What are you reading at the moment?

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Well done on reviving the thread - just been sent - 'Monsignor Quixote,' Graham Greene. Proper paper book - not Kindle. Excellent. That being said - I would not have survived lockdown without the Kindle. I.
If you enjoy Graham Greene then I highly recommend The Quiet American. I read it while backpacking around Vietnam which made it all the more poignant but I don't think it would lose any of its power and magic for being read back home. He is such a brilliant observer of both politics and of human behaviour. Fabulous stuff.
 

Digimonkey

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If you enjoy Graham Greene then I highly recommend The Quiet American. I read it while backpacking around Vietnam which made it all the more poignant but I don't think it would lose any of its power and magic for being read back home. He is such a brilliant observer of both politics and of human behaviour. Fabulous stuff.
Thank you for the recommendation - I'd never read Greene before - it is excellent - as you observe - a brilliant judge of human interaction and politics - in this case - the religious set against the secular. The one thing that properly unifies the two is doubt in their belief systems. It is also really funny in places. I'm glad I had read Cervantes - otherwise - I'd have missed the plethora of in-jokes. I'd definitely pick up another Greene.

@Manstein - Newby - 'A Short Walk In the Hindu Kush,' is one of my favourite books of all time. His talent for self-deprecation hides the fact that he was the real deal - the section - when on the walk into Nuristan - he and his mate - meet the 'great white hunter,'- Wilfred Thesiger - being carried out sick on a palanquin of native manufacture - a mobile charpoy - by a retinue of surprisingly attractive young boys - Thesiger treats them with utter contempt - a bit rude - given they were the only three native English speakers within five hundred square miles. Hilarious.

Cheers - I.

@Missoni
 
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Thank you for the recommendation - I'd never read Greene before - it is excellent - as you observe - a brilliant judge of human interaction and politics - in this case - the religious set against the secular. The one thing that properly unifies the two is doubt in their belief systems. It is also really funny in places. I'm glad I had read Cervantes - otherwise - I'd have missed the plethora of in-jokes. I'd definitely pick up another Greene.

@Manstein - Newby - 'A Short Walk In the Hindu Kush,' is one of my favourite books of all time. His talent for self-deprecation hides the fact that he was the real deal - the section - when on the walk into Nuristan - he and his mate - meet the 'great white hunter,'- Wilfred Thesiger - being carried out sick on a palanquin of native manufacture - a mobile charpoy - by a retinue of surprisingly attractive young boys - Thesiger treats them with utter contempt - a bit rude - given they were the only three native English speakers within five hundred square miles. Hilarious.

Cheers - I.

@Missoni
Digimonkey I listened to a old radio "In the psychiatrists chair" podcast a while ago and Thesiger was the subject. He admitted to being a complete "a......e" most of the time!
 
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I finally got round to finishing Ted Chiang's "Stories of Your Life and Others" a volume of short stories in one instance only a few pages. Ted Chiang is what I would term an informal academic. This book is billed as Science Fiction but the stories connection to science fiction are tenuous at best. Rather, the stories are an examination of Linguistics, Mathematics, Philosophy, Religion, Reproduction, The Variational Principle of Physics, Creativity and the power of beauty. Some of the stories were not accessible by me (Linguistics and Mathematics) but that is because I do not have the intellect, vocabulary or basic education in these subjects to fully appreciate the ideas Chiang is discussing and expressing without many hours of research. His short story regarding linguistics, titled "Story of YourLife" involved 3 years of research by Chiang into the latest research on linguistics. However some of his writing did reach me, "Tower of Babylon" about the building of a Tower in the ancient world to reach heaven is powerful, has stayed with me and made me think long after I finished reading the story. The same with "Liking What You See" an examination of the incredible power of physical beauty and the advantages it gives to those that posses it. In his acknowledgements he discusses what sparked the ideas for many of the stories and this is, in itself a great read. That said, I think his short stories are better suited to reader's with a sound grasp of mathematical concepts, data science, theoretical physics, different schools of philosophy etc as each story takes a deep dive into a specialist subject.
 
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I finally got round to finishing Ted Chiang's "Stories of Your Life and Others" a volume of short stories in one instance only a few pages. Ted Chiang is what I would term an informal academic. This book is billed as Science Fiction but the stories connection to science fiction are tenuous at best. Rather, the stories are an examination of Linguistics, Mathematics, Philosophy, Religion, Reproduction, The Variational Principle of Physics, Creativity and the power of beauty. Some of the stories were not accessible by me (Linguistics and Mathematics) but that is because I do not have the intellect, vocabulary or basic education in these subjects to fully appreciate the ideas Chiang is discussing and expressing without many hours of research. His short story regarding linguistics, titled "Story of YourLife" involved 3 years of research by Chiang into the latest research on linguistics. However some of his writing did reach me, "Tower of Babylon" about the building of a Tower in the ancient world to reach heaven is powerful, has stayed with me and made me think long after I finished reading the story. The same with "Liking What You See" an examination of the incredible power of physical beauty and the advantages it gives to those that posses it. In his acknowledgements he discusses what sparked the ideas for many of the stories and this is, in itself a great read. That said, I think his short stories are better suited to reader's with a sound grasp of mathematical concepts, data science, theoretical physics, different schools of philosophy etc as each story takes a deep dive into a specialist subject.
Ted Chiang's stories are great...just finished reading his recent collection 'Exhalation'. A mixed bag, but definitely worth a read.
 
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Just started reading 'Still Life with Crows' the fourth book featuring 'Agent Pendergast' by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I only recently found these in spite of having had the DVD and Blu-Ray of "Relic' (based on their first book in this series) for many years.
Pendergast is very much a modern Sherlock Holmes, but an American FBI agent and with a deep southern accent.
Really enjoyable reads and I think there's been talk of a TV series.
 
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953
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View attachment 57724

I finally got round to finishing Ted Chiang's "Stories of Your Life and Others" a volume of short stories in one instance only a few pages. Ted Chiang is what I would term an informal academic. This book is billed as Science Fiction but the stories connection to science fiction are tenuous at best. Rather, the stories are an examination of Linguistics, Mathematics, Philosophy, Religion, Reproduction, The Variational Principle of Physics, Creativity and the power of beauty. Some of the stories were not accessible by me (Linguistics and Mathematics) but that is because I do not have the intellect, vocabulary or basic education in these subjects to fully appreciate the ideas Chiang is discussing and expressing without many hours of research. His short story regarding linguistics, titled "Story of YourLife" involved 3 years of research by Chiang into the latest research on linguistics. However some of his writing did reach me, "Tower of Babylon" about the building of a Tower in the ancient world to reach heaven is powerful, has stayed with me and made me think long after I finished reading the story. The same with "Liking What You See" an examination of the incredible power of physical beauty and the advantages it gives to those that posses it. In his acknowledgements he discusses what sparked the ideas for many of the stories and this is, in itself a great read. That said, I think his short stories are better suited to reader's with a sound grasp of mathematical concepts, data science, theoretical physics, different schools of philosophy etc as each story takes a deep dive into a specialist subject.
I also forgot to mention that I think the movie 'Arrival'- based on Ted Chiang's 'Story of Your Life' is easily the best sci-fi movie of the last decade and IMHO easily in the top 10 of all time.
 
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I also forgot to mention that I think the movie 'Arrival'- based on Ted Chiang's 'Story of Your Life' is easily the best sci-fi movie of the last decade and IMHO easily in the top 10 of all time.
I enjoyed the movie also and certainly it has depth. I must say though that both the Blade Runner movies remain firm favourites for me...
 
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I enjoyed the movie also and certainly it has depth. I must say though that both the Blade Runner movies remain firm favourites for me...
Yup...BR 2049 was a superb sequel to the classic original. Speaking of Philip K Dick stories to movies I just received a blu-ray of 'Screamers'...a massively underrated movie...but I haven't read the book!
 
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