The World Is Flat - by Thomas L. Friedman (3 times Pulitzer Prize winner)
This is a great treatise into how and why globalization has shifted into warp drive. He chronicles ten forces that are flattening the world in easy-to-read detail spanning some 570+ pages. Gripping and shocking at the same time, it's hard to put down.
My 2.0 version (2006) copy was a gift but I really should get the updated 3.0 version (2007).
You guys will probably make fun of me for this, but: Lemony Snicket- A series of unfortunate events.
It is a thirteen book series. My Son is reading them to me. We have just begun book one. We read each night and then discuss what we read on the way to school the next morning. It is a well written and fun series of books.
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Post by knucklehead on Apr 29, 2014 0:43:07 GMT -5
My all-time favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. The non-abridged version. There have been 10 movies based on this book and none of them have been anywhere near adequate. Maybe someone will divide the script into a series of 3-4 movies some day.
I also enjoyed reading JRR Tolkien trilogy The Lord of the Rings - and of course The Hobbit - books I've probably read 6-8 times over the years.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran is another favorite.
Yamaha A-S1000 Int Amp - Salk SongTowers - Oppo 103 - HTPC (Linux Mint) Other Gear: Yamaha RX-A2070, Klipsch Ref Center, Emotiva ERD-1's Twas a woman who drove me to drink. I never had the decency to write and thank her.
Lolita is, perhaps, the finest English novel ever written, and it was penned by a Russian. It's sad that modern pop culture has warped this beautiful novel, and completely turned the meaning on it's head.
Anyway, the opening is perfect:
Vladimir Nabokov said:
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
There's a great portion half way through the book that, the first time I read it, took me back to the many family vacations we took when I was a child. We moved to the United States when I was 5 years old, and my father absolutely loved driving across the country. He loved in in a way that is unique to immigrants. Road tripping is an American institution, and for generations of people have experienced the beauty this country has to offer. Yet for immigrants, especially ones like my father who lived most of their lives in over-populated and impoverished countries, the freedom to drive hundreds of miles at a time, seeing forests/mountains/deserts/plains/cities is an experience that borders on divine. Nabokov captures the wonder of an immigrant experiencing the American landscape:
Vladimir Nabokov said:
By putting the geography of the United States into motion, I did my best for hours on end to give her the impression of “going places," of rolling on to some definite destination, to some unusual delight. I have never seen such smooth amiable roads as those that now radiated before us, across the crazy quilt of forty-eight states. Voraciously we consumed those long high-ways, in rapt silence we glided over their glossy black dance floors. Not only had Lo no eye for scenery but she furiously resented my calling her attention to this or that enchanting detail of landscape; which I myself learned to discern only after being exposed for quite a time to the delicate beauty ever present in the margin of our undeserving journey. By a paradox of pictorial thought, the average lowland North-American countryside had at first seemed to me something I accepted with a shock of amused recognition because of those painted oilcloths which were imported from America in the old days to be hung above washstands in Central-European nurseries, and which fascinated a drowsy child at bed time with the rustic green views they depicted - opaque curly trees, a barn, cattle, a brook, the dull white of vague orchards in bloom, and perhaps a stone fence or hills of greenish gouache. But gradually the models of those elementary rusticities became stranger and stranger to the eye, the nearer I came to know them. Beyond the tilled plain, beyond the toy roofs, there would be a slow suffusion of inutile loveliness, a low sun in a platinum haze with a warm, peeled-peach tinge pervading the upper edge of a two-dimensional, dove-gray cloud fusing with the distant amorous mist. There might be a line of spaced trees silhouetted against the horizon and hot still noons above a wilderness of clover, and Claude Lorrain clouds inscribed remotely into misty azure with only their cumulus part conspicuous against the neutral swoon of the background. Or again, it might be a stern EI Greco horizon, pregnant with inky rain, and a passing glimpse of some mummy-necked farmer, and all around alternating strips of quick-silverish water and harsh green corn, the whole arrangement opening like a fan, somewhere in Kansas.
Now and then, in the vastness of those plains, huge trees would advance toward us to cluster self-consciously by the roadside and provide a bit of humanitarian shade above a picnic table, with sun flecks, flattened paper cups, samaras and discarded ice-cream sticks littering the brown ground. A great user of roadside facilities, my unfastidious Lo would be charmed by toilet signs - Guys-Gals, John-Jane, Jack-Jill and even Buck’s-Doe’s; while lost in an artist's dream, I would stare at the honest brightness of the gasoline paraphernalia against the splendid green of oaks, or at a distant hill scrambling out - scarred but still untamed - from the wilderness of agriculture that was trying to swallow it.
At night, tall trucks studded with colored lights, like dreadful giant Christmas trees, loomed in the darkness and thundered by the belated little sedan. And again next day a thinly populated sky, losing its blue to the heat, would melt overhead, and Lo would clamor for a drink and her cheeks would hollow vigorously over the straw, and the car inside would be a furnace when we got in again, and the road shimmered ahead, with a remote car changing its shape mirage-like in the surface glare, and seeming to hang for a moment, old-fashionedly square and high, in the hot haze. And as we pushed westward, patches of what the garage-man called “sage brush" appeared, and then the mysterious outlines of table-like hills, and then red bluffs ink-blotted with junipers, and then a mountain range, dun grading into blue, and blue into dream, and the desert would meet us with a steady gale, dust, gray thorn bushes, and hideous bits of tissue paper mimicking pale flowers among the prickles of wind-tortured withered stalks all along the highway; in the middle of which there sometimes stood simple cows, immobilized in a position (tail left, white eyelashes right) cutting across all human rules of traffic.
p.s. - I apologize for the long quote. I find the beauty of this book almost unfathomable, and feel compelled to share it.