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TOPIC: What books are you reading?

What books are you reading? 30 Nov 2015 09:36 #216145

wadenels wrote:
I wonder, because thankfully I've never been in that position, whether your average troop rationalizes his position due to what he's told or due to the opposite being horrifying or some mix of both. I think it's probably both, but the psychology involved is intensely interesting to me.

I don't think I'd reach as far as "rationalize" because I think they're not in a clear enough position to assess. This was especially true 75 years ago (and more so prior) when communication was much more limited. When you and everyone you know is at risk from a bunch of people you've been told to defend against and those people are coming at you with ten-inch shells and phosphorus bombs and eventually bayonets in close quarters you stay in your line and do your job in order to survive.

What's curious is that all of the men interviewed survived for a reason -- they were captured or sufficiently injured to be withdrawn from the line, and their perspective of things in hindsight on June 6th (i.e., their perspective of the enemy D Day morning vs their perspective of the enemy D Day afternoon) is very different.

Ambrose speaks of German soldiers on the Western Front allowing themselves to retreat more facilely because they feared the Soviets reaching Germany prior to the Americans and British, but I have not seen a similar comment in any other reading on the subject. Ambrose waxes philosophic fairly regularly, so when several interviews taken just after the war conflict with him I tend to favor their perspective. D Day Through German Eyes indicates soldiers doing a professional job and seeing themselves as defending the local French as well as Germany beyond that.
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What books are you reading? 30 Nov 2015 09:47 #216146

Related to the topic, I'm reading a good summary book to think about fitting into a class I teach, Postwar by Tony Judt. It's a 1000 foot summary of postwar European history. It's pretty good, I'd recommend it if you want an intro to recent European history.
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What books are you reading? 30 Nov 2015 21:43 #216220

I've started getting the One Piece omnibuses. I've been interested in the story for a while but never read anything or watched the show. I've also been reading the Walking Dead compendiums. Lastly, I started Valis by Philip K. Dick and it is really good. I haven't picked it up in a long time. I'll probably have to start over and actually finish it some time soon.
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What books are you reading? 01 Dec 2015 00:03 #216228

Stuff I've checked out and hope to read before it all comes due:

Planetary Omnibus
Animal Man Omnibus (will check out tomorrow)
The Big Sleep (want to study the style)
The Sheltering Sky (written by Paul Bowles, an expat who spent his life in Morocco. Hoping it helps me frame my experience in the Gulf)
Some practical books on writing poetry
The Man in the High Castle
I'm on page 280 of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Zzzzzz....
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What books are you reading? 01 Dec 2015 08:04 #216232

A friend lend me Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer. So that's what I'm reading right now.
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What books are you reading? 01 Dec 2015 12:06 #216262

craniac wrote:
Stuff I've checked out and hope to read before it all comes due:

Some practical books on writing poetry

Say more if you actually end up reading enough of them to form coherent thought please. Always interested in good poetry writing stuff. Best I've read is poemcrazy by susan woolridge.
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What books are you reading? 01 Dec 2015 12:57 #216269

The thing about poetry is that it just seems to fit our mediascape so perfectly--these condensed images and thoughts you can put on an index card, and then whore out on Instagram when you get home. I used to revile, or at least resist poetry, because I teach technical writing and my lower-middle class background has created a distrust of any work that doesn't involve a shovel, but after teaching American Lit for the first time and rereading some of my favorites, I have begun craving it.
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What books are you reading? 01 Dec 2015 14:16 #216286

I have a couple friends who are modern dancers and I feel like a lot of poetry is like dance in that often it is performed/written for other performers/writers...but then you get breakthrough artists who just speak to you on some level. Discovering science fiction poetry has been nice, it's poetry written about stuff I'm actually interested in. Although a lot of it is meh, of course. And I write some now and then for fun.

I think poetry about work that involves a shovel would be great.
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What books are you reading? 01 Dec 2015 21:27 #216328

I don't really know jack about poetry, but since this is the Internet, I'll say that I think more blue-collar poetry would be good. The only stuff I know of that approaches that is cowboy poetry, which I got unfortunately exposed to a lot when I lived in Monterey. It tries to do the humble bit about hard work with one's hands under the big sky, but it's just painfully schlocky romanticism by people who drive F-150s and get farm bill handouts.

Currently I'm reading Winnie-The-Pooh to my kid, the Esperanto translation. This is so nerdy I'm ashamed to admit it even on a site of grown men who play with elf miniatures. I started teaching myself Esperanto on a whim when I was in baby jail, because I needed something that scratched a similar itch to gaming -- the left-brained bit of mastering rules systems, and the right-brained bit of creative application of those rules. It's pretty fun and the translation is entertaining.

My kid turns 1 tomorrow. I have no idea where the time went.
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What books are you reading? 01 Dec 2015 22:46 #216335

I had this anthology that I can't relocate, but the poems were really straightforward, interesting, and definitely American.

Raymond Carver does some pretty good working class poetry:



Fear

Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.

Fear of falling asleep at night.

Fear of not falling asleep.

Fear of the past rising up.

Fear of the present taking flight.

Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.

Fear of electrical storms.

Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek!
Fear of dogs I've been told won't bite.

Fear of anxiety!
Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.

Fear of running out of money.

Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.

Fear of psychological profiles.

Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.

Fear of my children's handwriting on envelopes.

Fear they'll die before I do, and I'll feel guilty.

Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.

Fear of confusion.

Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.

Fear of waking up to find you gone.

Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.

Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.

Fear of death.

Fear of living too long.

Fear of death.


I've said that.
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What books are you reading? 01 Dec 2015 23:21 #216338

Those are really good.
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What books are you reading? 01 Dec 2015 23:28 #216339

Gary Sax wrote:
Those are really good.

Yeah. I think I need to have most poetry read aloud to me. Otherwise I tend to skim and skip, and then I lose the impact of the cadence of the words.

There was a guy, I dunno if he's still writing, Beau Sia. He is most famous for writing a pretty funny parody of Jewel's (the singer, "Who Will Save Your Soul," etc.) book of poetry A Night Without Armor, he called his A Night Without Armor II: The Revenge, which was really great. Mostly slam poetry about racial identity of an Asian American kid growing up in Oklahoma, and also his penis. I got a CD of his back when CDs were relevant. It's worth a listen if you can find it on the cheap and like slam-style poetry.
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What books are you reading? 02 Dec 2015 07:58 #216355

I went to a poetry reading Sunday night. I was bored out of my tree.

I saw a stand up comedian a month ago that had a good joke about poetry, "when I was younger I used to write a lot of poetry.... but nowadays everybody can go fuck themselves "
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"We must let go of the life we had planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell
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What books are you reading? 01 Jan 2016 22:11 #218840

craniac wrote:
Stuff I've checked out and hope to read before it all comes due:

Planetary Omnibus
Animal Man Omnibus (will check out tomorrow)
The Big Sleep (want to study the style)
The Sheltering Sky (written by Paul Bowles, an expat who spent his life in Morocco. Hoping it helps me frame my experience in the Gulf)
Some practical books on writing poetry
The Man in the High Castle
I'm on page 280 of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Zzzzzz....

I parked Jonathan Strange for a while.
Planetary Omnibus was GREAT. Worth owning. Weird and fun.
Animal Man: I'm halfway through. Hoping it gets better.
I plan to buy a used copy of the poetry book.
I will read Bowles later.

I just finished Man in the High Castle today. It was weird and interesting. I need to re-read the last 20 pages and figure out what is going on. Much to think about.
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What books are you reading? 08 Feb 2016 22:37 #222040

Are any of you guys on goodreads? Goodreads is one of my favorite uses of social media because I can see what others are reading and see how they rate them---even if they very different tastes than I do. But it isn't like chatty and personal.
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