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Thread: VSalon Infinite Book Listicle - What Are You Reading Now

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    One of the things I cannot grasp is how he creates the sense that a character is thinking. Usually there is an omniscience in sections like that - where the 3rd person omniscient narration says something like "he began to add events in his head, remember the places each character had been..." so that the reader knows what the character is thinking about. But LeCarré's characters just think and the reader is left to wonder what they are thinking about at that moment, and then later as the story evolves, the reader realizes what was being thought about through the actions of the character. He even has the characters ask questions that don't seem important and then end up being key later in the book. As a reader, you know to look out for these things, but somehow he gets them past you. Spy craft.

    LeCarré's real name was David Cornwell, and he was an intelligence officer. LeCarré was used as his pen name, because he couldn't use his real name while working for MI5. However, when Kim Philby handed over a list of British agents, Cornwell was on that list and that meant his cover was blown. So he had to retire. And that's where Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy came from - the Soviet mole in The Circus.

    My wife's colleague in England became acquainted with a gentleman named David Cornwell through a mutual friend. Cornwell asked if he'd mind reading a manuscript he was working on, not for editing, just his impressions. So he did and then forgot about it. Some time later he heard someone talking about a book in which this and that happened and so forth, and he realized that was the manuscript he had read, except the author's name was John LeCarré. I forget which book it was, Night Porter or Constant Gardener, one of the later books. The end result was that her colleague became a reader of manuscripts for this David Cornwell who published as John LeCarré, and he didn't tell anyone until after Cornwell died in 2020.
    A book of LeCarre's letters was published posthumously. I'd like to read that.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...s-accomplished

    And while I'm at it, Sam Neill's accidentally biography.

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/202...moir-interview

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    for non-fiction, anything by Daniel C. Dennett, but especially Consciousness Explained. Life-changing book, seriously.
    Two things that I find endlessly fascinating: human consciousness and time.

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Quote Originally Posted by rmplum View Post
    Easy lifting, but I flew through this series in weeks (and googled a lot of vodka even though I don't drink vodka):

    Orphan X series by Gregg Hurwitz.
    I enjoyed this series and have been reading my way through Michael Connelly Bosch series along with his other “characters “. Not heavy but entertaining.

    Mike
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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Reporting back now that I've finished Les Misérable and Tinker Tailor

    The last 350 pages of Les Mis was generally good, but I think I was at my wit's end when Hugo tried to differentiate an insurrection from a rebellion. Just some awful bits of sophistry, all to serve as apologia for his involvement in one revolution and his eschewing of another. But it did make for overall enjoyable reading.

    I started both Constant Gardner and Tinker Tailor, and I found myself more drawn to the latter. @j44ke is pretty spot on re: the literary devices used, and I think I lost out on some of the important details the first time through. I think it'll be a re-read this year or the next.

    I now also have a "good" problem, being that reading Le Carré at bedtime is probably not going to help me sleep, so I need something slightly more "boring".

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    Default Re: VSalon Infinite Book Listicle - What Are You Reading Now

    I enjoyed both of those Le Carré books. Still haven’t watched the movie adaptations but I do have a long flight coming up in August.

    Currently reading A Woman of No Importance. Just finished Michael Chabon’s Pops short story collection. Might read Susan Orlean’s The Library Book next.

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    Default Re: VSalon Infinite Book Listicle - What Are You Reading Now

    Def get the BBC series version of Tinker Tailor (available on BritBox, may allow episode downloads) as opposed to the 2010 movie remake. Although there are a few rather clever scenes in the movie remake, I think some of the ambience is lost.

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    Default Re: VSalon Infinite Book Listicle - What Are You Reading Now

    The He-Man Effect
    How American Toymakers Sold You Your Childhood
    by Brian "Box" Brown




    Fascinating, so far. And not just because one of my kids is a toy designer. Or because I was the bullseye of this demographic.
    Trod Harland, Pickle Expediter

    Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin

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    Default Re: VSalon Infinite Book Listicle - What Are You Reading Now

    Beaver Land 'How One Weird Rodent Made America'.

    I'm just reading the part about how beaver pond and meadow systems are great at flood mitigation, water storage and treatment. Having seen that first hand only the cleansing part surprised me.

    The chapters on fur trapping in the current day are pretty interesting too.

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    Daniel C. Dennett, but especially Consciousness_Explained
    Another admirer of Dennett here*.

    In my opinion however, the best recent book on consciousness is Stanislas Dehaene "Consciousness and the Brain".

    FWIW I was slated to do my PhD in this area before I changed tack and Dehaene thoroughly debunks one of the ideas I was going to investigate.

    * My wine brand is Quiddity, after a book by Willard Van Orman Quine. Dennett coined the use of Quine as a verb: to quine something is to reason it out of existence.
    Mark Kelly

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Everyone should read American Prometheus. Whether you go see the movie also, that's up to you. But read the book.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Everyone should read American Prometheus. Whether you go see the movie also, that's up to you. But read the book.
    Robert Caro's works aside, I've yet to find anything as engaging...

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    Default Re: VSalon Infinite Book Listicle - What Are You Reading Now

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Everyone should read American Prometheus. Whether you go see the movie also, that's up to you. But read the book.
    I’ve watched the movie and would like to read the book.

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Everyone should read American Prometheus. Whether you go see the movie also, that's up to you. But read the book.
    In the Nolan film version, Batman captures Klaus Fuchs.

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    Default Re: VSalon Infinite Book Listicle - What Are You Reading Now

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott G. View Post
    In the Nolan film version, Batman captures Klaus Fuchs.
    In the Nolan film version, Dr Crane sprays Oppenheimer with his toxin.

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott G. View Post
    In the Nolan film version, Batman captures Klaus Fuchs.
    A good case of nominative determinism for someone so very sly

    And perhaps someone in the Nolan film version (say Dr. Crane) exiles Edward Teller to a nuclear wasteland gulag. What an odious man...

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    A good case of nominative determinism for someone so very sly

    And perhaps someone in the Nolan film version (say Dr. Crane) exiles Edward Teller to a nuclear wasteland gulag. What an odious man...
    Booked him for a radio interview back in the 90s. Wasn’t a great interview, but some of that was the producer’s fault. He did not like to be referred to as the father of the hydrogen bomb.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    A good case of nominative determinism for someone so very sly

    And perhaps someone in the Nolan film version (say Dr. Crane) exiles Edward Teller to a nuclear wasteland gulag. What an odious man...
    In Nolan film, the post credit scene setting up the sequel, shows Teller meeting with Dr. Strangelove, who speaks of sympathetic General.

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    I just finished To Fly and Fight by Bud Anderson. Bud was a triple ace in WW2 and continued to fly for the Air Force in Vietnam. I learned about him from a Jocko Podcast. He's in his upper 90s and still sharp. In the famous scene in The Right Stuff where Chuck Yeager flies to the edge of space before losing control and ejecting, Bud was the pilot of the chase plane. On the same subject, Fighter Pilot by Robin Olds is also a good read.

    On the academic side, I've been reading the WPA guides for states. They were written in the 30s under a government program to employ journalists during the Depression. They are very enlightening.

    Most of my time is spent preparing a paper for the Northern Great Plains History Conference in September. My subject is the sovereignty of the Crow Tribe in a SCOTUS decision concerning mineral rights. I'm driving to the Crow Agency tomorrow (about 3 hours) to interview a person from their legislative branch. The Crow Nation has a full-on Constitution based on the US Constitution.
    Retired Sailor, Marine dad, semi-professional cyclist, fly fisherman, and Indian School STEM teacher.
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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    So I've just finished another novel by le Carré, Smiley's People. I don't think it was as engaging as Tinker Tailor, but nonetheless a worthy read. I think A Perfect Spy and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold are probably up next.

    By coincidence, a new biography on le Carré just came out, and while I've previously read about his affairs and how he conducted the affairs as if he were a spymaster, this new biography appears to shed more light (gift-link article).

    I'm giving the le Carré stuff a short break, and in the mean time, I've turned my attention to Berlin and the Cold War. Presently reading Stasiland by Anna Funder, and after that Tunnel 29.

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    Default Re: Do we have a book reading thread here?

    Reading The Collected Short Stories of Mavis Gallant. Gallant’s work was part of the inspiration for Wes Anderson’s French Dispatch movie. Francis McDermid plays a Mavis Gallant-type figure. Gallant’s piece on the May 1968 riots in Paris (the point of inspiration for the movie) isn’t in this collected as it wasn’t fiction, but all her other stories were in the New Yorker (or should have been.) They are so well written it is difficult to dissect them, that’s how tightly built they are.
    Jorn Ake
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