📚 I am currently reading

:books: I am currently reading
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#41

Yes it is a little bit of a struggle at times. That’s why I started with a story I enjoyed via films. Have a few more Dickens on the Kindle so will try a few more. I read lots of Greek and Roman classics as a teen for school so sort of used to long winded wordy over indulgent works. I have to say I struggle with the game of thrones books because he goes into great detail at times.

Finally finished Chavs and now on the Establishment also by Owen Jones.


#42

I posted my August reading list on my blog.


#43

2 things.

Practising the quote and reply system to learn how to do it.

Redslo me old mucker; can you recommend a couple of good non-weighty books on the US Constitution, its formation, its history especially vis a vis its function and the practical workings of the separation of powers and quite what it might be about the American psyche (including historical reviews/considerations from the modern age) that affects peoples’ behaviour such as to ensure that it oftentimes plays out as it does e.g. that there is often (as I understand it) an impasse between the separate areas of govt (President/Congress/Senate). Anything else on Federal v State Law as well would be interesting.

Ta.

To be edited as and when it comes out wrong.

Edit. Looks ok to me so will leave alone for now.

“The internet - a place where you can go and talk to yourself.”


#44

I enjoyed the first few Game of Thrones books but the more I read the more I struggled too. I think the books could have done with some strong editing as he does tend to over egg the pudding somewhat - which probably makes the TV programmes more enjoyable as they cut the crap.


#45

Just started to read Dispatches by Michael Herr again. It is a great book about the Vietnam War - a rock n roll jouno writing about a rock n roll war (those who have seen Apocalypse Now will know what I mean). It really gets to the essence of what people got through in war and although it is about the Vietnam War specifically, you get the feeling that is speaks about how men cope and act in all wars. The book also features Errol Flynn’s son Sean who was a photojournalist and acclaimed photographer Tim Page - both of whom were very colourful characters. A must read for anyone interested in the Vietnam War and the counter culture of the 60s.


#46

Have to say that I’m very impressed by the amount of books Redslo gets through in a month.

I started the book I’m currently reading - The Strangest Family: The Private Lives of George III, Queen Charlotte and the Hanoverians by Janice Hadlow - at the beginning of July!

May be I’m reading the wrong type of book :slight_frown:


#47

I’ve been reading Trigger Warning by Mick Hume. If a good book forces you to reevaluate your opinions on something, this can definitely be classed as a good book. Littered with very recent examples of where free speech runs up against people getting offended, the book asks some difficult questions.

For example, did the public ever have any right to know about Malky McKay’s exchanges with Moody? Racist and antisemitic they may have been, but these were private messages between two individuals. The book also highlights a lot of the hypocrisy surrounding the Charlie Hebdo case, in which countries like Britain and France, which limit free expression in their legislation, screamed about freedom of speech while gagging their own citizens. The book also dwells on football and comedy, two areas in which you’d expect speech to be even freer, and examines how it is under attack there.

The line that comes to me again and again, not an original thought of the book, is that freedom of speech is really about fighting to protect the thought you hate. Defined as such, the book’s concerns about the concept being under greater threat seem all too valid in a self-censoring environment where everybody is able to be easily offended.


#48

@ Pap.

Which is what they want you to think. I thought about a response to your post a bit and came up with half a dozen answers. This is the 7th and as yet unthought. The CPS I believe have or at least had a view that was far-reaching: pretty much anything could be said and why not. As police forces seem to have to have words with people over things that aren’t especially important though: often badly-worded twitter arguments and people who can’t stand any form of criticism or exposure to real life that perhaps may not be the case and is, as always, part of a much wider and reflexive thing (I will avoid ‘whole’).

Your comment at the beginning of your last paragraph essentially mirrors that well known quote by Disraeli.

*snip*


#49

The book mentions the Twitter trolling stuff too, and is also at pains to make the point. “It’s just speech”.

It’s an interesting consideration. How useful is say, hate speech, if it’s listened to and roundly derided? Who gets to decide what hate speech is? For me, the whole thing just seems impossible to legislate for, and doomed to fail if we try.

Let people say anything they like, on the understanding that they may have a counter-argument to deal with.

I think everything goes for me, now. It’s really the only sane way to deal with it, unless we fancy some serious regression.


#50

The Battle of Verril which is the third book in the Deacon anthology by Joseph Lallo.

Found these as free kindle books.

If you like fantasy authors such as Raymond E Feist or David Eddings, you should find these satisfying.

More info to see if it might be your cup of tea available at the author’s website http://www.bookofdeacon.com/books/


#51

My holiday reading:

The Girl On A Train: frustrating characters, clunky pose - it will likely become a Hollywood hit.

Wilt In Nowhere: not the best of the best Tom Sharpe’s but still laugh out loud funny. Love Wilt!

The Receptionist: fascinating stories, beautifully written.


#52

Just finished ‘The Bees’ by Laline Paull, the story of a beehive written from the perspective of a bee. Not my usual sci-fi fare but well worth a read. Will make you dislike spiders and appreciate honey.


#53

Originally posted by @Intiniki

Finally finished Chavs and now on the Establishment also by Owen Jones.

The Establishment is excellent from what I’ve discovered so far. It’s weird in that like everybody else, it never really saw the Corbyn thing coming, but I think it’s essential if you want to get your head around quite why things are so fucked up. Jones paints a picture of a comprehensive racket, benefiting the rich immensely while causing massive strife almost everywhere else.

He touches on some points that others have made here. Furball’s point about 93bn of state money going to private industry is explored at length, as is the rather incestuous relationship between big business and government. Some revelations about David Miliband indicate that he never actually canvassed his constituents. He has earned a fuckton since leaving Parliament.

He argues that socialism still exists in abundance - it’s just socialism for the rich.


#54

As an aside (or not), I need a good ghost/horror story writer who is female and preferably under 40 years old.

Ta.

I’ll check back in a few weeks once I’ve forgotten to check back a few times having remembered at a time when checking wasn’t possible.

Free speech is a precursor to freedom of thought and hence silly things like art, comedy, political expression, changing the status quo etc and without it the reversion back to the Dark Ages would probably take not a lot of time at all.

I just discovered Jones this morning on Youtube. He was selling toothpaste. Is he actually intellectual? From what you’ve said above to a large degree he’s just repeating truisms, which while - perhaps - a necessary starting point are nothing much else but.

Oh and a thank you to whoever mentioned that dead bloke Christopher Hitchins. He’s quite interesting, but could be more brutal.

Edit - first part: “I need” as in ‘Can someone recommend please?’


#55

What he achieves most in the book is coherence. Nearly all of the examples he references would have been nestling in Private Eye or a broadsheet, the big difference being that we’re drip-fed this information. Each chapter is an examination of a pillar of the establishment. None of them stand up to the scrutiny.

I reckon he needs a second edition out sharpish to cover Corbyn. I was watching an older speech by Tariq Ali the other night, and Jones, just like him, just never saw it coming. No-one did. This book consistently challenges the same orthodoxy Corbyn does.


#56

Will a local library have a copy? It’s that or not wash for a few weeks and then stand in Waterstones being suitably unapproachable. And working on my speed-reading. I don’t think Corbyn is necessarily a ‘revolutionary’ per se (not that I would say you think that yourself) but that he has managed to retain a way of thinking that had been driven out (certainly of British thinking) from the 80s onwards and because that way of thinking had been all but nigh-on invisible due to what might be termed faddism (assuming it means what I would think it does) then when it is ‘rediscovered’ it becomes something ‘new’ i.e. like discovering that a cover version isn’t the original.

He has videos. I’ll look at them once I’m done with the feminist debate(s) ongoing in America. Or some other time.


#57

I’m reading Burp’s posts. I’m reading them v.carefully. I’m finding the plot bit hard to follow, but they certainly raise some interesting questions.

a) How the fuck should pap know what books are stocked in Burp’s local library?

  1. Why does burp have to cultivate a personal stench, before he goes to Waterstones?

d) Why does he need female horror writer’s under 40?

No spoilers pls


#58

I’m glad you asked, I thought I was just being stupid!

Also, what’s the feminist debate ongoing in America, and is it connected to the need for female horror writers?


#59

Youtube vid for Jones’ talk on the book “The Establishment”. Apparently he went to Oxford and had relatives (grandparents, I think) in Portsmouth. Hitchins likewise has Portsmouth and Oxford links which is marginally interesting.

I have now started to talk like Redslo. …


#60

Christopher Hitchens was amazing, but I’ll warn you - he was also pro Blair and very anti George Galloway and Stop The War Coalition.

But you don’t have to agree with everything someone says to still admire the man, and I think many admired Christopher Hitchens.