What are you currently reading? (part 2)

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-11, 6:08

Read one more chapter of Randidangazhi today, seem to have gotten caught up with Mayura Sandesham, and have started translating another paragraph of my grandfather's diary. Haven't bothered much with learning new words in Malayalam this week yet, though.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Varislintu » 2017-02-18, 22:33

There's this murder case in Finland that happened 10 years ago, a very complicated case which is as-of-yet unsolved (since the murder victim's wife was cleared of guilt in the highest court after being tried at different levels for like 7-8 years). It has a lot of oddities to it, not least the fact that at one point, the murder victim's wife was accused of Satanistic ritual abuse of her own children (and finally convicted of the sexual abuse of them).

That's basically what I've been reading about (online) this year while breastfeeding, instead of books. :lol: But I bought the murder victim's wife's memoirs for myself for a Christmas present, and now I'm reading those.

I personally think she's innocent of both the murder and the child abuse, or at the least I'm appalled that she's been convicted of both on the evidence that they have of either (which is very little). To say I've lost faith in our police and justice system would not be an overstatement.

I find especially the accusations of Satanism mindboggling. Feels like this needs to happen at least once in every country/region. There needs to be a case of Satanism-hysteria, everybody needs to go nuts and lose all perspective, and then quietly come to their senses and not talk about it anymore. It's just so embarrassing that the famous one in the USA happened like in the 90s and we here in Finland have ours in the frigging 2010s.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Osias » 2017-02-19, 2:59

Keno Don Rosa's Uncle Scrooge biography.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-19, 3:41

Nothing particularly new to report here; today, I did basically the same thing I did the last time I posted here. I have just four chapters left to read in Randidangazhi. I haven't gotten anywhere past the 36th quatrain of Mayura Sandesham yet. Reviewing everything up to that is hard, especially given my stuffy nose that requires me to pause at least once every few quatrains so I can still breathe. Right now, I'm tempted to say, "God, how does anyone ever memorize an epic poem?!" even though I have no intention of giving up now. I've only translated two sentences so far out of a fairly long paragraph of my grandfather's diary today. :para:

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-23, 17:45

Not only did I finish Anna Karenina, I went back to Life and death are wearing me out (《生死疲勞》) and polished that off as well. It was difficult at first remembering the convoluted relationships between all the characters, but it paid off as he began winnowing them and gathering the survivors together. The chapter where he interweaves two narrative streams to emphasise the poignancy of the protagonist's estrangement was particularly effective.

I also took some time out from both books to read A mercy by Toni Morrison. As I told someone the other evening, "Nothing she writes isn't good, but this wasn't her best work." And I made at stab at A kilencedik (The ninth) by Barnás Ferenc. I was hoping for something with the subtlety of Hamilton's Speckled people or Sidhwa's Ice candy man and wasn't finding it, so I lost interest.

Now, at my brother's suggestion, I've moved on to Fritz Leiber's Our Lady of Darkness. I was looking for something to give me the flavour of San Francisco in 1977 and this book has got that in spades. (It also has a fair chunk of 1970s old het White guy sexism, but that just comes with the territory.)
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-25, 21:07

Just finished reading Chapter 23 of Randidangazhi and translating that relatively long paragraph of my grandfather's diary I had started working on last weekend. I've started reading the next two quatrains of Mayura Sandesham as well, but honestly, I'm still having enough trouble remembering the first 36.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2017-03-01, 20:30

Started reading Lermontov's Герой нашего времени (A hero of our time). I know it's considered a classic of Russian literature, but the racist and imperialist framing (i.e. two Russian colonial officers complaining about how the simpleminded local "savages" won't simply roll over and accept their domination) is pretty offputting.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Michael » 2017-03-02, 7:37

I've started reading the Bible in Portuguese. It'll probably take me like a year to get through it, but it's about time I finally devote some free time to actually reading the Book.
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“Ic eom māra þonne þes middangeard; lǣssa þonne håndwyrm; leohtre þonne mōna; swiftre þonne sunne.”

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Luís » 2017-03-02, 9:30

Michael wrote:I've started reading the Bible in Portuguese.


I've tried to do that when I was younger but gave up.

I'm currently reading Время секонд хэнд (Portuguese title: O Fim do Homem Soviético) by Светлана Алексиевич.
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Michael » 2017-03-02, 21:32

Luís wrote:
Michael wrote:I've started reading the Bible in Portuguese.


I've tried to do that when I was younger but gave up.

Eu também já tentei, e desisti de, ler a Bíblia na minha própria língua materna (a renomada versão padrão, chamada de "Versão Autorizada do Rei Jaime"). O que eu acho que me ajudará a mim, e quiçá até a ti, sendo os dois ateu, é tratarmo-la como qualquer outra obra literária, e não darmos nenhum tipo de "importância sagrada" às suas palavras (porém, isso já é compreendido, naturalmente) — afinal de contas, diz-se que virará ateu quem se puser a lê-la. :lol:

Mas mesmo se isso não fosse o caso, eu por fim queria conseguir ler o Novo Testamento no grego helenístico ("koiné") original com mais facilidade, o qual tenho querido realizar por vários anos, ainda se todavia terei que estudar o meu curso de grego bíblico.
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“Ic eom māra þonne þes middangeard; lǣssa þonne håndwyrm; leohtre þonne mōna; swiftre þonne sunne.”

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-03, 0:36

I know I've kind of said this before but to reiterate: I tried reading a modern English version of the Bible as a teenager, but the narration gets so incredibly boring (sometimes, it somehow manages to be both totally absurd and extremely boring at the same time) at times I had to give up eventually.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Michael » 2017-03-03, 1:20

vijayjohn wrote:I know I've kind of said this before but to reiterate: I tried reading a modern English version of the Bible as a teenager, but the narration gets so incredibly boring (sometimes, it somehow manages to be both totally absurd and extremely boring at the same time) at times I had to give up eventually.

I'm certainly not as excited about reading the Bible, in any language, as I would be toward reading, say, a science-fiction novel by my favorite author who writes literature of that genre, but I've always felt a personal obligation to, like, actually sit down and read the alleged "Most Popular Book in History" in its entirety, despite now being atheist. Well, I'm actually somewhat excited about reading the New Testament, especially in the original Koiné Greek. :D
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“Ic eom māra þonne þes middangeard; lǣssa þonne håndwyrm; leohtre þonne mōna; swiftre þonne sunne.”

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-03, 1:24

I've tried reading the Bible, I've read lots of Hindu and Buddhist mythology, and I definitely prefer the Hindu and Buddhist stuff to the Bible even though my extended family is Christian and my dad frequently sings hymns and occasionally even quotes the Bible in Malayalam even though he's atheist. I'm actually not a very distant relative of some of the most prominent members of the Mar Thoma Church.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Osias » 2017-03-03, 1:57

Michael wrote:
Luís wrote:
Michael wrote:I've started reading the Bible in Portuguese.


I've tried to do that when I was younger but gave up.

Eu também já tentei, e desisti de, ler a Bíblia na minha própria língua materna (a renomada versão padrão, chamada de "Versão Autorizada do Rei Jaime"). O que eu acho que me ajudará a mim, e quiçá até a ti,

:yep: :yep:
sendo os dois ateus, é tratarmo-la como qualquer outra obra literária, e não darmos nenhum tipo de "importância sagrada" às suas palavras (porém, isso já é compreendido, naturalmente) — afinal de contas, diz-se que virará ateu quem se puser a lê-la. :lol:

Mas mesmo se isso não fosse o caso, eu por fim queria conseguir ler o Novo Testamento no grego helenístico ("koiné") original com mais facilidade, o qual tenho querido realizar por vários anos, ainda se todavia tiver que estudar o meu curso de grego bíblico.
2017 est l'année du  (fr) et de l' (de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-05, 3:38

I read Chapter 24 of Randidangazhi to my dad this evening just before dinner and now have just two chapters left to go. It was pretty long but no wonder: It's about lower-caste slaves making history by organizing into labor unions under the hammer-and-sickle banner of the Communist Party to demand basic rights while their owners, middle-class people like my own family, pretty much just sat there shittting their pants. Sounds legit. :lol:

I seem to be having a little bit of luck remembering the last two quatrains of Mayura Sandesham, too. I haven't really tried seeing whether I can remember all 36 of the ones I've studied so far, though, and still have to keep track of new vocabulary, I guess. Hopefully, I can round out the day by cranking out a translation of another paragraph of my grandfather's diary (I've started but haven't finished it yet. Luckily, the paragraph is a bit shorter than I initially thought).

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2017-03-05, 6:03

The Lermontov is picking up. Once he stops dicking on poor Caucasian peasants and instead skewers Russian society, it gets about 300% better. And funnier! I literally laughed out loud on the el during the scenes set in Pyatigorsk.

In the meantime, I started reading Sleeper at harvest time, an English translation of «Спящий во время жатвы» by Leonid Latynin, an author so obscure that not even the PhDs in Russian literature I've shown the book to have heard of him. It's difficult to classify. Technically, it's a fantasy novel, but when you say that everyone expects dwarves and elves rather than werebears and witches.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-12, 1:49

25 chapters (of Randidangazhi) down and one more to go! This chapter wasn't as dramatic as a lot of the others and was largely about political speeches. I also managed to write out a bit more of my grandfather's diary; I suppose you could say I finished the paragraph I started last week, though at this particular point in his diary, it's a bit hard to tell where exactly he intended to make a paragraph break. No progress on Mayura Sandesham so far, though. I think I've been distracted too much by languages.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Yasna » 2017-03-14, 15:30

I finished In Europe's Shadow, thanks to which I am now wanderlusting for Romanian, Polish, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Russian, and Turkish. Other than that torment, it did a great job bringing to life for me the history, culture, and geopolitics of Romania and its surrounding lands. It's an easy to overlook region, but you're richly rewarded if you do look closer.

I also read 猫の客 (The Guest Cat) by Takashi Hiraide, which was pleasant and heart-warming without being banal.

Now I'm reading The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life by Nick Lane.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby TheStrayCat » 2017-03-14, 15:41

Reading Macroeconomics for Today by Irvin B. Tucker so as to have a better understanding of what is going on in the modern financial world. It is basically a well-written and comprehensive textbook for newbies which assumes no prior knowledge - much more than I would ever expect to get for $1.

Also reading You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney, about dozens of cognitive biases and logical fallacies most of us are guilty of. Except that the author often repeats himself and, in my opinion, splits very similar phenomena into different categories, it is really fun to read and reflect on.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Yasna » 2017-03-14, 16:39

TheStrayCat wrote:Except that the author often repeats himself and, in my opinion, splits very similar phenomena into different categories, it is really fun to read and reflect on.

So many popular non-fiction books display this tendency. Usually I can find an article written by the author on the given topic which contains pretty much all that needs to be said. It saves a lot of time by just reading the article and skipping the book.
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