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 If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...

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PostSubject: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:40 am

... what are you reading at the moment?

I'm re-reading Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves.

Graves was the author, war poet and friend of Siegfried Sassoon. They both served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers together. The book is his autobiography, concentrating mainly on his military service. As a matter of Irish interest he came of Limerick stock, his grandfather having been the C of I Bishop of Limerick.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:44 am

I'm re-reading A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
It's very good
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:53 am

I remember laughing myself sick at The World According to Garp one college summer many years ago. Owen Meany might even be untouched on a bookshelf here...

Right now I'm reading The Outcast, by Sadie Jones for another bookclub. I read 120 pages the other night despite having set out to only read a chapter a night and it's very readable and surprisingly well paced, judged and written for a debut novel. I'm enjoying it so far.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:00 am

Rereading The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan and The Northern Crusades (which seems to have disappeared this evening).
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:34 am

Being the lightweight around here - Im reading "the secret world of the Irish Male" - a collection of articles and random thoughts by Joseph O Connor - hysterically funny - especially the World Cup 94 articles which I virtually wet myself reading.

I love his recent stuff - especially Star of the Sea - but he is a gifted comedic writer and reading this reminds you just how funny he can be.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:13 am

The Great Deception is my current read and it's going very well. I've gotten a perspective on moves towards European unity from before the Second World War of which heretofore I had not been aware.

I'm still treating the under-current of Euroscepticism with suspicion since it is written from a very British, very Europhobic standpoint. The book is very Anglocentric which makes it difficult to relate to as an Irish person.

It's well written and the sources are all down the bottom of the page as footnotes so it isn't a treasure hunt when you're looking to see the source of a point in the back of the book.

I'd recommend people to read it to get into someone like Nigel Farage's mind, but I still would disagree with its objection to the European project. However, I am more positively disposed to inter-governmentalism as a result of reading the Great Deception.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:04 pm

At Swim-Two-Birds. Fucking smashing stuff, why I didn't read it before I don't know! 
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:26 pm

Reading Maul by Tricia Sullivan. Picked up second hand in Vibes and Scribes. So far its an interesting sci-fi thriller. Bladerunner in a mall, fer wimmen, or something.

I could have got "the secret world of the Irish Male" cheap, but I thought the humour would now be old hat by now. Edo's post makes me think again.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:29 pm

Edo wrote:
Being the lightweight around here - Im reading "the secret world of the Irish Male" - a collection of articles and random thoughts by Joseph O Connor - hysterically funny - especially the World Cup 94 articles which I virtually wet myself reading.

I love his recent stuff - especially Star of the Sea - but he is a gifted comedic writer and reading this reminds you just how funny he can be.
I bought that for a friend who got very drunk pre-flight and decided to read it on a trip from Dubai to Lagos. The passengers around him were not best pleased. 
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:29 pm

Is it suitable reading matter for a Lady ? Question
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:05 pm

Looking at the date inside my copy cf, I see that I'll have it ten years in October. You could read it in short sections - it's a collection of essays rather than a story.

And yes, it's suitable reading matter for a lady. You'll enjoy it. When I make some inroads into the teetering pile on the bedside locker I might just read it again myself. It is good stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:51 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
At Swim-Two-Birds. Fucking smashing stuff, why I didn't read it before I don't know!

I really enjoyed that when I read it - great book.

Currently reading Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar. I was seduced by the review from the New York Times where the reviewer said it was the best book he had ever read. It's going well so far - good to put one back in the mind of a young penniless bohemian in love with art.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:00 pm

Cactusflower, I moved this to here because it was in an ISAQ thread which is not really where it belongs ...........


cactus flower wrote:

Slim Buddha wrote:
cactus flower wrote:Still can't find the Galbraith book. I'll have to order a new one.
The Elan story is sad. At least they were trying to bring forward a drug that wasn't a shelf "remedy" for the common cold.

In the meantime, cactusflower, you could read "The Collapse of Globalism (and the Reinvention of the World) by John Ralston Saul. Published first in 2005, it is published by Atlantic Books, London. I have started it and it is absolutely absorbing. Basically he is saying globalisation, as we know it, is dead. Interesting premise.

So interested am I that I can't wait to know what the premise is based on... bounce

Would a very short summary be possible?

He basically treats economic thinking as a form of religion. Keynesianism was replaced by Friedmans monetarism in the 1970s and this died around the end of the century. In the early 21st century, nationalism has returned and globalism/monetarism is in retreat. The US acts unilaterally, the French and Dutch reject the EU constitution, (we had our own EU-related vote) and Saul suggests that China and India, both states that have benfitted from globalisation, are profoundly nationalistic states.

I believe he is right on a lot of what he says. All attempts to lock-in corporatism, particularly as a right-wing monetarist economic concept, are coming hopelessly unstuck. The WTO is rapidly becoming irrelevant as bi-lateral and multi-lateral RTAs are becoming the norm. Latin America has turned left as Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Uruguay and, remarkably, Chile all have centre-left governments. Even here, though we may not have realised it at the time, we have electorally finished off the PDs as a party leaving, unfortunately, Harney in health to destroy what is left of our health service before the game is up. In New Zealand, they even changed the electoral system to get rid of the monetarist virus.

The pendulum is swinging back again slowly.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:02 pm

And here is my reply moved from the ISEQ thread:

Very interesting slim buddha. I think I'll read that. Personally I am convinced that both the tendencies you describe and the tendency to globalisation are at work, the world being a very contradictory place. It certainly balances the picture out and in a healthy way goes against the tendency to focus on the Evil Empire as the only significant force in world politics.


cactus flower
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:15 pm

Just finished The Forgotten War by David Fiddimore. It's the third in the Charlie Bassett trilogy (or maybe it will become a series).

Starting The Last English King by Julian Rathbone this evening.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:47 am

I just finished The Outsider by Sadie Jones. It's a beautifully written tale of brokenness and a wonderful debut novel.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:31 am

I picked up The Late Paddy Murphy by Paddy Reynolds for only 5 euro the other day while down the country for a few days. It starts very well but I'm not sure about it now that I'm a hundred pages in. I'll soldier on and see how it goes.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:11 pm

I'm reading Imperium By Robert Harris at the moment.



It's a dramatisation of the rise of Cicero in Rome.
The trial of Gaius Verres was fantastic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicero
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:19 pm

Maybe a Roman theme to the next Book Club choice ?
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:26 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Maybe a Roman theme to the next Book Club choice ?

Perhaps aedile.
They had a helluva political structure back then.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:58 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
At Swim-Two-Birds. Fucking smashing stuff, why I didn't read it before I don't know!

Ag Snám-Dá-Én. Haven't read it myself, but I have read Buile Shuibhne. It is a really odd story middle Irish story which has to be one of the strangest things ever written. The manner in which it uses a man, dressed in feathers, who thinks he's a bird yet pines in poetry for his former life, yet still managing to evoke pathos is one of the strangest literal experiences I've had in the Irish language. It is both whimsical and satirical, pathetic yet playful, and it is no surprise that it should have attracted the attention of the bould Myles. The descriptive language employed is both harsh and beautiful, and the character arc, though blunt and primitive is actually rather interesting considering the time in which it was composed. It's a gem in itself, and someone really should update the language an re-publish it for the modern Irish speaking audience.

edit: And for those who are confused by the name, at swim-two-birds (though it's probably explained in the book), it's actually a placename in Buile Shuibhne on the Shannon, as I have written above, ag snám-dá-én. Snám lit. swim, was a name given to a point in a river which allowed one to swim across it.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:06 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
I'm reading Imperium By Robert Harris at the moment.



It's a dramatisation of the rise of Cicero in Rome.
The trial of Gaius Verres was fantastic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicero

I've read that 3 times EVM. I agree with you that it is smashing stuff. It is a great story well-supported but not suffocated, by historical detail. I highly recommend it to anyone who either likes the classical world or someone who likes a good political thriller.

I'd also advise you to read Pompeii by the same author first. It's a bit like The Hobbit to this Fellowship of the Ring. Harris is planning a trilogy around this story and the next instalment, Conspiracy, is due out this Autumn. Needless to say I'll be queuing up to get my hands on one of the first copies.

Harris is a fantastic author. I've also read another of his books entitled Fatherland which is a beautifully-detailed dystopia. It's a fascinating exploration of what might have been if Hitler had emerged triumphant from the Second World War.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:39 pm

Harris is one of my favourite authors. They only problem I find with him is that his books are not long enough. I bought The Ghost in Hodges and Figgis on Friday evening, started reading it on the way home and was finished by 4am Saturday morning. And The Ghose while very enjoyable wasn't his strongest.

Fatherland, and Archangle are fantastic but Imperium blows them both out of the water.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:50 pm

I'm reading McMahon and Binchy Irish Tort Law and Cherie Blair's autobiography.
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PostSubject: Re: If you're not reading the Book Club Choice...   Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:07 pm

johnfás wrote:
I'm reading McMahon and Binchy Irish Tort Law and Cherie Blair's autobiography.

WHich is the better read ?
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