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  1. #201
    Quote Originally Posted by WillJ View Post
    I loved the two Claudius books. I recommend Graves' Goodbye to All That, too.
    Actually, if you like the Claudius books, try Graves' "Hercules, My Shipmate". It's a similar novel involving classical characters.

    "Goodbye to All That" is interesting, but understand that it's Graves' autobiography (that he wrote at age 34), although it sometimes reads as a condemnation of British society in the '20s. He teamed with Alan Hodge to write a similar book -- "The Long Weekend", a social history of Great Britain between the two wars.

  2. #202
    Re-reading Great Gatsby... a bit flummoxed about why is has become a classic.

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Re-reading Great Gatsby... a bit flummoxed about why is has become a classic.
    You've got me. I first read it on a trip with my parents when I was... uh... ten-ish? maybe? Anyway, I've read it several times since for school, over the course of my life, but have never, ever enjoyed it. I mean, it isn't terrible or anything, and it's a quick read. Just not sure what anyone sees in it other than it's short enough to teach in high school. Fitzgerald has other, better books, IMO.

    Now that the tourney is basically over for me, I'm hoping to catch up on some of my reading. I have an embarrassing pile of books and comics now collected at my bedside. Hoping to get time to finally finish Joe Hill's Locke and Key, the new volume of Outcast (by author of The Walking Dead), and the carry overs from my last post.

  4. #204
    Quote Originally Posted by Doria View Post
    You've got me. I first read it on a trip with my parents when I was... uh... ten-ish? maybe? Anyway, I've read it several times since for school, over the course of my life, but have never, ever enjoyed it. I mean, it isn't terrible or anything, and it's a quick read. Just not sure what anyone sees in it other than it's short enough to teach in high school. Fitzgerald has other, better books, IMO.

    Now that the tourney is basically over for me, I'm hoping to catch up on some of my reading. I have an embarrassing pile of books and comics now collected at my bedside. Hoping to get time to finally finish Joe Hill's Locke and Key, the new volume of Outcast (by author of The Walking Dead), and the carry overs from my last post.
    It seems relevant in that it's emblematic of a particular time period. It is well enough written. I just isn't a terribly interesting story.

  5. #205
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    It seems relevant in that it's emblematic of a particular time period. It is well enough written. I just isn't a terribly interesting story.
    You're right about it being a look from a specific vantage point at a particular time. But again, I'd argue that there are more accomplished books about the same period. Seriously, I really would argue that in many ways, its popularity comes in no small measure from being short enough (and friendly enough, in terms of content) to teach in school. I think Lord of the Flies and a couple Steinbeck novels (e.g., The Pearl or Of Mice and Men) similarly benefit from this.

    Note again, I'm not saying this as a perjorative. Steinbeck is probably my favorite American author. At least, he has been traditionally, since childhood.
    Last edited by Doria; 03-21-2017 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Oh, my gosh, verb tense!!!

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Re-reading Great Gatsby... a bit flummoxed about why is has become a classic.
    Same here. We read it in 11th grade, not sure I actually finished the book. Did not get it's "greatness". Other "great" books that underwhelmed me: Catcher in the Rye and All the King's Men (didn't finish that one, either).

  7. #207
    Quote Originally Posted by Doria View Post
    You're right about it being a look from a specific vantage point at a particular time. But again, I'd argue that there are more accomplished books about the same period. Seriously, I really would argue that in many ways, its popularity comes in no small measure from being short enough (and friendly enough, in terms of content) to teach in school. I think Lord of the Flies and a couple Steinbeck novels (e.g., The Pearl or Of Mice and Men) similarly benefit from this.

    Note again, I'm not saying this as a perjorative. Steinbeck is probably my favorite American author. At least, he has been traditionally, since childhood.
    Steinbeck is my wife's favorite (For me, it's a tie between Whitman and Emerson.). I've only read Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, but I plan on starting "Travels with Charley" soon.

    I'm not sure if there are any other lovers of philosophy -- specifically Medieval philosophy -- but I would highly recommend Victor Watt's translation of Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy. For those thinking about going down the rabbit's hole and giving philosophical literature a shot, this is a great intro to some common philosophical topics (the meaning of life, death, fate and fortune, virtue ethics, religion etc.).

  8. #208
    The Truth about Your Future

  9. #209
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke4ever19 View Post
    Steinbeck is my wife's favorite (For me, it's a tie between Whitman and Emerson.). I've only read Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, but I plan on starting "Travels with Charley" soon.
    I liked Travels with Charley. Also, The Red Pony. And if you can find the short story Tularecito, it was pretty weird.

  10. #210
    Quote Originally Posted by duke4ever19 View Post
    Steinbeck is my wife's favorite (For me, it's a tie between Whitman and Emerson.). I've only read Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, but I plan on starting "Travels with Charley" soon.

    I'm not sure if there are any other lovers of philosophy -- specifically Medieval philosophy -- but I would highly recommend Victor Watt's translation of Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy. For those thinking about going down the rabbit's hole and giving philosophical literature a shot, this is a great intro to some common philosophical topics (the meaning of life, death, fate and fortune, virtue ethics, religion etc.).
    I agree with the posters who don't like The Pearl, but to me that's an exception.

    I think The Grapes of Wrath is one of the 2-3 greatest American novels of the 20th Century. I loved it. Of Mice and Men is good too, but my second-favorite Steinbeck novel is In Dubious Battle. I also like a number of his short stories. Cannery Row is a fun read.

    PS I am also a reader who can't see the hoopla for The Great Gatsby.

  11. #211
    Join Date
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    Inman, SC & Fort Myers, FL
    I just finished The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert. Fairly interesting tale about Eustace Conway, who lives "off the land" in western North Carolina. He is sort of a dropout without drugs. Easy and quick read.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgtr View Post
    I just finished The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert. Fairly interesting tale about Eustace Conway, who lives "off the land" in western North Carolina. He is sort of a dropout without drugs. Easy and quick read.
    Eustace Conway and his cohort Preston Roberts are some very interesting guys to say the least. We write their insurance coverage for the preserve and Preston was my art teacher in high school. I'll have to check out the book.
    "The future ain't what it used to be."

  13. #213
    Quote Originally Posted by mgtr View Post
    I just finished The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert. Fairly interesting tale about Eustace Conway, who lives "off the land" in western North Carolina. He is sort of a dropout without drugs. Easy and quick read.
    Eustace Conway is a legend in these parts, for sure. Heard tell his land was in danger a few years ago, but I haven't heard an update.

    Hope he is still left to do "his thing."

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I agree with the posters who don't like The Pearl, but to me that's an exception.

    I think The Grapes of Wrath is one of the 2-3 greatest American novels of the 20th Century. I loved it. Of Mice and Men is good too, but my second-favorite Steinbeck novel is In Dubious Battle. I also like a number of his short stories. Cannery Row is a fun read.

    PS I am also a reader who can't see the hoopla for The Great Gatsby.
    I also love In Dubious Battle, while fully admitting that Steinbeck's craft is not really on full display in that book.

    Just a random note: I had to do a book project in 6th grade on an author, and I chose Steinbeck because I was super into him at that point. So on the day of my project, I was assembling the Grapes of Wrath section of the room, and I'd brought some grapes, judging that many of my classmates weren't going to be interested in the more substantive portions, and when I took them out, I saw that my dad had made like a museum display label for them that said "Wrathful Grapes." (My father also had a wooden pig stapler that was labeled "the original chauvinistic pig" for reasons I've never known.)

  15. #215
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Westport, CT
    "Lincoln in the Bardo" by George Saunders

    Wow! Absolutely loved this book.

    This is Saunders first novel after many successful short stories.

    It is an excellent look at Lincoln's sadness over the loss of his 11 year old son due to typhoid fever.

    The writing techniques used are quite new and interesting.

    I don't want to give away too much of the story!

    I actually listened to the book on Audible and loved the presentation. Over 166 actor voices are used! David Sedaris is just perfect in his character!

    Highly recommend!

  16. #216
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    Feb 2007
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    Columbus, Ohio
    Thanks for recommending Saunders. I have impressed friends by telling them that I have Saunders' book awaiting my attention on my nightstand for months, but keep putting it off. I'll finally take the plunge, thanks to your glowing recommendation.

  17. #217
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    Jun 2008
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    Asheville, NC

    The Origin by Irving Stone

    I just got finished re-reading The Agony & The Ecstasy by Stone a few months ago and enjoyed it immensely (again). So I checked out The Origin , about Charles Darwin's life. His voyage in the Beagle is very interesting, but after he gets back to England, it's really quite a slough. He did a lot of writing and meeting naturalists/geologists/scientists (in addition to having lots of kids), which doesn't make for quick reading. It seems, at least in this novel, that Darwin had a lot of advantages in life and I think one of the reasons I'm not as keen on this book is there is not a lot of adversity (internal or external), unlike The Agony. He's finally gotten to his ideas of natural selection, so I'm looking to see where that's going. Overall it's a quality read, but probably not a book I would pick up again (unlike Agony)

  18. #218
    Join Date
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    Norfolk, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Doria View Post
    Steinbeck is probably my favorite American author.
    It is Hemingway for me as For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Sun Also Rises are a couple of my favorite books. Hemingway's characters have passion! Tennessee Williams plays A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are also fantastic.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  19. #219
    Join Date
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    Albemarle, North Carolina
    Anyone ever read any of Richard Dawkins books? Recommend any?
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  20. #220

    Patrick O'Brian The Aubrey-Maturin series

    This long series are my favorite historical novels. The series concerns a British sea captain and his surgeon during the Napoleonic wars. These novels are dense and the language takes some getting used to as it is written in the early 1800's sea vernacular. I bought an unabridged dictionary for these novels. This series is a proper fit for readers who like military history, 19th century English lit or sailing.
    My friend who turned me on to them has read the series several times and one college friend is now rereading the series. It will likely take you a couple of years to read the entire series. The movie Master and Commander is based on one of these novels.

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