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  #8781  
Old 28-11-2017, 05:27 PM
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I'm currently reading The Baron in the Trees (Il Barone Rampante) by Italo Calvino, literally the story of an Italian noble who, at the age of twelve, climbs a tree after an argument and spends the rest of his life without setting foot on the ground again. It's classified as philosophical fiction and is a metaphor for independence. Not exactly a page-turner, it's interesting without being thrilling.
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  #8782  
Old 28-11-2017, 06:30 PM
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I'm currently reading The Baron in the Trees (Il Barone Rampante) by Italo Calvino, literally the story of an Italian noble who, at the age of twelve, climbs a tree after an argument and spends the rest of his life without setting foot on the ground again. It's classified as philosophical fiction and is a metaphor for independence. Not exactly a page-turner, it's interesting without being thrilling.


Why are you reading this?
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  #8783  
Old 29-11-2017, 01:13 PM
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I'm currently reading The Baron in the Trees (Il Barone Rampante) by Italo Calvino, literally the story of an Italian noble who, at the age of twelve, climbs a tree after an argument and spends the rest of his life without setting foot on the ground again. It's classified as philosophical fiction and is a metaphor for independence. Not exactly a page-turner, it's interesting without being thrilling.
I read Invisible Cities by him. It was sold to me as sort of fantasy world building without the need for plot and who doesn't like a well built fantasy world?

Each chapter is a different imagining of Venice, as told by Marco Polo.

Sounds great. It's not. Most of the chapters are "prose poems" (exactly!) and every few chapters the narrator discusses the ideas with a fictional Kublai Khan, which are little more than an excuse for some essays on art, literature and so on.

Having said all that, some of the raw ideas are wonderful: a city made up of water pipes only, one where a traveller must appreciate the city only as it used to be by comparing p[ostcards from the past, and so on. Ultimately unsatisfying, as each of the cities takes only a page each. Their just thumbnail sketches without detail, not so much imagined cities and lots of short ideas. Meh.
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  #8784  
Old 29-11-2017, 06:12 PM
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Why are you reading this?
I saw a precis of it in The Observer recently and was intrigued so decided to give it a go.
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  #8785  
Old 04-12-2017, 10:16 AM
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I've now moved on to The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman, the classic account of the beginning of the First World War.
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  #8786  
Old 05-12-2017, 03:08 PM
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I've now moved on to The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman, the classic account of the beginning of the First World War.
A great book. She is not exactly an enthusiast of the way Britain conducted itself in the lead-up to the declaration of war.
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  #8787  
Old 05-12-2017, 03:12 PM
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I'm reading 'The French Revolution' by Ian Davidson. It really is striking to me how well-intentioned the revolutionaries were, and how they were undermined by their own ineptitude at running the economy, causing the sans-culottes to start a class war or face starvation. Of course, that's the simplified version!
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  #8788  
Old 05-12-2017, 03:26 PM
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Our Man in Havana - just excellent.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:13 PM
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Just finished "The Remains of the Day" by Kazuo Ishiguro : a beautifully written book with a sensitivity and awareness of the human condition which is impressive. I have also read The Buried Giant and Never Let me Go by him - i enjoyed both. He really is a great author.
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  #8790  
Old 05-12-2017, 04:19 PM
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I read the last of those. I want to read more.
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:08 PM
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I really enjoyed Never let me go and The Buried Giant. Couldn't get along with Remains of the day, The Unconsoled or When we were orphans at all.
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  #8792  
Old 06-12-2017, 10:12 AM
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A great book. She is not exactly an enthusiast of the way Britain conducted itself in the lead-up to the declaration of war.
She isn't an enthusiast of the way any of the major powers involved conducted themselves.
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  #8793  
Old 06-12-2017, 04:21 PM
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I've now moved on to The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman, the classic account of the beginning of the First World War.
She also wrote "A Distant Mirror" which focuses on the 14th Century using the life of a French nobleman as a springboard to delve into various topics. One of my favourite books.
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  #8794  
Old 06-12-2017, 09:50 PM
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The Prestige by Christopher Priest , the excellent film removed a lot from the book. The novel is inventive, imaginative and by the end, quite haunting.
Now started a biography of King Edward I by Marc Morris.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:25 AM
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I've now moved on to The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman, the classic account of the beginning of the First World War.
Good book and stands up well against the recent crop on the same subject. Funnily enough, I've just been reading The March Of Folly which I think was her last book. It examines why governments sometimes pursue policies which are plainly against the national interest, referring particularly to Troy v Greece, Britain and the American War of Independence and the USA in Vietnam. Well researched and thought provoking but of course not relevant to any current issues....
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:17 AM
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Now started a biography of King Edward I by Marc Morris.
I read that recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:29 PM
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Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz

Got it for a pound from a charity shop, interesting book and first in the series.

I got Ben Kane's Hannibal now, got recommended by the book club at work
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:42 PM
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Deadly Messengers - Susan May. Reads like a 90's made for tv movie, not great.

A Man With One of Those Faces - Caimh McDonnell. Took a little while to get in to, but as silly as it was, I laughed right the way through (well, that in your head laugh that you do when reading), the story was very good and I liked the characters. Moved directly on to it's sequel - That Day Never Comes, which I'm enjoying so far.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:08 PM
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Just finished reading 'The Day That Never Comes' quite typical that I got the title wrong in my previous post . Anyway, it's another funny, entertaining story that I couldn't put down. Caimh McDonnell is now on the list of authors that I will read without fail upon release (unless they're a bit pricey, in which case I'll wait a while).

Just about to start the prequel to the last couple of books that goes by the name of 'Angels in the Moonlight: A prequel to The Dublin Trilogy'.
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