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Thread: What have you read lately?

  1. #801
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    Manny Decker's Avatar Senior Member
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    A unique collection of interviews with Sir Michael Gambon, ranging over thirteen years, offering a fascinating picture of this most mischievously evasive of actors





    RIP Wes

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    Joseph De Maistre, Major Works, Volume I. Brilliant exposition on sovereignty, great defense of monarchy, thorough trashing of Rousseau, a review of France before and after the revolution comparable to Alexis de Tocqueville's The Ancien Régime and the Revolution.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. ― Gustav Mahler

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    Genesis. The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries, this one by E. A. Speiser. It's its own translation with copious notes on language, plus commentaries on author (J, P, E) and a look at the historical context in which it was written. A total of nearly 400 pages. The commentaries have gotten me interested in learning more about ancient near eastern civilization, law, and religion as background. And it got me interested in finding a good study Bible. The only complaint about it was this translation sometimes divides chapters differently than is standard which makes it difficult to correlate when discussing.
    Last edited by Chris; 12-11-2023 at 02:46 PM.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. ― Gustav Mahler

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    Thorkild Jacobsen's The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion. This is really a fascinating book. It goes into great detail about the ancient Mesopotamian gods as the culture and religion developed. It explains the metaphors of Enūma Eliš, the creation epic, and the Gilgamesh Epic. Highly recommended.

    Some thoughts: Sometimes the author goes too far and imposes his own views on the ancients. For example, at one point he shows how ancient religious literature personalized gods as parents. He ventures to say that's what they believed. But it seems to me that was their way of explaining the unknown with the known. Does he confuse metaphor with mystery? In the epilog the author starts theorizing about how at the apex of Mesopotamian culture the literature starts to develop man as hero who is self-reliant. That is based largely on the Epic of Gilgamesh where throughout the story the hero is dependent on the gods to learn the truth of life, he must die. That apex was followed by collapse--as a result of self-reliance? The author doesn't tie these loose ends together. And I think with Gilgamesh he fails to separate the religion elements of the story from the heroic "history." Just my thoughts. It's a good book to have raised such questions.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. ― Gustav Mahler

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    Chuck's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Genesis. The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries, this one by E. A. Speiser. It's its own translation with copious notes on language, plus commentaries on author (J, P, E) and a look at the historical context in which it was written. A total of nearly 400 pages. The commentaries have gotten me interested in learning more about ancient near eastern civilization, law, and religion as background. And it got me interested in finding a good study Bible. The only complaint about it was this translation sometimes divides chapters differently than is standard which makes it difficult to correlate when discussing.

    You want complexity in bible study, get one laid out in chronological order. I use the Sondervan New King James Illustrated Study Bible, and having a good Concordance is highly recommended as well. As an advanced reader, you may not need an intro book on how to read the bible, mainly the OT, but a course book like Reading the Old Testament by Barry L. Bandstra or a similar intro to the Hebrew Bible by a decent Conservative Jewish rabbi would be useful for any one at any level. A teaching text, Thomas Aquina's Summa Theologica, is also a good reference.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Chuck For This Useful Post:

    Chris (12-27-2023)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    You want complexity in bible study, get one laid out in chronological order. I use the Sondervan New King James Illustrated Study Bible, and having a good Concordance is highly recommended as well. As an advanced reader, you may not need an intro book on how to read the bible, mainly the OT, but a course book like Reading the Old Testament by Barry L. Bandstra or a similar intro to the Hebrew Bible by a decent Conservative Jewish rabbi would be useful for any one at any level. A teaching text, Thomas Aquina's Summa Theologica, is also a good reference.
    I'm reading now, a chapter a day, both the NIV Study Bible and the Catholic NABRE Study Bible.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. ― Gustav Mahler

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    61pvVMoJ+xL._SY466_.jpg

    Possibly the best research ever into animal intelligence.

    Anyone with an interest in parrots will find this a treat.
    "Buy a man eat fish, the day, teach a man to a life time! "
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    you're on the train and they say 'PORTAL BRIDGE' you know you better make other plans."
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    https://archive.org/details/earlylaterhistor00henrrich


    https://archive.org/details/petroleu...ge/64/mode/2up


    https://archive.org/details/historyo...ge/n9/mode/2up


    Based on looking up prices for land prior to the Drake Well, I could have outright bought almost the entire Oil Creek Valley and most of the surrounding land for around $50 K, and with another $100K built my own railroad in and out of the region to Cleveland. Hitting one well that only produced 15 barrels a day would have sent prices skyrocketing, and just leases alone would have been a fabulous income even in Civil War greenbacks.Just taking leases at 10 cents to 50 cents an acre would have cover all of the Oil Creek reserves as well as much of the lower fields.

    I'm impressed with Rockefeller's achievements in that madhouse of speculation and massive corruption of politicians at all levels and multiple states, and his ability to outsmart Vanderbilt and the railroad syndicates, who were much more powerful and controlled entire state govts., especially Pennsylvania's and Ohio's and New York's.
    Last edited by Chuck; 01-03-2024 at 09:10 AM.

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    A. B. Guthrie Jr's Big Sky and Elmore Leonard's The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard.

    Yes, I read them in parallel. A chapter or two in Guthrie's Sky and a story in Leonard's Stories. Why?

    Guthrie's Sky is an explorer adventure not unlike Revenant. And it's a good story. But the author keeps going into these stream-of-conscience passages sometimes entire chapters in this or that character's head that took away from the adventure so much I set the book aside.

    So I picked up Leonard's Stories. According to the intro this is the genre he started writing in back in the 50s. The book collects all his short stories about the west. And it's a delight to read. the prose is sparse, the dialog moves the story, the landscape is an essential part of each--if you've read any of Leonard you know what I mean. Each story is like a movie. "3:10 to Yuma" is one of the stories and the basis like many others for movies.

    The problem was reading them in succession the stories and landscape and characters would blend and bleed across, so to put some space between each short story I picked Guthrie's Sky back up and read them in parallel.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. ― Gustav Mahler

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    Manny Decker's Avatar Senior Member
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    I am reading "Make it so" By Patrick Stewart
    RIP Wes

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