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What BOOK are you reading right now?

 
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 01:03 am
Picked up a book at a yard sale about a week ago that I'm finding totally fascinating. It's called Japanese Eyes, American Heart; Personal Reflections of Hawaii's World War II Nisei Soldiers. It was compiled by the Hawaii Nikkei History Editorial Board and published (1998) by The Tendai Educational Foundation, Honolulu.

I was, I thought, reasonably familiar with the exploits of the 442 Regimental Combat Team, reportedly the most decorated unit for its size in The European Theater of Operations during WW II, and with those of the 100th Infantry Battalion (the so-called Purple Heart Battalion, so nicknamed because of the unusually heavy casualties it suffered). But it's one thing to know the history, quite another to read first-hand recollections by men who actually participated in the battle for Monte Cassino, the rescue of the so-called lost battalion in the Vosges Mountains of France and a dozen other combat actions.

These were young men who had two battles to fight: one against the Axis enemy (including men of their own ethnic background who owed allegiance to the Emperor of Japan), the other for acceptance as patriotic Americans in a country steeped in suspicion of anyone with a Japanese name and Asiatic appearance. It's just as interesting to read about their experiences during training on the mainland as about the combat experiences.

Good book. Probably out of print now, alas. But I recommend looking for it.
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 06:47 am
@Merry Andrew,
That sounds like a good book.
I'm gonna see if my local library either has it or if they can get it.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 06:56 am
@Merry Andrew,
I'm on it!
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 07:03 am
Appaloosa by Robert B Parker
Good yarn
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 07:07 am
@George,
was a movie recently made from the book?
tarakesh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 07:04 pm
Becoming American: Personal Essays by First Generation American Women by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

Enjoying it so far.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 07:26 pm
@panzade,
Yes.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 07:56 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Next in line for me, a real book fatty, about nine hundred pages, but not as thick as Suitable Boy was, if I remember correctly....

Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games


I've barely made a dent in this but I'm enjoying it immensely. We have a sikh police inspector and hindu and muslim villains*, though I am gathering the police and the different groups in Mumbai all have some villainy. The reason I'm not making headway is the book is very heavy, hard to read in bed and I just about never sit up nicely and read in a chair. If I die suddenly, I've hit my head with the book. I keep going to sleep with my thumb caught between hundreds of pages. Plus, for a day or two, I was dealing with this damnable fly.

*Well, to the extent I've gotten into the book, the first villain extroardinaire is understandable as a character, as are many of the minor characters. No wonder the book is so thick. Plus it's on good paper in hardback. Fascinating so far. There are many indian words thrown in that I don't know, but can figure out from context.


0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 07:57 pm
@McTag,
Norwich rings a bell.. can you tell a bit about him?
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 08:03 am
picked up three new books yesterday

http://static.bookdepository.co.uk/assets/images/book/large/9780/5750/9780575080270.jpg

This is The Bourne Identity ...as if Neil Gaiman had written it ...A man comes round on the floor of a shabby flat in the middle of Budapest. His head is glued to the floorboards with his own blood. There's a fortune in cash on the kitchen table. And he has no idea where, or who, he is. He can do extraordinary things - speak any number of languages fluently, go three days without food or sleep, and fight with extraordinary prowess. But without a name, without a past, he's isolated from the rest of the world; a stranger to everyone, including himself - until a chance encounter with a young scholar leads to his first friendship, and his first hint that someone out there knows more about him than he does. Someone is sending him clues about his past. Photographs hidden in books and crates of wine. Cryptic clues pointing towards a murdered woman. And clear warnings against Stephomi, his only friend. But that's not all; Gabriel Antaeus is seeing strange, impossible things: a burning man is stalking his dreams and haunting his mirrors, his dreams are filled with violence from the past, and his pregnant young neighbour is surrounded by an extraordinary golden aura. Something dark and violent in Gabriel's past is trying to resurface. And as he pieces the clues together, everything points towards an astounding war between angels and demons ...and a battle not just for the future of the world, but for the minds and souls of everyone in it.

the next two are the 1st and 2nd book in a set of 3 so far, i've read two other books by the author (Un Lun Dun and Looking For Jake) and quite enjoyed them

http://rodapedohorizonte.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/large_perdido_street_station_us.jpg

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none " not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.

Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger.

While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger " and more consuming " by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon " and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes...

A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader's imagination.


http://ebooks-imgs.connect.com/ebooks/product/400/000/000/000/000/046/703/400000000000000046703_s4.jpg

A mythmaker of the highest order, China Miéville has emblazoned the fantasy novel with fresh language, startling images, and stunning originality. Set in the same sprawling world of Miéville’s Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel, Perdido Street Station, this latest epic introduces a whole new cast of intriguing characters and dazzling creations.

Aboard a vast seafaring vessel, a band of prisoners and slaves, their bodies remade into grotesque biological oddities, is being transported to the fledgling colony of New Crobuzon. But the journey is not theirs alone. They are joined by a handful of travelers, each with a reason for fleeing the city. Among them is Bellis Coldwine, a renowned linguist whose services as an interpreter grant her passage"and escape from horrific punishment. For she is linked to Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin, the brilliant renegade scientist who has unwittingly unleashed a nightmare upon New Crobuzon.

For Bellis, the plan is clear: live among the new frontiersmen of the colony until it is safe to return home. But when the ship is besieged by pirates on the Swollen Ocean, the senior officers are summarily executed. The surviving passengers are brought to Armada, a city constructed from the hulls of pirated ships, a floating, landless mass ruled by the bizarre duality called the Lovers. On Armada, everyone is given work, and even Remades live as equals to humans, Cactae, and Cray. Yet no one may ever leave.

Lonely and embittered in her captivity, Bellis knows that to show dissent is a death sentence. Instead, she must furtively seek information about Armada’s agenda. The answer lies in the dark, amorphous shapes that float undetected miles below the waters"terrifying entities with a singular, chilling mission. . . .

China Miéville is a writer for a new era"and The Scar is a luminous, brilliantly imagined novel that is nothing short of spectacular.


0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 10:53 am
Progress Report:
I'm now on page 296, 0f 900, of Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra. It's still fascinating.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 02:16 pm
@ossobuco,
I'm reading Herodotus. If we are heading back to Paganism it might be useful to get a classy picture of what it entails.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 02:45 pm
@spendius,
I'll get into reading the greeks in a few years, when I'm more grown up. I still am reading Tacitus, or so I say, as it sits dormant.


Here's a link on Sacred Games - I won't check reviews as such until I'm finished with the blockhead, no, I mean headbuster. Let me recommend getting it in paperback. The good thing is I won't have to buy weights for exercise since I have the hardback.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Games_(novel)

I'm learning a whole lot, while still having the fun of a police procedural.

I may have to work up a culinary survey, in that the characters are always eating and the characters spring from many different communities.. and I, who have looked at not all that few websites on indian food, find myself bathed in food words I don't know at all. I could do a thread on that, but I have another 600 pages to go first.

spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 03:09 pm
@ossobuco,
Philippa Pullar's Consuming Passions is right up your street osso.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 03:16 pm
@spendius,
I suppose I'll have to google that to see how you are jousting with me... some romance novel?

Back on Sacred Games, I like how the worlds of the key and relatively major characters are developed, a matter that I'd guess the author might have been instructed to cut, but which is the basis for my interest.



I'm usually attracted to taut writing, but not only taut writing.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 03:26 pm
@ossobuco,
He's actually serious for a change, Osso. His recommendation even makes sense, it's a book about the history of food and the culinary arts in Europe. You would probably like it.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 05:01 pm
@Green Witch,
Philippa Pullar is one of the very few women worth reading.

Would you give me an instance GW of where you think I have not been being serious? It is easy to level charges without evidence.

I could easily say that you are only kidding yourself thinking you have any witch DNA.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 05:09 pm
@Green Witch,
Thanks for the clue..

Well, bless our Spendi, for a bit.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 05:17 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
"Even as the sun walked up the pillars and she sprinkled water in the courtyard and the smell rose of the fresh evening, she was not able to plant herself in the place." Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games


Well then-- we will have to give her a helping hand won't we lads?
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 05:42 pm
The last book I finished to eating was about death and how different people and cultures deal with it and their beliefs on it. After Death by Sukie Miller. Consolidating what happened right after I finished reading it I think it means I should give off on reading especially murder mysteries. It was a good book I picked it from the hallway floor downstairs when Liz moved out and she reduced her books before moving. I used to find alot of interesting books down there.


 

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