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What Are You Reading?

Beowulf by Seamus Heaney

It is one of the better translations that I've read. I'm enjoying how one page is in Anglo Saxon and the other in English.
That's a good one. My introduction to Beowulf was Burton Raffel's translation (actually it was an episode of Star Trek: Voyager), and I've read several more since then, but Heaney's is the gold standard.
 

My BA is in Emergency and Disaster management, and I have done a good amount of graduate work in Homeland Security and Emergency and Disaster Management. This event ( the 1918 "Spanish" flu pandemic) was something that I did a good bit of research on. This book is now on my list to get my hands on.

In October 2019, when we first heard about what we now now as COVID-19 still being in Wuhan, I told my wife that I thought that it had the potential to turn into a global pandemic and that we should expect that things could end up being really ugly.

I hate being right.
 
My BA is in Emergency and Disaster management, and I have done a good amount of graduate work in Homeland Security and Emergency and Disaster Management. This event ( the 1918 "Spanish" flu pandemic) was something that I did a good bit of research on. This book is now on my list to get my hands on.
A fast enjoyable read. The background on medical training / schools back then was fascinating, as was how he followed the researchers as they worked on a serum or vaccine. The U.S. went from almost last to the world's best medical doctors / facilities. Back then, medical school entry did not require a degree.

Interesting that one of the observed side effects of those who got the worst cases of that 1918 flu and survived sometimes suffered from brain effects / post flu neurological disorders. And the effects on Woodrow Wilson at the peace talks after he got sick.

It's really amazing what is known after the fact - and how people thought they knew what was going on at the time didn't have a clue. Makes me think how the current situation will eventually go down in history once the 20/20 hindsight kicks in.
 
I don’t read a lot of books from female authors and her Station Eleven book was excellent.
I may come across as a chauvinist, but I'll say. I don't like women authors. I don't know if it's the flow, thought patterns, or what but I just don't enjoy fiction by women. I've tried quite a few and of various genres. Agatha Christie is the exception. I do like her work.

Not long ago I finished Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles (his take on King Arthur). After that I thought I'd take on "Le Morte D'Arthur," but I just wasn't feeling it. Too much time spent flipping to the glossary to find words I wasn't familiar with, and it just kind of drags on. So I've set it aside for another day, and moved on to Horatio Hornblower. I started "Beat To Quarters" last night.
I loved the Warlord Trilogy. I read it for the second time last year. It's been probably over 20 years since I read Le Morte D'Arthur. I recommend Jack Whyte's series on the legend. I'm reading it for the second time. It's eight books from four different points of view beginning with Arthur's grandfathers. Arthur himself is a more minor character with different books focusing on the surrounding people who built the foundations.
 

SharpieB

Contributor
I may come across as a chauvinist, but I'll say. I don't like women authors. I don't know if it's the flow, thought patterns, or what but I just don't enjoy fiction by women. I've tried quite a few and of various genres. Agatha Christie is the exception. I do like her work.
Agreed. I love Agatha Christie but can name all of the other female authors I enjoy reading on one hand.
 
Nearly finished Will Durant's Our Oriental Heritage (volume I of his Story of Civilization). I would probably have never tackled it without my long commuting walks to and from the office. I guess I'm not "reading", I'm being read to. I have strong opinions about his strong opinions, but his research and writing ability are top-notch. He really excels at both breadth and depth of cultural history. Enjoying a book audibly means requiring both a good writer and a good narrator. Neither is a given.
 
Re-reading Napoleon: Abel Gance's Classic Film by Kevin Brownlow. The book documents Brownlow's life-long quest to piece together this forgotten silent film after seeing portions as a teen in 1954. I picked up a 1983 1st American edition of the book from AbeBooks, years ago. The BFI/Brownlow definitive Napoleon blu-ray was finally released in 2016. The 5.5 hour film version is still not available in the USA, and may never be due to rights issues. One needs to order it from the UK and have an all-region blu-ray player to play it.
Some decades ago I took LSD and went to a screening of Napoleon. It was my last trip- nothing bad happened, and I still remember the walk home - and bits of the film.
 
Just finished Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris. A great account of British artists and writers in the first half of the 20th century. Interesting consideration of the split between Modernist tendencies in the arts versus a move toward the local, and traditional- not as stark a division as one might assume. image.jpg
 
Beowulf by Seamus Heaney

It is one of the better translations that I've read. I'm enjoying how one page is in Anglo Saxon and the other in English.
I like books like that. I have a 4 volume set of Count of Monte Cristo with French on one page and English on the facing page. I don't speak a word of French, but as none of my dozen English translations of the book are the same (all leave out different sentences, paragraphs and/or historical references), I can spot the gaps in this one and run the French side through a translator to see what I missed.
 
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