USA - constitution, bios, war stuff. Kinda into that era. However, right now a bit between books - I started a bio of James Madison but really can't seem to finish it - hard slugging.

              I guess my historical reading makes sense in track & field since I've been accused of not being interested in track & field after World War I, which is not true, but I love the 19th century stuff.


              • #8
                I'm currently rereading two books that have been SERIOUS best-sellers (sales in the hundreds of thousands annually now and for a long time) for at least the last 150 years. Can you guess them?


                • #9
                  The 150 years would lead me to Uncle Tom's Cabin, but hundreds of thousands a year? Nah . . .


                  • #10
                    Nope - you should have figured out by now that they are texts - one is the the GREATEST play ever written (which my seniors are EATING UP!) and the other is the most famous cautionary tale of AmLit history (which my AP juniors are EATING UP!).


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tafnut
                      I'm currently rereading two books that have been SERIOUS best-sellers (sales in the hundreds of thousands annually now and for a long time) for at least the last 150 years. Can you guess them?
                      So what is this? Is this like one of GH's lists that is a what I am thinking? OK, I've got one too.

                      Fill in this list

                      [], [], [], [], [], []

                      And NO CHEATING!


                      • #12
                        I'm reading Philip Roth's "The Plot against America".

                        The premise is that Charles Lindberg runs for president as a Republican in 1940 and defeats FDR in a landslide. Dark days follow for America and especially for the Jews. Shades of Sinclair Lewis' "It can't happen here"

                        Not my favorite Roth book. ( I prefer "The Counterlife" , "American Pastoral" or "Sabbath's Theater") But still, good stuff.


                        • #13
                          I enjoyed that Roth tome. Counterfactual histories can certainly prompt interesting scenarios.

                          Tafnut's two texts: Macbeth and Moby Dick?

                          I'm reading Andrew McGahan's "The White Earth" (an Aussie award winner that has a very Dickensian-tone - a real turnaround from this guy's normal stuff which is much more Irvine Welsh-like slacker/drug tales).

                          Just finished Michael Collin's "The Secret Life of E. Robert Pendleton" (which I believe was called "Death of a Writer: A Novel" in the US). Turns out Collins is an ultra-marathon runner.

                          Before that was "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts, an Aussie guy that lead an incredible life on the run after escaping our highest security prison and setting himself up in Bombay. 900+ pages of adventure and philosophising.

                          And gh, if you like those two Bryson language books, you might want to check out "The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language" by John McWhorter, a not overly academic take on the evolution and changeability of languages.


                          • #14
                            "The American Axis", a rather uncomplimentary account of Henry Ford's and Charles Lindberg's playing footsie with pre-WWII Nazi Germany.

                            I am trying to read the Koran. Talk about slow going. Without the footnotes it is pretty incomprehensible. The translator needs half a page to explain a word and then tries to defuse the offensive pronouncements as not to be taken literally in the present time.


                            • #15
                              I just finished banging through the Dennis Lehane oeuveres (except for the short story collection, Coronado, which I haven't been able to pick up at the library yet). When we moved, I got waaay behind on New Yorkers (I am at July 3), so I will drop below Epelle's numbers for books to zero for a couple weeks. We read some junk mystery/thriller stuff, so there is always something coming out from our favorite authors (J Patterson, Cornwell, Silva, Tanenbaum, Littell). There are also new novels out by Le Carre & Forsythe. But I don't consider them junk. Especially Le Carre. But for now, NYer.