What are you currently reading? (part 2)

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

Postby oho » 2021-02-02, 16:35

Atomic Habits by James Clear.

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

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2021-02-02, 17:01

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Totally different than what I expected. I thought it was Canadian, to begin with.
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Corrections appreciated.

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

Postby Car » 2021-02-02, 17:35

Rí.na.dTeangacha wrote:Nice, that's going on my reading list, thanks! Of his political books, I've only read Losing the Race (2000) and Winning the Race (2005). I can recommend Losing the Race quite highly, it's not too long a book (Winning the Race is a bit longer) and it sums up his main points quite well. Aside from making an argument relevant to the present-day right-left culture war, it's also just an interesting insight into Black America, which wasn't a topic I was particularly familiar with.

You're welcome and thanks back!

I don't know if you know Goodreads, but maybe you want to join (if you aren't a member already) and add some former and current UL members?

I haven't posted about any books I read recently in ages, so I might as well mention The History Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. I really like the series, I've already read some of them by now and, while not all are equally good, they explain a lot in short chapters.
Please correct my mistakes!

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

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-02, 17:54

I can't seem to focus on one thing. I'm still ostensibly reading Y pla though I haven't been able to punch through this particular chapter for days. To help me understand the background, I started reading John Davies A history of Wales, but, as interesting as it is, I'm not sure I'm committed to reading all thousand pages or so. (I'm currently just before the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot.) Meanwhile, I picked up Laxness' Sjálfstætt fólk (Independent people in Thompson's English translation) again, which I left off reading a couple of years ago for reasons that are no longer clear since the writing is absolutely brilliant.

Planning ahead, I usually get a yen to read some East Asian fiction around the time of the Lunar New Year so I've already preselected some titles from my to-read shelves. I'd like to finish at least one of these books before starting yet another however.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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

Postby Yasna » 2021-02-03, 15:19

I've returned to 兄弟 (Brothers) by Yu Hua after a long hiatus. It's a somewhat lengthy book (646 pages) and I simply ran out of steam after finishing the first of its two parts several years ago.

I'm also reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, a novel which imagines that the titular network for fugitive slaves was an actual railroad.

linguoboy wrote:To help me understand the background, I started reading John Davies A history of Wales, but, as interesting as it is, I'm not sure I'm committed to reading all thousand pages or so.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn this book was originally written in Welsh.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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

Postby Rí.na.dTeangacha » 2021-02-03, 16:12

Car wrote:
Rí.na.dTeangacha wrote:Nice, that's going on my reading list, thanks! Of his political books, I've only read Losing the Race (2000) and Winning the Race (2005). I can recommend Losing the Race quite highly, it's not too long a book (Winning the Race is a bit longer) and it sums up his main points quite well. Aside from making an argument relevant to the present-day right-left culture war, it's also just an interesting insight into Black America, which wasn't a topic I was particularly familiar with.

You're welcome and thanks back!

I don't know if you know Goodreads, but maybe you want to join (if you aren't a member already) and add some former and current UL members?


I had heard of it, but never used it. I've just set up a profile there now, I'll go post it on that thread :)
(pt-br)(ga)(ja) - Formerly Ciarán12

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

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-03, 16:47

Yasna wrote:I've returned to 兄弟 (Brothers) by Yu Hua after a long hiatus.

I read a bit of that (in translation) to get a since of whether it was something I wanted to tackle. I was undecided, so I figured it could wait.

Yasna wrote:
linguoboy wrote:To help me understand the background, I started reading John Davies A history of Wales, but, as interesting as it is, I'm not sure I'm committed to reading all thousand pages or so.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn this book was originally written in Welsh.

So was I! Sometimes when I'm reading a passage, I'll try to imagine how it was phrased in the original. Maybe someday I'll actually find out.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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

Postby Car » 2021-02-03, 17:32

Rí.na.dTeangacha wrote:I had heard of it, but never used it. I've just set up a profile there now, I'll go post it on that thread :)

I've added you there. :)
Please correct my mistakes!

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

Postby Yasna » 2021-02-05, 15:43

linguoboy wrote:I read a bit of that (in translation) to get a since of whether it was something I wanted to tackle. I was undecided, so I figured it could wait.

I'm about two thirds through it and can report that although the book does not aspire to any great heights, it is dripping with humanity and humor. Although some of the humor is unlikely to translate well, like this ridiculous (in a good way) episode one of the characters just recounted based on a pun of 酒吧 and 98.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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

Postby linguoboy » 2021-03-08, 16:45

Irish season again! I'm reading Colum McCann's TransAtlantic and loving it. Almost finished with the book but the next chapter is about the Troubles so I'm bracing myself for some rough going. I really appreciate how he's managed to weave his characters through the disjointed narrative in a way that doesn't feel too forced.

I've got one story left in Dúil and one left in a book of Behan's shorter fiction and I'm determined to finish both this month. (Of course, if they were easy to read, I would have read them already, right?) For my sins, I've also picked up Motherfoclóir again with the intention of finishing it this time so I never have to look at the damn thing again.

And I also went back to Lotte in Weimar last night because I'm missing German. I am way out of practice with formal German prose and the reason I set it down before was that I'd run into the extended monologue in chapter 7. Finding out that this was quoted in the Nuremberg Trials, however, has got me interested again.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-03-15, 5:27

I've finally started reading Verukal by Malayattoor. [ˈʋeːɾɯgəɭ] in Malayalam means 'roots', and at least from what I've heard, it's similar to Roots in that it's about the author's family history in some way. It's even shorter than Randidangazhi, IIRC, but I'm reading it so slowly. I started a few days ago at least, and I'm not even through the first chapter yet!

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

Postby Yasna » 2021-03-16, 4:49

I finished reading 兄弟. I laughed, I cried, it was a journey.

Now I'm reading 熱愛大自然 草木禽獸性生活 (Passionate Nature: The Sex Lives of Plants and Animals) by Nick Wang. An illustrated version of course.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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

Postby Yasna » 2021-03-19, 0:05

I finished reading The Underground Railroad. I loved Whitehead's writing and the premise was highly original. But there is one aspect of the book I'm torn about, namely its exaggeration of the horrors of slavery (the North Carolina chapter in particular). On the one hand, it's an alternate history, so embellish all you want. On the other hand, it seems to me that one of the author's goals was to convey the horror of slavery. But once you realize that some aspects were exaggerated, it makes you wonder what other aspects might be exaggerated, especially less easily verifiable ones. This took away something of the power of the book for me. Still, an excellent read.

I started reading A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles by Thomas Sowell.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-03-19, 5:39

I'm on chapter 2 of Verukal and have also begun reading a bilingual edition of 《赵氏孤儿》 or Zhao the Orphan, a novel based on the Chinese opera. I guess I might as well try to read a bilingual novel before I try reading an entire novel exclusively in Chinese.

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

Postby linguoboy » 2021-03-19, 16:36

Finished the McCann, the Behan, and the Ó Flaithearta, so I moved on to a big fat book of short stories by
Seán Ó Faoláin that I kind of forgot I owned. I also went back to my beloved copy of An béal bocht and reread some of my favourite passages. Flann O'Brien has such a wonderful sense of humour and masterful command of idiom that reading him is always a joy, in Irish or in English.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-03-19, 21:41

Finished reading chapter 2 of Verukal (ten more to go :P). I'm not sure whether this book will really go into the main character's family history (apparently based on Malayattoor's own), but it is at least covering his childhood and grandfather's generation. He (like Malayattoor himself) is a Tamil Brahmin, so everyone in his family speaks in Tamil (and, in some cases, English) to each other though they speak Malayalam (and English again) to everyone else. In this case, unlike in other Malayalam literature, the author kind of acknowledges the potential difficulty on the part of the reader in interpreting dialogue in what this case is recognized as another language altogether (rather than simply a variety of Malayalam) and occasionally includes footnotes for some of the Tamil words in the story.

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

Postby Yasna » 2021-04-15, 20:18

I finished reading 熱愛大自然 草木禽獸性生活. Learned some interesting facts about animal and plant reproduction, but the author wasn't half as funny as he thought himself to be.

I started reading 宿命 (Fate) by Zhou Haohui, part two of the 死亡通知单 (Death Notice) series. I didn't read part one, but it seems like a self-contained, standard detective story, so who cares.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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

Postby TheStrayCat » 2021-04-15, 23:43

Just finished Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain, earlier than I thought I would. A very enjoyable book.

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

Postby Ahendu » 2021-04-16, 19:17

Finished 1/4 of Anna Karenina and sort of stopped few weeks ago. I plan to continue reading though.
Characters didnt grasp me as some of war and peace, but there's many more pages beyond.

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

Postby linguoboy » 2021-04-16, 19:28

Going through a stack of books, I found a bookmark about halfway through a copy of Arvind Adiga's Between the assassinations, a collection of interlocking short stories set in the fictional coastal town of Kittur. Realising that I didn't even remember acquiring the book, let alone reading it, I started it again from the beginning.

Meanwhile, I've stalled in pretty much everything else I was reading. I was making good progress on a volume of Bolaño's collected stories until I hit one with a heterosexual love triangle. If I never again read another work of fiction with that setup it'll be too soon.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


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