Right now I'm reading

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Bram
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Right now I'm reading

Post by Bram »

Just finished John Hersey's Hiroshima.

The book was originally published a year after the dropping of the first atomic bomb, with an afterword added forty years later. It's sat on the bookshelf for months, but with the recent invasion of Ukraine, it seemed the right time to pick a book up on the horrors of war.

It covers six normal citizens -- a minister, a priest, a housewife, a clerk, and two doctors -- and what their experience was. The book starts early in the morning of the bomb drop then follows them through their first day, then days, weeks, months, and years. There is terrible destruction and foulness. But I was struck by how resilient and dedicated these people were to life. And it puts things in perspective. Losing your friends, family, and all your belongings in an instant, and then being faced with decades of internal affliction from radiation poisoning...well, a lot of normal things one might bitch about seem worthless. And it also felt like a call to enjoy the life that we have already.

Short read too.
"Forget about your feelings and become one with the work." -- Bruce Lee


motherjuggs&speed
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Right now I'm reading

Post by motherjuggs&speed »

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. Alternately haunting and hilarious. I wish I'd read it a long time ago. For some reason I often don't understand something until I read it, or sometimes when someone says it. There are parts of this book that hit me so hard. Things I wish I'd understood a lot sooner. Faulkner writes about life and does so in a way that sticks. That's how people are, I say to myself, that's how it is. Mostly. It's written as a series of first person narratives, and some of them I just don't buy. I mislike it when an author tries to give us the thoughts of a character he doesn't understand. Authors will often tell us what they think a person like that thinks, if that makes sense. But it's not at all believable when the writer doesn't understand people like that. This connects with something Bill James has said, that you have to understand something deeply in order to analyze it. Some of these people Faulkner does understand deeply and those narratives connect, hard. And there are times when he puts something in which is so good that I don't think about the voice or perspective. But there are some that I don't believe. I also found the ending both rushed and lazy, like he had to finish somehow. But it's still great.

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Bram
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Right now I'm reading

Post by Bram »

Never read Faulkner, thanks for the review!

Let’s see…

A Gentleman in Moscow might be my favorite fiction book of all time.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone was a funny and informative look at the world of therapy.

And Powder Days was a look at the history of skiing in America, specifically the history and culture of being a ski bum. And it asks if that path is still viable. Being new to snow culture, I deeply appreciated a timely, passionate overview of it. The second half is mostly gloom and doom — racism, global warming, suicides, inflation, alcoholism — which sucked some of the joy out of the book, even though all of it felt relevant.
"Forget about your feelings and become one with the work." -- Bruce Lee

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odin
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Right now I'm reading

Post by odin »

Merlin by Robert Nye. It’s both obscene and obscure. I read it as a young teenager (it was in my dads library) and pre redtube I found the descriptions of nuns finger blasting themselves massively arousing. Dunno if it’s declining t levels but this time around I’ve been more struck by the authors knowledge of Hebrew cosmology and the work of the Golden Dawn hermetics.

7/10

Listening to The Path by Michael Puett which is good. A summary of Taoist and Confuciun ideas applied to modern life. Throw in a masturbating nun and it would get a 9, but it lingers on 8/10 instead
Don't try too hard, don't not try too hard

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