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What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

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What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Old 01-25-24, 10:24 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

War and Peace sitting on the shelf still. Enjoying what I've read (50 pages in or so) but not getting traction.

Started Ghost Story by Peter Straub. I think only the second reading for this, and the first was probably 40 years ago +/-
Many cite this as actually scary, so I'm hoping to really enjoy it again. Loved it the first time but don't recall if it scared me.
Old 01-26-24, 12:00 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by Kurt D
War and Peace sitting on the shelf still. Enjoying what I've read (50 pages in or so) but not getting traction.
I had planned on starting War and Peace next, but your comment has given me pause. If I start it, I know I'll make myself finish it. But given its length I'm now hesitant to make that commitment. I've read Moby Dick and Count of Monte Cristo, so I know I can handle a big book, but Moby Dick was difficult for me. Online comments seem to support going for it (but those people always lie, right??). Decisions, decisions ...

Oh, and there's always Snoopy:


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Old 01-26-24, 07:29 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Little known fact. The original title of War and Peace was War, What is it good for?.
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Old 01-26-24, 09:33 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Moby Dick has also long been on my list.

FWIW I have thoroughly enjoyed all of War and Peace so far, it's just moving at a really stately pace, with lots of characters to remember, who are often referred to in multiple ways - name, nickname, title, etc.
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Old 01-26-24, 10:44 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

So, take notes. Got it.
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Old 01-26-24, 11:28 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

When I read Moby Dick I reviewed Cliffs Notes online and the chapter updates helped a lot. The book is immersive on whaling and philosophy which ultimately drives to an exciting conclusion so kindly stick with it.

For The Count of Monte Cristo Cliffs Notes online did not work out so well since I read the abridged version -- "Why are the chapters different? Who is this character? I thought the story was done with this character?..."
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Old 01-26-24, 01:11 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by Bronkster
So, take notes. Got it.
My ex did that with GOT.
also, characters speak French a lot in this book, and at least in my translation, the French is translated via footnote, so a lot of the time you are bouncing back-and-forth between the regular text and the bottom of the page. It does slow one down a bit.
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Bronkster (01-26-24)
Old 01-26-24, 08:46 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by Kurt D
My ex did that with GOT.
also, characters speak French a lot in this book, and at least in my translation, the French is translated via footnote, so a lot of the time you are bouncing back-and-forth between the regular text and the bottom of the page. It does slow one down a bit.
Welp, I have taken the plunge! My version (so far) doesn't have any French language footnotes; just a few instances where it was stated someone spoke in French. Works for me! Five chapters in - those being quite short chapters. Only around 1300 pages to go!
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Old 01-26-24, 09:04 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by Bronkster
Welp, I have taken the plunge! My version (so far) doesn't have any French language footnotes; just a few instances where it was stated someone spoke in French. Works for me! Five chapters in - those being quite short chapters. Only around 1300 pages to go!
At the risk of destroying the last shred of credibility I never had ... which translation are you reading?

Also, now I am duty bound to pick my copy up again (not that I wasn't going to, but this gives me more motivation).
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Old 01-26-24, 09:19 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

I'm trying to make reading a better habit, especially since I am trying to encourage kids to do so.

Last month I read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

This month I am reading Dune. I have never read it. I remember it being around the house as a small child, as it was one of my mom's favorite books. Not a fan of this modern printing that is about 4 inches thick, but only has 7 words per line. The width of the book is so small.

Also, for classes, we are currently reading: The Sunflower (seniors), and the plays Fences (juniors) and Romeo and Juliet (freshmen).
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Old 01-26-24, 11:30 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

I really do recommend War and Peace. I read the public domain translation that was on Project Gutenberg. It didn't have any passages in French.

The large number of characters isn't as overwhelming as it seems at first. There are only a handful of main characters whom we follow through the whole book. I found that Tolstoy generally reminded me who the other people were when they popped up in the story again. (Oh, he's a captain now.)
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Old 01-27-24, 10:12 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

I kind of got out of the reading habit last year, so I'm trying to get back into it this year.

The first book that I read this year was Pearl S. Buck's Fourteen Stories:



I suppose that I liked it well enough; as with pretty much all short story anthologies, I liked some stories more than others, but I think that I only really outright disliked one or two of them. I was surprised at how many of them had war as a central theme.

I'm currently reading Be True to Your School by Bob Greene. I read this probably 30 years ago and fell in love with it; it's one of my ten or so favorite books. I read Greene's follow-up to it, And You Know You Should Be Glad, last year, so I thought that it was high time for a re-read. I'm loving it even more this time around:





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Kurt D (01-27-24)
Old 01-27-24, 10:57 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by Kurt D
At the risk of destroying the last shred of credibility I never had ... which translation are you reading?

Also, now I am duty bound to pick my copy up again (not that I wasn't going to, but this gives me more motivation).
Mine is the Penguin Classics book, translated by Anthony Briggs in 2005. I'm not literate enough to comment on one translation over another, so your credibility remains intact.
Old 01-27-24, 01:11 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by Bronkster
Mine is the Penguin Classics book, translated by Anthony Briggs in 2005. I'm not literate enough to comment on one translation over another, so your credibility remains intact.
For some reason I was hell-bent on finding the 'best' translation possible. I guess that's what goodreads does to a person. I ended up with the best on my budget.

I think the fact that I care was what ruined my cred!
Old 01-27-24, 02:41 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by Kurt D
For some reason I was hell-bent on finding the 'best' translation possible. I guess that's what goodreads does to a person. I ended up with the best on my budget.

I think the fact that I care was what ruined my cred!
If I had planned on reading it, I might've done some research about translations. But I grabbed the book on a whim at Costco, so no thought went into it.
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Old 01-28-24, 02:03 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by Bronkster
I had planned on starting War and Peace next, but your comment has given me pause. If I start it, I know I'll make myself finish it. But given its length I'm now hesitant to make that commitment. I've read Moby Dick and Count of Monte Cristo, so I know I can handle a big book, but Moby Dick was difficult for me. Online comments seem to support going for it (but those people always lie, right??). Decisions, decisions ...
It was good, but took me a long time to read. It wasn’t just the length, I’ve read the Stand (including the long version) lots of times, and Three Musketeers and lots of other long books. It’s not even an especially hard read—there’s plenty of plot and action. I think I just didn’t ever fully engage with the characters. I am still glad I read it, don’t need to read it again.
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Old 01-29-24, 10:55 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Finished:

Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks. I was a fan of the author going way back to the mid 80s, but lost track of his work starting around 2000. Sometimes I wonder if I'm losing the patience and cognitive ability I had when younger, since it seems like I struggle a lot more with "challenging" works than I remember. And Iain Banks is certainly challenging. His scope and imagination are fantastic, and I love the central idea of this one: a virtual war threatens to spread into the "real" over the morality of virtual afterlife hells (which are kind of like the Amazon series Upload). There are lots of viewpoint characters and factions to keep track of. And I'm kind of pissed because there was a section called "Dramatis Personae" at the end, which I skipped ahead to thinking it would be a summary to help readers keep track of everything. But instead it was an epilogue which summarized what happened to everyone after the end ... so I accidentally massively spoiled myself

Last edited by brainee; 01-29-24 at 03:21 PM.
Old 01-29-24, 11:23 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Oh no! That would piss me off, but to your earlier point, I probably would have forgotten most of the details from the spoiler as I read the book anyway.
Old 01-29-24, 03:24 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by Kurt D
Oh no! That would piss me off, but to your earlier point, I probably would have forgotten most of the details from the spoiler as I read the book anyway.
If it was something technical I could've forgotten it. But instead it was seeing that a character was killed at the end of the book.
Old 01-29-24, 04:21 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Originally Posted by brainee
If it was something technical I could've forgotten it. But instead it was seeing that a character was killed at the end of the book.
They should have spoilered that shit then! In a manner of speaking. Lately some of the classics I've read will start with an informative Introduction that will helpfully say up front that if you haven't read the book before, you should treat the Introduction as an Afterward.
Old 01-30-24, 08:28 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Just finished The Sun Down Motel


It picked up a bit toward the end but the two parallel timelines throughout the book were so similar it was hard to keep track of which timeline I was in at any given time and a lot of it felt repetitive.
Old 02-03-24, 01:07 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Just finished:



Be True to Your School - Bob Greene

I was sad to come to the end of this one.

Now reading:




My Song: A Memoir by Harry Belafonte and Michael Shnayerson

I don't read many biographies and autobiographies, but I wanted to know more about Belafonte for an upcoming YouTube project so I picked up this one. I'm a few chapters in and enjoying it well enough.
Old 02-05-24, 03:55 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Finished

Old 02-06-24, 01:51 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

I just finished Black AF Hisory. It was pretty good, readable, and I learned about some things I didn't really know about or hadn't thought about in that way.

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Old 02-07-24, 06:13 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2024 (The Readening)

Finished Ghost Story by Peter Straub. This was his breakout book, and while I don't think it's his best (nor as scary as all the blurbs would have you believe) it's quite good and recommended. Straub blends the epic and the intimate very well as it cascades towards the conclusion, and he definitely sticks the landing, unlike those oft-criticized Stephen King books.

Interestingly, Straub's mannered writing set me up perfectly for going back to War and Peace. Prior to Tolstoy's book I had read two collections of Manga, making it really hard to transition to Tolstoy. After Straub, I feel like I have relearned a language and the Tolstoy is going down much more easily.

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