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Postby kylie » Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:15 am

and your opinion on this book? i liked the descriptive passages about afghanistan's people and country, the explanation of politics and religion. The story was very good (redemptive) and not "hollywood" but i ain't down with that btutfuckin shite...i was not expecting that and i guess that is somewhat of a sucker punch but hosseini can write a book to be sure...


I like it so far, but I just started it. I'm sure I will have more of an opinion by the end of the weekend.
A friend of mine suggested it and said it was interesting book about the differences in human behavior and what compels people to take risks.
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Postby vagabond » Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:54 am

Took me about a day to slog through The Places in Between. Yes, it was brave what he did, I guess, and the history and culture are interesting but I didn't find it that remarkable, nor as tomorrow's NYT Book Review will call it "a masterpiece of travel literature". It didn't strike me as too awfully memorable, inspiring, daunting, or anyway made me become involved with him. It felt more didactic, though some parts were funny. I don't know, just didn't get into it.
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Postby kilroy » Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:53 pm

soulohio wrote:
kilroy wrote:i'd also like recommend khalid hosseini's 'the kite runner' to absolutely anyone who can read and hasn't read it yet.


and your opinion on this book? i liked the descriptive passages about afghanistan's people and country, the explanation of politics and religion. The story was very good (redemptive) and not "hollywood" but i ain't down with that btutfuckin shite...i was not expecting that and i guess that is somewhat of a sucker punch but hosseini can write a book to be sure...


great story, hosseini is wonderful at using words to create imagery and put the reader in the scene. dont want to give anything away for those who haven't read it, so i'll just say it's very gut-wrenching and the use of foreshadowing really makes you want to keep reading. it's one of the few fiction books that i found myself enjoying in recent times.
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Postby tlcfj40 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:56 pm

Just finished "Under and Alone", very good read about an ATF agent's undercover work with the Mongols Motorcycle Club.

Now, I'm reading "The Football Factory" by John King. So far, so good, a fictional story about the "lads" and supporters from Chelsea FC.

I'm on the waiting list for "The West's Last Chance" and "Continent in Crisis" at my library.
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Postby SRR » Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:59 pm

Anyone read the new Pynchon novel yet? Looks cool. I might need a decade to get through it, though.
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Postby Penta » Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:36 am

One thing I really liked about The Kite Runner was that the author wasn't afraid to be emotional, unlike most western male writers. It made it almost like a woman's book: obviously not a soppy girly confection, but strong, muscular emotion. It's a novel of guilt and reparation, exile and loss, and very moving.

I'm reading Harry Thompson's This Thing of Darkness, a historical novel about Captain Robert Fitzroy and the Beagle. Hugely entertaining and informative. (Thompson was also a comedy writer and producer, responsible for unleashing Ali G on an unsuspecting world, among much else. This was his first and only novel. Shortly after publication, and when it had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, he died of lung cancer, having never smoked in his life. A real loss.)
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Postby HoboMan » Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:55 am

I just finished Sunday by the Pool in Kigali. I pick up anything I can on the genocide. Went to a lot of the memorials while I was there. I also picked up some new book...can't remember the name...about contractors in the war on terra. Some shit like that;)

I agree with that Pynchon call...I'm still trying to get through Gravity's Rainbow.
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Postby frequentflyer » Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:26 pm

Just finished "Rules of Engagement - A Life in Conflict" by Tim Collins. It's about the experiences of a British officer in Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland, and finally southern Iraq. Very interesting read, especially if you are interested in the difference between the US and the UK approach to (post-conflict-) operations. And he write well, too. Has always surprised me that the senior British officers that I have read or come across personally are very articulate. Impressive!

My current occupation doesn't permit me to plan three books in advance but then again "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms" comes in four volumes. That'll be my next read.

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Postby kilroy » Tue Dec 12, 2006 9:02 pm

My current occupation doesn't permit me to plan three books in advance but then again "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms" comes in four volumes. That'll be my next read.


excellent choice, the story is truly the definition of epic, i highly recommend it. have you read 'journey to the west'?
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Postby snaark » Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:04 am

I thought The Places In Between was one of the best travel books I've ever read. I particularly like Stewart's style of writing - he doesn't waste space on superlatives, he just casually describes what's happening and lets the incredulousness of the situation evoke your emotions. I'm currently reading his followup Occupational Hazards (I've also seen in published under the name The Prince of the Marshes). Its ostensibly his diaries from when he was a provisional governor in Iraq between 2003-2004. Its a big departure from TPIB but it still has Stewart's unique style of writing - informative but not particularly emotive. Its a good look at the political/economic development in Iraq from a grass-roots level, as opposed to the opinion of some beaurocrat/journo in Baghdad or Washington. It can be confusing at times because of the number of characters involved, but I guess thats the idea.

Other books I'm reading (or planning to):
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
The Snow Leopard (getting pretty bored with this one)
The End of Poverty (not really getting into this one either)
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Postby frequentflyer » Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:31 pm

kilroy: No, I haven't read "Journey to the West". I take it, you are recommending it? I am a China buff and wanted to read something about their ancient history i.e. the sort of stuff that does not get taught in Western schools. That's why it's "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Was a b*tch getting hold of an unabridged version though, and my bookshop still hasn't got it in either.

snaark: I can recommend "Three Pillars of Wisdom". It's especially useful if you want to become more familiar with Arab mentality and culture. I put it down halfway-through because I couldn't balance Chinese and Arab culture at the same time and China is my current priority.

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Postby kilroy » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:52 pm

frequentflyer wrote:kilroy: No, I haven't read "Journey to the West". I take it, you are recommending it? I am a China buff and wanted to read something about their ancient history i.e. the sort of stuff that does not get taught in Western schools. That's why it's "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Was a b*tch getting hold of an unabridged version though, and my bookshop still hasn't got it in either.

snaark: I can recommend "Three Pillars of Wisdom". It's especially useful if you want to become more familiar with Arab mentality and culture. I put it down halfway-through because I couldn't balance Chinese and Arab culture at the same time and China is my current priority.

ff


yes, i am definitely recommending it. and if you are especially looking at getting some older chinese lit, you should just get all of the four great classics of chinese literature. in addition to 'romance of the three kingdoms' and 'journey to the west', they are 'outlaws of the marsh' (it's also known as 'water margin') and 'dream of the red chamber'. they are all quite good.
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Postby Penta » Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:08 am

snaark wrote:I thought The Places In Between was one of the best travel books I've ever read. I particularly like Stewart's style of writing - he doesn't waste space on superlatives, he just casually describes what's happening and lets the incredulousness of the situation evoke your emotions. I'm currently reading his followup Occupational Hazards (I've also seen in published under the name The Prince of the Marshes). Its ostensibly his diaries from when he was a provisional governor in Iraq between 2003-2004. Its a big departure from TPIB but it still has Stewart's unique style of writing - informative but not particularly emotive. Its a good look at the political/economic development in Iraq from a grass-roots level, as opposed to the opinion of some beaurocrat/journo in Baghdad or Washington. It can be confusing at times because of the number of characters involved, but I guess thats the idea.

I agree on The Places in Between: I've praised it on several thread. Occupational Hazards is on my Christmas wishlist.

Weird thing happened yesterday: I'd been reading the FitzRoy/Darwin novel very late the night before. Turned on the radio in the morning, and it was the middle of a reading from Darwin's diaries from the same same date as the chapter I'd just finished, with the same incidents. Delightful coincidence.
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Postby Texas Carnie Roadshow » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:06 am

A couple days ago, I went through Dean Koontz's new book, "Brother Odd."
The latest of the "Odd Thomas" stories, which are very good, in my opinion.
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Postby snaark » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:27 am

frequentflyer wrote:snaark: I can recommend "Three Pillars of Wisdom". It's especially useful if you want to become more familiar with Arab mentality and culture. I put it down halfway-through because I couldn't balance Chinese and Arab culture at the same time and China is my current priority.


Do you mean "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" by T.E. Lawrence or is this another book?

Weird thing happened yesterday: I'd been reading the FitzRoy/Darwin novel very late the night before. Turned on the radio in the morning, and it was the middle of a reading from Darwin's diaries from the same same date as the chapter I'd just finished, with the same incidents. Delightful coincidence.


Now that is wierd.
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