General Question

canidmajor's avatar

Literate jellies, what book are you currently reading?

Asked by canidmajor (16539points) 1 month ago

A lot of us have more time on our hands, and some of us always have a book going anyway, what’s on your nightstand now? Do you like it? If so, how about sharing the title, the author, and a brief review.

Thanks

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24 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Elizabeth, Captive Princess. 1948 by Margaret Irwin.

It’s a novel-esque approach to the inner thoughts and attitude of Queen Elizabeth. I’m enjoying her intelligence and character very much.

canidmajor's avatar

@KNOWITALL Which Elizabeth?

Jeruba's avatar

Currently:

Don’t Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language, by David Shariatmadari

Very interesting for its take on language, linguistic form and character, acquisition, and so on, and yet I kind of hate it, mainly because of poor book design and inadequate editing. Almost finished.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin Di Angelo

Difficult and eye-opening, even for someone who would have sworn they had no racist attitudes. Part of the challenge is in the definitions.

• And a few others.

Recently finished:

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William L. Shirer

Mind-boggling, and all too close to home. There are extremely disturbing ways in which the current political scene mirrors Germany in the 1930s.

Transcription: A Novel, by Kate Atkinson

A nice fictional intermission, and yet still echoing some of the same dark themes in my other reading.

Surviving Autocracy, by Masha Gessen

Gessen exposes the mechanisms of solo political power in opposition to democracy. As for so much else, language is the key.

Next up:

Blitzed, by Norman Ohler

About Hitler’s drug use. Plausible enough premise following the Shirer book.

• And a nice comfort read, if I can find one.

The worse things get, the more my reading gravitates to efforts to comprehend them, to avoid being conned and blind-sided—and perhaps see through to the other side. Loss may be inevitable, but I won’t have to say I never saw it coming; and empires that rise do fall.

janbb's avatar

The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason. It’s fiction and about an attempt to kill Prince Albert and Darwin to discredit science. The evildoer would put Hannibal Lechter to shame; I have to keep putting it down because it’s so exciting – but gory. Just finished The Great Believers about a group of gay friends in Chicago during the beginning time of AIDs,

Also, really recommend This Tender Land by William Kreuger about orphans in an Indian Christian school in the Depression. A journey cum coming of age story with parallels to Twin and the Odyssey. Excellent!

And The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Richardson; a novel about a pack horse librarian in Kentucky in the 30s.

@Jeruba I read White Fragility too and ultimately decided I didn’t care for it. She kind of kept saying the same thing over and over again; to much flagellation without a course of positive action.

janbb's avatar

Edit: “too much flagellation”

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes. It’s a little bit of biography of some figures in the Belle Epogue in Paris and surrounds. Lots of famous people in and out of the picture. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up the way people come, go, and return, but I recommend it.

Also reading Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, because I just finished reading What is the Grass: Walt Whitman in my Life by Mark Doty, a poet. I highly recommend this one. Doty is a gay poet, and he writes about Whitman and his poetry, how important they were to him and to literature and to the US, and some history of the book. Really beautifully written.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Too Much and Never Enough . . . by Donald Trump’s niece

canidmajor's avatar

@Tropical_Willie, do you like it? Is it well-written, do you think?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@KNOWITALL Leaves of Grass is always free. It’s been out of copyright for more than a hundred years. I got my free copy for my Kindle directly from Amazon. There are editions with annotations that cost money.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Just started it, will check back later. @canidmajor

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Critical Thinking by William Hughes.

lastexit's avatar

Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr. written in 1964. It’s about urban hell in postwar Brooklyn. It’s fascinating in a rather horrifying way, but I can’t put it down. I read it once years ago and it kind of stuck with me. Hence my screen name.

Soubresaut's avatar

Last two books I’ve read were The Discovery of the Child and The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori. I’m currently most of the way through a more recent text called Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard, which is a survey of recent scientific literature on learning, child psychology, etc., discussing the extent to which it supports or challenges Maria Montessori’s ideas about education.

I’m also listening to Ursula K Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, courtesy my library’s ebook and audiobook selection through Overdrive. I’m enjoying it, but haven’t gotten very far into yet.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Soubresaut I read Ursula K Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea last year. Was ok. Book was too short but overall I appreciated it.

kruger_d's avatar

Bee Season by Myla Goldberg. An unremarkable Jewish girl finds she has a gift for spelling. She basks in the attention it wins her from her father, but the pressure to excel is intense.

rockfan's avatar

The Benjamin Franklin biography by Walter Isaacson

seawulf575's avatar

I’m reading a couple right now, and my mood determines which one pops up. Blitz by David Horowitz, Blasphemy by Douglas Preston, and I’m re-reading The Stand by Stephen King.

jca2's avatar

The Five – the Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold. It’s a book group selection.

Blackberry's avatar

I almost done with Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. It’s a summarized history of humanity and an informative read, but the usual story:
“We used to roam around as hunter-gatherers, then agriculture came, then settling, communities grew, then came society, industry, increased production, needing advertising to keep production going, profits, investment, exploitation etc.
But we advanced and we have better lives so that’s good. Everything has a price I guess lol…. :(

mazingerz88's avatar

Still reading Apropos of Nothing by Allen. I’m getting the laughs I expected and enjoying it.

Jeruba's avatar

@seawulf575, The Stand is a rather perversely apt choice for the present moment. How are you seeing it now in comparison with how you experienced it on first reading?

seawulf575's avatar

@Jeruba The first time I read it was when it first came out back in the 70’s. It was creepy then. I love how he describes the spreading of Capt Trips. I don’t see Covid in this category, but it does make you think about how we spread germs.

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