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What are you reading?

I can't be the only one who almost always has at least one book on the go...

Hi Lexi,
Actually I have three books going. The Right Man by David Frum. David was a speech writer for G.W Bush. He's the one that invented the phrase axis of evil. The book is about his time as a writer for Bush. The reason for my interest is that David is a conservative and a Canadian. His mom Barbara was a journalist and anchor lady for the CBC in Canada and a staunch liberal.
Second book is Wild Swans Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang. I don't know why but I have always liked stories about China. This is about a lady who was given as a concubine to a general. The whole bound feet thing, her daughter that becomes a faithful communist and Jung Chang the grand daughter and author.
Third is The Mounties As They Saw Themselves by William H. Kelly It's stories and letters written by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Covering from when they came out to my area to chase off the Yankee whiskey traders and bringing order to the area. Well basically after their arrival my people never fought another battle against our traditional enemies the Blackfoot. But the book goes through the history of the force all over Canada. And that's the books.

Hi Lexi,

No you are not the only one!

Hi powwow I see that we have the subject of Dubya in common .... although the slant is somewhat different.

Just finished reading 'Christ in concrete' by Pietro di Donato. Published 1939 A largely autobiographical novel set in New York about Italian immigrant life just before the Great Depression. Regarded by some critics as being the prototypical 'ethnic' American novel. Although not as well known as Steinbecks 'Grapes of Wrath' it ranks with it as a great work of social protest.

Books on the go:-
'Independent people' by Halldor Laxness.Published 1946 A novel set in early C20th Iceland but recalling Icelands medieval epics.

'The last crusade: religion and the politics of misdirection by Barbara Victor. Pubished 2005 "There are 80 million born again Christians of voting age in the United States, including George W. Bush. Jesus Christ is a personal friend of every one of them. They know that Jesus wants them to vote Republican. Since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, the Evangelical Christians have constituted one of the most powerful interest groups in the USA. Their money and their energy have helped to drive a socially conservative agenda to the centre of American national life. They wield veto power over the Republican party's presidential candidates and decide the outcome of elections across vast areas of the political landscape. And they have begun to play an important role in America's foreign policy. Despite a history of robust anti-Semitism, they have built a powerful alliance with the Israeli right. From financial aid to Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories to the religious rhetoric of the War on Terror, Evangelical leaders are blithely creating a world fit for Apocalypse. Their brand of Christianity is the fastest-growing social movement in the slums of Africa and Latin America. Barbara Victor explores the changes in the American political system that evangelical Christianity has already wrought and the changes it is likely to bring in the years ahead. She reveals a complex and contradictory political process in which secular neo-conservatives have allied themselves with fundamentalists to pursue an agenda of aggression overseas and repression at home. It is a process in which religious sentiment miraculously transforms into money and political advantage, in which private virtues become public vices, and the founding principles of a free republic are attacked by self-declared patriots."

An unexpected light: travels in Afghanistan by Jason Elliot. A travel book published in 1999

Tresspass by Rose Tremain. by way of a bit of easier reading when I've gone to bed too late!

So what are you reading Lexi?



I've just finished 1222 by Anne Holt - a Norwegian murder mystery (I'm quite fond of Scandanavian literature and film)

Zombies - Field notes by Dr Robert Twombly (sorry - I do love a B horror type thing, I find it intriguing to see how people logically hang a story together, and this was written from a medical perspective)

Seven Habits of Highly effective people - Stephen R Covey

A History of Everything - Bill Bryson  - that's on my I pHone as it's a great one to read in small bits. I've just finished the section on quarks.

In relation to what you both are reading:

I took the full audio book of Scott McLellan - What happened at the White House   on holiday last year. It's another one on the Bush administration. Fascinating book - in the insights it gives onto how people get on in politics in the US.

One I'd recommend for you, Ivy, is The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
Asne Seierstad is a Norwegian journalist who spent three months living with the family of a bookseller in Kabul, two weeks after 9/11. It is a fascinating account of what life was like for the women and young men of Kabul at that time.

Mister God, This is Anna - I came across a first print copy in our local Oxfam bookshop a couple of weeks ago.

Hi Lexi for sharing your list and the recommendations!

Blimey I didn't know you could get books an an i-phone .... but then I've never even had a mobile phone and find it difficult enough working out all the features on my indoor walkabout!! Maybe I should see if there is a book called 'The reluctant user of modern technology' as I'm not over conversant with any of it!

The 7 Habits book is on my book shelves (my ex bought it)  but I've not been effective enough to get around to studying it. What do you think of it? Have you found it helpful?

I've never read an Ann Holt but having looked her up on Amazon she's now on my 'wish list'. Handy feature that isn't it?

The bookseller of Kabul is already on my list, thanks for the recommendation, good to know you found it enjoyable.

Bill Bryson on Quarks!! I read that section up on a sunny deck returning from France, thinking that if anybody could get me to understand QM Bill could. The initial overview had me lost so I was pleased that he then wrote something along the lines of 'that's a bit complicated so I'll sum it up for you'. I thought great at last!! Still failing to grasp it I put the book down closed my eyes and gogitated .... till nearly all the way to England and we were sailing from St Malo! Opened my eyes turned the page and he'd written 'nope I still don't get it either'!  However I have been able to impress people by knowing where the word 'quark' comes from  
Did you fare better than me and Bill?

I enjoy audio books so nice to have a story read to you and handy when getting on with other stuff. I've recently bought some CDs of people reminiscing in my native Suffolk dialect great to listen to when doing the washing up and being back in my granny's kitchen ... lightens the chore no end!

Right while we are on books and technology has anyone got a kindle? If so what do you think of them? Not that I can afford one at the moment or would be able to figure out how to use it ... but just in case, you never know, travel in hope and all that. (I'm thinking rich patient boyfriend


I haven't got much beyond the Introduction of 7 habits yet - but I will let you know when I get further.

I don't really get the quark stuff either - but my eldest is hilarious - he can't understand why no one else gets it.  He sat there during a documentary of the guy who invented dimension theory (Hugh Everett), and said - "But it's obvious they will bounce!".    Is it?


I don't have a kindle - but I do have a Sony E Reader. I find E readers useful for books you have to concentrate on. And the advantage of the E Reader is that you can make notes. So I've read Virgil's Aenid on there.

Just been reading "The World's Wife" by Carol Ann Duffy

Once again I'm just completely bowled over by the sheer strength of her poetry. I was reading, "The Devil's Wife", and it took me until the fifth part before I clicked who it was referring to. An absolutely amazing piece of work.
Tom Cruising

Just finished Catcher in the Rye - that book has great style about it. Really enjoyed it.

Started reading Dawkins God Delusion. 100 pages in and finding myself hating the bloke. Agree with a lot of what he says but I can't bear the arrogance.  Some of the comments on the back are like "very funny" - no it isn't, it's about as funny as bollock cancer.

Tom Cruising wrote:
Just finished Catcher in the Rye - that book has great style about it. Really enjoyed it.

Started reading Dawkins God Delusion. 100 pages in and finding myself hating the bloke. Agree with a lot of what he says but I can't bear the arrogance.  Some of the comments on the back are like "very funny" - no it isn't, it's about as funny as bollock cancer.

I struggled with the God Delusion too - I just couldn't bear his arrogant style.

Currently on the go:

Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare

The Towers of Midnight - Robert Jordan

A Brief History of Time (still... been working through this for about eight months...)

Portable Atheist's Handbook (edited by Christopher Hitchens)

next on the shelf:

The Dawkins Delusion

The Qu'ran

Personally, I've read The God Delusion and The Greatest Show on Earth, and Dawkins didn't come across to me as arrogant, particularly. Greatest Show On Earth did unnecessarily heckle religion a few times, which undermined its worth as a book purely about the wonder of evolution, but aside from that I found them both to be good reads.


Currently reading 1633 by Eric Flint, having just finished 1632.

It's amazing what interesting, and good, books there are for free download now - got to love the Kindle.

The Master and Margarita Bulgakov

I generally tend to have one fiction and one non-fiction book on the go simultaneously, so the current reading material is The Heart of Buddhism by Guy Claxton and A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller.


I loved a Canticle for Leibowitz - it's a great book, very readable, and very interesting in how an idea can spread.

The sequel isn't as good, but also worth reading. Forum Index -> Hobbies and pastimes
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