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What are you reading?

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Ishmael View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ishmael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2014 at 3:12pm
Originally posted by russell russell wrote:

Originally posted by Ishmael Ishmael wrote:

"Yankees in the Land of the Gods", again. A really riveting book. What a weird weird encounter. It's truly amazing to think about how expansionary the US was already in the 1850s. Of course we know about the frontier of "the west" but really the whole Pacific was a frontier by mid 19th century.

I'll have to look for that.  I recently finished Sea of Glory by Nathaniel Philbrick.  It's the story of the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842.  It too takes place mostly in the Pacific, and speaks to U.S. ambitions and "insular annexations" as well.  It was quite an amazing adventure led by a total bastard.


That one has been on my very long Amazon wish list for a long time now. Sounds like the US Expedition of the Pacific and the Japan expedition were both run by bastards. Commodore Matthew Perry was a real dick as well.

The only work I've read by Philbrick is his "Why Read Moby Dick". Very interesting ( for a Melville fan). But it doesn't hold a candle to CLR James masterpiece: "Mariners, Renegades and Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and World the We Live In". Although it may sound like I'm going off on a tangent, CLR James actually brings us back to that "total bastard" in charge of the ship through his reading of Captain Ahab as Melville's perfect characterization of Totalitarianism.

http://tashqueedagg.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/herman-melville-moby-dick-ahab-and-c-l-r-james/

Although an academic work and not a Philbrickian page turner, the best recent book I've seen on America in the Pacific is Bruce Cumings: "Dominion from Sea to Sea: Pacific Ascendancy and American Power". Should be required reading. Cumings is an Asianist (Korea) and he brilliantly counters the Atlantic and landed frontier interpretations of history with a Pacific and marine interpretation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote topgearskin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2014 at 3:35pm
I got that for Christmas as well. Been saving it for travel but I've already had a start on it. I think it's very good.
I'm currently getting through "careless love" by Peter guralnick. It's a trivia fest for Elvis fans. "Last train to Memphis" was an education and this is part two.
I'd recommend both books.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote *lefty* Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Mar 2014 at 1:33pm
I just finished these this week. As someone who very interested in ossuaries, it was wonderful to find such amazing books on the subject. The author seems to have had special access to some locations and permission to set up lighting in others. I've been to a number of these spots, but there are so many more to see. 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0500251959/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0500251789/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i03?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote Double 0 Soul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2014 at 1:24am
A customer of mine gave me this book on Monday, Work was put on the back burner yesterday.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Ht4tHL8sL.jpg

Stories from the 40,s about a young boy (he was 6 in 1948) growing up in one of Sheffields poorest areas to a working class family (they were typically working class at that time but we would consider it outright poverty by today's standards) The spoken dialect is written phonetically most of which has died out in Sheffield, all the old sayings brought back memories of how my Nan used to speak when i was a kid. Made all the more enjoyable because its set around the same locality as my work address albeit all the housing has gone replaced by international student accommodation mixed with small business. A fast lighthearted read but i really enjoyed it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mandel9000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2014 at 10:47am


Bob Stanley's Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. At 747 pages it's quite a long read, but it's broken down into short, well-written chapters that makes it easy to get through. I'm only 1/3 through and started reading while travelling, but I think I'll start over when I'm done and listen to the songs that are mentioned. 

With the scope Stanley has chosen, from when the first pop charts appeared in 1952 up until the launch of iTunes in 2000, every genre, sub-genre or musical development is discussed only briefly, but oh, all that fun trivia! I'm sure it will be very useful at my weekly pop quiz!


Edited by mandel9000 - 26 Mar 2014 at 10:54am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote redchris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2014 at 3:30am




Edited by redchris - 27 Mar 2014 at 3:36am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bob Dale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2014 at 1:51pm



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Ishmael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2014 at 7:03pm
Just finished this. What a great book. DVR was not only a great musician, but a social critic with an outstanding eye and a great sense of humor.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mayor-MacDougal-Street-2013/dp/0306822164/ref=dp_ob_image_bk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ishmael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2014 at 3:12pm
Brief excerpt from a soon to be released book--"Song of the Shirt"--on the relation between de-industrialization in Bengal and the rise of Manchester etc.

http://www.twnside.org.sg/title2/resurgence/2014/283-284/view1.htm

And followed up in the Guardian with the suggestion that China is doing the same today.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/20/britain-took-more-out-of-india
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Double 0 Soul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2014 at 3:06am
Eased myself into the day with Hewligans Haircut. A charming tale about Hewligan the only sane man in the loony bin. Enjoying "Care in the Community" Hewligan walks the streets hallucinating wildly. He sports a rather fetching haircut that contains a magic hole.
He manages to break the law somehow? on the run he goes through a Cubist Wavelength from an art dimension and into a repeating Warhol Wavelength. On they go through different dimensions: a West End musical, until they catch a double decker bus to Easter Island.




The rest of the day time well spent... Eleanor Coppola's first hand account of the making of Apocalypse Now.



In 1976 Francis Ford left Cali with his wife and kids to shoot Apocalypse Now. Eleanor has documented every detail of the creative process, months stretch into years and without spoiling it lets just say everything gets a little excessive and everyone gets emotional... Some great photo,s of the cast and crew on set in the Philippines.



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