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Thread: What book are you currently reading?

  1. #2961
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morticia Iunia Bruti View Post
    ... and Rilke.
    Rilke! my favorite German poet!
    Written two weeks before his death,
    ...Quite pure, quite free of future planning, I mounted
    the tangled funeral pyre built for my suffering,
    so sure of nothing more to buy for future needs,
    while in my heart the stored reserves kept silent.

    Brings to my mind Pessoa’s last words, written in English, the day before he died "I know not what tomorrow will bring".One of my favorite poems, Birthday,

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Back when they used to celebrate my birthday
    I was happy and no one was dead.
    In the old house even my birthday was a centuries-old tradition,
    And everyone’s joy, mine included, was as sure as any religion

    Back when they used to celebrate my birthday
    I enjoyed the good health of understanding nothing.
    Of being intelligent in my family’s eyes,
    And of not having the hopes that others had for me.
    When I began to have hopes, I no longer knew how to hope.
    When I began to look at life, it had lost all meaning for me.

    Yes, that person I knew as me,
    That person with a heart and family,
    That person of quasi-rural evenings spent all together,
    That person who was a boy they loved,
    That person–my God!–whom only today I realize I was…
    How faraway! …
    (Not even an echo…)
    When they used to celebrate my birthday!

    The person I am today is like the damp in the hall at the back of the house
    That makes the walls mildew…
    What I am today (and the house of those who loved me trembles
    through my tears)–
    What I am today is their having sold the house,
    It’s all of them having died,
    It’s I having survived myself like a spent match.

    Back when they used to celebrate my birthday…
    Ah, how I love, like a person, those days!
    How my soul physically longs to return there,
    Via a metaphysical and carnal journey,
    In a duality of me to me…
    To eat the past like the bread of hunger, with no time for butter
    between the teeth!


    I see it all again, so vivid it blinds me to what’s here…
    The table with extra place settings, fancier china, more glasses,
    The sideboard full of sweets and fruits, and other things in the shadow of the lower shelf.
    Elderly aunts, different cousins, and all for my sake,
    Back when they used to celebrate my birthday.


    Stop it, heart!
    Don’t think! Leave thinking to the head!
    O my God, my God, my God!
    I no longer have birthdays.
    I endure.
    My days add up.
    I’ll be old when I’m old.
    That’s all.
    If only I’d filched the goddamn past and brought it away in my pocket!


    When they used to celebrate my birthday!
    Il y a quelque chose de pire que d'avoir une âme perverse. C’est d'avoir une âme habituée
    Charles Péguy

    Every human society must justify its inequalities: reasons must be found because, without them, the whole political and social edifice is in danger of collapsing”.
    Thomas Piketty

  2. #2962
    Morticia Iunia Bruti's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Rilke is so melancholy, but beautiful. I like him.

    But Pessoa's poem is also so powerful melancholic.

    Edit: But Rilke has also beautiful love poems.

    Love Song


    How can I keep my soul in me, so that
    it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise
    it high enough, past you, to other things?
    I would like to shelter it, among remote
    lost objects, in some dark and silent place
    that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.
    Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
    takes us together like a violin's bow,
    which draws one voice out of two separate strings.
    Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
    And what musician holds us in his hand?
    Oh sweetest song.

    Last edited by Morticia Iunia Bruti; October 14, 2021 at 02:44 AM.
    Being like you are
    Well this is something else, who would comprehend?
    But some that do, lay claim Divine purpose blesses them
    That's not what I believe, and it doesn't matter anyway
    A part of your soul ties you to the next world
    Or maybe to the last, but I'm still not sure

    VNV Nation - Illusion


  3. #2963
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morticia Iunia Bruti View Post
    Rilke is so melancholy, but beautiful. I like him.

    But Pessoa's poem is also so powerful melancholic.

    Edit: But Rilke has also beautiful love poems.

    Love Song

    How can I keep my soul in me, so that
    it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise
    it high enough, past you, to other things?
    I would like to shelter it, among remote
    lost objects, in some dark and silent place
    that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.
    Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
    takes us together like a violin's bow,
    which draws one voice out of two separate strings.
    Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
    And what musician holds us in his hand?
    Oh sweetest song.

    Beautiful poem

    There is another translation, by Norbert Ruebsaat. Traduttori traditori, what's your favorite translation?

    How shall I hold my soul so that it
    does not touch yours? How shall I lift it
    up over you so it reaches other things?
    Oh, how I long to store my soul
    with something dark and lost
    in a foreign becalmed place that does not
    vibrate when your depths vibrate.
    But all that touches you and touches me
    contracts us like a bow
    that from two strings draws forth a single voice.
    Upon which instrument are we two strung?
    And who, pray, is the fiddler who holds us in his hand?
    Oh sweetful song.

    ---

    Birthday was written by Pessoa itself. Pessoa was famously known for his alter egos: Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis,Álvaro de Campos, Alexander Search, Charles Robert Anon and Bernardo Soares. Half of his poems are attributed to three heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa: Caeiro,Campos, Reis.
    In a letter to letter to the critic Adolfo Casais Monteiro on the genesis of his heteronyms, the poet writes "This tendency to create around me another world, just like this one but with other people, has never left my imagination". Pessoa claimed that "I’ve divided all my humanness among the various authors whom I've served as literary executor.I subsist as a kind of medium of myself but I’m less real than the others, less substantial, less personal, and easily influenced by them all".The prospect of his mother moving to South Africa, Durban, prompted his first poem, in July of 1895 at 6 years old,

    To My Dear Mother

    Here I am in Portugal,
    In the lands where I was born.
    However much I love them,
    I love you even more


    In the University of the Cape of Good Hope, in 1903, he won the Queen Victoria Prize for the best essay in English. There were 899 examinee. Pessoa very nearly became an English writer.
    Il y a quelque chose de pire que d'avoir une âme perverse. C’est d'avoir une âme habituée
    Charles Péguy

    Every human society must justify its inequalities: reasons must be found because, without them, the whole political and social edifice is in danger of collapsing”.
    Thomas Piketty

  4. #2964
    Morticia Iunia Bruti's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    It may be a bit clichy, but in fact its a Translation of The Raven from Edgar Allen Poe.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Der Rabe.
    Von Edgar Poe. Deutsch von Anna Vivanti-Lindau, 1878.

    Einst, zu mitternächt’ger Stunde, saß ich bei der Lampe Schein,
    Und in alten Schriften blätternd, schlief ich müde beinah’ ein.
    Horch! Da drang ein leises Klopfen sacht doch deutlich an mein Ohr.
    Ueber das Geräusch verwundert, fuhr voll Staunen ich empor.
    5
    „Welcher Gast“, ich sprach es flüsternd, „kommt so spät noch zu mir her?
    ’S ist ein Gast, und sonst nichts mehr.“

    Winter war’s; der Sturmwind brauste, und der Kohlen düst’re Gluth
    War fast im Kamin verglommen. Ich erinnere mich’s noch gut.
    Heiß ersehnte ich den Morgen, denn in keinem Buche fand

    10
    Lind’rung ich des heißen Schmerzes, daß Lenore mir entschwand.
    Leonore, die Verklärte, die nun über’m Sternenheer
    Weilt, – auf Erden ach, nicht mehr! –

    In den seidenen Gardinen rauschte es geheimnißvoll;
    Mich durchrieselte ein Schauer, und vor Furcht das Herz mir schwoll.

    15
    Um des Herzens banges Pochen zu beschwicht’gen, sagt’ ich mir:
    „’S ist ein Gast, der Einlaß fordernd, leise klopft an meine Thür.
    Nein, von keiner andern Ursach’ rührt das leise Klopfen her,
    ’S ist ein Gast, und sonst nichts mehr.“

    Und ich raffte mich zusammen, öffnete die Thür und rief:

    20
    „Werther Herr, verehrte Dame, o! verzeih’n Sie mir, ich schlief.
    Deshalb glaubt’ ich kaum, es käme Jemand noch so spät zu mir,
    Denn Sie klopften gar so leise, gar so leis’ an meine Thür.“
    Suchend blickt’ ich in das Dunkel, aber Alles öd’ und leer, –
    Tiefe Stille – sonst nichts mehr.


    25
    Furchtbewegt und voll Erstaunen starrt’ ich lauschend in die Nacht;
    Träume träumend, die zu träumen nie ein Sterblicher gewagt.
    Doch die Dunkelheit erfüllte banges Schweigen grauenvoll;
    Bis der Name „Leonore“ wie ein leiser Hauch erscholl;
    Selber hatt’ ich ihn geflüstert, und ein Echo dumpf und schwer

    30
    Tönt: „Lenore“, sonst nichts mehr.

    Voller Schreck schloß ich die Thüre; horch! Da dringet an mein Ohr
    Wiederum das leise Klopfen, etwas lauter als zuvor.
    „Diesmal war es keine Täuschung; an das Fenster pocht es sacht“,
    Rief ich, „will doch einmal sehen, wer noch kommt in später Nacht.

    35
    Wer noch kommt zu nächt’ger Stunde. Still, mein Herz, klopf’ nicht so sehr!
    ’S ist der Wind, und sonst nichts mehr.“

    Und ich öffnete die Laden; sieh! Da schreitet in’s Gemach
    Mit bedächt’gem Schritt ein Rabe und mit lautem Flügelschlag.

    [356]
    Würdigt stolz mich keines Grußes und verweilet nicht bei mir;
    40
    Fliegt, als wär’ er hier zu Hause, über meine Stubenthür;
    Auf den Helm der Göttin Pallas, auf das Haupt Minerva’s hehr
    Setzt er sich, und sonst nichts mehr.

    Ungeachtet meines Kummers mußt’ ich lächeln, denn das Thier
    Blickte mit so ernster Miene und so feierlich nach mir.

    45
    „Ob dir gleich der Kamm geschoren, kannst du doch kein Feigling sein,
    Geisterhafter, alter Rabe, denn du kamst gar kühn herein.
    Nenne dich, der du aus Pluto’s dunklem Schattenreich kamst her“,
    Sprach der Rabe: „Nimmermehr.“

    Sehr erstaunt’ ich, als ich hörte, daß das Thier so deutlich sprach,

    50
    Wenn gleich wenig Sinn in seiner wunderlichen Antwort lag.
    Denn ein Jeder wird gestehen, daß noch nie solch’ seltsam Thier
    Ueber einer Thür gesessen, wie der alte Rabe hier,
    Der bedächtig niederblickte von der Büste zu mir her,
    Und sich nannte: „Nimmermehr.“


    55
    Doch der Rabe, ruhig weilend auf Minerva’s Büste dort,
    Schwieg, als hätt’ er seine Seele ausgehaucht in jenem Wort.
    Stumm und regungslos erschien er. Da sprach leis’ ich vor mich hin:
    „Viele Freunde sind geschieden; morgen wird auch er entflieh’n.
    Wie die Hoffnung mir entschwunden, so verläßt mich wohl auch er.“

    60
    Sprach der Rabe: „Nimmermehr.“

    Ganz erstaunt fuhr ich zusammen, als die Antwort ich vernahm.
    „Sicherlich, das Wort ist“, dacht’ ich, „Alles was er sprechen kann.
    Und er hat es ohne Zweifel oft von seinem Herrn gehört,
    Der entschwund’nes Glück beweinte, das sich von ihm abgekehrt.

    65
    Bis gleich einer Todtenklage dieses Wort, so kummerschwer,
    Tönte: „Nimmer, nimmermehr.“

    Wieder mußt’ ich leise lächeln, war mir gleich nicht froh zu Sinn,
    Und ich schob mir einen Sessel nahe vor den Raben hin.
    Auf das samm’tne Polster sinkend, dachte ich darüber nach,

    70
    Warum dieser Unglücksvogel stets das eine Wort nur sprach,
    Das so trostlos klang und trübe, seltsam, schaurig, unheilschwer,
    Dieses: „Nimmer, nimmermehr.“

    Doch ich ließ kein Wort verlauten; stille, sinnend blickt ich bang
    Nach dem Raben, dessen Auge sengend bis in’s Herz mir drang.

    75
    Auf dem weichen Polster ruhend, saß ich da gedankenvoll,
    Und der Lampe Silberschimmer milden Scheines mich umquoll.
    „Ach, auf diesen samm’tnen Kissen“, dacht’ ich und ich seufzte schwer,
    „Ruht sie nimmer, nimmermehr!“

    Plötzlich war’s, als ob das Zimmer süßer Weihrauchduft durchdrang,

    80
    Und wie eines Engels Fußtritt, leis’ es auf dem Teppich klang.
    „Armer! – Gott hat dir gesendet Lind’rung für dein krankes Herz“,
    Rief ich, „schlürf’ die süße Labe und vergiß den herben Schmerz
    Um Lenoren, die Verlorne. Gräm dich länger nicht so sehr.“
    Krächzt der Rabe: „Nimmermehr!“


    85
    [357]
    „Unhold“, rief ich, „Unheilkünder! Hat der Böse dich gesandt?
    Sag’ mir Rabe oder Dämon, warf der Sturm dich an dies Land?
    Elend und verlassen weil’ ich an dem Ort des Schreckens hier,
    Aber unverzagten Muthes; darum, Rabe, sage mir:
    Heilt das Jenseits uns’re Wunden? Dessen nur gieb mir Gewähr.“

    90
    Krächzt der Rabe: „Nimmermehr.“

    „Unhold“, rief ich, „Unheilkünder! Bei dem Himmel droben sprich;
    Bei dem Gotte, dem wir Beide Ehrfurcht weihen, du und ich
    Werd’ ich die verklärte Heil’ge, die so früh der Erd’ entschwand,
    In elysischen Gefilden einst in einem bessern Land

    95
    Wiedersehen, wieder grüßen, selig über’m Sternenheer?“
    Krächzt der Rabe: „Nimmermehr!“

    „Sei dies Wort das Trennungszeichen“, rief ich zorn- und schreckensbleich.
    „Fort, hinaus in Sturmesbrausen! Fort in Pluto’s Schattenreich!
    Laß als Merkmal deiner Lügen keine schwarze Feder mir;

    100
    Laß mich Einsamen in Frieden; fort, du Unhold, fort von hier!
    Zieh’ zurück den scharfen Schnabel aus der Brust mir, kummerschwer.“
    Krächzt der Rabe: „Nimmermehr.“

    Und der Rabe rührt sich nimmer, stille sitzt er immer, immer
    Auf der stillen Büste droben, überströmt vom Lampenschimmer.

    105
    Und sein Aug’ ist von dämonisch-träumerischer Gluth erhellt;
    Von der Lampe Licht umflossen auf den Flur sein Schatten fällt.
    Und auf meine Seele lagert sich der Schatten düster, schwer. –
    Ach, und weichet nimmermehr!





    But i prefer to read the poem in its original language, if its in german, english or latin.

    You lose always something in translation.
    Being like you are
    Well this is something else, who would comprehend?
    But some that do, lay claim Divine purpose blesses them
    That's not what I believe, and it doesn't matter anyway
    A part of your soul ties you to the next world
    Or maybe to the last, but I'm still not sure

    VNV Nation - Illusion


  5. #2965
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morticia Iunia Bruti View Post
    its a Translation of The Raven from Edgar Allen Poe
    I see
    In fact,the German language has a capability of reproducing English thought possessed by no other national speech. Just out curiosity, is it true that Carl's Eben translation is from an artistic point of view, the most perfect in the English language?



    You lose always something in translation
    That's quite true.
    Il y a quelque chose de pire que d'avoir une âme perverse. C’est d'avoir une âme habituée
    Charles Péguy

    Every human society must justify its inequalities: reasons must be found because, without them, the whole political and social edifice is in danger of collapsing”.
    Thomas Piketty

  6. #2966
    Morticia Iunia Bruti's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Eben seems at most similar to the Rhyme of the original poem, yes.
    Being like you are
    Well this is something else, who would comprehend?
    But some that do, lay claim Divine purpose blesses them
    That's not what I believe, and it doesn't matter anyway
    A part of your soul ties you to the next world
    Or maybe to the last, but I'm still not sure

    VNV Nation - Illusion


  7. #2967
    Narf's Avatar Reach for the stars
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by King Athelstan View Post



    We're getting a lot closer to the end.
    What you think!?

  8. #2968
    TheDarkKnight's Avatar Compliance will be rewarded
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    As I begin book 90, I would like to take a quick moment for a rant about Conn Iggulden.

    I have read 2 books (Gates of Rome and Death of Kings) and part of a third (Gates of Athens) from Iggulden. Dude can write, I don't deny that. His way of describing scenes is kind of intoxicating. But holy ing his insistence on ignoring how history unfolded during Caesar's time period in the Emperor series has been driving me nuts.

    I almost don't want to continue. It's not like I don't know how the story ends for all the major players from this time period. But then again all the changes may lead to some interesting surprises.

    Changes (off the top of my head)

    + Brutus and Caesar are similarly aged, and blood brothers. Wat.
    + Sulla/Marius Civil War is short, small in scale (one legion per side?!), and portrayed horribly inaccurate
    + Both Sulla and Marius die oddly; Marius in the Battle of the Colline Gate and Sulla is assassinated a year or so after his ascension.
    + Mithradates VI is killed sometime before Third Servile War. His war is short and small of scale, and its Caesar who personally killed Mithradates. Mithradates has been portrayed as a king of Greek barbarians in the series as well.
    + No "Queen of Bithynia" arc. Boo. But we do have the pirate story, if perhaps a bit early.
    + The Third Servile War sees an unofficial triumvirate develop between Caesar/Pompey/Crassus far too early. Brutus is also leading men into battle during this war.
    + Octavian is basically a street urchin in book 2. He also should not be alive yet.
    + Cornelia is assassinated to punish Caesar
    + Cato the Younger is killed damn near thirty years before he dies in real life
    + The senate is awfully nonchalant of all the times Roman soldiers in fairly significant numbers are marching around the streets while armed. Caesar basically uses a force of dozens of armed legionaries to throw a rival out of their home.
    + I am fairly confident that the (supposed to be historica) Lepidus dies in battle against Spartacus in this book. I know he's the most boring of the second triumvirate (Did he ever really do anything anyway?) but his absence is gonna be awkward when I reach the final book.
    + Despite taking place decades after the Marian reforms, the ranks Extraordinarii, Hastati and Triarii are used to describe soldiers.

    I'm sure there are more, this is just what I am remembering. This is just two books in out of five and I am starting on book 3 (Field of Swords) now. As far as I know this is Caesar's time in Spain (already a red flag), Gaul, and England. Who knows what rat ery will happen moving forward.
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; October 19, 2021 at 12:53 AM. Reason: Clarification
    If you know anyone who participated in the attempted overthrow of the US election results in January, you have a duty as a patriot to report them.

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  9. #2969
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I have to say that the third book wasn't much better in terms of accuracy but it was a better book overall.

    I'm just bitter that the author decided to mess around the first half of the book and then rush through the Gallic Wars in the second half. Those wars + England could have easily filled a novel of comparable length on their own. I also can't believe this author honestly though Brutus should not only become the hero of the books but also a fantastic general and swordsman to boot

    I'll hold off on the rest of my thoughts until I digest the book more. I need a break after reading two such books in a row.

    Possible next up novels:

    Red Mars
    Casino Royale
    Dune
    Resolution
    The Drawing Of The Three (Dark Tower 2)
    The City And The Stars

    Not sure what next.
    If you know anyone who participated in the attempted overthrow of the US election results in January, you have a duty as a patriot to report them.

    The difference between the average conservative with TDS and the Taliban is that I don't feel very threatened by the Taliban.

  10. #2970
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    You should definitely go with Dune next, especially if you plan on seeing the new movie.

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  11. #2971
    TheDarkKnight's Avatar Compliance will be rewarded
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I struggled getting into Dune, Akar. Not because it was bad but my attention just could not focus on it with all the names/words invented for the series. I might need to wait until after I see the movie so I can hear the names and words better in my head as I read.

    93 books now. Will *probably* hit 94 today but I'm not going to rush it.

    The Cole and Hitch series by Robert Parker has been the one that recently grabbed my attention but even though they are all 300 pages or so they are pretty short in terms of word count so they have been easy reads. Not sure if I want to continue with the rest of the series since they are written by a different guy after Parker died.
    If you know anyone who participated in the attempted overthrow of the US election results in January, you have a duty as a patriot to report them.

    The difference between the average conservative with TDS and the Taliban is that I don't feel very threatened by the Taliban.

  12. #2972
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I'm really struggling to continue reading right now. I'm at 96 books and I have no drive to keep going right now. I have started three books in the last few days, get a few chapters in, and then give up.

    Can't explain it, but I might take a week and just do other things.

    I *did* finish the Emperor series by Conn Iggulden though. Took me all year practically, pretty sure I read book 1 in February and read 2-5 just in the last few weeks.
    If you know anyone who participated in the attempted overthrow of the US election results in January, you have a duty as a patriot to report them.

    The difference between the average conservative with TDS and the Taliban is that I don't feel very threatened by the Taliban.

  13. #2973
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I struggled getting into Dune, Akar. Not because it was bad but my attention just could not focus on it with all the names/words invented for the series. I might need to wait until after I see the movie so I can hear the names and words better in my head as I read.
    Whatever it takes to get you through the book .

    I'm at 96 books
    Holy .

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  14. #2974
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    And I thought well of just having finished The Expanse? I'm SLOW! You're fast. I bow to your superior booknerdishness!
    Currently reading The Final Empire!

  15. #2975
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I have read one book in two weeks. Worst performance since spring when I read no books at all in two months

    Trying again. I've just been overwhelmed at work because of (no one's fault, just the nature of the year). Also been trying to get back into videogames as well. But I kind of wasted all of today so here goes nothing.
    If you know anyone who participated in the attempted overthrow of the US election results in January, you have a duty as a patriot to report them.

    The difference between the average conservative with TDS and the Taliban is that I don't feel very threatened by the Taliban.

  16. #2976
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
    Patrician Citizen Censor

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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Time spent enjoyed is never time wasted, my friend.

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    Son, Heir, and Wartime Consigliere of King Athelstan

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  17. #2977
    TheDarkKnight's Avatar Compliance will be rewarded
    Civitate Patrician Magistrate Content Emeritus Administrator Emeritus

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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I forced the lethargic depression to take a backseat and finished The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman. The final book was temporarily interrupted however by Leviathan Falls, which I have also finished. So four books since Thanksgiving break. Not much but it adds up to 101 books.

    Edit: Make that five now. I read Virtual War, a book I have not read since I was forced to read it in 6th grade. And it was definite darker than I remembered. But at least I finally found the book that for years people have said "It's just Ender's Game!" despite my protestations over that not being the case.

    102 now.
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; Yesterday at 08:42 PM.
    If you know anyone who participated in the attempted overthrow of the US election results in January, you have a duty as a patriot to report them.

    The difference between the average conservative with TDS and the Taliban is that I don't feel very threatened by the Taliban.

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