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Postby coldharvest » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:51 am

Do you mean "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" by T.E. Lawrence

Yeah but there's only 3 you need to give a shit about.
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Postby Slam » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:24 pm

I'm reading The Moral Animal by Robert Wright at the moment. It's a fascinating insight to evolutionary psychology.

Also reading Das Reich by Max Hastings on the side. It covers the 2nd SS Panzer Division move across France to Normandy and the French resistance and British sabotage against it.
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Postby flipflop » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:46 pm

"Vineland" by Thomas Pynchon, next it's "Fugue for a Darkening Island" by Christopher Priest

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Postby Stiv » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:52 pm

Image
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Postby cochiseintheeast » Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:31 pm

For those interested in Seven Pillars, and have endless hours of freetime at work like me you can read the book online.

http://www.wesjones.com/sevenpillars%2000.xml
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Postby Jimbo » Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:03 am

I'm not reading anything in particular right now but the next book I'll read is Pynchon's new one Against the Day. I can't find it in the Bangkok booksotres so my family is sending it to me, a good way to start the new year I suppose. All the reviews I've read so far say it's very good and a few reviewers/critics belive it's his best novel (although I think Gravitys Rainbow is hard to beat). The new one clocks in at 1,000 plus pages so I guess I'll be reading it for a while, but like any Pynchon novel (maybe with the exception of The Crying of Lot 49) it's worth the long haul. I've always liked his books and writing and was quite surprised he cranked out another behemoth of a novel. Anybody know how old the guy is?
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Postby roadkill » Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:05 am

Jimbo wrote: Anybody know how old the guy is?


69, born 1937
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Postby cochiseintheeast » Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:40 pm

Has anyone read Rebecca West's "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: a journey through Yugoslavia" ?

I am thinking about picking it up for my next trip, though at 1200 pages its a little longer than my usual journey-reads. Would love to hear thoughts from the Black Flag reading club.
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Postby Sarmonster » Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:48 pm

The Adventurist -FINALLY got my hands on The Adventurist, which I devoured. Though the "chapter snippet" format has left me with about a million questions.

Darwin's Watch -Pratchett, Stewart, Cohen. Fascinating, yet silly. The science is more interesting than the plot.

Angels & Demons -Dan Brown. This book sucks at a level I should not begin to describe or I will not stop.

Eragon -Another fantasy writer who was inspired by people who were inspired by people who were inspired by Tolkein. I DARE you to find something in that book that isn't cliche. This is somewhat forgivable, as the author was 14 when he wrote it. If you have a literate minor at home, you could probably find a used copy for next to nothing, and they can join the cool kids and read it before seeing the movie.
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Postby Slam » Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:52 pm

Stiv wrote:Image


I'm downloading the Strangers with Candy film at the moment since they're taking forever releasing it in any format. Hopefully it'll be as good as the TV series.
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Postby Mikethehack » Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:28 am

In Search of Iraq: Baghdad to Babylon by Richard Downes

A wonderful book that is probably the best, and most unique of its kind on the country and situation I have read.

I was expecting a book by a journalist about journalists and to be quite frank that is what I was hoping for, but instead discovered it to be a well written and well balanced mix of history, geography, politics and humanity.

I swore I wouldn't read another book about Iraq because I was sick of them and didn't approach this book with any enthusiasm, but he does have a nice, man-of-the-people curiosity about Iraq and let's them tell their own stories, without casting judgement on them.

He does a good job of describing the small colours and shades of the land and its complex history and problems, without getting too poetic or dwelling on trivial details, while still giving you a decent feel of where you are. You already know it's a mess and he doesn't insult your intelligence with the big story.

In short it's very educational and works well as both a travel guide and history book on a country that badly needs to be treated with kid gloves by all those involved.

This is rather rare praise on my part and not without criticism, because the photos are crap (with the exception of the cover, which does a good job of conveying the beauty of what is inside) and don't do the prose absolutley any justice at all. I hope he takes a serious look at this in the next printing. I am sure there is plenty of photographs and old drawings that could illustrate the story a lot better.

He could also leave out the 'I nearly died' stuff, which takes away from the lives of his subjects. the tension of the chaotic country is always at the back of the reader's mind and he never lets you forget the time you are in, without letting it drown out the interesting detail.

His gentle interaction works better and his skill as an observer and ability to map the character of the country is his strong point. You feel like you are there with him and he tells the story like someone who has really done their homework on the country, learning at street level, from amongst the people, and not from haughty history.

To hell with the politics and daily mass murder because life still goes on and this is what he describes in rich detail. It fills in a lot of gaps in the complex tapestry of what makes Iraq what it is.

It is not in any chronological order (which is different, but works well here), instead dealing with each subject on its own, such as his times with Sunnis, Shia, the Marsh Arabs and Coalition troops, concentrating on the humanity that makes up the mass of what is Iraq today.

The book is without doubt exceptionally educational and has plenty of eye-opening curiosities which make the book what it is. He allows the people there more dignity than they give themselves.

He could be described as being a good ambassador for the real people of Iraq, who are not all blood-thirsty savages, but who have a rich history that will live long after this day is over.

It is very easy to read and he gently draws you in, giving you a well rounded picture of his subjects, be they people, buildings or sects without getting lost in the detail.

Recommended.
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Postby Stiv » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:02 am

Slam wrote:
Stiv wrote:Image


I'm downloading the Strangers with Candy film at the moment since they're taking forever releasing it in any format. Hopefully it'll be as good as the TV series.


It's one of the funniest guides to entertaining guests you'll ever read. The photographs contained within are hysterical.

The humor borders on genius.

The film may dissappoint you a little bit but if you are a fan it's a sufficient fix.

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Postby frequentflyer » Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:14 am

@snaark: Boah, really haven't been on form recently. I did mean "Seven Pillars of Wisdom". It must have been late ;)

ff
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Postby svizzerams » Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:16 pm

snaark wrote:
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?

[Now that is wierd.


Maybe its the Reader's Digest condensed version of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.... ;-)
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Postby Royal » Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:50 pm

yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
Last edited by Royal on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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