Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Books Read in 2008

[ Edited ]

Kudos to you, Ricky! You leave me in the dust. How did People of the Book stack up to the rest of your readings?

 

What have some of the rest of you been reading?


RickyNeil wrote:

Regarding readings for 2008, I read the following:

 

War and Peace

Leviathan by Hobbes

The Republic and The Laws by Cicero

Two Treatises of Government by Locke

The Structure of Scientific Revoultions by Kuhn

Politics by Aristotle

The Flanders Panel by Srturo Perez-Reverte

Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Wurthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon

Nixonland


 

Message Edited by Laurel on 02-16-2009 09:01 AM
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Contributor
RickyNeil
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Books Read in 2008

I liked The People of the Book - it was light reading compared to the others on my list. Brooks traces the fictionalized journey of the Sophia Haggadah using CSI type of investigations.
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Books Read in 2008

[ Edited ]
Thanks. It's on my TBR list. Speaking of light reading, I read The Prisoner of Zenda this weekend. Great fun!

RickyNeil wrote:
I liked The People of the Book - it was light reading compared to the others on my list. Brooks traces the fictionalized journey of the Sophia Haggadah using CSI type of investigations.

 

Message Edited by Laurel on 02-16-2009 11:02 AM
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Inspired Contributor
foxycat
Posts: 1,626
Registered: ‎06-17-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Henry James


Laurel wrote:

You can be sure he always answers politely. As for The Turn of the Screw, it's just that it's maddening to never be able to figure out just what has been going on. He means to madden me, I'm convinced.

 

In Washington Square, there is so much cruelty that I can't turn anywhere for consolation.  The American is next on my list.


foxycat wrote:

Why foul?

 

And what do you argue about in Turn, which I've also experienced in many versions? And has he been answering you? And what does he say? :smileytongue:




foxycat wrote:

Why foul?

 

And what do you argue about in Turn, which I've also experienced in many versions? And has he been answering you? And what does he say? :smileytongue:




I read them both for the first time so long ago that I don't remember my reactions.  But I've read both many times since. There are also 2 fine film versions of WS, although the 1948 plays with the ending. Try the newer version with Jennifer Jason Leigh.

 

Yes, it's about cruelty, and I know you don't like that kind of unpleasantness in your books.  But I related to it. Parents can destroy their children lives, although sometimes in more subtle ways than her father did.

And it can take many years before the the child learns to deal with the world, but will always be scarred by such an upbringing.  There is no consolation in the book. The consolation is in your own life, Laurel, but realizing that this does happen in other families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

Inspired Contributor
foxycat
Posts: 1,626
Registered: ‎06-17-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Henry James

Are you going through James' books systematically? Should I warn you about the ones that have cruelty? :smileytongue:  He's not the perfect gentleman you think he is. His books are loaded with avarice, deception, cruelty, manipulation (VERY BIG on manipulation!!)
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Fiction Reading Increases for Adults?

[ Edited ]

That is rather an old-fashioned approach (who is Steve Jobs?) especially as the better reading devices also include the ability to read newspapers, magazines etc. 

 

I came across this website about obsolete words today and thought it would interest folks here.  It reminded me of Reading the OED by Ammon Shea - One Man, One Year, 21,730 pages - which was recommended to us last year and which gave me great enjoyment.  He also resurrected many forgotten but splendid words in his year long reading of the OED.  This is a book I would recommend to anyone who reads a lot and it would make a great birthday present for any book reader or writer.  

 

 


Laurel wrote:
Thanks for the article, Pepper. I hope Steve Jobs reads it. He said a few months ago that he was not interested in bringing out an electronic reading device because people do not read books anymore.

Peppermill wrote:

 

 Fiction Reading Increases for Adults



It would be nice to think that resources like these book clubs may be an aid to the statistics reported -- or, at least, that they will in the future.

 


 

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-26-2009 06:04 AM
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Fiction Reading Increases for Adults?

Steve Jobs is co-founder and head of Apple Computers (think iPod, iPhone), though I think he is on medical leave this year. A few months ago he was asked whether Apple had an electronic reader in its plans. He said, no, people don't read books anymore.

 

Neat links. Ammon Shea and Brownielocks and friends can help fill the gap left by Bill Buckley at his death.


Choisya wrote:

That is rather an old-fashioned approach (who is Steve Jobs?) especially as the better reading devices also include the ability to read newspapers, magazines etc. 

 

I came across this website about obsolete words today and thought it would interest folks here.  It reminded me of Reading the OED by Ammon Shea - One Man, One Year, 21,730 pages - which was recommended to us last year and which gave me great enjoyment.  He also resurrected many forgotten but splendid words in his year long reading of the OED.  This is a book I would recommend to anyone who reads a lot and it would make a great birthday present for any book reader or writer.  

 

 


Laurel wrote:
Thanks for the article, Pepper. I hope Steve Jobs reads it. He said a few months ago that he was not interested in bringing out an electronic reading device because people do not read books anymore.

Peppermill wrote:

 

 Fiction Reading Increases for Adults



It would be nice to think that resources like these book clubs may be an aid to the statistics reported -- or, at least, that they will in the future.

 


 

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-26-2009 06:04 AM

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Correspondent
rbehr
Posts: 354
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Humanities Courses

Speaking of reading, these blog comments by Susan Wise Bauer (author of The Well-Trained Mind and others) are good.   Apparently there are students getting turned away from humanities courses - they should be referred to this board. 

 

RB

Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Humanities Courses

[ Edited ]

I was just reading that, too, Rae. Her comment, 'Did you catch the equation of “reading the great literary and philosophical works” with “a humanities education at an elite liberal arts school”?' made me reply 'Yes' and turn back to C. S. Lewis's essay on Dante's Similes in

 

Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature .

 

Lewis says that The Divine Comedy performs the services of four different kinds of books (book of travel, poetic expression of the current philosophy, religious allegory, and autobiography) as books would be written today. "All old works of art show the same contrast to modern works, and the history of all arts tells the same miserable story of progressive specialization and impoverishment. . . . The separation of the low-brow from the high-brow in its present sharpness is a comparatively recent thing: and with the loss of the old unified function all curb on the eccentricity of real artists and the vulgarity of mere entertainers has vanished." (p. 68)

 

In other words, the great books were not written for the elite, but for all people.

 


rbehr wrote:

Speaking of reading, these blog comments by Susan Wise Bauer (author of The Well-Trained Mind and others) are good.   Apparently there are students getting turned away from humanities courses - they should be referred to this board. 

 

RB


 

 

Message Edited by Laurel on 02-26-2009 04:44 PM
Message Edited by Laurel on 02-26-2009 04:45 PM
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Read in 2009: February

Here's what I read in February 2009:

 

Oliver Twist 
  1. Martin Jarvis's reading of this wonderful classic
  2. is marvelous. He gets every voice and emotional
  3. fluctuation right.








 

Washington Square


What a change from Dickens! Dickens is warm and cheerful compared to the cruel, cool, calculating James.

 

 

 

 

The Courtship of Miles Standish 

 

A great story beautifully told. Longfellow does a wonderful job of transporting the rhythm of Homer and Virgil to the New World. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Moon And Sixpence    

 

 

Maugham's tale of an artist who ended his days in Tahiti.  The book is inspired by but not a biography of, Paul Gauguin. I have the Easton Press edition, which is illustrated with ink sketches by Fredrick Dorr Steele up to the time the artist shows his first painting and then by Gauguin's prints in color. A fascinating book!

 

 

 

The Great Divorce


In this brief and beautiful allegory, Lewis takes us on a tour of heaven and hell, where we learn about our power to choose between self and salvation. Breathtaking! I remembered reading this long, long, ago and thought it would be a good companion to Dante. I was right.

 

 

 

 

Confessions (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 

 

 

I must confess, this book got a bit tedious for me at times, but there are some great gems that sparkle out and make it worth the work: his boyhood in Carthage as a reluctant scholar but lover of Dido; his youthful prayer, "Lord make me continent, but not yet"; his taking up the book to read and finding life and freedom at last. The section on memory is amazingly modern, and the section on time boggles the mind. This is a book I'm sure to read again.

 

 

 

 

The Prisoner of Zenda 

 

There's nothing like a brief escape to Ruritania to cure what ails one.Great fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abolition of Man 

 

 

An excellent extended essay on the dangers of the word 'only.' 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare      

 

My plays for this month:

 

Othello 

This is a wonderful performance of the great play.

 

Richard II

"...let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings."
Gardens, plots, and sundry tales enrich this sad story of the unkinging of gentle Richard. Excellent performance!

 

Twelfth Night   Another great play by the Bard. I found this audio presentation a bit harder to follow than some of the others in the series, but it is a complicated play. I also watched a charming production of the play starring Helena Bonham Carter and Richard E. Grant:

 

Twelfth Night 


Nigel Hawthorne is priceless as Malvolio. (Does the man act?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also reading from the Bible: Mostly 2 Samuel, Mark, Galatians, Ephesians.

From Spurgeon's Morning and Evening: February selections. I'm a third of the way through David Copperfield (tenth reading or so) and near the end of The Last Chronicle of Barset (have been reading eight chapters a week with the Yahoo online Trollope group).

 

 


January readings:
  1. Kipling, The Light That Failed First time for this. I really enjoyed the glimpse into the world of an artist who is going blind.
  2. Maugham, The Painted Veil Another first read for me. This is a startling novel of redemption. In the introduction Maugham says the idea came to him while he was reading Dante. An important quotation in the novel is from Goldsmith's 'Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog': "The dog it was that died!" A new word that I learned: tiffin.
  3. Austen, Sense and Sensibility  Not my favorite Austen, but for a first novel it is amazing.
  4. Bronte, Wuthering Heights  Breathtaking. It gets better each time I read it.
  5. Wodehouse, The Adventures Of Sally
  6. Virgil, The Aeneid You know what I think about this.
  7. Eliot, Silas Marner Another beautiful story of redemption.
  8. Dumas fils, La Dame aux Camelias A first reading and a real disappointment. It makes for wonderful opera, though (Verdi's La Traviata).
  9. Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
  10. Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
  11. Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well It's amazing what Shakespeare can do with such a silly story.
  12. Johnson, God's Trombones These wonderful poems have been favorites of mine for many years.

I have The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare  and plan to listen to all 38 plays this year.

 

I also read from the Bible each day (mostly from 1 Samuel and Matthew this month) and am reading through Spurgeon's Morning and Evening  



 

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Read in 2009: February

You put most of us to shame, Laurel.  I wish I had the time to read as much as you do!

 

But I guess grandchildren are an acceptable excuse for having less reading time.  Not to mention helping my sons in law start a new business.

 

I did get a few books read.

 

Oliver Twist (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 

 

 

Oliver Twist, of course.  Hadn't read for many years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sense and Sensibility (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 

 

 

And Sense and Sensibility.

 

 

 Masterpiece Classics were a good excuse to re-read a favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

Sag Harbor 

 

 For the First Look book club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silas Marner 

 

 

Again, revisiting an old favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Us and Them 

 

 

Interesting book on the tribal mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facing Unpleasant Facts 

 

 

A new collection of Orwell's writing, some favorite essays (his wonderful Shooting and Elephant) and some I hadn't read before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Plays by Aristophanes 

 

 

 

Read The Clouds, his paraody on Socrates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trial and Death of Socrates 

 

 

Reread the Apology and Crito.  I try to read through all the dialogues every few years.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading the OED 

 

 

Really just skimmed this from the library.  Not as enjoyable as I thought it would be.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Divine Comedy Volume I 

 

Started in reading the Musa translation a few weeks ago.  Reading one canto per day.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Michael Gilbert's Into Battle, now out of print but available in used books. 

 

And of course the  Oxford Book of English Verse is constantly at my bedside for nighttime browsing.

 

 

 

My current reading, on top of reading associated with the Dante discussion, includes so far:

 

The Life of Charles Lamb 

 

 

Lucas's fascinating life of Lamb.  I've always loved Lamb's essays and Lucas's essays, and the combination is irresistable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Old Curiosity Shop 

 

 

Getting read for the Masterpiece Classics coming up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plato 

 

 

I normally read either the Jowett or the Bloom translations, but I decided this time to try the new Sachs translation.  So far I'm not sure about it, but I'm only in Book 2 so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's all, folks.

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Read in 2009: February

You've got some great variety there, Everyman. I've been doing a lot of lying down and listening to novels. I always wondered what it would be like to be a Lady of Leisure. Now I know: It's wonderful!

 

I just got Musa's Inferno, too. He has some really helpful notes that the others just skip over.

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Read in 2009: February

I just got Musa's Inferno, too. He has some really helpful notes that the others just skip over.

 

I like the way he will sometimes say that there is unclarity about a certain passage and give several different opinions of others and then say what he thinks it means.  I like a translator who is willing to admit openly that they don't know everything there is to know about a book, and gives you the information to look further into the options if you want to and make your own choice.

 

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Who is here......?

Laurel:  As well as an overall Introductions thread, I think it would be nice if at the beginning of each of our book readings, you put up a thread for Who is reading ................ so that we know who is part of that particular group and where, geographically, they are from.   Rather like knowing who is in your local book group.   Any thoughts folks?    

 

I will suggest the same thing in LbW.

Correspondent
rbehr
Posts: 354
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Who is here......?

Good idea, that way the new readers will also be introduced to the regulars.  Also, good to see you here for Dante.  I'm sure you'll help us with his political environment.  
Choisya wrote:

Laurel:  As well as an overall Introductions thread, I think it would be nice if at the beginning of each of our book readings, you put up a thread for Who is reading ................ so that we know who is part of that particular group and where, geographically, they are from.   Rather like knowing who is in your local book group.   Any thoughts folks?    

 

I will suggest the same thing in LbW.


 

Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Dante Commentators

Laurel -- Hollander, who in addition to translation the Comedy has written several books on Dante and is founder and director of both the Dartmouth Dante Project and the Princeton Dante Project and contributed the essay "Dante and his commentators" in the Cambridge Companion you quoted from earlier, commented in his introduction to the Inferno "One of the most striking things about the Comedy is the enormous apparatus that has attached itself to it.  No secular work in the western tradition has so developed a heritage of line-by-line commentary, one that began in Lation and Italian and that has now entered ay number of languages..."

 

I think perhaps a thread on the commentators, not their line-by-line comments but their general commentary on the broader themes might be a useful thread.  For example, I started reading Bloom's comments on the Comedy in his Western Canon, and found that he immediately went straight to Beatrice and it appears that most of his comments are on the Dante-Beatrice connection, so I've put that aside to read much later when we actually come to Beatrice.  But anyhow, if you think a thread on the commentators and their approaches to various books or cantos or even the whole poem would be helpful, you might want to add one which would have a broader perspective than the canto-specific threads.

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Dante Commentators

Coming right up!

Everyman wrote:

Laurel -- Hollander, who in addition to translation the Comedy has written several books on Dante and is founder and director of both the Dartmouth Dante Project and the Princeton Dante Project and contributed the essay "Dante and his commentators" in the Cambridge Companion you quoted from earlier, commented in his introduction to the Inferno "One of the most striking things about the Comedy is the enormous apparatus that has attached itself to it.  No secular work in the western tradition has so developed a heritage of line-by-line commentary, one that began in Lation and Italian and that has now entered ay number of languages..."

 

I think perhaps a thread on the commentators, not their line-by-line comments but their general commentary on the broader themes might be a useful thread.  For example, I started reading Bloom's comments on the Comedy in his Western Canon, and found that he immediately went straight to Beatrice and it appears that most of his comments are on the Dante-Beatrice connection, so I've put that aside to read much later when we actually come to Beatrice.  But anyhow, if you think a thread on the commentators and their approaches to various books or cantos or even the whole poem would be helpful, you might want to add one which would have a broader perspective than the canto-specific threads.

 


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Frequent Contributor
LuvReading
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎04-05-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Read in 2009: February

Laurel,

 

You have a very impressive reading list!! I just ordered The Prisoner of Zenda myself and hoping it will get here this week.  I look forward to reading that one.  I have a goal of reading two books per month this year.  I looked into the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge, but I believe some books need to be enjoyed and studied, so I'm exchanging quantity for quality in my case!  Plus the fact that work and school take up most of my time, not enough time to read as much as I want :smileysad:

 

So far this year I've read the following:

 

Coraline

 

Coraline - This is a short, fun and easy read.  It's a fantasy story about a child who finds an alternative universe right in her own apartment!  Very nice read.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tragedy of Richard the Third 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream   

A Midsummer Night's Dream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I am currently reading:

 

 

 

The Inferno (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team of Rivals - An excellent history on Lincoln and his cabinet members.  I'm finding this a very interesting read.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Good and Happy Child - A dark and interesting book about, well, I'm not sure what.  It's very well written and I'm thinking we decide for ourselves at the end what actually happened.  Do not read alone in the dark!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Laurel wrote:

Here's what I read in February 2009:

 

The Prisoner of Zenda 

 

There's nothing like a brief escape to Ruritania to cure what ails one.Great fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Samuel Johnson at age 300

[ Edited ]

Dr. Johnson turns 300 this year (September 18). What shall we do to celebrate?

 

Perhaps the most appropriate thing would be to carry on a conversation about the great man. What is your favorite saying by or about him?

Message Edited by Laurel on 03-05-2009 12:26 PM
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club, lectures

Several interesting things here.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton