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REQUEST: I can't be here next week, if you'd like to fill in, leave a comment

In this series I note what I am reading and people comment with what they're reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

I've written some book reviews on Yahoo Voices:
Book reviews on Yahoo

Just finished

Now reading

Leibniz: An intellectual biography by Maria Rosa Antognazza.  Leibniz was co-inventor of calculus (with Isaac Newton) but he also made contributions to law, philosophy, physics, economics, chemistry, geology, medicine, linguistics, history and more. This book is good, but fairly dense.

21st Century Science Fiction ed. by David Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden. A collection of shorter length SF from the first decade of the 21st century.

The Yamato Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave. The "secret" history of Japan's emperors, especially during World War II and after.  A bleak story of how the Japanese people have been manipulated and how MacArthur made people lie about war crimes.

Citizens  by Simon Schama. The French Revolution.  I found the prologue confusing, but it's getting better as I get into it.

I play bridge and I decided to start listing bridge books I am reading

Card Play Technique by Victor Mollo and Nico Gardner. One of the classics of bridge literature. Subtitled "The art of being lucky". Very well written, intended for that huge class of bridge players called "intermediate".

Collusion by Stuart Neville. Mystery/crime set in current day Northern Ireland. Dark but very well written.

Just started
Lines of Departure Second in the Frontlines series. Not quite as good as the first.

Readers and Book lovers schedule

Readers & Book Lovers Series Schedule

DAY TIME (EST/EDT) Series Name Editor(s)
SUN 6:00 PM Young Reader's Pavilion The Book Bear
Sun 2:00 PM What's on Your E-Reader? Caedy
Sun 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
alternate Mondays
2:00 PM Political Books Susan from 29
Mon 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery michelewln, Susan from 29
Mon 11:00 PM My Favorite Books/Authors edrie, MichiganChet
TUES 5:00 PM Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left bigjacbigjacbigjac
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM All Things Bookstore Dave in Northridge
Tue 8:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views bookgirl
WED 7:30 AM WAYR? plf515
Wed 2:00 PM e-books Susan from 29
Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
Thu (first each month) 11:00 AM Monthly Bookpost AdmiralNaismith
alternate Thursdays 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
Fri 8:00 PM Books Go Boom! Brecht; first one each month by ArkDem14
Fri 10:00 PM Slightly Foxed -- but Still Desirable shortfinals
SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
Sat 12:00 PM You Can't Read That! Paul's Book Reviews pwoodford
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Ritual by Adam Nevill (11+ / 0-)

    Fairly standard horror... only half way through but this either needs a big ending or something profoundly metaphysical or else this is reading like a slapdash spook story that someone was really hoping would get turned into a Hollywood summer scary movie.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 04:51:53 AM PDT

  •  Just finished... (11+ / 0-)

    King and Maxwell (Baldacci) Now reading... Fall From Grace (Richard North Patterson) Just downloaded... Inferno (Dan Brown)

    This is unusual for me. I'm vacationing in Florida. Finally escaped the winter. Woohoo!!!

    I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

    by Jim Riggs on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 04:54:32 AM PDT

  •  Ive started (17+ / 0-)

    re-listening to the Richard Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell while here at work. Cornwell is absolutely fantastic when it comes to historical fiction in general, but Ive long loved the Sharpe books:

    Cornwell's series (composed of several novels and short stories) charts Sharpe's progress in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. He begins in Sharpe's Tiger as a Private in the 33rd Regiment of foot, who becomes a Sergeant by the end of the book, and an Ensign in the 74th Regiment who is transferred to the newly formed 95th Rifles as a Second-Lieutenant during Sharpe's Trafalgar. He is gradually promoted through the ranks, finally becoming a Lieutenant Colonel in Sharpe's Waterloo.

    The stories dramatise Sharpe's struggle for acceptance and respect from his fellow officers and from the men he commands. Sharpe was born a guttersnipe in the rookeries of London. Commissioned an officer on the battlefield, he overcomes class in an army where an officer's rank is often bought. Unlike many of the officers with whom he serves, Sharpe is an experienced soldier.

    I have a lot of long boring hours here in this cubicle so I go through audio-books quite quickly. I am a huge fan of long series, trilogies, and well anything long and complicated if anyone has any recommendations! Genre doesn't matter.

    If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.

    by LieparDestin on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 04:54:39 AM PDT

  •  Resisting Structural Evil (11+ / 0-)

    Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation

    •       Maps the ethical terrain of an imperiled planet

    •       Convincing shows that eco-justice, economic justice, and racial justice are linked

    •       Rethinks Christian ethics in light of the ecological and economic crises

    The increasingly pressing situation of Planet Earth poses urgent ethical questions. The earth crisis cannot be understood apart from the larger human crisis—economic equity, racial justice, social values, and human purpose are bound up with the planet’s survival. With climate change, humankind hovers on a precipice.  A “great work” is before us:  To forge ways of living together that allow Earth’s life-systems to flourish and that diminish the soul-shattering gap between those who have too much and those who have too little. For this – the testing point of human history— all forms of human knowledge have a role to play.

    The world’s great faith traditions are called to plumb their depths for wisdom to meet this unprecedented moral challenge.  The law of compassion or love resounds throughout religious traditions as a basic moral norm of life. What does this norm mean for the world’s high-consuming societies in the early 21st century, especially since we stand most culpable for climate change and least vulnerable to its devastating impacts. From the lens of Christian ethics, Moe-Lobeda probes this and the world of questions flowing from it.

    Reorienting Christian ethics from its usual anthropocentrism to an ecocentrism entails a new framework that Moe-Lobeda lays out in her first chapters, culminating in a creative rethinking of how it is that we understand morally. With this “moral epistemology” in place, she unfolds a “moral vision” and applies it to the present situation in a full-fledged earth-honoring, justice-seeking Christian ethical stance.

    to be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather that despair convicing. – Raymond Williams

    by phillybluesfan on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:26:29 AM PDT

  •  Starting "Blue Highways" (16+ / 0-)

    by William Least Heat-Moon just as soon as I catch up with two back issues of Harper's.

  •  American Elsewhere (8+ / 0-)

    Robert Jackson Bennett can write some atmospheric prose, The Company Man being an example, but this one could have done with some serious editing and proofreading. Any writer who describes a crayon mess, supposedly done by the main character in second grade a few paragraphs after stating that she had lived there in fourth and fifth grade, hasn't even bothered to reread the work, but then it was so egregiously long, he might not have had the time.

    "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

    by northsylvania on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:49:11 AM PDT

  •  This week finished (12+ / 0-)

    1636: Seas of Fortune, a pair of novellas by Iver Cooper in the 1632/Ring of Fire series started by Eric Flint. Very good action and characters, meticulous research. Set in the colonial Guyanas/Amazon and Japan, the novellas are a good addition to the oeuvre.

    Currently reading Jack London's "People of the Abyss," wherein he goes to live in London's East End at the turn of the 20th. Dreadfully depressing and all too reminiscent of current conditions in China, India and, well, here.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:02:06 AM PDT

  •  Weeel,I opened the new Piketty book, (9+ / 0-)

    Capital in the 21st Century and I will read it. Just have a bunch of more entertaining books that are calling out for my attention just now,including Siri Hustvedt's The Blazing World.. About halfway through and I imagine this will be on my best new books of 2014 pile.

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:07:35 AM PDT

    •  Didn someone here recently bring that one up (5+ / 0-)

      I recall reading a 20 page review of the book.

      In a nutshell, piketty has done ground breaking work that shows income inequality is an inexorable force due to the fact that capital always/almost always generates a greater return to its owners than can be earned by labor.

      He argues that the great American middle class was an anomaly brought on by the confluence of the Great Depression, WWII and high taxation which all acted to temporarily ease the grip of inequality through an almost unprecedented destruction of capital.  As things returned to normal, the greater rate of return generated by capital guaranteed increasing and accelerating income inequality.

      The only way to prevent it is to tax it or otherwise destroy it.

      Wish I had the time to dig up the review, it was very detailed and great.  The author, can't recall who, but impressively credentialed, suggested this may be one of the most important economic books in a LONG, LONG time.

      My apologies if I've bungled this.  

      If you didn't care what happened to me, and I didn't care for you, we would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain, occasionally glancing up through the rain, wondering which of the buggers to blame, and watching for pigs on the wing. R. Waters

      by No Exit on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:05:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If no one steps up for Sunday (9+ / 0-)

    I could write a little something. I have been mean to write about the post-ironic hero anyway.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:26:59 AM PDT

  •  So far in March: (13+ / 0-)

    March 2014
    "Draykon Book 1" by Charlotte E. English
    "Mickey Outside" by David Lender
    "Frost Burn" by Patricia Briggs (re-read)
    "An Unsuitable Job for a Woman" by P. D. James
    "Ever After" by Kim Harrison
    "Night Broken" by Patricia Briggs

    Currently reading:   (Kindle)
    "The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time" by Douglas Adams

    "In the Woods" by Tana French

    "Night Broken" was Caedy's birthday present, and she finished it a couple of days ago. She's all hyped up to discuss it, and she's the only one in the house who had read it at that point, so my other half and I dove into it. She's out of town for a few days, but we'll be ready when she returns. I was up until 2am finishing it last night, because I couldn't put it down LOL.

    "The Salmon of Doubt" is good, but I read that type of non-fiction slower. It's a set of his book introductions and columns, so it's broken up a lot more than a novel is. I enjoy them, but I can't sink into them and get lost. Otherwise that would have been done days ago. It also means I don't feel bad about interrupting it for other stuff lol.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:42:57 AM PDT

  •  Reading and listening... (8+ / 0-)

    Finished the audiobook version of Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age by Matthew Brzezinski. The title is pretty self-explanatory. I really liked this one a lot. I'd always just known the bare-bones story about Sputnik and how it's launch initiated the drive to promote science and technology education in our school's here in the US. What I didn't know is how this event severly damaged Eisenhower's second term as his response to it was largely dismissive. I highly recommend this if you're interested in this kind of thing.

    Started reading the Kindle version of Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. This is the 2nd book in the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series of books. Only about 1/4 of the way through and so far it's pretty good.

    Also started the audiobook version of Mockingjay, the 3rd Hunger Games book. I've often heard that this one is not as good as the first two, but I want to finish the series.  So far it's alright, but I'm not that far into it.

  •  Are We Rome? - excellent read (8+ / 0-)

    reading it for a second time

    written by a journalist

    spent years thinking about the topic and has some things not seen before

    has a lot to say about infrastructure and privatization

    privatization gives power from the state to private parties. The steering wheel of the state is no longer connected to the wheels.

    the book was published in 2007. First read it about 2010. Has more insights about what is going on right now in the US than many recent books

    "Are We Rome? The Failure of an Empire and The Fate of America" by Cullen Murphy

  •  Just finished "Smiles to Go" by Jerry Spinelli (9+ / 0-)

    My son is reading it in class, and I've been volunteering for the discussion group. Pretty good, but skews way too old for his age group. (4th grade)

    "The Count of Monte Cristo" - Dumas.  To see if it's good (My daughter was not impressed)

    Just going to start "The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde. I read "Jane Eyre" for the first time, so want to reread the Thursday Next version.

    "Twelfth Night" Saw the play on Saturday. Gotta check up on changes to folio.

    "The Lord of the Rings" - Because LOTR

    "Carnet de Voyage" Craig Thompson - A graphic travel diary.

    Speaking of diaries, thanks for this one.

    I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

    by mungley on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 07:05:22 AM PDT

  •  Sycamore Row by Grisham (8+ / 0-)

    Listened to it.  Kind of a beach book but I enjoyed it.  It takes up with Jake three years after A Time to Kill...Years that haven't been kind to Jake...

    I was just in northwest was a bit cool!  Too cool for beach sitting...

  •  Just finished Born in Africa (9+ / 0-)

    by Martin Meredith.  Next up is Fate of Africa by the same author.

  •  Recently finished "The Sixth Extinction" by ... (8+ / 0-)

    Elizabeth Kolbert, about how we are now undergoing a sixth mass extinction, this one caused by human beings. I highly recommend it.

    I'm almost finished with Herodotus' History (translation by David Grene). The most fascinating thing to me is his report of a claim that the Phoenicians had circumnavigated Africa in a clockwise direction in a mission promoted by the Egyptian pharaoh. Interestingly enough, he claims not to believe this story -- apparently in part because the Phoenicians came back and said that when they rounded the Cape of Good Hope and began sailing west, the Sun was on their right side. To someone who knew nothing of anywhere south of the equator, it would indeed seem preposterous that the Sun would ever be on your right while sailing west.

    I'm also reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "The Cost of Discipleship," and just downloaded "Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball," by John Feinstein, which I'll start as soon as I finish Herodotus.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 07:53:34 AM PDT

    •  I read Eric Metaxas's Bonhoeffer biography... (7+ / 0-)

      ...a year or two ago. It was excellent. Forgive me if this verges on re-proving Godwin's Law, but the way the Nazis just made up supposed true principles, and most people simply accepted them as always having been true, was reminiscent of the GOP's strategies today.

      No, I DON'T think the GOP is about to implement genocide and start a world war. But I do think they routinely exploit the timeless human desire to believe what is convenient to our own fear and selfishness.

      A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true.

      --Demosthenes, ca. 350 BCE

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:03:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I've been noticing parallels for decades (7+ / 0-)

        My mother once told me that she watched an episode of Phil Donahue's talk show where someone asked Alan Alda why he didn't debate Phyllis Schlafly over the ERA.  His answer had the audience literally gasping in shock:

        "She lies."

        He expanded on this by saying that Schlafly not only lied about what the ERA would do, she knew that she was lying because multiple experts had told her to her face that she was wrong, yet she kept spewing the same nonsense.   Given this, he saw no gain for anyone by attempting to debate someone who was starting from a position of falsehood.

        This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

        by Ellid on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:43:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Alda's right, for sure. (5+ / 0-)

          To me, it seems so obvious that they're lying, I've long been butting my head against the question, "If you know you are lying and engaging in ever more convoluted tactics every day to prove your point of view, why don't you come to the conclusion that you're wrong?"

          I've thought up some possible answers, but none of them satisfy.  My latest is that conservatives desperately cling to a view of life which reveres enforced authority.  They like both dishing it out to their "inferiors" and taking it from their "superiors" (the church, for example).  Somehow, it's impossible for them to live in a world where people make up their own minds and "truth" is always subject to revision.

      •  Demosthenes was so totally right! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, RiveroftheWest

        The classic example of that is Thomas Jefferson, an indisputably great genius who was opposed to slavery early in his life, but who somehow managed to convince himself that it was morally justifiable once it became apparent that his lifestyle depended upon it.  The older I get, the more examples of this that I see.

        Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

        by leevank on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 09:55:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Finished A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by (6+ / 0-)

    Anthony Marra.  Ended strong, but I felt like I should have liked it more than I really did.  Just started Dead Water by Simon Ings, but it's way too early to have a sense of it.

  •  The Dance of Legislation by Eric Redman (5+ / 0-)

    Published in 1973 and recommended recently by Inside National Health Reform author John McDonough, it tells of the tumultuous effort to get a health care bill passed in the Senate in 1972. Redman was a young staffer for Senator Magnuson working on S. 4106 to establish a National Health Service Corps. Wikipedia says: "The legislative battle to establish the NHSC was the subject of the book, "The Dance of Legislation" by Eric Redman, and the jacket blurb calls it "an insider's concrete and exuberant account of the workings of the United States Senate." I've read most of this very lively and interesting book, and while the NHSC hangs in the balance throughout, I know that in the end the bill miraculously passed. The message would be to never give up and try every angle, just as the health care warriors did who finally got the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:09:22 AM PDT

  •  I've Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew (6+ / 0-)

    still, I'm gnawing my way through these books slowly and determinedly.

    Luminaries by Eleanor Catton -- a book that could ballast a schooner in a single copy.

    Madison and Jefferson a dual biography by two LSU professors, Burstein and Isenberg; readable and full of details about which I hadn't a clue.  Did you know Jefferson was James Monroe's tutor?  That most of the VA Founding Fathers were educated in the law by one man -- George Wythe?  Neither did I.

    The Abyssinian by French writer Jean-Christophe Rufin.  Historical adventure fiction told with sparkling wry wit.  Lime Spouse and I are tackling it together as a read-aloud.

    On the badly neglected CD player in the car is South African poet, Adam Schwartzman's, Eddie Signwriter, which I've barely begun.  It's about a Ghanian billboard painter who becomes an illegal immigrant to Paris due to the flip-flops of fate.  I've read a number of good (and bad) African and Asian illegal immigrant novels in the past 5 years.  My favorites among them are Little Bee by Chris Cleave for Africa and The Illegal Gardener by Sara Alexi for Asia.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:13:37 AM PDT

  •  A Tale for the Time Being (6+ / 0-)

    was my latest read. It was a one nighter--couldn't put it down, but came away with mixed feelings because I'm not sure the author pulled it off in the end.  Though, quantum physics aside, it was an excellent story. The journal writer in the story, Naoko Yasutani, and her family's story are what hooked me.

  •  What I'm reading right now (6+ / 0-)

    Christanity:  The First 3,000 Years, by Diarmaid MacCulloch - long, dense, and extremely informative book on the history of Christianity, including plenty of information on non-Western churches and theologies.  Good reminder that not everything is about Western Europe or America, with a particularly fine section on Russian Orthodoxy.

    Fiasco, by Thomas E. Ricks - brilliant, disturbing, and merciless examination of just how horribly the Bush Administration fucked up in Iraq, beginning with our reasons for going to war, the selection of some remarkably unqualified generals, and the trashing of battle plans and intelligence that had been painstakingly assembled for over a decade.  Ricks knows and likes David Petraeus and it shows, but compared to the likes of Odierna, Sanchez, et al., Petraeus looks like a military genius in comparison.  THE book to read on the latter-day Vietnam.

    What's in the queue:

    Shards of Time, by Lynn Flewelling - the seventh and last book in her Nightrunner series comes out on April 1st.  Plot elements include a locked room mystery, an ancient evil coming to life again, plenty of politics, and a lead character faced with a choice that may well kill him for good.  

    Captain America:  The Winter Soldier, by Ed Brubaker, art by Steve Epting et al.  - the collected comic books that are the basis for the upcoming movie.  This is superhero comics at its very best, with strong characterization, a taut, surprising plot, great art, and a hero who manages to be both the embodiment of what America's supposed to be and a flawed, fragile, guilt-ridden human being.

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:56:14 AM PDT

  •  I'm reading Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (8+ / 0-)

    It was a gift from my brother, and I assumed it was about computer geeks, so I put it on the kindle with some slightly excited fantasies of logic and daily geekitude.

    But it's actually about a family of deliberately-created side-show freaks, told by the albino hump-backed dwarf sister who kinda holds the whole thing together, living unbeknownst by both alongside her blind/deaf mother and her beautiful daughter.

    Sounds bizarre, and in some ways it is, but the writing is beautiful, the kind of truly creative wordsmithing that makes me feel stupid: "Draped with a few dead rodents she could slip unsuspected into cucumber luncheons."

    "my big blouse… tears in an explosion of buttons that ricochet around the stage without sound because there is no room in this big sound for the little sounds of buttons hitting."

    "I can hear the pigeons fuddling in the eaves. Rain begins to splat a shine over the puddle on the garage roof below me."

    So even though some of it is repulsive, I am fascinated and soldier on….

    I should maybe interject that I always thought the old custom of wearing a fox skin around one's elderly neck was the height of bizarre, even for the 1950s, and I remember the Katherine Anne Porter character who said Granny had a dead cat around her neck.

    So maybe we all have an eye for the weird...  

    "You can observe a lot just by watching." ~ Yogi Berra

    by dandy lion on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 09:40:30 AM PDT

  •  Just finished "Wellington: The Years of the Sword" (5+ / 0-)

    by Elizabeth Longford. Great biography of the Iron Duke's youth and military career.

    Now reading "The Sword and the Shield," by Christopher Andrew, a history of the KGB. A dense, but interesting, book.

    Next up will be "Wellington: Pillar of the State," which is the second book in Longford's biography, covering Wellington's life after Waterloo.

  •  Rare Ben Jonson (4+ / 0-)

    I'm slowly chewing my way through Ben Jonson's play The Alchemist.  I really want to like that play, and maybe I'd enjoy it more if I saw it performed, but the the effort of trying to interpret what is going on makes it a lot more difficult.

    I don't have that problem with Shakespeare.  Maybe that's because I know his plots better, but I think that Shakespeare's writing was clearer.

    Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at

    by quarkstomper on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:04:38 AM PDT

  •  I'm currently working my way through... (3+ / 0-)

    Volume 2 of dh Lawrence's short stories.  He has an excellent feel for human interaction and emotion.

    A few pages into dickens' hard times.  oddly enough, given that I've read so much of his contemporaries, I've never read any dickens except the first quarter the pick wick papers which I put down because I didn't find it funny or compelling.

    And. Sitting right next to hard times are some selected works of Edgar Allan Poe.

    Oh, and how could I forget, I'm still only halfway through what hath god wrought.  A history book covering American history from 1812 to 1848.  Dry as dust, but the procession of statistics on the timeline is interesting...

    If you didn't care what happened to me, and I didn't care for you, we would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain, occasionally glancing up through the rain, wondering which of the buggers to blame, and watching for pigs on the wing. R. Waters

    by No Exit on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:32:32 AM PDT

    •  WHAT? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit, RiveroftheWest

      You didn't like Pickwick?!  I am stunned ... I love that book.  But as it sounds like you know, 19th century prose takes a little getting used to, and it does not all play well to a 21st century audience.  Hard Times is shorter but not, I think, his best stuff.  If you get a chance, try the first 50 pages or so of Our Mutual Friend ... I think that was his best.

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