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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Just finished Civilization: The West and the Rest, Niall Ferguson. Took a long time because my Tablet/EBook broke down and had to wait for it's repair and return.
Quote:
Mr. McGibbletts sez:
Sounds interesting Abradley. Thanks for sharing! Would love to hear your review once done. I am adding this to my wish list for the future.
Sorry, no in depth review, just my impression.

Very good read, written in a non professional style that I can read with ease and enjoyment.

Lots of new (to me) info. Most of his ideas of why the West has been been so successful fit in with my views. One area he doesn't touch is geography; like Sub Saharan African societies were/are crippled by the lack of navigable rivers which Europe has in abundance, but he does mention the cost of water vs land transport.

A subject he covers is the Christian (Protestant) 'Work Ethic' which is disappearing in Europe, still strong in America, and appears to be on the rise in China:
Quote:
After much hesitation, at least some of China’s communist leaders now appear to recognize Christianity as one of the West’s greatest sources of strength.82 According to one scholar from the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences:

We were asked to look into what accounted for the … pre-eminence of the West all over the world … At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.83

83. Aikman, Beijing Factor, p. 5.
His conclusion ... we Westerners are in deep sh!t, for the last 500 years we've had a monopoly on the 'Killer apps', but for 150 years the Asian nations (starting with Japan) have been adapting them to themselves while we have been setting back watching our advantage slip away.

No, all is not lost, but we're on a very, very slippery slope.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:06 pm 
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I am reading through Patrick O'Brian's "Aubrey-Maturin" series (the move MAster and Commander" was loosely based on it).

Am currently on book 6. The Fortune Of War.

After I finish this one, there are only 15 more to go!

Reading these on my Nook Tablet.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:12 pm 
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#/5 Stars More purple than sage, but worth reading February 27, 2003
By Peter Reeve VINE™ VOICE
Format:Paperback
If you are not an aficionado of the Western novel but would like to sample the genre, then you should try one or more of the three great classics; Jack Schaefer's "Shane", Owen Wister's "The Virginian" , and this novel by Zane Grey. Of the three, "Shane" has the most literary merit and is the only one with claims to being great literature. "The Virginian" is often regarded as the first true representative of the genre, establishing as it does many of the great archetypal characters and incidents of Western myth, and "Riders of the Purple Sage" remains the best-selling Western.

"Riders" has two very remarkable features. The first is the surprising complexity and mythic depth of the story. There is for example, a Garden of Eden theme, with two of the characters isolated for an extended time in a lush wilderness. This is so strikingly like the Emil Zola novel "La Faute de l'Abbe Mouret" (The Abbe Mouret's Sin) that one wonders if Grey had read and been inspired by that work. Interwoven with this is an Oedipal theme. If all of this sounds a bit much for a cowboy yarn, I can only say that it really is all there.

The other remarkable thing about the book is its attitude toward the Mormon religion. The hero is an avowed "killer of Mormons". The LDS church is depicted as essentially brutal and tyrannical. This, I suppose, reflects a prejudice of the time, but I wonder how present-day members of that church regard this novel.

It has to be said that Grey is not a great writer and in particular, he cannot do dialogue. In fact, the dialogue in the first few pages is so appalling that I nearly gave up on the book there and then. However, I'm glad I stuck with it. It is such a fine and strange story and has such a wonderful sense of place.
Read this while on my stateside visit, agree with the above review.

Don't be put off by the 3/5 stars, it's overall rating is 4+stars.

Worth a read

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:06 pm 
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reading now :
garrison keillor~ lake wobegon summer 1956 ....
michael moorcock~ elric saga part 4 ....

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:29 am 
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Riding a Blind horse!

As posted above, just read Zane Gray's 'Riders of the purple sage', in the first part a hero's horse is blind, not just blinded but he's been riding him for some time while the horse is blind.

I assumed Zane Gray had ran into or heard of a cowboy that had a blind horse but couldn't visualize riding it while chasing, roping, or all the tasks the cowhand and his horse do.

So I did a search and found this: Riding Blind

Still not sure, but?

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:34 am 
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robpost3 wrote:
reading now :
garrison keillor~ lake wobegon summer 1956 ....
michael moorcock~ elric saga part 4 ....
Used to get Keillor narrating lake Woebegon weekly on Armed Forces Network, great stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:20 am 
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abradley wrote:
robpost3 wrote:
reading now :
garrison keillor~ lake wobegon summer 1956 ....
michael moorcock~ elric saga part 4 ....
Used to get Keillor narrating lake Woebegon weekly on Armed Forces Network, great stuff.

I get re-broadcasts on a college radio station Sundays from 2-4pm .... It is great stuff...radio shows are actually amazingly entertaining...I like when Mr. Keillor spins random yarns to challenge his sound effects actors that work off props and making the sounds themselves like the loony tunes actors....It gets eccentrically creative...what an incredible genre !
music is good too...Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris did an amazing duet on one show...

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Quote:
If you are not an aficionado of the Western novel but would like to sample the genre, then you should try one or more of the three great classics; Jack Schaefer's "Shane", Owen Wister's "The Virginian" , and this novel by Zane Grey. Of the three, "Shane" has the most literary merit and is the only one with claims to being great literature. "The Virginian" is often regarded as the first true representative of the genre, establishing as it does many of the great archetypal characters and incidents of Western myth, and "Riders of the Purple Sage" remains the best-selling Western.

There are several western classics. Monty Walsh, Little Big Man plus a few more. People will say Louie Lamoure's books are all classics. I couldn't stand a single one of them.

John Jakes and Elmore Leonard are by far the best western writers I've read. 2 by Elmore are musts, "Hombre" and "Valdez is Coming"

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:37 pm 
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Old Eagle wrote:
Quote:
If you are not an aficionado of the Western novel but would like to sample the genre, then you should try one or more of the three great classics; Jack Schaefer's "Shane", Owen Wister's "The Virginian" , and this novel by Zane Grey. Of the three, "Shane" has the most literary merit and is the only one with claims to being great literature. "The Virginian" is often regarded as the first true representative of the genre, establishing as it does many of the great archetypal characters and incidents of Western myth, and "Riders of the Purple Sage" remains the best-selling Western.

There are several western classics. Monty Walsh, Little Big Man plus a few more. People will say Louie Lamoure's books are all classics. I couldn't stand a single one of them.

John Jakes and Elmore Leonard are by far the best western writers I've read. 2 by Elmore are musts, "Hombre" and "Valdez is Coming"
Read Max Brand's 'Alcatraz' yesterday after finishing the 'Civilization' book. Like to alternate between popular serious and lite reads.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:19 am 
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I've been checking this site every day and picking up a lot of free books. Some aren't worth that price but surprisingly a bigger number then you would think turn out to be pretty good.

http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/

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