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Shaker

The Book Nook

For all the bookworms among us, a new topic to discuss our latest reads.

Today I started When God is Gone, Everything is Holy: The Making of a Religious Naturalist by Chet Raymo. I'm only a couple of hours (and chapters) in, but I love this chap's books - I have most of them already. He's a physicist and astronomer who writes often, and particularly well, about the interface of science and religion, which is the theme again in his latest book.
Lexilogio

Currently reading "Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents" by James Reason
Shaker

That sounds, erm, well ...  :shock:
Lexilogio

:wink:

Actually it's very good. It's very readable, and about why accidents - such as the Madrid air crash, happen.
LornaDoone40

Jasper Fforde - The Thursday Next & Nursery Crime series

If you like Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams - I promise your going to lurrve this!


krysta25uk

Have just finished

Black House - Stephen King

Shadow Game - Christine Feehan

Mind Game - Christine Feehan

I tend to read alot of books a week.
Shaker

Now reading The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson.
LornaDoone40

Recently finished The Interpretation of Murder by Jeb Rubenfeld.
Paul

The Organic Development of the Liturgy by Dr. Alcuin Reid.
Andy

One of a few on the go at the moment:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shakespea...Stage-Eminent-Lives/dp/0007197896
Lexilogio

I loved the Jasper Fforde books!
LornaDoone40



I love the fact that you have to be really well read to be able to get most of the jokes. A writer who expects his readership to be intelligent and well read.... very cool  8)

He's got such a fantastic imagination and I love all the bits that you get at the end of the books, those little "mock advertisments" for the Republic of Wales for examples!


:lol:
Shaker

Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings of D.T. Suzuki.
krysta25uk

The Talisman - Stephen King
Paul

krysta25uk wrote:
The Talisman - Stephen King


I read that years ago. I liked it very much.
krysta25uk

I'm going through a major Stephen King phase.  Hoping to read all his books by Christmas.
Lexilogio

krysta25uk wrote:
I'm going through a major Stephen King phase. †Hoping to read all his books by Christmas.


I went through that phase when I first left home. I got as far as the third Dark Tower book and got bored. My problem with King is he can't write an ending. "It" for example, was a great book, until the last couple of chapters.
LornaDoone40

This one goes on my MUST HAVE book list!Smilie_PDT
david_geoffrey

As usual I have several books on the go, one is Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton as recommended by a member of this "Parish" - good witty stuff; another is God's Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts for our home group; and for a talk I am hoping to give at some point The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis which is very rich indeed - sort of like Chocolate Truffles - you can't eat them all in one sitting.

Non religious books, I have just finished The One From The Other by Philip Kerr - excellent crime noir thriller set in post war Germany. Sort of book you finish at 1am in the morning - as I did!!
LornaDoone40

david_geoffrey wrote:
.. and for a talk I am hoping to give at some point The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis which is very rich indeed - sort of like Chocolate Truffles - you can't eat them all in one sitting.


Yes, thats one you read it small bits - I find I have to put it down after a few pages just to try and digest it.

And I'm glad your enjoying Orthdoxy - I haven't read for it for years, but intend to dust it off and re-read it again.
krysta25uk

Lexi

I found some of his later books don't have good ending.  'It' is actually my favourite book but the ending could have been slightly better though.  Only just starting on the Dark Tower series.

Krysta
BevIsHopeful

I tend to read nonfiction more.  Right now, two: Heraclitus Seminar -- Martin Heidegger and Eugen Fink; and The Art and Thought of Heraclitus -- Charles H. Kahn.  

Heraclitus' fragments speak often of "logos", and I'm searching to find the difference between his meaning and the biblical meaning.
david_geoffrey

BevBeingDifferent wrote:
I tend to read nonfiction more. †Right now, two: Heraclitus Seminar -- Martin Heidegger and Eugen Fink; and The Art and Thought of Heraclitus -- Charles H. Kahn. †

Heraclitus' fragments speak often of "logos", and I'm searching to find the difference between his meaning and the biblical meaning.
I read or heard somewhere that Heraclitus influences Philo who then probably influenced John, or rather John knowing his audience used language and imagery to suit ("In the beginning was the word") But I might be wrong  Smilie_PDT  
I would be very interested to know what you find out
BevIsHopeful

david_geoffrey wrote:
BevBeingDifferent wrote:
I tend to read nonfiction more. †Right now, two: Heraclitus Seminar -- Martin Heidegger and Eugen Fink; and The Art and Thought of Heraclitus -- Charles H. Kahn. †

Heraclitus' fragments speak often of "logos", and I'm searching to find the difference between his meaning and the biblical meaning.
I read or heard somewhere that Heraclitus influences Philo who then probably influenced John, or rather John knowing his audience used language and imagery to suit ("In the beginning was the word") But I might be wrong †Smilie_PDT
I would be very interested to know what you find out


If there is such a link, I would love to find out more about it.  If you can remember where you read this, do please share.   :)
Lexilogio

BevBeingDifferent wrote:
david_geoffrey wrote:
BevBeingDifferent wrote:
I tend to read nonfiction more. †Right now, two: Heraclitus Seminar -- Martin Heidegger and Eugen Fink; and The Art and Thought of Heraclitus -- Charles H. Kahn. †

Heraclitus' fragments speak often of "logos", and I'm searching to find the difference between his meaning and the biblical meaning.
I read or heard somewhere that Heraclitus influences Philo who then probably influenced John, or rather John knowing his audience used language and imagery to suit ("In the beginning was the word") But I might be wrong †Smilie_PDT
I would be very interested to know what you find out


If there is such a link, I would love to find out more about it. †If you can remember where you read this, do please share. † :)


Some of the early Greek philosophers are absolutely fascinating, but it's so hard to find anything about them.

I have been rather hopeful that the new abilities to read the fire and water damaged documents from the library at Herculaneum may reveal some more of the early works related to these philosophers.

I had no idea about Heraclitus influencing Philo - although it would be a very short hop to then consider Philo influencing John.
Lexilogio

Meanwhile I'm also reading "A Princess on Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs (you have to have a small injection of pulp fiction periodically), before i start on the just bought Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky.

On the non fiction front, I'm almost through the James Reason book (slight pause to read the Darzi report etc...) and have lined up my next one, Sidney Dekker's Just Culture - the perfect argument for why they are academically wrong to sack you...
BevIsHopeful

I took a course in graduate school on the ancient Greek philosophers, and the Presocratics were fascinating to me (Thales, Anaximander, Pythagoras, Zeno, and Democritus -- along with Heraclitus were among them).

It's so interesting that right around the time of the Babylonian exile of the Jews from the kingdom of Judah (late 6th century BC), men in Miletus (in modern-day Turkey) began to think in terms of existence, where we come from, what elements comprise the whole we experience.  

I remember thinking there must be a connection between the monotheistic nomads now living outside Judea having some influence on Greek thought molded by a capricious pantheon of gods.  

Heraclitus was the most interesting to me, as he so often made statements that revealed his almost microscopic insight into the paradox that only now, in light of quantum discoveries, are beginning to make so much sense.  But, he was not regarded as well in his day, having been nicknamed the "Puzzler," or "Riddler," because he made such seemingly outlandish statements.

Here are some examples:

Quote:
"We step into and we do not step into the same rivers.  We are and we are not."

"Nature loves to hide."

"Listening not to me but to the logos it is wise to agree that all things are one."


I think he was just brilliant.
Lexilogio

So could you recommend some books Bev?
BevIsHopeful

The two I previously suggested are good.  They contain all his known fragments (sayings) as well as the author's commentary.  But, they don't delve into the areas I am most interested in:  Heraclitus' view of God (logos?).  

There is a book written by a kind of spiritual swami named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh called The Hidden Harmony that delves into the spirituality of Heraclitus, which a professor once suggested to me.  Here, this writer suggests Heraclitus was articulating a more universal path to God--kind of a monotheistic Hinduism.  Anyway, it took me three years to find this book, because there are few copies and it is out of print (the publisher is in India.)

When I was first exposed to him, I read his fragments only in a Greek Philosophy book assigned by the professor, but any book containing his fragments will do, I'm sure.
david_geoffrey

Lexilogio wrote:
Meanwhile I'm also reading "A Princess on Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs (you have to have a small injection of pulp fiction periodically), before i start on the just bought Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky.

On the non fiction front, I'm almost through the James Reason book (slight pause to read the Darzi report etc...) and have lined up my next one, Sidney Dekker's Just Culture - the perfect argument for why they are academically wrong to sack you...
Oh you lucky thing to be starting on The Brothers Karamazov, it is, despite not reading it now for about 15 years, one of the high points of my reading life. When I was younger, less religious, unmarried - I had a lot more time to read and voraciously devoured so many books that not all of them I can remember now, but this one - yes. (In fact I read it twice!) If you like this then I would heartily recommend Anna Karenin which I think is better than War and Peace; and as a sideways move try Rouge et Noir by Stendhal
LornaDoone40

All Quiet On The Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque.  That was one of those books that left a powerful and lasting impression.
BevIsHopeful

I have that one on my list to read, Lorna.  My youngest read it in school, and he recommended it.  

But, for now, I'm revisiting The Brother's Karamazov again.

DG,s followup recommendations sound intriguing as well.
Shaker

This week I shall be mostly reading Narziss and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse, which is absolutely wonderful. I love Hesse's books generally - every one I've read so far has been a treasure. I'm working up to The Glass Bead Game slowly, though - by all accounts that's very much more formidable  :shock:
Lexilogio

Just finished the James Reason book - which I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in safety cultures. He looks at all the famous disasters too, and the causes.
Lexilogio

Just started "The Early Church" by Henry Chadwick.

I usually have 3 books on the go.
Fiction (on my I Phone)
Work related, for lunchtimes etc..
and a religious type one

well, plus a Greek book when I get the chance...
krysta25uk

Nightmare and Dreamscapes - Stephen King

Devil Bones - Kathy Reichs

Bloodgod - Paul Stuart Kemp
Lexilogio

Finished the Early Church, and now the follow up one on the Medieval Church, plus Max Ammerman's "Root Cause Analysis Handbook".

Am currently reading "Οι ιστορίες του Μπεμτελ το Βάρδος"
Paul

Just finished reading The Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451 by Adrian Fortescue.

I would urge all Christians to read it.
Lexilogio

Reading my way through a series of management books at the moment.

Just finished Edward de Bono's six hat theory - or seven hat theory.

Let me see... white hat - information, black hat - critical friend comments, red hat is emotion & feelings, green hat is creativity, yellow hat is lateral thinking and blue hat is overall management stuff.

It was pretty good. I've heard the theory before - and I'm not sure I would use it unless we were pretty stuck - but it was a good read.
Lexilogio

Just finished reading "Managing Conflict"

Nothing to do with the Boards of course  :wink:
I deal with a number of ..... strong minded characters .... at work.

How do you persuade someone who earns 4 times what you do to get on and do what they have to do (without resorting to "telling" on them)?
BevIsHopeful

Lexilogio wrote:

How do you persuade someone who earns 4 times what you do to get on and do what they have to do (without resorting to "telling" on them)?


In my own corporate environment, I never bothered with someone else's performance, unless their neglect was directly affecting my deadline.  Then, I would send an email out to everyone involved to let them know we were waiting for one more signature.    And, of course, the "one more" to which I referred would be the only CC on the note.  

If the person is your boss, I learned early that taking on more of their work for them is fabulous job security.
Lexilogio

BevIsHopeful wrote:
Lexilogio wrote:

How do you persuade someone who earns 4 times what you do to get on and do what they have to do (without resorting to "telling" on them)?


In my own corporate environment, I never bothered with someone else's performance, unless their neglect was directly affecting my deadline. †Then, I would send an email out to everyone involved to let them know we were waiting for one more signature. † †And, of course, the "one more" to which I referred would be the only CC on the note. †

If the person is your boss, I learned early that taking on more of their work for them is fabulous job security.


These are things I need for my deadlines. A lot of what I do is coordinating and reporting - so I have to get updates from many senior leads.

It's about persuading them that it needs doing - and it needs prioritising - without putting their backs up.
Rocca Vagges

Just started, Five Go to Demon's Rocks, 1961 by Enid Blyton ...phew reallll heavy
BevIsHopeful

Read Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild this weekend. †I had also recently seen the film, which was exquisitely done (Kudos to Sean Pean who directed it.) †

It's a sad story, really. †It's a story about a young man, Chris McCandless, who, after graduating from Emery University, went on a two-year hike and eventually into the Alaskan wilderness where he died, alone, probably from a combination of being too lean and eating contaminated seed pods. †People have been divided over the years as to whether his death was a nobel mistake or arrogant folly. † I lean more towards nobel mistake.
Shaker



Currently reading Layla and Majnun by Nizami: originally an epic poem in Persian literature, best known (if known at all) as the book that partially inspired Eric Clapton to write Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs - possibly the greatest album ever, IMHO. The tragic unrequited love story to end all tragic unrequited love stories - enough schmaltz to fur your arteries at a hundred paces and absolutely wonderful.
Silver

Some light reading. I just finished "According to the Plan of a One-Eyed Mystic", a Doc Savage story about a criminal who can apparently change bodies.

I've just started "The Alibi Trail", a Shadow story where important men are murdered and crooks have alibis.

Both are 1940's pulp stories. The originals cost plenty but I picked up the two series (181 books and 325 books) on CD's for peanuts. I can read them on my computer or let them read themselves (which sounds like Stephen Hawking is reading to me).
Lexilogio

I've recently read Roberto Bolano's "Amulet".

It's a fantastic book - very whimsical. It's set in Mexico City in 1968, in the run up to the Tletacolco Massacre.
Shaker

Just started the new Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.



Fantastic. What else would it be?
Shaker

I don't often buy books from bookshops these days (and haven't for years) because of the cost as opposed to getting them from Ama certain well-known online book retailers, but I was browsing in a local bookshop this afternoon and treated myself to Roger McGough's Collected Poems and Tony Harrison's Selected Poems. I'm not too familiar with Roger McGough but I've loved Tony Harrison's poetry for years, ever since the controversy over the transmission the film of his most famous poem, v., back in the 1980s.



Lexilogio

admin. wrote:
I don't often buy books from bookshops these days (and haven't for years) because of the cost as opposed to getting them from Ama certain well-known online book retailers, but I was browsing in a local bookshop this afternoon and treated myself to Roger McGough's Collected Poems and Tony Harrison's Selected Poems. I'm not too familiar with Roger McGough but I've loved Tony Harrison's poetry for years, ever since the controversy over the transmission the film of his most famous poem, v., back in the 1980s.





I've also got a collection of Tony Harrison's poems - he's an excellent poet.

Roger McGough is a honey - he's got a gentle wit in his poetry.
Shaker

Isn't he marvelous? As I say, I wasn't wholly familiar, though I was vaguely aware of him and misjudged him as a sort of Scouse John Betjeman, writing humorous but perhaps a little shallow light verse.

How wrong could I have been. I changed my mind about Betjeman when I started reading him properly and I've certainly changed my mind about RM too. I curled up a few hours ago with his Collected Poems and I'm absolutely blown away by many of his poems. His 'Conservative Government Unemployment Figures' sticks in my mind, to wit:

Quote:
Conservative government.
Unemployment?
Figures.


Genius †

Tony Harrison's poems about his background - a working class Leeds lad who turns out to be bookish and literate, goes on to university, ends up as a serious published poet to the pride but incomprehension of his parents - are amazing.

I'm coming round on Rudyard Kipling, too. I always used to be put off by his narrative poems (Danny Deever and the like) for which he's best known, but when he's steps out of Robert Browning mode and writes personally, he's sublime. Some of the poems he wrote about his son Jack, killed in the First World War, are unbearable. His Complete Verse is now on my Christmas list

ETA: I seem to remember, you're a poet yourself aren't you, Lexi? Oak_King too, as I recall - he posted one of his poems here once, by which I was very impressed. Talented bunch we've got here †
LornaDoone40

Would thoroughly recommend Perfume - The Story of a Murderer by Patrik Suskind.

Fascinating concept (a man born without a sense of smell and how that effects his humanity and his view of humanity) and an extremely absorbing read. Stunningly lyrical and poetical.
Lexilogio

Quote:
ETA: I seem to remember, you're a poet yourself aren't you, Lexi? Oak_King too, as I recall - he posted one of his poems here once, by which I was very impressed. Talented bunch we've got here  


I've written the odd thing - but I don't get so much time now.

This is one of mine:

Untitled

There are no words today.
This morning, they took to the sky
and flew instinctively south;
seeking lovers in the heat of summer.
But Here remains, silent,
with clouds of mediocrity
following the traffic of city life.
Even the air is still;
no wind, no chilled bite,
only an empty sense
that something is missing.
And something has passed.

There are no words today.
They passed the paragraphs
on their way out.
LornaDoone40

Lexi - honestly, that is really very good indeed.  
Shaker

Seconded - I envy anybody with a talent for words like that.

Talking of poetry (still): just got the Collected Poems 1945-1990 of R.S. Thomas. And I'm currently reading Andrew Motion's magnificent biography of Philip Larkin.

Lexilogio

Thank you  

I only discovered Philip Larkin this year. I'd thought of him as some boring middle class type until I discovered the poems which don't go on the school curriculum.

As modern poets I'd seriously recommend Maura Dooley. I can remember feeling very disappointed when I had a rejection letter for some poems. Then opened a copy of the magazine I had sent them to - to see her work on the first page. I read it, and completely understood why they had rejected mine.
Shaker

I'm sure things have changed enormously in the twenty years since I was at school but somehow I doubt that 'This Be the Verse' and 'Love Again' are on the curriculum even these days †
LornaDoone40

D'you know, I am feeling very lucky right now.

Our school was blessed with the most fantastic English teachers - and whilst poems like 'This Be The Verse' were never officially on the curriculum, they still made us aware of them. (I intend to give my son a copy for christmas this year - i think he will really appreciate it).

For those not in the know:

This Be The Verse - by Phillip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
†They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
†And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
†By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
†And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
†It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
†And don't have any kids yourself.
Lexilogio

I think that one should be on the national curriculum for 15 year olds.

If you are ever going to interest a wider group into poetry - that is one poem which might just succeed.
Dave B

Lexilogio wrote:
I think that one should be on the national curriculum for 15 year olds.

If you are ever going to interest a wider group into poetry - that is one poem which might just succeed.
Lexilogio

Talking of poems - I've been reading "The World's Wife" by Carol Ann Duffy - absolutely brilliant. [url=http://briancroxall.pbworks.com/w/page/8178861/The-Devil's-Wife-Spring-2009]The Devil's Wife[/url] is particularly good. I didn't click who it was until the last section - and then I had to read it again.
Lexilogio

And I can't get the hyperlink thing to work today  
Shaker

I slipped up with my (very short) review of A.C. Grayling's The God Argument recently which I inadvertently put elsewhere rather than here, so reviving this (IMHO, sadly under-used sub-forum) to record that while, as a cash-strapped struggler the same as everyone else I don't have the money to spend on books that I used to, I do still treat myself occasionally and this morning was absolutely delighted to receive, together, Atheism: A Guide for the Perplexed by Kerry Walters and The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins.

The Walters book - its title an obvious nod to the great tract by the mediaeval Jewish philosopher Maimonides, much used down the ages - is superb, and I say that having only leafed through it so far without having launched on it properly, which I intend to do this evening. Written by a philosophy professor, it's one of the most even-handed, disinterested and impartial books on the theism-atheism dialogue I've ever seen. I don't think it comes to any authorial concusion at the end: it simply lays out the arguments pro and con with all their strengths and weaknesses and leaves the reader to it. It's not a big book - fewer than 200 pages - but is so concentrated that it still manages to be incredibly thorough.

The Dawkins book, while a young adults' book pitched at a simple level, is just stunning, not only on account of its beautifully lucid text but every page which is eye-poppingly illustrated with glossy, colourful photographs and lovely drawings by Dave McKean. If a youngster showed an interest in science, this is the book that should be in their hands.
Shaker

Latest read is one of my Christmas books: the amazingly clear, lucid and readable Why Marx Was Right by Terry Eagleton:

Jim

Just started Adrian Plass's
"The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass volume 4; Adrian Plass and the church weekend."
Hysterical theology in bucketloads!
Rose

Lexilogio wrote:
Talking of poems - I've been reading "The World's Wife" by Carol Ann Duffy - absolutely brilliant. [url=http://briancroxall.pbworks.com/w/page/8178861/The-Devil's-Wife-Spring-2009]The Devil's Wife[/url] is particularly good. I didn't click who it was until the last section - and then I had to read it again.


I saw this, and read the Poem.

Looking into it further I found it was about Myra Hindley and her life



Quote:

Duffy really gives Myra Hindley a voice in this poem, and itís pretty chilling stuff. Yes, the devil is evil, but the devilís wife; how can a woman allow herself to covet such a title?

http://danielamurphy.com/2013/04/09/carol-ann-duffy-the-devils-wife/



Very interesting!

Julie
Lexilogio

You're right. It is about Myra Hindley - and that makes the poem more chilling. It really is a superb collection.
Powwow

Just starting the Great Mortality history of the black death by John Kelly.
Powwow

Started, The Father Of Us All war and history ancient and modern by Victor Davis Hanson.
Hanson believes and argues that war is just a fact of life and he accepts that. It's part of the human condition and all the good intentions and blah, blah blah coming from utopians will not change that fact.
Shaker

I have been reading, with absolute joy and delight, Hoping It Might Be So: Poems 1974-2000 by Kit Wright, who strikes me not only as a superb poet with (very often) a traditionalist, formalist streak but one of the great love poets of our times. I truly and genuinely don't know the legal technicalities and ins and outs of these things but the following poems, which I reproduce in all honesty with no intention to infringe copyright, strike me as amongst the most sincere, heartfelt and beautiful of any modern poetry I've read.

Campionesque for Anna

When I lay down where I had lain with you
Some many nights, beloved, of the days
Lit by your sun, I dreamed all touch untrue,
Error my star and darkness all my ways
Till where I lie, I lie again with you.

Till where I go, I go again with you
Through all the days, beloved, and the nights
By your sweet self illumined, I can do
Not one good thing: not till your beauty lights
Me where I go, and go again with you.


From Cheshire
(for Anna)


Come home safe: I think of you driving
    Over the Runcorn Bridge in our senile car,
Its toothless ratchets, arthritic pistons conniving
    To take me away from wherever you are,

Its steering like that old prostitute working a living
    On Huskisson Street outside our door:
Its raggedy brake shoes thin as the wind, giving
    Nothing but ice to your foot on the floor.

Please come home: I think of you leaving
    For ever, coming from Cheshire, only the snow
And the night and the endless black road, no retrieving
    Of you: without me, wherever I go.


Letter to Anna, Pregnant

When I consider
By the frozen river
How we two shall never
Down some of these days
Meet in loving
Upon the ungrieving
Bank in forgiving
New-made rays.

Of April sunlight
When touch is leaf-light
And love is outright
And darkness done,
Then I remember
Times without number
The cold I shouldered
To block your sun.

And I apportion,
By this sad station
Where ice to the ocean
Flows downstream,
All blame attendant
To your correspondent,
Sorrow his tenant,
Drowned that dream.

The hawthorn crouches
In the black windís clutches
And snags and scratches
The last of light
That is dying over
The winter river
That sails forever
On out of sight.

Iím sorry, darling,
I hope the unfurling
Bud in your sailing
Body may
Beyond shores woeful
Wake you joyful,
Wake you joyful
Some sweet day.

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