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Old 01-16-2008, 11:25 AM   #81
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I'm just getting started with "Atonement" by Ian McEwan and 20 pages in, it feels like a great read. When I've finished, I'll see the movie. It won Golden Globe for Best Picture.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:30 AM   #82
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"War and Peace," Wow! I never got through that one but did finish "Anna K."
Anna K is great too, but my favorite is still War & Peace. I read somewhere today that the book has 560 different charecters, especially with those Russian names, it can be hard to keep track!
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:32 AM   #83
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Over the last year, as part of a "self-improvement" project to read the literature I never got around to in high school or college, I read:

Hemingway's--- For Whom the Bell Tolls
Steinbecks------East of Eden
Stegners'-------Angle of Repose

I am now on a US history theme with:
Philbrick's-------Mayflower
McCollough's----John Adams

I have found lots of food for thought in both the fiction and the non-fiction. East of Eden especially had a bit about "choice" and "free will" which provoked thought.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:36 AM   #84
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Anyone for Don Quixote by Cervantes? I read various reviews, and it "sounds" like a good book, supposed to be "great" literature. I took a look at the size and was a bit discouraged, it is huge, lots of pages.

I am wondering, as just a story, is it a good read? Gets you to turn the page? Is it satisfying on more than one level, as well as being a good enough story to get and keep you involved?

It has lasted some 400 something years, I guess there must be something to it?
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:26 PM   #85
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I'm just getting started with "Atonement" by Ian McEwan and 20 pages in, it feels like a great read. When I've finished, I'll see the movie. It won Golden Globe for Best Picture.
Atonement is an awesome book and McEwan is a great writer! Even if I don't see the movie, having read it is enough for me, but I'll probably go ahead and watch it when it becomes available on DVD. Saturday is another book of his that I read and liked.

I was home sick for 2 days and managed to read the first 2 chapters of Hubbert's Peak. I don't normally read science books and it is dense/heavy for me despite Deffeyes' knack for explaining things. Well, he is a Princeton Professor Emeritus after all, but as HaHa said he writes in a folksy manner and injects humor into his writing.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:34 PM   #86
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Anyone for Don Quixote by Cervantes? I read various reviews, and it "sounds" like a good book, supposed to be "great" literature. I took a look at the size and was a bit discouraged, it is huge, lots of pages.
Kinda makes you feel like you'd be tilting at windmills from looking at the size of it, huh?

But maybe, the only obstacles are the windmills of your mind. So be quixotic and go for it!
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:34 PM   #87
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I'm just getting started with "Atonement" by Ian McEwan and 20 pages in, it feels like a great read. When I've finished, I'll see the movie. It won Golden Globe for Best Picture.

I love to see the movie after I've read the book to see how they did it.Some books are good movies . Some movies do not make sense unless you've read the book .
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:34 PM   #88
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Kinda makes you feel like you'd be tilting at windmills from looking at the size of it, huh?

But maybe, the only obstacles are the windmills of your mind. So be quixotic and go for it!
OK, your challenge has set me up for it. I'll read it. (Give month 3 or 4 months though to get to it).
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:49 PM   #89
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Anna K is great too, but my favorite is still War & Peace. I read somewhere today that the book has 560 different charecters, especially with those Russian names, it can be hard to keep track!
Should I be embarrassed to admit that I kept a handwritten list of characters and their inter-relationships by my side while reading it?

Still waiting eagerly for my KJV Bible to arrive. I promise I won't keep a list of characters while reading Numbers.
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:24 PM   #90
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Thanks everybody for contributing to this thread . I now have many books lined up to read and plenty of library suggestions !
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Old 01-16-2008, 07:02 PM   #91
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OK, your challenge has set me up for it. I'll read it. (Give month 3 or 4 months though to get to it).
I was joust havin' fun. I've never been anywhere near Don Quixote although I hear a lot of references about him and those windmills.

Like you, I plan to read some classics someday. Once in a while, I do pick up one of them. I read my first second Charles Dickens book a couple of years ago--A Tale of Two Cities. I enjoyed it!

want2retire, I am daunted now by War and Peace. Sounds too much like what I do at work, having to make something like an ERD (Entity Relationship Diagram) in order to understand it.
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Old 01-16-2008, 07:21 PM   #92
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I was joust havin' fun. I've never been anywhere near Don Quixote although I hear a lot of references about him and those windmills.

Like you, I plan to read some classics someday. Once in a while, I do pick up one of them. I read my first second Charles Dickens book a couple of years ago--A Tale of Two Cities. I enjoyed it!

want2retire, I am daunted now by War and Peace. Sounds too much like what I do at work, having to make something like an ERD (Entity Relationship Diagram) in order to understand it.
I had War and Peace on my list at one point, but somehow it got off (maybe cause it looked like another "huge" book ). I did read (wade thru)about a third of Crime and Punishment once. War and Peace reminds me of a Seinfield episode where someone (Elaine?) came up with a title for a new book---"War, What's it Good For".

Charles Dickens books---now those are a dickens of a good read! Anyone who can write "A Christmas Carol" you just know has lots of insights to point out to his readers about human nature--all while entertaining you.

And I am going to read Don Quixote. Various reviews have convinced me there is an entertaining and thought provoking story in there.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:18 PM   #93
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I had War and Peace on my list at one point, but somehow it got off (maybe cause it looked like another "huge" book ). I did read (wade thru)about a third of Crime and Punishment once. War and Peace reminds me of a Seinfield episode where someone (Elaine?) came up with a title for a new book---"War, What's it Good For".

Charles Dickens books---now those are a dickens of a good read! Anyone who can write "A Christmas Carol" you just know has lots of insights to point out to his readers about human nature--all while entertaining you.

And I am going to read Don Quixote. Various reviews have convinced me there is an entertaining and thought provoking story in there.
First: Crime and Punishment is NOT a "wade through" type of book!!!! I loved that book, and though I haven't read it for 46 years maybe I'll read it again one day.

Second: We had to read a Charles Dickens book (and a Shakespeare play) every year from 7th through 12th grade for school. Funny thing, the one that I hated most was Great Expectations, and it is the one that I remember best and that I am reminded of frequently. Who could forget the jilted Mrs. Haversham and her rotting wedding gown?

Third: Don Quixote is worth reading, and I think it's a bit lighter than Crime and Punishment (though I preferred the latter).
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:07 PM   #94
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First: Crime and Punishment is NOT a "wade through" type of book!!!! I loved that book, and though I haven't read it for 46 years maybe I'll read it again one day.

Second: We had to read a Charles Dickens book (and a Shakespeare play) every year from 7th through 12th grade for school. Funny thing, the one that I hated most was Great Expectations, and it is the one that I remember best and that I am reminded of frequently. Who could forget the jilted Mrs. Haversham and her rotting wedding gown?

Third: Don Quixote is worth reading, and I think it's a bit lighter than Crime and Punishment (though I preferred the latter).

It was many years ago when I was still working when I started into Crime and Punishment. Very likely I was not in a "conducive" mental attitude at that point. Maybe I'll try it again.

I remember Great Expectations from high school too. Pip is who I recall in it.

Good to see another thumbs up for Don Quixote. I may go down to the used book store soon and snag a copy.

Another book I enjoyed some years back is The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder. Can't remember for sure, but I think San Luis Rey was a Pulitzer prize winner many decades ago.

Speaking of Shakespeare, I guess if I am going to improve myself, I likely should add one of his to my list. Any suggestions? If it helps narrow down, I like something that entertains with the story itself and gets you to turn the page, but also something that when you're done it leaves you thinking afterwards.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:54 AM   #95
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Atonement is an awesome book and McEwan is a great writer!
I stumbled on Enduring Love, by McEwan, at the library and picked it up because the jacket blurbs intrigued me. I had just seen Atonement but didn't realize it was the same author. In any event, the book was very good. It starts with a horrifying accidental death and uses the reactions to that incident to explore obsession, doubt, guilt, faith, science... - all wrapped up in a Hitchcockian mystery. Now I will have to read a couple more McEwans.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:16 AM   #96
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Speaking of Shakespeare, I guess if I am going to improve myself, I likely should add one of his to my list. Any suggestions? If it helps narrow down, I like something that entertains with the story itself and gets you to turn the page, but also something that when you're done it leaves you thinking afterwards.
Macbeth is the one that caused me to think afterwards the most, and it is pretty riveting (as Shakespeare goes, anyway). But really, you can't go wrong.

Shakespearian English can be very difficult to understand if you aren't used to it, so I would recommend getting a version with lots of footnotes and explanations, and studying them as you go along so that you get the full impact of what was written.

I have never read the Bridge of San Luis Rey - - will have to put that one on my list!
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:05 PM   #97
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My favorite Shakespeare plays:

Macbeth
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
Henry V
Richard III
Othello
King Lear
Romeo and Juliet
Twelfth Night
Merchant of Venice
The Tempest
Much Ado About Nothing
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:32 AM   #98
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Last night I started reading one that I had been meaning to read for a long time, and that will be very familiar to most of you... The Bogleheads' Guide To Investing by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf. I got through the first third of it (about 100 pages) and I have to admit that it is an absolutely excellent introduction to investing. It starts at an lower level of knowledge than I feel I have, actually at a beginning level, but I have still learned a few things. It is very well written and entertaining, as well as being very up-to-date.

I have been reading over at Morningstar Vanguard Diehards Forum for several years and then the Bogleheads Forum since it began, so I feel I know Taylor Larimore and he seems like a sensible person to me. Let it never be said that I wasn't reading and trying to educate myself in investing.

I also got a few other books from "the list" or that I had heard good things about on these boards, so they are next. (Well, at least until my new Bible comes in next week.)
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:11 AM   #99
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Shakespearian English can be very difficult to understand if you aren't used to it, so I would recommend getting a version with lots of footnotes and explanations, and studying them as you go along so that you get the full impact of what was written.
Agreed, but Ole Billy contributed quite a bit to our vernacular.


Shakespeare also invented many of the most-used expressions in our language. Bernard Levin skillfully summarizes Shakespeare's impact in the following passage from The Story of English:
If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I were dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! for goodness' sake! what the dickens! but me no buts - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare. (Bernard Levin. From The Story of English. Robert McCrum, William Cran and Robert MacNeil. Viking: 1986).
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:12 AM   #100
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Just whipped thru the new Andrew Morton book about Tom Cruise. I learned more than enough about Scientology than I ever cared to know. Truly a cult. Scary for sure!!!!
Interesting but not fascinating information in it about Cruise. Not the creep I thought he was. You actually feel sorry for him as the fool in love who overwhelms his women with overcontrol--only to, as nature would have it, turn them off of him instead of turning them on.
Good simple minded page turner when you aren't in the mood for heavier stuff. Takes no time to read, really.
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