Peregrinations

Peregrinations

 

Terse and to the point!

No zombies. No vampires. No angels. No self-help. No horror.

 

 

The Skeptic's Guide to American History - Mark A. Stoler

The Iconoclast's Guide to American History. Well done but there was one thing that drove me nuts listening to this series of lectures. This guy sounds exactly like the campaign director character played by the late Ron Silver on The West Wing--same accent, same pacing, same stridency.

 

It is a good series of lectures that points out everything that we don't learn in school and all that we tend to forget about the events of American History as we move further away from them and start to paint these events with the brush of modernity.

I'm sure you will all agree

 

 

Privacy, Property, and Free Speech: Law and the Constitution in the 21st Century - Jeffrey Rosen

I'm just a couple of lectures in and I can tell that this discussion of privacy and property in the 21st century is going to leave me feeling angry and violated. I can't decide whether to do it all in one gulp and get it over with or to listen to one lecture at a time spread over many, many days.

Review
4 Stars
From the Ancient Greeks to the Moon
History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration - Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius

I remember "the explorers" as being a big thing that was taught in my school system in elementary school and we dutifully learned all the names of the European explorers and where they went, etc. My goodness, we were parochial in our approach to history. So, what was fascinating for me was the scope of these lectures. They went back further into history, covering the ancient Greeks, and they were more global, not limited to European white males. Each lecture covered one explorer or exploration telling the story of the exploration and then commenting on its significance, why it was a pivotal moment human history.

Review
4 Stars
Long but pertinent
An Economic History of the World since 1400 - Donald J. Harreld

It was a long haul but really not that difficult to follow and since he spends a lot of time talking about the world economy in the 20th and 21st centuries actually quite helpful in helping me understand the world I live in--just don't ask me to recap anything that I have just listened to!

 

The lecturer is well-spoken and knowledgeable, so it isn't at all hard to sit through all 48 lectures. Some of the lecturers like to dazzle you with their brilliance and flaunt their immense working vocabularies; Herreid has parked his ego at the door and in doing so, is able to present a huge among of information in a relatively short amount of time, clearly and concisely--and without boring you to death.

Out of My Comfort Zone
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea Wulf, David Drummond

I've never done a buddy read or joined a book club before, so this is new territory for me. I started listening about an hour ago and so, far, I'm enjoying the book and the experience. Still, I'm not quite sure how all of this works, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

 

I will say that this is a very interesting read considering that I just finished listening to a Great Courses lecture series on the Industrial Revolution. There is a certain amount of overlap in the two discussions.

How many of us reread?

That was a question asked on my FB Georgette Heyer group and here was my reply. I want to save it and it will be easier to find here than on FB.

 

Re-read? It is my middle name!! Over half my reading is re-reads. I re-read all the GH, Dick Francis and Nevil Shute in my library in alphabetical order at least once a year. Between new books and my favorite three, I troll my Audible library for titles that I feel like reading again. I so prefer my old friends to most of the current writings. I have such a lousy memory that it is almost like reading a new book except that I know in advance that I already like it.

I am taking a bow!!!

 

Today is July 7, 2017, the 188th day of the year, just a smidgen more than half of the year is over and I am CELEBRATING.

 

As of yesterday, I have met my BL reading goal of 100 books. Last year it took me until September to reach this point. I am now 30 books short of what I consider the minimum books I wish to read and 86 shy of what I read last year. Will I make it? Stay tuned!!

 

My first hundred books includes 42 new titles, 9 Great Courses, 4 History titles and a couple of bucket list items (like the Illiad and the Odyssey). The last month or so, I have been on a re-read jag and I am just ripping a hole in my annual re-read cycle of Georgette Heyer, Dick Francis and Nevil Shute. I have 8 Great Courses and a couple of new titles waiting to download to my iPod but I have been super lazy and clinging to old friends for easy entertainment. There is a lot to look forward to in the second half of the year.

Filched From Facebook

Two for One and I Went Crazy
The Industrial Revolution - Patrick N. Allitt Cycles of American Political Thought - Joseph F. Kobylka History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration - Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius The Mysterious Etruscans - Steven L. Tuck Privacy, Property, and Free Speech: Law and the Constitution in the 21st Century - Jeffrey Rosen An Economic History of the World since 1400 - Donald J. Harreld Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know - Mark Berkson

The latest Audible sale is offering  2 for one credit on 250 of the Great Courses lectures and I went crazy. I spent every credit in my coffers. It will take me weeks to get through all that I bought because I will have to sprinkle some light-hearted romps in among the didactic discourse just to keep me going.

 

The banner should look a lot better once the cover art gets updated. (Thank you, Librarians).

 

Today's daily deal on Audible...
Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally) - John H. McWhorter

On sale today for $2.95. For all my language loving fellow BLers, if you haven't found John McWhorter, here is your chance. He is best heard -- in Great Courses or on audiobooks--not read, because it is the only way to understand the nuances of pronunciation that come up all too often in his work.

Quote
You don't really start getting old until you stop learning. Everybook teaches me something new or helps me see things differently.

Bill Gates interviewed in TIME magazine (June 5, 2017) about his reading habits, his favorites books, his summer reading suggestions and his book blog gatesnotes.com.

Today's daily deal on Audible...
Louder Than Words: The New Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning - Benjamin K. Bergen
I just finished Bergen's What the F and liked it, so, let me see what else Mr. Bergen has to say.
Audible 2 for 1 Credit Sale
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Shana Knizhnik, Irin Carmon, Andi Arndt The Relic Master: A Novel - Christopher Buckley, James Langton

Well, it took a bit of patience but I managed to find two titles that might be fun to read.

At Trinity Rep, Providence RI
Fuente Ovejuna - Felix Lope de Vega

I have three days to finally read this play before I see it on Sunday. I've known since last summer that I would be seeing it and still have just not picked it up to read. It is a bit intimidating. Written in Spanish, In verse and contemporary to Shakespeare -- and with the same same challenges of vocabulary that we have today, that of the ever shifting meanings of words. At least the edition I own is a didactic version with lots of notes to help the reader.                                

 

I'm looking forward to the production. I read the play way back in college but have never seen it on stage. So even though I know the translation will stray fare from the original text, I am looking forward

to the production because Trinity Rep is very bold when it comes to re-interpreting old works.

 

FOLLOW-UP: I loved it. Writings become classics because each succeeding generation finds something in them that resonates and keeps that book alive and in the conversation for the next generation to hear about and explore for themselves. Fuenteovejuna is a classic and it shows in the ability of the translator/adapter, the director and the cast to find something new and relevant in the text. We don't have to understand the historic circumstances of the events or the time in which it was written to find something to take away from this play because the message is as relevant today as it was when the play was written. Bravo, Trinity Rep!

 

PS, I never even got past the first scene in reading the play, but I'm working on it!

 

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The Anachronisms are...
The Secrets of Wishtide - Kate Saunders, Anna Bentinck

driving me crazy!!!

 

The book takes place in 1841 or so. Something is described by the first person narrator as smelling like Lysol--which wasn't first marketed until 1889. There have been more usages that I haven't been able to check out that I am sure are out of date.

 

So, I'm just trying to ignore them all and enjoy the the mystery itself which isn't all that bad.