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Culture Forum

  1. 31 Dec '08 20:26
    With a Borders gift card I got The Intellectual Devotional. http://tinyurl.com/7j6jlo Today I read about the Cave of Lascaux http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/, which I'd already heard of. But it was nice to read more about it.

    What books have you discovered recently? (I gave up after five pages looking for the "what are you reading" thread)
  2. Standard member Fleabitten
    Love thy bobblehead
    31 Dec '08 21:45
    At the risk of stretching credulity to the breaking point, I received The Intellectual Devotional as a Christmas gift.
  3. 31 Dec '08 22:01
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    At the risk of stretching credulity to the breaking point, I received The Intellectual Devotional as a Christmas gift.
    Do you recommend it? I have a couple vouchers.
  4. 31 Dec '08 22:11
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    At the risk of stretching credulity to the breaking point, I received The Intellectual Devotional as a Christmas gift.
    You did??? Sweet!!
  5. Standard member rbmorris
    Vampyroteuthis
    01 Jan '09 00:27
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    You did??? Sweet!!
    We have it too. Really interesting stuff.

    A recent acquisition that I'd like to recommend is, 'Absurdistan', by Gary Shteyngart. If you liked 'Confederacy of Dunces', you'd probably love this book. One of the best books I've read in a while.

    P.S. I'd include a link, but I'm posting from my phone.
  6. 01 Jan '09 01:01
    Originally posted by rbmorris
    We have it too. Really interesting stuff.

    A recent acquisition that I'd like to recommend is, 'Absurdistan', by Gary Shteyngart. If you liked 'Confederacy of Dunces', you'd probably love this book. One of the best books I've read in a while.

    P.S. I'd include a link, but I'm posting from my phone.
    Dive -- yes, I'd recommend it.

    I'll have to check out Absurdistan. Thanks!
  7. 01 Jan '09 18:46
    I ve just started to read Charlie Huston's "caught stealing." I can't put it down. I recently read Raymond Chandler's " the big sleep " and was very disappointed.
  8. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    01 Jan '09 18:48
    Dostoyevsky's tragi-comedy The Brothers Karamazov. It makes so many other novels appear entirely pointless.
  9. Standard member Fleabitten
    Love thy bobblehead
    01 Jan '09 19:23
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    Dive -- yes, I'd recommend it.

    I'll have to check out Absurdistan. Thanks!
    I'd recommend The Intellectual Devotional, as well.

    Another that comes to mind is Freakonomics. I can't recall the author's name off of the top of my head. But it was certainly one of the more entertaining and thought provoking books I read in 2008.
  10. 01 Jan '09 23:29 / 2 edits
    The History of Western Philosophy - Bertrand Russell

    Russell's account of Western philosophy is wonderfully readable. His style is remarkably clear and often funny:

    Pythagoras

    "Let us begin with what little is known of his life. He was a native of the island of Samos, and flourished about 532 B.C. Some say he was the son of a substantial citizen named Mnesarchos, others say that he was the son of the god Apollo; I leave the reader to take his choice between these alternatives."

    And later... "Pythagoras is one of the most interesting and puzzling men in history. Not only are the traditions concerning him an almost inextricable mixture of truth and falsehood, but even in their barest and least disputable form they present us with a very curious psychology. He may be described, briefly, as a combination of Einstein and Mrs Eddy."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Baker_Eddy

    "He founded a religion, of which the main tenets were the transmigration of souls and the sinfulness of eating beans. His religion was embodied in a religious order, which, here and there, acquired control of the State and established a rule of the saints. But the unregenerate hankered after beans, and sooner or later rebelled.

    Some of the rules of the Pythagorean order were:

    1. To abstain from beans.
    2. Not to pick up what has fallen. [No five second rule then?]
    3. Not to touch a white cock. [No need to discriminate!]
    4. Not to break bread.
    5. Not to step over a crossbar. [Presumably the birth of limbo]
    6. Not to stir the fire with iron.
    7. Not to eat from a whole loaf. [Talk about a Spartan diet]
    8. Not to pluck a garland. [She loves you not]
    9. Not to sit on a quart measure.
    10. Not to eat the heart.
    11. Not to walk on highways.
    12. Not to let swallows share one's roof.
    13. When the pot is taken off the fire, not to leave the mark of it in the ashes, but to stir them together. [Is there a doctor in the house?]
    14. Not to look in a mirror beside a light.
    15. When you rise from the bedclothes, roll them together and smooth out the impress of the body. [This reads like a Python script]"

    *My italics
  11. 01 Jan '09 23:40
    I got "Da Vincis Vermächtnis" by Stefan Klein (a book about Leonardo da Vinci's work with a special focus on science and inventions) for Christmas and find it intriguing so far. I have no idea if it has been translated to any other languages; quite likely not yet as it has come out in 2008.
  12. 02 Jan '09 00:13
    Originally posted by Nordlys
    I got "Da Vincis Vermächtnis" by Stefan Klein (a book about Leonardo da Vinci's work with a special focus on science and inventions) for Christmas and find it intriguing so far. I have no idea if it has been translated to any other languages; quite likely not yet as it has come out in 2008.
    That sounds interesting, though. Da Vinci was a fascinating man!
  13. 02 Jan '09 17:49
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    With a Borders gift card I got The Intellectual Devotional. http://tinyurl.com/7j6jlo Today I read about the Cave of Lascaux http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/, which I'd already heard of. But it was nice to read more about it.

    What books have you discovered recently? (I gave up after five pages looking for the "what are you reading" thread)
    I picked up "The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden" on a whim and it has pulled me in like no book has in quite a while.

    http://tinyurl.com/9glrjk
  14. Donation kirksey957
    Outkast
    03 Jan '09 14:43
    Recently finished "Too Fat to Fish" by Artie Lange. I only mention it now as there is a very interesting account of his encounter with Jett Travolta as a young child. Son of Kelly Preston and John Travolta who was just found dead.
  15. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    04 Jan '09 10:30
    Amongst others, I got 'Gabriel Marcia Marquez: A Life', by Gerald Martin; 'Anonymity' by John Mullan' and - somewhat bizarrely, but I am glad I got it, Malthus' 'An Essay on the Principle of Population'...