Connie

What's the last book you read?

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On February 24, 2018 at 6:35 PM, Connie said:

Recently finished Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, which I liked more than I thought I would, and Whatever Happened to Faith by Robert Millet, which is a great book.

Have a bookmark in this now. My first exposure to it was a book on cd from the library that I listened to while at work. Took me almost the whole two-week lending period to get through it, but I enjoyed it enough to want to pick it up and actually read it. I'm a slow reader, so it'll take me a year to finish it, but I enjoy it.

I'm almost finished with this season's reread of Willa Cather's "O! Pioneers." Always enlightening and quoteable.

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On 3/3/2018 at 11:41 PM, seashmore said:

I'm almost finished with this season's reread of Willa Cather's "O! Pioneers." Always enlightening and quoteable.

I haven't read that one. I'll have to give it a go sometime.

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Let’s see. I’ve read a fair amount since the last time I posted.

I gave A Room with a View by E.M. Forster a try and didn’t like it at all.

The Five Times I Met Myself by James Rubart was thought provoking as was Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (aka, Agatha Christie).

I finally tried The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Can’t say I was super impressed. The story itself is pretty good if you don’t mind Lord of the Rings knockoffs, but there were some things that annoyed me enough that I probably won’t finish the series.

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35 minutes ago, Connie said:

Let’s see. I’ve read a fair amount since the last time I posted.

I gave A Room with a View by E.M. Forster a try and didn’t like it at all.

The Five Times I Met Myself by James Rubart was thought provoking as was Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (aka, Agatha Christie).

I finally tried The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Can’t say I was super impressed. The story itself is pretty good if you don’t mind Lord of the Rings knockoffs, but there were some things that annoyed me enough that I probably won’t finish the series.

I didn’t understand A Room with a View. I didn’t understand why the Emmerson’s were unacceptable consequently., the story did not work for me. I had the feeling that there was some sort of philosphy that was being promoted that I did not get.

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35 minutes ago, Sunday21 said:

I didn’t understand A Room with a View. I didn’t understand why the Emmerson’s were unacceptable consequently., the story did not work for me. I had the feeling that there was some sort of philosphy that was being promoted that I did not get.

It didn't work for me either. That's pretty much what I felt was wrong with it... that he was so busy trying to push his agenda or make some great philosophical point that he didn't even really bother telling the story.

32 minutes ago, Sunday21 said:

@Connie I order the 5 times Book! Thank you! 

No problem. I hope you enjoy it. I thought it was really interesting and would love to hear your thoughts about it when you've finished.

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"Educated" By Tara Westover.

Good book - honest, sad, thought provoking.  

"My Dream Is Bigger Than I: Memories Of Tomorrow" By Akiane Kramarik

The latter is poetry - so deep and mysterious and beautiful.  Girl was like 8-12 years old when she wrote a lot of it.  i don't know that i ever finish a poetry book - at least not a good one.  It's something i read whenever i feel in that kind of mood - that never quite gets old.

"Divided By Faith" by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith

Title is misleading in my opinion.  Author focuses on how evangelical religion accentuates racism in the US - but i think the biases he talks about extends to almost everyone - and are not at all unique to any aspect of Christianity.  The best book about societal issues surrounding race i've ever read.  

"The Unwomanly Face of War" by Svetlana Alexievich and Julia Emelin.

It's mostly a bunch of interviews about soviet women who fought in World War II against the germans.  i've never fought in any kind of a battle - but this strikes me as being incredibly accurate.  Portrays just how senseless and horrific i imagine the gritty details of war to be.  Her book Secondhand Time: The Last Of The Soviets is equally good.  i love this author.  Like Tolstoy, but non-fiction.

Edited by lostinwater

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I read a book called  Del amor y otros demonios is originally Spanish but there is English version called of love and other demons. Is not happy book but I liked it is by author Gabriel García Márquez

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Asperger's Children

Very interesting listen.  Fascinating (and horrifying) to see the extent to which the ideals of the Nazi state continue to affect what behaviors we consider to be indicative of autisim today.  i'd never really considered the idea that what constitutes a pathology largely depends on what constitutes normality - and how both of those are constantly evolving.

The Sound of Gravel

About a girl who was raised in a polygamist/fundamentalist Mormon (not Mormon) sect.  Unbelievably sad.  Yet another reason i detest polygamy.  

No God But God

Written by a man i'll tag as a Muslim apologist.  Explanation for why Islam is the way it is, and the way it was intended to be, at least according to him.  This book, along with An American Family has changed how i view Islam.  It's really interesting to see how the need for Islam to evolve is acknowledged within Islam in a way i don't see elsewhere, and how the middle eastern culture has influenced Islam and been influenced by Islam.

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It’s all relative by AJ Jacobs. The description of his love of genelogy, his efforts to organize the world’s biggest family reunion to which everyone was invited. He had a ted talk on this. He got help from a lot of people including the lds genelogy society. He gives us a plug! Says we are the world’s best at organizing people! 

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Guest MormonGator

I've been on a horror binge lately. Been reading a lot of Bentley Little books. The Store, The Mailman, The Association...

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7 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

I've been on a horror binge lately. Been reading a lot of Bentley Little books. The Store, The Mailman, The Association...

 Any psychological horror?  That's what I like, no blood and guts - no supernatural, just Hitchcock-esque on the edge of your seat horror.   :)  

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3 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

 Any psychological horror?  That's what I like, no blood and guts - no supernatural, just Hitchcock-esque on the edge of your seat horror.   :)  

He does some psychological horror but it's also very gory. R rated and not for everyone. 

Edited by MormonGator

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33 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

Darn, thanks anyway.   :)   

 

Sorry @LiterateParakeet 😞. I'll keep my eye out for a good psychological horror novel though! 

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A few I've finished recently:

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. While I can't say it's my favorite Dickens, it was enjoyable.

Pure in Heart by Dallin H. Oaks. All about the importance of our motives and desires. Really good stuff!

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. Maybe I'm missing the point, but I thought it was awful.

I did actually get around to reading O Pioneers. I liked it.

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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson was enjoyable. Not sure I would recommend it for beginners, but it makes for a great review if you are already familiar with the concepts.

Utopia by Thomas More was interesting. I definitely wouldn't want to live there!

Through His Eyes: Rethinking What You Believe About Yourself by Virginia Pearce (one of Gordon B. Hinckley's daughters) was great and very thought provoking.

Power to Become: Spiritual Patterns for Pressing Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ by David A. Bednar is fantastic! The entire series is great. Highly recommend.

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Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Chernow has a background biographing industry leaders who transformed the economy. It should be no surprise then, that Chernow shines brightest when detailing Hamilton's work establishing the Treasury department. Unfortunately, once he gets beyond that he shows 3 weaknesses (really 2, but one more bugged me even if you can live with it).

First, Chernow struggles with presentism throughout the work. Jefferson is a villain, not because he philosophically opposes the titular character, but because he owned slaves and was ambitious. Jefferson's opposition is painted as aggression while Hamilton's own ambition (to my reading anyway) was minimized. I thought Chernow's presentism was largely confined to vilifying slaveholders, but as with the Jefferson issue, he seems to take it as given that Hamilton's bank and debt plan were better (if not the best) economic principles for the new nation. That country mouse just can't understand how it is the city mouse is doing the right thing... and how can modern country mice understand if you don't document it for us, if only in footnotes (see point three). And again it was displayed when some legislative matter came up about the right to speak out against the presidential administration. Chernow notes how out of character is was for Hamilton to support something so unconstitutional. I grant that it may have been unconstitutional at the time, but Chernow doesn't demonstrate historical legal mastery sufficient to give me confidence in his assessment.

Second, Chernow relies heavily on rumor and innuendo. We open with the text examining his relationship with a childhood friend. Did I say "friend"? Maybe it's "brother". Or not, but let's keep in mind we're not sure and they do look alike. So they're just friends.... or brothers. Similarly, has a bit of a reputation for catching the ladies' fancies, but only provides evidence of a single long-term indiscretion. If you provide quotes describing a Biden-level flirt, but keep referencing his Clinton reputation, you had better provide me more than Reynolds to establish it. And if you won't establish it, stop winking about it. And that goes double for his wife's sister!

Third, documentation for further information. Chernow seems to take a lot for granted, and I have to assume that such is the case because he'll make assertions without a footnote. My first thought when reading about Hamilton's maybe-brother was whether or not anyone did a DNA test, or why not. The few footnotes didn't address that at all. Luckily I persevered and got some information in the Acknowledgements! Additionally, if something was as well established Chernow hints at (as with his cheating nature or supposed adultery with Angelica Church), then there should be multiple sources in the footnotes. Similarly, if a person want's to better understand what Jefferson had against Hamilton's systems, there is no "for further reading..." note. Chernow's word is the last one.

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On 9/11/2018 at 9:37 AM, mordorbund said:

Why is that?

Ah, mordorbund. Always prompting me to engage my brain and think deeply. Maybe we should start a Utopia thread. We can call it "One man's Utopia is another man's Dystopia."

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