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Posted by Rhand on Sep-19-2005 21:46:

Robert Jordan - The Great Hunt


Posted by occrider on Sep-23-2005 05:54:

This isn't a book I'm recommending but there's no other appropriate place. I just saw Itzhak Perlman perform and he was undoubtedly the second best classical performance (number one was Lang-Lang) I have ever seen. If you haven't heard of him, he's one of the premier violinists of the 20th century and has a number of grammys under his belt. His command of the violin was simply awe-inspiring ... and despite the awesome crescendos, it wasn't simply his technical skills that was to be admired (as many youthful progidies tend to overemphasize), but the full flavor of feeling and emotion with each note. If you get a chance to see him do so. He played Barber- Violin Concerto, Op. 14 btw.

As an interesting historical note, he plays on the ‘Soil’ Strad (1714) which is considered to be the one of the finest Stradivarius violins.


Posted by metalgearsolid on Oct-22-2005 14:40:

This isn't really a book; more of an interview with some guy. The books name is Interview With Noam Chomsky. The book is really good;I mean after reading that book I like didn't have to read all what TX posts links to.


Posted by shaolin_Z on Oct-26-2005 06:30:

I know this isn't a "book" or a "political book" but if you have any interest in comic books/graphic novels, you HAVE read it, and even if you don't, you should still read this. Being an ex comic collector, if I were to recommend one graphic novel to anyone, this would be it:

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller



quote:

FROM THE CRITICS

Washington Post


There's never been storytelling quite like this. It took someone who views comics as an art to create it. — Washington Post

Rolling Stone

… an unusually ambitious and gripping crime novel …

New Haven Register

The Dark Knight Returns is unquestionably a work of genius, a serious work from an artist who takes comic books seriously.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

… probably the finest piece of comic art ever published in a popular edition…

- Stephen King

This guy is good!

- Mickey Spillane


Posted by shaolin_Z on Nov-01-2005 07:56:

For those of you interested in Islamic history, PBS made a three part documentary which is actually pretty informative:

Islam: Empire of Faith

quote:

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Islam: Empire of Faith is the epic PBS documentary that charts the history of Islam from its beginnings in Mecca and Medina in the seventh century to the glory of the Ottoman Empire 1,000 years later.

The demonization of Islam by the West has a long history, stretching back to the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century. This documentary redresses the balance by showing the riches of Islamic culture and the vital role played by Islam in preserving and building upon ancient wisdom from East and West at a time when most of Europe was stumbling through the Dark Ages. Muslim physicians, mathematicians, and astronomers stretched the boundaries of human knowledge, and Muslim architects created some of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

Islam also offers fascinating insights into key personalities, from Muhammad himself--a simple merchant whose vision of a single deity forged warring tribes into a nation--to great conquerors such as Mehmed and Suleyman, who presided over an empire that stretched from Spain to India. The faith itself is clearly explained, and interviews with historians and religious scholars bring home both its simplicity and the way that it survived huge cultural changes (like the Mongol invasions of the 13th century) to emerge stronger than ever. Islam has often been misunderstood in the West, but this splendid documentary helps to set the record straight. --Simon Leake


Posted by LazFX on Nov-16-2005 10:40:

quote:
Originally posted by shaolin_Z
For those of you interested in Islamic history, PBS made a three part documentary which is actually pretty informative:

Islam: Empire of Faith


I am going to get this shaolin_z. My girlfriend whome I am getting very involved with is Lebonese(sp)and her father spoke of this PBS special the other day.


Posted by shaolin_Z on Nov-21-2005 14:24:

quote:
Originally posted by LazFX
I am going to get this shaolin_z. My girlfriend whome I am getting very involved with is Lebonese(sp)and her father spoke of this PBS special the other day.


Cool, let me know what you think of it.


Posted by tathi on Nov-29-2005 22:40:

reading John Steinbeck - Grapes of Wrath

wow! second favorite piece of american literature i've read (1. Catch 22)


Posted by occrider on Nov-30-2005 08:37:

quote:
Originally posted by tathi
reading John Steinbeck - Grapes of Wrath

wow! second favorite piece of american literature i've read (1. Catch 22)


Out of curiosity what European literature is on par with Catch 22?


Posted by tathi on Nov-30-2005 09:33:

i couldn't compare anything to Catch-22 because the book is very very different to any other book (reason why it's one of my favorites!) but heavyweights of literature are all profoundly unique and amazing

these three books are amazing european literature:

Alexander Dumas - The Count of Monte Cristo

Cervantes - Don Quixote

Victor Hugo - Les Miserables


Posted by trancaholic on Nov-30-2005 20:42:

quote:
Originally posted by occrider
Out of curiosity what European literature is on par with Catch 22?

I haven't read Catch 22; I assume that by literature you mean fiction and more specifically modern novels, rather than pre 1900 stuff; and finally, the far majority of the books that I love are by US authors. That being said, I do think that "Atomised" by Michel Houellebecq is one of the most funny, thought-provoking, and flat out terrifying books I have ever read. And he's a European.
Furthermore, "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder is quite unique, and "Hitchhiker's guide...", the Discworld series, the Middle Earth books, and the Harry Potter books have been quite successful among readers.
EDIT: Oh yeah, Don Quixote is probably the worst book I have ever read. It's reusing the same bad joke over and over again - like the similarly awful Candide - but unlike Candide's 70-80 pages, DQ is about 1000 of pages of torture.


Posted by TranceGiant on Dec-01-2005 19:16:

Read This!

Edward GIBBON: The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire


Posted by Trancer-X on Dec-05-2005 01:25:

quote:
GP: But there is, right now, a book called, “The Forbidden Truth”, which was just put out in its English edition, which has added some of these documents. All W199 says is that, it shows that the U.S. FBI had closed and then on September 13th of 2001, two days after the attack on the World Trade Center, re-opened that investigation of the bin Laden family, indicating that the investigation had been previously shut down.

AJ: Look, I read the document here on air. The thing is on-line. It was in nine major newspapers. You can go to infowars.com and print it off. You’ve got the government blocking investigations of al Qaeda, of the bin Ladens, of Hamas. We’ve got FBI agent Robert Wright. We’ve got Judicial Watch head Larry Klayman. And David Schippers at the National Press Club giving an hour-long press conference of how they were blocked from stopping al Queda and hijackers at bases. That’s been all over the news.

GP: There is a massive suit brought by the attorney, it’s a multi-trillion dollar suit for the victims of September 11th, against the Saudi government.

http://www.infowars.com/transcripts/palast_nov4_02.htm



http://www.forbiddentruth.net/


Posted by d-miurge on Dec-30-2005 13:49:

quote:
Originally posted by tathi
reading John Steinbeck - Grapes of Wrath

wow! second favorite piece of american literature i've read (1. Catch 22)


I prefer The Pearl...

my recommendation: Arnold Toynbee - A Study of History

=> check this out


Posted by Trancer-X on Dec-30-2005 22:54:

quote:
Originally posted by me
The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski

    Excerpts:
quote:
It is also a fact that America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America's power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization.

(p.35)


quote:
Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.

(p. 211)



and also

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 - Steve Coll


Posted by d-miurge on Jan-12-2006 18:32:

Books I read recently:

*Pierre Bourdieu - Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste
*Luc Boltanski & Eve Chiapello - The New Spirit of Capitalism (900 pages and quite hard to read, but awesome)


Posted by occrider on Jan-12-2006 20:27:

This is a good stocking stuffer if you have kids: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/09...glance&n=283155



Ok no seriously Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell was fantastic.


Posted by Trancer-X on Jan-12-2006 20:30:

quote:
Originally posted by occrider
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/09...glance&n=283155

Nuff said.


LMFAO! Oh, noooooes - there are thought criminals under my bed, momma!

I might have to read that one just for kicks.


Posted by occrider on Jan-13-2006 06:53:

quote:
Originally posted by occrider
Ok no seriously Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell was fantastic.


Btw if anyone reads this please let me know. It's a very thought provoking book that evokes so many questions that I'm desperatly trying to find discussion groups so I can understand what other people thought about the themes Mitchell is conveying.

Curious as to what it's about?

quote:

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
Marx warned us that history repeats itself: first as tragedy, then as farce. British novelist David Mitchell suggests a few more iterations: grade-B pulp thriller, creepy dystopian scifi, Hobbesian nightmare. Mitchell has already earned high praise for his previous novels, Ghostwritten (1999) and Number9Dream (2001), the latter of which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His latest effort, Cloud Atlas, revises Marx's quip to meet the demands of contemporary fiction. Hopscotching over centuries, Cloud Atlas likewise jumps in and out of half a dozen different styles, all of which display the author's astonishing talent for ventriloquism, and end up fitting together to make this a highly satisfying, and unusually thoughtful, addition to the expanding "puzzle book" genre.

Novels whose plots hinge on intricate puzzles -- e.g., The Da Vinci Code and The Rule of Four -- are all the rage these days, but the puzzle of Cloud Atlas isn't in the book, it is the book. What appears at first glance to be a novel is in fact six novellas whose interrelatedness is only hinted at during the book's first half, then revealed fully and splendidly after the book's middle, which is really the book's end. Confused? You're supposed to be, at least for a little while: It's from this starting point of dislocation that Mitchell begins a virtuosic round trip through the strata of history and causality, exploring the permanence of man's inhumanity to man and the impermanence of what we have come to call civilization.

Mitchell begins his chronology of our fall from grace with a character named Adam, naturally. "The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing" presents us with the diary of a seafaring 1850s American notary, killing time on the Chatham Islands off New Zealand as he waits for his homeward ship to set sail. Engaging in the amateur anthropology of the visitor, the morally upright Ewing struggles to square his belief in the civilizing, beneficent aspects of colonialism with what he sees before him, "that casual brutality lighter races show the darker." He also befriends an English doctor who diagnoses Ewing with a rare, brain-destroying disease, and who begins treating the American immediately with a cocktail of powerful drugs.

Then, in mid-sentence, Mitchell whisks us away from the scene, and suddenly we are reading the letters of one Robert Frobisher, a charmingly louche, happily bisexual British composer of the 1930s whose tendency to skip out on hotel bills has finally caught up with him. As he recounts his ambitious plan to evade creditors and gain hitherto elusive fame by exploiting an elderly maestro, we merrily follow his rake's progress and almost forget the plight of poor Adam Ewing -- until, that is, Frobisher mentions in passing that he has serendipitously found and read one-half of a bound copy of Ewing's journal. (The second half is damnably missing.) Shortly thereafter, we take our leave of Frobisher just as abruptly as we were introduced to him, and Mitchell drops us down in 1970s California, at the opening chapter of a crime-fiction potboiler whose heroine, a plucky magazine journalist named Luisa Rey, is on the verge of uncovering a nefarious conspiracy.

And so it goes, again and again: a cycle of starts and stops that vectors through past, present and future, linked by buried clues and the twin refrains of deceit and exploitation. What all these stories have in common is that each draws its lifeblood from the same heart of darkness. Cloud Atlas is a work of fiction, ultimately, about the myriad misuses of fiction: the seductive lies told by grifters, CEOs, politicians and others in the service of expanding empires and maintaining power. Soon we meet Timothy Cavendish, the curmudgeonly editor of a London vanity press, who is tricked into incarceration by his vengeful brother. We meet a wise, world-weary clone from 22nd-century Korea, where hypercapitalism and biotechnology have fused into absolute tyranny. And finally, in post-apocalypse Hawaii, we meet a storyteller who enthralls his listeners with the tale of a suspicious visitor from a far-off land, echoing the account of Adam Ewing that opens the book.

At this point the novel's action rapidly reverses course, going back through time and picking up the abandoned narrative threads, weaving them together to craft a fascinating meditation on civilization's insatiable appetites. Even Mitchell's characters seem to voice uncertainty about their creator's grand plan. "Revolutionary or gimmicky? Shan't know until it's finished," admits Frobisher of his own "Cloud Sextet," a musical composition whose ambitious six-part structure mirrors the novel's. And Cavendish, the editor from the old school, has his qualms, too: "I disapprove of flashbacks, foreshadowings, and tricksy devices; they belong in the 1980s with M.A.s in postmodernism and chaos theory," he harrumphs.

But sometimes novels filled with big ideas require equally big mechanisms for relaying them, and it's hard to imagine an idea bigger than the one Mitchell is tackling here: how the will to power that compels the strong to subjugate the weak is replayed perpetually in a cycle of eternal recurrence. Rarely has the all-encompassing prefix of "metafiction" seemed so apposite. Here is not only the academic pessimism of Marx, Hobbes and Nietzsche but also the frightening portents of Aldous Huxley and the linguistic daring of Anthony Burgess. Here, too, are Melville's maritime tableaux, the mordant satire of Kingsley Amis and, in the voice of Robert Frobisher -- Mitchell's most poignant and fully realized character -- the unmistakable ghost of Paul Bowles. Here is a veritable film festival of unembarrassed cinematic references and inspirations, from "Soylent Green" to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" to "The Graduate" to the postwar comedies of England's Ealing Studios. Here is an obviously sincere affection for the oft-maligned genres of mystery, science fiction and fantasy.

All of these influences, and countless others, gel into a work that nevertheless manages to be completely original. More significantly, the various pieces of David Mitchell's mysterious puzzle combine to form a haunting image that stays with the reader long after the book has been closed. Cloud Atlas ought to make him famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent.

Reviewed by Jeff Turrentine
Copyright 2004, The Washington Post Co. All Rights Reserved.


Just very well written, thought provoking, and imaginative. Defintely something to read twice to understand the linkages of character and theme between each story. Who would have thought coming from a brit?


Posted by Trancer-X on Jan-13-2006 06:59:

quote:
Originally posted by occrider
Btw if anyone reads this please let me know. It's a very thought provoking book that evokes so many questions that I'm desperatly trying to find discussion groups so I can understand what other people thought about the themes Mitchell is conveying.


Just very well written, thought provoking, and imaginative. Who would have thought coming from a brit?


I'm working on two at the moment, but that one looks so damn amazing that I might actually have to whip out my big ole'























































































































bookmark. Seriously, though - that looks excellent!


Posted by Trancer-X on Jan-13-2006 07:01:

quote:
Originally posted by occrider
Who would have thought coming from a brit?


Yeah, well... Huxley was the man, though. He was a beacon of light to me and he was a Brit.


Posted by occrider on Jan-13-2006 07:21:

quote:
Originally posted by Trancer-X
I'm working on two at the moment, but that one looks so damn amazing that I might actually have to whip out my big ole'


bookmark. Seriously, though - that looks excellent!


Yea ... I admit I didn't really get into it until the 2nd or 3rd novella but once you do it's hard to put down. Especially once you start guessing at how everything links together. It's wonderous how Mitchell is able go through 6 different writing styles that seem to be completely independant from one another yet flawlessly integrate a consistent theme that differs ever so slightly. Personally I think you would enjoy the Orison of Somni-451. It's a brilliant criticism of cognitive obvliviousness/acceptance of capitalistic slavery (corpocracy ). I enjoyed this part the most. Mitchell does such an excellent job of conveying dsytopian reality ... I shall take my ford to the opera ... pose for a kodak will you! What makes this book fun is tying together and identifying the same thematic elements as you go from age to age by novella to novella. They're almost identical but each adds a little bit more to consider. The part I like the best is the semi-hidden message/insiniuation the end. Describing it will reveal spoilers so if you're intrigued about the book read it and pm me.


Posted by Trancer-X on Jan-13-2006 07:35:

quote:
Originally posted by occrider
Yea ... I admit I didn't really get into it until the 2nd or 3rd novella but once you do it's hard to put down. Especially once you start guessing at how everything links together. It's wonderous how Mitchell is able go through 6 different writing styles that seem to be completely independant from one another yet flawlessly integrate a consistent theme that differs ever so slightly. Personally I think you would enjoy the Orison of Somni-451. It's a brilliant criticism of cognitive obvliviousness/acceptance of capitalistic slavery (corpocracy ). I enjoyed this part the most. Mitchell does such an excellent job of conveying dsytopian reality ... I shall take my ford to the opera ... pose for a kodak will you! What makes this book fun is tying together and identifying the same thematic elements as you go from age to age by novella to novella. They're almost identical but each adds a little bit more to consider. The part I like the best is the semi-hidden message/insiniuation the end. Describing it will reveal spoilers so if you're intrigued about the book read it and pm me.


Awesome, man. Thanks!


Posted by Trancer-X on Jan-15-2006 21:39:

quote:
Originally posted by shaolin_Z
For those of you interested in Islamic history, PBS made a three part documentary which is actually pretty informative:

Islam: Empire of Faith


I just downloaded it and am going to try to find some time to watch it tonight.

Understanding is definitely the key to peaceful cohabitation amongst our world's ethnically and ideologically diverse populations. I think it's very sad how we spend so much money to wage wars but so little actually engaging in diplomacy.


Posted by shaolin_Z on Jan-19-2006 13:50:

quote:
Originally posted by Trancer-X
I just downloaded it and am going to try to find some time to watch it tonight.


Cool, let me know what you think.

quote:
Originally posted by Trancer-X
Understanding is definitely the key to peaceful cohabitation amongst our world's ethnically and ideologically diverse populations. I think it's very sad how we spend so much money to wage wars but so little actually engaging in diplomacy.[/color]


Agreed.


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